I have done a search for info on the old Warford and while the threads speak to specific issues I haven't learned how you use one from the start.
We have a new member and he is a newby and needs some instruction on how that transmission works. No one in our club has one or has driven one so we all need info on how to help him beginning with the car started and ready to go.
Howdy Bill! Just to double check, are you asking about just driving with it, or how you install one on a Model T? Is the new member new to Ts in general, or just new to using a Warford and they already know how to drive a T? If they aren't used to Ts I recommend putting the Warford in direct and then teChinn them how to drive a Model T normally, let them get all the way comfortable and proficient with that and then address driving with the Warford in play.
For driving: the shift pattern is a backwards lower case h. To the right and up is underdrive, straight down all the way is direct, and then halfway up, over left, and then down is overdrive. Halfway up you can wiggle the shifter left and right and the transmission is in neutral.
I'm not sure of the ratios for underdrive and overdrive but direct is just 1:1. So for any normal driving if your new member needs coaching up then just shift it to over right and down and leave it there.
Typically, I don't shift very much with mine into underdrive. I have a light speedster with a stout engine so I can usually muscle through whatever in high pedal. I use underdrive for things like pulling up on a trailer or backing in somewhere really slow or in a parade. Try to make sure you don't crank the T up in underdrive as you can pretty much pull stumps, you have a lot of torque and power. If the T likes to creep a little on start up underdrive will make that way worse. I also don't like to start the car in Warford neutral as then you have to use reverse to stop the tail shaft enough to get it in gear. Although being able to put the Warford in neutral is super nice whenever I want to just roll the car when it's in the garage.
I usually leave mine in direct and just start out in low pedal and then go to high pedal, just normal T driving. If I want to go faster, I reach through the steering wheel with my left hand and use it both to hold the car straight and operate the throttle, right hand works the Warford shifter. I will let up on the throttle a touch to relieve tension on the driveline, then push the shifter up out of gear, since I'm going to overdrive I then slow the engine on down further and match the revs of the engine to the speed the transmission is at and then shift it into overdrive, once in gear I push the throttle faster with left hand and then switch hands back to normal and fine tune throttle for speed that I want. It takes only very light pressure to shift it into gear, 2 fingers is enough. If your revs are matched correctly (speed of engine vs speed of rear end) then it'll just slip into gear easy as you please.
Basically do the same thing when shifting from underdrive to direct and direct to over. The difference in engine rpm change is about the same. When I want to shift down I do same thing except once I'm out of gear I speed throttle up to match revs and then shift into next gear. If you do it right and practice you know about where engine should be and gears just sync right up and there's no grinding at all. Some guys like to so same thing I do except they use Ford pedal in neutral while shifting. Personally, I've found that doesn't really help me and just gives me too much to think about. Plus I can shift quickly and smoothly without grinding without using it, but that's just me. These auxiliary transmissions are meant to be shifted on the fly, that's the whole point. Definitely don't start out in overdrive.
Biggest warning/caution: really really really need to have a set of auxiliary brakes in conjunction with Warford. Once the Warford is in neutral the Ford transmission brake does not work because there's no link to the rear end. I personally have lined emergency brakes for my handbrake that will effectively stop the car, completely separate and independent of the handbrake are a set of AC brakes (similar to Rocky Mountains, they wrap around outside of drum). Mine are actuated by my brake pedal - some guys have them activated by an extra hand brake lever or even the Ford handbrake. I personally feel like I will already have my hands full so if I need to brake my right foot is already free and will act faster and more naturally than any other way of stopping. Both of these systems independently stop the car if the other fails. This is key as it is easy when learning to screw up a shift, step on the brake pedal which will kill the engine, then you are free wheeling unless you have good handbrake and/or auxiliary brakes. Once you kill the engine there's no way or time to get it started and then get car back in gear. If new members car does not have auxiliary brakes then tell him both mine and forum's recommendation is to figure a way to lock shifter into direct drive until he/she can install auxiliary brakes.
Also: the easiest and quickest way to break your crankshaft is to lug the engine in overdrive. Don't do it! I have a very strong engine in a pretty light speedster but I don't shift into overdrive unless I'm going at least 40 mph. If I'm going to slow down under 40, I shift back to direct. You are probably safe at about 35, but any slower than that and you hit a little hill, it's just too much stress on the crank. Like trying to start out pedaling a road bike in 18th gear.
