Wow, long day. Largely as I opted to experience a Pentecostal morning service in Silsbee. Quite an experience, they were a very welcoming bunch and the T & I were both repeatedly namechecked from the pulpit.
Shortly after leaving the Good Ford vented his wrath upon my radiator neck. Wedged it feebly in place with strips of cardboard though it wasn't about to fall out, just span annoyingly around. No overheating issues. Then heard the sad news from Tony that the previous owner Bob Kirk had been taken ill & wouldn't be able to meet me. Get well soon Bob. Tony kindly invited me round to his house in nearby League City, which I reached after a ferry ride and a long tour through the area's astonishing wealth of petrochemical works. Never seen the like, quite incredible. Tony was waiting on the drive with his two splendid Ts (he first sat in that TT aged 13!), plus Debbie and another T guy, Herb with his son Ty. Man it was hot out there. As an ex NASA engineer Tony reckoned my Motometer's wings had initiated the solder fracture through the miracle of aeronautics. Regrettably, as we were removing them the meter fell to the pavement & shattered... though by one of those now routine miracles of T-land Tony had a replacement glass in his garage! I was sent on my way with plenty of iced water and duct tape. Now somewhere north of Sugar Land after 209 miles. Tomorrow - Ross Lilleker in College Station & some welcome maintenance! Thanks again Tony, great to meet you, Debbie & Herb. Also grateful for the Motometer repair & supply of Bob K's spare fanbelts...
Bonus "Where's Waldo?" pic from my motel's CCTV screen!
Take care and drive safe.
As you indicated, the wind resistance of the wings and moto-meter most likely caused your problem but the added weight of the meter, wings and aftermarket radiator cap was probably an additional factor.
Vibration will break neck loose---been there !!!
Its best to get rid of wings and motometer to prevent this.
Your Motometer's wings seem to be shaped so as to generate downforce. If you take them off, your high-speed stability may be impaired.
Good one, Chris.
I've read of this problem with motometers before, so I'll spend the dollars on something else. All I really need to know about how my cooling system is working is whether it's too hot (boiling) or isn't.
Just use a standard radiator cap with no gasket. Leave the cap rattling loose in the threads. Don't worry, it's a very quiet rattle, you won't hear it above the normal Ford rattles. If you don't see steam you're cool. If you see some wisps of steam or water bubbles around the edge of the cap you're a little uncool. Works about as well as a motometer.
Yep, just forego the gasket and use a regular cap. If there's steam or water coming out past the cap, you're running hot. If not, you're good to go. Works for me.
Tim, what is your route through Texas? Love to chat with you have you have the time and if you are planning on going through San Antonio.
I have used Hal's method of seeing if a T is running hot. Caution if the engine is hot there is a positive pressure on the radiator cap and it can unscrew! Been there, done that and burned my hand on the hot cap that was laying in the road after it vibrated off.
Daniel, heading north I'm afraid - now in College Station chez Ross, after an easy 109 miles (easy at least once I was through the endless strip mall/stop-light circus that surrounds Greater Houston).
A man who needs no introduction, fantastic chap & T-whisperer supreme. Also met his charming wife Jennifer & extremely sweet young daughters - all just back from the big T convoy through Montana & Canada. Spent the afternoon shooting ever larger calibre weaponry at indoor targets & the Texas scenery. When in Rome...
Ross nobly got to work on the rad neck, before his crew (and I, to a diminished extent) swapped the front wheels over, sorted out various squeaks & rattles (replacement brass nut on the exhaust/manifold connection) & did the full lube show. In the meantime my air stewardess cousin Barbara surreally popped down from Dallas for five hours. Gave her a lift back to the airport (half a mile) in my refurbed T. I *think* she had a good time.
Ross waved me off, and I managed 87 miles to Temple into the twilight amidst some unusually intolerant drivers. I suppose that's what happens when you drive a 38mph car on 75mph roads.
Also very pleased to hear via Tony Marino that my car's previous owner Bob Kirk is out of intensive care and making progress.
Good to hear about Bob. :-)
How are your target skills Tim? Learning to shoot snipe?
