I'm a nubie. My experience with a t up to now was cranking them and driving them. Yesterday it was in the 70s, everyone was gone to visit, had the place to myself. I pulled the t out, filled her with water, fired her up and drove off down the road to warm her up. It was a perfect morning.
I decided it was time to give her an oil change, first in about 20 years. All went well until I drove her afterwards to see the difference. Oh what a difference, engine ran so much quieter, timing settings changed too, and the transmission slipped baddly. I couldn't get her over 5 mph.
I feared I had destroyed her by using an oil higher in zinc. Thank God for the forum and the WiFi in my shop. I found that some newer oils affect the clutch plate. I saw the oil topic gets a bit heated and I don't want to go there, I just want to thank all those who have shared their experience in the forum.
Today I will adjust the clutch plate as per "the book" rather than switch back to the original brand of oil. As for the change in timing I found a wrench and bent the spark advanced rod to the specks from the book and pictures found on this forum. Much better now.
I want to thank you all so much for taking the time to share your experience and record if for us newbies.
Was your "new oil" either synthetic or even a synthetic blend? I've read where those types of oil will make the trans. slip. I use good ol' Rotella.
Plain old regular oil James. 10/30 preferred in my area because it gets kinda' chilly. No advantage to going too modern any way.
Not sure how an oil change messed up your timing adjustment.
Hal, maybe he was referring to the spark advance position..sounds like the crankcase had molasses in it, probably took more advance with that to get the engine to smooth out like it does when we advance the lever after it starts?
Absolute beautiful cars Tim, fully agree on the Rotella straight 30 wt. I don't drive em' in the winter that's why the straight weight. Usually mid Jan. it gets 20-30 below O for about a week to week and a half, otherwise it's "just damn cold". Heard where Rotella is either cutting back or eliminating the zinc content by the end of the year ???
It was the the spark advanced position that changed. Allot. The oil I took out was molasses. I had to flush with a few quarts of truck oil I had in stock. I will admit that it was a synthetic I put back in and I don't want to start a war. I know everyone has a favorite their girl likes. I have rebuilt a few 80s, 90s and one 70s so I have a prefered flavor for my girls too.
I'm sure at turkey time my family will have allot of interesting comments on my choice too. Most of us being grease hounds and lovers of all things rusty.
My aim was to thank the men and women of the forum for their experience and the time it takes to record that experience for us newbies.
I wish everyone a happy turkey day and peace be among us until the coffee is served.... then it's on
I use 5w 30 super tech Wal-Mart store brand no issues no problems. I use it in my new cars and my old cars.. Tim
Synthetic is often too slippery for the clutch plates which run in oil. You should find the cheapest 5W-30 conventional oil that you can buy for better results.
I'm going to keep this on my website and post it whenever the oil discussion comes up, so I don't have to keep retyping it.
My dad was a still operator for Shell, Pathfinder, and Union Oil for forty years before he retired in 1965. He scoffed at TV commercials for all the various brands. He used to say, "It all comes out if the same pipe." He wasn't being literal, of course. It was his way of saying they're all basically the same, sometimes with dye added to make them a "special" color. Look at your oil container. Does it have the API seal? Then its contents meet the same standards as all the other brands.
I agree with Royce and Tim. When you pay extra for the big brand "with XLNT added!!!", you're just subsidizing their expensive advertising. The cheapest 5W-30 with the API mark is better than what your T got when it was new, and just as good as the higher priced stuff.
Well, I know the magneto gets splashed with oil—a lot. -And metal (such as zinc), in unintended places, isn't good for anything that makes electricity. -Intuitively, it feels like an oil that contains zinc wouldn't work well in a Model T.
As for synthetic oil; I agree that the stuff is too slippery for a Model T clutch. -It's been said that straight 30-weight is the right type to use in a Flivver, but in my experience, it causes the car to creep upon starting. -Plain ol' 5W-30 doesn't do that. -It's a happy medium.
Were I you, I'd change the oil and thin the new oil (within reason) with a dose of Marvel Mystery Oil, run it a while, drive it if possible, change the oil again and, depending on results, repeat the process. -If that doesn't work, Ford recommended flushing the engine with kerosene. -With the engine filled to the top spigot with kerosene, remove the spark plugs (to make it easier to hand-crank) and whirl that crank around so the magneto gets a good rinse (Fortunately, zinc is non-magnetic). -Then, of course, drain the kerosene as completely as possible, jacking up the front end to do so, and replace that with motor oil.
I'm with Royce and Bob on this one. 5W30 works great for me.
