After a few years, every sound—every little squeak, rattle and squeal—every creak, chatter and jangle, become familiar friends.
My wife says, "What's THAT???"
I smile reassurance, "It's nothing. They all shudder a little after the up-shift." And her fingernails come out of my forearm.
If all of its individual sounds weighed an ounce, my Tin Lizzie would be overloaded, yet I know the benign cause of each one.
Until this week.
I'm familiar with the tik-a-tik-a-tik of loose spokes and that's what I first suspected. But after tugging and twisting on each, none were anything but rock-solid. So I got under the car and yanked and shook the wishbone and every other front-end component. Firm as freakin' granite.
Maybe what I'm hearing are pebbles stuck in the tire-treads? Okay, so I went at the tires with a center-punch and evicted each and every little pebblette. The stupid, barely audible tik-a-tik-a-tik again made its predictable, intermittent appearance at cruising speed.
Well, it's been a while since the ball-bearings in my front wheels have been packed, so it wouldn't hurt to grease 'em up—but something tells me that ain't the answer—and this new, stealthy gremlin will remain, hands hidden behind his back and trying to hold a straight face while whistling up at the ceiling. Something isn't quite right. I wonder what in the world it could be.
Any ideas, you guys?
Were I to be a guessing man...Might just be the felloe rivets if they are clincher rims...but then again, your wheels are all new, correct?
The rivets get loose or lose their head and the felloe v. steel rim then can go clickety-clack with each revolution, even if only one of them is 'off'.
That'll be the next thing I check, George. Thanks. My rear wheels are new, but the front wheels are... well, I don't really know how old they are. The front spokes are solid, but I suppose a few taps with a rubber mallet on the sides of the felloes and a ball-peen on the rivets will tell the tale.
Bob -- If the culprit is loose spokes, you will hear them more when you are turning.
I had a mystery noise like that once. When I was driving it happened every time I would tip my head from one side to the other. My wife discovered it was a loose marble rolling from one side of my head to the other!
Dennis, you still have one? Teresa says I lost all of mine!
"My rear wheels are new"
How about the rear axle nuts.
The top baffle in my 1919's radiator had broken loose from some of it's soldered points and made a tink-a-tink-a-tink noise, but only at certain speeds. I discovered it when I pulled the radiator to tear the engine down!
I drove my 26 Coupe a week ago and noticed a new clunking noise that was so loud that I stopped on the side of the road and tried to find out what was going on. No luck. When I got to my destination and had time to spare I shook the car from every fender and found that the J bolt that holds the gas overflow tube had come loose and the tube was vibrating between the fire wall and the hood shelf.
The last time I drove my 14 Touring there was a vibrating rattle at about 25 to 30 MPH that drove me crazy. It turned out that the left cowl light had a loose glass lens in it that was vibrating at that speed. A little gasket sealant applied with a tooth pick fixed that.
Part of the experience of driving a T is the ability to find or ignore irreconcilable noises! YMMV.
I bought the car in the summer of 2010 and it still has the axle nuts with which it came. The need to switch them out never occurred to me. Would you please explain about this?
I suspect you and I think along more or less the same lines. If, in the fullness of time, the noise remains, but nothing bad has happened, VV
I have suspected that you and I think along more or less the same lines for several years! That is what I like about this Forum. Except for a couple of my way or the highway grumps it is nice to be able to share experiences with our T's.
The engine in the ol' brass picup had a lot of new noises all at once. ... Then I remembered my new hearing aids..
In the modern car you can just turn up the radio to drown out unwanted noise. Not so much in a T!
Bob, I think Ken was thinking about the necessity to recheck the torque on the rear wheel nuts several times after having had the wheels off. A slightly loose rear wheel may or may not give a sound, but it'll wear the taper and the keyway in the hub for sure..
Bob -- Just to expand a bit on what Roger said, the rear axle nuts should be torqued to 100 ft-lbs. They will loosen up, so check them a few times after driving until they stay tight.
How about a loose/broken parking brake spring? they will go tick, tick, tick... every time they touch one of the 6 hub nuts.
BTW, if the noise more like tick, tock, tick, tock... well, that's just your wrist watch.
I would check the universal joint, they arn't lubed that efficiently.
As Roger K. and Mike W. suggested I was talking about the "tightness" of the rear axle nuts, not to replace them.
I had a tic a tic when my engine idled. At faster speeds it stopped. Turned out to be the starting pin through the crankshaft pulley was loose and moving up and down as the engine idled, but at faster speed it just stayed in one position.
I've found that when new noise appear that leaving out the hearing batteries helps a lot.
PS this also helps with honey dues until you get caught. grin.
Yeah, my rear axle nuts are real tight. I stood on the wrench and bounced up and down. That thing ain't going nowhere.
Nope, not the parking brake spring. This noise is coming from up front.
Not the universal joint, either. Just lubed it a few weeks ago. There's more grease in there than in a bag of Nathan's fries.
