Last night a couple of Club members and I went over to another new member to help him out with his new to him Model T. A couple of weeks ago we stopped at his garage and changed the steering column, because it had a broken casing, which changed the fuel and timing levers as you drove and made turns. Not a good setup. This car is a real BitZa car. It's actually an old homemade speedster. Seems to run OK, but has a number of maintenance and home-brew repair errors. Last night our mission was to repair a number of water leaks. The car is running a water pump and it was leaking like a sieve. So while a couple guys were removing the old packing and gaskets, I figured that I'd repack the front wheel bearings. I pulled the hub caps and cotter pins. The cotter pins were not 1/8", but maybe 1/16" ones, at first it didn't hit me. I then removed the spindle nuts, geez, were they tight. Then I noticed that there were no washers between the small bearing and the nut. Well I removed the wheels and cleaned the bearings. To my surprise the large bearings looked brand new and the grease, although a little dirty seemed fresh. The previous owner must have changed them. The small (expensive) bearings were not new but in serviceable shape. Cleaned and packed the bearings and when installing the large bearings and new seals I found that I could not seat the seals. The large bearing was standing proud of the hub flange. Pulled it apart and looked at the large race. It appears not to be seated all the way into the hub. We tried to press the race in farther, but they would not budge. Probably dirt or something behind them. That is why there were not washers and the bearings were so tight, the guy could not get the cotter pins in otherwise. So, then I was suspect of the entire front end. The axle looked like it was installed correctly, it is leaning back some, but it must be an early axle in that the wishbone is on the top. The car is mostly late 20's. Yet there is a homemade bar that connects the wishbone to the bottom of the front axle. I could not remember about the left and right nuts. I think that a regular right hand thread is supposed to be on the drivers side. This car was the opposite, maybe the spindles are opposite. Not sure on that.
Anyway, something is not exactly right here. I think the lesson here is when you find parts missing or something not correct, suspect a problem. We probably will go back in a week or so. Hopefully we'll remove the large races, clean out the hub so they will seat properly, install the washers and 1/8" cotter pins and at least this part of the car should be OK. I wonder what else we'll find?
Yes, regular right-hand threads on the driver's (left) side. Remember that you want the wheels to be trying to loosen the nuts as they go down the road. So, left-hand threads on the passenger (right) side.
Sounds like all kinds of potential problems. Definitely help said new member get everything straightened out and correct (or at least functionally correct) before they really try to drive the T anywhere.
Well..... he's been driving it around a little. Pretty hard not to, he'll anxious, but who wouldn't be. I think after a few visits, he'll have a nice serviceable car. Another odd item is that there are two buckle style seats on this car, yet they faced sideways a little. I found them uncomfortable. Last night, I was pleasantly surprised to find them retired and a simple bench seat in there place. You know that everyone says safety first, but with these old cars and who know did what to them, safety really counts here.
This should be a lesson to all T folks (any older car for that matter). Take nothing for granted. Check everything yourself. If you don't have the skill or the time then have someone who knows what's what do it.
40 MPH is a terrible speed to discover a suspension, wheel, steering, or related problem!
I think that the slot for the tang on the washer faces backwards. Scott
Check things closely! It sounds like at least two serious errors so far. No telling what else may have been done wrong.
Yes, a model T front spindle threads need to try to screw out as the car moves forward. Or the other way to remember is that the RIGHT hand thread goes on the LEFT side while the LEFT hand thread goes on the RIGHT side. Just try to remember to think backwards.
I have known several people that have tried to swap the spindle's sides. (And there are cars that do that intentionally, but the threading or locking mechanism is different and designed to lock the nut and/or bearing that way) Most of them got lucky and were talked into switching back to correct before anything happened. One fellow I knew started out from a red light stop and came to a screeching halt in the middle of the intersection. An Auburn club member on tour with the club just a few years ago was cruising along out in the back roads when one of his assembled-on-wrong-side spindle's bearing spun itself in and twisted the spindle itself clean off. It was not someone I knew, however, I have seen several photos of the car sitting there, short one wheel.
One car I had bought some years ago, had been supposedly fully restored and tour ready. I had not driven it more than a few miles when I pulled the front hub caps to inspect things. I found standard nuts, not castles, no pins, no washers, no locking mechanism of any kind, just sitting there ready to spin themselves off. The previous owner had been on at least one national club tour before I got it, and had about 400 miles on the car. But I was sure glad I checked.
I may cut corners more than some of you wonderful people. But I ain't that dumb.
Check that car carefully, then tell your friend to
drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Geez, think backwards! I shouldn't have any trouble with that.
Mike (backward thinking, knuckle dragging, Neanderthal)
Decades ago two friends of mine were going down the freeway in a freshly built 14 speedster (it was named Paprika all show -no go) when the right front wheel disintegrated in a shower of spokes and the car was thrown to the shoulder. The bearing had tightened up on the spindle that was installed on the wrong side. The owner was thankful it wan't the drivers side that decided to seize.
I have a customer that has a 26 coupe that fits the bits part. The front end is pre 26, the drag link is wrong, the bottom of the axle leans out too far, the wish bone is bent, the spring perches/shackles are past worn out and the steering column was cracked all most all the way around (replaced the column working with him on the rest) etc.
Mike, Your problem with the front wheel hubs although the bearings may be also not on the correct side does not answer your question about not being able to put the washer, nut and split pin on properly
It could be the bearing cones/cups are wrong.
Here are some drawings illustrating the situation.
On the Ford hubs there is a large radius at the back where the cups are. See Fig 1
You need to have the correct cups as normal ones do not have a big radius on the back. When they are put in they can't go in far enough See Fig 2.
You may be correct. I'll have to look at them after I remove them next time I'm there.