Before my esteemed colleagues go too far

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Before my esteemed colleagues go too far
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 11:46 am:

On the triple gear / pin / bush debate...

I'm in the 0.004" total clearance school...with my last reco to a forum friend to go with the McL kit because my friend is going to continue to run his T hard and put it away no real need for me to join the debate what the 0.002" is all about. It's ancient history that no longer works today anyway.

But...there is no one on this earth that has probably researched it more than me, no one who has probably spent more actual real $ on forensic research than me, and while my answers never got to finite conclusion, while my notes turned into a tome, and while no one wanted to collaborate with me on that final 1%, I didn't toss a lot of the graphic work that was done...

Here are two graphics...not to foster super debate, but just to remind those that continue this discussion of what does exist if one looks at actual data and drawings and skips this hand me down stuff...

The first is a graphic that show it is/was possible to 'find' 0.002" total clearance in the total individual tolerances.(From there you just have to accept my own personal view that when it came to tranny parts, Ford manufacturing machined to the 4th decimal place and typically had tolerance range only at the 5th decimal place

The second (Ford Fits)may not have even applied in the T era...publish date was 1934...but see 'fit' definition. As late as 1934 Ford apparently was still being a bit arrogant as to standardized nationally published standards. Sorry but the book does not reveal what the add and subtract were with respect to. (my belief here would be select from the material list the best size stock we your normal clean ups/machining allowance to finish size and only then consider the chart...but that is a rationalized guess on my part)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob McDonald-Federal Way, Wa. on Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 12:31 pm:

I've often-ed wondered how many of the T owners
back then had all the tools (in there chicken house or under the tree out back) to preform to the specks of then and today. This is not a compliant of those that are doing the research on these specks but understanding that SHADE TREE MECH. keep most of these wonderful ford cars going for so many years. Thank you and keep up your great research and information here on the forum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 12:54 pm:


I hear you...while I am firmly convinced by other evidence that Ford Manufacturing Engineering 'thought' in the 4th decimal place on transmission innards...

I am also firmly convinced that the KRW reamer kits were produced for the after-market and were NOT to OEM spec as to clearance but rather a compromise on what normal mechanics could do and to get around that rural shade tree own feeling has always been Joe Farmer did NOT do repairs like this, he was creative on lots of stuff...but the in town guy would have had him bring in the triples...he'd re-bush them, he would ream them with the KRW reamers, he would renew the oil groove, he would face off the bush flange, and send Joe Farmer back home to finish the job himself!

Those reamers, made for reportedly 0.003" according to Herm...also cut full even with the best of care/attention/machine rest, cut full by about 0.0005" under the best of conditions. I can't prove it with respect to original KRW tools, but I know the foibles of hand reaming and straight leads will often give a newbie a thou full of slightly more! 2+2 = 4 They fit, they worked, and they may have even been 0.004+" full as the farmer took his wagon home. Nobody cared! They fit/they worked

Think about it...we find a fair portion of KRW kits still around, but how many are found at barn estate sales of non-T collectors?

Thanks again for the encouragement...I'll keep doing my thing on digging for that last pickle in the barrel on these Ford mysteries, even knowing better now that the chance for success is never a given!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 04:32 pm:

George, this I took from the K.R. Wilson Tool Site.

History of K.R. Wilson Tools

Flat broke $3000.00 in debt but not discouraged, on Sept. 15th 1916, in an old barn at 1016 Main Street, Buffalo, New York, K. R. Wilson opened an exclusive Ford (commercial car) repair shop.

With no modern equipment and only a few small tools, he had to bring the bigger jobs out to other shops. That was how he came to realize how crude even their tools & equipment were. In trying to ream bushings in transmission drums they used expansion reamers, which were held in a vise. The transmission drums were turned around the reamer with a big monkey wrench. This method resulted in cracking or breaking approximately half the drums they worked on. The cost of these broken parts significantly increased the service bill. Mr. Wilson could not in good conscience, put in new parts and charge the customer for them. (Donít we wish that all repair shops had those ethics?)

Discovering this inadequate equipment prompted him to develop a jig that would hold the transmission drums as well as support & centrally locate the reamers in perfect alignment in the drum. This way the reaming operation could be accomplished with accurate & uniform results, thereby eliminating breaking so many of these parts.

