When I release the low speed pedal in order to get to high gear, it lurches/ surges/ chugs and #%£€ until after about 5 to 10 seconds it finally settles in. I have tried idling down before releasing peddle among other things. The low speed band seems to be adjusted properly, and I do have the hand lever fully forward. I can idle down in high gear and it runs smoothly.
My first time driving, or even riding in a T was last week. I don't want to break something, is this normal?
I would suggest getting your speed a little faster before shifting. Also try different speeds of lifting your foot to shift. Each T reacts different.
I speed up in low till about 1500 rpm then close the throttle BUT at the same time "dump it" quickly into high
And simultaneously re open the throttle immediately.
I have never had much luck trying to "feather" it in!! Been driving them for over 40 years
Most of my cars have the stock T clutch
As Les suggests. Rather than thinking of 1500 rpm, which is hard to determine for a new driver, try getting up to 10 - 15 mph in low before shifting to high.
From what your saying is more forward speed before releasing the peddle. When I get it up to about 10 mph, which is maxed out in low, the engine sounds over revved, and it's not from band slippage.
Thanks for feedback.
Depends on what speed you shift into high, but you should slow down the engine to approximately the speed you expect it to run after it is in high, so naturally if you are going uphill you will need to rev higher in low before you shift. In that case don't put the throttle all the way up, but do put it up farther than it was when you were in low.
A couple of other things which could contribute are if the engine doesn't run smoothly at idle speed. A good running well tuned engine will idle smoothly with the throttle all the way up and the spark down just about 1/4 inch. If on battery it would idle with spark all the way up. When you shift into high retard the spark a few notches from the normal running position.
The other thing which can sometimes cause a problem is having the parking brake rods adjusted too long which will cause the the parking brake lever to move back when you go into neutral and will not allow the clutch to completely engage which will cause slipping of the clutch and you will need to force the parking brake lever forward when you shift. This last complication can be fixed by adjusting the rods so that when the lever is all the way forward, and the rods relaxed, you can put the clevis pin in without pushing the rods back.
With std rear axle gears you'll only have 1100 rpm in low at 10mph. 1600 rpm gets you up to a whopping 14.5 mph, that's where you're supposed to have all the 20 horses. Shifting to high at 10 mph will dump the rpm to just 400, and that's idle - very little power there, so the engine will struggle. Revving out to 1600 in low gets you almost 600 rpm in high, and much higher in the torque band. If something isn't top notch in your ignition, then the struggle gets worse. Some chugging is normal in certain situations like when cornering, since there isn't any perfect gear to choose out of just two..
Check, clean and oil the timer (if you have one that needs oil) and check so the carburetor has a good flow of gas. Anything that isn't quite right usually shows when shifting to high.
I don't like to push my cars so I shift to high at around 10 mph but the key is to slowly open up the throttle after you let the pedal up. If you are light on the throttle the car will pick up speed smoothly but slowly. My '10 will shudder a bit when I do that but my other cars handle it just fine.
Robert, i also had the same fears and concern about the shuddering when i first got my T. What i ended up doing was to listen to all the different ways people here deal with this issue, and then just experiment to see what combination of settings my T is happiest with. This is what worked best for me:
1) Start out in low with only about 1/4 total advance.
2) Shift to high at about 12-15mph while reducing the throttle most of the way up, and slightly pausing before releasing the pedal totally.
3) After its released, pull the throttle down about 1/3 of the way and advance the spark to the position you engine runs best at.
Our old Lizzy's have different personalities, and sometimes enjoy making us work for their amusement. Best of luck finding what works best for you.
I know of at least one old timer whose shifting technique amounts to simply taking his foot off the pedal. How he gets away with it, I don't know. It took me quite a while before discovering the knack.
For what it's worth, on level ground, I do it like this:
1.) Engage low gear with just enough throttle to avoid stalling.
2.) Accelerate to a comfortable shifting speed.
3.) In one simultaneous motion, bring your throttle to idle and your left pedal to neutral.
4.) Pause at least two seconds as you coast in neutral.
5.) Gently feather in high gear.
