Hello, I am a brand new member. Just purchased a '23 Fordoor that has been sitting on blocks for 25 years. I am third owner, and car is a time capsule. When I went to move it to put it in position for flatbed, it rolled and then seemed to get caught-up on something. Pushed again and heard a "clunk". Then rolled fine a little while, and then hesitated and clunked again. When pulled up on flatbed, noticed same thing. When rolled off of flatbed, when symptom occurred. We believe we noticed driver side rear wheel stop turning and skid momentarily before releasing and rolling again.
Put on jacks, and rear wheels turn easily by hand. Motor turns over with crank.
Want to start work on this, but would like to understand what my problem is so I can go right to it. Could it be differential....parking brake stuck? etc. etc.
Welcome to the world of Model T!
Yep, could be drive line issue, since you posted the motor turns over freely with the hand lever straight up.
That T was put on blocks for reasons, one may be a broken part or two. Check that drivers rear wheel first. Wheel puller tool. Remove rear wheel, check for binding or broken rear brake iron shoe. That can be common.
Next would be the diff, that may have a chipped tooth on the pinion or ring, causing that knock after a roll of short distance.
But, first get the instructions prior to tearing into the T. It needs reverence and instruction prior to play! Vendors have these reprints.
Good luck and have fun!
I suspect you may have a common problem with the differential thrust bearings. Since it's a "time capsule", the rear end has probably never been rebuilt. The thrust bearings are made of a babbitt alloy that crumbles over time, allowing the ring gear to wander from side to side in the rear end housing. When it moves away from the pinion gear it tends to lock up and bind on the pinion as one tooth from the ring gear tries to climb over a tooth on the pinion.
Sounds like you need to buy the MTFCA rear axle repair manual.
Read and study the manuals, take your time and have fun. You can do it!
You could be feeling compression strokes due to cold, thick oil. Open the hood. Is the fan turning while you push the car? What is the oil like? If all you are doing is moving around a non running car, you could try draining the oil and refilling with something thin like 0W30. Cold temperatures make a huge difference.
Could it be that the car was actually in high gear and the intermittent resistance was the engine turning over? If the brake lever was too far forward (or all the way forward), one would expect what you described. Just a thought.
As alluded to above, neutral in a Model T is a fuzzy concept. It is somewhere between where the high speed clutch engages and you set the parking brake. I pull the brake lever all the way back and then slowly move it forward, watching the Clutch pedal. In theory, just before the pedal moves is neutral. You may have to move the lever notch or too either way to get the best neutral. Cold, thick oil around the 25 plate clutch provides a lot of drag.
The only time my car pushed easily was when the U-joint broke and disconnected the clutch drag.
I'm with Thomas. Hearing a clunk is one thing, and it should be checked out. But my T never rolls like a car that has a standard gearbox with a true neutral. I try to have everything adjusted correctly, but there is always something dragging, if ever so slightly, in the drivetrain.
I figure as long as my car rolls rolls freely under its own weight when in neutral and on a hill, then things are adjusted within reason.
Thank you all for your messages. I believe the issue is either the rear brake shoe or in the differential. I have pushed the car gently in all positions of the lever...the same. I have not looked at the fan when I push.
Going to put the car on blocks for the winter and slowly look into it.
Again, thank you.
The lockup followed by a clunk when releasing certainly points to something in the drive train.
You are correct to suspect the rear brakes and plan on looking at the differential.
Make a big note for yourself to make sure the thrust washers are correct even if you find the problem in the brakes.
If there is nothing obvious in the rear end work your way forward.
I would think you would get it started,warmed up,and change the oil to 5 30 before everyone scares you into letting it set for another 25 years!!! Try a short drive and Lizzie might supprise you. Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Get used to it! Model T's don't have a true neutral.
It would be helpful to know if it ran when parked, or if there was a problem and that is why it was taken out of service.
The multiple disk clutch in a Model T is not as loose as a modern clutch and there is a drag on one even in good condition. It would be good if you can get the engine started and warmed up and see how it runs. If it will idle in neutral without the car moving or the engine stalling, that's a good sign.
If I lived closer to you, I would come over and help you. Maybe you can find some club member in your area who would be glad to give you a hand.
It is a good idea to check the rear axle for babbit thrust washers and if you find them to replace with bronze. While the rear axle is out you can also check the other parts to see if it needs to be rebuilt. Other problems will show themselves as you drive around, but the rear axle should be in good condition because it not only drives the wheels, but stops the car through the drivetrain.
Thomas, In my opinion, Bud and Larry are suggesting the logical course of action, and both have the credentials to support their thoughts. If this is your first Model T, it's best to learn the idiosyncrasies of the car first, then make an informed decision about your concerns. I would not expect a Model T that's been sitting for 25 years to roll well at all.
All to often well intentioned folks will hear hoofbeats and insist you have a Zebra problem. It's been my experience that the sound of hoofbeats usually indicates the presences of horses.