My long term plan is to pull this engine and have it rebuilt by Ross Lilleker.
However, I'd like to drive this car around for a couple years and get to know it and enjoy it before that happens.
I've put some time and effort into the transmission and various other areas, and I decided to pull the valve cover and head and get a better look at the pistons. cylinder walls and valves.
Even though it'll be rebuilt eventually, I still want it to be enjoyable for the next couple years. And, for it not to drive me crazy, it'll need to develop a relatively decent amount of compression and not smoke like a chimney.
So...here's where I need some Model T wisdom.
Please take a look at the video and the photos below. All the valves except those on cylinder #4 look pretty gross and don't look like they're seating worth a dern.
The cylinder walls on 2, 3 and 4 look OK, but number 1 looks a bit pitted.
Should I buy a set of new valves and simply lap them in? And...maybe a set of rings?
I just want to put a bandaid on this engine for the short term, without harming it.
On a positive note...it looks like my exhaust manifold is nice a straight.
In the video, it looks to me like the rings are not wiping the cylinder walls very well in 3 and 4 and barely at all in 1.
I zoomed in on the worst of the valves. There's no way it was doing much sealing in that condition.
Also...are these the infamous two-piece valves that I keep hearing about?
Is that reason enough to pull them and replace them?
I believe those are 2 piece valves and if they are they can cause a problem by breaking apart. Others will chime in to confirm. Normally I'd b***h about a compression test not being taken but if your valves aren't seating as you state that's all you would have gotten from the test anyway. Your next decisions involve the camshaft and the valve lifter's condition. If worn that's more that'll need attention and $. As it looks right now a set of valves is in your future and hopefully the other stuff is OK. Check carefully and replace what you need. When that's done you can do a comp test and it'll tell you the rings condition. They don't look bad but that really doesn't tell you squat.
Can't really tell what you're checking for on the manifold. It's good if the port facings are on the same horizontal plane, but you need to check to see if they align on a vertical plane. Manifolds tend to sag, which pulls the ports out of alignment with the ports in the block.
I'll put that same straight-edge on it tomorrow and check to see if it's straight vertically.
I wasn't using the level as a level...just using it as a straight-edge to see if the manifold port faces where lined up.
(Message edited by rustyfords on March 26, 2017)
When you check the manifold for straightness, use a straight edge and try to align the bottom edge of each port. You can tell pretty quick if they all line up. If they don't line up the manifold is warped or sagging.
Don, What do you mean "T" not driving you crazy? I thought we were all crazy! I would do a valve job with one piece valves maybe hone the cylinders and new rings that way you get the most bang for your buck without pulling the motor.
All the above. And you need to remove the inspection plate to check the rod bearings. Since you will be installing rings, you will need to remove the caps and push the rods up and the pistons out of the cylinders. If the babbit on all the rods is good, not worn all the way to the steel and not cracked, you can then check with a micrometer the roundness of the crankshaft and taper of the crankshaft. If it is within .002 inches in both directions, you can proceed with the ring job. You will need to hone the cylinders to scratch the surface so the new rings will seat. Most likely you have standard cylinder bore, but you need to check the size before ordering the rings. And the bore should not be over .004 inch out of round. Then you will also not be able to check the main bearings. It would have been better to have started the engine and checked for knocks before you tore it apart, because if you replace the valves and rings and adjust the rod bearings, you still don't know the condition of the mains. You can, however check for crankshaft endplay. This is done by first depressing and then releasing the low pedal. Then take a big screwdriver between the front pulley and the engine and try to pry the pulley forward (not hard enough to bend or break the pulley, but enough to move the crankshaft forward. If it is 0.018 inches or over, the rear main cap should be replaced. This job will involve removing the engine.
A piecemeal job of repair will cost you more over time, than a complete rebuild. If you do the complete job, the engine should run well for many years.
Personally, I think you should pull the engine and go through it and replace or repair all worn and broken parts. A little patch up on that engine will not lead to a couple years trouble free driving unless you are just planning to drive around the block a few times. On club tours you can plan to drive up to 100 miles per day and sometimes at 35-40 mph. You really need a good engine to do that.
Thanks for the advice Norm.
What I'm trying to achieve for the next couple years is mostly just putting around the neighborhood and maybe a swap meet or two.
I don't plan on touring with the car for now....I have too much going on running another car club.
So....I'm thinking the thing to do might be to install some new valves and lap them in. Then check the connection rod bearings, and button it back up.
Can someone tell me which parts I need to buy to replace the valves, springs and lifters.
Don I am doing a similar refresh on mine. Lilleker can do a refresh without pulling the motor.
Not what you want to hear but ....
Take your T to Ross and have him do your engine.
It is the cheapest thing to do in the long run.
Thanks everyone for the advice. It is sincerely appreciated.
