I finally got all good parts for my bands and started installing them tonigh when I noticed a strange movement on one of my triple gears (the hog's head is off). Out of the three triple gears one of them is flopping around like there is no bushing left. Considering that I don't have any experience or special tools for tearing into this I'm guessing that it is time to take the whole thing to a rebuilder. I am located fairly close to Kevin Prus so I may start my search with him for the work.
I am completely green on T power plants but I'm not sure the whole engine needs to be rebuilt. There is absolutely no ridge in the cylinders at the stock bore and no scoring. I don't know the condition of the bearings but I still have shims in my mains. Considering the cost of an entire rebuild, is it out of line to ask a rebuilder to only do what is necessary or is it just a given that the whole shootin' match gets done when an engine/trans goes in for work?
T pistons come above the deck of the block
I had triple gears loose and still run OK but they should be just able to slide on shafts I think .005 clearance but I'm sure I will be corrected if you have one really loose I would fix it now
T'S ARE SIMPLE
I don't have any special tools and taken mine apart
Only thing besides a puller I had to make a clutch spring press out of two wheel flanges
Justin, a good rebuilder should just do the work you want done. I would suggest to have the engine checked and have the trans rebuilt. New bushings may be all you need .?? but you never know until you get inside. Make sure you do not have the two piece valves. Now would be a good time to change them if they are two piece. If everything is not excessive worn. I would just do a quick valve job (if needed) and change the bushings, but I am of the camp that a loose engine is a happy engine. I do not mean sloppy or worn out. Just that everything does not have to be a perfect "as new" fit. good luck with it ...
A good rebuilder won't rely on the "opinion" of a non-professional if his reputation is at stake. Submit your wishes but leave the analysis and estimate to those that know what they're doing. Old babbitt becomes brittle. You can choose a cheap solution but choose your rebuilder wisely. A failure could mean you own your choice.
You might end up finding that the triple gear is seized to the pin and the pin is turning in the flywheel. In which case, the flywheel is toast.
Don't drive it that way. Kevin will do good work, get it to him if he's who you're comfortable with. He can then evaluate any other issues you may have.
A good engine rebuilder will seldom do only what the customer requests. His reputation is compromised when something else fails in an engine that was only partially restored. Pay a little now and a whole bunch later or drive with confidence for many years. Kevin is a good man and you will be advised up front of your options.
Normal wear on the bushings of tripple gears would cause all of them to be loose. When one is very much looser than the others it is a sign that something worse is wrong. Could be the pin is loose in the flywheel or it could be that the bushing has spun in the gear.
Whether there is a ridge on the cylinder would not be a complete test for the cylinders. Do your pistons rock back and forth in the cylinders? Is the lower part of the cylinder smaller than the upper part? This happens from the rings wearing on the cylinder walls. Is the cylinder out of round? All these can be checked with the right measuring tools and would tell you whether all is OK with the engine. Crankshaft should also be tested for cracks, bends and out of round and either straightened turned or replaced. Babbit bearings should be replaced too.
Anyway, it's time to pull the engine and transmission for a complete checkup and possible complete rebuild. At least ALL the existing problems should be fixed at this time to avoid having to pull the engine again soon.
Everything said makes perfect sense to me and really is the source of my dilemma. I certainly wouldn't expect a reputable builder to allow marginal work to leave his shop, even if he was instructed leave it that way. But, I also agree with Donnie Brown's comment that "a loose engine is a happy engine." And yes, I understand that loose and worn out are two different things.
As for the engine, I have mic'd the cylinders and they are round and not wedged in the area that I am physically able to measure with pitons installed. The pistons do not wobble and the valves are one piece (it was built in 1929). I plan on checking the bearings and measuring the axial thrust.
Regarding the triple gear in question, it is REALLY wobbly. It almost seems like there is no bushing in it. The other two seem to be very sound. The condition of the gears is really good but the cause of the wobbliness is the ultimate question.
I think that I need to start by talking to Kevin and find out my options as Willard said. Another deciding factor is the almighty $. A full rebuild could be the hit that derails this project for quite a long time so some partial work now may be my only ticket to progressing.
"A good engine rebuilder will seldom do only what the customer requests."
I don't think you can make a blanket statement like that about all "good engine rebuilders."
A complete rebuild would include boring the cylinders and installing new pistons and rings. If the bore is good, and the piston fit is good, there is no need to bore it. If the ring gap is good, there's no need to replace those. If the gap is too big, install new rings on the good pistons in the good (honed) bore.
If an engine rebuilder you're talking with doesn't agree with that, I don't think he's as "good" a rebuilder as he does.