Don't be afraid of it - I've missed shifts and ground the bejesus out of some gears. Haha, enough I was terrified and checked trans when I got home. The teeth were a bit shiny on the ends but I didn't have and metal flakes in oil. These transmissions are tough and can take some abuse. And don't be afraid to drive and shift, there are some things I've mentioned to be cautioned about and know before-hand, but once you know about them you can safely operate the vehicle. I haven't hit a hill I can't climb in direct high pedal in my speedster but I know if I ever do I can shift into underdrive and smoke it without going into low pedal. Especially if you have a little heavier body the underdrive is very nice. Overall a Warford really helps make a T more drive-able and adaptable to road and traffic conditions. I can cruise at 45 mph in overdrive and the engine is in its sweet spot like I'm just doing 30 in a normal T. I get great gas mileage and the engine isn't working hard (like it would be if I were doing 45 in direct high pedal the whole time).
If I missed something or you have more questions please ask them. I am by no means an expert, I just have a Warford and like it and use a lot (mostly without grinding). Plus I'm sure others will chime in with their tips and suggestions.
Sorry, posted all that from my phone. Should be *teaching* them how to drive a T normally.
Also, if new member is more visual - here is Clayton with a Chicago trans (it's very similar to the Warford, same shift pattern just has a longer shifter and probably nicer tooth design, I think ratios on under and over are identical or very close) where he shows how he shifts on the fly. Granted, he has a foot feed for the throttle but the idea is the same.
Thanks a lot, Seth. He is new to both driving and the car he has came with the old style installed. So, as we try to get him up and running safely needed to have some basic instruction on how it works and the best way to stay out of trouble.
Really appreciate your response.
Warfords are easy to use and really add flexibility to the car. I usually start mine, (0ne of 3 I have)in Warford low,(1) shifting to Warford straight (2) after I get thing moving. Warford OD (3) is OK for fast going provided there are no hills of any consequence to clime. When shifting it's necessary to adjust the engine rpm to something near what the engine will be running at once the shift is completed. This takes a tuned ear and time to learn but running the car and just listening to what is going on will do it. I start my cars in Warford neutral as it takes the load off the starter. After the engine is going shifting to any Warford gear sometimes requires a low engine RPM and a press on the reverse pedal to slow down some gear spinning to complete the shift. Once done your off and going. Just keep in mind that a Warford is really a transfer case ment to extend the range of the Ford Transmission. The primary transmission is still the Ford trans. Have fun and drive carefully.
Why do you and Seth use the Reverse pedal to slow down the transmission? I use the Brake pedal to stop the transmission when initially shifting into the Warford gear I want. Also, Bill, ensure your friend's Warford has the support bracket if its a cast iron Warford. I think the cast aluminum Warford guys say they don't need a bracket to protect the driveshaft from breaking. My cast iron Warford in my '26 tudor really wobbles the shift lever left to right in a big way while in overdrive - only.
I'm not sure why it's different George but I've found that when I crank the car with the Warford in neutral and then press the brake pedal it tends to kill the engine unless I get the revs up. On the other hand, if I just bump reverse a little bit I can slip it into gear without revving the engine or killing it.
If I recall, Seth has AC brakes on his car, so he may have backed off the transmission brake band adjustment a bit so that it only engages upon hard application of the brake pedal (like when the AC brakes get wet). Do I have it right, Seth?
I crank start my car with the Warford in neutral also and use the brake pedal to stop the tranny when shifting into gear.
After that I always shift without any clutching just adjust the rpm's
Yeah Mark, I have to really get after it to make the trans brake work, only the last couple inches activate it. I'm actually going to tighten it just a bit when I get home this evening. I need to unhook the ACs and make sure the trans brake will bring me to a stop on its own.
George...Howdy. Don't use reverse for anything other than to back up. I have 3 of them. 2, 3 speeds and 1 cast iron 2 speed under drive, which I use with a 3/1 rear end. It's the easiest of the 3 to use and shift.
Unless your driver's car has auxiliary brakes he should leave the Warford in the gear it was in when he started out. In Warford neutral, the standard Model T brake (or any other pedal) is useless and shifting it without auxiliary brakes is a prescription for disaster.
Using reverse as a brake is a good way to crack the brake drum.
He might live longer if he swapped it out for a new KC Warford with synchromesh gears
Nobody is using reverse as a brake, only to stop trans shaft if you cranked in neutral and need to get Warford in gear while car is stopped.
In my view the only time my WF's are in neutral is when I crank. Otherwise their in gear. While moving in neutral you loose engine compression and trans brake, such as it is, as stopping force.
Thanks to all who contributed. I have given him a copy of this discussion and will be working with him as he gets the car running.
It is a nice T and he want to learn and drive it so he is our kind of guy.