I recently restored a '23 motor. I got motor tuned where it would fire quickly with the 6volt starter. I had full oil (measured by top petcock) and full radiator of water. Motor also has a water pump. The motor hasn't had but 7minutes total run time between the initial starting and second running. Motor was idling just fine for 3-4 minutes while I was fine tuning the carb adjustment and timer. The motor acted as if it was running out of fuel and died within 5-7 seconds of the initial indication.
Could the read ball cap seized the transmission? Trans should free if in neutral. Either way, the motor is locked tight. Several hours passed and it was still locked (I was hoping the cooler motor would free up). I haven't messed with the motor since it locked up this past weekend.
Is your starter bendix stuck? It has happened several times to me. The trans being in neutral wouldn't matter in this case as the flywheel will be immobile.
If the car wasn't moving, and it sounds like it wasn't, the rear ball cap bearing was never used. Plus, it would never seize your engine anyway.
How much torque did you put on your head bolts?
Look in your cylinders for water.
Did you rebuild your transmission too?
Zach may also have the answer above.
I've lifted the crank with all my might and no movement. Would a stuck starter have that much resistance?
I'd didn't think the ball cap would cause it to seize unless the transmission seized somehow? But no, I was not driving nor rebuild the transmission. I torqued the head bolts to their recommended specs. I did not notice any water being ejected out of the exhaust manifold (I haven't installed the tailpipe yet) but that is probable.
Pull the starter cover and check your Bendix.
Pull the plugs first. See if there's water in any of the cyls. That will stop you cold. Honestly it sounds like a deeper problem but it's an easy start.
Did you install new aluminum pistons? If using aluminum pistons how much clearance did you allow? I believe that .002-.003 as recommended by the piston manufacturer is not enough for a Model T. I always give them .004 minimum clearance. I'm working on an engine right now that the owner rebuilt, ran for a short time and then it seized. He only allowed .002 clearance and two of the pistons were stuck.
What was bearing clearance set at.
The aluminum pistons I use also have the 2-3 thou recommendation on the box. I always have the cylinders bored 4 thou more than the piston size, same as Mike V. They are not loose in the cylinders and are not noisy. Two thou is not enough clearance, even though that's what it says right there on the box.
How much clearance to you use for aluminum pistons, Herm?
I am not clear on the chain of events here but the first thing I would do is put the hand lever forward in high and rock the car back and forth...with a little more force backward. If the bendix is stuck this can disengage it and I have had to do that a few times.
If the motor was running and stalled while you were working on the carb. adjustments that is OK. If it slowed down and slammed shut that isn't. I hope you just stalled it then stuck the bendix on restart.
Follow what Tim said about a stuck starter. Another thing to check is the charge of the battery. A rebuilt engine being quite tight might not turn if the battery is low. Try charging the battery. Another thing to try is to pull the car with a long rope and another vehicle. Pull in neutral then after you get moving let out the clutch into high. The engine should start. If it just slides the wheels, you might really have a stuck engine.
If the engine does turn, you might have a clogged fuel system or low gas in the tank. With a low tank under the seat, you need over 2 gallons to flow to the carburetor.
If the engine won't turn at all, you have other problems.
No on the rear ball cap. Unless the spring broke on the bendix and the gear got kicked into the ring gear how would the bendix lock up a running motor?
Are you running magnets, did you check the oil tube for blockage? Sounds like the pistons were too tight. Check the oil for water and as suggested above pull the plugs and check for water.
Time to listen to Herm.
Mark - I think what Tim described is what happened. Stalled while the carb was being adjusted and the starter locked up on the restart. He can try rocking it, but I've only successfully freed Model A starters that way - never a T; have always ended up having to pull the starter cover on a T.
Is your starter bendix stuck? It has happened several times to me.
If that is a fresh motor and you had never warmed it up fully, you best be checking your bearing clearance. If you were too tight when you rebuilt it, you starved them for oil as the engine warmed up and the clearances shrank. I'd be concerned that you have babbit stuck to the crank journals now...
Would check the simpler things first - like the starter - before I dropped the inspection plate and began checking clearances.
Sadly I know from experience on the piston issue as the rebuilt engine I bought for my pickup had the aluminum pistons and they galled shortly after I ran it. Had to take everything apart and buff up the pistons and hone the cylinders good and reassemble.
You would think since that has been a problem for such a long time that the box print would have been corrected by the manufacturer.
Mike, .004 to .004-50.
Yes, a stuck starter bendix will lock things up solid.
As suggested, remove the bendix cover and have a look. If the gear is engaged, or partially so, you may have found your problem.
Thank you fellas. The cylinders are as clean as they can be. I sprayed some lubrication in the cylinders last night. Doubt it will help but worth a shot to see what happens this weekend when I work on it next. I'll drain the oil to check for water; check the bendrix; roll the truck in high gear as suggested.
The motor was idling just fine so the bendix should not have been engaged causing it to get stuck unless the bendix never retracted. Am I thinking correctly?
No aluminum pistons were used. The motor came to a stall... there was no slamming noise that would raise major concern. The motor sounded like any motor running out of fuel but now won't turn over. I've let my '12 Depot idle out of fuel before when prepping to remove fuel lines or clean carb.
I was running the motor on the mag setting. The battery is fully charged. Certainly a bummer for the fall touring season but all the more to problem solve!
If rolling the truck in high gear doesn't help, don't automatically assume the bendix isn't at fault. I've never successfully rolled a bendix free in three jams. The only way to rule it out is to pull the cover.
I think part of the confusion here is that the chronology is a little confusing. The truck was running, acted like it ran out of gas and at that point, with no further inputs or attempts to restart, the motor froze up. Is that what you are saying?
