Hi folks now my car is up and running what is the smoothest way to change from low gear to high gear.what is the correct method to do this smoothly. Many thanks .Cheers Gerry (NZ)
I sent you an email Gerry.
On my Improved cars the best method seems to be to briefly drop the throttle and let the clutch pedal out fairly quickly but steady for smooth engagement. That also seems to be the way most of the way most of the other guys I know who drive other years of Model T's prefer to do it. I don't know which ones have standard clutch plates or updated ones in the transmissions, but I suspect most have some variation of the turbo 400 plates or the Watts clutch by talking to them.
I have early and late T's and find that I need to wind out first gear a bit more to get a smooth shift to high on the later cars, possibly because of the additional weight and slightly less power. All my cars are set up stock.
The smoothest way is to practice your timing and your feel for the engine speed versus the car speed. Do NOT slip the clutch however.
Basically, the technique is as Kevin explains it above. You let the pedal come back enough to be in neutral while simultaneously letting off the gas, wait a second or two until the engine speed slows to match the current vehicle speed, let back on the clutch pedal quickly, (but do not let it snap back on its own), then accelerate. Seems like a lot of steps, but it will become second nature and seamless after a while.
I let out the clutch half way (To neutral) while simultaneously closing the throttle. I listen for the rpm to come down. When it sounds "Right", I let the clutch out the rest of the way, retard the timing, advance the throttle, and advance the timing as the rpm's come up.
When does it sound "right"? What you are trying to do is match the speed of the crankshaft and drive shaft. If you don't get it "right" there will be a little jerk or something when you let out. No big deal. Won't hurt it, but won't be the smoothest it can be. Play around with it and listen to the engine speed. It will come with practice. Don't worry about hurting it. Some people don't even bother closing the throttle, but that's them, not me. If you've ever driven something without a synchronized transmission (Model A?......18 wheeler?) the principle is the same.
Jerry beat me to it.
Jerry V has it right. All my T's are stock with the stock disks. How much you wind it in low depends on whether you are level, going uphill or downhill. When you are level go about 10 mph in low and then while you let the pedal all the way back slowly, you push up the gas all the way as your pedal passes the neutral. Then let the pedal out all the way and increase the gas. If you find the engine races, push the gas up all the way and you will notice it seems to catch hold. Then give it gas up to the speed you want to go in high. After you practice for a while, you will be able to time things so that your engine will slow enough that it will catch as you let out the pedal. It all has to do with how fast the engine will be going after the shift. Engine speed must be synchronized to the speed of the car.
Going downhill, you can shift with the low going slower than on level. Going uphill you will need to rev the engine more in low and learn to shift fast so the car will not slow down between gears. It just takes practice.
All the above applies to cars with standard Ford gear ratio in the rear axle. If you have 3:1 ratio in rear axle, you will need to go farther in low before you shift and going up some hills you might not even be able to go in high.
I ALWAYS drop the throttle when shifting from low to high gear. I have seen plenty of folks that leave the throttle open and just lift the pedal and let it slip into gear but that, seems to me, will cause a lot of clutch wear.
Hi many thanks for your help i will go now and have a wee play, once again you are a great bunch of people with a wealth of information .
Cheers Gerry (NZ)
Itís an interesting subject and Iím of the opinion shift ďfeelĒ
has a direct link to the weight of the vehicle.
I drive both my Tís the same manner and do not reduce the throttle and just wind it out a bit in low and drop it into top.
I donít slip it or drop it aggressively but just one smooth action.
The 1926 is smoother than the lighter 1910 and both have the identical clutch plates (Turbo 400)
Iím glad Iím not the only one with this theory!!
Alan in Western Australia
Question for those who do not close the throttle when shifting a T: Would you do the same thing in a more modern car with a manual transmission?
One might make the case that a modern automatic transmission shifts without closing the throttle. However, there is a torque converter that absorbs some of that and it also probably shifts quicker than most people could shift a T.
When I got my first T (TT actually), the clutch spring was rather weak. It had stock Ford discs, and if you just went into High without closing the throttle, the clutch would slip. To make it quit slipping, you had to close the throttle. So I taught myself to just close it when shifting and viola, no more clutch slipping. Been doing it ever since. It's GOT to be easier on the drive train.
In all of the above posts, ONLY the throttle lever is used to facilitate shifting to avoid engine lugging.
Absolutely no one mentions the other control lever.... the spark lever.
Is it just there for starting the engine, or for other uses ?????
Set both levers as you do for staring the engine.
Now, think of the throttle lever controlling the speed of the car............ and the spark lever postion in relation to the speed of the engine.
As you start moving in low pedal, engage pedal without slipping while advancing both throttle and spark to obtain speed.
At the moment that you select to "shift" into direct drive, keep the throttle in the same position and retard your spark advance about half way so the engine will not lug on the shift change.... and as the car speed and engine speed increase, advance the spark to the speed of the engine.
Engine RPM's at shift change are reduced not quite by half so the engine spark timing has to show that change to prevent/ease lugging as the engine picks up the load.
