The knowledge on this Forum is remarkable. Sunday I had an issue I've never encountered. After two unsuccessful crank starts (stalling shortly after adjusting spark & gas) I tried to start our 1914 touring a third time. The engine would not turn over. Something was jammed or frozen. There had been no clunk or pop or crunch noises. It simply wouldn't turn over. With the emergency brake in neutral, the car wanted to move forward when trying to crank. I took off the transmission cover and inspected the bands and found nothing amiss. It all looked fine. Then I went to the forum to see if there was any wisdom that might diagnose this problem. Sure enough. I found a thread on the precise topic from March of 2014. The wisdom of Norman Kling was particularly on-target. I followed the sequence of jacking up the rear wheels, placing the rear on jack stands, starting the car with the hand brake off and trying to shift to low. The car immediately stalled. I then restarted the car in high and then put the hand brake in neutral and tried to shift between low and reverse. After very slowly alternating -- never letting the car stall - the clutch started to work properly and I was able to get the car into both low and reverse. I took the car off the stands, put the hand brake in neutral and started the car the normal way -- on the ground. Problem solved.
If this problem recurs, I'll know exactly what to do. So Sunday, my wife, Janet, our dog Bandit and I had a very nice little drive down the coast. Thanks, Forum Contributors & thank you Norm.
There's some work on the transmission in your car's future, I think..
Likely the lugs on the inside of the brake drum has been chewed up by the large clutch discs, causing the discs to hang up from time to time. If the damage can't be smoothed by a file when everything is taken apart, then you'll need another brake drum - maybe a new one made with the improved 26/27 style lug shoes.
I could file mine smooth and uses a Watt's clutch to avoid further damage without the lug shoes.
I agree with Roger. Sometimes the disks will stick after the car has been parked for a long time, but if it tried to start a couple times and then clunk. I would suspect either the clutch disks are worn and the drum is worn.
There is one thing to check before you do anything radical like pulling down the transmission. Check the clutch adjustment. It could be that the bolt on the clutch lever could need some adjustment. If you adjust for a free neutral as shown in the attached diagram, the next thing to adjust would be the bolt on the cam so that it moves the lever the same or slightly farther than the low pedal moves it when in neutral. You might also find that the cam doesn't line up with the bolt. Also check your crankcase ears. If the engine is sagging on one side, it will cause a misalignment of the cam with the clutch lever.
Craig, I want to thank YOU for not only thanking the people on this forum, but also posting what the issue was that they helped you to fix. That also might make it easier for someone else to find in the future to fix a problem.