Dumb question - what foot for reverse?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Dumb question - what foot for reverse?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 11:26 pm:

Dumb question for you guys: what foot do you use for the reverse pedal? I figure I may as well do it right while it's still early enough to stick.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 11:39 pm:

right


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 11:42 pm:

Thanks Keith!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 11:53 pm:

Left. I want my right foot free to hit the brake.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 11:59 pm:

Tim, ordinarily I reverse by holding the low/high pedal in neutral with my left foot and pressing reverse with my right. If you use the lever to hold the high speed clutch disengaged while reversing you can use either foot on the reverse pedal. If I'm backing into a tight spot I use my left foot so I can quickly press the brake if necessary with my right. Drive the car more and you'll learn what works best for you.
Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George n LakeOzark,Missourah on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:25 am:

I use my right


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:43 am:

I put the brake lever into the position where neutral is found, and the brakes
are not yet engaged, and then turn my size 13 clod hopper (right foot) sideways
(to get it between the two other pedals) to engage the reverse pedal. The box
cab and C-cab TT's have a challengingly small back window, so one must do a
pretty impressive bit of contortion to be able to look out the window and press
the reverse pedal. Using both feet (left foot to find neutral) was a real bear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 01:24 am:

Right foot, since the left foot holds the low pedal in neutral. If braking is needed, then just move the foot.

Only time I used the left foot and held neutral with the lever was when I test drove a T with only a foot throttle. Felt awkward.. My suggestion would be to keep the hand throttle too if installing an accessory foot feed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 03:04 am:

What is dumb about that question? :-)
I have done it every which way. It depends a lot on the car and options like Muncie transmissions which have their own reverse. If the car had one of those? I usually preferred the Muncie reverse.

For standard model Ts, or cars with Warfords (or other transmissions without a reverse). My most common way, is to use the left foot to operate the clutch, and the right foot to press the reverse. In some cars, it is a really tight fit, because my feet are only a little smaller than Burgers. IF the clutch is properly adjusted, it should work fine.
IF (another big IF) I am in a tight situation (OR if the clutch is not properly adjusted), I pull the hand lever back like Burger says, where the clutch is disengaged but brakes not applied. Then operate the reverse with my left foot, while keeping my right foot poised on the brake pedal.
Either way works fine. Whichever you prefer should be good.

Personally, I do not like foot throttles on model Ts, even though I like accessories, and they were a very common one back in the day. Fortunately, I have only had to drive a model T with a foot throttle and no hand throttle a few times. I drove a friend's T once, it had both hand and foot throttles. I looked back, did my usual contortions, started backing up using the hand throttle. He said "It has a foot throttle". I said without flinching a bit, "I never use them".
We laughed about it later.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 05:32 am:

Tim, I'm with Burger. Before I go into reverse I always throw the lever into neutral. Usually I engage the Ruckstell into low as well. I'm more interested in control than speed. I use whatever foot feels right at the moment since I'm normally craning my neck around trying to see what obstacles I should be avoiding or backing the car into its garage spot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 06:50 am:

I too am with Burger, taking the car out of gear with the handbrake rather than relying on holding neutral with the left foot. Screwing around to see where I am backing makes it too difficult to maintain a consistent pressure on the pedal to hold neutral with my foot. I use my right foot on the reverse pedal.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Willis Jenkins on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 07:00 am:

The three pedals so close together are definitely not user friendly when it comes to using the reverse pedal! It is so awkward to use, that's probably my biggest complaint with the T. I don't like modifying so, I must live with it.

Willis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 07:19 am:

Willis - sneak up to the reverse pedal from the floor straight forward, then you shouldn't tangle up your foot into the other pedals - and no accessory pedal pad raiser needed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carey on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 07:27 am:

With my size 16 feet I pull the lever and use my right foot on the reverse extension pedal. Works OK. Tom


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 08:19 am:

I always pull the brake lever up, then use my left foot on the reverse pedal - Keeps my right foot free to use the brake. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chadwick Azevedo on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 08:44 am:

Right foot for me always unless there is something unusual about the car or throttle. Left foot holding the clutch.

This way I can use the low band for braking when going backward and the revers for braking going foreward. This works very well for paralel parking. Not to mention it amazes people when they seee the car going from foreward to revers without you taking your hands off the wheel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Zachary Dillinger - Charlotte, MI on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 08:59 am:

I learned a lesson the first time I ever drove a T. I darn-near drove a depot hack into the Franklin Club Museum building at Gilmore because I left the car in high gear and used the foot clutch to neutral the car when parking. I then reverted to modern thinking when stopping, putting the left foot down before applying the brake as I approached the curb. The car shot forward and I somewhat panicked, ultimately stabbing at the brake and reverse together to stop / stall the car.

The point of my story is that I always use the hand lever to put the car in neutral before stopping or changing direction despite several years of T experience. This means I can use my left foot to reverse and keep my right foot for the brake.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 09:05 am:

Right foot!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dufault on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 10:27 am:

Tom Strickling's reverse pedal extension helps me a lot. ...and I use the right foot....usually :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 10:44 am:

This is getting like the thread on which hand to use when cranking. It always goes like this: "I've always done it this way and have not had a problem with it." That might be true, but that doesn't mean there won't be a problem in the future.

