We are on our way to a RV rally at West Yellowstone. We need to be there Sunday May 15th so we left Wednesday May 4th so we could travel at our leisure and see the sites. We took our Fodor as I want to drive a T through Yellowstone Park. We get to Gothenburg Ne. Unload the T so we can use it to see some sites. We drive around Gothenburg then the next day we drive about 40 miles to North Platte to see the Golden Spike RR tower that overlooks the biggest RR marshaling yard in the world. When we get back to Gothenburg we stop a McDonalds and as I push the clutch to move into a parking spot the car free wheels. No go, dead, no clunk, no bang no nuthin just no go. So I call our towing service and they send a tow truck. After talking to the driver, Jim, he takes the car to his shop and lets me use one corner and his jacks and jack stands. So Monday morning I tear into this, I have the car on jack stands and have unbolted the front of the drive shaft from the engine when Jim walks over and starts lightly pulling on my right rear wheel. Holy cow is that thing loose. I pull that wheel straight out as the axle shaft broke. Boy were we lucky after all that driving to have that shaft break when we were barely moving at McDonalds, not on the road. So I am getting ready to call Langís to overnight some axle shafts to me when Jim tells me to wait a minute. Jim calls a Rodney Gage that has three full rear ends, a spring spreader, five gallons of 600 weight oil, and a wheel puller to me in about an hour. The wheel puller didnít work as it was worn so Rodney calls Pat Gaudreault and has a good wheel puller there in two more hours. I pulled apart the first rear end that Rodney brought me, it was used as a trailer axle, and found two very good axles in it with no wear on the bearing surface, very good key ways and minor cleanup needed on the threads.
So now it is Tuesday and the car is back together and running perfectly. What was wrong? Stephen Heatherly restored this car and did an exultant job of rebuilding the rear end. He even put brand new axle shafts in it which turned out to be junk. When I get back to St. Louis in June I am going to look into this as these shafts should not have pitted and broke within two years of not a lot of driving.
I just wanted to update you guys as it was wonderful to see Model T folks help a stranded traveler. Even the campground we are staying at is a city park camp ground that only charges fifteen dollars a night and is letting us stay this last night for free.
I just love small towns.
Our rig we are traveling with.
Rob, Saturday night and Sunday night we got high winds, heavy rain and small hail. Lots and lots of hail, thank God is was small and did no damage.
Wow, so glad you found the problem and fixed it. If you still have to broken axle, can you post a couple of sharp closeup photos of the fracture surface of both pieces?
Enjoy the rest of your vacation!
The axles are buried below in my hold. I will dig them out later when I have time. You can clearly see were there is a crack started on the broken shaft.
Model Ts, always an adventure. And model T people are usually the best when you need a hand, or a few parts.
I do know a few exceptions, but usually, that is the way it is.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Good luck on the rest of your trip. I found out after I had been there that Model T's are available for rent in Yosemite Park--if I'd only known!! Don
Yep, Tin Lizzy Inn at the south entrance--also Model A if you want a little more power and comfort. However, everywhere you stop is a car show! We had a number of foreign visitors who were extremely grateful we let them sit in the car for a picture!
Good fun! Here's a pic of us about to leave the Inn to head to the park. Excellent picnic basket in the back seat too! Watch out for Yogi!!