I helped a local fellow put the engine back in his '11 Touring this past summer. We had trouble getting the wishbone ball back far enough for it to drop in the socket easily. It's in now but doesn't seem to be back as far as I'd like. I'm thinking someone yanked on the front cross member at some point and bent it forward. I haven't seen it since so I can't tell for sure one way or the other.
Another thing: When we went to put the engine back in, I had trouble getting the front of the pan to drop into the motor mount. We finally got it in but with a lot of prying and such. That also would seem to indicate a bent cross member.
Does all this make sense? Does anyone have any other ideas?
Very common problem. It can happen to model Ts of any year, but earlier frames were a bit thinner and therefore a bit more prone to sagging of the frame rails and cross members.
I really don't like the idea. But have helped a few friends (and done on a couple of my own cars) over the years to force together pans, frames, and wishbones. A come-along, pry-bar, or couple of jacks can pull things together and inch maybe. I have never heard of serious problems from doing so. But properly tweaking the frame would be better.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
You might try flipping the wishbone over. It might help.
I've had to use a ratchet type come-a-long on two Model T's between the center of the front axle and the differential to get the ball back into the socket. Stiff front springs that are frozen in position do not help. I believe this is a common problem.
We'd wondered if there was a top and bottom to the wishbone. Thanks to all, I'll pass the information along.
Fred, while there may not be a top or bottom of an early over-the-axle wishbone, over the years many have been subject to "adjustment". The recommended way to adjust caster on the front axle was to use a bending bar to induce the correct setting, so the radius rod is often bent. Turning a bent rod upside down will exacerbate front end problems.
If nothing was disturbed other than removing the motor, it should go back as usual.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.