Dumping the clutch or easing engagement is your choice, driveline issues such as other than standard differential gear ratios, clutch plate material useage or weak clutch springs should be addressed and/or fixed for your safety.
Modern ignition and drive systems utilize timing controls that the driver take for granted.... out of sight, out of mind.
Please try my method and post your findings here. Thank you.
At shift change, reduce the spark advance by half to avoid lugging and engine easily picks up load.
FWIW, I follow the two stick method and more or less Ďdumpí.
I throw both sticks up with my pinkies, pedal thru neutral to high and then lead with the spark followed by the throttle right behind in steps. I never lurch or lug, folks are amazed as it handles the load change more like a CVT transmission of today. All of my Tís work well this way and I think part of the magic is having a carb set not for idle, but rather for enough flow during a shift change.
Not saying there are not other ways to skin the cat...but I do cringe at these guys that wind out to a mental red-line, dump it, then go shudder, stutter, shudder, shake for the next 100 feet
Guess you didn't read mine, Bob.
It took me a bit to think about how I shift from Low to High as it is just instinctive now.
I reduce the throttle, leave the spark lever alone. Release the clutch peddle fairly quickly, pull back on the throttle, and off to the races I go!
I was with someone once that drove his T with out throttling back and scared the crap out of me! So many things can go south in the transmission in driving that way.
I had originally gotten the mistaken impression that the correct way to up-shift was to simply lift my foot off the left pedal. -On my car, that never yielded good results. -I came to learn that the technique that seems to work for all the Model T Fords I've driven is pretty much the same as used on any manual, synchromesh transmission:
To shift from low to high gear, close the throttle completely and simultaneously lift your left foot to the neutral position--pause--gently engage high gear, then add throttle. -Works every time.
Downshifting is more of an art, but again, it's similar to downshifting a synchromesh transmission--and if you want to do it artfully, that means learning a skill known as "rev-matching."
Rev-matching means placing the throttle where you think it will need to be so as to cause neither a feeling of deceleration nor acceleration when you engage the clutch right after down-shifting. -Theoretically, if your technique is absolutely flawless and you perfectly match up the RPM's of your engine with the RPM's of your low gear as the rear wheels drive it, you won't even feel the clutch engaging. -In seven years of ownership, I think that has happened to me once or twice. -Perfection is almost impossible to achieve, but after a little practice, you'll be able to at least come close and not only does coming close feel much smoother, it's also easier on the clutch.
Perhaps I'm being silly but could retarding the spark get us into a situation where the ignition moment (now late) is producing more shock to the crankshaft directly after the shift, at a low rpm and with significant load potential? Compared to a low speed start.
Advanced spark is part of a cushioning effect that smooths out the beats/shocks of the engine?
Just expansion of the gasses and not shocks to the system.
I'm quite possibly full of beans and I KNOW I need to go look at Ford's recommendations of the spark lever during the shift as shown by Frank.
Next spring or a nice day here this winter, I will try the timing adjustment along with the throttle and see how it goes. :-)
I must drop the throttle "just so" on the 24 during the shift as it will shudder and holler at me from the u-joint area if I don't have it right.
:-) Shafts jumping around and such... Before the clutch disk change, it would just slip.
Interesting some folks have a stuttering issue with engines after the shift.
My clunkers don't have a problem pulling like a bull pup. :-) Even the 24's 19 engine that is completely roached.
Then again I tend to be quite particular with carb settings.
I should've kept my fingers/mouth quiet. :-)
Actually retarding the spark a few degrees will keep from jolting the crankshaft. The problem with a fully advanced spark with engine running at a slow speed is the fraction of a second it takes the fuel to ignite. When the crank is moving slowly, and the spark is advanced before top dead center it will ignite before the piston reaches top and try to push the crank backward but the momentum of the engine will cause the crankshaft to push up as the fuel tries to push it down. With the spark retarded, the spark will come after the piston is already on the downstroke and will push in the same way as the momentum of the engine is pushing it, and so it will actually be easier on the crankshaft. When the engine is moving faster that split second it takes to ignite will cause it to ignite after the crank passes top even though the spark comes just before top dead center. A lot of words, but hopefully I have explained the reason for retarding when the engine is going slowly and advancing when the engine is going faster.
Thanks Norman on your input
Sure beats George's observation, and what others have experienced of " cringe at these guys that wind out to a mental red-line, dump it, then go shudder, stutter, shudder, shake for the next 100 feet :-) ", which I believe as anyone would put undue negative stress on the ... not to mention undue stress on the passengers.
Just hope that Forum readers will take the time in better weather to experiment my method.
George's post puts insight into a smoother running engine.
Norman's explanation in easier wording hopefully will gain acceptance in changing the way we drive our cars.
Gerry D. Best ....... If you do try my shift method, please post here to share your experience.
Thanks, & have a Great Holiday with the family !!
Hi folks thank you all for your advice,i have reed it all and used all the ways that has been talked about.the one i have found the best is from start low travel a wee bit then lower the gas then put it straight into high then apply the gas, this works very well and no hedge hopping like i had before. Thank you all so much now ill just get out and drive . Cheers Gerry (NZ)