On a tour in Kentucky last week the T in front pulled to the side of the road and I pulled up behind him. The other driver got out of his car and I could hear a sound like rocks rolling around in a pail for several seconds and then the engine stalled.
A quick check on the source of a small pool of oil under the engine revealed that the core had come out of the top oil petcock.
The engine was seized.
One more way a Model T can bite you.
The tour put on by the the Bluegrass Back Road T's was very well done.
It seized due to lack of oil?
MAN, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit reading about this. Whew. Was this on your T or the other guy's T?
Can someone translate what actually happened?
Dan it seems to me he's saying the center body of the petcock, the part you actually turn to either open or close the petcock, came out. If the little cotter pin holding the spring and washer broke then that could happen. Then, with the top petcock wide open it leaked out all of or most of the oil.
That happened to me once. Kind of.
On mine, it was a broken glass on an oil sight gauge. However, by the grace of the itty bitty pools of oil in the 3-dip inspection cover, rods #1, #2 and #3 were fine. Rod #4 was bad.
: ^ (
I now have dams in all of my 3-dip pans.
I had the bolts which hold on the starter back out. I thought the starter was broken and got it started with the crank. Drove it about 10 miles and noticed a puddle of oil under it and tightened up the starter and added oil. Drove it about 60 more miles that day.
This is what I think happened to the engine in David's post. It ran out of oil and one or more of the babbit bearings broke up. A piece of babbit got caught in the magneto and stopped the engine when the mag quit working. I worked on an engine for a friend who had that happen. Only in his case it did not run out of oil but #4 rod lost a chunk of babbit.
Seth, it was the other guys T. Lets hope that, since the engine was idling when it seized, the major components are salvageable.
This was our second tour in Kentucky, lots of scenery and Model T roads.
I have twice seen other cars vibrate open one of the petcocks and throw oil out to near empty. Both were lucky and no damage done. Having heard about numerous others also, I have gone to using plugs instead of petcocks on a couple cars. Maybe a little safer?
This one sounds like damage was done. Ouch.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
That's the beauty of a flow restrictor and a sight gauge. Even if the gauge breaks, the flow is restricted to 10 drops a minute, or whatever you want.
A petcock that can be opened enough to flow is foolish, but that assured a flow of replacement parts for Henry.
Great idea again RDR!
The pet cock or glass isn't accurate right after you stop anyway until the engine sits for awhile and all the oil flows back to the sump so the restricted flow still allows for an accurate gauge.
When checking a petcock, I always do as my dad did. Once the petcock is closed, I give the end of the handle a small whack with the plier to drive the tapered rotor tight into the petcock body. That locks it in place. Never had one come loose and open up.
If you use one those handy, long handled petcock wrenches, just push in as you turn the petcock shut. That will also seat the rotor.
On a similar note. A friend of mine used to tie his dog's leash to the T. It was a long leash and the dog was able to crawl under the T to rest in the shade. On one occasion, while the dog was moving around under the car, his leash or collar snagged the lower petcock and opened it up. When the dog came out from under the car, he was drenched in at least 2 quarts of drain oil.
I replaced the sight glass with clear plastic hose material. Looks exactly like the original glass, but no chance of breaking.
The vehicle belonged to Jeep Whitehouse, a member of our Backroad Bluegrass T's, the group who put the KY tour on last week. I guess I need to do as Jerry says, and set that petcock in the valve. Seth is right. The pin came out and the valve came apart, causing the loss of most, if not all of the oil.
Then next morning, I went and checked to see if the engine would turn after cooling over night. I could not get it to budge. I even stood on the crank with no movement.
We will take it out and see what's going on. This taxi cab painted car ran really well and had the new style Warford in it.
We did have fun and thank all who attended. 42 cars for 3 days. It does not get much better!
I put a shut off between the pan and the sight gauge. Open it to check the oil level and then shut it. That way if the glass in the sight gage breaks it doesn't matter.
Rick, explain this flow restrictor and sight glass combo please.... in particular what are you using to "restrict" the flow? Are you just putting anything inside the elbow to reduce the volume that is able to quickly flow through it or do you use a particular "type" of restriction???
I use a sheet metal screw and drive it in until it flows only a few drops a minute. I then cut the head off. I use a screw fat enough that it can't back out.
Thank you Rick... I'll consider doing that to mine.
One of the things engine oil duz is cooling,and i think the driver should have noticed severe overheating before the engine seized? Bud.
Once taken out of the car, a busted reverse drum caused the lock up. Now to see what other damage was done. May not be as bad as what first thought.
Miller's has the engine now for inspection and repairs.
What an interesting series of events!!
Ken, I agree with you, but the engine wasn't over heated. No smoke or steam and there was a small pool of oil under the petcock.
A broken drum would have caused the noise I heard.
I am wondering due to the hills and hollers, how much if any of his braking was being done with reverse pedal? That car has a new Warford and no brakes other than the trans brake. He has been running this car this way for several years on several tours without any previous issues.
Those weren't ordinary hills & hollers, Tom, they were Kentucky hills and hollers. And, I loved them!
Stops signs & sharp curves at the bottom of a steep hill are easy on auxiliary brakes but tough on Ford brakes and transmission drums. I broke a couple myself, then I changed to Rockies.
There are some who will disagree.
Isn't it possible to get the new Warford accidentally in neutral? Isn't there a safety requirement to have accessory brakes on an organised tour if you have an accessory trans that may go into neutral?
(genuinely curious, don't want to put blame on anybody)
I agree with Bill - it was a wonderful tour!
There were lots of nice hills and we even "Forded" a stream. That said, it was a good tour for a Ruckstell with Rocky Mountain brakes, or similar equipment
For Roger - I think the new Warfords are synchromesh and can even be shifted with out using the clutch, but I don't have one. Perhaps someone else can clarify this.
The new Warfords are not syncromesh gearboxes. They operate on the same principle as motorcycle transmissions. That is all the gear pairs are engaged at all times. Shifting is accomplished by sliding the engagement dogs to the gear pair you want to transmit power. They can be shifted without a clutch, but that requires unloading the gear train by changing engine RPM. Not easy with a T unless you have a foot throttle. I find sometimes I can shift by throttle action, sometimes by clutching. Depends on the situation. I'm still practicing to get smooth shifts. And yes, the modern Warford provides a true neutral so accessory brakes are needed.
Hi John - Thank you for the clarification on the new Warfords.
BTW, I really like your profile picture!!!
I navigated all the days tours using just Ford brakes. Then again, I knew the routes before hand. One of these days, I will spring for rockies or disc. I have rockies on the Hack and they do work well.
And it was a fun tour, mostly because of the group in attendance.
I shift my old alum Warford without using a clutch while driving and mostly without grinding any gears. Passengers can always tell when I haven't driven the car for awhile by the sounds of my shifts though.
Just a mater of getting the rpms to match.
Whether you have a new Warford or an old one auxilliary brakes are a must. Even with a really good emergency brake riding around with a Warford and only the Ford transmission brake just isn't a very good idea.
Keith, Thanks for the comment on the picture.
She didn't start that way. She sat neglected in a shed up on my folks farm in Mass for 41 years until I rescued her from my Dad in 2010. Goats got at it, mice, rats, any critter you could imagine.