I need to dismount my starter for overhaul.
I can't get to one of the starter's mounting bolts because the firewall and the firewall mounting bracket are in the way, so I need to lift the front of the car's body off the frame for access.
The green arrows point to the last nut I need to remove so the body can be tilted back. _Unfortunately, there is absolutely no access to get a wrench onto the bolt-head underneath that nut—I can feel it with my fingertip and that's about it. _I tried the usual remedies; slamming my fist on the work-table, flinging a socket-wrench across the room, yelling at my dog (and apologizing to my dog), but none of that helped one bit.
So, there are two immediate problems that I have no idea how to solve:
1.) How to unscrew this last nut and bolt so I can tilt the body back and thereby gain access to the starter mounting bolts.
2.) How to screw that nut and bolt back together after I exchange starters.
Boy, oh boy, I could really use some ideas.
Consider just removing the firewall. I see you have a '15 so it should come off fairly easy.
When you have it off then consider cutting some clearance of making a hole so it can be accessed in the future.
Would you be able to leave the firewall bracket where it is and instead remove the 2 bolts that hold the firewall to the bracket? This may accomplish the same result and spare the dog.
Any chance of fitting one of these unusual wrenches on that difficult to reach bolt head?
Lifting the firewall is fairly easy and is my usual solution to the starter removal problem with early cars retrofitted with a starter. I also use either self retaining nuts to help hold the firewall brackets or weld nuts inside the chassis when the motor is out. You can even do that to the nuts that hold the crankcase support arms.
Saw a slot in the end of the bolt, then hold it with a screwdriver while you loosen the nut?
Remove fire wall. KGB
No good, fellas...
The nut & bolt unit I'm having trouble with is the one that holds the firewall mounting-bracket to the car's frame.
The thing that's blocking my access to the upper/outboard starter mounting-bolt is the driver-side firewall mounting-bracket.
That's just crazy enough to work.
I can cut a slot in the end of the bolt with a Dremel cut-off wheel. Worth a try.
I have not been following this too closely so this may be out of place.
The firewall bracket has three bolts that hold the firewall to the bracket. Can these three bolts be removed and the bracket left in place while the body is raise?
Bob, get a long stout flat blade screw driver and wedge it between the bolt head and the inside of the frame. While you keep tension on the screw driver so it is up against the bolt head you should be able to remove the nut.
It looks like you could take a chisel and break that nut, and then knock the bolt down thru the hole.
That task requires a great deal of creativity, a lot of determination, and the patience of Job. Don't ask me how I got it done.
Actually, what has worked for me a few times, is a long, large, screw driver put in from the front and wedged between the bolt-head and the frame rail side. Made extra fun if you leave the hood hooks in place (you may want to remove them, but that creates a whole new kind of fun, putting them back).
It will most likely take two people to do this, one from the top and one working from the bottom. If you have a spare open end wrench to sacrifice you could heat with a torch till red hot and bend to near 90 degrees. Reach down from the top and hold the head of the bolt while turning the nut.
If jamming a screwdriver doesn't work, try this. From below the car, try a long extension on a ratchet or breaker bar with a crows foot, or socket on a universal. A second person would be needed to remove the nut.
If jamming a screw driver doesn't work, try this. From below the car with a long extension with a crows foot or socket on a universal to hole the bolt head. A second person would need to remove the nut.
Can you drive something in like a chisel which will wedge the head of the bolt so that it won't turn?
HAVE YOU TRIED TO REMOVE THE FIREWALL!!
Several of us have suggested it.
LEAVE the bracket attached to the frame for the moment!!
Once the firewall has been slide up and out of the way, you should have room to get to that bolt
Unbolt the fire wall from the body.
Tip the body up as you have been thinking about.
Now you should have good access to the nut you are trying to get to.
Forgive me because I don't know these cars....can you clamp vice grips on it and let the body hold the nut while you loosen the bolt? Or a 3/8" u-joint on an extension for your ratchet?
