Hey guys, I am a bit stumped. My '27 doesn't have a high gear- when I come off the pedal at a good clip in low, the car just stumbles and bucks/lurches and never takes off.
1. I have good release on the handbrake pawl bolt
2. my brake rods don't pull the lever back
3. I turned my clutch fingers in 1/2 turn
4. I backed my brake band off a tad for looseness
Can someone lend me your help? I have a Ruckstell and my 2 low gears are great- but don't have either high gear. Here are a few reference pics:
Your clutch release (to the right in the second photo) might be in the wrong groove. This would restrict the clutch from engaging. Unfortunately, you have to remove the hogs head to correct this, if that's the problem.
Has it worked previously or did you just assemble things. What had changed since it worked?
Bill- I checked and the clutch fork seems to be set okay, the pedal does cause the spring to travel back and forth and release okay.
Try it without the floor boards.
The three clutch adjustors should wiggle when the lever is forward. Maybe it is just the photo, but the adjuster on the low band looks weird. Does the low band retract (loosen) when you go into high?
I don't know if this is related to your problem, but the low band looks REALLY cranked in (perhaps worn out or)???
Second thing; this morning I disassembled a old T transmission and found that the six clutch pressure plate retaining bolts were way loose (and safety wired in this position). So loose the car could not have been driven in high gear!!!
Not knowing any history of your car, just a thought
As a test, remove the clutch release link (the one going to the pedal). The clutch should then be engaged. Try pulling on the crank (with the key off!!!) and the car should move. If this happens, then work back from there
Do you have a good neutral? Some people think that the bands should be adjusted for just a small amount of pedal play before the band is tight. This is not correct for a Model T. The low band should be fully contracted when the pedal is about one inch above the floorboard.
Secondly, depending on what kind of clutch disks you have your clutch might be worn out. The after market Watts clutch or jackrabbit clutch have lined disks and if they are allowed to slip when you engage high gear, they will wear out rapidly.
Thirdly, the spring might be worn out.
Thirdly, the inside of the brake drum could be worn causing the disks to stick and not move correctly, but this would most often cause a problem where you have no neutral rather than no high gear.
If you cannot get things to work out by adjusting things you might need to remove the engine and transmission as a unit and then take apart the clutch and repair as needed. I have best luck with the original Ford disks. If used properly, they last just about forever.
I did drive it without the floorboards without luck.
I bought the car without a good high gear, wasn't sure if it just needed a clutch adjustment or worse. I suspect it could be just something dragging. I took a chance to save the car from a level of neglect.
1. I will check the low band next
2. will check the six clutch pressure plate screws
James, I agree with Les that your low band setting seems way too tight, and that it would certainly contribute to the condition you described. Loosen it so all three bands are basically in line with each other and see how it runs. Also it looks like you have Kevlar linings, so check your drum to make sure it didn't get damaged. Best of luck, and let us know what you find.
Could be that it has a Turbo 400 clutch in it that has worn out. This happened to a friend. Too much real slow parade driving in his case.
Thanks John and Bill- I will loosen the band for low gear and see what happens- thanks for your help! I certainly hope that is all it is...
Third picture from the bottom,under the car looking up.The clutch release bolt is to the side of the pawl that works the throw out bearing for high gear. I looks like the clutch release lever is bent and not resting on the pawl. I would also turn that bolt down as it is too long and keeping the throw out bearing from compressing the clutch plates. I think that is your problem.
Joe R. Independence, Missouri
I see what Joseph sees - the bolt has slipped off the side of the emergency brake shaft cam. The bolt is also too long, replace it with the correct length bolt and re-adjust the linkage per the attached pictures.
Does the engine run strong, with no misfiring?
The engine runs decently with good power, does have an occasional miss but nothing erratic nor stumbly. I can get good acceleration and idle from it.
Sometimes the clutch disks will slip because the engine is running much faster than it would be when you are in high gear. As you shift from low to high push the throttle all the way up to slow the engine and the disks should mesh. Then advance the throttle. If the clutch still slips, you have a problem with the clutch. Sometimes this can be caused by the link between the pedal and the clutch lever. Be sure it is adjusted as shown in the diagram posted above. Adjusting for a free neutral. If the link is too long it will prevent the neutral.
I got that backward. it will prevent going into high gear but stay in neutral.
Thanks Norman, I can appreciate that. I always lower the rpms when going towards high gear- I'll keep an eye on the diagram and check all important connections.
Update (4/17/17) I backed the clutch release bolt off a tad and also backed the low speed band a bit more loose.
