Does anyone have any secrets or advice about starting a newly rebuilt engine. It is quite stiff.
Royce posted when he was active on the forum, that he would always tow a fresh re-build around a car park for 1/2 hr with the spark plugs removed.
I've re-built many T's and have not had to go through that extreme but have used a 4' long bar to crank a stiff non starter engine in a engine stand, with every thing set just right, she fired up straight away.
Try pulling it, I used a friend tractor. I had my son drive while I drove the tractor.
It should not be so tight that you can not hand crank a new rebuild.
Pull to start if you have to and run it for 5 minutes or until it overheats whichever is first. Let it cool down completely and try to start it with the crank or starter if you have one. If still too stiff tow and start and run for 10 minutes or until it overheats, whichever is first. Let it cool down over night. The next time it should start without towing and run it 15 minutes or until it overheats. After that it should be ready for light service. I usually take it easy for at least 500 miles. I set my clearances at 1 thou which is pretty tight so they stay a bit hard to start for at least that long. All but 2 of my cars have no starters so you may not need to tow for the first start if you have a strong starter but, as Frank noted, if they are set up right they start up pretty easy even when tight
What is tight to some may not to others, most of my re-builds are for senior members of our T club, a younger person is sometimes required to hand crank a stiff engine on it's first few starts.
Ford ran in/burnished all his new engines with electric motors and the final start off the production line was with electric rollers on the rear wheels, by delivery time the T would be an easy crank starter for the new owner!
The engine is not so tight it canít be turned over, the car is a 1920 with an electric start. I am just finishing reinstalling the engine in the car. I will try the starter.
Joe, take as much load off the starter as possible. At least jack a back wheel, preferably both. Don't make the starter do what it is not happy doing or you may cook something. Towing is an often used device on a stiff motor. After a mile or two, you can even slip her into top gear and turn on the ignition and away she goes. [Don't delay the switching though, or you may get an horrendous backfire]
Hope this helps.
Allan from dawn under.
That sounds like a good idea Allan, I just adjusted the new bands and there is not to much oil spread about. Once it is running that should change quickly and it should loosen up. Would some oil on the topside of the pistons help? Like 3 in 1 or something light on the new rings?
Elsewhere on the forum someone said that they put some 2-cycle oil in the gas when breaking in a new engine.
on a new engine, with new bands, you really want to put about 2 quarts directly (and slowly) on the bands through the opening on top of the transmission. Get them good and soaked. The remaining 2 quarts should go in through the normal filler opening.
Regardless of band-type, it is a bad idea to start an engine with dry bands.
As far as band adjustment, go with the least adjustment to make them operate, for now. No matter where they are adjusted now, they will need readjustment anyway, so keep engagement to a minimum for now. Unless jacked up, ensure that you have a GOOD parking brake before starting no matter what the method used to start.
Put some MMO in the tank and it will start right up...
I hand cranked mine several times a day for three days with the plugs out. Then I jacked up the left rear tire and put it into gear for the next steps.
When I went to actually start it (by hand crank) it wouldnít fire other than a chuff. There was hardly any compression. So I poured light oil in each cylinder and sprayed ether in the carb and after three times it came to life. Ran it until the head was warm and shut it off. Did it the same way a couple more times over two days. It had no radiator for the first tries. Installed the radiator and filled it ... then started it and let it run for about 15 mins. The next time I drove it around the block. That was almost a year ago ... have around 2100 miles on it now.
I connected mine up to a 3/4" electric drill. After about an hour or so (I can't remember exactly) I was able to start it with the starter.
We had to tow the 15 but Joe Bell used a big drill on the 14.Too hot to crank a T so we drove the wife's model A today.Bud.PS,Has anyone got their Vintage Ford?? I got back in the fold about a month ago,but no Vintage Ford as yet?? Bud.
It turns over ok with the starter, sputters but wonít stay running, timing seems to make no difference, just stalls out. Wants to drain the battery quickly.
Likely carb setting or choke. If it runs on a bit more with choke, then its carb setting. Of course you need correct timing setting on the timer case, and good spark plugs.
The battery needs to be real fresh, and a new one should crank it over so much the starter can get hot! Which you don't want to do, so let it set 2-3 minutes between each 20 sec. of cranking.
Try to reset the carb to factory, that is if the carb is new or rebuilt. The 3/4 out from closed needle is usually good, some need 1 turn out, or up to 1 1/2 max.
Reset carb to the factory settings, have tried an Anderson and a New Day Timer, next going to inspect valve settings, thought that was done but might not be right. I hope they are because they are the adjustable ones I dislike. Mark, is that lack of compression common in newly redone blocks because the rings have not had time to set? A little oil helps with the initial compression and you use ether for a quick firing?
Engine started and ran for a few minutes. Bad knock in number 4 piston. Changing timing does not make any difference. Not as bad with piston grounded out. Iím using an Anderson timer, could something be off inside the timer?
Joe, did you rebuild the engine using a Scat crank?
The counterbalance on the rear of the crankshaft can hit the bolts holding the bottom inspection plate to the horseshoe. You should be able to hear this when hand cranking. This problem can be rectified in the car.
