Hello, I am about to dive into my "new" 1911 T, and am wondering what to check. I will go through the Dauntless Geezer list (which is excellent and very much appreciated) and have had Ron P. rebuild/adjust the coils. I have read the discussion on the UJ pin, and will make sure it is in there. What else may be lurking and should be checked? Cheers, Bill
I am pretty new to the T world and by no means very experienced, but among other things I would check the wheels for loose spokes.
Make sure you don't have Babbitt thrust washers in your differential.
Pull the inspection cover off the transmission and look at the condition of your bands and drums, it's hard but try to wiggle the triple gears they should not have a lot of movement.
Make sure you remove the u-joint pin. Also, remove the generator and replace with an alternator. Chuck the timer and install a distributor. Check the bands- if they are cotton immediately replace with kevlar. If the car doesn't have disc brakes don't drive it until you get them installed. In addition, don't get caught running a 6 volt system- everyone knows that 12 volts is better. Drain the tank and fill with fuel and Marvel Mystery Oil. As far as motor oil is concerned search the forum and the answer will be crystal clear...
Download the safety checklist from the MTFCA WEB page. If everything passes that than drive the car and have fun. You're about to drive something that's over 100 years old so what should you check?...... Everything. Read and take a look at this forum. Sure there are some here who think you should do it their way or no way. Just remember it's your car. Oh and what ever you do don't ask if you should put on a water pump. Ha!! Welcome and post pictures!!
Have you cranked and driven the car?
Ken in Texas
Before you start driving your car it would be a very good idea to rebuild your rear axle. Unfortunately babbitt thrust washers are not the only safety concern. Usually you will find that at a minimum you will also need new or good used ring and pinion gears, bearing sleeves, axle shafts, new bronze thrust washers, a new pinion bearing, etc. Because the brake stops the car through the drive train by means of a band and drum in the transmission a failure in the rear axle means the foot brake will no longer function. I would also check the bands. If they're old cotton they're probably rotten and should be replaced for better safety and reliability. The new cotton bands are not very good but, either Kevlar or wood will work great. I would not use wood on the brake band though because even with minimal use it is not a very reliable material and it will work fine until it all of a sudden doesn't. Very scary. Also, make sure to rebuild your hand brakes on the rear wheels and install lined shoes so that it will hold the car reliably and can be used to stop the car in case of an emergency. Accessory brakes are also a good idea because even when the stock brakes are in good shape they still leave a lot to be desired.
Do you know the seller? ask for information on all the maintenance work he has done recently. Don't ask specific questions such as, "Have you replaced the babbit thrust washers with bronze?" If he says, "I overhauled the rear axle" ask what parts he replaced or adjusted? If he is telling the truth, he will let you know what he has done. If not, you will need to take it apart to see for yourself what has been done or needs to be done. Also listen to the engine and transmission. How do they sound?
Spokes, and wheel bearings, and spindle bolts are easy to check. Also look for safety wiring on the ball joint, and the universal housing. Check for cotter pins.
I'll add one item to Tim's facetious list: use only the most expensive oil with the most additives.
Seriously, I agree with Norm's good advice about asking the previous owner the open-ended question "What have you done to the car?"
I think it's fair to ask how does one "check" for Babbitt thrust washers without doing a complete axle tear-down ?
I have my own answer to this, but I'm curious what the experts will recommend.
You really can't check for babbit thrust washers without taking the rear axle apart but, even if you could they're only one of a multitude of problems un-rebuilt rear axles typically have. The only way to know for sure what condition the rear axle is in is to tear it completely apart and rebuild it. It's not difficult just a little time and money consuming.