Hello everyone, I'm pretty new to the website and forum here. I found you because I'm going to be doing some work for a friend with some health problems that keeps him from going under his Model T and working with his hands, and was researching what will be involved. We'll be working on a 1924 Model T “pickup” that has what looks like a pretty good oil leak coming from the rear 1/3 or so of the oil pan. There was some transmission work done on this about a year or so ago, and I'm not sure what the issue is yet, but the blue RTV that someone used to seal the pan back up is looking a little ragged and we think that is where the majority of the oil is coming from. The underside of the oil pan in that area seems very wet with oil, more so than I'd think it should be. It sounds like leaking may be an inherent feature of the Model T from some other posts I've seen here, but this just seems like more than normal seepage.
Myself, a shade tree mechanic in earlier years, and my son, an auto mechanic graduate of our county's tech school, will be taking on this project. Going in to this, it sounds like just a simple dropping of the oil pan and replacing the gasket. But, we've never touched something this old and just want to come to you more experienced folks to see if there's any pointers you could offer before we start.
One question I have concerns the, for lack of a better term, stabilizers that run from the the front end/steering and bolt to the oil pan. To drop the pan these will have to be unbolted and moved out of the way. Will they have enough play to do so, or do they have to be loosened/disconnected some place else as well?
We'll be ordering the gaskets from MAC's, and I've attached 2 pics of what we plan to purchase: a right and left crankcase to cylinder gasket, and the band changing gasket set. We seem to think we're getting some leaking out of where the drive shaft connects to the trans as well, so we want to make sure we get a good gasket there too. We have not dropped the pan yet, but we're thinking these are all we'll need—are we on the right track?
I'm assuming these are cork gaskets, and are probably the best to go with for this. Is there anything else any of you could think of that we may want to get to do this job, or any pointers you want to pass along before we tackle this? Again, this sounds like it should be simple, but with this being what it is, I'd like some experienced hands to chime in if you think it would be helpful. Thanks for your time!
Steve -- Welcome to the world of Model T's.
The first thing you need to know about "dropping the pan" is that you don't do that as you do on more modern engines. The crankcase (pan) is what holds the engine in place, so to remove it, you must also remove the engine. There is a small "inspection plate" which can be removed from the bottom of the crankcase to gain access to the rods, etc. You can easily remove that while the engine is in the car. But the crankcase itself is what the engine/transmission assembly mounts onto, and the tranny is covered by the transmission cover, nicknamed the "hogshead." The engine, transmission, crankcase, and hogshead all go into and come out of the chassis as a unit.
The gaskets were cork originally, but they are usually paper these days. BTW, Mac's is the least favorite all-purpose parts vendor for most of us here; the most popular is Lang's, followed by Snyder's. You can find contact info from the MTFCA home page by using the "Parts Suppliers" link, or google them. Have fun!!!
Steve, the project you are talking about will involve pulling the engine. The pan you are describing is called the crankcase. It houses both the engine and transmission. If the oil leak is only coming from around the hogs head (top cover for the transmission and bands)The hogs head is the part with the pedals in it. You can remove the hogs head and replace the gaskets for it without removing the engine. Its a hard job, but can be done.(ask for details of how to do it here on the forum, if you have never removed a hogs head) You may also have a leak around the front of the driveshaft. There are four bolts at the front "ball" of the drive shaft where it bolts to the rear of the crankcase and rear of the hogs head. If those gaskets are leaking it can be a big mess. If it was mine and I wanted to stop as many leaks as possible, I would pull the engine. Its just a lot easier. Then you can check the front crankshaft seal, the bottom inspection cover for the rods, The rear 4th main bearing (inside the "ball" at the front of driveshaft tube) A loose fourth main can cause a big leak. and replace the hogs head gaskets and crankcase gaskets. When replacing the hogs head gaskets remember to check the transmission bands at that time. I suggest at least to buy the Ford Service Manual. It is sometimes called the " model T bible". I believe it is still the book with part number T-1, it is T-1 for a reason. And also ask any questions you may have here. We are always open. One more thing if you do decide to replace the crankcase gaskets and remove the crankcase, (what you are calling the oil pan) as well as removing the 4th main. Make sure to have the engine on the engine stand with the hand crank end(front of engine) pointed straight down. The weight of the transmission on an unsupported crankshaft can bend the rear flange of the crankshaft. Just remember, someone here can give help if needed.
The first thing I would be doing is clean the pan and than make sure the oil is full and run the engine to find the leak than plan the way to go.
