New Thread, moved from Engine rebuild...
my newly purchased 1923 touring, was running a little rough, so I bought a compression gauge from harbor freight, do you think I can trust the readings? hopefully I can, it tells me my engine needs some attention, especially number 4 cylinder. Any suggestions greatly appreciated, this is my first model T.
my son and I did a compression test on my 1923 Touring, here are the results:
I'm guessing values need work, number 4, I guess, it's time to take the head off and pan, side cover and see what is going on...
welcome to the forum and best of luck with your project!
Please keep us apprised of your progress once you get started. From the other thread I see that this will be a father/son thing. Wonderful!
best wishes for a successful project
#4 may have a stuck valve.
Most likely it was parked for a long time and one of the valves on #4 was open. Possibly a very small leak from the water jacket caused the stem and guide to rust.
A leak could be from a leaky head gasket or from a crack. You won't know until you take it apart.
Valves can also stick from carbon buildup on the stem. That kind can sometimes be fixed by taking out the valve and scraping off the carbon.
I had a stuck exhaust valve on my number 4.
The use of a little wooden dowel and it dropped right down. Rotated the crank until it popped back up. With a straw, poured a little ATF down. Used the dowel trick again. It freed up and has been fine since.
I recall old timers running some diesel down the stems to free valves up.
Before doing ANYTHING to it please read. I bought one years ago that sat in a barn for a long time untouched. My compressions were worse than yours. I divided a quart of marvel mystery oil between cylinders and came back to it about a week later. Three cylinders had real strong compression and one was so so. I didn't test with a gauge, only by the crank handle. I added gas and cranked it up. It ran very well and the weak cylinder came in line with the others. That engine ran strong and was smooth. I would give it a soak and see how it is after words. I suspect it has been sitting.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions, here is what I did. I poured some Marvel Mystery Oil down that cylinder earlier today, let it sit, then sprayed with WD40. I could look through the spark plug hole and could see the exhaust valve was stuck open, so I hand cranked till I could hear by tapping on it, that it had a hollow sound. I gently tapped it down, hand cranked till it stuck again, same process, after about 10 times. I can see the value is working great. The real test will be when my son comes home and we do a compression test
That's enough compression to run it if #4 is even close! :-)
Two of cylinders on one T I have don't have much compression at all. Runs good. I start it on the other two. :-)
Oops! "was running a little rough"... sorry Joseph. :-)
(Message edited by Duey_C on October 05, 2017)
Sounds like a valve issue. I bet it would run if #4 was working right.
Welcome to the forum.
Compression in #4 now equal to the other cylinders, we started using the starter, smoked like crazy, all the oil I put in the cylinders.
She is running really good now, I can even start it using the crank. I'm one happy camper, my son will drive her around the subdivision this coming Sunday, once he returns to town. We are really enjoying this father son time and project.
Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions, greatly appreciated
A word of caution. If that engine sat for years I would suspect due to the acids in the oil that the bands are rotten and will fail in less than 100 miles. They can also plug the oil line with lint which in turn will burn out bearings.
If you find the low pedal needs adjustment rather quickly, I would stop driving it, pull the hogshead and replace bands. I would also install a good external oil line.
I would probably just buy an OH gasket set, pull the engine to change the bands and tear it down, clean it up and reassemble with new rings, one piece valves (if it doesn't have them) and new gaskets. This would give you the chance to adjust the bearing clearances as well. An engine done as described will run a lot of trouble free miles.
Gary - What you suggest you would do sounds pretty easy! The wording you use,...."reassemble with new rings",.....that absolutely must be done properly! You don't mention checking the cylinders for out-of-round and taper, boring if necessary and fitting new rings to cylinders honed to produce proper cross-hatch texture for proper break-in of the new rings. I hope that is understood, because disturbing the present rings at all, or merely replacing with new rings in present condition cylinders in what Joseph K. describes as a "NOW" good running engine, will result in a real oil burner!
My advice would be to do as you suggest Gary, as far as new bands if necessary or at least watching closely for lint that may plug oil line, and installation of good external oil line. And if the engine continues to run well as Joseph K. describes, I'd just leave it alone unless it performs less than satisfactory, in which case, plan on a TOTAL REBUILD!
Just my opinion, for what it's worth,......harold
I agree with Harold, forget the rings for now. I would recommend getting it on the road for several short trips, get a feel of it and give it a chance to tell you what it needs. The worst thing you could do for the father-son project is to tear it down right away. Then you risk a long drawn out process and your helper loosing interest before it is done! Been there, done that.
I assumed the title of the thread meant he was going to do a rebuild and had the understanding of how to fit rings. I didn't mention lapping the valves in or stem grinding to get the clearance as I assumed he understood (and I suspect he does).
If an engine can be brought back to smooth power with minimal oil consumption for $400 I will always choose that option over $4000. I was just telling him what I would do if it were mine.
