I think this is a opinion question but what is the best timing gears to run. Steel or the nylon gear? Just need some opinions on whats best. I am not concerned with gear noise. Thanks in advance.. Tim
I prefer Dan McEachern's Bronze cam gear with his steel crank gear. Don't use a new gear with a used gear, always replace the gears as a set.
For what its worth, I prefer the fiber gears.
Why? Because I run only non starter/generator cars and because they come in different oversizes. After a rebuild I sometimes find, often really, the standard size gives too much lash and I go with the .003" oversize.
Something happened to fiber gears. They used to be fine. I installed one in my '15 engine after the rebuild in 1998 and it stripped out in a few hundred miles. No generator of course.
I installed an aluminum gear and it has been fine ever since.
Royce - You just touched on something that I was going to bring up;.....even tho' this has been greatly discussed, over and over in the forum,.....that fact that use of the fiber gear is a huge mistake. And I believe it, and Steve Jelf's (and many others) photos of stripped fiber gears prove it!
However, the thing that has always puzzled me it the fact that when I was a kid in high school, I bought a Model A that had a tired engine that ran great for a couple years (until I removed a main bearing cap for inspection and the babbitt literally fell apart) after which I then replaced that engine with one that I rebuilt myself, using as many parts from the original worn out engine as I could (being a college kid on a very limited budget). The thing that sticks in my mind to this day, is the fact that I could barely afford the absolutely necessary new parts that I used, but just because I thought I should, I DID replace what appeared to be a perfectly good fiber timing gear with a new timing gear that I bought from Warshawsky's (forerunner of J.C. Whitney) in Chicago where I grew up and lived at that time. What I distinctly remember was the fact that both the old used fiber gear, and the brand new one that I bought from Warshawky's had a very hard (and heavy, for fiber) feel to it, even though I knew it was fiber, and I remember wondering at that time, how they could make a gear out of crap like that that would, and in my case, DID stand up to many miles of driving. Of course my thought now is,....if they could (and obviously DID) manufacture a durable fiber timing gear back in the '50's - '60's, why can't they (or why don't they?) do it now? Anyway,....it's a mystery to me,......FWIW,......harold
My Model A came to me with a laminated fiber gear in which the layers were visible. I remember it had the Formica trademark near the outside diameter by the gear teeth. The new gears appear to be made of chop instead of fabric layers.
Neat story about my 22 T and fiber timing gear. My Grandpa was 17 in 1938 and would spend summers at the family farm in Conway NH. It was 1938 and he was driving the Touring cut off through the woods and the timing gear stripped. He pulled the stripped gear off the T in the woods and left the cutoff in the woods for a few months unable to tow it out. He shipped the stripped gear to an uncle that was a machinest at Pratt and Whitney. My grandpa received a new machined gear in the mail months later went back in the woods put it all together and it started right up. That same gear is in my T today I don't know what material was used on the new one. That's one of the few stories he shared with me about the Model T he learned to drive on, I'm glad it's in my garage today!
My first choice would be original Ford. Second choice, McEachern bronze. Third, aluminum. No fiber, no nylon.
My first choice would be a Pratt and Whitney custom replacement!
I certainly can't explain why some have such poor luck with fibre gears. I have one in each of my three running cars, one of which has over 20K miles and not a hint of trouble with the gears. These are not old stock but straight off the shelf. Go figure.
I share your experience with fiber gears
Richard & Les - Makes one wonder if there is more than one manufacturer for the presently available fiber gears,....???
Does anybody know? Perhaps some are USA manufactured and some are foreign manufactured? Maybe Don Lang or someone from Snyders or other suppliers would know,....???
Also, and just sort of "thinking out loud here, but maybe a factor why some have success with modern manufactured fiber gears and some do not, might have to do with whether or not the gear is also driving a generator (or alternator) or not, and how the gear mesh and the "driven gear" tooth profile matches the fiber gear tooth profile, not to mention gear lash. Lots to consider here, but as Richard & Les point out, strange how some have good luck and some don't.
Also, one other possible factor here, and then I'll quit "thinking out loud", but on a 4 cylinder engine, there are certain critical speeds (rpm) at which time the camshaft is not a constant load, but sort of "pulsates", which of course makes "gear lash" pretty important. This is not as critical on a 6 or 8 cylinder engine as on a 4 cylinder engine, however, I am now getting into the area of "mechanical engineering" of which I know just barely enough to be dangerous, so, as promised I'll shut-up now, and just hope that one or more of our forum member "engineering types" might have some thoughts they'd share with us on this,..........harold
I'm a mechanical engineer who made a living out of rotating machinery. This subject has been "flogged to death" in the past!!!
What's wrong with the original steel gears? Why look for an alternative?
I think Tom is on the right track. The fibre gears now available are made from macerated fibre bonded together with some kind of resin/glue/whatever. The original fibre gears were made of laminated fibre sheets. These were widely used on all sorts of engines.
It's a bit like fibreglass boats. They use chop and spray it onto the mould with the resin for quick and easy results. The better quality builds use layered cloth and resin, which takes more time, [read expense], but it gives a far stronger result.
Allan from down under.
All I can say is fiber gears have always stripped on me when running a generator
The thing that is wrong with the original steel gears is that they sometimes have teeth worn down to little stubs and no longer mesh properly. Hence replacement gears exist.
Thanks for the advise it seems to be the opinion across the board that i should stay away from the modern fiber gear or nylon gears. I will order a new set of metal gears. I have worked on cars for 40 years and normally replace the timing gear sets on everything but thought i would ask the question to see which gears were best for the model T, being that i have only been working on these cars for a couple years. Thats why i like this forum so many members have multiple decades of keeping their cars running. Thanks for the advise... Tim
I have an Allstate fiber gear that I bought from Sears in the early '60s, and it's in my car to this day, with over 50,000 miles. My other two T's have aluminum. I think they are from Dan.