Do any of our members have wood bands in their transmissions? If so, are you happy with them? Do other members have opinions on wood transmission bands?
It seems that Kevlar has replaced the majority of other band materials and I do not hear much about wood bands.
I have wood bands in 2 of my T's and like them. You should be aware, however, that it takes some time until they are broken in and work really smoothly. They might grab until they are broken in.
I had Kevlar in one T and the cams for the low gear pedal on the inside of the hogshead were worn. As a result I broke the low gear drum in the transmission. It's too easy to break transmission drums using Kevlar bands as far as I'm concerned.
I guess I'm an unsensitive kind of guy.. I have all three kinds of band in my car and I don't feel much difference between them at all.. Kevlar on the brake band for safety, cotton wood on the low band for better wear characteristics than cotton but still low risk for breaking the drum from slipping and old stock scandinavia on the reverse since it isn't used as much as the others. All pedals must be pressed hard to lock up and all feel OK. Low band has needed a couple more adjustments than the others. Still only about 1000 miles driven with this combo.
What do you mean by "broke the low gear drum"?
Did it crack from excessive heat or break into many pieces?
Are the rivets pressed into the wood just like Scandinavia lining or does the wood have a counter bore for the rivet ends? If it has a counter bore do I need to be concerned about the thickness of wood remaining for actual stopping of the drum (wear out sooner).
I put wood bands on my Fordor because of hearing several people rave about them. After an incident on this year's national tour, I would highly recommend NOT using them on the brake band. Needing to stop on a steep hill I stepped on the brake pedal, and it worked well for about 100 feet, then suddenly there was absolutely no brakes. Only because of quick reflexes and good emergency brakes that could lock up the rear wheels was I able to avoid collision into a group of cars stopped on the hill. The wood band burned and needed the adjusting nut to be turned in about 1/2 inch to get usable brakes back. It happened once again when a modern car pulled in front of us as we came down a steep hill into Cochrane. They may work fine for a lot of people, but will fail when most needed. Do yourself and your passengers a favor and DO NOT PUT THEM ON THE BRAKE BAND.
Used wood linings for about 1500 miles or so, use was OK, good feel.
My dumb action of leaving the oil petcock open for about 3 miles on tour of up hill let the oil go out. And when stepping into low pedal, the wood lined band gave out, would not go in low at all. Vulture wagon called.
Back at the host hotel, added gallon of oil, engine was OK, but had to adjust low band about 3 turns, the oil screen had lots of wood burned chips and slivers in it too.
Here is what the set looked like after removing and installing Kevlar linings now.
Low pedal band in the middle, the others aren't worn down much, the brake lining little used, as the tour car has Rocky Mtn. brakes that do most of the stopping.
Appearance of that low pedal wood lining after stalling out on the hill without oil, the wood just burned and was worn down fast.
For the reason that Dale posted, using wood lining on the brake band could present fast quick wear if oil isn't supplied to the band quickly, hard full press of the foot for a long time on wood lining could cause it to burn, Kevlar would still be stopping long before the wood lining could exist in these circumstances.
As for install, yes, counter bore the wood linings. Can be fastened with soft rivets, the split end outside, the opposite of woven linings.
Or Pop Rivets, alum, can be used.
A counter bore tool helps control the depth of each bore. Go about 2/3's of the way into the wood lining. Those wood linings have oil grooves that are about that deep or so.
Split rivet install
Pop rivet install
Look of rivets after use of about 1500 miles or so.
Arnie, My low gear band had cracks across the surface, it didn't come apart in pieces. It cracked from excessive heat caused by the pedal cams being worn. Because the pedal cams were worn, I had the band adjusted tighter that it should have been & this was needed because the cams were worn too much. At the time I didn't realize that the cams were worn. They have now all been replaced with new ones.
Dan answered the rivits question really well.
Dale, I can understand your situation resulting in a hard emergency stop with wood bands. I have Rocky Mountain brakes on both cars that have wood bands.