Here is a logical way to think about it: We use the left foot for starting to move in low. The same foot is used for starting to move in reverse and the right foot is always free to use the brake. If the parking brake lever is in the neutral position, we can use the left foot for either pedal and the right foot is always free to brake. So the neutral lever and left foot would logically be the safest way. I too like Ruckstell for backing up. It is easier to go slow without killing the engine or slipping the band.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 10:58 am:

Use the foot you are comfortable with and can maintain control.

Experience over years lets me reverse with right foot, holding the low pedal halfway with left foot to release clutch, and back up with right foot stabbing the reverse pedal a few times.

In other circumstances, like tight space, moving traffic, car or foot traffic, or up a hill or down an incline, the pull back on the clutch/emergency brake lever half way, and use the left foot on the reverse pedal, so your right foot can stab the brake pedal if needed :-)

Just as it says in the Ford Owners Manual :-)



(Message edited by Dan_Treace on June 12, 2017)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 11:37 am:

I do what Dan's post recommends. The exception is a panic stop when the right foot is already on the footbrake. fortunately, I have never had to panic stop the car, but I have practiced it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:27 pm:

I never use my left foot for reverse. I do sometimes use the lever to hold neutral, but usually only when I have just started it like when backing out of a parking place or backing out of my shop. Other times, I just hold neutral with my left foot. Either way, I use my right foot for reverse.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George n LakeOzark,Missourah on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 01:22 pm:

OH BOY !! According to Dan's ford manuel, I'm an experienced driver !!! WOOHOO !!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chadwick Azevedo on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 04:18 pm:

If you use your left foot you must use your lever. If you use your right foot you can choose to use or not use the lever.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 05:49 pm:

OK, so there are two methods. Left has the advantage of leaving the right foot free to use the brake pedal. But lots of people use their right for reverse and left for the low pedal for neutral instead of the lever. What is the advantage of that?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 06:15 pm:

So what I'm gettin from this is that the right is better except for when it isn't. Got it.

But more seriously, right now my technique is to use my right foot because the left one just isn't comfortable there. I've been using little stabs at reverse with my right foot to get moving then hovering over the brake until I need to slow down or stop.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dallas landers on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 06:38 pm:

I use the left foot reverse method. My foot gets caught between low and brake once in a while. If I need the brake my right foot is free. Maybe I got off on the wrong foot? Works best for me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 07:42 am:

"What is the advantage of that?"

Quick, easy and I don't have to bend down.:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 09:19 am:

After, like a few here, almost creating a new garage entrance, I do this: (as some here do too), emerg brake handle upright, (neut. no rear brakes), left foot on reverse right resting on the foot brake. Very little thought necessary to quick stop.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 03:07 pm:

As an "aside" (FWIW) being raised a "city kid" back in the '40's & '50's, I have not had too much experience with cowboy boots, however, having been presented with a pair of cowboy boots as a gift when we lived in Montana, I learned from "experience" that cowboy boots, with that sharp and narrow pointed toe, are just perfect for sneaking your foot in between the brake and clutch pedal and depressing the reverse pedal. And again, being basically a "city kid", that's just about the only good thing I've got to say about cowboy boots,.... at least for a "city kid" like me anyway. Again, .... FWIW, ....harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Raynor in Southampton on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 03:36 pm:

A quick stab with the right foot , hand lever in neutral, looking backwards 😉


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By thomas elliott nw pa on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 05:15 pm:

HA! I read all the comments to the "dumb question!' So I am still trying to learn to drive the 'T' and what comes next isn't clear to me! So brake lever neutral, left foot reverse and right on the brake. Anyway, happy to see all the reply's!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Branigan on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 05:49 pm:

I say be thankful that you have two feet some people are not so lucky.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 06:01 pm:

Operating a Model T is a bit like operating a horse. There are commonly understood "touch points" that will result in generally predictable movements, but "riding" either one requires some tact in order to do it well. It's an art form.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Williams, Humboldt TN on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 06:11 pm:

On my '15 touring I hold neutral with my left foot and use my right heal for reverse. Works much better than trying to get my whole foot in between the pedals.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Fischer - Arroyo Grande, CA on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 06:33 pm:

I never have driven my T regularly enough to become 100% comfortable with holding the clutch half way down while backing up. My habit pattern with a regular clutch is too strong, so whenever I am maneuvering in a tight space, I pull the parking brake half way up. Otherwise, the pressure on my clutch foot is screaming "push me down, all the way down". So I'm safer to keep my foot off the clutch. It's either that or join the Big Hole In The Garage Wall Club.