That ain't no AR-15 but my neibor has one that looks very similar.
You are loving this aren't you?
Thanks for sharing! I have to admit, when I first read your plan I had doubts about it. You are a man of your word
Looks like Ross got A/C! Nice!
What did he say about those rear axle bearings?
Tim - I can imagine that, by this point, you have become exceptionally attached to that T. When your trip is over, do you plan on shipping her home and keeping her?
Tim, Your touring won't run nearly as good after you removed that duct tape holding the radiator neck on and used Ross' solder instead. Glad you finally lubed that U joint and bearings. I've been laying awake 2 or 3 seconds every night worrying about that ! Stay safe !
Thanks all, especially George for that deeply touching concern Ron - yes, I'm definitely hoping to ship the old thing home. Duey - I believe it was a 0.500 Browning. Tony - completely forgot to ask about the rear axle bearings! Ross did a load of lubing while I picked my cousin up at the airport so he probably sorted them. He was overall very impressed with how the car was holding up.
Hit Peak Texas today. 189 largely sodden miles to Breckenridge.
Rear axle bearings crowned with a dollop of fresh pink grease - job's a good'n.
Glad to read that you used a dollop. A gob is too much, while a smattering is too little. Dollop, that's the thing!
153 miles to Paducah, where the original Marlboro Man was apparently born. Pretty lonely out here - very nearly ran out of gas. Tomorrow: the Trump-heavy panhandle.
Beautiful picture! Thank you for all the updates.
What Wayne said! :-)
A river runs thru it was the first thing in my head...
Tim, have you mentioned how much or IF you actually like that smart looking little Touring car?
That next to the last pic at the end of the driveway is pretty cool, I gotta admit. :-)
There were several Marlboro men, played by advertising executives, models, actors, and eventually real cowboys. The legend that several of them died of lung cancer and other smoking related diseases is true.
Duey, that's a TERRIBLE insinuation. I love this car with a passion & will send you some illegal photographic evidence if you're not careful.
Had a lovely reception in Matador, where I was bought breakfast & given hats. You're never alone with a T. Then to Whiteflat, where the only surviving settlement was a big school the same age as my car. Wiped out by the dustbowl & Depression. Gave the car a lunchtime drink by a proper lonesome-cowboy overview. 148 miles, now in Pampa.
An intake/exhaust manifold made in Dallas, TEXAS! No wonder your marvelous epic drive is so successful and enjoyable. I greatly look forward to your postings Tim. A lot of guys are living vicariously through your experiences. Keep 'em coming and stay safe!
Cheers George. That "GASAVER" no doubt explains why I've been averaging 22-23 mpg.
Just done a quick tally: 3,444 miles under the wheels so far.
Shoot! :-) I can't tell if you're actually angry or playing it up! :-)
I took the latter and laughed my fool head off!!! Still going off in fits, you devil!
firstname.lastname@example.org for the "naughty bits". (think M. Python days) :-)
Ehh Hem. 3444 miles and such a striking landscape! Truth be known, I'll never get back to Texas to see.
'Tho I was there for a work related thing years ago...
Loving this adventure from freaking Central Minnesota Tim!!!
Don't panic, Duey - just joking (for now, three months is a long time for a man to be alone...)
My word it was windy today, had my sunglasses blown off on a mesa right at the top of Texas. Then I had a massive tailwind into Oklahoma & the car began to overheat! Thanks to whoever it was on my previous thread who mentioned this might happen, I'd have started to panic a bit otherwise.
Three states & 160 dilatory miles today, now in Liberal, Kansas (a misnomer if ever I heard one - I had an unforgettable dinner with the homegrown samurai in the last pic).
Great news Tim. I am sorry I missed you at Anthony Marino's house, I was out of town. Anthony helped me with Shirley my 1924ish touring. The mostly dry riverbed pic I know the place. What do the clear (plastic?) side window shields do? Good luck on the rest of your journey.
Sorry to have missed you Ignacio. The plastic things deflect wind - and rain, as I've now stopped bothering with the side curtains.
180 miles today, north through pan-flat corn & cattle Kansas. Now at Sharon Springs.