6.) Add just enough throttle to accelerate. Too much throttle will lug the engine and cause unpleasant vibrations.
Now, our Flivvers have individual personalities, so what works with one may not work as well with another. You're a new driver and back in 1916, most new drivers were learning on the Model T Ford. Be patient, be gentle and you'll get it.
And just so you won't feel like you're the only one who couldn't get it right the very first time (Old-timers on the forum should skip this next part; you've seen it too many times already):
Drove my first Model T for the first time. It was delivered to my house by the previous owner with the fuel tank almost empty, so there was no choice but to get some gas, though the nearest service station was a fair distance away.
I climbed aboard, double-checked the hand lever, spark and throttle and was now ready to discover I had forgotten the ignition key in the house. Typical. I fetched the key, hopped back in, selected "battery" and she fired right up at a bare jab with my heel at the starter button-just boom, and she was running. That was nice.
As I was sitting there, some guy driving down my street slowed down and yelled out his window, "Nice car!" First compliment. I'll probably remember that anonymous passerby the rest of my life.
The brake light switch had stuck in the 'on' position and I hadn't finished wiring up the directionals yet, so I had no signals of any kind. I was a little uneasy about making the first drive without so much as a brake light, but the car needed gas and that was that.
Well, with the engine purring, there was nothing to do but do it. I stepped on the pedal, the low band groaned and we were off. I took it real easy and pulled over frequently to let traffic go by. With my practically non-existent experience and having heard so much about the brakes on these cars, I wasn't ready to try the upper end of the speed range just yet.
Of course, I took tertiary backroads and so, managed to get lost in my own neighborhood. GPS is a wonderful thing to have. Good thing I had remembered to bring it along.
It was pretty hot out 'cause it was August and sweat was dripping into my eye and traffic was accumulating behind me and low gear was too low and high gear was too fast and just keeping the car under control was surprisingly hard work and where the heck was neutral on the left pedal? A rapidly approaching stop sign reminded me it would be better to keep my eyes on the road than on my foot. I pulled over to let a bunch of cars go by. Up to that point, I hadn't gotten the single finger salute, but nobody was giving me the upturned thumb or even smiling as they passed, either. Wow, that engine gets hot! I didn't see any steam, so I guessed we were okay. Made a mental note to get a motometer.
Well, I made it to the gas station and of course, pulled up to the wrong side of the pumps and the door doesn't open on that side. After working out the geometry in my head, I steered the requisite figure-8's and that was probably kind of entertaining to the other motorists on the apron. A brass Model T looks incongruous just sitting there, so the fat, bearded guy turning tight circles in the bucking antique car must have looked just hysterical. The gas station attendants were very curious and direct. "What did you pay for that?" They were surprised the car took regular gas.
Barely touching the starter button got the engine running, again (Thank you, Lord). On the way home, my shifting was still lousy, with a lot of shudders and chattering. After a while, I learned how to get high gear engaged with just a single 'clack.' Throttle abruptly off and pedal up at the same time-just bang and do it-the quicker, the better. "Clack." Guess that must be the right technique.
Suddenly, I got a big breath of real hot air through the floorboards and the whole car was shuddering. Was I overheating? Better pull over. Engine quits. Oh no, NOW what did I do? Did I ruin the engine? Okay, don't rush, don't do anything stupid. Left to right cockpit check, just like in an airplane: Hand-brake, spark, throttle, ignition. Jab the starter. Just like that, she's running again. Guess we're okay (Thanks again, Lord). Maybe I just got too slow in high gear and it stalled? Man, this sure ain't easy.
When I got home I took an extra circle around my block and let the neighbors have a few squawks of the Klaxon. Got some waves and smiles. That felt good. Still, it's gonna take a heck of a lot of practice before I'm really comfortable driving a Model T.
I let the car sit and cool in the driveway before putting her in the garage and got a folding chair, a squeeze bottle of Brasso and a handful of dish towels-my will kill me if she finds out. Turns out it's not real smart to hand-polish a brass radiator immediately after driving the car. Heck with that-I got the Model T there and back in one piece, got a tankful of gas and now I can just take baby steps in my own neighborhood until I'm comfortable. From here on, it only gets easier.
