WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHIFTING SEQUENCE FOR THE MODEL T.
I think he wants to know what lever to pull and what pedal to push.
and when to do it.
Read the owners manual.
It was designed for folks who had never owned an automobile before.
The two most universally possessed yet unread books are the Holy Bible and automobile owners manuals.
There are several videos on Youtube that go over the controls, just Google "drive a model t ford youtube".
Here is a good one from Steve Jelf driving to town in his touring car:
Here is another video. They are driving on the wrong (left) side of the road and his generator doesn't appear to work.
Yabbut .... what if you have a Ruckstell and a couple auxiliary
transmissions thrown in the mix ???
"You could pull a freight train with a washing machine motor if you were to 'gear' it right." - Quoting my Dad about the TT... Ruckstell/Low can provide an easy crawl with whatever throttle! Pulling loaded hay wagons to the barn was always an 'easy one'.
It's not rocket science:
If you're going to teach yourself how to drive a Model T, the best place to do so is in a school parking lot on weekends or summer break when there are no cars and nobody else is around.
Pretend you're waiting at a red traffic light: The floor lever will be in neutral and you'll be holding the car in place with the foot brake. _When the light turns green, throttle up a touch and put the left pedal to the floor in such a way as to "slip the clutch" as little as possible, but not stall the engine. _Then, throttle up to accelerate. _Coordinating the throttle and left pedal for an elegant take-off requires a knack that can't be taught, but comes easily enough with practice (Yes, I know the low band is not actually a clutch, but a new driver might as well believe it is).
Up-shift by simultaneously closing the throttle and lifting your left foot off the pedal; then bring the floor lever all the way forward and add throttle. _Nothing to it.
To down-shift, reduce throttle and push the left pedal to the floor. _It's difficult to do this without herky-jerking the car. _The trick is to reduce throttle to just the right RPM that matches your forward speed. _In sports car parlance, this is called "rev-matching." _It's another one of those things that come with practice.
To simulate stopping for a stop-sign, completely close the throttle and let engine compression slow the car. _Then, gently pump the brake pedal and as the car comes to a stop, bring the left pedal down to the neutral point. _Hold the car in place with the foot brake. _If there's no traffic, reset the throttle for a fast idle, take your foot off the brake and put the left pedal to the floor in such a way as to "slip the clutch" as little as possible, but not stall the engine.
To simulate stopping for a red light, completely close the throttle and let engine compression slow the car. _Then, gently pump the brake pedal and as the car comes to a stop, bring the floor lever back to the neutral point. _Hold the car in place with the foot brake.
Practice non-skidding panic-stops until they're second nature. _Yes, that kind of thing is hard on the car, but your safety depends on mastering this.
The Model T crankshaft is one of the car's Achilles Heels. _It is only as strong as it absolutely needs to be and so, can be injured by two conditions: 1.) high RPM while in low gear and 2.) excessive throttle while in high gear at low speed, especially on an incline—in other words, "lugging the engine."
To save wear on the low-band, slip it as little as possible and anytime you have the pedal to the floor, lock it down hard with pedal pressure.
Practice and master starts and stops in low gear, with the floor lever in neutral, before teaching yourself how to up-shift.
Until you've mastered the car (and if you're smart, evermore), only use the reverse pedal when the floor lever is in the neutral position.
While teaching yourself to drive the Model T, there will be a great temptation to watch your left foot instead of the road ahead. _Do not give into such temptation. _Don't forget to steer (Believe it or not I've had a couple of students forget to steer). _The Model T has a much higher center of gravity than a modern car and consequently, a much greater propensity to tip over, so take curves and corners slowly and carefully. _Wooden spoke wheels don't like sharp turns so again, take curves and corners slowly and carefully. _If, while driving, you shatter a wooden spoke wheel, you will be injured.
Something that has always galled me.....instructional videos that show the new driver to start off with the brake lever pulled back, but not enough to engage the hub brakes. You depress the low speed pedal and, at the appropriate point, throttle back just a touch and QUICKLY THROW THE BRAKE LEVER FORWARD for high gear. Lunacy.
I actually rode with someone who did this while trying to interest me in the car. When he "shifted" into high, the transmission engaged with a bang that literally shook the whole car. I finally couldn't stand the torture any longer so I asked him to pull over and let me take the wheel. As I demonstrated the gentle art of shifting to him, you could almost hear the T sigh with relief....
