Trouble pulling hills

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Trouble pulling hills
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael grady on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 07:24 pm:

newbie here..

Just finishing up my 16 touring restoration. Rebuilt engine - starts great, does well in low gear up hills. Runs fine at idle with both gas and spark advance all the way in the up position.

I'm having a lot of trouble pulling up even small hills around my neighborhood. I can't imagine this is correct, and I had a guy who is familiar with model ts helping putting the top on today. He took it for a ride and agreed it should pull the small hills I am having trouble on with no problem. Something is not right.

It does not seem to be slipping, but seems to strain quite a bit, slow way down, and barley chug up the hills. Often I have to climb in low speed so it doesn't stall.

He suggested perhaps the timer might be an issue.

Wondering if you guys might have any other thoughts.

Thanks in advance!

Michael


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren (Australia) on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 07:38 pm:

It takes a lot of miles to run-in a fresh rebuild, see what it's like after 5or6 hundred up on it, just watch the temp.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:06 pm:

My lawn tractor has more power than my Model T so I am not surprised when it slows and i have to use low down when it encounters a hill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:18 pm:

Do NOT "chug" up hills or let it get so slow in high gear that it can stall. That's very hard on the crankshaft.

Kerry's probably correct. See how it acts after the engine breaks in after a while.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael R Beary on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:23 pm:

Does the T have the stock ring and pinion? If it has the high speed setup and you have a lot of hills, could be part of problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John E Cox on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:39 pm:

When I lived in SW Missouri my model A had trouble with hills and it has 40 horse power.
I decided to hop it up and bought a Riley two port head and a New Zealand quick change rear end.
Still working on it. My wife says I can have a Model T when the Model A is finished. I have the rear end finished and in the car. Working on brakes and final engine installation. I live in Tucson, Arizona now and probably should have left it stock.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:51 pm:

A problem I have seen some T owners have is they keep too much spark advance and too lean mixture on hills. Knocking the spark back to 1/2 and open up the mixture just a bit (maybe 1/8 turn) can really help on steep hills.
I agree with Jerry DON'T lug the engine up hills. A T will withstand revs way better than it will withstand lugging.
I also agree with Michael, I made the mistake of putting in 3-1 gears in a stock T, after a couple of tours, back under the car to change them to standard gears!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael grady on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 09:40 pm:

Thanks so for for all the help and advice.

Jerry and Les...I didn't know that about stressing crank shaft - it has a brand new scat in it. I don't want to mess that up.

Michael - I believe it is all stock at this point.

Kerry - Only about 30 miles since the rebuild. I'll hang with it and not expect so much yet :-)

As Dan Hatch points out - maybe time for a ruxell.

Thanks...any thoughts about possibly replacing the timer? The coils are new.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:06 pm:

Les makes a good point -
I am not a set-it and forget-it guy.

I am always playing with the advance.
When cruising down the byway I have it advanced
If the temp looks like it is going up I retard it a little.
When in town I retard it a bit.
When it starts to strain a bit I retard it a bit more.
When chugging up a hill I have it about at 1/3


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael grady on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:14 pm:

Hi Fred...thanks.

I thought retarding the spark would cause an increase in temp....???

Michael


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Schreier on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:40 pm:

Michael,

You are correct in thinking that retarding the spark will cause the engine to run hotter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:46 pm:

If you leave the spark retarded it will cause the car to over heat. If you adjust the spark to the condition you are driving in you may delay breaking the crank for a long time. JMHO!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Chaffin on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:47 pm:

Michael, What kind of camshaft are you using? It can make a big difference


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave DeYoung ......... Stoughton, WI on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 12:08 am:

Do you have adjustable lifters? Did you get the locking nut tight. I worked on a T that all of the lifter screws backed off and the clearance was huge, resulting in a very weak motor in high. Reset to .018 and it ran like a new motor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael grady on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 07:09 am:

I thought I answered, these questions in a replay this AM, but I don't see them posted. If this si a repeat, please forgive.

