Being a big F1 and Indycar fan I have always been amazed with the early days of theses sports with drivers racing around with their heads being used as a roll bar and helmets made of leather.
So my question is should a car like the one involved in the crash have a roll bar and if there was a roll bar would it have made a difference?
I own a Fordor and even though it is enclosed and a little safer than an open car it is mostly wood with a canvas top. I know there will be those that would object to the idea of putting a roll bar or roll cage on their beloved authentic Model T, and that should be their choice, but for me itís not just about looks but as the saying goes Safety First. I plan on putting disc brakes, turn signals and any other safety devise I can.
If you are just driving in parades or going to shows it does not matter but if you drive it hard then some sort of protection should be considered.
Iím not talking about making it mandatory and I am NOT one of those that go around banning things or telling people how to run their lives itís just thought so PLEASE don't say I'm one of those!!!!
I have heard of people dieing as their Ts roll over for whatever reason ( usually getting rammed from behind by someone not paying attention ) and I have had passing thoughts of a roll bar from time to time. I drive an original 26 roadster almost every day. I use it to go to work, the store, and all around town as well as my tow car behind my motor home when camping. I think if I was to instal a roll bar, I would like to make it blend in with the car. Maybe wrap it in leather or paint it to look like wood. As a daily driver I think it would be a good idea no matter what others think. I built my car for me,,,NOT for the approval of others. I don't think I would need one in a full body car.
If you're referring to the T-Bucket accident mentioned in other threads, it's impossible to say, from what little we know, if a roll bar would have helped. Whether it's a roll bar, or seat belts, etc., you must proceed with extreme caution. Well intended add-ons can sometimes give unanticipated results. Cars with seatbelts as standard equipment are designed from the start to incorporate them as just one component of a larger safety plan. To add seatbelts where they were not designed to be, can give catastrophic results. I know, this thread isn't about seatbelts, I just use them for an example. Not saying a roll bar would be bad, just saying it may not do for you what you might expect or want.
As to the T-Bucket accident, I suspect it was operator error, either in the use, maintenance or build of the vehicle.
A roll bar might do you little good if you're thrown from the car. In fact, not to be too gruesome or to be a fear monger but, the bar itself may decapitate you were you to be in an inopportune spot as the car rolls over. As an example, a college engineering professor of mine made a nice living on the side as a professional witness, specializing in fork lift accidents. He told us the main cause of fatalities in fork truck rollovers was the driver falling out of the truck as it began to roll and landing in a prime spot for the truck's upper cage to come down on his neck. (Hence the addition of seat belts and side restraints on most new trucks)
A roll bar might be ok on a "T bucket". It's not a historic car. If you start doing things like that to an original Ford Model T, I think you need to ask yourself why you bought such a car in the first place. Yes I worry about the total lack of safety equipment these cars have but, when you start making changes like that, then what do you have? When you do all this stuff voluntarily , it's only a matter of time before the leftists force it on everybody.
If the roll over killed them then the seat belts would not matter. If they were thrown from the car then seat belts could have helped or if they did not have seat belts on and they were thrown from the car before it rolled they may have survived.
Bottom line is you never know, you do what you can to be safe, we drive the car and hope it never happens. No car is immune.
This guy in the video is lucky but it could have been tragic, he could have been hit by the truck after he fell out or if he was buckled up he could have been pinned.
Sometimes its better to be thrown clear.
Just add some comment to the photo above, if this car was the one that belongs to the Terrys, I believe the occupants were thrown clear and suffered only minor injuries.
To a extent I agree with you
I have reproduced a "improved "era correct steering box (Ross)
Next up is the McNerney front brakes
I have seriously considered seat belts, but have not gone there.
Certainly I put seat belts in daily driver cars and wear them without the need of "buzzers" or the law!!!
Of course a roll bar would have helped!! You need to fasten it to the car then strap yourself in like NASCAR drivers do!! Sure sounds like fun to me!? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Good point Jerry. I have no intention to start doing any changing on my car but the thought does pop up now and then. Seat belts, roll bars, other safety devises do indeed take away from the great ol T. If I had a hot rod I think I would consider some kind of belts and bars.
For what it's worth, I used to drive a little Ford tractor with a mower setup (no, not a cool tractor) which had a big, yellow placard on the one rear fender. It said something like "With roll bar installed, always wear a seatbelt. With roll bar removed, NEVER wear a seatbelt." For some reason that's always stuck with me.
Mike,this conversation comes up everytime there is a wreak. Sure you could put a roll bar in But really what would bolt/weld to? The stock frame? Also go ahead with disk brakes but understand that sliding 3"-4" of contact rubber is not stopping the car in a panic stop. So should we change the tires too?.
Mike my point is not to be rude. A model T is antique car with parts 90+ year old parts. It's not safe period.