But, when I backed the low speed band off a few turns then the pedal stuck pushed forward, so I am now wondering if my spring isn't long enough?
*Does the center, low speed, spring look too short to anyone else?
How far does the low pedal push before it begins to tighten the band? Sometimes the cam and notch are worn out and you need to over tighten the band to get it to work. however, when you over tighten the band it drags on the drum even in high and neutral. This will overheat the drum and eventually crack the drum. Especially bad if you have kevlar bands which is what your bands look like.
When everything is correct, you should be able to put the transmission in neutral and turn the hand crank without the car moving and you should also be able to push the car without the engine turning.
If possible try to find someone in your local area who is familiar with Model T's to help you. It appears to me that your attempts to correct the situation might have caused other problems so that you have more than one transmission problem. If I lived closer, I would come over and help you.]
It sort of looks like you have 2 valve springs and one band spring... I don't think it would cause your trouble but it's an indicator somebody was doing things less than optimal...
Looking at your "slo-speed connection", someone has altered the length of the threaded leg that screws onto the clevis & the clutch throw-out bolt is waaaaayy too long !
I would suggest you get a copy of the T Bible, if you don't have one and follow the chapter on setting up for clutch spring distance first, then the "lead" adjustment on the slo-speed connection then the bolt adjustment for the clutch throw-out - it's all explained with photos (artist's renditions) in that book.
I have a copy of the T book, and am good with much of what's in there.
The throw on the pedal when I pull the hand brake is about 2" and the play in the clutch connection lever is about 1/16". Yes, the bolt is tall but the lower part is shortened now.
I'll have it get it back on the road for a test now.
I am begining to suspect that when high gear is engaged,the high spring is shoving the flywheel forward,and the magnets are lightly rubbing the mag coil.
While one would think this would always make a helluva noise,l can attest to the fact that with bucking and lurching the noise may not be noticable.
Also,getting a T all together and having the mag rub is among lifes most discouraging experiences.This would not be the first time someone sold a T with no high gear because of this.
Jim, the high spring are never forcing the flywheel forward - in high, all spring forces are internal inside the transmission assembly.
When in neutral or low, then the spring is pushing the flywheel and transmission assembly to the rear, wearing the front thrust area on the third main and eventually increasing the distance between flywheel magnets and the magneto spools.
Try pushing the low pedal all the way down and measuring the clearance between the front crankshaft pulley and the front of the engine. Then push the parking brake forward and let the clutch out. Next try to pry the pulley forward with a large screwdriver, not hard enough to bend or break anything, but hard enough to move the crankshaft forward. Check the difference in endplay. If excessive, you might have magnets hitting the coils. I don't think this would make the engine run rough. Try running on battery and see if it still runs rough in high. If it does still run rough, that would rule out a problem with the magneto.
I still think it is the clutch slipping.
Roger,when the high speed clutch is engaged the spring moves the transmission,flywheel,crankshaft and front pulley forward.If the mag clearance is too close,you will have problems in high you do not have in neutral and low/reverse.
The spring pulls nothing back.
The working of the high speed clutch spring is emphatically NOT internal to the transmission assembly.
Unless I've been really dense over the last nearly forty years of experience with them,fighting every concievable malady on a couple dozen of the damn things.Take one apart and see for yourself.
If the high speed clutch slips on engagement,the engine should race,not lurch and buck.Also,unless it is totally shot,it should hook up when you back off the throttle.
Like l used to coach my mechanics in a Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership l was owner of,let's concentrate on what it DOES DO properly,and eliminate the problems that would cause proper operation to be interferred with,and eliminate.
I'm with Roger on this.
Guys,read any of the myriad of threads regarding in-car magnet charging.
Putting it in high decreases the gap between the magnets and the mag ring.Done this procedure many times.
This is also why a T with lots of end play and weak magnets runs better in high.
Also one reason for jacking up a 'hind'wheel,as one of my old mentors said,and cranking in high.
It looks like the clutch finger adjusting screws are adjusted to the limits, they are usually at least level with the housing. This indicates the adjusting fingers are reaching to their limits and may be limited out. It wouldn't matter if there were no bands in the transmission it should still be able to maintain the direct drive through the applied clutch pressure from the spring. The neutral lever should have no effect with the lever forward unless it is severely out of wack which I don't think it is
This will be interesting to see just what does ail it.
