Well, it finally happened. The clunking sound while driving, then a snap and voila! No connection between the engine and the wheels. Thanks AAA for the tow home!
I've checked the transmission and it seems okay.
This leaves the u-joint or the rear end as likely suspects. When I have both rear wheels jacked up there is no connection between them and they each spin freely and independently. I would like to know what I am looking for before doing anything. This car has never had the rear end torn apart since first restoration about 20 years ago.
Any suggestions in diagnosis before I go forward?
I think you just need to open it up and see what happened. If you have any questions you can post them here. If you would like suggestions on how to pull the rear end and drive shaft assembly, that's where I'd start.
Could easily be a sheared pinion gear key. Been there, fixed that. Pull the rear end then remove the driveshaft tube to see.
I got the same thing going on with my wife's Touring. Haven't had time to look at it much, other than to just narrow it down to the differential. I think mine is a split pinion. Looked inside with a bore scope, but couldn't see much. I can feel something in there moving and know it ain't supposed to. Think it's a pice of pinion. I have bronze thrust washers, so it's not babbitt I'm feeling.
You can see part of the u joint if you remove the grease cup and look through the hole.
Take the rear end and driveshaft completely apart. Whatever broke probably let go because of several other worn out parts. The Model T rear axle is delicate and not too sturdy. It can kill you if neglected under the wrong circumstances.
"...there is no connection between them and they each spin freely and independently." Forget the U-joint. It's time pull the rear axle and open it up.
Mike, No matter what happened it is time to do a total rebuild/inspection of the rear axle and drive shaft assembly. The rear end and drive shaft assembly are your brakes. I have been guilty myself of driving on a "unknown" rear end. But I will say it is not one of the smarter things I have done. I think of a unknown rear end or one that obviously has not been gone thru, as something similar to driving a very old car with a single master cylinder and old rotten rubber parts and rusty brake lines. It may be stopping OK right now, but may not next time. So please take the time to check it out well. and anyone else out there who has not gone thru their rear axle, maybe now would be a good time. After all, we are always trying to recruit new Model T folks to our hobby. So we do not need to lose any of the ones we already have. have fun and be safe .... Donnie Brown ...
(Message edited by dobro1956 on December 28, 2016)
One of my first experiences in a Model T happened on the way home from my first tour with the club. Thank God I had installed AC brakes right after I bought the car. I had driven about 50 miles to the beginning of the tour and then about 30 miles on the tour itself and was on the way back home with only my wife and I in the car and no trailer or anyone else we knew around us. I was just thinking that I might need to use the lights for the last 15 miles or so because it was almost dark. I stopped for a red signal and when it turned green, I pushed the low pedal and there was a bang and I was in free wheeling! It was easy to push into a parking lot because no drag from the engine. I didn't need the lights after all.
It turned out that a previous owner had welded the driveshaft about 6 inches from the pinion gear. It was a surface weld. Not even welded all the way through. Anyway, the short end has the same threads as the rear wheel nut and makes an excellent knock off puller for back wheels.
I don't know why anyone would weld a driveshaft. They aren't that expensive to replace.