Dean pulled the K transmission off today, and weighed it, along with a Model T transmission. Below are photos of the two side by side, and weights of each:
The Model K, like the later improved T, has a wider brake band:
Hey Rob, I see that the K drums are a lot thicker. They should be able to take a lot more heat and not crack. I see a very strong transmission. Poor oil in the day and lack of care is the only thing that will hurt that brute. Scott
Criminy! That thing is wimpy looking. (Not the K)
I know one of the biggest problems with planetary transmissions before the model T was that they were not enclosed with a good, constant, oil bath. This was not limited to Ford. I have seen and had opportunities for a few minutes to work on planetary transmissions from several cars of the era including REO, Oldsmobile, Buick, Fuller and even Cadillac. The problem was that transmissions tended to run too dry if not properly maintained. That would result in wearing out early and eventual breakage.
The real root problem of this was that the technology had simply not yet caught up with the change in need. Most machinery for fifty years had been run with gears in the open. Prior to the automobile, most such machinery (except for locomotives) stayed put in a factory or other type shop building. Operators had oil cans full of heavy, sticky, oil which they squirted onto gears and bearing cups as needed. Things were open, and messy, and everyone was used to it.
Along comes the automobile, engineers build and use what they are used to using. They stick that transmission down under the middle of a dirty car that is going to be flying down the road at 37 miles per hour------! Like you think I am going to climb under WHERE?! WHEN?!??! And just what do you think I am going to hang onto while hanging UNDER that car while you are driving over a tree-stump!
At first, people and engineers realized that they had a wonderful thing in this automobile with the up-to-date planetary transmission that moved the car so effortlessly. Then they drove them for a few years and began to realize that something HAD to be done. Proper maintenance became too inconvenient, too demanding, and often fell to the wayside. Partial covers and simple oiling systems helped some. But it took Ford to put the whole thing inside a full enclosure where a well made planetary transmission could run happily for many tens of thousands of miles with only simple maintenance.
The Ford models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, and S all had open planetary transmissions. They along with about half of all cars built at that time in the USA did this. It is always easy to look back from a comfortable seat, perched upon newer technology, and see the flaws in an older technology and think how silly they were. However, from about 1899 up until about 1912 running a planetary transmission in the open was considered normal. Only after the model T, did the rest of the engineering world catch up. That is just the way the world works, and grows. Live and learn.
That model K transmission looks big enough and well enough built to provide good service for many years if it is in proper condition and well maintained.
Thank you for the look inside Rob!
I hope to continue seeing lots of pictures of the 6-40 roadster and its progress. Fantastic car!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Pretty cool Rob. Hope to see photos of the insides.
One of the things I learned sort of by accident is that the width of the brake drum doesn't determine braking authority so much as does the drum's diameter. _But greater width does make for longer wear. _Again, this isn't a discovery I made on my own, but a ricochet of something I've been told or read somewhere.
As an aside of something that may or may not be related in the realm of physics, the same sort of thing holds true in the diameter vs. depth of actual drums (meaning the musical type, of which I have actual, first-hand knowledge): _You can make a drum as deep as you like, but it won't appreciably lower the pitch of the instrument's fundamental note (though it will increase resonance quite a bit, which is why floor-toms are shaped as they are). _To end up with a deeper fundamental note, one must start out with a drum shell of greater diameter. _I'm not sure whether this physical principle relates to the authority of brakes, but somehow, intuitively, it feels like it does. _And if not, then this is just another opportunity for yours truly to be verbose and pedantic.
I had to look the last one up. From the Mirriam-Webster online dictionary:
1: of, relating to, or being a pedant(see pedant)
2: narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned
3: unimaginative, dull
Now I need to look up a few other words......
We'll post some shortly (I should say Dean will). i know when lifting the transmission out of the car, it is one heavy sucker. I didn't know it would be 81 lbs. It sure seems well built, and we know of Model K with over 200,000 miles that were still using the original transmission (although I don't know how many parts had been replaced over that period).
We also know Ford published a Model K (specific) parts book through 1912 (the 1911 version says good through December 1912).
This particular transmission has only been re-pinned once. Early Ford guys know this means the transmission was only "taken up" once, or adjusted internally once.
We'll post more as we go,
What's the spare engine part situation for the Model K?
If, heaven forbid, you cracked a drum could you find a replacement?
Bob C, You finally did it! I also had to look up that word.
Drive carefully, and do enjoy, W2
K transmission parts
K clutch discs
K T low speed clutch
K T pressure plate
Wow, How could anyone find fault with the K tranny? That thing has plenty of beef. Well supported planet gears, lots of wear area for the clutch plates and big shafts. Lack of oil is all that can hurt this transmission.
Thank you Dean for the pictures of the K transmission, Scott
Thank you, Dean, for the added photos. Some of those pieces look very similar to ones that were from the original transmission my Fuller had (I no longer have the car, or the parts). I wonder how other planetary transmissions do compare. It probably would not be easy to find many to compare with?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
You sure Scott ??--Unlease the 6.8 lltr's at it enough times in hilly country and it will adventually tell you it.s limits.
I MY eyes the week point of the K transmission is the 3 small keys that hold the steel clutch discs to the shaft. Not pictures, you can see two of the keyways.
I've found that shifting and asking for too much power will cause the transmission to slip. However, like our Model N (and Ts) if I keep the high gear clutch adjusted correctly (little slippage) and shift at low rpm there are no problems.
I believe the six cylinder engine is more suited to a planetary 2-speed because with the added torque of a six one may shift to high gear at just a few mile an hour speed, meaning the engine hasn't reached an point (rpm) where it overwhelms the clutch. Anyone riding with me will notice I shift quickly into high gear, and leave it there. Ford advertised high gear from 4 mph to 60, and that's the way I drive our K.
It will be interesting how the roadster works, less weight, but a little higher gearing due to 37 inch tires (vs. 35 in on our touring).
"It is always easy to look back from a comfortable seat, perched upon newer technology, and see the flaws in an older technology and think how silly they were. However, from about 1899 up until about 1912 running a planetary transmission in the open was considered normal. Only after the model T, did the rest of the engineering world catch up. That is just the way the world works, and grows."
Wayne, I read your post several times. It offers one of the hardest things for those of us interested in history to find - perspective. All too often we see "historians" who write or get interviewed on TV discussing history from a modern perspective. Doing so distorts out view, robs us of the ability to understand why things were done as they were and cheats us of the being able to fully appreciate the achievements that were accomplished so long before our own time. It is a lot more work to try to find out what problems people in the past had to deal with while making their decisions.
Your post gave me some perspective as to another reason the Model T was so advanced and easier to live with than other cars of its time.
Thank you Paul.