Hey Guys This Robert Bente is the fellow I help get his "T" going. I noticed that when he left the farm the other day, he I think went from LOW pedal to high pedal to quick and not enough speed. I have not ridden with him yet to see how he does his pedaling.
So I am going to go down there to his house and see what he is doing.
He may see my post and call, but I will try and get him on the right road.
Bob That is a great story. Kinda been there done that and had fun doing it. Each trip is a surprise and challenge as you don't know what is going to happen.
II guess I will have to help train Bob Bente on the PITFALLS of driving a :T:.
Bob C. Yep, I've been there also, first drive made into the middle of the street, then the thing died. I decided that i as not getting the correct fuel flow, soo, removed sediment bulb again and cleaned, blew out fuel lines and took apart carb. And reassembled for the second time. Lessons learned---- you need more than a gallon or 2 in the tank. This mornings I drove it to DMV for verification for a California title and only stalled twice, unfortunately in the busiest intersections in town. Ca. DMV now requires a vin number that doesn't include the one on the block. So verification has to be made thru the highway patrol, next available appointment is in May. Drove the T home, only stalling in one intersection for 2 light cycles, I'm getting better at this now because I can grin and shrug my shoulders as people honk and etc.
I've come to the conclusion that since I've tried about everything afore mentioned, that it may be some weak coils, I've found one that sometimes is not working, could this possible be the ignition/ lack of initial power when engaging high gear?
I have sent coils in for a rebuild and set, hopefully that's it, or I will have to take full responsibility for being just a plain old knucklehead.
Thanks for all the input,
When it comes to diagnosing a balky engine, always, always do the simple, cheap stuff first! _I had to learn this lesson the hard way. _You, on the other hand, can learn from my mistakes. _If you have a roller-type timer, start by cleaning it.
Dismount the timer's housing from the engine and clean it out with solvent (spray degreaser or spray electric contact cleaner or something like that) and some clean paper towels. _Then, squirt some solvent on the roller and very carefully wipe it clean with a paper towel (You may need to use the hand-crank to get the roller facing upwards). _Lube the roller pin with a good dose of 3-in-1 oil. _Remount the timer housing and don't forget the cotter pin. _Put a short squirt of lightweight motor oil (something like 5W-30) in the little oiler on the front of the timer housing.
Anytime my engine has misbehaved, the trouble always wound up getting traced back to my timer. _Cleaning it is a cheap and easy thing to do, and even if it turns out not the be the cause of your engine problems, it's still good to have a nice, clean timer.
Update on my initial post on shifting problem. I just installed newly rebuilt metal top coils rebuilt by Brent Mize, new commutator wires and it shifts into high beautifully. I also have no problems in the intersections starting out in low. The coils sing compared to the coyote yelps of my old ones. My last question is plug wires need to be attached #1 plug to #4 coil, #2 plug to #3 coil etc. The commutator wires are connected as per black book, ??
Glad you got it resolved Robert! Yes, from inside the car, the coils are 4321.
Robert, that's the cute little '16 with the red interior yes? Nice runabout!
Can you or Bill click a picture of you out and about with it?
That's awesome you have it sorted out!
Fresh coils are so cool. "coyote yelps" Hehehehe!
Duey C: I am not about to ride with Robert Bente, and my reason--- I would have to start the car get in last and close the passenger door.
He called yesterday and told me about the coils and how they sounded (new ones)) and how ell I drove-and he was like a little kid in a candy store, "Happy as can be." When I first met him I told him to make room for the second one and that is brewing the pot and l know I will have to help him again which I will be glad to.
So now what Robert?????????
Here's the order of the plug wires.
After rewiring commutator wires as per book and connecting plug wires as Steve's photo shows, no love. I went back to how the spark plug connections were when I bought the it. It has the roller style timer, clean and in new condition. Perhaps the cam was not put in correctly?
(Message edited by vwgary on March 29, 2017)
Robert, your plug wires are installed wrong. Number one should be connected to the coil to the far right when you sit in the car. Number two should be connected to the left of the first coil etc.