So I'm contemplating what to do with the engine in my 24 Touring.
The cylinder bores look good, the valves are acceptable, the head looks good and the pistons are probably ok.
The connecting rods and caps are almost certainly worn out and I'm assuming the main bearings are too.
I'm thinking that I should go ahead and pull the engine, remove the pan, pull the crank and inspect the main bearings (and the crank). If they're ok, would it be acceptable to buy new rods, caps and rings and reassemble?
Or am I missing something?
I'd like to get away from Babbit altogether, but I guess that would mean a Scat crank and big $$. Or am I wrong about a Scat crank not using Babbitted bearings?
The Scat crank will need regular babbitt bearings just as any T crank as long as it has the standard splash oil system. To use insert bearings you'll need a drilled crank (a SCAT option) an oil pump and piping to the mains.
But how do you know the babbitt in your engine is worn out? If the crank journals are round and smooth and the babbitt isn't cracking and falling off in bits, then you can probably scrape, file caps and fit the bearings for several more seasons of driving
Don, I feel your pain. While I do have mine running, it makes a racquet and it could just be on borrowed time. I know where your coming from on the insert bearings, but unless your going pressurized oil system, I feel you'll ultimately do more harm than good trying to get them to work in a splash setup.
I decided long ago, I was going to get a Scat crank---and I did just purchase one, along with one of Les Shubert / Dan Hatch two piece trans shafts. I feel this will be a bullet proof combo. With that said, it makes little sense to me to put that very expensive crank on used babbit. So I will get the block repoured in the future before assembly.
If I take the time to do it right now, I will hopefully end up with something to last my lifetime.
The choices I see for you, are find enough decent parts to cobble it back together in better shape than you have (which is entirely possible to do), and you can buy a set of main caps from Gene French as recently advertised and maybe a better set of used rods. It might get you going for now, and while you may end up "wasting money" on those parts, it may buy you time to collect the proper parts for a full real build like I am doing.
Or you may be able to find a used engine, semi close to you.
Or the last choice, do the full rebuild now.
Personally, I would patch it up and start collecting parts so hopefully you can enjoy the car a little bit for now.
Ross Lilleker in College Station did the babbit on my í28 Model A roadster and also supplied a used reground crankshaft around six or seven years ago. His specialty is Model Tís. Iím really happy with the job he did and the pricing.
Thanks everyone. These are just the types of options and information I'm looking for as I try to educate myself on how to proceed.
If it were a 300 I-6, a small block Chevy or small block Ford, I'd know where to go from here. But I'm just not knowledgeable on these Model T engines.
Anyone else have any suggestions?
If your mains check out o.k. then your plan is probably a good one. However, also make sure that your crankshaft bearing journals are no more than .0015 out of round are no amount of good babbitt will stay adjusted for very long.
Needing new babbitt does not mean that you also need a new crankshaft and certainly does not mean that you need a Scat crank. It may mean that your existing crank should be ground and the new babbitt bored to fit it. You won't know until you pull the motor and check stuff out.
I think Jerry V. has some good advice. If the crankshaft can still be reground your good to go with what you have. You could be lucky to find that the babbitt in the block is still good.
Model T's ran for many years as they came from the factory being simply stock. When you rebuild a T engine the way Ford made them it will do the same again.
Bottom line is what you want to do with your T and how much and hard do you want to drive it.
I sometimes think people expect more from a Model T than it can deliver. MHO
More great wisdom...thank you.
John, the long-term goal for the car is to maintain the crusty look but mechanically have a car that I can putt around the neighborhood in, take part in parades, and for our long distance run....drive it from my house to the local swap meet, on the back county roads.
The swap meet is about 20 miles away.
I'd like to have a silky smooth running engine but I realize that probably only happens with people who've spent a lot of time balancing things in a Model T engine. So...silky smooth may be out of my reach, but I don't want one that shakes like an unbalanced washing machine either.
Don sounds like you simply need to take out a shim for a rod bearing. No big engine O/H...
There is a lot of things that make a T run good like the spark system and fuel.
Yup, if you have some knocking going up or down hills you've got some clearance issues.
Clean and learn about the timer and carb. You're thinking about running the M 500 or a coast to coast.
The timer and carb are both in excellent condition.
There are no shims left in any of the rod caps.
Thanks for all the advice folks.
I've decided to pull the engine, then at least partially disassemble and inspect.
Don - there weren't any shims in the rods from factory, only at the main bearing caps. Fords suggested method for overhaul of the rod bearings was to file the caps. Only replacement rods had shims - to be able to easily fit them to a used crank.
But your first step is to check the roundness of the crank journals with a micrometer.