Learning to drive with the parking lever in the neutral position is a good way to learn to use the low and reverse pedals. However when you shift into high, you should have your foot on the low pedal and then push the parking lever forward first before you let out the clutch into high. You need to practice pushing the throttle up as you go through neutral so that the engine will slow down before you shift into high. A bit of practice and it will become easy to shift without the "bang". You can quickly throw the brake lever forward, but keep your foot on the pedal so that it doesn't go "bang"
Some people might argue but the only time you need the parking lever pulled back in neutral is for using reverse (yes it can be done but royal pane in the arse), practicing driving in low and places were you are driving in low for an extended length of time like a parade.
That is the best way, and what Ford stated in the Owners Manual (Ford Instruction Book). It's the way have always done it.
But when teaching, its best to have the newbie leave the lever mid way, to hold neutral, and practice the 'go' pedal and throttle first, and the closing of the throttle for brake pedal. They have to learn the 'C' pedal isn't pushed to the floor as a 'Clutch'! Ouch! If the learner is used to a shift modern with clutch...they have to un-learn that fast! That is why I refer to it as the 'Go" pedal....you push hard and you go....!
Only after that lesson, then move on to throwing the lever forward, and learning about shift to high
As the Ford Instructions state:
I have always used the procedure as stated in the above instructions; in other words, I would hold the car stationary with the brake pedal while releasing the parking brake completely. Then I push in low and release the right pedal simultaneously, while playing the throttle and timing levers. I was surprised to see in Steve's video that he fully advanced the spark as soon as the engine got running. I don't go to full advance until the engine gains more r.p.m.
I have always had a bit of a shudder after shifting from low to high, i have tried shifting at a higher speed which helps a little, but still shudders. After reading Dan's post i think I'm going to try what the manual suggests and just "partially close the throttle" instead of closing it all the way, which i thought was the proper way to do it. On a side note, i keep the brake lever in neutral whenever I'm in a congested area like a parking lot, and feel more at ease knowing all i have to do is release the clutch and hit the brake in case someone pulls out unexpectedly, but that's just me.
A lot of very good information, but, I have a Ruckstell also, so I am to shift the Ruckstell, as part of the shifting sequence? OR, just for hills and long stretches of road? I've been practicing on my front yard, and have the slow speed down, pretty much anyway, but unable to shift into "High" yet, due to not enough room. When does the Ruckstell come into play ? I have the Ruckstell book Lubrication Adjustment and Care of the Ruckstell Axle, and good drawings, but I'm still confused after reading it over and over. I hope you can tell me in "Laymen's Terms"
Other techniques may work great but I do the following with my pretty well stock coupe.
Flat ground -leave Ruckstell in high. Drive as normal.
Starting on hills - Ruckstell low, T low, then T high, then Ruckstell high (with T high).
Shifting the Ruckstell it likes the throttle backed off when shifting from low to high and a slight throttle increase when going from high to low. Similar to "rev matching" on a non-synchro transmission.
The Ruckstell can be shifted in this manor. 1.Low pedal low Ruckstell. 2. Low pedal high Ruckstell.
3. high pedal Low Ruckstell. 4. High pedal high Ruckstell. That will give you 4 speeds forward similar to a four speed stick. It is hard to learn to shift both the pedal and Ruckstell at the same time and in the proper sequence.
For most hills this is the way I shift. 1. Low pedal low Ruckstell. 2. High pedal low Ruckstell. Then when get up enough steam, 3. High pedal High Ruckstell. It is easier that way and I only have to shift the Ruckstell once.
Thank You Walt and Norm, for the "common sense" description. This now makes some sense to me. Since I live on the side of a mountain in the Foothills of the Cascade Mountains, the Ruckstell was a big selling point for me, when I got the car in December. I haven't even driven the car on the road yet, but plan to very soon.
Do you have auxiliary brakes? Rocky Mountains or similar will provide more sure stopping than the original transmission brake.
Thomas, yes I have Rocky Mountain Brakes, I had them installed, Before I took delivery of the car. I've been upgrading the car, while trying to keep it as original as I can. Since it being a Fordor, a little extra weight added, no use taking a chance with the original brakes, where I live. Thanks
Be sure to keep the parking brake shoes and the transmission brake band. They should be in working condition. The Rockys don't work very well in reverse and just in case you kill the engine going uphill, you need to be able to stop so you won't roll backward.
Norman, yes that are still on there and working very well. Thanks