I'm hearing a pretty loud air-sucking noise which rises in sync with the throttle. Haven't checked the carb nuts for tightness yet - any other suggestions?
Tim, from sharon Springs, Mount Sunflower, the highest point in Kansas, is fifteen miles west and nine miles north.
Maybe you should go see if your T can climb to the top of the mountain.
They all (T's) make a sucking noise to some affect as as you pull hard on the throttle if I understand it. Mine sure do.
But if you're noting it now...
Carb bolts, yes. Perhaps a wrench on the manifold bolts to be sure there?
Well, the suck turned into more of a louder hiss & the car started running poorly during today's 127 mile drive to Imperial, NE.
After consultation with Ross, I can confirm I've blown the head gasket. It's gone at the back, removing the rear plug lead makes no difference to the sickly tick over.
Any T people up in this part of Nebraska?
How dangerous is it to keep driving a T with a blown HG?
(I do at least have a spare HG)
Chances are you will lose your coolant !!!!! Better Fix !!!!
Before I retired I was the Ford Motor Company field service engineer for most of Nebraska and that included Imperial, so I know the Ford dealer there. I will give them a call tomorrow morning and see if they can help.
Just noticed your comment about the spare head gasket. This should be quite easy to resolve, unless of course the head has a problem and needs to be replaced. If you need a new head too, you could possibly go ahead and replace the gasket with the one you have and limp the approximately 200 miles due west to Dave Huson in Longmont Colorado. He can fix you up for sure.
Thanks Gary. No problem, I can do the job in the morning. There's a Napa round the corner for the high-temp sealant & a bucket!
Am a bit concerned that this HG has only lasted 2,000 miles, since Peter in Dearborn did my con rod. Is that worrying or normal?
A head gasket should last for years or decades. Maybe it didn't get enough sealant when it was installed.
Once the head was put back on, how many times did you or Peter recheck the torque on the headbolts? Hopefully at least once after operating temp was achieved but it can't hurt to recheck a couple more times.
If the NAPA store does not have a straightedge for checking the head, the Ford dealer will for sure.
I'll send you a PM with my phone# in case you need to ring me tomorrow.
It probably needed just one more re-torque after the change.
Actually this is something that has gotten worse over the past few decades. The best head gaskets on a non-modern engine had always been asbestos sandwiched between copper. The newer "copper" head gaskets have a modified inner sandwiched between copper. They seem to require being torqued at least three or four times. Trying to get it tight enough the first time would be guaranteed to break something (probably pull the threads out of the block). The last past two I have put on required a third and a fourth re-torque before it was good enough.
My experience (this mostly through other's) is that the modern style composites are even worse with a T motor (Not enough head-bolt pressure to hold them.)
Thanks again. Peter kindly lent me his torque wrench for a day so I could retorque when hot. Did so & again a few times in the days ahead. Trouble is, it's tricky to get a torque wrench or even a small socket on the two bolts at the back, so I've only checked/tightened those with an open wrench. And that's where the gasket went...
For those back bolts you can use a crow foot instead of a socket.
Tim, retorque the head after it cools. Do that two or three times. Retorqueing while hot won't help, as the head and block are expanded, and will shrink when cooled, letting the gasket loosen again. Then you are back to square one. Just what I was taught forty years ago. JMHO Dave
Sorry to hear about your troubles. Dave's right, since your head is aluminum, the head should be torqued after the car has been driven and then allowed to cool. Sorry if I did not make that clear. I feel really bad about that.
The good news is you have a head gasket with you, the skills to change it yourself and you've got something to add to the book. As Gary said, check the head with a straight edge to be sure it's not warped.
Use the original Ford head bolt/spark plug wrench, if you have one, on those back two head bolts.
Clean steam holes in block and use tap and die to chase all threads. I also like to use anti-seize on threads. Straight-edge bock and head for flatness before assembly.
Just got word that Tim is rolling again with assistance from the NAPA store. A milled head might be part of the fix.
I went back and looked at previous posts. I can't find mention of an aluminum head. Must have missed that.
