Continued from http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/708324/781024.html?1503707897
So, the wife's gone but the T is back! After Scott's "guard of honour" send off I stuck dutifully to the new 30mph coax-the-car-to-the-line speed limit. Dropped to 19 in Ruckstell on the long climb up to Sylvan Pass in Yellowstone - 8,530ft; I wonder if the car has ever been that high in its long life. Pulled very well, and the only ominous noises issued from the ever-rowdier muffler. ALL HAIL SCOTT.
Led a generally tolerant queue of motor tourists through Yellowstone (free entry today), and out through some challenging side winds into West Yellowstone. 180 miles in all (Sat nav led me a merry dance at one point). Smell of gas on closed throttle - I almost ran out coming into Cody so as Scott tells me it's probably crud stuck in the carb. Will check in the morning.
Idaho tomorrow. Looking forward to paying less than 180 fricking bucks for a motel room!
Great news Tim!
Best wishes for a safe and (relatively) uneventful trip to the finish line.
Love the photos!
Tim,have you had to change carb setting with the elevation changes? Glad you are taking us along! I enjoy reading your updated every night.
Beautiful! Just extremely beautiful!
Thank you Tim M.
Tim are you using mainly back roads ? sure looks pretty and very little traffic
Very familiar with the shipping docks here in Seattle, as I have shipped cars to and from England on several occasions.
I also have a slide bed tow truck for easy transportation of your t to the docks. I can provide a modern car for your transportation needs should you decide to head north to Canada before you leave.
just let me knw how we can accommodate your needs,
Do you still have that aftermarket (Kohler?) carb on your T? I'm not familiar with those (modern?) carbs. I suppose you could try choking/sucking some crud out?
Yeah Tim; thanks for taking your new-found Forum Friends on your odyssey. But if you post those gorgeous pictures of the American west in your book, the Tories in England are gonna want this colony back!!
Tim - Will you still be heading through Oregon from Idaho, or are you heading straight through Washington to Seattle?
You should not miss the Columbia River Gorge and the historic Columbia River Highway:
It looks like your T has grown on you and you plan to ship it home, rather than sell it when you reach the coast as you were considering early in your adventure. That's great! If you need shipping referrals, let me know. Happy to help.
Lake Oswego, Oregon.
1917 Ford film of the Columbia River Highway:
BCG - this all sounds truly excellent, I will definitely be in touch when I'm nearer Seattle. Thank you!
George - don't tell anyone, but my drive is a reconquest reconnaissance mission. We'll be welcomed in after another three years of The Donald!
Tony - I do still have the highly regarded* lawnmower carb. Exciting related maintenance details to follow. Hope you didn't get too wet last night...
David - what a great film! It's sold me on the Columbia River Highway. Might turn off early to avoid Portland though.
SO. Had a quick fiddle with the carb this morning, took the float and needle out and wiped the bowl out as per Scott's & Ross's suggestions. Thought I'd sorted it but on the busy road into Idaho the spluttery misfiring soon reasserted itself. Oh well, car still ran pretty well. Long stretch of VERY empty dirt road to Kilgore, big country out there. Loved it. Now at Arco, first town powered by a nuclear reactor (& soon after victim of the first and pretty gruesome meltdown - one poor technician was speared to the ceiling after an exploding fixture went in his groin & out his shoulder). After arrival I delighted the motel manager by draining the gas tank almost entirely into a waiting receptacle, before switching the float and needle from Ross's supplied spare carb, and fitting a new fuel filter. Will see tomorrow if that's done the job.
Currently enjoying an "Atomic Burger" at Pickles. 158 miles today.
Was the Open Range photo for me?
thanks for the update!
Take a little time to stop at Craters of the Moon just down the road.
Uh-oh. "...new fuel filter..." Inline fuel filters are notorious for inflicting fuel starvation. That may be the source of your sputtering.
You sure know how to find the road less traveled. Has to be a beautiful trip. Wish I was traveling with you.
Steve - well, a new filter and float/needle swap has indeed banished the splutter. Car seems to enjoy the 30mph regime, no knocks or increased oil consumption. Muffler is well ragged though, I sound like the Red Baron taking off. Biggest concern today was what looks like a crack in the rod, just beneath the repositioned damper d-link. Hard to see in this photo, and possibly just an old mark.
Glorious stretch of proper range today (Scott was with me in spirit!), preceded by the stunning Craters of the Moon. 148 miles to Mountain Home.
(Crack in the tie rod)
Are you planning on going south through Grandview to avoid the freeway? It would be a bit longer to the Oregon border, but a lot more comfortable. I had hoped to drive up to Carey to wave you by but had family obligations.
when you get it fixed, take that frickin' damper off and join millions of damper-free T drivers (past and present).
Cheers! (and sorry you're not trouble-free to the end...I really thought you would be...)
I think I'd take a small cheap wire brush to the rusted line and clean it off.
Put some oil on it, wait a minute and wipe all traces of oil off...flex the rod and see if any dampness shows up at the site of the suspected crack.
might just be a little discoloration or corrosion at the base of the weldment.
If you suspect it's a crack in the tie rod, then it's nothing to mess with. The consequences of a broken tie rod are too severe to even contemplate.
Some time back one of the regulars offered to send you a replacement. I strongly suggest that you take him up on this generous offer and install the replacement.
I, and a lot of others will breathe easier it you get rid of that compromised part.
Tim, Dick Fischer and I Just discussed your Tie rod situation. I would like to be the first to wish you RIP if you do not replace your tie rod and get rid of that damper. Frankly your demise is not maybe or possibly it is certain if you don't get your S--t together! Hate me if you wish but you have been warned.,
No hate at all - wise input gratefully received! Close-up pics always look a bit overbearingly forensic, so I'll do as Scott suggests and see how it seems then. I think I ought to remove the damper too, in any case.
I know the whole damper debate is a pretty live one, but when I remove it what difference will I notice?
You will have to take care when reversing as the system will have 'anti-self-centring'.
But it will feel just like the other 90% of Ts with no damper.......
Tim if the whole front end is tight and correct like it's supposed to be you won't notice much difference. The only place you'd really notice it is big bumps will have a lot more feedback through the steering wheel. A big enough bump can snatch the wheel from your hands.