Wilson had to save up money to have a pattern made and then a set of reamers. After successfully testing this fixture, he sent out 100 post cards to Ford agents in Western New York, asking them to bring in their work, allowing him to demonstrate the new machines. The response was instantaneous! More than 50 dealers brought in jobs within the next two weeks. These dealers had been experiencing the same problems when working with expansion reamers or trying to fit them by various other methods. They were very surprised at the ease of operation, as well as the accuracy & how quickly the job was done. Most of them wanted to buy a machine right away, some pleading for immediate delivery. Without the capital to go ahead and make them in quantities, Wilson had to stall the customers by saying that he had more orders lined up than he could fill in two months, which was true! Some eager clients even suggested paying him for their order in advance, hoping that would provide them preferred delivery. He accepted the orrs and the advance payment, and they received delivery of their reaming machines within thirty days as Wilson had promised.

The prudent entrepreneur allowed his customers to actually finance the first K. R. Wilson tool, from that time on the business was self-supporting. During the next three years of wartime conditions, it was almost impossible to get steel; therefore the production of the reamers was limited. And yet, the demand was still greater than what he could manufacture.

In 1919 jobbers began to buy these tools and business picked up so fast that he sold out his Ford Service Station and contracted to have these tools made in quantities. Wilson opened an office where he could handle correspondence and fill orders efficiently. By Jan 1, 1920, after expenses, he had accumulated a total capital of about $8200.00. On Jan 3, 1920, while at the New York Automobile show he negotiated a very favorable contract with the Fairbanks Company. For the next six months there were two machine shops and a foundry running both day and night making K. R. Wilson Tools to be shipped throughout that organization to all parts of the world.

Wilson laid the cornerstone for a factory of his own, on April 10th 1920 in his home town of Arcade New York. Here he included a foundry and machine shop so that he could manufacture K. R. Wilson Tools complete from the raw material to the finished product, thereby increasing his own profit margin.

By Aug 3rd 1920, the new plant was officially opened, but that was about the time that the business depression of 1920 set in. Orders were scarce and consequently business went flat until May, 1921.

Since he had plenty of personal contact with Ford dealers and repair shops he heard a great number of complaints about the high-priced yet unsatisfactory & crude equipment which they were forced to purchase from high pressure salesmen. Wilson was convinced that the lack of experience of repair work on the part of the designers and manufacturers was a key element responsible for the inadequacy of repair equipment.

Wilson had been working on cars ever since they first were built, so he had plenty of experience and self-confidence. He decided to get the facts, his mission was to find out exactly what the Ford dealer or repair shop needed in order to turn out satisfactory repair work. He made up his mind to start at the bottom, to try and learn more than any other man had ever learned about re-manufacturing Fords. To delve into the Ďmysteriesí which had gone unsolved and were costing the dealers real money in the way of come backs and dissatisfied customers. With that target in mind, he continued to shoot straight toward it from that moment on.

As a result of his research, he proceeded to produce the ĎK. R. Wilson Combination Machineí which incorporated all the necessary equipment to duplicate the same process of fitting bearings as used by manufacturers of high grade cars like Pierce Arrow, Lincoln, Packard and hundreds of others. At the same time it was a machine so simple that any handy man could operate it, and at a price so low that every Ford agent and service station could afford to own one.

On May 2 1921, a large crowd of Ford Dealers traveled hundreds of miles to Scranton Pa. To observe as Wilson demonstrated his new K R W Combination Machine. Twenty-two machines were sold in the first 2 days. Another demonstration in New York City two day later sold nearly as many more. He got a flying start and orders came in so fast that he was absolutely swamped.

Thatís when trouble was set in motion. Competitors, upset by the competition and the startling claims made by Wilson about his combination machine in advertising, started all kinds of stories and rumors that the machine was no good, that it was to light, that it would not do what it was claimed to do.

Some of the Ford engineers and service men who had sponsored the sale of burning-in-&-out machines for Ďcertainí friendly manufacturers took exception to some of the statements Wilson made. The process differed slightly from their own method, and therefore, these same engineers and service men could not very well come out and admit that the K R Wilson combination machine was as good as, or better, than the other machines and equipment which they had strong-armed their dealers into buying. These dealers had spent about 9 times as much for the same combination of equipment as was built into K.R. Wilsonís Combination machine.