The thinking is that the motor stalled for any number of reasons and when you tried to restart it, the bendix may have locked up.
But yes, it's also entirely possible that the stall was caused by a lock up of some other nature. Investigating the bendix theory should be a first step in that it's common and it's very easy to confirm or eliminate. If that's not it, you'll probably need to remove the crankcase inspection cover to look around and maybe remove some rod caps to see if it frees up anything.
The two times I saw a running engine come to a stop and be locked like that in the immediate afterwards was only when they seizes up around the crankshaft. I've seen it twice. Once on a 396 big block and the other was on a 1937 John Deere two-cylinder. In both cases, the bearings starved for oil and seized.
But there was definite identifier... When the engine stopped, it didn't shut off at a normal rate... it stopped RIGHT NOW once power was killed to it. It was as if a giant hand came down out of the sky and grabbed the crank.
The aluminum pistons do expand more than cast iron when hot. Therefore if the clearance was too small, they could seize up, but after it cools off, they should loosen up again and the engine would turn over. However if they did seize, it would score the pistons and cylinder walls, so it is not a good situation. I still think your problem is fuel related. If not the fuel, then the starter or battery. Try some oil down the cylinders and see if you can get the engine to turn. Try the hand crank and pushing or pulling in high gear. Next if that does not work, take off the bendix cover and check the starter. Next step would be the engine inspection plate and the transmission inspection plate and see if you can observe any cause for the problem. Next would be to pull the head and check the cylinders. If all else fails pull the engine and disassemble checking part by part until you find the cause.
I am afraid when I am reading all the comments on this problem.
For me there is only one solution. Strip the engine till you find the reason why it is blocked and take photos as much as possible.
Zach... exactly. The motor never turned again after it locked up. My apologies for that missing detail. I hope the Good Lord isn't telling me I can't go fall touring!
I once had a bendix counter weight break in half and fall into the crankcase part way wedging between the starter ring gear and the pan. Had to partially lift the block off the pan to get it out. But it happened during cranking, not running.
I had one of the clutch plate bolts come out and wedge itself between the triple gears in the transmission. It will NEVER start again if that happens and will stop dead when running.
The only way to fix that was to remove the engine, remove the transmission hogshead, turn the engine upside down and remove the engine pan. There it was, right in the middle of the triple gears.
Ryan... what have you found?
William, How could the bolts fall out, they should be wired. In any case you can see them through the inspection cover
My steps would be
Pull plugs, are they wet?
Remove trans inspection plate, bolts in place, Triple gears in place?
Remove bendix cover, is it stuck?
Remove pan inspection cover, anything?
This will take less than one hour and surely find the problem. With a similar situation with the speedster, I could see one triple gear pin had fallen out. I had removed the magnets.....
Tony, in my case one of the wires broke and the bolt backed out.
Ryan, if you jack up one of the rear wheels, using the hand crank, will the motor turn over?
Can you give us an update please?
Hello all! I am pleased and still baffled that the bendix gear was the culprit in locking up the motor up solid! I'm amazed at how much helping our community has offered to help others. On Saturday, I took the pliers to turn the starter shaft to back out the bendix. Once released, I could almost hear a sigh of relief from the motor as it unlocked.
Inspecting the spring, it may be at fault? I assume it did not retract the bendix properly. I'd like to fix this permanently. My '12 Depot with a '19 motor has thankfully never given me such a problem.
I did drive the truck around the yard to test the drive train. As expected, I have work to do there as well. When the truck was under load, either the pinion gear was jumping the ring gear or the drum transmission is jumping. Anyone have any experience with either?
"...the pinion gear was jumping the ring gear..."
That's the one. You need new thrust bearings in the rear end.
When you hear the sound of hooves, look for horses first, not zebras.
Jerry, will that keep the truck from freely rolling when I have the clutch in the neutral position as well? (as it is currently lacking the freedom to roll while in neutral) All my bands are fairly loose at this point during the adjustment phase.
It may. Bottom line, something is "bad wrong" and it won't get cured until you take something apart. Maybe you've got a bad u-joint?
Ryan, always make sure the spark is fully retarded even when using the starter, kick back can bend the shaft and damage the bendix. At the least it will break the spring. Have fun. KGB
No question about it Jerry. I enjoy the challenge to fix it. I'll pull the band cover to rotate the trans to make sure there are no teeth missing on the triple gear and then move to the rear-end. U-joint is as firm as it can be.
If this is a 1 ton truck, they are very hard to roll when trans is in neutral.
Calvin, my T isn't a TT. It's the lil run-about T Model. Are the 1 tons difficult to roll given size or is it differing drive train mechanics?
I think I read all the comments and see where no one mentioned a loose/broken magnet. This happened to me and the symptoms appear to be the same. The magnet got stuck between the fly wheel and pan. Dead stop with no way to move it.
If everything is right, a TT isn't much harder to roll than a T. about the only difference is because of the weight. Dave
when rolling a TT the gear ratio in the worm drive turns the trans much faster. TT trucks are very hard to move. I have 3 of them in garage right now.
I have one also and been around a few more. Never had any problem with any of them. Dave
Update from Nashville:
I pulled the rear-end apart as I determined that is where the popping was coming from. My ring gear is severely worn causing the pinion to jump over it. Looks to be at least 1/8 worn by measure of the small lip on the outside of the ring gear. I have a set of NOS on hand.
I will be ordering a new set of shims and overhauling the rear-end with the original felt seals that ole Henry used. Y'all have any preferences over the original 600w gear oil?