Whenever you're with a T person again just have them go over the front end with you to check that the king pins are properly snug without any play, and that there's no play anywhere else.
Soft surfaces is where you will notice the difference more, loose gravel at the side of the road, or in a soft dirt road. If you stay on hard surfaces, you will not likely notice anything. The problem is if you drive off the pavement (i.e. to allow someone to pass) you need to be mindful that the car could pull sharply off the road. The T community has lost at least one member in the past few years because of this. Most of my driving is done on roads that are similar to the worst you have driven on, and I do not use a stabilizer although there are times when I go through soft sand that I wish I did have one.
I agree that the best thing to do with that tie rod is to replace it with an unbroken one. When you do, it's important to adjust the gather correctly. Page 46 in the service manual tells you how. It's amazing how quickly poor alignment can wear out a tire.
Tim's presently running 21 X 4.40-4.50 Firestone tire, 2-3/8" white wall tires. He has a little too much gather, but we opted to leave it alone considering the excellent wear he was getting...I didn't want to mess with what he had and was used to.
Of course if the rod is replaced, he'll have to check/adjust for that. He and I went over that operation and he knows what to do.
Front end has some (usual) wear, but would be fine without the damper, in my estimation, particularly now that his speeds are reduced in an effort to save the engine for the final drive to the finish line.
Thanks all, will bear all that in mind.
Well, the damper is off. Cleaned the area up and there isn't any crack per se, just old marks & scratches. To be clear the weld itself is fine, I'm talking about a patch a couple of inches to the left. Anyway, the rod seems solid (or at least has the same slight degree of flex at either end).
As Scott says my reduced speed should help avoid serious misfortune. Early impressions sans damper are that the steering is much lighter about town!
As a armchair follower on your journey, I would like to see you finish it If you can get another tie rod sent overnight that would really be your safest bet. Even at reduced speed (less than 10mph) a broken tie rod can have grave consequences.
Gary's offer is a generous one that I would definitely pursue, were I in your shoes.
There is a Man by the name of Jim Hinz that lives in Mountain Home that has old model t parts and cars. His cel
# is 1-208-631-0961 house # is 1-208-587-3743
Not sure of the spelling, but his wife answered the
phone just now. Tell her your problem if you can't reach him. nice man has lots of old cars out
there. He also has 12 doxies that guard the place.
Mike - many thanks, but sadly I was 100 miles up the road by then!
Firstly,the rod is looking good & behaving well. In all honesty it seems to ride better without the damper. I'm certainly not finding the front wheels any twitchier. Given my description & ominous-looking photo I accept that responsible forumites were obliged to sound extreme caution, but it really seems fine. I kind of regret posting that photo!
Anyway, crossed over the lonesome Owyhee Desert - some massive dunes out there. Then into onion-scented Oregon. I made a detour to stay at a genuine Bates Motel, then found out it was closed. Had to go 15 miles back the wrong way to Ontario to find a bed.
Car ran well until the last 40 miles - the splutter is back. Will fiddle with the carb/points etc in the morning. 149 miles. Scott - I changed the oil outside an O'Reillys! Top tip.
Try removing the inline fuel filter; they are known to cause problems. Glass bowl filters are the only good ones without a fuel pump. As long as you're using fresh gas (no problem there!) and don't have crap in the tank you won't have any problems.
Thanks for the update!
I find myself waiting anxiously for your reports...what shall I do once you've completed your trek?
Glad that oil thing is working out for you...your engine is much happier (even with sputters) for it.
Am not surprised to hear you're doing well without the damper. I think it was the right choice given the circumstances, though I was hesitant to tell you that and simply let you decide for yourself.
Tim, you said that you badly needed a haircut. I'm glad that you took the "LAST CHANCE" to get one.
I'm with Gary. I'd ditch the filter. The sputtering is likely to disappear along with it.
Bates motel! Too cool. There is a steeple out back... Is that THE motel? ;-)
I hope you enjoyed a couple of COLD American pints at the Last Chance.
Tim, it's a bit strange. You are showing us some of us our Americana that some of us will never see, and we live here.
Thank you. :-)
Quietly in my mind, I wonder about your fuel system also.
That's a church behind motel.
I must shamefully confess that the car has a fuel pump...
Misfire is now making the car essentially undriveable. Juddered painfully into Juntura, have to sort it out. Assume a fuel issue: seems to be a fair bit of fuel splashed about in the carb area, and the carb bowl was swimming in it when I took it off. No grit or bits in there though. I've only just switched the fuel filter - could the pump be failing? I have a spare pump, & a carb, but don't really fancy draining out 7 gallons to change them.
Distributor cap/rotor/points all seem OK.
Tim there should be a shut off underneath the tank. You would only have to deal with the gas in the line itself and not the whole tank.
If you have a shutoff valve in your fuel line close it off and swap the carb; you shouldn't loose anything. If you don't have a shutoff then get a gas can and point the fuel line into it while you swap the carb, you won't get too much in the can and you can put it back in the tank. It may be the float setting or valve in the carb, but it's probably easier to install the spare, especially if you know it is good.
Your paper filter will still turn brown and need replaced frequently from those little tiny itsy bitsy pieces of brown gas tank corrosion. Your carburetor cleaning will probably re-occur, and the teeny little brown pieces will be in there. It's a constant fight. Your fuel pump may also have a small metal filter attached to it too.
If you stop driving/vibrating the corrosion loose you won't have to clean it out but where's the fun in that!
Thanks all. Think it's sorted. Details to follow!
Er, on second thoughts it isn't remotely sorted.
Draining the tank. It's dribbling out MUCH more slowly than last time, metal filter removed same as before. Could there be a big lump of something inside the tank, partly blocking the outlet?
Poke a stiff wire up through the drain cock. If it then drains more quickly, finish draining, remove and clean the bulb, flush the tank and off you go. If tank is dirty, problem likely to be repetitive.
You say "Assume a fuel issue: seems to be a fair bit of fuel splashed about in the carb area, and the carb bowl was swimming in it" That sounds like too much fuel. Does the pump have a pressure regulator? You only need 1 1/2 lbs pressure. Too much will over ride the needle off he seat.
You might reach into the tank with a magnetic pick up tool a find a big piece of rusty scale, or two, or more. Dave in Bellingham, Washington, been following since you left home
From the other "Tim Moore"...probably not a big lump but a flake (or several) that floats and dances around. I have been down this road before with tractors. All the filters in the world that take out fine particles won't help with a "fish scale" that finds it's way into the pick-up.