Wow!! if James in not totally confused by now , he should be. My 55 years of owning and building T's does not qualify me to question the " experts" but my opinion of what the clutch spring does in moving the flywheel is based on the lever and fulcrum theory. With the hand lever is pulled back to neutral the clutch spring is compressed and the transmission cover acts as the fulcrum for the clutch release shaft and clutch fork. This will pull the transmission away from the engine. With the lever in high the spring is expanded pushing on the clutch arms. This also removes the pressure off the fulcrum and lets the flywheel move towards the engine and the transmission is free to float. This will also allow the magnets to be pulled closer to the field coils.
Thanks Jim- I'll do my best to check everything the Model T wisemen have recommended. I am sure one of those will solve the Gremlins.
How about this, have you had the engine out and done transmission work on it? Is this something new or on going? If the engine has been out and transmission work done, maybe some disk are missing or they are worn out. My car sometimes shudders if I get the speed wrong and it has nothing to do with too much play in the crank shaft, it's because I get the engine RPM wrong to the road speed. I don't think that the car not going into high because the magnets are rubbing on the coil ring, I think it has to do with the clutch and/or the clutch spring.
I would suggest getting a new set of band springs and install them instead of that mixed bag of springs.
Picture number one and picture number three show the possible problem. The clutch lever is bent where the adjusting bolt touches the the pawl for high gear on the brake arm. The bolt is too long and needs to be turned back about and inch or more, better yet insert correct bolt. If the clutch arm is straitened where the bolt is, it would align with the pawl, in picture three and the throw out bearing is not pushing the clutch fingers which are not crushing the clutch plates, etc. Jack up the rear wheels, secure the car, start engine and adjust the bolt and realign the clutch lever. You should see the car dropping into high gear with this adjustment.
When the parking brake lever is forward, the bolt on the clutch lever should not ride on the cam on the cross shaft, if it does then it could prevent the car going into high. James show a photo of that area with the lever all the way forward or are the photos showing that? If the parking lever is all the way to the front then Joseph is correct, something is really bent. For the car to go into high, the bolt on the lever can not ride on the brake cross shaft cam.
By the way, do you know why there is that extra piece held on with a hose clamp on the clutch lever shaft? I don't so am wondering.
I bought the car without a high gear. With the lever thrown forward, the bolt is free of the cam so there isn't a way for the bolt to still be touching the cam...but it was very long indeed.
As for that chunk of hose on the pedal cam, have no idea. I haven't crossed that bridge yet. It may have been a way to stop a seeping oil leak around the pedal??? Let ya know when I take it off.
James, are you saying that when trying to go into high gear the T stops moving? Or does it move but just chokes and gags and will not pick up speed. If it attempts to move, I would suggest you forget the transmission and concentrate on checking how well the engine is working. When shifting from low the rpm drops greatly and I have seen this happen. Runs fine at high rpm but not at low rpm. Check plugs, coils carb. timing and any thing else you think of.
Thank you Jim Sims for cogent explanation,which l was attempting to give,of what the hogshead/speed lever/transmission relationship is.Between the two of us,sounds like we have around 95 years of practical T experience.But we must still be careful of the inviolable experts opinions
James,just for kicks,have some one pull you around(engine off) in high gear.What does it do?Does it still buck and lurch?Grind and growl?What?
IF-and l repeat-IF- the magnet clamps are rubbing the field mag coil assembly,this is not preventing the transmission from going into high.
What it does do is eat up huge amounts of power.
Also,steel/iron shavings may not be apparent because they stick to the magnets.
Shavings from clamp screws may not show because they are usually sligjtly countersunk in the magnet clamp.
Myself,l hope magneto clearance is NOT the problem.I merely say maybe.
I started on the forum the first time in 2007-2011.When l am F.O.S. about something,l freely and openly admit it.
Others need to learn the same.Otherwise,the new people do not know what to believe.
There ought to be a timed test of Mechinical/Techanical T knowledge we can take to certify that one is NOT F.O.S.and whose advice can be trusted.
James, Does your car run any better on Batt compared to Mag, or is it the same? ...BTW, i have some band springs you can have if you need them, just let me know.
Good news, I adjusted the low band and length of the clutch cam and I can get the car to creep forward with the hand-brake forward and cranking it by hand. I figure that's a good start- later this week, I'll jack the rears up and see how it does stationary.
**John, my car has a distributor so not in the original configuration.
James,does it even have a magneto??Take off the mag post and poke a stick in there.
I know wonder if the jerking bucking is not a spark advance issue.
Automatic or manual spark advance?
Jim, will do later this week.