I have driven a stock model T's safely for over 20 years often very heavy traffic (I live close to seattle) it can be done.
If anything, invest in your self as driver,know your car well, never take unnecessary risks on the road,and never become complacent to your environment or drivers around you.
So you are introducing the old misinformation about skinny tires and traction. Get educated please
Even on my 26 with the balloon 21 inch tires, once the brakes lock up the wheels, all that's left is skidding tire (its not hard to do even with stock ford brakes). The question of brake improvements seems like it should include the issue of how much rubber is meeting the road. That is why ABS was invented.
Sad not matter what the occupants were driving - i.e. stock or hot rod. FWIW I am a believer that there is a limited risk in most any activity, and the best one can do is take reasonable measures they are comfortable with. While our Speedster is not yet road ready, I have had a lot of other prewar cars. I can say there is a great deal of difference in "roadability" between a Model A and a late 30s car. Just because the A could do 50 MPH plus did not make it a good highway car, and rubber contact on the road was a factor as well. My '41 Plymough drove a lot better in just ten years development on one of the "low priced three" and my '39 Packard was actually pretty comfortable in the passing lane in many highway situations. I think it is really a question of minimizing risk by knowing the vehicles limits and establishing a comfort level in traffic situations. I really want to use the "T", but will avoid situations where it does not make sense. In CT, which is a fairly densly populated state, early Sunday mornings are when a lot of cool old cars come out, less hurried and distracted drivers that time of day. Also safety in numbers in a tour situation. Aside from brake lights and turn signals, I am not a big believer in added seatbelts or other such equipment the car was not originally designed with.
We don't skydive or swim in shark infested waters so I figure we are not that close to living on the edge. :-)
I would like to associate myself with Jerry VanOoteghem's comment about seat belt installation.The geometry is critical. Some years ago 69 Minutes did a story about the rear seatbelts in a small car (a Ford, I think) that were engineered with incorrect geometry and had caused several fractured spines resulting in permanent waist-down paralysis of the seat occupants.
Obviously, I meant 60 minutes.
Here is a forum members thread about a rollover and aftermath
John, you say you have a fordor - the heaviest of Ts and you say you'll "drive it hard". If you will then identify yourself with the 'go fast' crowd, why stop with just a roll bar? Go ahead and install side air bags too. Most of us - no, I'll just speak for myself - drive our stock Ts in a reasonable manner on carefully selected roads and derive maximum enjoyment from the experience.
Les, we've discussed this before... Mike is right about skinnier tires having less grip than a wider one with the same chemical makeup.
The physics you have referred to does not take into account the adhesion properties of rubber.
There is other issues folks don't think about.
A frontal collision,is your steering column collapsible?
In a rear collision,is the seatbelts bolted to the car body gonna take you with the car body as it gets torn off the chassis?
Boy that old thread is interesting.
Seth telling us to silver solder brake parts. :>0
If you silver solder that splined joint together you will have a extremely difficult time breaking it apart. It is all about joint design and proper soldering technique
Yeah new tires have "stickier" compounds but friction is still just friction
I NEVER said I will drive it hard!!
I said if you plan to drive it hard.
How did you come up with the "go fast crowd"
I plan on driving it slow and easy
My point was to bring up the conversation. To discuss if any safety device would work, be useless or make things worse
You are right about one thing, you should speak for yourself!
New tires, old tires, soft tires, hard tires, warm tires, cold tires... they all have adhesion properties, but at varying levels.
Any tire will have more grip with a larger contact patch in dry conditions regardless of age or make.
Chemical grip increases with a larger contact patch. Mechanical grip remains constant.
Please explain "chemical grip".
Mechanical grip/Chemical grip was best described to me like this by a tire-engineer.
Mechanical grip is the deformation and interlocking of the tread with the irregularities of the surface. This is a linear correlation between unit-loading and grip. (higher unit-load = equally higher grip)
Chemical grip is the adhesion of the tire to the road surface. It takes more effort to peel rubber from the surface than it does to stick it to it. Higher unit-loads do NOT have a linear correlation to chemical-grip.
Another way to put is friction. The difference between a tire on asphalt and a tire on ice.
The weight of the vehicle matters too. Putting sandbags in the trunk, letting air out of the tires and all those tricks that never work in the snow.
Like when you watch your neighbor put the cardboard under the wheel only to have it fly across the street
Not the car, the cardboard.
Ice versus smooth concrete is a good example for explaining chemical grip.
Both are smooth, so a tire will have poor mechanical grip since there are no irregularities or rough texture to deform around and interlock with. The surface texture and hardness are similar, but the chemical makeup of ice does not allow things to stick to it very well, but rubber and concrete stick to each other quite well, and is one of the fastest surfaces to race on.
I'm no chemist, but I've studied and experienced the basics of it for my racing hobby.