To dislodge it you can blow in the gas line to move it up and out of the way but it or them will probably find their way back to block the line with gas sloshing around.
What you really need is a clean or new gas tank but that is probably not practical right now. The next best thing would be to remove the sediment bowl and drain / rinse the tank for flakes then install a pipe nipple as a stand pipe so the gas level isn't right on the bottom. Put on a shut off ball valve and your filter of choice. Whatever crap is left in the tank will be on the bottom and with a stand pipe up an inch or so should not suck in the flakes that didn't get rinsed out...if any.
Again, been there and done that with filters for the fine stuff but a few flakes that float into the inlet will drive you crazy. They are like finger nail clippings that you can blow away but they get sucked right down back into the toilet bowl of your sediment bulb and plug it off.
Wish I could help,
I used to carry a bit of wire that was bent in a v so I could clean my tank outlet with out getting gas on my hand. I would recommend removing the fuel pump and filter for better performance.
By the way, Juntura is a neat little town.
If you have rust in your tank you could try and put a strong magnet on the outside of the fuel tank. The flakes will stick opposite the magnet instead of being drawn into the fuel line.
Hey John, that is brilliant, it makes me feel stupid not to have thought of it myself.
Rust is not magnetic...
By golly, Jerry is right!
It is a little magnetic, and if there flakes in there then there's probably solid chunks of metal left inside that are magnetic. A big magnet isn't a bad idea.
I placed several rare earth magnets from a large servo motor to the bottom of my 1930 buick gas tank. Maybe they are not supposed to work, but they greatly reduced the times I had to blow out the fuel line until I could properly clean the tank.
Fun couple of days. Last night got stranded between two big passes just before Burns, Drinkwater & Stinkwater. Had to push the car a quarter mile to get to a safe place. A nice couple in a new Mustang stopped, the guy helped get the car started but it was obviously ailing, spluttering & backfiring. Getting dark and no cell coverage so they extremely kindly offered to escort me the 37 miles to Burns. That was quite a ride. Car kangaroo hopping, surging and backfiring, stalling, would only keep running in Ford low, I got bad cramp & had to start swapping feet on the pedal. Ran out of gas as it was running so rich. Put my 2 gallon spare in... and 15 miles later it ran out again! The Mustang Samaritans drove into Burns & came back with 2-gallons more. Great people. Somehow managed 131 miles that day.
This morning tried to contact someone who knew the local T guy (there's always one!), but no answer. So phoned a local garage. Car wouldn't start at all, so they brought a trailer. In their shop we started by cleaning the carb out, and installing a fuel pressure regulator. Car seemed a lot happier, so off I drove. Three miles into the 130-mile drive to Bend the symptoms returned. Car actually cut out in the middle of the highway as I turned round, fun times. Used the starter to "drive it" to safety. Took 15 mins to start, then bucked and farted back to the Burns garage. Swapped out the carb for my spare. No difference. I'd already changed the ignition coil, but though the points looked fine we switched them too. I was sure I had a spare condenser but couldn't find it, & the local Napa didn't have one. So the mechanic resourcefully adapted a Chevy one to fit. Car started first time, and behaved almost impeccably on a 6-mile test run!
I do think the carb was buggered, and the pressure regulator seems sensible. But in the end, after all that, these two simple ignition consumables appear to have solved the issue (I'll find out tomorrow if that is really the case). Bit of a facepalm frankly, but there we go!
There's an old adage in this hobby - not just Fords - that 95% of all carburetor problems are electrical.
Fingers crossed for you Tim!!!
My 24 with a dizzy was acting just a bit odd one day last summer. Hmm, 15-20 years old and the condenser is now failing? Yup.
That mechanic you worked with has his head on squarely, thinking outside the book/box. :-)
I went into a parts store one time, looking for an XX Micro Farad condenser. Good guy, knows his books and parts, couldn't help.
I mentioned Micro Farad's and got the deer in the headlights look.
Asked for one for a 70's Chevy, put it on that big old Kohler engine that was being fussy and the rest, as they say, is history.
Gilbert is right. I thought it was closer to 90% but it's true, the vast majority of carburetor problems are electrical.
And vice versa.
Tim - I'm sure sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble! Generally speaking, Model T's are just a lot more reliable than your seems to be. However, in following along with you, I can't help thinking that if there was just some way you could get rid of all that electric fuel pump, pressure regulator, etc, etc, and just go back to simple gravity feed and a simple NH Holly carburetor, I'm thinking you'd probably have a lot less trouble. I guess a comment such as this really isn't much help, but that's the way I see it. Seems like you've had more than enough trouble and I hope you can get past it all and have an uneventful "cruise" all the way to Seattle! I'll say this,....you certainly have enough "material" for your book,.... (:^) ..... harold
Where are you going to dump the Atlantic water?
Tim, I agree with Harold, and can add the original Ford ignition system also. When everything is set right, it's hard to beat the original Ford systems, Henry knew what he was doing.Although as Harold said this has given you a lot of material for your book. I hope you have better luck on the rest of your adventure.
There is another option Tim. You can fix all the problems, replacing all the parts that gave you trouble and everyone else nightmares, but then it would no longer be the T that you drove across the country. I hope that you are keeping all the pieces that went wrong on you, in a bag, as mementos from a T that is what it is. Some things can be dangerous and need to be addressed but you get my point. In the future, if you choose to wait that long, there is always the option of going for a correct restoration.
Sometimes I think you guys over think this very simple machine with alternators, fuel pumps, water pumps, distributors, electronic ignition and what not...Ford's design although quite primitive, works just fine... remember, if it ain't broke, don't fix it? How about adding or try and improve it either other than for safety's sake.
I think that is a valid point Martin except Tim bought the T this way from a well liked and reputable T restorer. Being a non T owner and undertaking the journey he was about to, there was no reason to second guess
By the time you complete this adventure you're going to be a very seasoned T driver, maybe even a mechanic! Be safe!
I think he qualifies at least as a shade tree mechanic at this point. Even if he was running a stock ignition system, he would probably have developed some kind of problems at some point. Coils get out of adjustment, contacts in the box get loose, lint on the mag post. He's driven a very long way, I'd be very surprised if he hadn't had things come up.
