Since all band linings were woven material in my previous Model T experiences 50 years ago, on getting back into Ts just months ago, I was surprised at the use of wooden band linings . . . and amused to learn that wood was used very early on.
This led to my wondering if leather was ever used successfully, and if so, why isn't it an option these days ? I'm vaguely aware of leather linings on the early other makes cone clutches, but don't know if any were running in oil.
Seems to me leather would run similarly to wood, without the difficulty of having to be accurately formed to the bands.
I am curious as well.... the cone clutch on an Overland, for example , seems to have a much larger surface area, however.
The cone clutches use retanned leather and are treated with neats foot oil. If they are over oiled they slip and you need to apply diatomaceous earth to correct the problem. If they are too dry they grab. Based on that I can't imagine using leather in an oil bath system like a T. The other thing is that the surface area for a cone clutch is probably 10 times the surface area of a Ford band.
My great granddad use harness leather in his T, because that's what he had a lot of out on his farm...from all the stories I've heard, they worked out well.
Val, kind of what I supposed re/ the cone clutches. One thing always leads to another. What is "re-tanned leather" ?? Isn't "diatomaceous earth" just chalk ? (I never believed the cat got killed by curiosity ; > )
Martin, that's the kind of information that would encourage me to experiment . . . : )
Rich, if I had a surplus of harness leather I would've put it in my car too...but since I don't and it's damn expensive around here, I opted for Jim Guinns wood bands...they work really well, a bit of chatter at first, but after they seat in they were fine. The only thing you really have to remember with them, is no soft releases and don't try to slip the clutch either or ride it, that will char em...if you smell wood smoke you've charred a band, usually thought it's the brake because you forget to pump it when you're in a panic (I did that and had to get a replacement). But you use them properly and they'll last forever and yes they will lock up the rear wheels.
The best bands are original Ford or Montgomery Wards. The material is a woven cotton asbestos blend. Leather is not a good band material.
Rich, there are lots of things used to retan leather but the cone clutch material is treated with salts of chromium. It is supposed to increase the wearability of the leather. I know that they also do it to increase the ability of the leather to accept dyes but that is for fashion, not durability. Diatomaceous earth is I believe the same stuff that coral reefs are made of.
I'm with Royce as usual, but why can't Scandinavia bring back the band material they used to make back in the '50s and before. It was so much better than the crap they make now.
I think you mean Fuller's earth which is a clay and oil absorbent.
My dad's 1910 IHC Model F roadster (four cylinder, pneumatic tires) has a HUGE leather faced cone clutch. Low gear on the car is not low enough and it takes a lot of practice to let out the clutch without making the car leap. There are no fine adjustments for the face of the clutch like there are on higher priced cars from the same period.
Neatsfoot oil is applied to condition and maintain the leather. Any over application of neatsfoot can cause slipping, but that is only temporary based on our experience.
Fuller's earth is what you put on a leather faced, cone clutch if you have problems with slipping, especially when too much neatsfoot oil has been applied. Fuller's earth absorbs the oil.
Erik you are correct. I don't know what I was thinking about but diatomaceous earth would scratch the leather as it is an abrasive and it does not absorb oil to my knowledge. Fuller's earth or talc is used to prevent slippage from over oiling on a cone clutch. I went out to the garage and found a tin of fuller's earth that I use on my Chalmers-Detroit clutch. Why I though it was diatomaceous earth is beyond me. Next time I will check first rather than relying on my obviously failing memory.
Yes, it's Fuller's earth. Known better today as oil-dry. Rich, odd that you mention cats, it's also the same as your cheapest brands if kitty litter. I would grind it up into a powder however before applying it to a cone clutch, or buy it as a powder.
With the possible exception of the IHC Erik refers to, many cone clutches had spring loaded plungers mounted behind the leather that caused "lumps" in the leather surface. The lumps would be the first bit of leather to make contact when letting out the clutch and would offer some initial friction to add a feathering effect to the clutch, preventing a grabby clutch. Most folks today don't realize the function of these plungers and ignore the fact that the leather has worn thin in those areas and no longer offers any feathering. While the leather may appear otherwise excellent, the clutch will be grabby.
