OK guys, how many of you will admit to doing things on your own car that you would never advise someone else to do? Or even a step further, how many of you do things you wouldn't admit to doing on the forum?
I'm guilty of both. I'm a firm believer in that these cars were meant to be worked on by the average farmer of the day, and that what the book says and what you can get away with are two different things. What you can get away with on an Indy car and what you can get away with on a lawn mower are two different things. I think a T is closer to a lawn mower than an Indy car. What you can get away with on your own car and what you can get away with on a paying customer's car are two different things as well. So I don't work on anybody elses's. I guess we all know that it's better to do the job right, but if it's just a hobby car, not your sole means of daily transportation, what's wrong with cutting a few corners to save hard earned money so you can keep it on the road rather than it sitting up for months while you save up to do it "Right?" Heck, I'm a tinkerer. If the "Fix" doens't last, it'll just give me something else to do.
So....Let's hear it from you guys. Do you do things you wouldn't recommend to others? Do you do things you wouldn't even admit? You don't have to say what.
I like to tinker and I call thesefixes..shade tree mechanics. Things that you would do to get to home or on your way..or in our case..around the block. Some of the things I remember are:
gas tank pin hole leak = sheet metal screw with faucet rubber washer coated with 2-part epoxy, screw it in and forget it..seals like a charm.
coke can wrapped around exhaust leak fixed with two hose clamps. Its amazing what one can do with bailing wire, hose calmps ,popsicle sticks and tape..and Iam just talking about the car here...
Your my kinda guy, Mick.
I,too,am a tinkerer.I am also frugal.When I lived on the farm I had 80 acres to drive around on trails in the woods,etc.,I built several T and TT chassis that I never intended for road use.I almost hesitate to mention any of this because I can almost hear the derisive snorts of perfectionists.I also do not want anyone to do these cobble type repairs and pass things off as 'restored'. Worn axle keyways-a row of punch marks along the edge of the keyway.One or both sides.If the hub is worn,a ring of deep punch marks around the axle hole inside and out.Once,as stated on the JBweld thread,I 'glued' a center main in.What I did not go into in that post,I did not want to waste a then $30.00 set of rings in it.Soooo...I removed all the old rings.Cleaned grooves.Out comes my punch[again!]and I made a row of punch marks on the inside of the ring,opposite the gap.About an inch and a half long.This expands the ring.This engine smoked less than professionally restored engines I have had.A little Bon-Ami in the bores helped 'em seat. Too much crankshaft endplay?I made a leather shim out of the sole of a old boot. Put this behind the pulley.Takes some cussing to get the pulley back on and maybe grinding the pin to a taper to get it started in the crankshaft hole.Oil hell out of it.That engine would quarter tur on mag.If the engine was dis-assembled,I have ground the bolt holes in the rear mains oval and shoved it forward to take up endplay.I made wedges out of nails and drove in the hole to keep it from sliding back. I have welded the 'crater' worn in the top of the tappets in to take up that eighth inch tappet clearance many an old worn engine has. Several '26-7 engines I have been around have a front cam bearing knock.The cam bearing is loose in the block,not the cam in the bearing.Solution.Pull the cam out.Paint the OD of the front cam bearing all over with copper spray-a-gasket.Several coats.Let dry.Knock gone.The first time I did this was to a new bearing.It was loose in the block,too.I have a bunch more of thes farmer fixes but my presence is requested elsewhere.
Heres something that is usually recommended on our Forum---"soak your new bands in oil before installing." I NEVER do this with wood,kevlar or Scandinavia bands---they are tough enough to install without gooping them-up with oil.Once installed dry, I let them get totally saturated by running the engine about 15 minutes. Been doing this for 30 years and never had a problem. Some might disagree.....Paul
You have given me some new ideas.
Actually one could write a book about these fixes..I would read it..but that is just me.
I like this invetiveness (this could be a new word I just made up) and inginuity..stuck in the dim lit garage( no I did not say dim wit) and limited parts and tools to get the $#@@! running again.