I agree with Seth, He has probably driven farther than most of this bunch will do in a life time.
Well, I just heard from Tim...
He is in Bend, OR., with what he believes to be a broken crankshaft. I have his permission to post his cell phone # as he has no internet access right now. I have given him Dave Williams' telephone # in Grant's Pass.
If you are in, near, or know of someone in/near Bend, please give Tim a shout...He is looking for someone who can validate his belief that the crank is broken.
As an aside, the car ran great and he got safely off of a very desolate road and is now out of the desert and at the outskirts of Bend.
His contact # is: 973-953-0728. Please call ONLY if you have contact info other than Dave Williams as Tim's a bit busy right now.
Just found out that I do have internet coverage.
Looks like game over after 6,000 miles. I've shed an acceptably manly tear.
That's to bad, I'm a past member of the two piece crankshaft club and that is not good place to be. I hope he gets help and can somehow finish his tour.
Tim, don't give up. the motor has to be overhauled whether you finish or not. So get it done and finish your tour. There are a lot of us cheering for you.
Damn, that sucks. I've followed every post and every angst ridden breakdown and silently cheered as you overcame yet another obstacle. Fingers crossed you can get over this last monumental hurdle.
This latest news SUCKS !!
Yep, sucks HARD. No joy finding any local T guys so far, but a Model A fan just stopped by and is going to call his mechanic who has apparently done plenty of T work.
In any event I shall be getting to know Bend pretty well.
The only people I know near Bend Oregon is my sister and her husband. They have no facilities nor skills to offer. They just moved back to there (after nearly a year in Mexico), and I do not even have their new address yet.
I am pretty much chained to the house these days, but if you were a few hundred miles closer, I would try to help. I can't offer a full proper rebuild, but I could swap a crankshaft or even donate a block if needed.
The Joy of Creating
Force yourself to smile and youíll soon stop frowning.
Force yourself to laugh and youíll soon find something to laugh about.
Wax* enthusiastic** and youíll very soon feel so.
A being causes his own feelings.
The greatest joy there is in life is creating.
Splurge on it!!
There are some T guys in Madras, not very far away from Bend, I don't remember names but the forum or the MTFCA directory should be a help.
Damn that stinks. Maybe someone in the northwest has a running motor they would let you "borrow" for another week.
Call one of these folks?
Northwest Vintage Speedsters
c/o Bob Rankin
305 NW 2nd St.
McMinnville, OR 97128
Rose City Model T Club
PO Box 3901
Portland, OR 97208
Willamette Valley Chapter
c/o Arnold Anderson
PO Box 13313
Salem, OR 97309
Model T Club of Southern Oregon
c/o Dave Williams
203 N.W. Manzanita Ave.
Grants Pass, OR 97526
Just talked to Tim he is at a shop that works on model t's and found out his fiber timing gear gave up the ghost.
Post your fiber timing gear stories beginning now...
Looks like Tim may still be in the race . .... Tim, after you replace the cam gear, make sure to drop the inspection pan and clean out everything as good as you can. Make sure you have an oil screen in the hogs head to catch any remaining old fiber from the fiber gear. I would suggest to check the screen the first 50 miles then again in 50-100 miles if anything is being caught by the screen. . Also make sure they blow out the oil line while the cam gear is off. Your T mechanic probably already knows all of this, but they are just some suggestions I can think of. Ill save my fiber gear stories for some other time ... have fun and be safe....
Replace it with aluminum or Bronze.
Sounds promising and hopeful! I have told my fiber timing gear stories before. Don't like them. Don't trust them. Generally speaking, I would much rather listen to a noisy worn steel gear than use a perfect looking fiber gear. Good luck for an easy repair, and a few hundred more good miles!
I just replaced my fiber gear with an aluminum one w/o seeing anything wrong with the original but I still wouldn't trust it. I guess basically I'm saying, "I've got one but you can't have it." Glad the crank is probably OK and glad the T doesn't have an interference engine or there would be all kinds of broken parts.
Failure of a fiber timing gear is absolutely no surprise. Fortunately excellent replacements are readily available.
Yes indeed - through the miracles of melodrama and incompetence, self-reported accounts of my death have been greatly exaggerated!
Don (the Model A guy) returned with his mechanic Mike, who asked me to check through the transmission window while he cranked the car. Crank revolved... but Mike noted that the distributor shaft drive didn't. Had an exhilarating tow with a tiny rope from Mike's old Landcruiser back to his massive shop, he's a ninja machinist and restorer, mainly As but has done the odd T. Took the rad off, and about 94 bolts holding the Texas T Parts alternator/distributor casting combo. I have never been more relieved to see an utterly ruined component in any car - almost half the teeth had broken off the main timing gear, great lumps of red plasticky stuff everywhere. On one hand - why oh why is such material ever allowed near a vehicle engine? But on the other - MY CRANKSHAFT IS OK SO WHO CARES?
Will go back to Mike's tomorrow morning to help finish the job. He has a couple of spare original timing gears which we can choose from. The distributor drive gear is fine and should hopefully just screw on the end of the timing shaft.
Another pair of the humblingly wonderful Samaritans this country keeps presenting me with. And thanks to all the help & advice provided above. Chris - hopefully see you in a couple of days!
PRAISE THE FORD!!
Are you planning to go north on 97 through Yakima to 90 then west to Seattle?
If so there is an incredible t guy in Thorp Washington. He does babbit work and is a died in the wool t guy. Can furnish his cell phone number. A very interesting guy to chat with.
keep the rubber on the road and both ears down.
Just talked to Tim he is at a shop that works on model t's and found out his fiber timing gear gave up the ghost.
Although this is bad news, its far less bad than a broken crank. Its amazing that in every time of need, someone who knows and understands T's, steps up to the plate to help. It just goes to show what a great bunch of people are involved in this hobby, from coast to coast it seems. Best of luck to you Tim, i am pulling for you to complete this journey.
John, We have great people all across the United States. T people as just part of it. Thats why everybody wants to live here. We are the best and will help out our fellow man. God Bless the United States and those who belive in her. Scott
I'm sat here laughing at your writing! And thankful of your woes as they are right now. :-)
You will complete your journey!
Still chuckling about the pic with your shredded timing gear (in hand) from a Ford T against the backdrop of that white 70's Ford pickup cab.
I have a friend that uses his 70's Ford pickup (it's a white pickup too) for a snow-plow truck. His 351C runs way worse than a T should tho. :-)
Your photos. Uff da. Where I live is an absolutely beautiful part of the world but your photos show such beauty of this country... Ya know.
An other reason to keep your Ford all Ford.
"Another reason", I have to admit I'm using a nylon gear in mine as a friend of mine makes them and wanted me to test it for him. I agreed, but Carry a NOS Ford gear with me just in case.
Tow with a rope? How far?
Tim: This would be a wonderful opportunity to return the Model T engine to 'stock' and complete the adventure with reliable, trouble free transportation! Safe travels, I look forward to reading your book. jb
Great to hear that your "Shinto II " does not have a broken leg !! Sounds like you can carry on, as planned.....Regards, Paul
I don't think its "a wonderful opportunity to return the Model T engine to 'stock'". He's out in the boonies and was extremely fortunate to have found a capable mechanic to help him with the current problem. As we have seen, many modifications have been made to the car before he got it. At this point, he just wants to get it repaired and back on the road to safely complete his journey. Harping on him about returning it to original configuration in the middle of this adventure is unrealistic and serves no purpose. After he completes the trip and gets the car home, THEN its time to consider returning the car to a more original configuration. But that's his call.
Lets support and encourage him, not nag him about the non-stock bits and pieces that have caused him troubles.
He is not out in the boonies, he is in Bend, it is interesting how people back east think that the west is a third world area. I agree with James, except for the expense, he would have to change the front cover, install a timer and locate four good coils as well as a coil box. The up side would be he could give a narrative on the difference between an original ignition and a distributor, but that is not what the rip is about. If he had been able to drive the full distance with out any breakdowns, it would have made a rather dull book.
As Winston Churchill, one of my all time favourite historical figures would say:
"Keep buggering on"
Tim is on an adventure most of us only dream (when we allow ourselves to!) about.
Hopefully, he'll write the story of his trip; it would make wonderful reading.
Gustaf that made me laugh!
However us folk on the East Coast know that there are more people living in lower Manhattan than all of the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and Nebraska combined. This is why we think the way we do...
Traveling from Couer d'Alene, ID, to Sacramento last year, I spent the night in Bend; it's a great place.
Kurt Russell is either from Bend, and/or played baseball there some years back.
I remember a fellow who said he drove way out West to Chicago.
OK, I could have phrased that better. I realize he's in Bend, but I meant he has been traveling through a more sparsely populated part of our country. But that's besides the point. My point was that we need to be supporting and encouraging him and helping with the needed repairs as we can. Not nagging him about returning it to original configuration in the middle of his trip. He's heard that over and over. I don't disagree with the sentiment, its just not the time to be nagging him about it.
"I remember a fellow who said he drove way out West to Chicago."
I can top that, Richard. I knew a girl in college whose grandmother had lived in New York City all her life, except for about the first five years of her marriage. She would explain to people that she and her husband had lived out west during that time before moving back to Manhattan. My friend told me that when her grandmother said, "out west," she meant Buffalo.
This is why Model Tís are still around. Parts are mostly all metal and not all the plastic of modern cars. So they have lasted close to 100 years!!!
You guys have reminded me of a little "bit" from the old "Amos 'N Andy" show that for some reason sticks in my mind. (maybe because I grew up in Chicago).
Anyway, as usual, "Amos 'N Andy" had done something terrible that caused them to feel the need to "RUN", and run fast! It went something like this:
Andy: We is gonna' get in the car, and we is gonna head West.
Amos: Where is we goin' Andy?
Andy: We is gonna' tell everyone who ask us, where are we from?.... dat' we is from Chicago. An' when somebody asks us,....where dat'? ....DAT'S DA' PLACE!!!
Sorry Tim,.....we seem to be cluttering up your thread. Really glad to learn that your suspected broke crankshaft is only a stripped fiber timing gear. Merely another interesting (and suspenseful) chapter in the book, huh Tim? (:^) (:^) ....harold
Dang! I'd swear I wrote "broken" and not "broke", but that stupid "auto-correct" changed it! My grammar is bad enough without "HELP" from auto-correct!
Tim, I have enjoyed all of your escapades so thank you for taking us along. The only thing that I ask is when writing your book please make note of every problem that that was caused by a stock, as equipped from the factory, model T part and those caused by non original "improvements". Even with your recent cam gear problem no one suggested "put in an old Ford steel cam gear, problem over!" Best of luck for the remaining trip.
Ed aka #4
Well... I celebrated too soon. By the time I got to Mike's shop this morning he'd already fitted the (old Ford steel) timing gear. As advised I whipped the oil pan off to check for hunks of nylon, and was presented with The Vista of Maximum Dismay: two halves of the same crank. Ross Lilleker did warn me via text that he feared the broken timing gear might be symptom rather than cause.
Violent loud blasphemy seemed the appealing option, but the guys there - Mike, Don and a new arrival and experienced T guy Ron - were models of restraint and optimism. With barely a pause they set about the appalling task of liberating my two-piece crank. You know the score. It took us all day. Some good news: the block's OK and so are the mains.
Mike is taking me in his Model A to some monthly old-car-guy breakfast meet. Four or five of them are bringing T cranks along, so we'll hopefully get one the right size (or too big, there's a machine shop that grinds cranks right opposite my motel in Bend).
So - a day that should have been mired in misery & disaster has ended up being fun, satisfying and hopeful. More great people giving up whole days of their lives and getting completely filthy just to help me on my way.
Thanks again for all the kind, supportive & informative messages here. I'm not offended or discouraged by any comments about the car's troublesome after market features! Nice to hear from you Paul, seems like 27 years since I was with you in Ohio!
Well, Tim, looks like extended silence this day was due to a lot of work going on! Your crew has actually made a lot of progress. Wishing you the best of luck on the crank size(s) that come your way. I think I'd enjoy having breakfast with this crew. Putting misery aside, I think it will be an enjoyable AM.
Tim, I too have enjoyed your escapades and thank you for your posts. My grandfather had a somewhat similar adventure, although not nearly as long. Grandad lived in Wichita, Kansas, and was a plasterer, a trade that he passed along to his sons. During the depression work was hard to find, so when his brother-in-law offered him an opportunity to plaster some houses he was building in Portland, Oregon, he jumped at the chance. He loaded his plastering tools and his sons in the model T and headed for Portland. Other than an occasional tightening of the bands they would drive all day and sleep beside the road at night. The only problem was that the T was awfully hard to start with the hand crank each morning. After they reached Portland, and all the work was done they headed back to Wichita. Rather than put up with the cranking problem, when they stopped for the night they would just leave the motor running, Shortly before reaching Wichita, the first rod gave up the ghost. Grandad cut the end off of his belt, wrapped it around the crank, installed the rod cap, and drove on home. Ed
Tim, well darn it!!! Oh well the fix will just take a little longer. If you have to have the replacement crank reground, make sure the grinder know that the T cranks need a larger than normal radius (todays normal). You can use the old cranks as a refrence to what radius is needed. It could be possible your broken crankshaft was reground with too little radius sometimes in the past. I would guess that if you have several unground cranks to look at you should be able to tell what is needed. or maybe someone here knows what the proper radius is. I forgot and Im not near my books at this time. I was hoping that if it was a broken crankshaft that you would attempt to fix it. I give you high praise for soldiering on in the face of hardship. That is part of the history of the folks who used these cars back in the day. have fun and be safe. .....
If you do not want the broken crank, I will bet they would love to have it and part of your story in Richmond for a display.
My brother in law has an ancestor that fought on the frontier of the US and that was east of Pittsburgh.
Donnie said, "soldiering on". That was probably a common attitude in the T era. Today we'd think it was a major inconvenience if we had to get the oil changed on a cross country trip.
One of the things I'm getting from Tim's trip is just how readily repairable the T is, even when the newest parts were manufactured some 90 years ago. Not only do the parts come into hand quickly, but the know-how still seems to be johnny on the spot wherever Tim lands.
Like everybody else, my heart is warmed by the generosity of folks along the way. But we're also experiencing a testimony to the design of the car and just how pervasively it was embedded into Americana.
Regarding people's concept of "out west", I lived on Cape Cod, Mass. in the early 1950's. I swear, there were locals who thought if they ventured out to Ohio they'd face grave danger of being scalped by an Indian.
Dick, when I was a young chap the local refinery brought in people from upstate New York who had those type of thoughts. Dave in Bellingham,WA
You were right along! You will get through this! You are in good hands!
Just think how cool that two piece crankshaft will look hanging on the garage wall back home! I expect to see pictures of this in the book! I'd like my copy signed, please!
Tim, Maybe another set back for you now, but you are so close to the finish line, we are all pulling for you.
You go for breakfast and strangers bring along potential crankshafts to mike/check...
I'm thinkin' your ol' T knows just where to break down. Might seem like the wrong place for a bit but things/people tell otherwise...
Plus you get a ride in an A... For a Breakfast Of Crankshafts.
Too cool. Exclusive Two Piece Club or no. Your attitude... :-)
Tim, At least your wife got to enjoy her part of the trip. You started to write a book but it looks like a novel is on the way. I hope you afford the ink on this one. Keep pulling my friend and enjoy our country and fine folks along the way, Scott
A group that I tour with that really do some big miles often say that it if you drive one far enough eventually you will eventually break a crank. Your tour has taken you much further than many people here will drive a T in a lifetime and sure enough you have broken one. All part of the experience! Good luck with the changeover and all the best for the remainder of the journey. I have really been enjoying following the trip and also impressed with the encouragement and support of all the Model T people following your adventure.
Glad to hear about another fix from some more T guys. You are gonna make it. Keep on keeping on.
Tim, you mentioned that you had gotten towed by a tiny rope. You should tell your mechanic what speed and how far it was towed. He might want to check the tranny over while it is out of the car. This sounds like one hell of a fun trip.
McMinville, Newport, and Tillimonk are all great places to visit. Two great airplane museums and an awesome aquarium to see. Spruce Goose is beyond belief, a must see. Oregon and Washington coast is quite a sight to see also.
If you get to U.S. 101, Tillamook, the traffic is less after you cross the bridge to Megler, WA. You can follow 101 or really quiet side roads to Port Townsend or Poulsbo, and have a ferry ride to Seattle downtown or Coupeville, more country roads. I think there is also a ferry to Victoria, BC. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Got a drive to Madras in Mike's beautiful 1929 Model A - first time I've had a ride in one, feels like a car from some unimaginable post T future! Smooth, fast, quiet. But... not the car that put the world on wheels.
Madras hosted the Great Crankshaft Breakfast (in truth a regular meeting of the High Desert Model A Club), after which we followed the splendid Ron in one of his umpteen As to many farflung rural old-car-guys and their weird & wondrous collections. Again, top blokes to a man.
Crankshafts were laid out at every stop and submitted to Mike's micrometer. At our final halt - BINGO! A 10/10 crank, gleaming & pre magnafluxed, from a rebuilt T engine Chuck no longer needed. I think the crank was ground by the very well regarded Spokane boys. Massive result!
Mike, I and doubtless a revolving cast of the greater Bend district's superlative old Fordists will commence the transplant on Monday.
Model A folks are great folks indeed. Hats off to the High Desert Club!
Hey Tim, you were lucky to be in the west when you had this breakdown. While there may be more people in lower Manhattan than there are in the past 5 states you have been through, out here there is about 20% of the population that is a capable mechanic, and maybe one in a thousand is very knowledgeable in the workings of a T. You should be back on the road soon and with a full chapter just from Bend.
You can "Bend" it. You may break it. But it can be fixed!
Sorry, , couldn't help myself.
Well, my friend, it appears that you are in the right place!
Best wishes for a successful transplant!
Great update! I am looking forward to hearing about what happens next.
I would love to see the Model T (bus?) in front of the airplane.
Tim, I'm sure you are happy but the back of that tailgate looks a little cranky.
Thanks all. The encouragement, wit & wisdom from you lot really is a dependable boost.
Matt - behold the Moonshine Express!
The owner, Dave, was completely ace. Barns full of old Ts, bikes, planes (!), old tractors and his own fantastical creations. A field of desert-hardened old Ts & others, like a miniature version of that amazing T graveyard in E Kansas. Living the dream!
Got to say I have met an awful lot of genuine characters and just plain great folk on this trip.
The Moonshine express LOL, did you expect those guys to serve tea and scones from that truck ?
Hope you have an eventfull last leg of tour trip !
Keep on truckin'
Fourteen T crankshafts to choose from in one day in Bend, OR! How lucky is that!
Tim, have been following your adventures and am amazed at the tremendous good fortune you have had from all along the way.
Once you get a chance to do some reading there is a trove of Model T literature available. Three I have enjoyed that are all listed on Amazon are "Henry's Wonderful Model T 1908-1927" by Floyd Clymer, "Farewell to The Model T from Sea to Shinning Sea" by E. B. White and "The Model T a Centennial History" by Robert Casey.
Of course.I am waiting anxiously for the release of your book.
Ah, Jack Daniels! I'll line up for a shot or two......
Love the old Air knocker!
Thanks for sharing photos of the moonshine express! It looks like your T stopped at T heaven. And with the help that you got there you should have a back to life experience soon. Or perhaps you could trade for the moonshine express;)
Never say die my friend! You'll make it yet!
As to the stripped timing gear being a symptom, I'll strongly, but respectfully, disagree. My take on it is, the cam gear strips, cam stops turning momentarily, getting the engine grossly out of time, then the shredded gear catches just enough to turn the distributor enough to get a spark out, but on the upstroke, immediately taking out the crankshaft. As your gear, and Steve's, indicates, there's almost 180 degrees worth of teeth missing, meaning the cam made about 1/2 of a revolution before everything stopped. Spark timing during that 1/2 revolution could NOT have been accurate. Cam took out the crank, not the other way around.
Jerry "Very Interessting"
My thought would be that all the backfiring he was experiencing through the carburetor may have been timing gear failure and the backfiring put a lot of stress on a tired crank. Then it all failed. Someone else mentioned that fuel problems are often electric problems. Ie: it was not junk in the carburetor, but miss timing due to a bad gear.
Timing gear stops: valve events stop, spark stops. Engine is dead and will coast some short distance with 1 (probably) closed off cylinder pulling a vacuum and compressing air. Not likely Root Cause to crankshaft breaking.
We know his condenser was shot for at least a day, with it backfiring and only running if kept at very high speed. Spent miles in low climbing a pass. That crank was history well before it actually separated into 2 pieces.
I was thinking the crank was probably cracked during the bad condenser episode, as well, and then failed later.
Yep, the crank must have taken a terrible beating in those 50-60 miles of bucking and misfiring. It was truly brutal!
Hard to explain but the engine sounded off when I started out towards Bend - kind of brittle and hollow. Then BANG.
Mike here is doing a proper job - he says the rings need replacement, and reckons it's better to start afresh with four new rods. All en route from Ross's in Texas, will be here tomorrow.
How do you explain the loss of half the gear teeth if the gear simply "stops"? Can you really believe that as those teeth mashed over the crank gear, that proper timing was maintained? Furthermore, how do explain the loss of half of the teeth after the crank breaks? I'd be very skeptical that the crank made another full revolution after breaking, and did so in such a way as to shear off half the teeth. How do you explain the exact same gear failure in T's where the crank did not happen to break? Yes, I know cranks also break without gear failure. There's lots of ways a crank can break, this is one of them.
By the way. I did not mean for my comments, above, to come across as combative or sarcastic. Sorry if it reads that way.
Wow...the tone of the comments today are pretty rough. Give the poor guy a break.
Jerry, I have 2 fiber timing gears hanging on my wall, as reminders, that look similar to Tim's. One looks a bit worse. In both cases, the crank was OK.
Years ago I shucked half the teeth off an old fiber gear, slowing down for a light. The car just shut off. No misfire or bucking just nothing as I coasted to a stop.
It did not crack/break the crank. ('27 with an EE crank)
Steve had a similar occurrence a few years back with his sedan just idling if I recall.
I suspect there are times when if the timing (excuse the pun) is just right it could cause a broke crank but more than likely the crank was a ticking bomb just waiting to go off.
It sounds like Tim is in good hands I will be back on the road in no time.
Keep us posted.
Cranks break due to metallurgical fatigue. If it didn't happen during a period of extreme stress, it likely would have happened 500 or 1,000 miles later during a stretch of normal driving. After a crank makes a few hundred-million to a billion revolutions over its 100 year lifetime, it's going to give up the ghost at some point. To argue that this episode is what broke it is pointless. It just happens to be what was going on when it broke.
Drive on, Tim! You're getting to run the full gamut of experiences in a few weeks that takes most T owners a lifetime!
Jerry has an interesting point.
Several of the cranks I have replaced over the years have had fiber gears and all gears damaged in the same manner. I suppose if the crank break is forward of the middle bearing, then the crank breakage could damage the gear. However if the break is behind the middle bearing, the crank breakage is less liable to damage the gear.
Pity I can't remember all the details of each breakage.
Anyone any records or better memories??
Tim et al,
Sorry for sidetracking this thread. Hoping to hear of your T clocking many more miles very soon!
I suspect Jerry V O has a good point. But remember, model T crankshafts were made out of pretty tough material. Many of us have over the years seen the photos from when Ford twisted a model T crankshaft into about a half pretzel. The (then) new un-stressed crankshaft twisted and bent, but did not break. It is nearly impossible for a single event to break a model T crankshaft. Breakages are the result of a combination of stresses, vibration, multiple abuses, many years, and sometimes a final event. Cracks, flaws, weaknesses, all develop over time, and eventually let go. Each and every break is the culmination of that individual crankshaft's history.
Generally, when the fiber gear begins to fail, it also does not simply break and stop all at once. Often, several teeth will begin to crumble, however, timing usually remains correct. When the first pair of teeth fail completely, the engine is running, the cam slips slow only a little, followed by the big failure. The teeth are no longer aligned. The steel crank gear teeth come crashing down on tooth after tooth of the fiber gear, crushing them in the process. Little by little, timing slips further and farther behind in both small steps and leaps. But the cam is still being forced forward by the crushing force of the crank gear. This is what strips off anywhere from a few to most of the teeth on the fiber gear. Eventually, a combination of external forces (cam, bearings, lifters, valves) brings the cam to a stop with enough material ground off the fiber gear that the crank gear alone can no longer apply a turning force.
