I notice that there are three different styles of the steering stabilizers sold by the major antique parts suppliers. What would be be best style for a 1926 Roadster.
Make sure your front end is up to scratch and you don't need one!
The one I bought had too weak an attachment to the front axle. The first time it slipped I ran off the road and into a shallow ditch. The second time it slipped was at the entrance to the hotel.
I took it off and would have returned it but the supplier was in the middle of a family squabble about the business at the time.
Listen to Frank, he is correct.
I'm with Frank. I'd skip the Band-Aids and spend the time & money fixing the steering.
Been there and done that. Had to spot weld one of the brackets to the axle. The correct answer is to fix the problem which in my case required some new tires. If you can get everything in alignment and cross a railroad track without shimmy, then its fixed.
Guess I'm the rebel. Have used Frank Fenton's version for 10 years on the '27 touring and like it. No issues. Just check the mounting pieces each inspection time to be sure all bolts are tight and mounts have not moved from original placement.
The 'stabilizer' isn't designed to fix any worn parts or improper set up of Ford front end. You have to have correct good parts up front. What it does, and well, is to provide a 'shock reducer' to the steering wheel in your hands went you don't see that chuck hole and hit it.
The Ford planetary steering gears will transmit all sudden and quick large bumps from the wheels to your hands on the steering wheel. The stabilizer absorbs most and keeps the steering wheel more under control...IMO and experience.
I like the idea of the stabilizer. I used one on my first model A and then rebuilt the entire front end and never put it back on the car. The worn parts as stated above seemed to be my problems. Now model A drive perfect. The T seemed to need the same repairs.. Tim
I agree with you Dan T. I put them on my T's, including the one I am restoring now that has everything new on the front end. If you happen to drift off the edge of the road and hit either a bad pot hole or broken up macadam, and you're not expecting it, it can whip the wheels to full lock.
This has the potential to flip the car. The steering stabilizer will greatly reduce the chance of this happening. Another advantage is you can back up a T in a straight line with no hands on the wheel. Try doing that without one. Some people will say that it will steer harder. I put one on my wife's car and she never knew it until I told her. She didn't notice any difference at all.
I also use one on my '15 and really like how it makes the steering very stable even on rough roads and helps on ruts too. I completely rebuilt my front end so probably would not need it but it sure drives nice with it on there. Joe
Back when I first rebuilt my T (1982) it was on our farm and I did most of my driving on dirt roads out in the country. Once in awhile I hit a "washboard" road and the wheels were uncontrollable. You have to stop the car asap. Those of you who have had that experience know what I'm talking about. The front end was adjusted fine ... but it didn't make any difference.
Those stabilizers with the piston are great. Bolt them on and this condition will never happen. Even though most of my driving is in the city of Rochester ... I'm still glad it's on my car.
A front axle assembly in good condition does not need a stabilizer.
Fix the faults. Don't fit a part that is an aftermarket patch and probably costs as much or more than the correct parts needed to do the repair properly.
I put one on my speedster just because I like the feel of it. I guess Volkswagon and many other manufactures did the same and thought the added cost was worth it.
Not to jump on the bandwagon by also suggesting you fix the front end/steering deficiency instead of reaching for a quick fix, but it needs to be said that 15,000,000 Model T's and 5,000,000 Model A's didn't come from the factory with a built-in shimmy. Besides making your steering harder, the parts that are worn and whose weaknesses are band-aided by a stabilizer will only continue to deteriorate until something bad might happen. That shimmy is trying to tell you something: "Fix me! Fix me!!!" Listen to it and follow the guys' advice: find and repair the source of the problem, not the symptoms.
No offense, but putting a modern screen door piston on your T's front end is way to tacky modern looking for me. Your mileage may vary!
I found a vintage model 1918 patent
works amazingly well, no shimmy , even on washboard
My front end is all new , but this does improve the ride