This may sound silly, but how can I check on the spark advance on the dist to determine whether is it manual or automatic?
James, Here are the steps that I follow anytime I adjust a transmission that is not working properly. First install your floor boards and make sure that the pedals do not rub or hang up on the floor boards. Also, the slots should be long enough that the entire pedal arm can go through it. That's how they are on every set of original floor boards that I have seen and the new boards often have to be modified. Now adjust each band just tight enough that the pedal stops about 1" above the floor boards when you press it down hard. Jack up the back wheels and turn the engine with the crank with the transmission in high or neutral. If it turns over freely that means that your bands are not too tight. Now put your brake lever all the way forward into high, remove the low speed linkage, and pull the clutch pedal back fully. It should be about even with the reverse pedal. If it isn't bend the pedal back with a large pipe or crescent wrench. This is very important because if the pedal is bent it will be impossible to properly adjust the low band. Next adjust the slow speed linkage so that the hole in the clevis seems to be about 1/16" short of the lever in the clutch release shaft. In other words when the transmission is in high the pedal should be even with the reverse pedal and have a slight amount of forward and backward play. Now press the pedal into neutral and pull the brake lever back. Run the bolt in the clutch release shaft in until it touches the cam on the hand brake lever and go about one turn further. Now with the hand brake lever in neutral you should be able to wiggle around the three clutch fingers on the brake drum. This means the spring is not compressing the discs and the clutch is disengaged. When the lever is in high the fingers should be pressed down firmly by the spring and should not be able to be moved. When you're all finished you should be able to easily crank the engine when the transmission is in neutral. If the clutch still slips make sure that the floorboards are not preventing you from moving the brake lever far enough forward for the clutch to engage. It may be necessary to tighten the adjusting screws in the three pressure fingers. If you do this recheck the slow speed linkage adjust and the bolt. If this does not work it will be necessary to remove the engine and replace any parts that could be causing the clutch to not work properly, like a damaged brake drum, cracked clutch plates, weak spring, etc. Of course this is assuming that the engine is running properly to begin with.
Jim C, if you have the left lever under the steering wheel connected to the distributor for advancing and retarding the spark, then you have a manually controlled distributor. Still it might be a modern VW unit that haven't had the automatic advancing weights disabled, giving further advance at higher rpms - lift the distributor cap and try turn the rotor - if it's automatic you can turn it somewhat in the direction it'll turn when running, but it'll spring back to the original position when you let go. In a manual distributor you can't turn the rotor at all when attached to the engine.
Stephen- thanks for the very detailed and thorough explanation. I'll tackle that this weekend. Much appreciated!
Roger- my spark advance is connected to the left lever on the quadrant, so it is manually advanced.
Maybe I should leave this alone, but if I do, there may be newbies that will take it as a fact. This is not just misleading, it is wrong.
".......when the high speed clutch is engaged the spring moves the transmission,flywheel,crankshaft and front pulley forward."
The spring in question does not move the transmission anywhere. All it does is move the three clutch fingers forward to compress the clutch plates and stop them from slipping hence locking the engine/crankshaft/transmission directly to the drive shaft. It DOES allow this entire unit to FLOAT FORWARDS and BACKWARDS. When the brake handle is pulled back, it pulls the front of the spring to the rear taking the tension off the clutch fingers allowing them to slip.
"The spring pulls nothing back."
Wrong. The yoke on the front of the spring compresses the spring and pulls the entire unit rearward.
"The working of the high speed clutch spring is emphatically NOT internal to the transmission assembly."
Wrong again. The spring and compression of it is completely internal to the transmission.
"Unless I've been really dense over the last nearly forty years of experience with them,fighting every concievable malady on a couple dozen of the damn things.Take one apart and see for yourself."
Right. Take the hogshead off and you can see.
This whole thing is akin to lifting ones self by ones bootstraps. It just can't be done.
I hate to be a sourpuss, but the above quotes are likely to be used at some point in the future to prove a point.
Like they say, "I saw it on the internet so it must to be true.
FWIW, if we're counting years of experience, I started fooling with T's in 1957. I drove one of them before I was old enough to get a drivers license. I'm sure there are folks here that have done more on them than I. Still at the present time, there are six T's or TT's sitting here and two 40' semi trailers full of nothing but T stuff - plus a bunch of frames and axles outside.
Nuff said, let the flames begin.
Just wanted to say "thanks" for all the help and tips in working and making adjustments in my transmission.
Thanks to the help and advice, another Model T will be back on the road soon again! I bought it to save it from a location of neglect and stagnation.