My son's 1919 Roadster had a slight knock when he bought it last year. We took up the rods and that helped. He just called me at work to say the knock is a lot louder than yesterday. I told him to remove the bottom cover to see what he can see. Looks or I should say sounds to me he might need an overhaul of the engine. My question is, is there anyone in the Easton PA. area that can be trusted to overhaul and engine? We don't have the correct engine lifting device or the know how to overhaul. Thanks
Jonathan.. First, don't run it any more. Regarding the actual problem, when you took up the rods, it should have completely eliminated the knock. Can you describe the method you used to re-fit your connecting rods? My guess is that unless there is a problem with the rods going out of round, you can probably take them up again and it'll fix the problem if done right.
Two of the rods had shims. I removed the shims and still had to sand on a flat table to get the .002 with the plastigage. The rest had no shims but required sanding on flat table. It did quiet the knock we had, now it sounds louder than before. I told my son not to run it.
On last year's BBC (formerly Brass in Bucks/Berks County, now just Beautiful Brass Cars) tour, we visited Schwalm's Babbitted Bearings in Strasburg. They specialize in As, Ts and flathead V-8s. I have no personal basis for an endorsement, but it's a well-known place and worth looking into.
Jonathan, You're going to get many opinions, but after many years of building racing engines, the one thing that was common knowledge at the track was not to use plastigauge. Accuracy is an issue.
The way to adjust model T Connecting rods is to cut a piece of newspaper that is the width of the connecting rod journal surface, minus the radius, and long enough to stretch 2/3rd's along the surface of the rod bearing cap. You don't want it to run the full hemisphere length of the rod cap surface otherwise, you get a pinching effect.
Soak the piece of newspaper in oil so that it is very wet and saturated. Pull the rod cap off and place the newspaper piece on the cap surface and re-install the rod cap and tighten. Grab the hand crank and try cranking the engine. If you can spin the crank, pull the cap and sand a little off and repeat the process. A correctly adjusted rod will spin freely when the cap is installed without the newspaper, but be locked up when tight with the newspaper shim in place.
Go slow. The newspaper when wet is no more than .001". You can blow through .001" real quick if you aren't careful.
This is a tried and true method that has been used since the model T was being manufactured and will give perfect results. Good Luck!
James is spot on. You can check a new bearing on a freshly turned crank and it works OK. Once the crank becomes worn, the wear is uneven so you don't really know what the clearance is by just laying a piece of plastigage in one location.
I'll give that a try! Thanks
I'd second Gilberts mention of Swalm's in Strasburg, PA...Ora & Jen are just delightful to work with. Strasburg is the first town east of Lancaster on US 30...Amish Country...Strasburg Railroad...Pennsylvania Railroad Museum...worth dropping something off just to enjoy the surroundings for a bit in my opinion
Call them first and chat with them...they are pretty open, and with the new place, they might be open to bringing in the car itself and let them pull the engine, if you and your son can't. (they have been open in the past to making special arrangements with by-the-hour billing for special first-class work).
I took a tour of Swaim's two years ago and was impressed and they were super nice. My engine will go there when repairs are needed.
I had a worse knock after taking out shims and checking rods and mains. They gauged correctly but the knock got louder. Turns out that the crank shaft was bent .004
Does Schwalms do magneto coil repairs and trans work?
I don't know. There's a web site; suggest you call and ask.
Their site doesn't say so...but they will do a T long block rebuild, and I've heard they also can do differential rebuilds.
What is T long block compared to short block??
I would think a long block would mean the engine and transmission rebuild.
Short block would be the engine only.
I used to do the same thing with about a one inch square piece of .001"shim stock.
We've used Schwalms for T&A engine work, T transmission, and some A rear end work. Top shelf work, reasonably quick for a small operation, a bit pricey but you get what you pay for. Ora inherited the business from his dad, has all the original jigs and tools. About an hour West of Philly out Rt. 30.
I also recommend Schwalms .
I called them today. Pricey is right!
Sorry...guess it is just a local term....Long block is a complete power plant rebuild...ready to run off the skid...
What is pricey? How much was the estimate?
$6000 and up for long block.
So Jonathon what's the verdict? Are you pulling your engine? If so my offer to come down to Easton and help still stands.
I also say go to Schwalms. Ora Landis is a top notch Model T engine mechanic.
Why don't you join the local mtfca or mtfci chapter? Someone will likely assist you in assessing your problem, removing the engine and overhauling it should you choose to do so. Your son could learn more about the Model T by doing most of the work himself than just about any other way. MTFCA manuals, videos and guidance from nearby Model T club members will see him through.
The next thing you will need to is to go through the rear axle and make sure you don't have Babbitt thrust washers.
You need to approach this like any other project, one step at a time. Don't try to digest it all at once and get overwhelmed.
When the job is complete your son can take great pride in his accomplishments.
Guess you'all don't know or remember me, huh.
Ted, Jonathon is in the same position I am in, the closest local club is quite a good distance away.Joining is not a good option. Like Jonathon, I'm new to the hobby also. Should anyone know of an experienced Model T enthusiast in our area we both could use a mentor. In the mean time I keep soldering on.
I remember when I first got into and did not know crap of them, twenty years later now I am the mentor, I always believe in paying it forward and hope who I help does the same!
Jonathan, I have had a few friends with model A engines from Schwalm's that were not at all what they should have been for what they charge. Try Dreamwerks in North Carolina, I have gotten a few engines from there and it is top notch work. The price is much more reasonable.
There are 2 MTFCA chapters within 1-1/2 hours of Easton. Why don't you call them and attend one of their meeting and maybe you can find someone closer!