Fortunately, very shortly afterwards the Ford motor company acquired the Lincoln automobile, in which the bearings are so carefully align reamed by a process identical to the K R Wilson process, they then adopted a neutral policy. By January 1st, 1923, the Ford motor company of Canada adopted the K R Wilson Combination machine in preference to any other equipment and had recommended it to their dealers ever since.

During May 1923, Wilson found it necessary to further increase his manufacturing facilities and built a fire-proof assembly plant & warehouse. In June, 1924, further expansion was required and he constructed two more buildings, one of which he used for a training school for Ford Mechanics. Two years later, in 1925, another two building were added to provide several thousand square feet of floor space.

Safely out of the woods with more than 2,700 Combination Machines in the hands of Ford dealers & service stations, including some of the largest dealerships in the country, was ample proof that K.R. Wilsonís Combination Machine was all that he said it would be. It gave Wilson great satisfaction to prove that all of the competitorsí propaganda had only been lies intended to discredit his machine.

His low priced saved Ford dealers thousands of dollars for equipment required in each and every service station. Wilsonís Combination Machine had not been equaled for accuracy, speed, and quality workmanship, during his lifetime.

As the Ford Motor Company began making improvements such as reinforced crankcase, transmission cover bolted to cylinder block, and a heavier crankshaft, indicates that K. R. Wilson was years ahead of his competition and completely correct in every claim & statement he had ever made for his K.R.W. machine.

These are the facts that I do now.

1.The reamers, using the Jig, bore a .680 hole every time, NOT plus or minus, and the hole does not very from time to time as it can't with a Jig. I had two sets of Wilson N.O.S. reamers and one used set, but not much. They all cut a .680 hole in the bushings, and the used set I have has been sharpened 3 times over the years, and the bore size remains the same, and as I said, a perfect fit to the N.O.S. triple gears that are factory machined, no movement, and No bind.

2. The Wilson Jig and Reamer does not follow the hole like a drill bit or an expandable reamer. It bores center, and 90 degrees to the bushing, because the Jig is holding it in place.

3. I always end up with .003 thousandths after polishing the pins to the right Diameter. All the N.O.S. Ford pins we got out of the Ford Garages were .676-50 to .677., which is different then your Blue Prints?

On the old pins that were in the flywheel said to be push in with a .002 larger size should be right, and will hold the pin tight. So you know that the old pins should have left the flywheel with a .001 bigger hole, so if the replacement pins were .003 over size that would get you right back to a .002 thousandths press fit.

It doesn't make any difference to me what anybody uses for clearance, as it will never effect any of my customers anyway.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 04:49 pm:

Pictures didn't post, I will try again.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 08:14 pm:

For what its worth there are those people who are highly analytical in determining the cause and cure of a supposed problem.
Then there are those use what they determine to be common (no frills) sense to fix a problem.

I guess I happen to be one of those shade tree mechanics that dosen't have a full blown machine shop or thousands of dollars worth of tools and equipment to find a "cure" for the supposed triple gear clearance problem.

I'll just keep doing Dave Huson's method of obtaining a running clearance with a vise, adjustable bushing reamer and a crescent wrench to turn the reamer and be happy.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 08:45 pm:


Nice write up from the KRW...thanks for posting it.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Chaffin on Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 07:25 pm:

It is obvious that K. R. Wilson also thought that 0.002 running fit meant something larger than 0.002. and there is ample evidence that 0.002 is too tight. So as you say Herm, use what you will but don't use 0.002.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Owens on Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 09:02 pm:

Thanks Herm for all the work involved in your post. I think if you do your work on a work bench with hand tools you will need a looser fit. If you have spent the money on good equipment you can do better work and hold a tighter fit.
A better job will last much longer that a tree and a crescent wrench. And today a few t,ers will travel plenty of miles but most never wear out there cars. With todays oil,s we can expect a longer service life than in past years.
Do what you want but please dont make up numbers to suit you and then push them on others.
If you are going to charge a fair price do a fair job. Scott

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