Bob -- That's what you get for putting a starter where it doesn't belong.
It is possible to buy a REALLY long reach 9/16 box end wrench.
weld a extension onto a ordinary 9/19" wrench
Dremel with a cutoff wheel to cut the nut. Cut one side then chisel off.
Use a punch or chisel to spin the nut off.
If I had used my dremel instead of trying to get the exhaust pipe nut off with with a wrench I would have just needed a new $10 nut instead of an $80 exhaust manifold.
I figure Bob's problem is two;
1. How to get it apart.
2. And then the really interesting one, how to get it back together again!!
agree with mike,dam starter don't belong there.if you want a starter car just buy one lots of them out there.charley
I would be bending a cheap wrench and cram it in there and guide it on the bolt head with my fingers from underneath.
I keep a bunch of cheap wrenches for bending and fabricating special tools for cases like this.
Once you get it apart, maby tack weld the bolt head in place so you don't have this trouble again?
Owatonna Tool Company use too make a 9/16", 90 degree distributor wrench. They worked pretty good for pulling the bolt out of the distributor clamp on the small block Chebbies.
Bob, to avoid this problem in the future, put that top starter bolt in from the rear of the car. You may have to find a longer one. Do it up tight against the hogshead, and put a nut on the other end and run that up to hold the starter.
Have you enough room between the starter bolt head and the firewall to be able to wind the starter screw out? If so, I would try cutting a screwdriver slot in that exposed end of the starter screw and screwing it out that way. It may need some persuasion with a chisel on the screw head to get it started.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Bob, just another thought. If you can cut/grind off the head of the starter screw/bolt, you may be able to wind the rest of it through by grabbing that exposed end with pliers.
Allan from down under.
I use a combination open end and swivel socket wrench to remove the two bolts/nuts holding the firewall bracket to the frame. The one I use is a Craftsman. I side the wrench between the starter and inside frame using the socket end....there is enough room to do it. I have used this method on my 13 .... a friends 14 plus two 15 T's that all had starters.
Have you removed the hood former yet? That's the first step on gaining access to the starter. In your picture, I see the head of a carriage bolt that goes thru the fire wall and bracket....makes me wonder if the hood former has been removed.
When installing the firewall bracket bolts, suggest using masking tape or RV tape sealant to keep the bolts from falling out the socket during installation.
I'm 75 years old and love having a starter on my 13 touring. In years past....I have cranked my share of cars....don't need to prove anything to those who don't like using starters. Ford put starters on later model T's.....if he did it...he must of had a reason!
Like I said, Mark Strange's idea was just crazy enough to work. _I slotted the tip of the bolt with a Dremel and grabbed it with a screwdriver while wrenching the nut off. _It was fiddly and awkward, but it worked.
Anybody, including even myself, can be a halfway decent mechanic as long as the fasteners are easily accessible and not rusted together or rounded off. _But life just ain't that way, especially when it comes to century-old cars and I just hate dealing with "fiddly" stuff like this.
The bolt I'll use to replace this one will have a slot sawed across both ends so I can grab it with a screwdriver blade from top or bottom, and a hole through the tip of the threaded end so I can tie a string to it and just pull the bolt into and through the inaccessible area, up into the hole I need it to occupy. _I might decide to switch to a hex-key bolt, but either way, I plan to drill a small hole in the frame beneath the bolt so I can jam it up in there with either a skinny screwdriver or Allen-key and have a buddy wrench the nut on from above. _This dirty little sucker is not going to have the opportunity to bite me a second time.
Thanks to all my forum friends for the multiple options. _It's great to be able to run crying to experienced guys like you when I get into a pickle like this.
Okay, next is disconnecting the steering column bracket (looks easy) and the throttle and spark-advance rods, then tilt the body back and yank the starter.