Yes indeed Gary! Drove out to the NAPA in Imperial to get gasket sealant & the old owner instantly took pity on me - invited me into his adjoining shop with all manner of kit. Also Kasey, who overcame his initial houseproud reluctance ("Are you gonna make a mess?") & helped me wondrously. He knew his stuff & reckoned the head didn't need a skim... though in the event it didn't need a HG either. Old one was fine. Sigh. Curse my hopeless diagnostic skills. Put in new plugs and puttered off 81 miles on three cylinders to Sedgwick, CO. Staying in the old 1920s bank. Under Ross's tutelage I've established there's a spark at number 4, valves go up & down, spring support pins seem OK. Started to rain so will carry on tomorrow. Check lifter clearance, redneck compression test, possible intake leak.
Tim, thats funny. "Are you gonna make a mess". Did you explain that its a T? Yep its gonna. Following your posts daily. Thanks for taking us along.
That one piece exhaust intake manifold could be the culprit? If the exhaust manifold warps in your case the intake manifold is connected so it may have warped too?
I think you could be on to something Anthony. If you look at the picture with the head off, the back two cylinders appear to be affected which I would think is indicative of an intake leak.
Any other theories fellow arm chair diagnosticians?
VALVES. No compression in no 4 (plug out, wad of paper in, crank), poor compression no 2.
Local T enthusiast Charles helped me get the worst one out (no 4 exhaust), it's pretty rough to say the least. Ordered 4 (all the exhausts) from Ross Lilleker, plus another freaking head gasket, should be here tomorrow. Charles & I will lap them in - he very kindly hauled me & the T all around the area chasing up old guys who said they could do it, but then got cold feet. Even picked up a flat in his wrecker along the way. He's never done a lap job (!) before but has the suction thing (!!) & seems very capable. Loved his roadsters.
Seat in that worst valve doesn't seem TOO bad.
Pretty fair diagnosis, Tim. I'd say that one is pretty well shot.
Clean out that steam hole on the corner of the block as well while the head is off, it should have been done last time the head was off. That being blocked could have even contributed to that valve running hotter and burning out.
I will suggest that the sucking sound you heard is an intake leak that led to that particular exhaust valve running extremely hot resulting in the breakdown of material that you now see
I would clean them all up while you are at it. Won't take much time, good luck
I agree with Tom, you've got everything open and you're working on 4 of the valves.... at least lap and set the clearance on all 8, even if you don't replace the intakes. You won't add more than about an hour to the job and it should make a big difference. You'll be 'uniform' across all 8 cylinders, at least from a valve perspective.
That seat doesn't look good. If you just try to lap the valve you will have way to wide margin which will give you trouble again. You can cut the seat with a Nu Way valve seat cutter. You should be able to get one the proper size at NAPA.
..and make sure ALL the cyl head bolt tapped holes are clear right down.
One way (while you're awaiting valves) is to fit the head without the gasket and check that all bolt heads will go down to the head face.
Well, the notorious "GASAVER" two-in-one manifold fractured during preparations for the Great Lapping of the Valves. Now replaced with standard kit from Charles's stockpile - I can hear your dismay from here!
We lapped the living frick out of all 8 valves, old & new. What a pain, my palms may never recover. Charles was superb. Welded chain links into the old spring compressors that Ross sent after they buckled, and managed to gently distort the big brass exhaust nut in a vice so it married up with the new manifold. Eminently practical chap. We only had cardboard gaskets for the replacement manifolds, and the throttle linkage isn't quite perfect, but the car is now running approximately 108% better. Celebrated by topping 50 on the Lincoln Highway.
Now at Terrytown NE, 122 miles today.
Tim, I could say it looks like you've blown a seal, but since you've got it all fixed, I won't say that.
My mom's hosiery cardboard was all the gasket material I needed when I was a kid. Good stuff.
And Charles' cat. Like my cat Roxy. :-)
Woohoo! Back on the road!
Very good, Lester. ;)
180 miles today, north through the epically bleak E Wyoming plains. 90 miles between gas stations! Now in a 1920s hunting lodge hard up by the SD Black Hills.
Bonus pic of "Timmy's Dent" with a dead T out front, and my "new" standard manifolds in all their glory...
