I have a beautiful gloss black, powder coated four dip pan. It has been checked on a pan jig and I was told it was "out" too much and would require straightening to be used. Since the amount of straightening time was not able to be determined without actually doing the work, I don't know if it is worth it or not, but I can say with certainty that I will have way to much money in it if it is straightened because I have more than I wish that I had in it, now. There is a possibility of the powder coating being ruined by straightening, too. Just to look at it, You'd think it was usable. I don't want to risk ruining a engine.
Crankcase alignment fixtures do not lie - knowing & understanding how to properly "work" a pan over on it is another subject.
If the crankcase isn't properly straightened, you indeed could destroy an engine by possibly breaking the crankshaft !
Is the pan jig local? Why not have it set up again and have the jig operator show you what's off and how he would attack the problem. The money you have put into the pan is gone and if your alternative is to do the same thing with another pan, you might as well do this one.
You can achieve good results with shims. Place the engine in the block with gaskets and install the hogshead with gaskets but no sealant. First tighten the two trans to pan bolts down and check the ball cap for alignment. I insert two 3/8 x 24 long bolts into the pan so I can slide the ball cap in and out. You also need to check the alignment of the top two bolt holes where ball cap attaches to the hogshead.
If all is OK, which it usually is at that point, tighten the remaining trans to pan bolts one at a time alternating sides starting from the back and proceeding to the front. When the ball cap begins to bind, add a shim at that point so that it frees up. Continue in that fashion until all the bolts are in place. At that point remove the trans cover and reinstall with the shims in place along with sealant. I have a 1910 pan that cannot be straightened on a pan jig that I used that method on with excellent results
Question: Did the heat curing the powder coat warp the pan? I have wondered about that. Dan
You know Ted has about hit it. Terry really has a nice looking wall hanger if the pan is that far out. This shimming method you guys are talking about: Can you really make a pan that's out work that way? (I guess not too far out). These shims are home made? I'm assuming that when you shim then install the gaskets that their cut out where the shims are with mucho sealer used.
One thing a pan jig will not straighten on a four dip pan is the location of the wishbone support. Many four dips have been on cars that were in an accident, and the wishbone was pushed back distorting the pan. I made a special tool for this purpose. Every owner of a pan jig that does this for pay should have one. When I made it, I used a pan that was totally straight everywhere, and took a scrap rear horseshoe and welded brace to it with the proper size ball to drop in the socket when attached to the pan. Of course I screwed in 5/16 bolts in the horseshoe too.
To clarify a point, I bought the pan, already powder coated, so if that is to be considered a expense figured into the pan, it would have to be reflected in my initial cost. I have no way of knowing whether the powder coating curing heat had anything to do with the distortion, but I would think the steel in a pan would have to be heated more than 500 degrees (I think that is normal powder coat curing temperature), to cause a problem provided it wasn't dropped while hot. I have about $200.00 in the pan, as it sits. It would be an expensive wall hanger. I'd get more by taking it to the scrap man.
Take it to Ross Lilleker and let him have his way with it. You already own it, it has to be cheaper to fix it than to throw it away and buy, straighten, and powder coat another one.
Powder coating has to be done very carefully on certain items or the item can be warped by heat. I personally would not powder coat a Model T engine pan for this reason.
Using the word "beautiful" is inappropriate here.
Powdercoating is a BAD idea on almost ANY application. "Shiny" and
"pretty" are considerations that do not logically apply to railroad ties,
wrecking balls, or oil pans. Function outweighs all aesthetic concerns.
The flexing of that pan will make it ugly as hell when the "pretty" starts
to peel off, and you will hate your life when the task of taking it all off to
fix the problem knocks at your door. Trust me. I got sold that bill of goods
and decided to look deeper into this "bulletproof" myth the powdercoater
people put out there. Powdercoating works great on non-flexing surfaces
that will never get scratched or worn through to the metal. Once oxidization
can break the seal, powdercoat is on its way to being the biggest PITA a
person could ask for.
If you think you pan is expensive now, install a bent pan and see what
expensive can really look like ! I am always amazed by the cheapskate
angle people will try to spin to justify not doing a job right. Model T guys
seem to rank WAY up there for being cheap (not to be confused with being
Do it once. Do it right.
Larry has made a very important & valid point - 4 dip c.c.'s are notoriously weak at the wishbone ball mount and a pan jig WILL NOT verify that anomaly !
Royce, Ross is the one who checked it. I happened to have another straight pan (uncoated) so we used that. Now, I have a spare 26-27 short block that needs a pan.
Burger, I don't want the results of a misaligned pan. That was the purpose of my post. I'd rather junk it, than to ruin my short block.
Steve and Larry, if the wishbone ball mount is not checked and the pan is straight, can one assume the wishbone mount is 'OK' if the wishbone falls into the mount when the engine is put in the chassis?
To expand on Larry's point, a pan jig won't check the wishbone socket alignment on a 3 dip pan either. If it's been punched in at some time in the past, it can spring the field coil back into the flywheel magnets.
After reading Larry's description a few times, I gather the tool he made is for checking the socket position. I wonder if anybody has a suggestion for the best way to put it where it belongs if it's been pushed back.
I pulled the ball socket back into place. I bolted it to a vertical barn beam,with long lag bolts. Just fit between the crankcase arms. I made a steel plate that bolted to the ball socket. Attached a come-a-long vertically above it. Pulled it out slow, over a day or so. No heat. Worked perfect.
