Very bad vibration, can it be the u-joint

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Very bad vibration, can it be the u-joint
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 09:23 pm:

I went on my first tour with the Arkansas Tin Lizzies this weekend. I took the 27 touring I have been working on for about 2 years. I made it about the first 1/2 of the first days tour. The car was OK the first 10 miles or so, then it started a little vibration. It got a little worse till about the 20 mile mark of the trip. Then it started to vibrate bad. I started to look for a place to pull in. The car had been running cool so far, even climbing some steep grades. Then in about a mile it was vibrating so bad my hands and feet were starting to tingle and the car overheated in one mile. I just parked it, and got a ride back to pick up the car hauler. When I got back to the car, and was ready to load it, I figured to start it and see how bad it still was, and maybe drive it on the car hauler. When I started it, there was little to no vibration, and I drove it onto the hauler. When I got it home, the same thing, little to no vibration, although there was some weird very slight gear noise while sitting in neutral. I have about 200 t0 400 miles on a new rebuilt engine. The engine starts and runs great. No overheating, and free starts 90% of the time. We used the best of 6 engines and 12 transmissions to build it. I even bought a new reverse drum on my old gear. Other than the low gear noise being pretty loud, I can not find anything wrong with the engine or trans. The oil screen is clean, the magnet has a little "fuzz" on it probably from the new rings setting in, but still it is very little fuzz. I see no lint from the bands, and the oil was just starting to turn black. When I drained the oil there is absolutely nothing in the oil. There is no sign of anything wearing or breaking. I thought the vibration was from something going wrong in the triple gears. I inspected them thru the inspection/band door today and they look perfect. I can get them all to slide easily on there pins with no wobble at all. There is a few thousands end play to them . Just guessing maybe .005 to .010 end play to the triple gears on the pins. In my opinion I think the triple gears appear OK. I have the engine ready to pull tomorrow. Now for the big question. Could all this be caused by a u-joint. Just out of curiosity, after unhooking the drive shaft, I took a screwdriver thru the grease hole and poked and pryed the u-joint. It is wiggling and sliding around and I see some wear to the pins. Not a lot of wear but some. When I remove the engine tomorrow, Ill be able to get a better look at the u-joint and the front bushing. Im starting to wonder if Im the only person who may have pulled his engine to fix a bad u-joint. :-( :-( It may not be the u-joint, but like I said I see absolutely no sign of anything wrong inside the trans ....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 10:32 pm:

It might be easier to remove the rear axle....
First I would put the rear axle on axle stands, run the car and see if you can duplicate the vibration.
If it is still there, try a stethoscope to hear where is is located.
After you remove the axle, you can still run the motor and see if the vibration is still there. I suspect it will be gone..
Then you can look at the U/J but I doubt that will be the issue unless it is very worn. Probably the wheels though why is a mystery.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 10:34 pm:

If you have anywhere near 400 miles on the drive-line with no vibration? It would be unlikely (but possible) to be the U-joint. U-joint vibration usually sneaks up on you slowly. It is possible for the original type Babbitt bushing at the front of the drive shaft to fail quickly if it has had some form of acid contamination in the past. They do not tend to fail like the Babbitt thrust washers do. Usually, if they still look good, they are fine to use.

Are you certain the car was running on all four cylinders? More likely an intermittent ignition failure on one cylinder?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 11:27 pm:

DB - Unless I missed it, can you determine more about the vibration? Does the vibration occur at just certain road speeds, or just in low, or just in high, or does it occur when the car is stationary which would indicate vibration in the engine or transmission? Seems like if you could describe a little better what the car is doing when the vibration occurs, we could all collectively put heads together and try to help you "narrow it down",.....harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 07:42 am:

"does it occur when the car is stationary..."

Good point, Harold. That would determine whether the vibration is in the driveline or the engine/transmission.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 08:04 am:

Is a crankshaft getting ready to bust?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 08:20 am:

Vibrating and overheating don't sound like the symptoms of a bad U - joint. Maybe a fouled plug? Cracked intake manifold? Failed intake gland copper? Blown head gasket? I would check the color of the plugs, and then investigate why one of them is not the same color as the rest.

If you need to inspect or replace the U - joint just pull the rear end. Lots easier!!!!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 08:36 am:

