I have done all my T driving until now in Kansas. Flat roads. Since we moved I can drive around the neighborhood but I am a little nervous about leaving the addition because of a hill. the road is pretty darn steep. About 350 yards long and my guess is about a 20 degree incline coming home. At the bottom of the hill is a four way stop so I can't get much of a run at it. Very little traffic most of the time. So? How do I get up that hill? Afraid if I go all the way up in low I will screw something up. Gas flow not a problem it's a 26 roadster truck. Thinking about having my brother stand in the intersection and I can get a running start? (He has good insurance)
You can drive all day in low until your foot gets tired. Just hold the pedal down hard so the band doesn't slip, and don't rev fast enough to hurt the engine.
Where I live, there many hills. Having a Ruckstell, Rocky Mountain brakes and an outside oil line that delivers sufficient oil up front takes the worry out about hills. You may not need these items when running on the flat...however, for those of us who live and drive our model t's in hills....these added accessories become standard for a "Driver" model T.
Wait a minute! Stillwater is hillier than Kansas? Really?
another thing to mention , this late in June the sun is up by 5:30 . get yer butt out of the house early while the townsfolk are fast asleep !
I have a 1919 coupe so I know hill's !
my tank is in the trunk .
keep your gas tank full when you know you will be climbing
A Ruckstell or Warford is absolutely NOT necessary to go up even the steepest hills. They are without doubt a fantastic addition to a T and help a hell of a lot; but to say a driver Model T must have them is not correct.
I think people are inadvertently preaching their personal ideologies. This is why there a so many "wars" on this forum of late as mentioned in another thread.
If a T guy wants to use $100 a gallon "Mobil 1 Racing" engine oil in their T that's fine. If though they start preaching that any other oil is not as good, without evidence, we have a problem.
Apart from being "fake news" it's really bad for the hobby constantly telling new guys they must have this, this and this (ie. spend large amounts of $) to have a decent usable car.
What are we going to be told next? "Real" driver Ts have wire wheels not wood?
(Message edited by m2m on June 22, 2017)
This video of my '26 pulling up the hill to home is a bit poor in the picture quality , but you can listen to how the old dear handles 350 yards of 15% gradient... the first 50 or so yard is slightly steeper , and then when she hits the top the driveway is quite steep for 20 feet. Sorry about the quality... I have lost my original clip and this is from when I posted it on our club's Swap Meet Facebook page.
That didn't work as well as I had hoped. You will have to scroll down a fair way to the clip which was posted August 5th 2016.
I find grades look to be steeper than they really are. 20 degrees is a 36% grade! I've seen signs in hilly areas warning of 5% grades which is only about 3 degrees. I mentioned in another thread recently about checking oil flow to the front of an engine and that you could even jack up the front of the car while doing this to get a feel for oil flow when going up a hill. I think most would be surprised that the actual angle is much shallower than they think.
Retarding the spark a bit when going up hills can help. The biggest help will just be patience.
And when you come back down it, do it in the same gear you used to go up it. Yeah, it takes longer, but you let the engine do the braking rather than wearing out a brake band, or worse, getting fade. I've never experienced fade in a Model T and I'm not sure you can get it with the transmission brake running in oil, but you can certainly get enough wear in short order to make the brakes ineffective. And if you are using rear wheel brakes, then you could certainly get brake fade when those drums get hot.
I climbed Brasstown Bald (Highest point in GA) in my Model A. I was in 1st gear before it was over. When it came time to come down, I put it in 1st gear from the get-go and left it there. Un-synchronized transmissions don't like to downshift when the output is going faster than the input, so downshifting to try to slow down after you are already going too fast is a bad idea and could lead to a very bad result. I'd rather have been in 1st gear wishing I was in 2nd than be in 2nd gear wishing I were in 1st. I was able to get to the bottom with only occasional light braking because I allowed the engine to keep the speed in check. Now, a stock T doesn't get stuck in neutral, but those with Ruxtells and Warfords could, and even if your T has only the stock 2 speed, you don't want to be going so fast in high that when you decide to downshift to slow down, you over-rev the engine. It's best to start down the hill in the gear you used to come up it and leave it there until you get to the bottom.
The number one trick to climbing hills in a T...
