New motor, did a break in run and drained to oil to see if there was any iron in the oil. No iron but found this:
The key is pristine with no marks on it so I don't know what to think? Any ideas what/where it came from (key not the dime).
It's not the kind of thing that will just fall out, as in the case of a cotter pin, or loose nut, etc., so I would say it was just left in the engine accidentally. Lucky you found it before any harm was done.
A woodruff key from the starter bendix. Probably lipped out of place and down into the motor when somebody was installing the bendix. BTW that means the started is depending on the cute little bolt with the small tip on the end that is supposed to keep the end of the bendix from slipping in or out. It is not designed to hold any rotational force from engaging the starter and you can fully expect failure there in the near future. Of course it is possible that the person who installed the bendix lost the key and found another to use without checking where the first one went. I would immediately pull the bendix cover and remove the end of the bendix to see if there is a key there and install one if there isn't.
From the size, it looks like the little key that fits onto the starter shaft and indexes the Bendix drive. Have you used the starter yet?
I would take off the bendix cover and remove the starter drive head to see if the key is there. (That's the only place a key of that size is used on the T.) If the key is there, the one you found is extra; if the key is not there,install it....problem solved.
Looking at the picture again, the key you found looks larger than the one holding the starter head??? I don't have one in front of me because I'm not at the shop right now,
Looking at the picture AGAIN, I see it's a dime, not a nickel. Sorry, that does looks like the starter key. U gotta smile at old sometime, huh?
I guess I'll check on the bendix later this week and see what I find.
No problems with the starter(so far), I would estimate about 15 starts since the install.
You are very lucky! I would not start the car with the starter until you check the Bendix. If it comes loose and tears the cover off, you can cause all manner of damage. Including a seized engine from the loss of oil, broken crankcase cover and a spaghetti mess of magneto wire. A might costly for ignoring a thirty cent part.
Who did you say did this engine rebuild..???
One more question:
How hard is it to just look and see if the Bendix key is where it belongs and the one I found is just a dropped/stray part.
Major disassembly? Pull the starter? Hole to peek through?
Pull the starter and check. If it's in place, I'd be wondering what else is in there and having a talk with the builder.
You have to pull the Bendix cover, then remove the Bendix to see if the key is there, the key is completely hidden when the Bendix is installed.
It is easy to push the key out of place and have it fall out when installing the Bendix - I did it myself once, luckily the key fell onto the floor instead of falling into the transmission.
In my opinion, this is one of those times where hope is not a good plan, you need to get in there and verify that the key is in place. Be sure not to lose any of the Bendix cover screws, they are an oddball size.
Bendix comes off first or you'll damage the ring gear. May be an easy removal of that's the key. You might discover it immediately after removing the starter cover.
You shouldn't need to remove the starter, just the Bendix cover and Bendix. If the key is missing off of the starter shaft, you can install the key and re-install the Bendix and Bendix cover with the starter still in place on the engine. Watch the key when you install the Bendix to make sure that it slips into the slot in the Bendix head and doesn't get pushed out of its keyway on the starter shaft.
Here are some pictures which may (or may not) be of help:
I have hopefully installed my starter for the last time (for a long
time to come) after MANY in's and out's to try and figure out why
it was not working.
I will confirm, this IS the Bendix Woodruff key. I am ALL TOO
familiar with this part of the Model T now.
And let me add ... when sliding the end piece onto the shaft and
trying to align the key, the little bugger will hop out of the slot like
a toad, landing anywhere from on the floor, your eyelid, to hiding
inside the Bendix spring.
After a couple rounds of this fun, I oiled the pieces and after placing
the Woodruff key in the slot, eased the end piece into place while
holding the key flat in the slot with a flathead screwdriver. Got it
on the first try every time with that procedure.
I suspect your little toad hopped out and the installer never knew.
I'd follow Walt's advice and give that little guy a lookover to make
sure he's there.
Another tip when doing starter installs/removals .... pull the floor
up or out to get easy access to the Bendix cover screws. I had to
laugh at myself pretty good for doing this under the Non-T paradigm
that those floors can't be easily moved. Much easier when you can
get at it from the top too.
Thanks for the photos!!! Got a much better idea now where to look.
I'll post up what I find this weekend.
thanks again everyone for your input.
In a nut shell, no need to remove the starter. Remove the bendix cover and remove the bendix head, that's where the key is supposed to be. See Mark's top picture.
Remove the Bendix cover and then try to run a wire into the slot where the key is supposed to be. If the wire goes in a ways (1" or more) = no key.
Kenny -- That's the best idea yet!
I got some time last weekend and got the bendix cover removed. The Key was there were it belongs but ....................... the bendix spring bolts were loose, the locking tabs were not pulled over and the bolts were reversed. I got the bolts installed correctly and the tabs pulled over.
Ran out of time and will road test later.
Thanks for all the help!
Good for you Dave. With experience we gain knowledge. All the Bendix covers I've seen had 4 notches for the 4 cover screws. Of course, when looking at the cover from the rear these notches are located at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. By far, the most difficult screw to remove is the 3 o'clock screw. So I first remove the other 3 and loosen that one next to the transmission cover and slide the Bendix cover to the left to remove.
Well done, now you know for sure that things are right with the Bendix. Plus, you now have a spare Bendix key!
I'd be contacting whoever did the rebuild and expressing my concern about what I found and what else may be residing in the engine that could cause catastrophic issues later.