But back in the day you know these things were done to keep'em going. Its just a great hobby for sure!
Keep'em going I think Hal has started an interesting post.
It is an interesting post. It made me think a little (no wisecracks!). What we're talking about here is an art form, one nearly lost. In this day and age of such sophisticated technology it seems that not too many things can be made to work using "bailing wire, hose clamps, popsicle sticks and tape".
Generally speaking, I think many of our youngsters lack the opportunity to develop the skills needed to do the kind of things you guys have mentioned. When someting they have stops working, it either requires a specialist to repair or it is discarded. This situation denies them development of the language skills so important to tinkering, and the satisfaction of "making it work". I think we have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to do whatever we can to teach them that a tinkers damn is a very important thing. Our old Fords are a perfect place to start.
Think Apollo 13.
Henry Patrino - the tinkers damn you refer to is indeed important. BUT, a tinkers dam is only good until it's used and served it's purpose. Then, it's worthless - worthless as a tinkers dam.
I just had to say that. No offense intended.
With the exception of conveniences such as epoxy (which I'm hopelessly enamoured by, after 40 yrs of boat building), anyone who's spent even limited time disassembling T's will have run into many of the fixes that Jim has mentioned. I find it somehow comforting that he and undoubtedly many others, likely not heard from on this forum (although there are occasional reports of tour experiences salvaged by the contribution of someone's leather belt) are keeping a true T tradition alive. Hurrah!
In Henry"s thread refering to the development of the language skills so important to tinkering, is that the blue language or the english language?
These kinds of repairs have been time proven and should be on a database.
It amazes me how soon as someone gets a Model T, first thing they do is pull the car completely to pieces, send the powerplant away to be reconditioned, and then spend years cleaning and painting all the parts. Instead, the car could have some simple repairs done to it, and be enjoyed.
You get folk who try to get things to within .001" of specification, whereas in reality there's no need....the average farmer in the depression wouldn't have spent hours with feeler gauges to get his car going again. I dare say even in the factory that as long as it feels not too loose and not too tight, would have been the practice for much of the assembly.
My favourite is homemade shims for loose steering.
Also, with no thread on the exhaust manifold, I simply wrapped copper sheet around the exhaust pipe join and secured with hose clamps. Worked beautifully. Leaking welch plugs? Smear silastic all over them. Don't pull the engine out of the car for crankshaft end play...just remove the 3rd bearing and solder brass shim to it. Dead mag? Leave the key turned to the left after starting.
Valve pin broke? Use a split pin. Got no valve lifter to get it in? An open ended spanner levered on a block of wood does the same thing.
Strangely, it seems that cars with these sorts of repairs seem to just keep going.
Leather, tin, wire, silastic, and tape are essentials in your repair kit.
I was thinking about doing this last night. If everyone agrees, I'll volunteer.
If you send me a paragraph or two of what you did and how you did it, I will be happy to house them on my website. I'll only ask that it's something you did - not something you think will work but have not tried yet. Each tip can include the authors name (if you want it to). If it takes off I'll try to index them all for easy access. I have already started this to some extent with the modern bearings and head stud removal pages but it's a slow process doing it alone. With your help we can create a huge resource for other T guys in the future. If you have photos we can include them as well.
Putting them on the forum is a great idea too, but it seems like this only a temporary holding place for these great ideas. Meaning that eventually the spam bastards get to it and the data is deleted in the effort to end the attack.
I tried that with my first T. The bands were slipping, and the wheels had a shimmy. I also installed Rocky Mountain Brakes. I replaced the bands and the spindle bolts. I took it on a tour and the driveshaft broke. Good thing I had the brakes. Replaced the driveshaft. Took it out again and a bolt came out in the transmission and ruined the starter gear on the flywheel.
That was when I decided to take it all apart and fix everything.
An idea I got on the forum and used successfully; shim the crankshaft pulley with a pop can. I cut a strip as wide as the pulley and long enough to wrap around without overlapping, slip into the pulley, and drive onto the end of the crankshaft. No more loose pulley and the fan belt tracks correctly.