I bought a 1915 T recently and while going over the front end on my lift I noticed that the left front wheel was able to move slightly on the spindle. I had been told by the previous owner that he had installed new bearings a short while ago. I wanted to see the bearing so I took the wheel off. I should say TRIED to take the wheel off. I found the inner bearing was not all the way on to the boss on the spindle but was so tight on the spindle that I had to drive it off from the back with a punch. I have three Ts and have worked on them forty years and the inside bearing has always come off with the wheel. I tried to clean the spindle and push the bearing on but it stops about a 1/4 inch from going on all the way. I tried several new bearings and they did the same thing. I probably could force the bearing on by tightening the wheel nut but I wanted to hear if this is a known problem and what the fix is if any.
Does the bearing have the proper radius on the inside where it should abut the face of the spindle?
Do you have a spare spindle to try the bearing on?
Don't force anything. Look closely at the spindle where the bearing rides. Are there any burrs, gouges, dents or anything else that doesn't belong there?
I'm with Jerry on the likely source of the problem. Several new bearings not fitting suggests something wrong with the spindle. It could be "burrs, gouges, dents or anything else that doesn't belong there", or it could even be the wrong spindle. My roadster came with one spindle that had its arm at an odd angle. It was obvious from close inspection that it was made that way, not bent. So parts with weird anomalies may be rare, but they're quite possible.
I've seen early spindles that are that way.
Thanks for the advice. I know this T is very original and all the running gear and body is original. I guess I will use some emery cloth on the flat area of the spindle to see if I can get the bearing to slide on. The measurement as best I can tell is 1K under on the bearing. That should go on with a little force. I guess?? Dick C.
.001 is a pretty fair press fit. Don't force it. You risk breaking the bearing.
I was able to use some emery cloth and after several tries, was able to push the bearing on without too much trouble. What a difference when I took it out for around the block test. No wobble, no constant correction and no funny feelings when at cruising speed. Thanks again for the advice and support. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone when things that you have done many times before don't seem to be going the way they should.
Be sure that you recheck the toe-in. If the wheel has moved inboard on the spindle, that will affect the toe-in.
Ken, how would that affect the toe-in? Both the front of the wheel and the back would be moved the same amount wouldn't they? Am I missing something? Dave
I agree with David but because the car is new to me I did check the toe-in. It is just over 1/8 and if I try to get to exactly 3/16 I would go beyond 1/4. It tracks very good as it is. Thanks for your interest. Dick C.
David, I think you're correct. I musta had a brain fart.
If it makes you feel any better, I too had the same brain fart because at first I thought you were right but upon thinking it through it is obvious that the toe-in is a spindle position adjustment and that was not changed.
If you don't have a spare spindle to try it on, try it on the other side. If it fits there, the problem is on the spindle. May be a burr or something you can fix.