In 1979 after a crankshaft break I had the engine in my Town Car rebuilt. That's only 37 years ago.
In that time the TC has done over 70,000 miles.
In that time it has been a highly reliable car. It always starts with one or two pulls of the crank even after sitting for periods up to a year plus and has had no work done on it except for a cracked brake drum 12 years ago.
Well just before Christmas we went in the local townships Christmas parade and it ran like a watch like it usually does until we were on our way home> About a mile away while climbing up a hill just before the top it suddenly miss fired and started running rough.
First thought was a coil so while we went to low gear I removed the coil box lid and proceeded to push down the coils, no different.
Then tried battery, no difference.
As we were so close to home I struggled on as it was now flat or down hill. Parked it and yesterday got time to get to having a further look.
Checked the coils and timer, nothing so out with the spark plugs and 1 & 2 good compression, 3 & 4 Nothing.
Pulled the head and this is what was wrong.
Always something going wrong with these old cars.
Note the ball in the right hand cylinder (all that's left of the missing piece)
Let me get this straight .... you are saying 70,000 miles on a head gasket is a bad thing ?
Maybe it's time to junk that heap and buy a new KIA ?
Peter, when my car blows a head gasket the valves and both chambers end up a lot cleaner... pretty dramatic.
Burger - I read Peter's post as tongue in cheek..
Terry - it's when the head gasket blows towards a water channel you'll get everything really clean. Peter's gasket only opened up between two cylinders.
Since we're virtually neighbours, I'd offer to come help you replace the gasket, but something tells me you'd have it all sorted by the time I was half way there.
How the heck have you managed to sit in one of these old things for 70,000 miles anyway?
Yes, Tongue in cheek. All a bit of fun !!!
John Page, Australia
Bit of tongue in cheek but more to point out that a standard Model T in good condition will last many years without any extra attention than normal service.
That left cylinder doesn't look so good. Is that a crack in the wall?
Peter, I feel your pain. It has been one thing after another for 54 years. I am looking for a new hobby.
I, too, am thoroughly disgusted with the poor quality of parts; even OEM parts. I could not even get 100 years of use from the crankshaft in my 1914 engine before it broke. Not even 100 years! That is unacceptable! I should write a letter to the Ford Motor Company expressing my disappointment and dissatisfaction with the short life of their motor and requesting replacement and compensation for loss of service and and the resulting mental anguish.
It's a crime. It's an outrage. Cheap Ford junk.
That was a long time and a lot of miles on the head gasket. You might want to check the straightness of the head. It could be warped in that area.
Do you realize that even the brand new cars made today are not made to last 37 years? You got good service out of yours.
I wish all our engines would last as long and get as many miles as yours!
Ford should issue a recall and replace all those Babbitt thrust washers.
I'd drive to the dealer right now and demand a warranty replacement !!!
And I too, was tongue in cheek.
Years ago (about 25) the local Ford dealer's son and one of his parts guys were on my softball team. He was relating how good his parts department was on getting Ford parts so I tested them a bit. That week I went in and with a straight face tried to get them to order a new magneto for my 1913 Ford.
They may have been good, but they weren't that good!
How can you guys talk or eat if your tongue is stick in your cheek?
Ken, the cylinder is not cracked, the mark is from the rings. There is no noticeable wear in the bore at all.
I was surprised at how little carbon is in the cylinders the aluminium pistons are about half clean and shiny metal on top. Lot different from when I was young we had to decoke motors regularly.
One thing I have always worried about is the water passages. This motor has always had water in it (52 years with me) and its not looking like it is about to rust through anytime soon.
Head has been surfaced and its back together tomorrow.