At any point during that final half turn, the crankshaft could slip ahead enough, followed by an off-timed ignition event, and could in fact break the crankshaft. Or the crankshaft could maybe be broken simply by the final halting lurch of the stalled motor. (Both together could act like a double whammy.)
It has been argued also that a breaking crankshaft can cause a fiber cam gear to strip. This is especially true when the break is between cylinders one and two. Forces between number one cylinder and the front of the crankshaft during the final half-turn (without the support from the center main) can twist or flex the front bearing web enough to run the gear teeth about half way off of proper mesh. If the fiber gear is a bit weak? That can be enough to begin the stripping process.
When both are due to fail? Either could precipitate the other.
Be sure to check that front main bearing support web for any signs of cracks!
Although minor cracks could still run for many miles, and probably even complete this quest? Such cracks do have a tendency to grow and eventually fail. Future plans should take this into account.
Drat, I type slow! Three more posts since I started!
the bucking and backfiring went away when the condenser was replaced, and car ran very well subsequently. Unlikely that it was timing gear related at that particular time. Broken crank occurred next day when car was running well.
No offense taken. Given limited WiFi real time, Tim has provided a remarkable amount of on-line and a bit of off-line info regarding car's performance at different times that not all are privy to. With respect to his latest problem, to a great extent, we're all pretty much speculating as to the chicken/egg problem, really. I think a case can be made either way, and we differ in opinion. It's all good.
Glad to hear it.
Tim - This setback may have been a blessing in disguise, considering the Columbia River Gorge, where you were headed, is now involved in a massive forest fire. As I write this, Interstate 84 is closed in the area and the fire is burning unchecked over 10,000 acres and growing. The historic Columbia River Highway is closed and area residents have been evacuated.
You'll find details here: http://www.oregonlive.com/wildfires/index.ssf/2017/09/eagle_creek_fire_rages_in_colu.html
If you're heading north, you'll most likely take it slow and steady up Hwy 97 to Mt. Hood, following Hwy 30 to Hood River then cross the Columbia River to Hwy 14, west to the Vancouver, Washington area (bypassing Portland) to pick up Hwy 99 north to Seattle.
Bend is distantly surrounded by wildfires - awful lot of smoke in the air, fuzzing out every horizon. Eerie red moon at night.
same here, though fires are more distant. Same red sun and red moon though. Mountains 2 miles away cannot be seen. Sky is a uniform grey from horizon to horizon in any direction. Visibility about 1/2 mile. Sit tight. Wishing you and your crew well.
Looks like ya'll need hurricane Irma more than we do.
The TV weather guy in Wichita says the haze isn't from moisture, but from the fires out west. The smoke really travels.
Please, not to detract but when we walk outside and smell that, we think mmmm, campfires.
Our son and his family live in Corbet, a little town just west of Multnoma Falls. The have been evacuated and we're waiting to hear from them where they're staying.
Dick, I pray that your son and family are kept safe and their losses minimum. These fires are nothing to fun about. My wife has been gone since friday morning. She works dispatch for LaCoFD. When these big fires happen she builds strike teams from all over their region to fight the fire. Resources were thin because the west has been on fire. Both LA City and County sent people to Texas. Her Cousin is Santa Barbara Fire, once a Vandenberg Hot Shot. He's been in Eureka and is being moved to Gilroy, his young family is at home without him in Orcutt. I hear of these fires all the time, but when they start from a person being negligent it really gets me.
There is over 800,000 acres burned in Montana as of tonight. Fires all over Western Montana. One fire made a big run and burned 48,000 acres in one day over at Sealey Like. That fire has burned over 100,000 acres. Idaho has fires also. I can't see the mountain side 1/4 mile from the house for the smoke!
We had a great combined national tour in Glacier Park, and it's now on fire. The country has been worried and praying for Texas, and now Florida where the population centers are. Nobody thinks about poor Montana and the western states that are burning up. Whether you've lost everything to hurricane winds, floods, or fire, you've still lost everything. Praying for all of you, southeast, south, and west of us. May God watch over you.
I suggest you rethink your route. If possible get across the Columbia and head north on #97 then go to Ellensburg Washington then west on Freeway I-90. 25 miles west is Cle Elum there you can take a 2 lane road to hiway 2.
At the moment hiway 2 is open if you take 97 north to cle Elum Wa then Blewit pass to Hiway 2 then west on 2 , 2 lane and lots of shoulder room for the slower cars.
Pier Fire in California came as close as 2 miles from my place. Covered in smoke for 5 days. Stay safe guys. Scott
One of my brothers is felling dead trees breaks in Montana ahead of one of the fires, and will be in Washington state soon. Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.
Tim, we have lost track of your trip here with all the weather reports.
This would be a good time to start the Coast to Coast VI thread and get back on course.
You have definitely found more than your share of "bumps in the road to victory!"
We haven't heard from Tim since Tuesday night - hope things are going ok.
That's what I was thinking Steve. Hopefully no fall out from the fires or just sitting tight.
But perhaps some much needed down-time to write/type while repairs are on-going. I myself am itching for an update.
Tim was by my shop yesterday and picked up what they are hoping to be the last few pieces to finish putting his engine back together. He told me that he didn't expect to have it all back together by the time that Mike had to leave for some appointments for the weekend and that he would probably see me at the swap meet in Redmond on Saturday. I will let him know that he is being wondered about.
Thanks for the update Dennis
Dennis, what happened to the engine?
I missed or forgot that detail.
Was the 45 mph speed run just too much for it?
James A G, Not intending any offense, it was discussed at length (along with MANY drifts beginning August 31 above. In short, Tim broke the crankshaft and stripped a fiber timing gear. It is debatable which went first or caused the other. Also debatable is what truly caused the crankshaft failure (gear alone could not do it).
Still awaiting completion of repairs, and wondering how to proceed as they are nearly surrounded by wildfires.
Wayne, I do remember that one, but I thought it had all been repaired since then.
what's happening? nothing posted from Tim since Sept 5th
Tim, I have become addicted to your posts. Please start a new post and bring us addicts up to date. I think you have awakened a bit of yearning in all of us.
WELL NOW. Apologies for the vast radio silence, been quite a full-on few days. 12 of them really. NEW THREAD IMMINENT!
Oh boy ohboy-o-boy oh boy!