Why does my T crank and push so hard?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Why does my T crank and push so hard?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 11:47 am:

My '27 runs beautifully, but there is so much resistance that I simply cannot crank it with enough speed for it to start. It also doesn't crank electrically with as much enthusiasm as I would expect for a small 4:1 compression engine. When I put it in "neutral" It pushes about like a Caterpillar D-6. I assume that something is dragging somewhere, but the transmission pedals and bands feel OK. It drives pretty much like the two '24s that I learned on. Ideas?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 11:58 am:

What weight oil are you using? Even in Florida 30 wt is pretty heavy and can give you a lot of resistance until it thins out and warms up. Also, leaving the hand brake lever forward when the car is not being used will make starting a bit easier. If that isn't the answer I suspect the bands are too tight. If the car creeps after it has warmed up that is a pretty good sign the bands need to be backed off a bit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Jefferson, Ohio on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 12:01 pm:

Be sure you have set the proper free neutral and check the setting on the spring fingers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker, Oklahoma City on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 12:11 pm:

Could be lots of things.

Is it hard to crank when it's cold, but loosens up after its hot? If so, then your clutch disks are sticking. Very common problem. Simply jack up a rear wheel when starting cold and put the car in neutral. Crank her up and let the wheel spin like crazy. After she's warm, the wheel will start to slow down.

If it's always tight, could be bands adjusted too tight.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker, Oklahoma City on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 12:14 pm:

Could be lots of things.

Is it hard to crank when it's cold, but loosens up after its hot? If so, then your clutch disks are sticking. Very common problem. Simply jack up a rear wheel when starting cold and put the car in neutral. Crank her up and let the wheel spin like crazy. After she's warm, the wheel will start to slow down.

If it's always tight, could be bands adjusted too tight.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Mosher on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 12:28 pm:

Thanks to John Codman for starting this post.
I'm having the same problem with my 27. Things are so tight I can't start the car at all. I've tried to use the crank cuz starting it by battery just draws so many amps the starter switch gets hot,it sounds like a v8 when the timing is too far advance. Now my back is aching!
I backed off on the trany bands with no luck yet
So thanks again to John for starting this post. I'll be flowing to see how l can fix it


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 12:37 pm:

Another thing that has not been mentioned and is common is the 3403BS Clutch Lever Adjusting Screw is not set low enough. I make all my own screws so they just can ride up on the clutch lever. I champer my screws so they slide up on the 3432 clutch lever easier. Take your floor board out and watch the Screw if it does not rotate the 3402 Transmission control shaft, then you must tighten the screw down. I will try and get you a picture later today.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Dugger on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 01:03 pm:

INMHO! I would start by checking for a good neutral. Then check the clutch fingers. I would set them for an almost slipping clutch. Then get the Black book out and read Chapter XXXV, Para 1060 to 1064 and pay strict attention to the detail that is stated there. Good luck and Good T'ing

A Merry Christmas to one and All!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan McEachern on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 02:51 pm:

When you park it overnight or for longer periods, you need to leave it in high gear so that all the oil gets squeezed out of the clutch discs while the oil is hot. this will make a huge difference in how hard it cranks when starting a cold engine. Its also good for the hi gear clutch spring to take some compression out of it while stored.

this also will make a car hard to push around when cold. All of the above still applies as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 03:50 pm:

I'm still a newbie to model t's so I've been experimenting with oil viscosity lately. Grandpa ran 5w-20 when he drove it, I upgraded to 5w-30 and found easy starts. Then I wanted to try 15w-40 Rotella because I run it in all of my quads and motorcycles. Not so good with the Rotella could not start the car without one wheel off the ground. Switched back to 5w-30 and all is fine again.

Adjusted my free neutral by the way also.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 04:50 pm:

From what I have read on this forum, heavier oils bind the clutch
pack in a way that adds the entire transmission to the drag when
starting. Lighter oil and keeping the parking brake lever pulled back
(squeezing the oil out of the clutch pack) will help reduce the oil
associated drag issue to a minimum.

A properly adjusted neutral is kind of tricky to get dialed in, but is
also a real problem for easy starts. It is a two-part problem of dialing
in the right low pedal-to-direct (or as some call it "high") AND the
screw-diddy thing Dave Huson is talking about.

Dave, I really like your idea. However, the Purist "Gods" might pitch
a fit over such an overt modification ! :-)

Before I really knew what I was doing with my T's, I looked at that
screw thingie and decided to use a longer bolt and reverse it, so the
head rides on the cam and the added length allows me to put a nut
on the backside to secure its adjustment.

The above mentioned lack of getting enough revolution speed tells
me something is wrong. One should not be getting "revolutions".
Just a simple up pull from about 7 o'clock to 11 is all I give mine, once
brought up against the resistance of compression. If your spark is
retarded and throttle at the "sweet spot", all that would remain to mess
with might be the choke (if needed).

Also learned here is to pull the choke and crank it over a couple times
with the key in the off position, THEN turn the key on. You might get a
free start if everything is "just right". Otherwise, it generally starts much
easier as I described with the 7-to-11 up pull.

