First – it was and still is a sad loss for his family and the Model T community when the owner was killed. From the posting below, it is my understanding that his 1920 modified Model T was rear ended by a Jeep driven by someone who had been drinking. For more on that accident please see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/551237.html?1435347069
I am trying to learn (without having to bid on and purchase the car or go and inspect the car) if it had a relatively stock Model T steering set up with the planetary gears at the top of the steering wheel and the standard lower steering column bracket etc. Or if it had been modified to use a later more modern style worm or other steering gear box. My speedster still has the planetary gear housing under the steering wheel – so it looks stock at the top. But the planetary gears have been removed and the shaft modified/replaced so the shaft turns direct with the steering wheel straight down to a 2000ish Japanese steering box that reduces the input and then moves the original drag link that actually turns the front wheels.
The reason I would like to know is I am working on some research into why Model Ts tend to turn over so easily. And yes, clearly a high center of gravity is part of that problem. But I have a “hypothesis” (an initial guess so unproven and without supporting data that it is not even called a theory yet). My “hypothesis” is that the stock Model T steering set up is contributing to the number of roll over accidents. I am hoping to be able to gather enough information to either confirm or correct that guess.
In the case of the 1920 touring car, I know it was a relatively stock appearing 1920s touring with the 1928-1929 Model A Ford wire spoked wheels. Nevin Gough posted the photo below:
It had a modern engine [see the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/560047.html?1438637194 which gives the link of: http://www.copart.com/us/Lot/29253615 for where photos and information on how to bid on the car is located ] as well as front disc brakes. But it had a relatively stock appearing front axle set up – i.e. what appears to be a standard under the axle wishbone rather than a split wishbone etc. It has Hassler shocks on the front (I suspect the one on the driver’s side lost the spring in the accident). See the photo below. It even has a rather stock looking pitman arm. But notice that the drag link connects to the left side of the connecting rod rather than the right side of the connecting rod as it does on a stock left hand drive (LHD) produced Model T Ford.
And from what I can see of the steering shaft – it looks like it could be stock. But the photos do not show (or I missed it) if the shaft goes into a stock Model T lower steering column bracket or if it is adapted / connected to a steering gear drive box of some sort. Below you can see what appears to be the stock T shaft on the engine side of the firewall. But the photo ends before it clearly shows what is at the other end of the shaft.
If anyone knows or if someone can easily find out if it had a relatively stock Model T steering set up or not, that would be greatly appreciated. Especially if it did or did not have some sort of worm sector steering box.
Again, the loss of life is tragic. I am hoping we can learn something from this and the other accidents that have occurred that will help reduce the number and severity of those types of accidents in the future.
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I'm not sure that analyzing "hot rod" accidents is going to be truly representative, but suit yourself
I've posted my analysis of some of the more stock "wrecks" in the past and certainly have opinions!!! But truly all they are are opinions!
You could easily be right -- it may never help us understand any more about why the stock Ts tend to roll over so easily. But I've been trying to obtain information on Model T roll over accidents for several years now. And I would like to capture the data if it is possible. Because we never know which puzzle piece may give us the clue that unlocks the mystery.
If it was a common V-8 powered 1923 T-bucket I would not be asking questions about it. But the front axle from the photo appears to be very close to a stock set up (yes, disc brakes added, hasslers added, and the drag link set up to the opposite side). But the car does not appear to be lowered.
It even appears to to probably have a relatively stock Model T rear axle and rear suspension from what little I can see in the photos.
In fact, I suspect, but I do not know for sure, that the 1920 re-engined touring probably reacts to a a rear end collision more like a stock Model T than my lowered, fenderless, Japanese steering sector, Model T power plant speedster.
Based on that if anyone can add or send me additional information about the car -- especially the steering -- it would be greatly appreciated. I think that car would have a very similar issue / reaction when the car was rear ended that any 1909-1927 stock T would have. That is still to be discovered -- but if it does, then it could add another data point to the research.
Thank you all for your help and any support you may be able to provide.
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I would think the narrow foot print of the tire could be part of the rollover problem. Or the tire design.
A still object that is whacked by a moving object is going to have some of that motion transferred to it and that carry's the T in this case over and away.
Low weight of the T is another reason. Similar situation would happen if I hit a Smart car with my 74 Lincoln at a speed above about 5 mph. It would send the Smart flying thru the air probably.
The really short drag link is going to make the steering do nasty things when you get excessive suspension travel. This could certainly contribute to unstable handling in a accident.
I had a speedster with a short drag link going to the left front wheel.
It did do funny thins when bottoming out or/and rebounding. But I would guess that car would have rolled no matter what from a sever blow in the rear end,
I can't figure how the short link would make the car swerve either direction from a rear end blow.
If it was not hit square in the rear the tendency would be to cause the car to swerve and if fast enough it could roll.
As mentioned above, the T is a very light car, especially for a car with the bottom of the frame 24 inches above the ground.