I've changed half a dozen cylinders on light planes in the last couple years so I am familiar with fitting rings.
Gary, there is an external oil line from the top of the transmission to the front of the engine on the left side, is that what your referring to as an external oil line. I pulled the cover off the transmission when I changed the oil in the engine and transmission. The bans looked good, although there was no screen, I have installed one since. I did look things over pretty good prior to first test drive, that's when I found the Pawl and quadrant worn pretty bad, and would automatically shift to high gear when releasing the low pedal. I have since fixed that. At the moment, she is running really good. The Hogshead I'm guessing is the transmission as I would call it? I will pull the external oil line and see if it's clear, if not I will clear it out prior to Sunday. Anything else I should be concerned with, prior to driving her around my subdivision, not going to take her on the road just yet. Need to get familiar with her and driving her.
Thanks for all the information, really appreciate this forum...
I agree that you should check the bands and replace the linings if they are bad. I also suggest that you purchase the book from the club "Engine". Also "Transmission" and "Electrical system" if you don't already have them. If you find it necessary to pull the engine, go through it step by step and fix everything you can find which might be wrong with it. For the time being, I agree with your plan for short drives just the way it is. Listen for knocks or unusual noises.
Just be mindful of the need for immediate band adjustments. That is a sure sign for rotten bands. Before venturing out too far, you'll want to open up the rear axle and check the thrust washers. The originals were Babbitt and become brittle with age. Once they crumble you may loose mesh with the ring and pinion gear which means you will have no brakes. Replacement washers are bronze and are the way to go.
If your car has a starter you can make an oil line for little money if you have a buddy that can braze a couple fittings for you. I modify the Bendix cover and the crankcase inspection cover. Removing the crankcase cover will also allow you to clean out the sludge and inspect rod bearing adjustment.
Just google my name with Bendix cover oiler.
Oops, yes you have an external line. Remove it with the engine warm and running to ensure it works as some of them don't.
Gary, Thanks, I took it off and cleaned it, it was clean and working, had oil in it, I also blew air in the holes.
Also thanks for the Bendix cover oiler, I can braze, so no problem with that. I will google as you suggested.
Norm, I've already purchased the manuals from this site. Along with the model T service manual on CD. I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I read the post in this forum daily, learning a lot, this is a GREAT FORUM full of outstanding information.
I forgot to mention, I checked the oil in the rear end, it looks like someone had that apart, new gasket material showing and the oil looked New.. My thoughts are that is ok?
I would pull it just for piece of mind. Most rear ends you take apart are trashed. The thrust washers are just one concern. You and your son could pull it, take it apart and if ok, put it back together easily in a day.
Gary, I was hoping you'd chime in before I babbled on. Thank you. :-)
Joe, some folks have had success in using a scope to look inside the fill hole and have seen whether the RH thrust bushing is silver (Babbitt) or gold colored.
Then again, the one that may disintegrate will be on the left side and not be able to be seen until taken apart anyway. :-)
Please be certain which are in there. Your safety may depend on it.
The rear end in my 18 was so freshly gone-over that there wasn't any oil in it until last fall. It was gone-over in the 70's.
After putting oil in it, during the 5-7 miles down the road, the left side Babbitt thruster crapped out and made hamburger of itself.
Hamburger. Or Babbitt soup.
I was lucky and even backed it into the shed without mishap.
Here's a positive note! I was able to save and re-use the grease cups and radius rods in my axle rebuild last winter! :-/
Please check those thrust bushings.
This is why I tag my rebuilt rear ends, saves all the confusion and work in the future.
I will take the advise of this forum and route of taking the axle out and then apart to check the washers as suggested, that will be our Sunday project. I may start tomorrow on the removal process.
Thanks for pushing the suggestion....
Frank, thank you bringing this back up! Seen this before here!
THEN the next fella knows. For certain.
Did anyone mention lined rear brake shoes yet? Just in case.
Just because the rear end has been taken apart doesn't guarantee the Babbitt thrust washers have been replaced. We (Bill R. and I) recently inspected a read drive for a fellow and one side had bronze, the other Babbitt. We could see the Babbitt on the right side after pulling the drive shaft. Good thing the bronze wasn't on that side as that may have stopped further investigation. After this experience the rear drive will now always be split.
If your T isn't making any bad rattling noise inside the crankcase get a new set of rings and valves and install them. Lots of T's that have decent engines have been made to run a lot better just by doing this.
Its a great Father and Son project you both can do.
I feel it is well worth your time to also take the head off and look at the valves. Easy to see what condition they are in, check and adjust clearances, do at least a clean up and grind with compound to assure sealing if all else is well, or replace them if the fit is found to be poor. Cheap to replace the valve springs and you may be surprised at some wear in the keepers and pins. Easy to do and can help that engine run as well as possible without a complete R & R. Makes a good and productive project for you both. Do take that rear end apart though as a safety check. Here is a link to some valve work photos from a project I did on my T.