Bob. I have been watching this thread with interest. A friend of mine recently retro fitted a starter to a 1915 Runabout. He encountered all the problems you are experiencing in reverse! He installed the new engine/trans in the chassis and then tried to drop the body back in place. Nothing fit like it used to.
It seems like you are now well on the way with your problem but another way to get access to you starter may have been to remove the four bolts from the rear main cap,the two engine mount cap screws and the 4 engine pan ear bolts. Jack up the stater side of pan ear until there is enough room to remove the starter. Just my thought on how to tackle the job. Good luck.
Bob, you look like you are nearly there, but before you replace the starter ( when its fixed) it would be a good time to maybe save your self some more problems in the future.
With the alteration to the bracket I suggested in the other thread along with removing the corner of the dash panel near the starter it will in the future allow you to at any time just undo the four screws holding the starter to the hogshead and removing it ( after the bendix has been attended too).
With the starter missing doing up and undoing the bracket from the chassis to the dash is easy as you can get to the bolts. You also won't have to remove the hood former ever.
If in the future it is necessary to remove the motor you only have to remover the starter ( now "easy peezee") undo the 2 bolts from the dash bracket to the chassis and the other ones holding the body on and the others you removed this time to lift the body.
When the body is clear of the chassis a couple of inches the motor can be slid under the body passed the dash. If the alterations are not made you will be making it just that bit harder to remove the motor.
The later cars with starters had a different bracket which allows the ears on the hogs head to slide pass the dash brackets as they bolt onto the outside of the chassis.
Next time you need to lift the body you will do it a lot quicker.
The nuns in parochial school taught me sufficient lessons in humility to realize it's still far from time for me to be doing a victory dance.
The starter problem has been vexing me long enough that this is the third thread I've initiated on the subject. - In the interest of making this job easier, should the exercise ever need be repeated, I'll not oppugn to switch over to things like stainless-steel bolts, hex-key bolts, and lock-nuts in place of castle-nuts (for the know-nothing newbie is simply bereft of the requisite skill to deal with the sort of projects worthy only of such seasoned forum veterans as rescue him on an ongoing basis, so inaccessible and rusted fasteners will progressively be replaced with kindergarten hardware—and historicity be compromised). _But hey, the way I figure it, as long as I remain predisposed to abhor Phillips-screws and eschew their use, these aberrations will not have crossed the line into realm of blasphemous heresy.
Warwick, you have been on the forum too long!!
Nothing fitTED like it used to. Don't you start losing the past tense of fit too.
End of retired grade school teacher's rant.
Allan from down under.
Between Warwick and the literary expert, Bob, this can be a challenging read!
Definition of OPPUGN
: to fight against
: to call in question
(Courtesy of Merriam-Webster)
I had the same problem with the top outside bolt on my 15 but finally managed to get a wrench on it and gradually worked it out.
Maybe modify a "garage-sale" wrench?
Gaining access to the starter mounting bolts first requires lifting the body out of the way.
Lifting the body out of the way first requires disconnecting the firewall from the frame and the upper brace that connects it to the radiator.
Disconnecting the firewall from the frame first requires dismounting the steering column bracket.
Disconnecting the steering column bracket first requires disconnecting the spark and throttle control rods.
Disconnecting the upper radiator brace first requires dismounting the coil box.
That's right, folks; the coil box must be removed to get to the starter!!!
It seems there's nothing on a Model T that you can get to without first getting something else out of the way, which will require getting something else out of its way, which will require...
To make it simple just nibble a small amount of the firewall out, just enough to get to the bolt, then refinish the wood so it will not go bad.
Look on the bright side - with all that inter-connectivity, its very unlikely that any major part will fall off ;o)
Ahhhh - the light dawns...Bob, you're a descendant of a famous song writer...
