This manual suggests it...
The disadvantage to using reverse or the low pedal to brake with is that you are causing wear to the transmission triple gears and bushings and pins. If it were only the band linings then you would naturally do what the book says. In reality the transmission is expensive for you to repair and you don't want that to be a regular thing.
You should drive your T as if there are no brakes. In an emergency you can stomp hard on your brake pedal and expect to slow down. If that is not slowing your forward progress rapidly enough, in an emergency, you could stomp all three pedals and pull the parking brake lever.
Save up and buy a set of accessory rear brakes for your T. Then you can have a transmission that lasts a long while and better brakes that can be easily relined.
The reverse drum has very little heat capacity. When the transmission is disassembled it is often cracked. When I first drove the Model T fifty years ago using reverse as a brake was conventional wisdom. Now that I have rebuilt Model T engines and gone through transmissions I know this is a bad idea.
If your other choice is having an collision or serious accident, then use reverse as a brake. Otherwise its not a good idea.
Well, just to start this off, I have to say that I don't agree with either of those "ideas"!
I have learned on this forum from those that know, that braking by use of reverse is asking for a cracked reverse drum. Because reverse is effected by mostly locking up the drum, in other words, minimal "slipping", the reverse drum is made thinner, and accordingly, will heat up much quicker than the brake drum.
And as far as shutting off the ignition for descending a hill, I almost can't believe that "advice"! First of all, it's just asking for a backfire when turning the ignition back on with a muffler full of gasoline vapor, and a blown up or blown off muffler! And I'm a firm believer that such practice will tend to wash a lot of the lubrication (oil) off of the cylinder walls with unburned gasoline! That sure doesn't sound like a good idea to me!
No,.....I don't like either of those ideas,......FWIW,........harold
Well,....I didn't "start this off"! Sorry Royce and Ted,....you guys type faster!
In short, DO NOT TRY BRAKING WITH THE REVERSE PEDAL unless your very well versed in rebuilding your transmission and have a good tow package.
When you take apart an old transmission looking for drums, the one most likely to be unusable is the reverse drum.
The reverse drum seems to be the most delicate and subject to cracking. I prefer to use mine as little as possible. I would rather use the hand brake to help the foot brake when it needs help. Hand brake linings are easier to replace than transmission band linings.
My impression is that those passages in the MTFCA book were lifted from Model T period articles (Murray Fahnestock?) during a time when transmission band life was short and folks were looking for ways to extend the life of their bands, especially the brake band.
Subsequent experience has shown the unfortunate side-effects of those practices and they are no longer recommended.
I have been told that one must use discretion when using the reverse pedal to brake. There is a possibility the car could split in two.
Thank You for the wise responses and the lightheartedness.
Something to always remember as others have also stated is that Model T's don't have real brakes.
That's usually what people begin to find out when they start driving a T.
When we are so use to our modern cars having a good braking system its takes getting use to driving a 90 plus year old design a little challenging.
If you use reverse to brake, then you are probably going too fast or following too close behind the car in front of you.
Remember the Chrysler products that had the dangerous pushbutton transmissions that allowed the driver to push the reverse button while going forward?
Maybe it's time to update the books
Unless you're in the Model T transmission business... Ha
I did that once, and cracked the drum on the borrowed car I was driving. Very embarrassing! I use real Rocky Mountain brakes on all of my cars. No, they are not authentic, but they are period, and not reproductions. Too bad someone doesn't make them. They are cable operated, with an equalizer, and any fool can install them in a short period of time.
Let's put them back into production. Who holds the patent?
"Remember the Chrysler products that had the dangerous pushbutton transmissions that
allowed the driver to push the reverse button while going forward?"
Huh ? Where are you getting your intel, Private ?
You mean the Chrysler pushbutton automatics that would not engage reverse if the car was
in forward motion, but would freewheel as a designed safety feature ? Because Chrysler never
built or sold a pushbutton transmission that could be slammed into reverse by pushing the wrong
Answer - Yes, been driving these for 40+ years and still have 2 in the stable.
Dangerous ? Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about on this subject.
Wow! That's a beautiful phaeton!
Better a broken drum than a broken head bone, in a panic situation stomp hard on any two pedals. KGB
I am always amused when someone recommends stomping on all three peddles and pulling the hand brake. Pulling the hand brake releases the clutch so that the only thing you are doing with the reverse peddle is to kill the engine. The low peddle will slow a the car if going faster than low would be going, the brake will assist in slowing progress, and of course the hand brake will help if there are lined internal (or external) brakes properly adjusted
Last year I had to make a sudden stop in my 26 Fordor going down a steep hill leaving Lake Louise on the national tour. The wood brake band burned out in short order and I grabbed the hand brake and locked up the rear end, sliding to a stop just in time.
Most important is to make sure your internal rear brakes have lined shoes or you have good external brakes properly adjusted. And don't use the reverse peddle for the several reasons listed above.
Chris, they are back in production. http://www.davesrestorationandmachine.com/
Seems like some very odd advice over all. The copyright on the books cover says 2011 but the text reads as much older so I'm guessing it's a reprint from days gone by.
Dale, I disagree. When you pull your lever you disengage the HIGH SPEED clutch. Low and reverse still function and can be used to produce deceleration. High gear cannot engage with the lever pulled half way or all the way.
Burger, I resisted a comment on the push button automatics until I saw your post. And no, they will not engage reverse while moving forward. But, I have to recall one of the guys in our group of 'motorheads' when we were 'youngins' He drove a 62 Dodge with the push button. There were times we would have three or four of us in our cars engaging in some daredevil cat&mouse racing over some winding back roads, often real close to the guy in front. You can imagine how fast you would STOMP the brakes when he would push REVERSE and those huge reverse lights would light up! We pretty well knew it wouldn't engage but, what if? You can see in the photo, those things were almost like headlights, at eye level no less!