Terry W asked a question of Steve and Larry, but maybe I can jump in here.
" if the wishbone ball mount is not checked and the pan is straight, can one assume the wishbone mount is 'OK' if the wishbone falls into the mount when the engine is put in the chassis?"
No. There are several reasons why a ball connection will or won't line up as it should. The most common cause of the ball not lining up, is that the frame is bent or sagging somewhere. And two wrongs do not make a right, but they can make the ball line up so that it looks good.
The most common frame sag is at the rear/side engine mounts. Between the engine and the body mounts, there is a lot of weight and force applied to about six inches of frame. Years of driving on rough roads has bent many many frames. Fortunately, that is fairly easy to check. Even buried inside a complete car, careful jacking and measuring on a smooth flat surface can quickly show if the frame is bent. Remember, the frame is tapered slightly front and back, so measuring to the ground must be to the top of the frame rails.
The other place that frames commonly bend and sag is the front cross-member itself. They can bend anywhere from the front inches of the frame rails throughout the cross-member. Unfortunately, this is not so easy to check, especially on an assembled car. Cross-members can bend from common use to major collisions, or bad repair work. Damage can tweak the spring and therefore the axle either forward or back, change angles the axle and therefore how the wishbone lines up to the pan, and throw many things out of whack.
Heavy use over years tends to move the front axle forward. Collisions (even minor ones leaving little trace of having happened) tend to push the front end back as well as push the ball socket on the pan in and back.
If you wind up with a frame on which the front cross-member has moved the front end back (or forward) a half inch, and a pan that has had the ball socket knocked back (or forward) also a half inch, the ball and socket may line up perfectly. But you could have problems with steering or magneto magnets hitting inside the pan under certain conditions (that will drive you nuts!). Ball sockets (especially with four dip pans) can also be bent sideways somewhat. That, coupled with something bent around the front end can also result in a perfect fit and steering problems that are hard to find.
The good news is that model Ts tend to be very forgiving. I check everything over as best I can, fix whatever I find tweaked or broken as best I can, then put it all together. It is common for a ball and socket to not line up well. Sometimes, I can figure out why. Sometimes, I recheck everything, and cannot find anything off enough to explain it. Loosen spring (sometimes pan) bolts, pull with a come-along and/or jack everything into place, and tighten everything together. Often it is an accumulation of tiny errors that caused the assembly problem. As long as I know everything is close to right, I have never had a problem later doing that.
I hope that helps.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Mike Stormo was my go-to guy for beating a pan back into proper shape and form.
We did it at a few consecutive Tuesday night meetings at the Antique Auto Ranch,
courtesy of Tom Carnegie & Co.
The shop there has the jig, and after Mike pursuaded me to junk my original as a
goner, and I spent a whole evening climbing over the piles of T's and parts there on
the ranch grounds trying to find the best core to start with, we did a lot of gas wrench
and sledgehammer adjusting to get it back to close. Some brazing was required as
well. After it was close, a second pass was made on several points to get it fine tuned
to "perfect". Tom is now suggesting we bench test it for leaks with solvent, before
committing it to paint and getting placed in the ready pile with the rebuilt hogshead
and other bolt-on parts to complete the engine/transmission.
The front, vertical part of the pan with the socket was shoved back pretty good on
this one, and we spent a fair amount of time beating it back to a happy place. If I
remember correctly, this was one of the places we hit with more brass to repair the
broken original brazing. AFAIK, there is no tool or jig to locate the socket exactly. It
is something of a "good eye" adjustment of the mount area and overall straight-standing
look of the socket arm.
Wayne, the answer to my question about the wishbone mount, was good for discussion, but after thinking about it; was an exercise in futility. I do not have a frame or chassis for this engine, and would probably keep it on a engine run in stand made from the front half of a T frame. I just had a wild hair about building it up as a spare or for sale locally. I just happened to have a spare 26-27 block (no cracks, but might have to be sleeved). a 60 OS piston rattles in the cylinder bores; an EE crank that has been drilled for oil; a set of special aftermarket main caps the have bosses and 1/8" PT holes to run oil lines to; a Datsun B-210 oil pump, gear, and block adapter bought from Bill Kirk before he passed away, a Stipe .280 cam, and I'll choose pistons and head when I get that far along. If I'm going to use the pan that I have, I'll just have to let Ross Lilleker straighten it and get ready for the bill, or scrap this one and buy another as they do come up for sale on Ebay and the MTFCA classifies from time to time. Problem is buying one that isn't someone elses problem. That's how I got struck with the one that I have.
P.S. This block and parts are not for sale until the fat lady sings and she hasn't even arrived at the concert hall, yet.
My inexperienced two-bits:
I had my 4-dip pan powder-coated prior to the engine/tranny rebuild. Bruce Hopkins rebuilt transmission, making sure that the pan was straight and that everything was properly aligned. The powder coating has not chipped, nor have I had any issues with it. In fact, I am really glad that I had it done because it makes it very easy wipe off any oil that runs out the pedal shaft holes. Yes, I did have a crankshaft break after about a thousand miles with the original rebuild, but I do not attribute that to the pan being out of alignment. Dave Johnson put in the "new" crankshaft and made sure that everything was in alignment with the transmission. Incidentally, I also had my running boards powder coated and I do not regret that decision either. I am frequently taking kids, IE. my daughter and her friends, to the park or take the family to Starbucks. I believe that the powder coating has worn better then paint would have.