1920s WiFi in this place!
Rust in piece.
right on, well done - loving the updates ! keep em coming.
Looks like you are making good time. Love the updates. Us armchair travelers need some inspiration for our own bucket list trips. Do you have anyway to post a map of your trip route so far. or maybe mileage traveled so far ... Inquiring minds need to know So far it seems to be a far cry from a "straight across America" trip. Seems like you have had enough issues so far to make for an interesting story and book. Travel safe .... have fun ....
Looks like maybe a photo op at Mt. Rushmore?
Funny you should say that, Tony...
I opted to cut across to Hill City on a county road, longest stretch of dirt road yet, a good 25 miles of it and over 6,000ft high. The graded corrugations were a nightmare! Car slid about all over the shop. Fun though, and satisfying. A proper T experience. Scenery afterwards was superlative. Mount Rushmore slightly overrun (not least by bikers - 400,000 in the area for the Sturgis rally, world's largest. They're a decent bunch though & LOVED the T. Seems to be the acceptable face of motoring in their eyes.)
As expected, my manifold gaskets are failing pretty badly - a lot of popping, clicking & even a bit of backfiring. Plus exhaust fumes in the cabin. I tightened the retaining bolts over zealously at Rushmore & seem to have broken one thread, which can't be helping. By one of those now everyday miracles, the owner of my hotel in Belle Forche is good friends with a serious local T guy. He'll hopefully help me out tomorrow. Amazing!
140 miles today - 4,434 in total, Donnie! North into ND tomorrow.
Love reading your updates.
While I have never gotten into motorcycles myself, I have known many bikers over the years. They and model T people seem to have the same "a man and his machine" ideas.
Driving (riding?) is about the journey.
Drive carefully, and enjoy! W2
When I saw yesterday's pictures I wondered how long those manifold gaskets would hold. If the exhaust manifold isn't too warped, I'd use the proper original style steel rings and copper crush gaskets. Adding a bit of hi-temp RTV wouldn't hurt.
In North Dakota, Roosevelt NP is worth a visit.
4,434 miles ... Not bad for an amateur. who had very poor odds offered at the start. Safe driving tomorrow, and if I remember right, it can be a loooooooong way between gas stations in parts of North Dakota....
Don't miss Needles Hiway and Pig Tail Run !!!!
Wow you got a picture with the three surveyors and the other guy!
(I learned that when I went to a Geomatics meeting earlier this year. actually all four had been surveyors at one time.)
Enjoy and be safe.
Copper glands and steel rings! Now this is going to be a chapter in your book that I’m going to look forward to. It’s going to be a whole chapter filled with all kinds of new American cuss words for all your British readers. Your manifolds will never be SORTED. You will lose all your humor, even though you are a humorist travel author. You will learn why your T was nicknamed “ohsofilthy”.
Just imagine putting together 6 rings, 6 glands, 2 manifolds, 4 double threaded bolts, 4 manifold keepers, 4 washers, and 4 NAUGHTS (British nuts) with two hands.
Do not research how to do this job. As a writer, you must experience this for yourself.
Don't miss going up to Mt Rushmore in evening and hearing ranger give very nice talk and also go thru the park and be among the buffalo herds. Both will be a high lite of your overall trip.
Tim, if it's not too late, consider changing only the copper glands and steel rings on your exhaust manifold. 2 cut down clamps will hold the intake in place and save some time and aggravation. And loosen the exhaust pack nut when it's hot - not cold. Otherwise you're liable to break the exhaust manifold. Don't ask nearly everyone on this Forum how we know.
And BTW; it's not considered proper to sport cowl lamps AND white wall tyres ......
And go ahead and start a C to C IV
You made it aways from Sedgwick.
Charles! I did indeed, entirely thanks to you. But those cardboard VW gaskets were only the start of today fun... NEW THREAD
Dang, only 200 miles west of me. Good Luck, Tim. You picked one of the worst weekends to go through the Black Hills with the tail end of the motorcycle rally. Glad you found one of the T guys in Belle Fourche to help you out. Good luck on your further travels.