There are lots of components in a Model T engine. You don't need to replace all of them in order to replace some of them.
IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!
I should have added, " a good engine rebuilder will not perform work which obviously does not need to be done". However, I do not agree with the statement: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". That throws preventive maintenance right out the window.
Willard -- The "don't fix it" part doesn't preclude checking everything out to see whether it needs fixing.
And I don't think any of this engine rebuilding discussion has anything to do with preventive maintenance. Our T's need lots more periodic maintenance than modern cars, and of course those tasks should be performed.
Preventive maintenance is a whole different topic from what parts of an engine should be rebuilt when someone goes into one, which is what this thread is about. That can only be determined by taking everything apart and measuring and assessing each individual part. That sounds like exactly what Justin is doing, and it is what his rebuilder of choice should do as well. Then decisions about what to replace should be made based upon the information found about the condition of each piece. Replacing parts which are in good serviceable condition is wasting the customer's money and not a "good" way to do business.
I agree with Mike and the others about sometimes everything does not needs to be replaced. In a perfect world with all the money we need to have everything done to a "perfect fit" maybe that would be the way to go. Most of us do not have all the money we need to do it to a perfect standard. But everything does need to be checked, measured, and then decide, is it OK to reuse. It is all about "tolerances". I do believe that the crankshaft and the bearings should be "as perfect as you can get them" In "my opinion" for what little it is worth, everything else has a little "wiggle room" as far as tolerances. I have personally rebuilt about 30 or so engines. Some were for people that had little to no money. We reused a lot of stuff that other rebuilders would have junked. Every single engine I have rebuilt is still running and has never been re done yet. Now some of these engines get little use. I would not suggest to re-use some marginal, worn parts on a Montana 500 car, but if it is to be driven with care as most of us do, say 400 to 500 miles a year, then it is amazing what can be safely reused. But again it is a part by part decision, that needs to be made. The guys like Herm, and the other pro rebuilders, I admire their work, and their skill and detail level they put into their work. But their are some (including myself) who just can not afford to do it as a full and proper rebuild everytime. One thing I always try to remember is, Our fathers, grandparents, and lots of old poor farmers, did the rebuilds under a shade tree, and normal hand tools. It may not have been as good as the Ford dealer would have done, but the cars usually served the purpose they put them to. My grandpa did a total rebuild on a 1925 sedan engine under a shade tree in Oklahoma. He had little to no money as it was during the height of the depression. Then him ,my grandma, my mom (2 months old) and everything they owned headed to California in a old model T. So if they could do it "we can too" Good luck with the project ...
I agree but also doesn't hurt to take it down yourself
But if the other two seem good I say pin is bad triple gears wear even for the most part
My guess is you can pull the engine, check your rod clearances and crank diameters, disassemble your transmission, fix your triple gear bushings, check your drums for cracks by eye and put it back together yourself. Before you pull the engine, check your magneto output voltage, you may need to recharge your magnets. If you have some mechanical aptitude you can do all this yourself with the help of the shop manual and MTFCA engine and transmission manuals. Its not rocket science, many a shade tree Model T mechanic owner has done so. When you do it yourself, you know what you have when you are done.
If you are all thumbs, then hire it done.
I think I'm going to tear into it myself. I've got plenty of experience with rebuilding engines but haven't torn into a T. My only real concern is my lack of ability to machine the pin and bushing for the triple gear. Based on the feel of the others I'm going to leave them alone as long as they still look good when I get it apart.
The fact that these things were worked on with the most basic equipment and in less than desirable working conditions tends to slip my mind. I would rather do it myself anyway since that's what I've done on this truck so far.
I'm unable to run the engine to check mag output. The magnets most likely need to be charged but I don't know the condition of the mag ring. Is there a way to electrically check the mag ring or is it best to just replace it? It really looks good from what I can see...even where the starter mounts.
Let the fun begin. I better get working on an engine stand.
Justin... something to think about. My 1925 coupe has had a wayward triple gear for about 40 years that we know of and it probably was floppy even long before that. It runs fine. Yes, fixing it is probably the right thing to do, but my point is, these cars can survive on a lot of clearance in many locations and just keep on rolling for years.
I made some progress on the tear down. I measured about .025 clearance all around the mag. There are copper shims in every bearing with no detectable slop in the rods. I did find that a wrist pin bolt had a missing cotter pin. I found pieces of one in between a couple of the magnets. So far it isn't looking like a disaster. I also noticed a Brinnel ball hardness test on the crank. Was that done on all of them?
I like the vehicles in the background! Is the Falcon a Sprint?
No, it's just a Futura hard top. I'm looking for a new home for that one...too many projects!