Going to a local cruise-in yesterday tooling along at about 30 whistling a tune and all of a sudden....wham, bam, ratatat and stopped in my tracks.
Engine's toast...busted the rear main outa the block...clutch won't disengage so I don't know if rear end is toast also.
Had to lift back end with a floor jack to winch it on my trailer.
Ouch. That is so sad to hear. Was it an original engine car?
Not the original engine.
I bought it as a rebuilt short block a couple years ago.
Not many miles on it.
Shoulda left the original in there, but it's going back in after a little work.
Looks like heavy (early production) rods and a diamond web (again earlier production) crank. I realize the later production stuff breaks too, but less often.
I avoid using the diamond web cranks unless they have very little wear. .020 is my wear limit for any T cranks.
My logic is as follows. If the crank is worn more it has had tooooo many rotations AND it has probably been run with loose bearings. All of these things will increase the probability of a fatigue failure.
And then there is the quite common "sprung pan" thing that again can contribute. That is why I invented my "floating transmission shaft. Sure I can't say it has prevented crank failures but it has worked well in service.
Now I am not saying that any of these things apply to Bob's engine. It is sure a shame to see Bob have this problem.
Lots of us belong to that club. I broke the shaft in my 1912 touring some years back. I was lucky, it broke in the middle of a main bearing and did not take out the block.
Welcome to the club: My cars are a charter member of the club. I have two cars the broke cranks and each time they were driven by my son. The answer to this problem DON'T LET MY SON DRIVE MY CARS.
The broken shaft in my 1912 was an early one as Les pointed out, it had DB stamped on the rear flange.
Can you post some info on your floating transmission shaft?
I've been driving these things since 1957 and this is my first busted crank.
I don't want to hear that noise again.
My wife was behind me in our '40 Ford PU with straight pipes and she said the noise scared the hell out of her!
Oooooohhh........Bob! So sorry to hear this. I didn't make it to Mrs. T's "show n' shine" last night either, but not for a reason as serious as yours! Almost seems like reliable ol' "Rusty" just wants her old engine back, huh? Lots of competition for our club's "hard luck trophy" this year it seems. That's a contest I hope not to enter as I feel like I paid my "dues" a couple years ago when the depot hack lost all the oil and seized up on a club tour. Well, if it's it's any consolation, the "rata-tat-tat" following the "wham, bam" was probably a good thing, rather than immediate "lock-up". That sounds like the engine kept turning over for a few more revs after she "let-go", and because of that, I'm guessing that saved your rear end! (I mean Rusty's rear end!) Sure hope so anyway,.......hoping to see you & Joan and the Hudson tomorrow at the GEAA show,.......????......harold
Bob - Had to laugh at the post immediately following yours this morning. Maybe a wheelbarrow works better than a floor jack, huh?
We'll be at the show tomorrow but don't know which car we'll bring.
BOB!!! Oh my God! You really know how to entertain the ladies!
Glad all is soon to be well with "Rusty". I never did like that engine anyway. It was too fast and I couldn't keep up!
Looking forward to seeing you and all our "Bretheran" tomorrow at the Soldier's Home. I'm bringing my 1915 and Renea is bringing the Model A.
We are now officially members of the Carbon Canyon T&A Club.
If you search back you will find lots of information on it. I have none for sale as it was suggested that "in 90 years time we will know if it is any good" by a wise sage!!
Les - Not to speak for Bob Gruber, but I'm guessing that I know the reason he was asking about information about your "floating transmission shaft". Maybe not necessarily to "buy" a shaft form you, but Bob is a retired "tool-maker", and I'm convinced that his skill, knowledge and experience are such that there's just about nothing that the guy can't make!
Sorry to hear of your disaster. Good luck putting the original back in. Hope your back on the road soon,
And that is great by me. I sue haven't bothered to patent it. The concept is simple and seems to work well. I would be very flattered!!
I meant "I SURE haven't bothered to patent it"!!
A tad off the topic but how many let the drive shaft float?