I would have to agree with Tman...it's certainly a lot more informative to the untrained eye to TOTALLY clean the outside of the engine/transmission and then run it even at just a fast idle for a while sitting in the garage. Use a flashlight, lay down and just observe. I'm lucky, I can do that from under the lift. My '15 was leaking like mad, and believe it or not, what turned out to be the biggest culprit was what outwardly appeared to be a reasonably decent gasket on the top transmission cover...replaced it, and 90% of the oil leak was gone! Couldn't believe it.
I do agree with Tman and Tim. Its a lot of work to replace the major gaskets, A good inspection should be done first.
Steve, i also agree with Tman and Tim. There are lots of places for oil leaks in a T and narrowing it down might save you some headaches, especially if you decide to remove the hogshead while still in the car. My car, like Tim's had major leaks from the upper felt gasket, the neoprene gasket in your picture solves that problem. If you do decide to remove the hogshead there are a few things that you need to keep in mind so that all goes smoothly. When removing the starter (if you have one) make sure you remove the round bendix cover, and the bendix before trying to pull the starter out, or you could most likely damage your mag coil ring. Also be sure to stuff plenty of rags into the all the crevices in the transmission before you remove the nuts and washers that keep the bands held together, if you drop something down there, its very difficult to get it back. Hope this helps a little, and keep us posted on your progress.
Yes, the T is simple. But don't be fooled. Lurking within that simplicity are hidden surprises that can bite you you-know-where if you don't know about them ahead of time. One part of being forewarned about those surprises has been mentioned already, "The Bible". It's one of several sources that can save you lots of grief. Here's more about those:
I agree on cleaning thoroughly and watching to see where the leaks are. One that's possible and hasn't been mentioned is very simple: loose starter mounting bolts. If those work loose the result is an oil fountain that makes quite a mess. And while I'm on the starter I should mention that you DON'T ever just unbolt it and pull it off. You have to remove the Bendix first, or you may do costly damage. That's one of those hidden surprises I mentioned.
I had a really large leak towards the back of the hogshead after I had pulled it to replace my bands. Upon reinstalling the hogshead, I must of got the bolts out of order or something, because the ones I had used there were too short. I just went out and bought longer harden bolts and gunked them up good with gasket goo, ran a tap down the hole to make sure it was clean and then ran the new bolts down tight, the leak stopped immediately.
If you do pull the hogshead, you might want to invent in the black Model T Ford Service Manual it's only $29.00 but it's a great investment. This one book can tell you how to take the entire car/truck apart and put it back together again. If your car has a starter, remove it and it's bendix first...it'll make the whole Hogshead removal much easier (and you won't need to use that stupid wooden block). And when it comes time to put it back on...you might have to remove the exhaust manifold too (I did, but then it gave me the opportunity to replace the exhaust manifold gasket with glands and rings which are waaaay better).
Oh and yes, ditch the Mac's catalog...they have nice pictures and all, but when it comes to parts, go with Model T guys, like Langs or Snyders.
No, no, keep the catalogue! It has great pictures for reference. I find the exploded views very handy. But I buy my parts from Chaffin's, Langs, Bob's, and other non-hassle dealers.
Holy Moly! Ok, THIS is why I asked before turning a bolt. Lots to think about here. I will call a huddle with the other 2 guys and see what direction to take from here. LOTS of great information just in the few responses you've all given me, and I really appreciate it. Thanks a ton everyone!
Steve, we all forgot the "stabilizer" you mention. That is the front axle "radius rod" or "wishbone" as most call it. It will need to be unbolted from the bottom of the crankcase to remove the engine. One thing of note, is the 2 studs and nuts holding the "cap" in place should be tie wired together. Do not use cotter keys at the studs. Cotter keys will allow the nuts to be held to the studs, but the studs can still turn and work loose for a bad day. So use tie wire and tie the 2 studs together and have a nice day.
Steve -- It looks like you should watch that safety wiring video posted on another thread.
Yes, but I don't think this one is going anywhere.
Steve, did you use an old coat hanger for the safety wire project? You also have to decide what type of castle nut you are going to use! Square bottom for early cars, and round bottom for the later ones.
Not quite heavy enough for coat hangers. Mechanic's wire (Ford Repair Kit) I bought at Bryant Hardware years ago.
The nuts are the ones that were in there, so they'll have to do. I didn't notice the slot bottoms, but the Correct Police probably won't look in there anyway.
He just did.