I used them for 800 miles and took them ought chatter was bad cotton was ok but didn't last long scandinavia has worked best for me yet to try kevlar
Price and horror stories
Dale and Arnie, Considering that we can't avoid hills and / or heavy modern traffic, extra brakes are a necessity n my opinion.
I'm even considering changing my Rockies to disc brakes just for the safety factor. That said, I think that disc brakes on a Model T are butt ugly, but they work really well.
For cars that are driven on tours a lot like my Wife and I do, we forgo the "authentic, original" look for safety and practicality. Besides the Rockies, we have turn signals, a red rear flasher, and extra bright stop lights. Safety first!
Even back in the day or today, you need to work the pedal off and on to allow oil to get between the band and drum. Chances are even if cotton or wood they could have done the same thing and gave up.
Got wood in both of ours. I like 'em. No trouble out of 'em. I like that they won't plug the inside oil line with fuzz.
My experience is similar to Dale Peterson's. I once bought a T which had wood bands in it. The seller was very proud of that. After I had it a short time, I had to make a panic stop when some idiot whipped in front of me and stopped. The brake band turned to mush. I drove directly back to my shop and parkde the car, replacing the brake band with a kevlar lining the next day. I have always used kevlar band linings in my cars with no problems, except for this one instance in a "new" T.
The horror stories you hear about kevlar can usually be traced back to improper installation or worn parts, such as the ones mentioned in Keith G's 5:19 post. If you do the job right, there won't be any problems using kevlar band linings. I have run them for tens of thousands of miles without a problem. I won't use anything else.
Arney. A year ago I built an engine for a friend with wood bands. It was a late model engine with pop up pistons and a secondary tranny for more pep. He takes the car out every few weekends. We adjusted them twice, other than that, no issues and the car runs great. In fact, off the line he beats my model A
I have about 1000 miles on my wood bands and love them. No chatter at all and they work great. I do not need to do a lot of adjusting like I did with the cotton bands.
I installed wood bands 3 yrs ago and haven't adjusted them since--and I drive my car a lot, usually 2 to 4 times a week, Don.
I have been using wood band lining for about 15 years now. I have experience using cotton linings ("Scandanavia Bands"), Kevlar linings and wood linings.
I really like the wood linings best and will use no other. Some of you may remember about 14 years ago when wood linings were unavailable... until Jim Guinn started making them again. At that time I went ahead and steam bent linings for my car. So I have the experience of using several species of wood in my car.
When installing new linings I use old broken drums for bucking the bands up whilst drilling them. Unfortunately all four of the drums I broke while running Kevlar linings were in pieces too small to use for tools in installing my wood bands.
Wood bands work smoothly for me and feel like a cotton band in service. I have never had one "chatter" or "grab". They last about 20 times what a cotton band will do in service, but they do need a few adjustments when freshly installed.
Kevlars can provide good service if installed and driven perfectly as long as nothing goes wrong. The major difference between wood linings and Kevlar are in what happens if something goes wrong. Dan shows that if you go low on oil you can char the wood bands... losing one or more band from a $50 set of linings. Had he been using Kevlar then he would have lost one drum... at a significantly higher price!
In my house I would rather have a breaker in my electrical system than burn the house down when there is a short. In my car I gladly sacrifice a fuse for the safety of the circuit. Wood or cotton linings serve the same function in a transmission. Wood and cotton linings act like a fuse, they will fail before catastrophic damage to the transmission can occur. With Kevlar linings if you are unfortunate enough to have something go wrong the linings will create enormous amounts of heat, first turning a drum blue, and finally causing it to shatter or crack.
I will only install wooden linings in my car (current set about 2 months ago) and really hope that anyone using Kevlar linings will be lucky... never adjusting too tight, or too loose, never dragging a band or having someone drive the car incorrectly, never installing an out of round band, never having a piece of band come loose and fold under, never running low on oil... etc.
I have a large South Bend lathe so I can rebuild my transmissions, but I no longer have to do that since I have been running wooden bands.
You pay your money and takes your chances... only with wood you pay less money and take fewer chances!