Glen..I believe it is a new stock camshaft.

Dave...they are not adjustable lifters.

I worry a little that I have torqued something to tight- like the RM brakes or rear wheel.

Should I be able to push the car on a level surface with it in neutral?

Thanks..

MIchael


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 08:05 am:

The car should be easy to push on a level surface in neutral. Maybe the bands are adjusted too tight, or the rear brakes too tight?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael grady on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 08:35 am:

Royce...

When you say the rear brakes are too tight, I assume you mean the RM brakes, correct?

The care is not at all easy to push on a level surface ( although, to be fair, I'm a smaller build and nearly 60).

If I jack up the rear end on both sides, should I be able to turn the wheels easily?

I really appreciate the help!

Michael


Michael


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Menzies on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:11 am:

You say spark advance all the way in the UP position If memory serves me correctly full advance is all the way DOWN


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Milton,WA on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:36 am:

I read that too David - try advancing the spark lever - it only needs to be up (retarded) when staring.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael grady on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:54 am:

David and Steve...I should have made that clearer. I should have said the "spark advance lever" was all the way up in the retarded position at idle and ran fine. I do advance the spark right after starting and when traveling.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:17 am:

Hey Michael, regardless of what kind of T you have, if the car is on flat pavement or concrete you should be able to lean into it a little and push it with one hand while it's in neutral. If it doesn't roll nice and easy then you have the brakes too tight and you are fighting them too much.

And yes, with the car in neutral if rear end is off the ground the wheels should turn pretty easily. You'll be turning the rear diff and the driveshaft so it won't just spin like the fronts, but it should definitely turn/spin with one hand. Sounds to me like the combination of fresh motor and brakes are what are slowing you down on the hills. If that still doesn't solve it, I'd check the valve lash next.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 04:56 pm:

Michael,

Necessity is the mother of invention. The T's inability to climb hills at a high rate of spend in high gear is the prime reason the Ruckstell axle came to be and the main reason why it is still today one of the most popular accessories. I almost always drop mine into Ruckstell high before approaching a hill.

By all means, check to make sure you do not have any excessive drag somewhere in your driveline as the other guys mentioned. I would also make sure you do not have any leaks around the intake that is robbing you of power.

Definitely do not let it lug in high gear. That is one of the worst things you can do to any engine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach & Big Bear on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 06:01 pm:

engine





Frontenac provided 16 valve twin cam power for Model T's and they were good hill climbers


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 08:32 pm:

You should have three braking systems if you have Rocky Mountain brakes. First, the rear parking brakes. Second, the Rocky Mountain brakes. Third, the original brake band in the transmission.

All need to be loose enough to allow the wheels to be turned easily with the car on jacks. All need to be loose enough that the car can be pushed easily forward or backward on level pavement. All should be able to stop the car with the other two not working.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Doolittle on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:09 pm:

What would be the possibility that the "dots" on the timing gears are not lined up?

I, personally, had a fiber timing gear lose a few teeth. The car ran fine on flat ground, but come to a slight hill and it had lost all pulling power.

Upon dis-assembly I found a chewed up timing gear that had jumped 3 teeth. Replaced it with a new nylon gear and got my power back.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter B. Ratledge on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:27 pm:

Michael,
I have a 1911 touring.
It is completely stock,with the exception, that I
am running the TRU-FIRE instead of the coils.
The car does not like hills.
The people with the Ruckstell!s and the souped up
engine's get upset with me on the hills.
We have driven the mountians of New Hampshire,
North Carolina and Utah.
I do not worry about it. The car will get there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:11 pm:

I have a stock '10 and it pulls right up most reasonable hills in high. Part of driving a T involves anticipating things. When approaching a hill in high gear it is a good idea to accelerate before you get there and then retard the spark a bit as the car starts to slow on the grade. A good running start will certainly help on a steep long hill but the advice about lugging the engine is well heeded and every stock T is going to have to drop into low gear if the hill is long and steep.


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