"Head bone (dis)connected from the neck bone
Neck bone connected from the shoulder bone
Shoulder bone connected from the back bone
Back bone connected from the hip bone
Hip bone connected from the thigh bone
Thigh bone connected from the knee bone
Knee bone connected from the shin bone
Shin bone connected from the ankle bone
Ankle bone connected from the heel bone
Heel bone connected from the foot bone
Foot bone connected from the toe bone
Now hear the word of the Lord....."
That's why your prose is so good!
"I might decide to switch to a hex-key bolt"
How about an Allen head bolt?
That's what I meant... an Allen-head bolt.
Today, I tried to lift the body off the chassis to access the starter.
We'd already removed all but the rearmost body-mounting bolts, dismounted the steering bracket and unbolted the firewall-mounting brackets. _Unfortunately, when I applied a crowbar to the front hardpoints, the body would not lift at all. _Wouldn't so much as budge. _We scratched our heads over this for a while and then, after some more under-car inspection, discovered that each firewall-mounting bracket has a sneaky, secret mounting bolt on the engine side of the dad-blasted firewall, guilefully hidden beneath the wooden hood-shelf.
This, of course, meant taking even more stuff apart, including the dreaded hood hold-down clips (and I'm brain-storming a super-easy way to re-install the clips, which I will share, in the event it actually works). _With the dastardly, hidden bolts removed, the body lifted and tilted back with ease. _We slipped a pair of wooden blocks between the front hardpoints and we now had easy access to the starter. _In no time at all, we had the Bendix end of the starter out of the car. _Then, it was a simple matter to loosen the four starter-mounting bolts.
We remain cautiously optimistic.
Bob, if you noticed the picture of the 15 I posted you will see that I removed the hood former and firewall, true you have to remove the steering column, coil box and such but did not require lifting the body. KGB
When you put the hood hold-down clips back in use these :
They are much easier to work with than cotter pins.
You couldn't be more right. _Up to now, the only place on my Flivver where I've used a hitch-pin clip was the timer—because a timer needs to be un-pinned fairly often for cleaning and cotter-pins are a pain in the posterior when it comes to that.
My plan was to pre-compress the hood hold-down springs and tie them in that position with either string or fine wire, then slip them onto the hood hold-down clips and snip the string once I had the cotter-pins inserted. _But I'm going to take your advice, do it with hitch-pin clips and make the job that much easier. _Thanks.
I use them on nearly all my clevis pins throughout my Rockys and elsewhere.
Took some pictures. _Here's where I got stymied by the super-secret firewall-bracket mounting bolt, cleverly hidden beneath each hood shelf.
After that last obstacle was cleared, it was easy to lift the body and slip a couple of wooden blocks between the upper and lower hardpoints.
With the front of the body lifted a couple of inches, there was now clearance to access the upper-outboard mounting bolt on the front of the starter
And the Bendix parts came out fairly easily.
Glad it worked out. Put the best parts that you can back in, so that you'll never have to go back in there again!
Bob, if the root of the problem was just getting that one bolt out, and the starter could be removed with everything else in place, then I would make sure the starter mounting plate was threaded in that hole so you can install the bolt from the other easily accessible end. A 1/4" high tensile bolt should pass through the hogshead threaded hole. All you would need is a thread to suit in the starter plate.
Or am I still missing some thing?
Allan from down under.
great post, nice pictures but what did you find wrong with the starter? I'm on the edge of my seat here for a couple of days now waiting for the conclusion!
Inserting the mounting bolt from the rear and putting a nut up front looks like a good idea. _I might just do it that way.
I was going to take the left-side firewall mounting bracket to a welder to have it modified for easy access to the starter in the future, but there isn't a whole lot of room in a 1915 hood former to to accommodate that. _Now that I know how to get at the durned thing, it wouldn't be as big a challenge should I ever need to repeat the performance.
I picked up the starter today from Sailon Auto Electric (Syosset, NY), who turned it around in only one day. _I'm told the starter needed new wiring, springs and washers._For that, they charged an extremely reasonable $145._Pretty hard to beat that kind of service and pricing.