I looked close at the right front wheel and noticed some dust—coulda been sawdust—on the rim where it joins the felloe, right beneath the felloe joining plate. Maybe George was right about the loose rivets. This definitely bears investigation. Geeze, I'd hate to have to send the front wheels out to Mr. Stutzman right at the beginning of summer and wind up losing six weeks of driving season.
Bob, having experienced a front end tick-tick-tick myself, I suspect one of your first guesses may may be on the mark. If you haven't checked these, better take a look.
By the way, some say the ball bearings are just as good as the roller bearings. But I think Ford, always reluctant to change the T, must have had a reason for switching to rollers.
The front ball bearings are indeed as good as timkens ONLY IF the races you start with are perfect and blemish free. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. In fact many folks glass bead the balls and races... HUGE MISTAKE. The surfaces in contact need to be polished and perfect... not abraded.
Do you use a speedometer? The old chain link cables can get "clicky" when they're worn and about to fail. Also, the speedo head can make noises when craving oil or about to strip an odometer drive gear.
I think Bob has found the culprit. There should be nothing looking like sawdust on the spokes or felloes. That dust indicates that something is moving around as the wheel turns. It will just get worse until it fails. It would save you some time if you could find a couple of wheels, or even just one which you could send out for re building while you continue to tour, slowly and carefully, or if you find a better wheel, even if it doesn't match your other wheels, use temporarily while yours is being repaired. That way you could enjoy the touring season and still get your wheel fixed.
Some years back I bought some races and cups from a "major vendor" and they had been glass beaded "to remove the light rust" Oh well. . . .
Also, be careful with "NOS" races & cups, as apparently a lot of originally rejected ones are showing up--they are not to Ford Dimensions
I'll be taking the front hubs apart for inspection and a good, cleaning/grease-packing. If the ball-bearings are tripping across a crack or gall... well, it won't be the first time I've had to replace a damaged ball-bearing cone.
M I did that repacking chore only once, about four years ago, under the teaching supervision of a Model T expert, but my head is thick and I may have forgotten some of the steps. Did you make a video on this procedure?
Good thinking!. Guess I'll phone Lang's and see if they have a couple of rotted wheels with good hubs and rims and have them shipped direct to Mr. Stutzman. That way, the issue gets addressed correctly and I can drive the car in the meantime. The bonus is I'll have two spare wheels to lend around.
Just be careful and check every time you drive until you get the new one. If it gets worse, you might want to take it off the road until you get the new ones.
I found if you leave your wife at home most noises don't show themselves........leave it to a woman to detect a sound no stethoscope would detect.......argh
David Dewey - You can re-polish the cups and races. I put mine in a lathe and spin them up and just emery them. They shine up nice and then you can see any imperfections that may exist.
No video. After cleaning, if everything's OK just stuff in lots of grease when you put it back together.
I'd like to meet Jeff sometime. He must look a lot like me. People have been getting us mixed up for years.
Steve, I can't tell you how many times I've corrected that mistake at the last minute. I see "Jelf" and think "Jeff." I'll watch that in the future.
I'm sorry for the thread drift here, but I gotta ask Steve ("Jeff") a question.
In one of your pictures you show what appears to be the outer ball bearing for a front wheel. There seems to be a snap ring holding the balls in place.
I greased my front wheel bearings last week (first time for me) and there were no snap rings in place. Balls fell out when I removed the wheel. I cleaned and inspected everything and glued the balls back in place with generous applications of grease. But ....... did all T's have snap rings for retainers ? Both inboard & outboard ?
I won't have gone through the surface hardening if I do that??
David, I'm not Steve, but yes, all the ball bearing races had snap rings that retained the balls. You will notice a circumferential groove about 1/8" in where the ring goes.
Heard a "New" noise driving home from the grocery store and passed it off as the paper grocery bags crackling in the wind on the running board. Pulled up in the driveway to find I had been dragging the speedometer swivel on the street that came loose and fell out of the holder because I didn't have the fiber gear on the swivel. Duh on me! Good news was the speedo cable didn't get harmed as well even though the swivel was toast.
OK, thanks for the snap ring info. Guess I'll get a little more practice taking the front wheels off & putting them back on.
One other question: my threaded bearing retainers were quite tight when I took the wheels off the first time. What is the correct tightening technique? About the same as adjusting the nuts on modern hubs with roller bearings ?
Dick -- Tighten them until there is no slack, but loose enough that your wheel will still "find" its heavy side when you move it a bit. When you're assembling it, if you get it just right then add the nut, it will be too tight. Get it just right, then loosen it 1/6 turn or so, then tighten the nut. Check for any play with your hands at top and bottom; there shouldn't be any. Then turn the wheel a bit and see whether it's still loose enough to turn on its own to find its heavy side. Adjust as necessary until you get to that point where it turns freely, but there is no play.
So you are saying to play with it until there is no play??
Sorry, couldn't resist!
Be careful. If you play with it too much you'll go blind.
"The play's the thing..."