Ongoing problem shifting into high gear

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Ongoing problem shifting into high gear
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harvey Cash - Winnemucca Nevada on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 01:30 pm:

I am still having problems when shifting into high gear from a start. The car starts and runs fine but when I release the pedal into high I get a loud smack and the car seems to struggle and chugs. I have been having this problem for quite a while. I thought it might be the bands. upon removal I found that the bands had been riveted on wrong by the previous owner and the reverse band had come loose. I replaced the bands with new Kevlar ones hoping that would solve the problem with shifting into high gear. It acts like an adjustment but I just don't know where to start. As always any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Harv.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 02:37 pm:

Contrary to what some say, I let my low pedal up a little on the slow side I don't just take my foot off the pedal. Are you throttling back before shifting?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 02:56 pm:

Sounds to me like you're got a new or well-adjusted clutch. _A slipping clutch will be smoother, but of course, nobody wants that. _The Model T really needs an intermediate gear between low and high because without it, the torquey part of the power curve is one or two hundred RPM higher than the shift point. _Shifting is not so bad going downhill, not too great on level ground and pretty awful on an incline. _And a climbing left turn after a stop-sign is the absolute worst.

During my first year of ownership, I used to shift my Flivver by the simple expedient of lifting my foot off the left pedal without reducing throttle. _I'd get a sharp 'clack,' the car would give a shudder and then lug through that unsatisfactory, low-frequency vibration band till she'd pick up some more speed. _After a while, I tried reducing throttle a tad while lifting my foot and that felt a little better. _Finally, I learned to shift by closing the throttle to idle as my left foot entered the slim neutral zone, feather the clutch into high after the engine RPM dropped, and then bring the throttle back in. _Using that technique, the shift (at least in my car) is silent and smooth. _I can reduce the vibration during the lugging-chugging part right after the shift by going real easy on the throttle when I bring it back in. _Retarding the spark timing helps, but only a little (perhaps because of my high-compression head).

It's no secret that modern cars, beside being more reliable, handle a whole better than the old iron, but that's not the experience old-car fans are seeking. _Oh sure, some folks will put radial tires on an antique car to improve its handling (and Jay Leno mounted them on his Duesenberg), but, in my humble opinion, doing things like that only dilutes the historical experience and challenge of mastery. _Hey, it's harder to sail than to motor-boat, but it's worth the satisfaction of having learned and polished the technique of making the difficult look easy (and perhaps you found out about that, as did I, after having learned to drive a stick). _Hey, anyone can learn to drive the underpowered, non-optimally-geared Model T Ford, but learning to do it smoothly while making it look easyŚwell, that's where the fun is.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harvey Cash - Winnemucca Nevada on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 04:32 pm:

Thanks guys, I have been out trying various techniques but am unable to get any kind of a smooth transition from low to high. No matter what I try it still smacks and chugs, really struggles to run, but only in high not in low or reverse. they are really smooth. I'll try all suggestions. Could it be that the clutches are bad or need to be adjusted out? Harv.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 05:20 pm:

Maybe the engine doesn't run right?
Spark and fuel supply issues tends to show when you need the most torque just at the upshift. Try clean the timer and oil it - if it's a style that needs oil.
Check fuel supply by opening the drain under the carb with some bowl under to catch it - it should flow good for at least a minute when checking.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 05:34 pm:

Do you know what kind of clutch pack it has in it? There's a huge difference between the smoothness of engagement of the traditional steel discs and the engagement of a turbo-400, jackrabbit, or other similar clutch pack. I have a Watts clutch in mine, and there's darn little slip when going from low to high. So I use my Ruckstell quite a bit to give that intermediate gear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Laughary on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 05:35 pm:

I'm hoping new coils solve my similar woes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 05:38 pm:

Do you know what type of clutch pack you have?

My 1924 came to me from the previous owner with a Jackrabbit clutch (sorry, Royce). I definitely cannot let the clutch pedal "snap" up like some do with the stock Ford steel clutches. I have to reduce the throttle and quickly "feather" the clutch into engagment, much like a modern car with a dry, single disc clutch. With practice, I get a nice smooth engagement with no bucking or chugging.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray Syverson on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 05:45 pm:

I know that the standard clutch disks need to be able to slide back and forth nicely where the disc tabs meet the drum. Sometimes the old clutch discs wear into the slot they are indexed into. So much that they don't engage or disengage nicely.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 06:03 pm:

Roger asked the same question that was in my mind. It could be that the problem has nothing to do with the transmission.