I agree that this engine needs to gone through, and I do plan to tour with this car in a year or two.
But there are a few factors to consider right now;
- I don't have the money currently to have Ross go through it. (I'm assuming that'll be several thousand dollars)
- I really only want to use it as a glorified golf cart for the short term. (putting slowly around the neighborhood....and not very frequently)
- A friend is requesting that this car be used in a photo/video shoot in three weeks. I plan on taking it to the shoot on a trailer, but I don't want to push the thing around all day.
So...I just want to get it running somewhat decently and not smoke like a chimney. I promise I'm not going to run it a lot, and the engine will come out of it relatively soon for a quality rebuild.
With as little use as it'll get in the short term, I have a half a mind (at least that what my wife tells me) to just lap in the old valves that are there. But I've heard horror stories about them coming apart.
Clean the deck, grind and adjust the existing valves, button her up and run her. Just enjoy and have fun.
There are many Model Ts running around with their original valves.
(Message edited by Erik_johnson on March 28, 2017)
I think that's what I'm going to do Erik.
Now to rig up a tool to compress the valve springs.
Personally, Erik is kinda on the right track along with you Don. Erik's correct, the original valver's are out there. I have 2. One for 20 years since I resurrected it and the TT with only a couple hours on it since resurrection last fall. Lest we forget about the hours on these engines before we got them... NONE of mine are tourers. Yes. They can come apart.
I had a long babble typed up last night and then dumped it.
I AM The Junktard Mechanic.
Some possible notions about compressing valve springs? Let's see how the pic from the '24 Dyke's Encyclopedia comes out...
More than one way to skin a cat my dad said. He knew little of mechanicals. "If it works, That's the right way to do it." Dave Gingery said.
Does this impromptu pic show anything?
Wait just a goll darn minute here Don (giving you complete grief in full!!!). You ain't got a spring compressor? Wha?
Review my pic. ;-)
Just giving you the business!
Knock it together, enjoy it for what it is and then send it off for the rebuild.
Take the rear axle apart and fix. Enjoy!
Not as good as a real one, but it worked and the price was perfect.
Don, I am on the down slope of such a refresh. John Tannehill showed me how to file rod caps and shim to keep the motor from knocking. I took the head off and cleaned the rust out of it. Took the original two piece valves out, cleaned them up and lapped them back in to seal tighter. I used a scotch drill pad to scour off the carbon build up on the deck. My rings looked good. I am nearly done and will let you know how it went.
Lilleker can do a refresh without pulling the motor that might be in your budget.
run it!! after all it is a ford, replacements avable most anywhere. charley
I think an open-end wrench and some bailing wire will probably sub for a real valve compressor.
I have a new head gasket and new manifold gaskets on the way from Langs. If they're here by this weekend, I'll do the whole job and have it buttoned back up by Sunday night.
I still need to adjust the transmission bands and replace the bottom end inspection cover gasket (it's leaking like a sieve), but those are quick and easy tasks.
I'm spending what little time I have in the evenings after work, sorting through the wiring mess and putting it back to stock, along with the factory switch panel that I just rebuilt.
Hopefully, I'll have a running and driving T soon.
Ignacio....what part of Houston are you in?
I drive all over the metro area for my job.
A lot depends upon how much you value your motor.
We have the complete history of my 19 hack (including the original 1919 registration)and the motor has never been rebuilt.
You might say that it is a "numbers matching T"
When I was around 10 years old (mid 1950's) my dad pulled the head, cleaned to carbon and put it back on with a new head gasket.
I got the car a few years ago after being stored fro 45 years. It smokes a little, but runs great!
I became concerned that I might hurt it because it most likely has two piece valves, etc. so I put another motor in the T and plan on rebuilding the original one.
(Message edited by nhusa on March 29, 2017)
Don, looks like you are making good progress and learning alot as am I. I hope you are making mental note as I because all the tips and trick will be up to guys like us to pass on to next generation of T people. I know I treasure all the "how to" tips that the forum members provide. Where else would we get this kind of one on one training and info? PRICELESS! Carry on.
Drive safe and often
I agree Dallas. It is excellent/priceless information.
I don't know where the hobby will be in the future, but my 11 year old plans to keep my 24 from being sacrificed to the hotrod gods and will keep it like it is.
He's learning this Model T stuff with me...as we go along.
I value the engine Fred. It's what was in it back during it's farm days (I have forensic evidence of that :-)
That's why it'll be driven gently after I lap in the old valves.
I'll pull the whole drivetrain out of it soon enough and either rebuild it myself or have it done. That'll depend on how busy I am.
I'm about to be promoted to a point at work where I'll be running a 40 year old business in the oil and gas world here in Houston. So...my guess is that I'll have to farm it out to Ross Lilleker. I'd like to do it myself and have that accomplishment under my belt, but I just really don't think I'm going to have the time.