Look at the build-up on some of the intake valves and chambers as there is ample evidence of worn valve stems letting oil and air get sucked in.
As the above shows, in my case I decided to replace with new valves and ream the block for correct fit. What a difference that made.
The other nice thing to do once the head is off is to clean out the rust and gunk in the water jacket area of the block and head, especially the small steam holes.
Thanks for the advice, at the moment I'm rounding up some things to support the body high enough to remove the rear end. Without knowing the exact height I need to be, I'm guessing 30-36 inches off the ground will do the trick. As for the Engine, we may hold off for now and when the snow flies, possibly tackle the Engine. Erich, nice photos of your project, thanks for sharing.
John Kuehn, I am a different animal when I comes to tearing things apart, not sure I could just do rings and values, but that is truly a possibility to get more miles out of the Engine. At least for this year, I was hopping on doing some body work on her this winter. But if the Mechanical requires immediate attention, that's where our time will go.. This is going to be a fun project, just want to keep my son interested, he is excited at the moment. He comes home today and we plan on taking her for a ride around the block, I want to teach him how to drive her, I think that will seal the deal and his commitment on helping.
with the tires off, the spring can be released from the rear end and the whole assembly will come out without raising the frame very high
Scott, thanks for the info,
My plan for driving the car around the block is for a dual purpose. One to teach my son to drive the Model T and have some fun, the other is to loosen the nuts on the Axle and hopefully while driving around a little bit will break the hubs free from the axle and I can remove the wheels. I don't have a puller yet, or a brass hammer. If this trick doesn't work, I will run down to harbor freight and pick up a brass hammer. They look pretty good and clean, like the wheels were off recently. I took the hub caps off and sprayed PB Blaster on the shafts yesterday, hopefully the wheels come off easily..Once My son comes home, we may try to remove the wheels first, if they come off easy, put back on and take for a ride for him to enjoy driving her. Then time to take the axle out if we can get her up high enough..
Wheels came after a few hit with a brass hammer, will finish removing axle tomorrow evening after my son brings a piece of metal or a 2x6x7 post. Most already unbolted, we had fun, he wanted to tear it apart, will drive it once done he said
Here is how she looks tonight.
Whoops, I meant a 4x6x7 wooden post, to support the body while removing the axle.
Joe, this is fun! And very reassuring. I'm seeing lined shoes and a clean axle shaft end/brake drum area. Yes?
Duane rolls his eyes but realizes things... Are the brake springs and their hooks set toward the inside? That's hard to explain. :-)
Hoping the best when looking inside! :-)
That 4X6X7 post will serve well. I used a prototype shaft from an airport cargo trailer that had been waiting in the corner... :-)
Duey, the springs come in from the back and hook over the front of the shoe? I hope I explained that good enough, uploading pictures is a bit of work from my iPhone.
Also, I should mention, it's a lot easier to remove the wheels, if you take the hand break and put into neutral first.
Perfect! The folks right here taught me that trick and it makes sense as the spring on the backside will pull the shoes toward the backing plate.
Did you really? Oops.
ok, my son and I took the axle out, split the cover, the insides look good, thrust washers not bronze, they actually have ford script and look like some sort of pressed material sorta of silver color in great shape. The drivers side cannot get it apart, tried prying and using a brass hammer, was only able to move it a few inches, extremely tight. Drive shaft it's kind of tight also. Sent word out to my local club, asking if they can point to a good shop that can help us out or someone to help with rebuild. I don't have the proper tools for this task.
Those are babbit washers. They crumble causing big problems. They need to be replaced with bronze before that happens.
What Norm said. :-)
Or my babble, "After putting oil in it, during the 5-7 miles down the road, the left side Babbitt thruster crapped out and made hamburger of itself.
Hamburger. Or Babbitt soup."
Guys, if my posts are not correct please help me out. :-)
We don't need too many special tools. A sleeve puller, a good caliper or micrometer and perhaps a magnetic dial indicator?
We might need an inner driveshaft pinion sleeve puller or a friend with one. :-)
Joe, are the outer axle bearings out/removed on the driver's side? That may help.
Perhaps try to turn the axle while pulling it apart?
The last outer bearing on my rebuild didn't want to go IN, things were pretty straight and snug, I turned the axle and bloop bloop bloop the bearing walked itself in but it all was vertical. Maybe yours will come out that way?
Tell us more about the driveshaft tightness.
An old wrench reacquainting himself to the T (me), a carpenter, a psychologist and many many others have rebuilt their axles with this forums help. :-)
Keep us in the loop. :-)
Moving this topic a new thread
Moved the axle discussion to a new thread called father and son axle project. With the help of Allan from down under, my son and I did get the last axle out of the housing. Time to order part to rebuild now, thanks everyone for your input, wisdom and assistance.
Joe and Son