Although this time of year is usually the busiest time for me as people want work done before the snow falls, i did put in some late nights to pull my motor, and tear it down. What i found was pretty amazing, as i always thought that my T ran exceptionally well and didn't really think it could be improved upon. I accepted that this is how they should run, and that was fine with me. Well after getting into the blood and guts of this great little motor i realized that there was loads of things that could be improved. First off, whoever did the valve job must not have been acquainted with the idea of "level" as most of the valve stems were ground crooked and resulted in clearances from 0.018 to 0.025. I replaced the valves with 0.327 over S/S valves and set them all at 0.012. Next was the magnets which i thought would have been fine since my T ran pretty well on mag...Well the magnets when tested would not even hold up a 3/4 wrench and were pitifully weak,...What a surprise. And last but not least was the fiber gear which i already knew was there and will definitely be swapped out with a nice bronze McEachern gear when it comes in...The moral to this tear-down, is that these motors run great, but there is lots of room for improvement if you look hard enough....Will give updates when i have it all back together and running to see if there is any significant improvement in the way it runs that i can discern...
Looks like you are having fun! And your T should be running even better when you put it back together.
Hap l9l5 cut off
John, sounds like you found some issues that were well worth the engine pull. They are indeed great little engines, I am currently into one of mine, but this one will be a down and dirty cheap build for a power unit.
That also shows that T engines can operate fine under crude/less optimal conditions. We worry it too much.
There is an irony to it all...I know a guy who built AACA national winners, was nationally known, and did all of the engine work himself...
I was maybe 20 at the time...Sit out in his sandy field, sitting on an upended log having a Rolling Rock pony size with him as he did a fresh valve job late one afternoon...just a file with the bare stem stuck in the sand, a ball peen hammer, a chunk of 40# rail, a can of 3 in 1 and some tin with the dust...using kids suction cup arrows because all of the cups on his tool were shot and crumbly...calibrated hands and...
Not one of those engines that he did for himself and others was noisy and they all ran well for years and years...
I didn't learn well however...my 'school' is once I touch it, I do it all over again new and tight and then expect to be done with it for my lifetime.
A little update on my semi-overhaul... Due to some unseasonably warm weather here in N.E. i was able to make a lot more progress on my transmission and engine than i had previously hoped for. The main reason for the tear-down was because my triple gear bushings were kaput, but in the long run I'm happy i found them now, because i found lots of things inside i was not crazy about. I ended up balancing the flywheel, installing new triple gears, a new reverse drum that had some cracks between the webs, new cam and crank gears, and a new clutch pack that replaced one that looked like it had only been driven in parades, except slower. A special thanks to all the great vendors out there that i have dealt with that keep our T's rambling right along...
The best thing you did may be the change of timing gears. I am not a fan of fiber gears.
Steve, i saw that pic you posted of the one you had that failed miserably... Mine is now hanging on the wall where it belongs.
That engine looks great :-)
And I'm with Steve here - swapping that timing gear might be the best. I'm member of the same club as Steve:
Well, after last winter some people just deserve a break, don't we? Got the Roadster engine to come alive today after going through the whole engine, and completely rebuilding the whole transmission. It runs strong and all the dreaded noises from the triple gears, especially in reverse have disappeared. My new I-phone makes it sound like a WW2 fighter plane..
Looks and sounds fantastic.....congrats on very thorough and detailed work!
That does sound terrific!
That car is a beauty.
She sounds wonderful in the video. I'm in the process of doing mine now. Gotta ask... did you balance the drums?
Thanks gents for the kind words, i appreciate it. One thing that has me slightly concerned is now that i have adjusted the lifters and the tappet noise is much less than it was before, i seem to be able to hear the growling from the trans in neutral more defined than i remember it to be, or maybe it was always there and i couldn't hear it. I replaced the triple gears, the driven gear, the reverse gear and drum but didn't replace the brake gear. I have run the engine for a few hours in different gears and i have no metal on my magnet, or in my oil. My question is how noisy is your trans in neutral, does it growl a bit?
@Dave Young..I had my drums checked and they weren't that bad so i decided to leave them be. I did have the flywheel assembly totally balanced, so i didn't feel too bad about that decision.
John, where did you have your flywheel balanced? At a local shop or did you have a T guy do it? Are typical machine shops equipped to balance a t flywheel?
Check the lifters too. In the past, someone might have set the valve clearance using a two sided file between the top of the lifter and the valve stem. That will get you enough clearance, but the surfaces will not be straight and as the lifter and/or the valve rotate the clearance will change.
Stephan, J&M Machine in Southboro Ma. did mine, but i would imagine that any reputable shop could balance your flywheel assembly for you. I would also ask them if the have the capability to surface grind your magnet plates also, it makes adjusting the air gap for the magnets a lot easier. Good luck.
Norm, the person who last did the valve job must have had 90/20 vision 75% of the valves were ground crooked. I ended up replacing all the valves and lifters while i had it apart.