I once read in one of Floyd Clymer's books that to stop a T, all you did was step on any two pedals.
Thinking that using the reverse pedal to slow down would help equalize band wear, I did this for several months.
A few years ago, something came loose or broke while I was pressing the reverse pedal slowing down. The pedal went to the floor and I used the brake to stop.
Not realizing the risk, I went on home without incident.
Bailey removed the inspection plate and then I think the hogshead to replace the broken band. Driving went back to normal, although I no longer use the reverse pedal for slowing down.
What I did notice, and this has continued to the present day, is that the difference in output from the battery to the magneto is less than before the band broke.
In other words, it no longer seems that the magneto is much stronger than the 6V battery.
I'm thinking that something from the reverse band's breaking got into the magneto, reducing it's effectiveness.
Has this happened to anyone before? If so, how'd you fix it, or have you simply lived with it?
I'm open to suggestions how how to get into the transmission area to flush out any metal pieces that have lingered.
Been using the Reverse for slowing down the Engine for shifting. Works good but I'm no longer. My band now needs adjusting.
I was in the Colorado mountains getting ready to go down a 13% highway when something broke. I was able to get off the road. When pressing on the reverse pedal it went to the floor. The reverse drum had broke. Don't use reverse to brake the car.
The ONLY time you use a reverse pedal to stop the car is if you have NO other options and you're about to get in a wreck.
The reverse drum is way too light and thin to take the heat of braking. It is outright abuse to regularly use it as a brake.
I don't think your "band" broke. I think your drum broke and it sounds like it was replaced. Yes, it could have damaged your magneto field coil in the process, depending how bad it "broke". There is probably nothing to flush out. If metal pieces lingered they would have found their way into somewhere they don't belong and you'd know about it already. It just sounds like you've got a messed up field coil and the only way to fix that is to pull the engine and replace it. If it were mine, I'd leave it alone till the engine has to be pulled for something else, at a later time.
I wonder if some of this kind of "historic" advice was a better idea back in the day due to much lower speeds = less force over less time = less heat build up, less damage?
Erich I think that is about right. Of course the reverse drums as we see them now with one or more cracks, may have been that way for many years and might have been fine for the slower world back in the olden days. From the number of cracked reverse drums my advice is the same as Jerry's. While yes new ones can be bought, not everyone can afford them so best take care of the one you have. It would also be good advice for anyone rebuilding an engine or transmission to esp check the reverse drum for cracks in the web or face.
The reverse drum in my roadster was cracked, and looking at several others for a replacement I found most of them were cracked too. I'm with Jerry. I wouldn't use that middle pedal for anything except backing up unless everything else failed.
I read the Clymer books when I got interested in T's years 40-50 years ago.
Maybe in the 'T' era people began to use reverse in learning to drive a T and continued to use reverse as a way to help slow down when driving.
I don't recall if any Ford manual or advertisements stated using reverse for braking. Don't remember now.
By nature T's dont actually have brakes so people would use the pedals any way they could to stop.
I never really did use reverse as a way of slowing down and don't intend to.
Its a bad habit that started way back when some folks just got use to doing it. And I wont do it just because my Grandpa may of done it. In a emergency yes but that's it.
My opinion of course.
Your magneto problem could have been caused by the reverse band, but it could also be co-incidental. When something hits the magneto coils, it usually caused the magneto to stop working entirely. You could try an in car charge of the magneto coil and see if that fixes the problem. The magneto gets weaker by either magnets losing their charge, or the flywheel moving back away from the coil. The later is caused by wear on the rear main thrust surface.
You can inspect the reverse drum surface by carefully examining it through the inspection plate as the engine is slowly cranked over. Large cracks in the surface will be visible. Smaller ones might only be found by magnaflux. Cracks in the web are only found by disassembling the transmission.
You say the band broke. Do you mean by broke, that the lining came off? Or did the metal band actually break? If the lining was shredded, the reason could be a cracked drum. If so, it will continue to shred the new lining and the drum could collapse.
Regarding using reverse to stop forward motion of the T, nothing is stated by Ford material that acknowledges this method. Ford operators manual says to bring the car to a stop prior to engaging reverse.
Murray Fahnestock wrote in Ford Owner that suggested using reverse 'as a brake' to assist in even wear of the three band linings. But that was for 'economical' reasons, to prevent premature wear on the brake lining, as it is by Ford the way to stop the car.
Another author, Manly, in The Ford Motor Car, 1917, wrote the below, that it is technically possible to brake with the reverse, but does not recommend it.
For me, the thought of the reverse drum, turning more gears inside the transmission than low drum does, would do greater harm to the transmission, when used, as a brake, to halt the forward movement of the Ford.
...and the comment to turn off the ignition is something when using the engine as a brake isn't my cup of tea, once switched back on suddenly, 'bang' can happen!, take care in retarding the spark too with the throttle closed going down hills, as you can make a backfire and blow the muffler
What broke was the ear on the band, or a small enough part of it to where reverse simply wouldn't engage at all.
Bailey was able to retrieve the pieces out with a magnet.
The reverse drum didn't brake, nor were any cracks seen; I honestly think it came through that unscathed.
Time will tell...
Interesting. Thanks for clearing that up Bill.
My dad told me that as a kid, he remembers a buddy who would come to town (town was 400 people & main street was still gravel) at speed in his model T & would hit reverse hard enough to make the wheels spin backwards while he was still moving forwards.
I have always kept my trans brake and E brake adjusted properly and avoid getting into situations that would require me to use brake and reverse, together.
Thanks Dan for the update. Fahnestock and Manly are saying in my opinion that's its possible to slow or stop the car in emergency situations. BUT only in those type of situations.
This is another example about half truths getting started about Model T's.
Dr's Coupes, using reverse for braking, packing crates for floorboards and a few others.
Its sort of like could be, maybe!
Would you add engines not painted or painted with cast blast to your list of Model T myths?
The "any two pedals to stop" is in regards to a panic stop, I don't think it was ever recommended to use reverse as a service brake. That being said I have been guilty of that before I put the rockies on my 14.
Gosh, don't tell these people who admit using their reverse as a BRAKE to stop doing it. I sell Transmission drums and the reverse is the most looked for. Its not a matter of WILL the reverse drum break BUT WHEN. Apparently they don't understand how fragile cast iron is and what a JOLT the reverse drum receives when it is used while driving forward. As to using it in an emergency that is what your EMERGENCY BRAKE IS FOR.
I bought Floyd Clymer's book 55 years ago and took note of the "two pedals emergency stop" procedure. I have had to use it twice. It was low and reverse down hard and locked up everything. That way no heat was generated in the reverse drum. Very thankful that nothing broke, which would have left me with nothing but the parking brake.
I just had my engine rebuilt. I tore down 6 complete 26 27 engines to get one good block. but I also tore down 6 more transmissions for a total of 12 transmissions. I did not get a good useable reverse drum. I found one reverse drum uncracked but it was very thin and pitted. All the other reverse drums were cracked. Most in the webs but also across the face. I used a new drum on a good, used gear. The man who built my engine said the new drums are thicker and are very well balanced .