I did a few thousand miles on wood. I found them grabby - reverse particularly would not engage then suddenly gripped and we hurtled backwards, and the brake never felt effective. On our club tour in May, slowly descending a hill into a car park, the brake stopped working completely even though there was still plenty of pedal.
On Neil Tuckett's advice, I parked the car because, in his experience, the band could disintegrate and fill the motor with wood chips. On dismantling I found the band burnt and cracked, even though I am always careful to let the brake pick up oil.
I now have the Ferodo bands which he supplies which don't snatch and grip well. The material is very similar to what you might find in a normal drum brake.
I have Jim's cottonwood bands in my '12 and have not had any trouble in a few thousand miles on several tours.
Pump your brakes when stopping a Model T, don't just push on the brake pedal and hold it down until stopped.
Jem, Could you please tell us what Ferodo bands are. Are they cotton, wood or something like Kevlar? Or maybe like an automatic transmission band material?
I have one car with Kevlar (1924), one with Scandanavian (1916) and one with wood (1913) I found the Scandanavian very acceptable, the Kevlar never stops creating fuzz and I have to clean up the filter every couple of hundred miles (before someone says the drums must be ruff or cracked I have taken the bands off and inspected the drums using a little lacquer thinner to see a crack) but the wood just keeps on going.
Older post on 'Ferodo' linings, a hard dense material and used for disc brake pads too. Bonded on to the metal T bands.
We've had lots of these 'love them, hate them' threads about bands. Why does one person have success where others fail? I'm wondering if oil is the factor we haven't considered. Thoughts?
Oil, condition of parts and driving habits.
I think it is a combination of worn parts, installation/tightness of bands, and lastly, skill of the driver. I think most who enter into this conversation are experienced drivers but we all have "bad habits".
I love the "feel" of Scandi's, the durability of wood, and have not tried Kevlar so no opinion there although I hear they are the best of both worlds.
The characteristics of the Ford planetary are just so that band linings get worn, some a lot, some less.
The lining goes, and then some of the drum goes too, that is just the wear of these parts, over the many years the Ford has run. Mechanical parts affect the linings, as does the owner's driving technique and means of running the T.
Back in the Ford days, simple woven cotton was OK, but wear and the dang trouble of changing linings drew the ire of owners, and anything that would do better was tried, sold, and used!
Asbestos, metal wired, wood, cotton with additives, cotton with special weaves for denser properties, etc. etc.
Today we run the T's rather hard on tours, faster and farther in one day.
Wear is still a factor on linings. But also we can't get easy low cost new parts from the local Ford dealer. So many T's have somewhat used and worn parts, some marginal at best, worn pedal cams, bent out of shape bands, worn ears, pedal shafts, bent pedals. All of this can impact how the linings are fitted, and kept in adjustment for the important mechanical side of stopping the planetary drums!
So of course lots of issues from lots of areas, oil is probably way down on the list, unless you don't keep enough in the motor.
The better lining that will last, in today's usage, which if city driving, lots of low pedal, and brake, or in hilly country, lots of low pedal and brake is preferred. One that won't make you have to change linings often or do adjustments frequently. We have some choices, all which can provide what the owner desires.
For many years of T fun, have found this yellow space age lining material to meet my needs.
Mike Walker is right about installation of Kevler or any band type has to be done right.
We have used Kevler in all our engines, since it came out, as well as all the bands that are shipped in here all the time for just there relining. Never any problems.
The biggest mistake that is made is thinking you don't have to, shouldn't, or misguided thinking you can't turn the drums.
Not turning drums with new bands of any kind, is like putting new brake pads on your modern car with out new, or turned Rotors.
There's just not any way to get the best action from a new band and a drum with high and low spots which is always, highly evident when turning a drum.
As far as a drum being to thin for use when turning about .020 at its worst, is just unfounded.
Jem Bowkett has the last point, there is a big difference in the oil.
When any multi oil is used when hot, it is to thin for the bands. Way to much heat is created. and little protection.
Take a hot 10-30 and rub hard between the thumb and fore finger, and then try with a hot 30 wt.
The 10-30 will be much dryer then the 30 wt.
You sill have to have a true drum surface.