The bands have little to do with shifting. The reverse and brake bands, of course, are not involved at all. The low band is grabbing the drum as long as you have the pedal mashed down. The drum being stopped forces the transmission gears to do their magic. As soon as you let up the pedal, the drum turns free and stops forcing those low gears to work. At that point (letting up the pedal), the clutch springs squeeze the disks together. The disks are a 25-layer sandwich, half of the alternating disks being connected to the engine and the other half being connected to the rear wheels. When the springs are squeezing them all together, the ones connected to the engine force the ones connected to the wheels to turn. If the disks are worn out, or more likely if the springs are out of adjustment, there can be slippage causing loss of power to the wheels. This would happen only in high gear (direct drive), not in reverse or low.

That's only an attempted description of how the thing works, not a diagnosis of your situation. It's quite possible, as Roger suggests, that your trouble is in the engine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harvey Cash - Winnemucca Nevada on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 06:07 pm:

I don't know what type of clutch pack came with this car. This is the second year showing the car and last year it grabbed slightly going into high but now it's been getting worse. I have Ron Patterson coils from last fall and an Anco timer also from last fall. I had Lang's rebuild the carburetor also last fall so I think the engine should be running ok. The engine is tired so I'm sure that has some bearing on performance but it seems to have plenty of pull in low and reverse. Is their any way to check to see what type of clutch pack is in the car?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 06:17 pm:

Yep, pull it apart!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 06:37 pm:

Don't pull anything apart unless you know that it is a mechanical problem!

Several things you haven't told us. So I will try to bring them out here.

You need to rev the engine in low to where you are going approx 15 mph. Then as you let the pedal out when you pass through neutral, push the throttle all the way up to slow the engine, then let the clutch out all the way and pull down the throttle to increase speed. This is just the opposite of shifting down from high to low where you want to speed up the engine.

The idea is that the engine goes much slower in high gear and when you let out the clutch with the engine racing, it will give quite a jerk, and in fact if your clutch spring is a little soft it will even slip. It surely is not good for the disks to race the engine when you shift.

If you are going downhill when you shift, you can do so at a slower speed in low, but you still should push the throttle up and then pull down on the throttle after it is in high.

Going up a hill, you will need to rev the engine even more before shifting, and on a very steep hill you will need to go up in low.

All the above assume that you are running on all 4 and the carburetor is tuned for optimum performance.

Anyway, try pausing for just a second in neutral while you push up the throttle as you shift and you will probably notice it is much smoother.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harvey Cash - Winnemucca Nevada on Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 08:41 pm:

At some suggested my problem might be the engine. I just removed, cleaned and re-gapped the plugs, checked the timer, as I stated it was new last fall and has had very little use. It was very clean so I greased each contact with a very small amount of di-electric grease and reassembled. Checked all connections and the engine now sounds like a new car and runs great, but it hasn't solved my problem with shifting into high. Norman I'll try your suggestion tomorrow and hope I can solve this problem. Thanks to all for your help and support, This club and this site are the greatest. Harv.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alan George Long on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 06:59 am:

Have you considered the grade/ brand of engine oil being used? Oil has a great impact on clutch / band application in modern day automatic transmissions. I have improved my harsh engagement of high gear by changing to a different oil.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 11:20 am:

It has become sort of axiomatic, for me at least, that anytime the powerplant isn't behaving itself, the first thing to do is clean the roller-timer. _It couldn't hurt and it needs to be done occasionally, anyway. _Most of the time, my timer has been the culprit. _If cleaning it fixes your problem, great; if not, well... at least you'll have a nice, clean timer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 01:04 pm:

Harvey - Please don't take this as an insult, as I certainly don't mean it as such, but perhaps a bit different driving "technique" would produce different results when changing from low to high pedal. Might consider letting someone else drive the car a bit and see how that goes and get their opinion,..... FWIW,...... harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 01:07 pm:

Harvey - Please don't take this as an insult, as I certainly don't mean it as such, but perhaps a bit different driving "technique" would produce different results when changing from low to high pedal. Might consider letting someone else drive the car a bit and see how that goes and get their opinion,..... FWIW,...... harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Robinson, Salty Bottom, AL on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 01:13 pm:

I once had the same problem. Ran fine in low. Go to high it would go to bucking. Turned out to be a leaking green intake gasket.


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