Finally got my recently purchase speedster running for the first time last night, I ran it for a fair time in gear with the rear jacked up then changed the engine oil and checked the diff oil while it was warm and I found this. Whats your thought on urgency and what i might need? The first pic is the left side
The nut must be missing the split pin, remove the brake drum and tighten, fit pin. I wouldn't drive it until fixed, should only cost you time.
Kevin, there's a big castle nut in there which needs to be tightened, urgently! Then split pin it. The biggest problem may be pulling the hub.
I have seen earlier perches where something has been grinding on the end of the perch thread, to the extent that the split pin hole is an open slot. I don't know if this is possible with the 26-7 rear end.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Thanks guys hopefully I can get the hub off.
Guys when I went for a spin today it purrs great but I notice its a bit flighty in the steering the complete opposite to my Coupe and I was just wondering if that rear end might be moving sideways on the link?
Do not drive the car until you fix that. The nut is about to fall off. When it does the spring will no longer be connected on one end. It will be a bad day.
Kevin..if your most recent post indicates as I think it does, that you just drove THAT car with THAT failing perch you were lucky you didn't wreck it! That is an accident waiting to happen. You should not drive that car again until it's properly repaired!
You are officially grounded. You may not drive that car again until you remove the brake drum and fix that perch. The Model T Police will check your work.
Seriously, you definitely need to fix that before driving the car again. As for the squirrely steering, that's likely to be worn steering parts. A little steering slop here, a little there, and it adds up to a ride that's a bit too exciting, even for a Model T.
Kevin, check the toe-in of your front end. If the wheels are parallel or toed out it will make the car want dart left or right with every change in the road surface.
And oh yeah, you're grounded until you fix that rear perch. Good luck. Bob
The debris from the disolved Babbitt thrust washers being flipped between the pinion and ring gear will also make your car drive like it was drunk.
It will go any place, but straight ahead down the road!
Please post some photos of the front end, especially showing the spring perches.
Disregard the posts about the front end at this time. Do as the first few posts indicate and tighten up the nut. If the threads or cotter pin hole are bad, replace the spring perch. I would also recommend that you check the other side too. It is possible that someone in the past left out the cotter pins. While you have it jacked up check for end play in the axles which could indicate deteriorated babbit thrust washers. The only way to know for sure that the thrust washers are not babbit would be to disassemble the entire rear axle, which you should do anyway. But the spring perch is the most pressing thing to fix at this time.
If after you fix the loose spring perch the car is still squirrely you can then check out the front axle. Do one thing at a time.
Disregard posts about disregarding posts. Yes, definitely fix the rear end problems first. BUT, don't drive the car until you also have a look at the front end. Don't drive a car with squirrely steering. Maybe the rear end issues are the cause, but maybe not. If you don't find anything amiss up front, (toe in, caster, etc.), then try it again.
Don't just tighten up the nuts on those rear perches.
You should actually remove the perches and look at the perch holes in the backing plates. I have seen perch holes that were severely egged out because the nuts were not properly tightened.
I get it guys, no more driving. I jacked it up before I purchased it and there was no/very little end play. I had a dig around when I checked the oil in the diff the other night and there is no signs of any debris. I will take some front end pics and post. Is it possible there is an issue in the steering box type set up at the steering wheel as I remember when pushing it around it felt like i could turn the steering wheel past the stopper?
Robert G, boy that was a find, the wheels are towing out about an inch! Might have found the issue here, I'm away for 4 days so will adjust when I get back and after I fix the rear end. Here is a couple of pics of the front.
I've driven a car with a completely broken spring shackle and it drove fine, the spring rests on the axle tube and you go down the road.
I guess there would have been a fair bit of this go on in the day considering the roads etc but I will fix it before I venture out again.
Kevin - Also, I guess this is obvious, but from your photos, it appears that there are a number of other cotter pins missing!
The reason Ford used castle nuts, and bolts etc, with holes in them AND cotter pins, is to prevent that from happening! Don't do that again, you could wind up in a ditch, or worse!
Kevin, it would be best if you remove the entire front axle and steering column. You will more than likely find out that pretty much everything is worn and your T will not be safe to drive until every thing is once again in good condition.
That front spring perch is on the wrong side, reversing the axle pitch, that makes a T drive like a billy cart!!
Good eye Frank! I did that once myself on my first axle rebuild. Talk about erratic over-steering! Advice from this great forum probably saved my life.
Kevin- at some time in your vehicle's past, someone has either reverse installed the left spring perch in the right perch hole and vice versa or the entire axle has been turned 180 degrees. The dimple in the perch should be towards the front, Yours face the rear, which tilts the axle wrong.
It looks to me like the perch is correct. The center drilled spot should be on the back side. What I see is, the radius rod is not tight up against the bottom of the axle. That will allow the axle to tip forward.
Dimple at the front and 5.5 degrees in at the top.
Dimple at the rear and now the top is 11 degrees out out of alignment
ford service bulletin. Perch correct with boss facing rear of car
Dan, have that too, been reviewed a few times and consensus was it is wrong.
I just checked my touring and the dimple faces forward. It drives really good. I will check the truck this morning when I get to the shop. It drives like a new car so the perch position will be informing.
If consensus says that's fine. But I'll stay with Ford engineering of the perch with the proper offset on install with boss to rear of the T.
Interesting that famous accessory maker Hassler noted important fact to transpose the perches on install instruction for keeping the perch boss to the rear!
Image from http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/447535.jpg.
It seems there is some confusion regarding the "boss" vs. the "dimple."
Ford Service Manual
By the way the manual calls it a 'point or boss'
From your front end photos, it looks like your perches are mounted correctly. However, it also looks like there's a large gap between the wishbone ends and the bottom of your axle. Is that the case or just a photo illusion? Also, your tie rod appears to have a bend, or kink, in it. A bent tie rod or drag link can be dangerous. When the steering is strained it can cause either piece to bend further at the kink and fold up. It should be straightened. It's probably also the cause of your toe-out condition.
The perch is installed correctly on Kevin's axle. However the wishbone is really what holds the caster at 5 1/2 degrees. The caster should be checked as shown in the drawing Dan posted.
If the caster is off the steering will tend to dart left or right and not track down the road straight.
Ford Manual noting perch left and right part numbers and boss to be to rear of car or facing the wishbone.
If installed boss facing out the castor will be off or else if castor is correct someone bent the wishbone a bunch to get the axle castor back as intended.
This really doesn't look right.
It would only be correct if it put the caster angle right on the axle, seeing it dosen't on 3 T's in my shop at the moment and the other way does, wish bones are all straight, then the instructions are mute!
I'm away from the car for a few days so cant check anything. It has been stored in a large shed for about 4 yrs since the owner died and I wonder if someone has pulled it with a rope around the Tie rod as well and bent it doing this. This would also explain the toe in. The previous old fella used to rally it extensively I believe so you would think it must have handled correctly?
I will check to see if there is missing split pins or maybe the pics aren't showing them.
So what is the consensus, straighten the tie rod, check all split pins are in place and after fixing the rear end try it on the road or do I need to pull apart the entire set up? Clearly nobody has dissected the front end and refitted it back to front after his death or perhaps it always handled horrible and he just put up with it?
Whats the plan guys?
Just for peace of mind, I'd take apart virtually every removable piece/part on the front end and check every pin, bushing, shackle, etc. for wear and replace and of course lubricate upon re-assembly that you can! Then of course, tackle the rear end similarly. It's not that hard. One good weekend would do it, unless you have to do any bushing and/or spindle reaming.
Guys upon inspection today every castle nut on the front end has a split pin in it!
The Tie rod had a good bend in it (Good spotting Jerry Van), I've straightened the tie rod and the toe in is much better. What is the recommended setting?
Rear end, removed the wheel and the hub come off with not too much effort and I discovered it wasn't the split pin missing that is the issue.....a castle nut attached would have helped?
I ran out of time & stopped at this stage, do you think it will it be a problem getting the spring bolt (perch) out to inspect the hole as Erik suggested? and then to poke the bolt through enough to get a castle nut attached? Is there a suggested method to achieve this?
Also I'm going to town on Monday and will try and source a castle nut, What size is it or even better can I remove that perch bolt to take with me?
Yes, take the perch with you. But if stores in your area are as pitiful as the ones here, they won't even know what a castle nut is and you'll have to order it online.
The castle nut for the rear spring perch is 11/16" x 16 thrds.
The spring perch is removed after removing the spring hanger (shackle) on that side, you will need to support the body to free up the weight on the rear spring, wedge a block under the spring shackle end, or use a spring spreader. Be safe.
Refer to Service Manual, paragraph 72.
First jack up the rear of the frame but leave the axle on the ground. You can support the spring and rear of the body by placing two short pieces of 2x4 wood, one between each end of the spring and the axle housing. Next lower the frame and spring down onto the 2x4's Then put some weight in the rear of the body to spread the spring to remove tension so that the shackle can be removed and later replaced.
You do not really need a spring spreader, A C clamp will pull the perch in close enough normally.
I wonder where the nut went and how it got out of there? Some of the other local Model T'ers probably will have the proper castle nut. I'd be glad to give you one, but there's probably one closer. As Steve said, you are unlikely to find one at a modern hardware store.
It looks to me as if your axle key is too far inward and has ruined your seal. I'd replace that seal while you're at it.
The hub should not be easy to remove without a puller. When you put it back together, torque it to about 100 ft-lbs, which is roughly as tight as you can get it with a 12-16" breakover bar. Then drive the car around for a while and torque it again (and the other side too). After a year or so, check them again.
Kep using your C Clamp method do you use a system like Normans method to ensure the load is removed before clamping in?
No i don't.
Mike, just read your post again, thanks that's lots of useful advice, the seals not leaking but I will monitor it. Is it a felt seal as I might have a new one here?
Today I levered up the perch and used Keps advice with a C clamp to get the perch thread well through the hole.I searched everywhere, spares & parts and couldn't find the right nut. I'm going to town tomorrow and taking a tractor tire to get fixed. I had lunch and when returned I noticed the 6 Tractor wheel nuts I had placed on the floor near the T and thought hmm.....perfect fit! So I borrowed one to allow a test run to check the steering. Its better but still not correct and thanks to Frank van I think the front axle could be back to front as to my eye it looks like its leaning forward and my Coupe looks to be leaning backwards, I've tried to measure it but I get different reading & I don't have a large square like Frank. Is there any other methods to check this?
I removed the rod Jerry pointed above to see if I could close up the gap but I can't get it any closer. Looks like there is a curve on the rod face. I wondered if the axle is incorrect & was turned around this curve might fit better? Plus if you look in the pic the axle appears to be leaning the opposite way to fit the angle on the rod end.
The flat on the wishbone end looks like it is worn from being loose and the perch installed wrong. It should be flat across the surface that contacts the axle. The axle is the same on both sides so, it doesn't matter which way it is installed. The caster is determined by the perches and wishbone.
Kevin, the curved surface on the wishbone ends should be flat. James suggested it is likely that it has worn that way when the axle was installed ass about, and when the nuts were tightened they just jammed up one side of the flat, and that has worn doe to insufficient contact.
As others have said, I would recommend you go through everything on that car. The faults you have already found indicate that it has had a dubious history.
Hope this helps,
Allan from down under.
To add to James's post.
Your wishbone opening is now wallowed out, as the hole should be just slightly bigger than the threaded stub of the perch. And the nut to secure it to the perch is a special taper or cone shape to fit into the underside of the wishbone, which must have the same shape, and not worn oval.
As for checking correct axle tilt, you can use a simple pencil and plumb bob.
Factory parts fit well, used or worn, damaged don't. A T could have bad parts on it, so you have to check out all parts and fix.
Kevin, check the nuts that hold the radius rod to the spring perch. They should be special castellated nuts that are not flat on top but are tapered to fit in the concave of the radius rod.
Ken the nuts are tapered plus they have a concave washer. Don that method will be easier for me I'll try and find a plumb bob.
Looks like this could be a long process getting everything correct on this one.
Let you know about the axle.
This is what I would do about the wishbone. I would remove the cap from the ball on the crankcase. Then I would tighten up the tapered nuts and install the cotter pins. Next I would push up the ball joint and fasten it in place. Then place the safety wire. Next I would check the caster. See what Dan has posted above. If your spring shackles are correctly placed and everything is tight, the only way the caster can be changed is to bend the axle at each end to the correct caster. Next check would be camber. It should be approximately 3 inches. This too can only be changed by bending the axle. Note, the caster and camber do not usually change unless you have hit a curb or bump hard enough to bend the axle. (This could have happened many times during the last 88-106 years!)
Last check would be the toe in. I like to put tape on a spot toward the front center of the tire and put a mark on each side. Measure with a tape the distance between the marks. Then roll the car so the wheels move one half turn. The marks will then be at the back of the tires. Measure again. The front measurement should be shorter than the back measurement by 3/16" to 1/4". Turn the adjustment to where both measurements are equal, then lengthen the adjustment to the point where you can install the pin. This will usually put the toe in within limits.
Final check would be to find a flat surface such as a vacant parking lot and try driving without hands and see how straight the car tracks. This test doesn't work very well on a road due to the crown it will usually slightly pull to the right, but on a level surface should track straight. Then turn the car in both directions and see if the car wanders from side to side. If everything tracks straight, you are OK.
That non-Ford concave washer was likely added by previous 'mechanic' to attempt to solve wobble due to worn parts.
The correct fix is a good wishbone and new wishbone nut.
Kevin -- You can use a framing square instead of a plumb-bob.
Wishbones later than '19 are plentiful. If the ends of yours don't look like the one in Dan's pictures, I'd recommend replacing it.
i could repair the wishbone but i am too far away.
Norman t, thanks lots of helpful advice. I will do the wishbone as suggested and sounds a good method to check the toe in and then the car park test.
Is the camber needed a positive camber? i.e. Top of the wheel 3" further out than the bottom?
Dan, it didn't have a castle nut like that on the side I took off, good spotting.
Mike I purchased a framing square in town today instead of a plum bob so will check tomorrow.
Kep, thanks for the offer and yes it is a bit far...bugger.
Yes, the tops of the front wheels should be 3 inches further apart than the bottoms. The purpose is to place the tire contact patch under the axis of the front spindle, reducing scrub radius and steering effort.
Mark so really they are only 1.5" off vertical each making a total of 3"?
If the car is '26-'27 the total camber is 1&15/16" compared to 3" total on the earlier cars.
But then also, it depends on which spindles are on the car.
Refeference: Book, Model T Ford Service bulletin essentials, Page 377.
Kevin: For 1925 cars and earlier - 3 inches total, 1.5 inches off of vertical per side, see paragraph 153 of the Ford Model T Service Manual.
Ken is correct about the reduced camber setting on the improved (1926 & 1927) cars, per the Service bulletin he referenced. For some reason the service manual does not mention the reduced camber setting in the "improved car" section.
If you don't have a service manual yet, I highly recommend that you get one, along with some other very useful booklets mentioned here:
Ok well its a 26 and hopefully the front end is still 26 so I will try and source the amount to target. Ken I don't understand that measurement, obviously its less than 3" but it looks like 18 15/16"?
Mark I will check that link, thanks
"Ken I don't understand that measurement, obviously its less than 3" but it looks like 18 15/16"?"
Trying again, 1 & 15/16" or put it this way, 1 and 15/16" or 1.9375"
I doubt if you will find that perch nut anywhere. Your best bet is to get a used one from a club member.
Macs have them listed, I have some on the way but while I was in town I took one of my Tractor wheel nuts which I know fitted firmly and after a bit of shopping around concluded the tractor nut is metric M18 fine thread. I purchased a nyloc nut and fitted yesterday, perfect and still allowed slight bit of thread through so the nylon will hold and the nut won't touch the drum. Surprised it was such a neat fit and will be fine until correct castle arrives.