Talc is not Fuller's earth. I believe it's just a finer grade of diatomaceous earth.
The reason that the original type Ford and Montgomery-Wards band linings may never be seen again is simple. Read the seventh word in the second paragraph in Royce's post above. It's Asbestos.
They treat that stuff like it's radioactive Kryptonite now. However, I've heard that the regulations on it in Canada aren't quite as strict. If that's true, there may be hope.
Any of our posters to the North care to shed any light on this?
Here in Detroit, Canada is our neighbor to the South. We're kinda messed up here...
Maybe this thread is wandering too far off course, but I don't think so. It's turned into some discussion of materials of different sorts, and while the relevance might be off on a tangent, I kinda think most of us are the type of guy who likes to know all kinds of "stuff".
While I take "stinky-pedia" online with a grain of salt, in the main, the information is pretty good especially compared with the outright errors and misinformation that the "interweb" is loaded with.
Here's what I found: Diatomaceous earth is a micro-fine mineral 90% silica and other percentages of alumina which is a deposit of the shells of dead shell-bearing algae. It is commonly used in toothpaste, filtration, polishes, and as a "filler" in a number of products. It is absorbent.
"Fuller's Earth" is a micro-fine volcanic "ash" containing Bentonite and other mineral. It is commonly used in filtration, and the absorption of . . . oil . . . and other "stuff", as Jerry noted, a major ingredient in cat litter.
Talc is a mineral, composed of hydrated magnesium silicate, in solid form known commonly as "soap-stone". Formulated with corn-starch, has commonly been used as a bath powder.
Sounds to me as if any one of 'em would work fine on a cone clutch that was too oily.
Neat's foot oil: I am well acquainted with neat's foot. It is excellent protection for leathers of all kinds, and will often resuscitate dried, sun-burned leather to be supple again. The term derives from its source, which is specifically the fat deposits from the lower-leg of bovines from which it's rendered. If you go looking for neat's foot, be advised that what is commonly marketed is "neat's foot COMPOUND" which is a petroleum product, not the same thing, is not really good for leather items, you may as well use your used motor oil.
Re-tanned leather is loosely referred to as leather which has first been tanned in a vegetable process, then re-tanned in a chemical process involving chrome salts which is commonly referred to as "chrome tanned". Presumably the double-tanning process results in a leather with superior wear characteristics.
So far as "leather" is concerned, there are so many possible variations of type and process that simply to specify "leather" is about as specific as to say "wood".
What I'd gather from this is any success with a leather clutch lining (or Model T bands) would depend mightily on the specifics of the leather used. "Harness leather" would point to a more specific type . . .
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I wonder if it's possible to research the specifics of the original Ford and Montgomery Ward linings - in my "day" (c.1962) MW was selling Scandinavia - it worked well for me then. What changes have been made to Scandinavia, and when ?
I would gladly buy NOS band linings if I could ever find any, but at some point, the "leavings" will all be gone (if they aren't already) and it sure would be great to have a source of woven lining that was equal to the original.
I suppose my quest is a bit silly, most folks seem to be right happy with wood or kevlar, I have to say the wood linings in my '13 are functional, it's just not the "feel" I recall . . . Kevlar seems to have mixed reviews.
Finally, we can all bemoan the severe curtailment asbestos and other materials have suffered in recent years, any sensible approach would provide for moderation in their use, as opposed to the "Kryptonite Panic" which has been in effect for some time now.
Back to Jerry's comments about spring loaded plungers to create lump/bumps on the surface of the clutch for ease of feathering:
In some leather cone clutches the spring loaded plungers were adjustable so you could set how far out the protrusion could be and/or compensate for wear if needed.
And old trick for ease of engagement of leather faced cone clutches, especially ones that that had no springs or adjustments for the face of the clutch, was to slide pieces of hacksaw blades under the leather to create bumps/lumps on the face of the clutch.
Yes, correct about the hacksaw blades, (and other stuff you said too).
Pierce used corks under the leather that are spaced evenly around the clutch housing
An old timer told me once that he used to punch several holes in band lining and glue in thin discs of cork. Just a bit thicker than the lining itself. Said it engaged smooth as silk and lasted for years.
I've seen period ads for band linings marketed with round cork inserts . . .