Harold and Mike, The vibration is only severe when moving, but it really did not change under a load (pulling hills) or when freewheeling (level ground) The faster the car went the worse it was. I have been having issues with the engine/ trans/?? for sometime. There has been a weird gear like noise that sounded like it was coming from the trans area, when sitting in neutral. Not a loud noise, just something I could not put my finger on as to what it was. I had never heard a rumbling like it before. And it did not always do it. Sometimes when I would stop and sit in neutral it would be quiet. Then sometimes the slight rumbling would be there. I replaced the Kevlar bands, with Scandinavian, and it was still there. I had thought the sound could have been caused by a dragging band. But it did not go away. The sound I heard is similar to the sound you get just as you start to apply a band. My bands definattly are not dragging. I can hand crank the car with one finger, and there is no tendancy to "creep" forward on level concrete floor when in neutral. This is one of the things that is hard to describe as I have never had anything like it before. The engine is ready to come out today. It is just sitting there as I have everything removed and unbolted. I have talked to the engine rebuilder and he is as interested in seeing what is wrong as I am. Ill probably be taking it to him so we can do a "forensic" teardown together. I have rebuilt lots of engines myself thru the years. There really was no shortcuts did on this rebuild. The crank was a EE that was mag tested and was OK. New 250 cam and everything else was balanced and fitted properly. The thing that gets me is as bad as the vibration is, I would think there should be some sign of something going on in the oil. But it is clean as new. The oil is just barely turning black and I see absolutely nothing inside the trans cover. Oh yea, I also inspected the drums for cracks, they all look OK.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 08:43 am:

If your builder has an engine stand, maybe run the engine for a short time on the stand to confirm that the issue is with the engine/trans before you do a teardown? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 10:26 am:

I hope you find some thing wrong because you've jumped the gun and pulled the engine apparently without any detective work. It doesn't vibrate standing still with the engine running?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 10:31 am:

It sounds like a dragging wheel brake to me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 10:59 am:

I rebuilt an engine last summer. I put in a SKAT balanced crankshaft This is a standard Ford grind, only thing different is the counterweights. At first I had severe vibrations when the engine was reved up such as pulling a hill in low or low Ruckstell. Seemed to be fine when the engine was running at slower speeds.

I had a leather belt on the pulleys and it would tend to ride off the lower pulley. I found that if I loosened the belt VERY loose, the belt would stay on. Then I replaced it with a rubber serpentine belt. I could tighten the new belt without it running off the pulleys. The vibrations stopped! The engine is very quiet and smooth.

Many things can cause vibrations Sometimes things you wouldn't suspect. Another thing I would suspect would be an ignition problem. Sometimes they are intermittant and will not appear until the engine is warmed up.

Other things which cause vibration are engine or transmission out of balance, or loose rear main bearing.

If it were mine, I would check very thoroughly every possible cause before pulling the engine.

It could be the u joint. As Tony posted, that would be easy to check without pulling the engine. While you have it apart also check clearance in the 4th main at the ball joint.

I personally think that an engine or transmission balance problem would be there at all times not just after running and getting hot. I still think you might be misfiring on one or more cylinders. Some electrical problems present themselves when hot and others when cold. An engine misfire can feel like a vibration. It would seem worse and lose power when climbing hills.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 12:53 pm:

I have the engine loose and slid forward. The u-joint is looking like it could be the problem. I have about 1/8 inch play in the front drive shaft bushing and the drive shaft. I can push the drive shaft up and down at least a 1/8 inch (maybe more)inside the bushing. Then the u-joint will slide back and forth (front to rear) about 1/8 to 3/16 inch. It will not come off the drive shaft because of the pin, but it still slides back and forth, so the pin is too small or the hole is worn oversize. It is also a very loose sliding fit on the square drive part of the drive shaft. It is not a "sloppy" fit on the square drive just a very loose sliding fit. The four u-joint bearings are pretty good. There is a slight amount of wear, but not real bad. The reason the driveshaft u-joint was not really considered was because I just looked and checked it when I put the engine in the car 200 to 400 miles ago. I could see the little bit of wear at the 4 u-joint bearings (very minor), but there was no play in the driveshaft then. It may be my front bushing is falling apart. All of the car was supposed to have been rebuilt by the previous owner, but so far, nothing was rebuilt right. I have a rebuilt large drum rear end from the estate I have been helping with. Ill open it up and check it out and hopefully it will be OK. So far Im only out the 2 hours to remove the engine and the 4 hours it will take to put it back. As to other causes like ignition. The engine has 4 new rebuilt Ron Patterson coils, a newly rebuilt coil box, the glands and rings were sealed very well. It has a NOS exhaust manifold, and it also has a NOS original New Day timer. I rebuilt the NH carb and have done lots of them, so Im fairly comfortable with it. I also have 4 NOS Champion X plugs. They all appear to be about the same as far as looks. I can hand crank the car with one finger. I really do not want to open the engine, so Im going to just stick it back in and see what happens with the rear end rebuild. This has been an ongoing, "I think somethings wrong", but "what is it" ongoing type of problem. But as bad as the drive shaft and u-joint are, I can see it being the problem ....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 01:10 pm:

That U joint might just be the problem. In fact the joint itself might not be bad, but definately the bushing is bad. There should be very little side or up and down play between the shaft and the bushing. And the joint should be flush with the collar on the bushing. So you might only need to replace and fit the bushing. If you have a better U joint use it. The pin should be a snug fit in both the shaft and the joint.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 02:56 pm:

Donnie,
I would definitely take the rear end apart and check for bronze thrust washers.
IF the U -joint is pined, are you certain the back and forth movement isn't the drive shaft moving back and forth?? That would also call for a rear end inspection!!!


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