By the way, Harold, about the limited usefulness of your cowboy boots: They probably aren't as useful in Washington state as in Texas. It's a little known fact that cowboy boots were originally invented for Texans to step on cockroaches in the corners of a room.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 07:45 pm:

Dick - Here in Washington, we try to discourage such conditions that result in "cockroaches in the corners of our rooms" and therefore, eliminate the need for cowboy boots for such use in the first place! ( :^)

(.....not trying to be nasty Dick,....jus' pull'n yer chain a bit .....( :^)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 09:08 pm:

There are parts of Washington where they still ride horses. The boots are easier to find the sturups. They also protect the lower legs from brush.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 09:09 pm:

I should have added, the pointed toes fit easily between the low and brake.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 10:40 pm:

Is there a correlation between which foot you use for reverse and which hand you use to pull the crank? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Kelsey on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 02:23 am:

I am with Burger, as well. Putting it into neutral first is the key
.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 03:11 am:

First of all, there are no dumb questions—only hilarious ones, uproarious ones, gut-busting ones, farcical ones, riotous ones, side-splitting ones, etc.

Since we're talking about the pedal in the middle and because there isn't a whole lot of room on either side of that pedal, you're probably going to have to use the side of your foot. Since that might require a little dexterity and finesse, use your dominant foot. For most of us, that's the right foot.

Now, some folks like to use their left foot on the reverse so they can keep their right foot at the ready in case they need to use the brake. Well, there's an old trick, a knack, a secret to avoiding that. Here's how it works: Take your right foot off the reverse pedal and use it to step on the brake.



Okay, but seriously... There isn't really enough space for a left foot on the reverse pedal and a right foot on the brake at the same time—not unless you have feet like a parakeet. And if you happen to be of the aggrieved and persecuted left-handed minority; sorry, there still isn't room for two human feet on the reverse and brake pedals at the same time. Use your right foot, for the two right pedals and your left foot for the clutch pedal (or forward pedal, or hi-lo pedal, or left pedal, or whatever the heck it is we're calling it this month).

Sheesh!—I thought we had this left-right controversy put to bed when we established the correct hand for cranking!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 08:00 am:

After some study of all the Ford Manuals found here: http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/mtdl_year_title_list.htm I'll say it depends on the year of car :-)

If you're lucky enough to have one of the first 750 or so Model T's, then you don't use your feet at all, it's the left hand that engages the reverse band. Then you steer with your right hand and control the throttle with your third hand.. it gets a little messy, so the reverse control was very soon changed into a pedal.
Well, we haven't got three feet either, so the manual said for the first six editions to use the left foot for reverse with the emergency brake handle in neutral, but for the 1914 edition the text was added to read as in Dan's picture above - experienced drivers press reverse with the right foot, so if you have a '14 or newer it's OK anyway you do it :-)

And Steve, no correlation for me - I prime crank with the right hand to be able to choke, then switch on the magneto and crank start with my left hand - but I find it awfully awkward to press reverse with my left foot.. though the oldest part of my pickup is 1915, so I can do as I like according to Ford :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 08:20 am:

Dan's article is best!

I always tell people never to press the clutch or reverse pedal without the right foot on the brake pedal.

Then too, you can still get in trouble with those pedals.

A recent trouble example for me was demonstrated last Saturday when I drove a 1921 over the stop rail and put the trailer post through the radiator.

I have been trailering a T for 37 years and I have had this trailer for 12 years.

The good news is that the stop rail held.

The bad news is, it bent the wishbone.

This was on a farm that had a big John Deere tractor handy and some short pieces of 6 X 6 inch timbers.

The T front was lifted up and placed on the timbers, then the tractor just slowly pulled the T back on the trailer.

How that happened and what was different was influenced by several items.

1. This T was a 1921 and lighter than the 1926 I always owned and trailered.

2. This T had a Ruckstell and it was in Low.

3. The low setting gives the engine a lot more torque, even at a low RPM.

4. The brake band was a little low on adjustment.

5. I was rather tired and wilted by the high heat and an earlier tour.

6. My right foot was on the brake and my left foot was on the clutch,, which may have stuck down, everything happened so fast, I cannot say for sure.

Here is the damage photos.

1

2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 08:33 am:

Bob,


My dainty size twelves. :-)
It works for me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dallas landers on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 09:25 am:

I have tried using my right hand on the low peddle and my left hand on the reverse but I can get my left foot to the throttle or my right foot to the spark advance.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevada Bob Middleton on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 08:40 pm:

3rd foot geez
But my 12w feet i use left


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 07:28 am:

In a tight place, I will put the lever in neutral and just "stab" the Low or Reverse Pedals. By "Stab", I mean I quickly engage them, as usual, but immediately let back off. It gets the car moving and depending on the situation, it can be allowed to coast to a stop without having to use the brake.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 10:15 am:

Steve's pic looks like a foot hanger to me.
For me it's a reverse extension that solves all the "which foot issues",
I pull the hand brake to neutral and that works good for me using either foot for reverse in my size 13 boots.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 10:25 am:

Steve could use a floor mat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 10:28 am:

There's a lot of stuff I could use. All in good time. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 03:36 pm:

My new Bergs Radiator arrived at 3:00 PM today.

It was very well made and very well packaged.

I do believe the package could have safely traveled around the world or at least half way!

Thank you Gery for caring about Model T Fords!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 05:48 pm:

I noticed the good packaging also when my Bergs radiator arrived for me a few years ago.
Very professionally packed and solid looking.


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