Make sure you have enough gas in the tank
I have found that when climbing some of the "high" bridges around here it helps if you retard the timing 4 or 5 notches seems to give the motor more power. They won't let me try the Dames Point because it is part of the Interstate system but the Hart and Acosta are fair game and are really steep.FWIW
I drive my T almost daily. We live on dirt roads in the country and there are some pretty good hills around. My T is all stock and tuned up pretty good. I can pull all the hills in High if I get a bit of a run at them but there are some situations were you have to start out on the hill if I get just the right rpms and timing setting I can pull them in high if not I pull them in low and it doesn't hurt a thing. I love the challenge of the hills around us, it makes the evening cruises more interesting. I will try to take some video soon.
As long as your radiator is decent you can slog along in low all day long. I am 1/2 mile off the paved road on a dirt road that looks like a minefield. I have to make the whole distance in low with the throttle almost closed to keep from getting pitched out of the car. Never had a problem. I eventually put a Jumbo Planetor on the car but that was more for other people than me as I felt guilty pulling up the many long steep hills on the paved road in low. That intermediate gear is nice to have but unnecessary!
Steve said it all in his 12:01 post.
I When it comes to steep hills, there are two important things to consider:
First it not to attempt to lug the car up in high-gear. That could break a crankshaft and it'll ruin your whole day.
Second is your fluid levels. -Climbing hills, even in low-gear creates a surprising amount of engine heat, so you'll benefit from a full radiator. -The front bearing of your engine may not get as much oil as is healthy for it when pointed uphill, but you can minimize that with a full crankcase (and either an inside or outside supplemental oil-line). -A full gas tank means good fuel pressure and that never hurts when headed up a steep hill.
Bob Coiro wrote above: "...That could break a crankshaft and it'll ruin your whole day."
More like ruin your entire life IMHO, although there are some guys who say there's life after joining the two piece crank club.
I know one poor sod who broke two cranks in two years...his Model T hobby now consists of making plastic scale models of the car.
This goes to the idea of what a Model T is.
It's an almost 100 year old marvel of almost 100 Year Old Engineering!
That being said we should expect to drive them as such and not expect them to drive,handle or have as much power as our more modern vehicles.
Hill climbing falls in that category.
Hal; here in WY we have a prominent piece of mountain highway that is legit 13+% grade. Wyoming DOT regulations state that you cannot fund a state highway greater than 10. So the solution was to put signs up at 10 percent, and all was good. Makes the tourist feel better, going up anyway. Dan Logan, who some of you may know, runs his 1912 up it, and down. Braver than I am. He says the same thing most do here; same gear down as you go up.
When you approach a hill, give it more gas!
Larry and I have the same idea, attack!
I think most of it has already been said. There are a few things I don't know about your car. One is the gear ratio of the rear axle. The other is whether you have kevlar bands.
You can check the gear ratio by putting the car on level ground with the engine off and the parking brake forward. Then note the position of the valve stem. It helps to have someone push while you turn the crank. Leave the crank engaged and pull the car by turning the crank If you have 3 full turns of the crank to one turn of the wheel, you have a 3:1 ratio. If more than 3 turns to one of the axle you are in a better position to climb the hill. The standard was 3.6 to one.
Kevlar bands get hot when they slip, so you need to use the brake as little as possible when stopping, especially going downhill. Auxiliary brakes help a lot for stopping going downhill or in traffic. You can also pull on the parking brake while you hold the pedal in low. Don't pull it while in high. Your 26 came with lined parking brakes and larger drums, so they should be a good help in stopping at the stop sign.
Larry Smith and Seth in Alabamy started it ---
If you want to pull a hill you will need a strong rope or chain.
We have heard a lot about going up but more important is going down. Remember that the old advise is to go down the hill in the same or lower gear than you went up. With a 4 way stop at the bottom, your speed is even more critical.
It is the going down that makes full spark retard important so you get full engine braking. Hope you do not have a distributor with automatic mechanical advance!
Thanks to all. A lot of good information. I do have Kevlar bands and a outside oil line. The "up hill-down hill same gear" I did not know. You guys probably saved me some money. 👍
Always a mistake to rely on one's faulty memory. I seem to recall this same question addressed in the 1920 owner's manual, with an accompanying graph which indicated that the Model T engine's peak horsepower curve occurs at 25mph.
Recently I recall some data of that sort posted on the forum, but as this sort of refined theory is beyond my ken, I kinda blew it off.
I think "charging" a challenging grade is the stuff of Model T lore, and I recall my grandpa's stories about having to take some grades in Logan Canyon (Ut) in reverse . . .
Bump to get rid of the spam