I can't see how changing the oil would affect the spark timing, however, since the clutch was slipping the engine would be running at a higher RPM and so would need to be more advanced.
You said you couldn't get over 5 mph. Were you still in low gear or did you try to shift into high? If it slips in low, it would indicate your low band needs to be adjusted or relined. If it slips in high you would need to adjust the clutch forks (three screws at back of transmission). If the slippage is only in low, don't do anything to the high speed clutch. Don't continue to drive with low band slipping or you risk cracking the low drum.
Be sure to read the book before doing any adjustments. The low pedal should be fully engaged when the pedal is 1 1/2 inch above the floorboard. If you adjust it too tight it will drag while you are driving in high and that too will heat the drum. There are other factors which affect the adjustment of low. Sometimes the cam and notch are worn out and it is impossible to get the proper adjustment unless they are replaced.
When all adjustments are done, you should be able to roll the car in neutral on a level surface without the engine turning and you should also be able to crank the engine in neutral without moving the car.
If after you read the book, you have trouble understanding what to do, try to find someone in your local area who is a club member and can recommend a person to help you hands on.
Henry did not say to buy/use the cheapest oil you can buy,i think he said a light weight high quality machinery oil. Engines are expensive so will you save 50 cents a quart on oil then spend 6,000. on a rebuilt? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
My name is Lance, I'm new to the model T world, AND I AM SERIOUSLY HOOKED. Just wish I would have started earlier in life but as they say "its never too late". Guess I listened to my dad and granddad too much when I was younger about what a pain in the ass T's were. I had a few questions on oil but already answered in this post. Just want to say I am amazed at how passionate and helpful you ALL are. Amazing how much info you have and share. Many thanks.
Lance, welcome aboard. Your comment about your granddad reminds me of a couple things. Please indulge me on a little thread drift. Remember there was a time when a model T was mere transportation, and not always cooperative. My father's uncle Hank never took the least interest in dad's old cars at family gatherings. Dad asked him why. Hank said, "I grew up on a farm in Virginia. My brother and I had two chores every morning. One had to milk six cows and the other had to get the model T started. The milker was always done first. I have seen quite enough of model T's."
One day I took my T pickup to an old hardware store to buy something. I rolled up to the door, idled it a few moments and shut it down. I breezed in the door and to the right were a couple employees. One was an old timer restocking a bin full of nuts, washers, and other stuff. The other was a teenage kid helping him. The youngster looks out the door and asks, "What kind of car is that?" Before I could answer, the old timer says without ever looking up from his work, "That's a model T Ford." Not once did he ever look out the door, and his tone did not convey pleasant recollections of how he knew the answer. So remember, when we play with our T's, it's usually all fun and games. It wasn't always that way. Today I am thankful that it is for us. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
There isn't anything about good ol' Rotella that's the same as it was except its name. The zinc content was reduced in car oil because it was having a negative effect upon catalytic converters. Once they started mandating big trucks also be equipped with cats, the answer was the same -- to reduce the zinc content.
Adding zinc was a post-Model T era answer to problems with high pressure valve trains using flat tappet lifters. It's an answer to a problem that T's don't really have.
The excellent SAE paper on ZDDP busts a lot of the myths regarding zinc in a lot fewer pages than many of the controversial threads we see on various forum.
Even if you do have an oil with zinc, as far electrical conductivity goes, it's such a fraction of a percentage of the oil content in terms of PPM, I'd wager it would be immeasurable in a practical sense.
Bet we all know someone who could measure it to 20 decimal places.
I run 10W-40 full synthetic high zinc oil in mine. no problems, no slipping. Some of the slipping problems have been attributed to oil labelled "energy conserving". Some (not all!) of their formulations can cause band or clutch slippage. Its been said many times before but bears repeating: compared to the glop they fed those engines in the day, most any of today's oils are good.
Also, once it slips, it keeps slipping. Are you closing the throttle when you shift, or are you just taking your foot off the clutch? If you're just taking your foot off, it can cause it to slip and like I said, once it does it don't quit until you let off that throttle and let the shafts match speed. A new clutch spring can help, but even so, it's best to close the throttle when shifting.
Back when I was a newbie, I was told detergent oil would eat up the bands. Well, it didn't take me long to figure out that was BS. I've been running 20-50 in all my T's for years, and am ready to start using something like 10-40, or even 15w-40 diesel oil. My favorite brand has always been Valvoline, but it's getting so expensive!
If I run straight 30 w oil in my T I have problems with my free nuetral. I ran 30 and adjusted everything as per the book and some knowledgeable t filmed and thought I'd have to live with it unti I changed the oil and that fixed it.