An older friend has a 1914 Touring with an irritating oil leak that I traced to the lowest rivet on the driver's side crankcase arm. Although the best way to fix this would be to remove the pan and re-weld/braze the rivet and arm - plus sealing the area from the inside - that is not a viable way for my 83 year-old friend.
It seems to me that I read somewhere that this problem can be fixed while the engine is still in the car by drilling out the old rivet and replacing it with a "blind rivet". Is that correct? How does that work? Or can I just drill out the old rivet head and insert a self-tapping bolt to seal the hole and tighten up the arm? Is there enough meat on the crankcase for the threads to grab?
I would like to hear success stories about fixing what must be a fairly common Model T ailment this many years after rolling off the assembly line and then dealing with America's horrible country roads in the past 100 years.
Thanks in advance, Guys.
You can use JB Weld to stop the leaking. You sure it's not leaking from higher up? It could be coming from behind the arm where it's supposed to flush with pan and leaking behind it. If you use JB Weld clean it up really well with lacquer thinner. I think it would work as the T isn't going to be driven on bad bumpy roads as it was 50-75 years ago.
I have found a better product than the JB Weld because it's not flexible. For some repairs I really like the Ultra Black adhesive made by Permatex.
The surface must be cleaned just like for the JB and let it cure overnight.
Yes double check to make sure of the leak source.
Like John says, be sure the leak is coming from the rivet. Often it comes from a bolt hole but looks like its seeping from a rivet. Both suggestions are good ones, IMHO. Ive used Ultra Black on a leaking radiator tube and on the inside of a clamshell RE to stop leaks around the rivet holes. I've used JB Weld to stop crankcase rivet leaks from the inside. No problems at all.
Ultra Black would be quite good. :-) The 24 here is littered with acrylic latex caulk around those crankcase arms.
20 years in and still holding. :-)
Well, I was hoping for a magic bullet drill-and-tap scenario savior for my friend's Model T crankcase arm problem. In the absence of same, I went ahead today and used Ultra Black around the driver's side crankcase arm, along the bottom of it and over the rivet head. Of course, this was preceded by a serious treatment with a wire wheel attached to a drill. Then brake cleaner was sprayed to remove any remaining oil. The shiny bare metal surfaces took the Ultra Black well. My friend will wait overnight for the goop to really set up before he lowers the front end and starts the engine. TBD if this solves the problem.
I generally tend to stay away from "goop-and-pray" repair methods, unless I'm stuck out in the middle of the New Mexican desert with a blown gasket. I told my friend that when the time came to overhaul his engine, we'll fix that leaking rivet properly. Once I receive a report back from him after next weekend's antique car club tour, I'll post whether this ad hoc repair was successful or not.
Thanks for the suggestions.