Busted crankshaft

Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration
Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Busted crankshaft
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Talkington on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 05:18 pm:

On the day I was to pick up my 1924 Touring car after a complete body off restoration I was notified by the shop that on the final test drive the crankshaft broke. Does anyone have any good advice on how to proceed with this matter?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 05:27 pm:

Ask the restoration shop if they have liability insurance for damage done to customer's property, and tell them to fine a claim to repair the damage.

BTW, when the crankshaft broke, did it destroy the block also?

This type of situation can get quite involved & you may want to hire a good attorney to represent you.

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 05:40 pm:

I think you need to work with the shop. If the crank broke and did not tear up the block or anything else then the crank could be replaced. On my 24 the crankshaft broke at 40-45 mph and wrecked the block,magneto coil,the starter nose,flywheel ring gear and some magnets. It would seem like the shop did not magnaflux the crankshaft and reinstalled a cracked crank which let go. A cracked crank could break at any time. I think you should bargain for another complete rebuild at their expense. I would think you would want to use a new Scat crank.

I would leave the lawyers out of it unless you can't work out a satisfactory solution with the shop.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 06:25 pm:

Every Model T crankshaft will break some day. You don't know when, and neither would the resto shop.

I am sorry to say that the restoration shop is not likely to be at fault here, unless they supplied the crankshaft and just installed it as part of the restoration.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Thomas - Centerville, Iowa on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 07:07 pm:

It's a model T crankshaft. They break all the time. How can you even consider to hold the shop responsible? Everyone knows the risk. This looks like an opportunity to shut down every shop that works on model T's if they think they can be sued because a crank breaks. Or every shop should factor in the cost of a second rebuild on every job, just in case it might go bad.

My advice, you should have specified a SCAT crank or take the risk like every other person who drives a model t.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 07:14 pm:

Royce, you are correct. However, if a sealed bearing was installed (forth main) without straightening the pan, there could be a problem that there was too much pressure on the crank which caused the break. I have heard that this is common when the pan is not straightened. The original bearing doesn't seem to cause the problem because it wears in quickly as opposed to the sealed bearing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 07:43 pm:

If the crank was not magnafluxed then the shop has some culpability. My thought was the shop would rebuild it on their nickel and the new scat crank would be the owner's responsibility.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Marchees _____Tax Capital, NY on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 07:59 pm:

I have to ask an obvious question as the original post isn't clear.

Did the restoration include a full engine / trans disassembly, inspection and rebuild? If so, what are the details of this?

A complete body off resto is a term I have seen thrown around a lot over the years, and can mean a lot to many people. Meaning that a rebuilt engine to some is a clean off, gaskets, maybe new rings and put it back together with some fresh paint.

Just trying to clear up what the details were.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 08:34 pm:

Ted, magnafluxing a crankshaft will only detect cracks which are already there. The process will not prevent cracks developing or crankshafts breaking. Don't ask me how I know this.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 08:42 pm:

Ted, magnafluxing a crankshaft will only detect cracks which are already there. The process will not prevent cracks developing or crankshafts breaking. Don't ask me how I know this.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 09:04 pm:

I don't think anyone has enough information right now to make any comments.

First we do not know what Mr. Talkington contracted the shop to do. Did he contract the shop to rebuild the engine? If so, did the shop do the work in house or did they send the engine out for a rebuild? Who determined the scope of work to be done on the engine? Owner,shop or rebuilder? Did that S.O.W. include all new parts? Was that option offered to the owner? Did the owner agree to use the old crankshaft? Did he provide it as a spare part?

Sometimes the rebuilder will say something like "all parts determined to be serviceable will be refurbished and reused". In which case he had better magnaflux the crank at a minimum. But he does have culpability because within the Model T community it is well documented that the risk of breaking a used crankshaft is statistically high.

Since we do not know any of these details, it would be hard to determine what outcome the owner might expect.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, June 05, 2016 - 10:23 pm:

If the engine was not part of the work then all responsibility likely belongs to the owner.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Barrett in Auburn Ca. on Monday, June 06, 2016 - 12:40 am:

Royce is right, everyone of them is going to break at some point. Liability depends on what the shop did to the engine. Just a guess but probably little or nothing. Many "restored" cars have had little more than a paint job and upholstery. The look like new but are not. When I build an engine, I use a fully vetted reground original crank, and few make the cut. Otherwise, it's a new Scat crank. All of my engines have a properly aligned pan. Either way if it were to break a few miles out of my shop, I would certainly cover it. A shop that is not very familiar with model T's can not be held responsible if they did not rebuild the engine completely. Unless the crank is magnafluxed and known to be crack free at the present time, every time you crank it up you roll the dice. I would hope the shop would work with you on getting the matter resolved, I am sure they are as uncomfortable with the situation as you. That would have been an unhappy phone call to make as a shop owner. It all comes down to how much they were involved with the engine work. You can find an abundance of help here on this forum if worse comes to worst. Good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Talkington on Monday, June 06, 2016 - 05:38 am:

A complete engine rebuild was included in the restoration and was done in house by the shop which according to his website specializes in model T's. I instructed him not to cut any corners and to use new parts whenever necessary and available. I was not aware of the inherent problem with model T cranks and the shop did not inform me prior to starting work or I would have specified a scat crank. Although I own two model A's I am new to model T's. Thank everyone for your comments. I am meeting with the shop today and will find out what damage was done and what the shop will offer to do to help me find a solution to my situation. I will post the results when I know more. Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Monday, June 06, 2016 - 08:28 am:

"I was not aware of the inherent problem with model T cranks and the shop did not inform me prior to starting work or I would have specified a scat crank."

Are we setting Jim up for failure by making it out to sound like there is an epidemic of Model T crank failures? I am willing to be there are more Model T's still running today with original crankshafts than new ones.

Crankshafts, like any component, will eventually fail. But I would think that the decision to replace it should be based on an assessment of the actual condition, not proactive replacement based on some conceived notion that failure is imminent.

Here is a survey done back in 2013 with a lot of anecdotal information to pour over.

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/405092.html?1386244352



(Message edited by Dan B on June 06, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Monday, June 06, 2016 - 09:04 am:

When you have a situation arise like this its best to work with the shop, NOT against it.
Don't walk in the door with 3 lawyers and 3 guys behind you.

The crankshaft question will probably arise since the crank will fall in the category of good used parts.

I'm not sure about using the argument about T cranks "break all the time" will work. The same would go for the Transmission drums, flywheel magnets and etc.

I would work with the shop first and see what kind of attitude they have. Then you will know what the outcome will be.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By J and M Machine Co Inc on Monday, June 06, 2016 - 09:28 am:

Without knowing the whole story; What the machine shop actually did and what their procedures were when rebuilding the engine.?

As I had posted in the Link Provided by "Dan B"
About Magnafluxing the crankshaft "checking for cracks".

If the crank was checked then it wouldn't of broken out of the box.

We have rebuilt engines with original cranks that we've tested and are running without any issue.

Inherent problem is failure of the machine shop to do a proper rebuild by failing to inspect the crank as well as other parts.

This picture above is also a perfect example of failing to inspect crank. This red engine lasted about 6 months. $2295 special. With broken crankshaft, we had to totally rebuild. So how much did the customer save.? As a prior poster had mentioned we're "to expensive"

Most machine shops don't have the equipment and forgo basic testing. "It's only a Model T"

For example; We had our local Model T club for open house and asked how the "Experts" check for cracks? They replied we hit it with a hammer and "rings like a bell", we know it's not cracked. Well the rebuilder who had rebuilt their engines told them that "procedure" and was present during the display.

We then showed club how we check cranks and associated parts in "Magnaflux" machine, showing same crank that rang as a bell to be cracked.!

As Allan Bennett has mentioned about sub surface cracks, x ray would pick that up as magnaflux is for surface crack. However whereas the crank failed immediately I would conclude that the crank wasn't magnafluxed at all.


Now I would suggest for Jim Talkington to go to the rebuilder and ask for a detailed bill if he didn't get one as if crank went bad what about everything else in the engine? How about transmission drums as those crack too, did he check those? Block/Head?
Our bill is line item for each part machined or replaced showing complete detail of what was done to the engine.Detailed manner so there aren't any questions of what parts were or weren't replaced.

I know it opens up a can of worms but engine has to come completely apart as if they skipped an important step of the crank inspection what about everything else?
Very Good Question.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting, Clare, Iowa on Monday, June 06, 2016 - 11:50 am:

Royce, you are correct. However, if a sealed bearing was installed (forth main) without straightening the pan, there could be a problem that there was too much pressure on the crank which caused the break. I have heard that this is common when the pan is not straightened. The original bearing doesn't seem to cause the problem because it wears in quickly as opposed to the sealed bearing."END QUOTE"

Not true, a bent pan will break a crank no matter what kind of ball cap you use.

Not the fault of the ball cap unless you have to much slop in the ball cap Babbitt.

Herm.


Add a Message


This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Username:  
Password:

Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration