My Dad and I own a 1919 Ford Model T Roadster that he has been driving for over 40 years. It has not run much for about five or six years, and we now wish to drive the car. We have had it running at times over the last year, but now the 1st and 4th cylinders keep getting stuck. My Dad has freed them up twice and lubricated them heavily for days at a time... but they get stuck almost instantly after firing the first time.
Any advice on what to do to keep these freed up? We just replaced the tires on the car, and we want to drive it some.
Thanks in advance.
If it is the pistons causing the issue, the engine should not move at all. If the engine does turn but just so far, look at your valves rusted in place.
Could it be a coolant leak? Especially if you still have cast iron pistons, If you have a leak at either 1 or 4 the water could be getting around the rings and causing rust. The rust would then make the pistons stick. Worth checking.
Or the coolant leak could be causing hydraulic lock.
Also the gas could be old and turning to varnish. I have a friend that this happened to. After running the engine for a period of time and shutting it off the engine would free up.
Norman has the cause I believe. I had the same problem with my first Model T that had iron pistons.
I removed head ,used penetrating oil to get unstuck. Replaced the head gasket and that cured the problem
The crank can only turn the engine clockwise. Jack up the driver side rear wheel. Put your brake lever full forward. Based on what you are telling us, turning the wheel clockwise will turn the engine counter clockwise, or backward. If it stops before making 4 rotations you probably have a valve or lifter problem as suggested before.
At this point I would gently rock the wheel from stop to stop to see if it might free up. I hope you are doing this with the plugs out or the head off. Keep us informed of your progress. We really want to know what you find.---Len
Another thought------In 1954 a guy I know had a 46 CJ-2A. after replacing only the rings and head gasket the darn thing locked up before it turned over once. After pulling it around town with no luck, he pulled the head off and right there in #4 was the hockey puck used to bump the pistons down..---You guessed it---it was me.
You need to remove the cylinder head and have a look inside. No amount of trying, oiling, etc. will fix the problem. Check the condition of your cylinder walls and your valves.
Thanks for all the recommendations... my Dad has taken the head off, freed up the #1 and #4 cylinders twice, and last time (which was last week) also replaced the gasket. He did not start the motor, he simply turned it with the crank to see if it was free enough to start, or if it was still hard to turn over. He said he turned the crank 3-4 times and it was normal, then it was hard again. He can turn the crank, but it takes significant effort. He didn't want to try it so hard that it might break a part.
What do you recommend we try? Norman's advice to check the coolant or Leonard's advice to jack up the car and give it a try.
I would jack up the rear axle onto stands. The problem could well NOT be the cylinders. It could be transmission or rear axle. Put the brake lever forward so it is high gear
OK friends... here's the current status:
My Dad jacked up the rear wheels onto stands... he put the car in high gear (brake lever all the way forward) and the wheel would turn several times in each direction, doing this with the spark plugs out.
He said during the turns that sometimes the turns were tight and sometimes they are easy. He seems to believe that it is the tightest when the engine is in the top position (where you would position the crank to then crank start the engine).
??? What would cause the engine to still be tight?? Valves stuck??? Rust????
We appreciate all your help!
I had a situation where the motor was easy to turn for say half a revolution, then very tight.
In my case it was an out of round main bearing journal. #3 to be exact.
If may not be a bad idea to drop the inspection pan, and loosen off the bearings (just a tad), turn the motor and see if its any easier.
Other than this, the only other thing I can think of (if the problem is in the Block) is that there is a rust ridge or similar that the piston rings are getting caught up on. Maybe due to a previous coolant leak. I'm guessing though that while your dad had the head off he turned the motor over and would have seen any evidence of rust in the cylinders...
In the transmission it could be a number of things. Same for the driveshaft and rear axle.
Hope this helps,
1: Remove all four plugs (be very careful nothing falls inside). The reason for removing the plugs is to eliminate the resistance caused by compression confusing what you can feel.
2: Rotate the engine. (Whether you do this with the rear end on stands? Or sitting on the ground? Depends mostly on how it will turn easiest and most smoothly. This likely will depend upon clutch adjustment more than any other single factor).
3: The crank will turn easiest when the pistons are nearest top and bottom (two will be at top, two will be at bottom). Greatest resistance should be felt with the pistons midway in the cylinders because the pistons move fastest relative to crank rotation during the midway which gives a leverage advantage to the cylinder drag. This can be felt most easily on a fresh, tight, engine. A loose engine, especially one that has not run for several years, may feel similar all the way around.
The important thing (at this point), is that every half turn feel like every other half turn. This is regardless of whether you are comparing stokes from mid-cylinder to mid-cylinder or top to bottom of cylinders. This is a four stroke engine divided by four cylinders, so two full revolutions of the crank are required to go through all four strokes. All four strokes should fell exactly alike. If any one or more strokes is/are tight, or rough in any way that you can feel (different than the others)? That indicates that something is stuck? Rusty? Bent? A tear-into is likely in order.
Usually, pulling the head, lower pan inspection cover, and the hogshead/transmission small cover is a good start. Pull those three, then rotate and watch everything again. You may or may not be able to determine what is binding up.
Personally, based upon all you have said so far? I lean toward the stuck valve idea (like Tyrone T mentioned). I personally have seen valves move only partway, then bind the cam, only sometimes.
It sounds like the first thing to do is remove the head and have a visual inspection of the top. Head gaskets are cheap.
Have you checked the air in the tires ?
I don't understand putting jack stands on both rear axles. Only one wheel should be free to turn. Is it possible the cam gear is chewed up and causing this problem. I'm a 15 T guy and don't know much about 19 T's. Is there a generator that could be the bug.---Len