Allan from down under.
Standard crank I believe. I really donít know what a Scat crank is.
With #4 grounded and you still have some knock then no blame on the timer, has the engine got a Z head fitted, if so then it's very possible that the piston is hitting, or next possibility is the con rod is mis-aligned ie, bent.
Only thing different I saw of the crankshaft was the oil dippers to help splash the oil into the bearing, could that be hitting on or around the third main bearing? I do have multiple oil leaks in the oil pan because of the lock washers holding the bottom plate on. I think just the bolts with permatex will solve that. This is a standard rebuild, they did do the jackrabbit clutch and Kevlar linings which is ok by me but nothing else other than those dippers to change the engine.
No Zhead. The original engine was cast 8/13/18, the block on it now was cast 6/2/21. The head is the one that was on the 18.
Ok, back to the rod then, dippers wont hit anything, something you wont know if you did not put the engine together yourself, how was the piston and rod held when tightening the wrist pin bolt? very easy to twist the rod if done incorrectly. Also another possible thing, a odd sized cap bolt can hit the cam shaft.
I will have to pull the bottom off anyways to stop the leaks. Better now then after it flies apart. Will I see some marks or slight damage. Where would the cap bolt strike the camshaft?
You will need a second person to help anyway to crank the engine over slowly while a good set of eyes see what's going on in there, do you know anyone who knows t engines close by?
I do, sounds like my next plan. Thank you for your advice.
Who did the rebuild? Did they provide any sort of break-in instructions, instruction sheet, or guarantee?
The best thing you can do is contact the shop that did the work for you and ask them all your questions and explain all your issues.
If they are not willing to help you, then send me a pm and I may be able to help you. I am nearby you and have 15 years of T engine building experience.
Years ago, when I was in my Fordson stage, I rebuilt numerous engines. The Fordson tractor has a worm gear rear end with a brass ring gear and doesn't like to be towed to start. I was aware of the dangers of crank starting the larger Fordson engine on a good day and doubly fearful of a newly rebuilt, stiff engine. As is my custom, I devised a hundred dollar solution to a ten dollar problem by wiring four solenoid valves to the timer terminals and plumbing the air outlet of the solenoid valves to the spark plug holes. That was a simple matter since the spark plugs on the Fordson were pipe threads just like the Model T. When powered up the 7 1/2 hp air compressor in my shop was able to slowly operate the tight engine. As time went by the engine picked up speed until I could easily crank the engine over by hand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvtAFKAd0D4
Corny but it worked and it was fun watching the snow and ice balls exit the exhaust pipe!
Joe, This might be too late ... but yes, there may not be enough compression in a newly rebuilt engine to start it easily. In my case the block was rebuilt and then sat on a shelf for two years, though I donít think that made a difference. I checked the compression and was surprised how low it was. A little MMO in each cylinder and some ether in the carb and it came to life ... by hand cranking!
It did come to life ok but with a knock in the number four piston. It was quieter when I shorted that plug out but still present. I will remove the bottom and inspect everything and address my oil leak problems and work with the shop that did the rebuild. Hopefully it can be worked on in the car, I really donít want to take it out again but we will see.
Bottom is off, plugs are out, cranks a lot easier now. When I crank it I hear nothing bumping, no indication the anything is hitting. Connecting rod bolts all clear everything including the cam. There are no marks on the pan or the cover where the dippers go by. Connecting rods look plumb with the crank and I see no slap. I still have more testing to do in better light.
Still no knocks, it is easier to turn, could bolts on the pan cover hit anything? It just sounds normal and good when I roundhouse the crank and the only thing different is the cover is off.
Had friends over and did a complete inspection, bottom cover off and extra eyesight and ears. Found no issue with anything on the long block rebuild. We retimed the engine with a Stevens timing tool and a new Anderson timer. Today I refilled the oil and water, put in spark plugs and a new battery and started the engine. It was missing on the number one cylinder. I replaced that plug and it runs smooth. The Anderson timer I replaced is out of timing plus that bad plug was in the number four cylinder before creating the knocking problem and compounding it. I fired it up twice today and ran it for about ten minutes, didhave a little water on the floor but everything needs to find its level. More break in tomorrow and then a road test. Thank you for all your words of wisdom. It is always a problem when you have compound issues. Those Stevens timing tools are really cool, anyone have one for sale?
Road test and further driving successful. The 1920 Roadster is back in service and ready for action. Longblock and rear end are complete and it works great. I think I have a new 1920 Ford in time for itís centennial. Will my 2009 F250 last that long?
I have a couple hundred miles on my rebuild and it is still stiff, although I can hand crank it now, even when warm. Ford recommended running maximum at 25 mph for the first 500 miles.
Re torque the head and change the oil after 100 miles. There is usually some crap left in the engine during a rebuild and some metal particles being generated from God knows what.
Thanks for the tips Neil. Just doing short trips and not pushing it.
1920is done and working again.
Nice looking car Joe, we also have a 1920 Runabout.
Glad you got it sorted out.