It's not a question of "if" your Model T crank will break but "when". Vanadium steel cranks in the early T's were much more likely to break than the later high carbon steel ones made at the Rouge plant.
If you are going to build a new engine I would either use a 1925 - 1941 "EE" marked crank, or get a new SCAT crank.
Believe it or not, a block can be saved. Last summer I helped a friend fix a 17 which had lost a rod bearing and babbit cut the magneto coil. As we disassembled the engine we discovered that the block had been sleeved and the rear web had been welded back into place. One cylinder had actually split and was visible from the outside of the block. There had been no coolant leaks before we worked on that car. We turned the crankshaft and had all bearings re-poured. Put in new rings and a new magneto coil. We also replaced the camshaft with a stipe 280 and new timing gears. After we got done that was a sweet running engine and it has now been in service a year since we fixed it. We have no idea when the block had been previously repaired, but it held up until our work and is still working today.
Save the rear flange. Someone may need it if they are modifying an A crank.
If i rebuild another engine i would be tempted to use a floating transmission shaft, Oh wait i would have to make one..
Welcome to the two-piece crank club!
Sorry to hear the bad news.
Royce hit the nail on the head. There are two type of Model T drivers. Those who have broken a crank...
: ^ )
Bob,It sure makes a lot of noise dosen't it?Bud.
I have 2 of Les's shafts. I don't have a time machine to go forward or back to see if my cranks will break with them or without, but feel they are an insurance policy. His idea seemed sound to me and his workmanship is wonderful. Living here in the open prairie, I am sometimes tempted to open up the throttle a bit. Noel
Hey Tom Elliott, that was only one broken crankshaft, the other one was a broken connecting rod thank you very much.
Love your Son
I have a couple of those Trophies in my garage.
It was the loudest noise I've ever heard in a car!
A Columbia rear end that blew had to be a close second.
#3 was my biplane that swallowed a valve. My wifey was in the front seat and heard it chewing up the valve and spit it out.
After the 180 Lyc sorted all the pieces out I flew it about 20 miles home on 3 cylinders.
Sorry for your loss
You are now one of the "Two Piece Bobs".
Are you going to miss the Can-Am Tour?
I'll probably miss it.
I should get a T shirt saying something about "Two Piece Bobs"!
Bob, Have you had a chance to tear down the motor yet? Please have a close look at the break in the rear web when you can. Many T owners suffer the same fate as you and blame the broken crank for taking out the rear main web. In fact, I believe the reverse is often the case. The rear main web lets go and takes the crank with it.
Have a close look at the break in the block. Is there evidence at the break, that the crack may have been "working", ie polishing the surfaces in the crack for at least a portion of it, before it finally let go. The last bit of the break will be a clean, un-polished break.
I would be interested in your findings. It is one area of inspection which I feel needs far closer inspection when we are looking at blocks for rebuilding. It seems to be a more prevalent problem in earlier blocks, but is not exclusive to them.
Allan from down under.
The same is true for those suffering a broken hip.
An orthopedic surgeon friend mentioned to me once that often an older persons hip fractures, not precipitated by trauma, which causes them to fall. Not the other way around as most suspect.
The original crank on my '10 let go as I was starting up for the day. I pulled up on the crank to start and bam. Broke right between #1 and #2 throws. When I tore it down you could see there was a void right at that spot which had the effect of reducing an already light crank by almost a quarter of it's intended thickness. Amazing that it lasted almost 100 years that way. Fortunately for me there was no damage to the open valve block and I replaced the crank with a EE crank. So far so good.
When I had the engine in my '26 rebuilt, I figured that if there was any possibility of the crankshaft breaking at an inopportune time, it certainly happen to me. So, I bit the bullet and choked up a pile of cash to have a SCAT counter-balanced crankshaft installed in the rebuild. Was I being pro-active? No, I just have rotten luck. Yeah, one day the crank will break...but hopefully not until the next century.
I hear what you're saying and I will check that out when I perform the autopsy.
The break in the crank looks clean...no evidence of an old crack or other flaw.