I was getting ready to put my bands in and found these cracks on the ears. Are they a risk or is this common? Also, one of these is slightly wider and was on the wide brake band of the improved transmission. Is this width necessary in the event that I need to replace them?
Never noticed that before, I would replace them if at all possible,
I wouldn't use those, it's only a matter of time before they crack through. Bands come up fairly frequently on Ebay, take a look there, or put a wanted ad in the MTFCA forum classifieds.
If I had an improved car with the transmission with the wide brake drum, I sure would want the extra braking power that came with the wider, matching band.
Nobody can say for sure whether these cracks will eventually cause failure. The cracks may have been there for years. If they did, you may suffer internal damage from parts flying around and possibly loose braking ability. To me, the issue boils down to the likelihood of breakage and the consequences of breakage vs. ease or difficulty of obtaining better parts and installing them. In this case, it is very easy to find and install good parts, so even if the chance of failure is small, its a good idea to replace them.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll put out a search.
Replace cracked band ears immediately. It's no fun when one breaks -- especially on the brake band as you're coming up to a stop sign. I've been there and done that, and was just lucky to avoid serious consequences.
The Model T was built as light as possible. Thus many parts were only as strong as needed - when new, so 90 years later we'll have to be vigilant and check just about everything for cracks or other developing problems..
Band ears are fairly common. Take your time and get some replacements.
I too came across one of those. The only place I MIGHT use it is for the reverse band and only in an emergency.
Throw those away so that nobody can ever use them again.
I never noticed or even thought about that before. Next time I open a transmission I will look for cracks. I agree with Richard Gould. Especially the brake band could be a disaster if you needed to stop quickly and it gave out.
Also, always check for cracks in the bands themselves, right at the band ear attachment lugs.