Clear as mud ? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Hagerty on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 05:50 pm:

"keeping the parking brake lever pulled back
(squeezing the oil out of the clutch pack)"
Clear as mud ? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 06:03 pm:

Here's a little illustration to part of Burger's comment, showing how fast you need to "spin" the engine to get it started.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pv6HWWOGYA

Yes, heed the suggestions about easier turning and cutting out the creeping, but the goal is easy starting on BAT without spinning. Of course, if you're starting on MAG then you do need enough turning speed to produce sufficient voltage. The second half of this video shows that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5ycpdfIjDo


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan McEachern on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 06:59 pm:

Pulling the parking lever back does not squeeze the oil out of the clutch pack- just the opposite.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Sunday, December 25, 2016 - 11:35 pm:

Good intel. I was thinking I had backward after I wrote it !
That's what this forum is great for !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 12:26 am:

Steve, I'm old, but not weak, there is no way that I could spin my engine that fast one handed. Either he's a Hercules, or his engine spins much easier then mine. I can't address each comment individually (thank you all for your replies) but someone suggested that the car be left in high gear at night. How do you not leave the car in high gear unless you spend the night in the driver's seat with the left pedal fully depressed?
My draggy starting doesn't seem to be temperature sensitive. It cranks just as hard fully warmed up. I have never successfully hand-started this car, and yes I have hand started other Ts. I'm running 10-W-40 synthetic because that's what I had. Next oil change I intend to switch to Rotella 10-W-30.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 12:39 am:

John - The left pedal fully depressed is LOW gear. The parking brake lever all the way forward leaves the car in high gear with the clutch pack squeezed together by the clutch spring.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 01:08 am:

In Florida, you should not have a problem with very cold weather, so if the car is hard to crank when the engine is warmed up, you have a problem. If only when cold, it might be clutch disks sticking, which is not as often the problem with the 27 as it is with the earlier cars because of the way the clutch is constructed. Does the car tend to creep forward or backward when in neutral? If so, you might have the bands adjusted too tight. If you are on a level surface and try to crank when in neutral and the car moves the bands are too tight or the clutch disks sticking Same is true if you push the car in neutral and the engine turns over.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 01:17 am:

Hi John,

A free neutral is, I believe, the second most important adjustment to be made on the Model T. The first being the adjustment of the parking brake.

When this adjustment is made correctly, you should be able to easily hand crank the engine AND (in neutral with the parking brake released) push your T easily; I can with mine.

Good luck with your project. Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 01:43 am:

John, if it were mine, i would change over to a 5/30 oil, back off the clutch fingers 1/2 a turn making sure that you have the proper adjustment for a good free neutral. If after doing all this it still seems the same, i would definitely look at the possibility of the band adjustment problem. Mine creeped a lot when i first purchased it and found the adjustment to be about 1 full turn too tight.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 01:46 am:

Just my two cents.
The 1914 runabout had about the same problem with hard to hand crank it. During the rebuild, after it was under water for two days. Here is what I found:

After the repair the engine can be started the same way as Steve's, three pulls to prime it and one pull with the ignition on. When I am lucky I get a free start, even cold.

Good luck
Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 08:33 am:

Steve,

Thanks for posting that demo of starting with battery and on mag. It's how my old speedster used to start. I was always amazed to see other Ts out there that didn't start as easily with people turning the crank 360 degrees. On battery it's a real pleasure to gently pull up on the crank and have the engine come to life.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 10:03 am:

Harold, I understand that. I said "how do you NOT leave the car in high gear..." If you just walk away it's in high. If you spend the night with your foot on the left pedal it's in low. When you leave a T the default position is high gear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 12:02 pm:

John if you leave your T with the hand lever back or straight up you are in neutral. With the lever forward you are in high whether the car is running or parked overnight


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Monday, December 26, 2016 - 05:41 pm:

I never leave the car (on a level surface) in anything but lever-forward.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Mullin on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 02:35 am:

Have you tried jacking up one rear wheel when trying to start? If your 25 clutch disks are sticking together because of thick oil, this takes the clutch pack out of the problem. All of its resistance disappears. The lifted rear wheel now acts as another flywheel. Just make sure to chock the other wheels and don't let the lifted wheel drop to the ground while spinning.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach, CA on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 08:15 pm:

Sometimes a low gear band will be worn through on the bottom and there is metal to metal contact under the drum and transmission band. In order to drive the car the band is tightened and that makes it go but hard to start. Time to reline that low band.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 11:58 pm:

I have bookmarked this page, and when my Doc gives me the OK to rejoin the Human race, hopefully in about 10 days, (I busticated my leg five weeks ago) I will try many of the suggestions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Dunlap - Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 08:32 am:

This is a great thread. I have the same problem with my 26 roadster pickup. It just cannot be hand cranked when it is cold - way too tight. We use 30 wt oil. It fires right up with ease when it is warmed up.

My 24 coupe, on the other hand, has no difficulty hand cranking with a cold or hot engine - fires right up regardless.

I will try parking it in high gear and, if that doesn't do it, try backing the bands off a bit. Thanks for the valuable input.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach, CA on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 08:44 am:

Eric Dunlap. Not just backing off the bands. They can be worn through on the bottom and even the metal will be worn away but you can't see that from above. I have seen it with one of my T's which was very hard to crank when cold yet ran and started well when hot.

Men much stronger than me could get it started for me on cold mornings.


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