Folks... it finally happened. Cotter Pin fell into transmission

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Folks... it finally happened. Cotter Pin fell into transmission
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian - Moultonborough NH on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 08:39 pm:

Terry, your good luck with with the clutch adjusting must have not worked with it being Friday the thirteenth! :-)

Had a rag stuffed into the transmission under a clutch finger. Cotter came out, adjusted the screw, put it back in. Took out the rag and did another. I was trying to put the pin in and by sheer chance it fell into a small Gap between that darn brake drum and the spring on the shaft. I thought the rag had caught it but it must have slipped through between the drum and rag.

Fished around with one of those telescoping magnets. Nothing. I can't even see it anywhere, suggesting it is either hidden sticking to the side of the drum on the bottom, or more likely, fell into the pan. I drained the oil, nothing came out and nothing hanging around in the holes edge in the pan.

I use a transmission screen with magnet and have an oil drain plug with magnet.

Any suggestions? Is a cotter pin a big thing to worry about compared to a bolt or nut?

Tomorrow I'll have some old oil from a different cars oil change and combined with the Ts oil, it should be enough to fill it a little past the bottom of the drums more, maybe with the extra it will help let it flow to the drain hole?

Is it too risky running it with a screen and magnet plug?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 09:01 pm:

I can't help you in fishing it out but I do have a recommendation to prevent this from happening in the future.

This is what I have done in the past:

Before removing a clutch finger cotter pin, run a long thin wire through they eye of the cotter pin and loop it back up. You can hold the wire with one hand while removing the cotter pin with a pliers and your other hand.

Same goes when re-installing the new cotter pin.

In either case above, if your pliers or vise-grip loses its grip on the cotter pin, you don't end up dropping it in the transmission because you have it tethered on a wire. No need to stuff rags either.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian - Moultonborough NH on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 09:12 pm:

Thanks Erik. Someone else has also suggested floss. I'll be sure to do that with the last one.

At least the cotter pincan fit through the drain hole. I'm lucky it wasn't a big bolt or nut.

Tomorrow will start pouring oil through the transmission cover hole and will hope it washes it down. I'll maybe get a flexible magnet tool too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 09:21 pm:

Are you running a mag? If so, I think you need to try and get to the cotter pin prior to running the engine. It could short the mag and cause expensive fixes. It happened to me one time and my son grabbed a magnet tape, it is used by strippers and painters and the one we have is found in the inside of a refrigerator door seal. It is about 4 feet long. He slid the tape down the side of the pan and moved it slowly sideways. It took about 3 tries and the pin adhered to the tape and we were home free. Just a thought.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 09:21 pm:

Use kerosene.
The lower viscosity will hep


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 09:29 pm:

This unfortunately doesn't help you now John, but anytime i work inside the Hogshead, i stuff an entire Twin sheet inside. Not only does it fill all the voids, but you don't have to count all the rags you've stuffed in there to make sure you pulled the same amount out. Good luck on your pin search. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 10:19 pm:

Try a 5mm version of this,
https://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Endoscope-7mm-Waterproof-Borescope-Inspection-Camer a-Scope-Android-video-cam/192130447136?hash=item2cbbddf720%3Am%3AmJ_Gwi2QIfC-Pef DfugVNEA&var=492040833417&_sacat=0&_nkw=5mm+camera+scope&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid =m570.l1313
I have 1 but have not used on my T yet.But it has some limits as to how it will fit in places and turn and such,but you would be amazed at what you can see with it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian - Moultonborough NH on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 10:19 pm:

That's a great idea with the magnetic tape. I am running a mag.

Fred, good idea. Now is a good time to flush it all with some anyways, as I haven't ever flushed out the gunk with anything yet.

Thanks John, I'll keep that in mind!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian - Moultonborough NH on Friday, July 13, 2018 - 10:20 pm:

Mack, I've been thinking of trying something like that if all else fails.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 09:22 am:

Are you sure the split pin is ferrous metal. Too many of them sold today are not so a magnet won't help. Years ago I had a mag quit on a fresh engine with a one piece pan. Instead of pulling the engine I left the pan in place and unbolted the engine and hogs head from the pan and tipped the engine and transmission over on it's side in an attempt to see what was wrong. There was a piece of a split pin that broke off that was picked up by the magnets shorting out the mag. I suspect the split pin was stressed too much when being bent back and eventually broke off from vibration. I removed it, replaced the offending split pin that was still in place and bolted the engine back to the pan.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Denny Seth - Jefferson, Ohio on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 10:20 am:

Mr. Noonan,

I tried the trick of using a twin sheet and boy did my wife get mad! I thought I could use it and sneak it back on the bed before she found out but when I got oil all over the mattress she blew her top!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 10:40 am:

Reminds me of when I was doing trans work with a friend. I told him about using a wire to keep from dropping cotter pins in there and he goes and swings the wire around to show how it was going to be completely impossible to drop that pin.

I bet you already guessed what happened next.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 03:21 pm:

Drain all your oil out. Maybe flush with mineral spirits. Then tap on the pan and see if you can get it to fall into the drain hole where you can fish it out.

You might remove the starter and look thru the hole as you rotate the crank. A magnet might have it stuck to it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Eyre on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 03:56 pm:

A good friend of mine suggested removing the bands. Then taking a large wad of panty hose and roll the engine with the crank and letting the panty hose roll back to the top. I have done it twice and has worked each time. We did this before as the last step before removing the engine. It has worked on a band washer and a cotter pin on two separate occasions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 05:41 pm:

I agree with Ted Dumas. Remove the starter and drain the oil. Then use a pump sprayer and wash down the transmission with mineral spirits. Let it air dry tap the trans to see if anything drops. If not then slowly turn the engine and see if you see the cotter pin. If that doesn't work then carefully use air to see if you can move the pin around to where you can hopefully see it. Be careful with the air so you knock off any mag coil insulation!
Good luck and hope the pin drops!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian - Moultonborough NH on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 08:57 pm:

Here's an update.

Removed the oil plug and poured kerosene through the transmission cover hole. Kept doing this over and over while filtering it. No cotter pin.

Put in the plug and jacked up one side. Poured in about 2 gallons of kerosene to really fill it up and help "grab" the pin from it's hiding spot, and also to flush out everything. Spun the crank a bunch of times. Drained it. Nothing.

Removed the starter and spun the crank while looking at the magnets. Nothing stuck to them. Poked around with a flexible magnet down the starter hole. Nothing. Went back to the transmission area. Nothing. Went back to the starter hole, pulled out the magnet, and that darn pin was stuck to it all shiny from the kerosene!

Got really lucky with this. Managed to install it easily this time by getting some cattle fence wire and tying it through the pin and stuffing the transmission with rags. Finally was able to turn all the finger screws a half turn tighter. Hopefully it will solve the slipping clutch.



Thank you everyone for your detailed suggestions!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 09:10 am:

Congratulations! :-O


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 09:33 am:

It looks as if youíll need to clean the pin before using it.


LOL :-). :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 04:43 pm:

Donít know how others install (and remove) those pins in the clutch fingers ... but hereís what Iíve always done. I lock the eye end of the pin with a needle nose Vice Grip. Once the pin is inserted and safely through the clutch finger I bend up one of the pin sides and unlock the Vice Grip. Then I bend the other side of the pin. No need for rags or strings. Have yet to loose the Vice Grip down the transmission rabbit hole.


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