I am still very new to the hobby, and have had one-and-a-half years of trouble-free driving with my 1924 Tudor Sedan. However, last night I encountered a new issue I haven't been able to resolve. The car started fine, but with the handbrake all the way forward, couldn't get into high gear. So I limped home using only low gear, just over 4 miles.
While pulling into my neighborhood, I felt high gear engage, and everything seemed fine once again. After getting home and shutting off the engine, I now noticed that the handbrake wouldn't budge out of the forward position -- and checking under the car, saw that the clutch lever bolt had slipped off and got lodged behind the cam. With a little adjusting, I got the bolt to once again ride on the cam, and can get the handbrake into the neutral position.
But here is the problem: the handbrake won't pull back to engage the parking brakes. It looks like the curved part of the cross shaft is bumping into the back of the flywheel housing, and this is what is preventing the handbrake from going all the way back. I don't see what I can adjust to get things back to the way they were. . . any thoughts or suggestions?
Check the rear engine mounts, the pan arms. Likely one of them is broken, letting the rear of the engine fall down slightly. A proper repair involves lots of work changing out the pan or weld the ear, but you can likely find some period accessory designed for this situation so you can keep driving until some other problem makes it necessary to pull the engine.
Seth, when in high gear, the bolt is supposed to be behind the cam on the cross shaft. Pulling the lever back should make it rise up and travel along the top. Many T model folk assemble the bolt in the shaft with the head of the bolt below. This gives a much wider foot to ride on the cam and consequently less likelihood that a groove will be worn in the cam.
You might check that the arm of the cam has not been bent in your endeavours to make things work. When I picked up my US import T, the cam had been bent aside and I could not get it out of high gear at all.
If your problem has come on suddenly, something has gone awry, rather than a development of a problem over time.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Seth! Lol feel like I'm talking to myself. Here is what your cam and bolt should basically look like. If the cam is bent it will be pretty obvious.
Also check your engine pan arms that are on both sides of the engine and make sure they haven't broken. They both bolt to the frame rails. If you can take pictures and post them here it will be really easy to help you.
Isn't this Forum amazing? Someone in St. Louis asks a question, and he gets answers from Model T'ers in Sweden and Australia!
As I was reading the question, I was suspecting the same thing that Roger did. But obviously, he and Allan have it covered.
Good job, guys!
Which ever way you put the bolt in top or upside down be sure to BEVEL THE END THAT SLIDES UP ON THE CAM !!!! Make sure that the bevel faces the cam. I do that by filing an arrow on top of which ever end you have on top. It is pretty hard to see where the bevel is from above when you are adjusting the cam.
Note: I find when the bolt slides off a cam it is because the cam or the bracket holding the bolt is bent. If one of the other is bent out of line it is easy to bend back. If I had to take a bet I would say that a bent cam or bracket is the problem with your bolt .
Thank you all for your amazingly rapid responses! You guys are incredible. Didn't even let the sun rise over the US and Roger gets it on the first try!
Getting under on the passenger's side, I can see where the pan arm has indeed broken. Jacking up the flywheel case to allow the broken edges to approximate each other solves the problem with the handbrake range-of-motion (the bolt and the cam don't align perfectly but appear no different from before).
Now the question is how to get the broken edges of the pan arm to hold together. Would some stuff like JB Weld be strong enough to provide enough of a temporary fix to keep the car on the road?
Seth, there seems to be an unusually high percentage of people named "Seth" in the Model T community. Very odd.
Where is it broken? The only fix is to weld it. About 90% of the engine weight rests on the two pan brackets. And they flex. Using JB Weld would be like trying to glue your wheels on with Elmer's glue.
If there's access to the break, take it to a shop where they can raise the car and weld the arm. Otherwise, the pan needs to come off (requires removing the engine) to "fix" the break.
I have some auxiliary pan arms. I have never used one but I think you can just jack up the motor to get it in the proper line and then bolt the auxiliary arm in and they should actually be stronger. I will be home in a few days if you are interested in one of the arms give me a call at 303-774-9246. Maybe someone that has used one of these arms will chime in.
Here is a past thread with some ideas about the repair:
No, JB weld is not an option.
Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions. The break does appear to be easily accessed from under the car, at the final/lowest bend before it attaches to the flywheel case. Some of the supports/braces I've been reading about look like they might do the trick, but probably the best long-term solution is to have a local shop do the welding. I'll look into this on Monday.
Look for this auxiliary pan arm, as Dave told you.Welding is not easy,there is a lot of brass there.
You can find enough detail to fabricate an APCO Pan Support at:
There must have been a lot of problems with broken arms in the old days. I have three auxiliary made from different companies.
Those old day roads or lack of roads proved the Ford 3-point suspension of the engine was needed. But abuse on those rough roads over the years will crack the pan arms, and if the owner didn't keep the frame bolts tight.
That's why these belly pan straps are handy
Any instructions on installing the APCO Pan Support?
You can find this figure and instruction on the patent at:
The mounts that Jim and others have posted photos of are an excellent repair that will last indefinitely on an engine with the cast iron hogshead, or until you feel like pulling the engine and replacing the broken arm. There are tons of them around. I have a bunch, Dave Huson has offered you some, and I certainly would not hesitate to use one. It will be a lot more satisfactory than trying to weld the arm in place in the car. When you do pull the engine, replace the arm rather than trying to weld it. I have a correct, good used arm for a '24 if you need it, also a pair of NOS arms for a '24-'27 crankcase.
Sounds like I should probably reconsider. . .
The diagrams and instructions are quite helpful, and it looks like attaching a brace is a job that someone like myself, with limited technical expertise, can complete. I'll take another look under the car later tonight to see if I'll be able to get the old piece off and new one lined up without any specialized equipment (appears that I should from the attached instructions).
Thanks again, -- I'll check back some time later tonight.
Where is the wooden spacer? It looks like the failure was do to an improper installation in the past.
There should be a wooden block that goes inside the frame rail behind the broken ear. The horizontal bolt in mount goes thru the block to hold it in place. The bolt should be relatively loose to allow some flexing.
Some are of the opinion that the block isn't needed, if that is done it is probably best to leave the horizontal bolt out or at least very loose..