Hey guys I have one that is stumping me. I am having an issue coming up to speed. In low gear and when I shift into high gear. It seems to get hot faster than it had been, and it seems to lag more when its hot. I'm looking for ideas, hoping its not an internal engine issue. I have driven this car for thousands of miles and this issue just kind of happened overnight. Seemed to correspond with my rebuild of the fuel system, carb, sediment bulb and new tank but I've double checked all that and it seems ok.
Things that seem ok or I have looked at:
The car revs easily in neutral.
The rear end turns easily when jacked up, I dont feel any excessive drag.
Timing is set correctly
Coils fire good
New plug wires
No mysterious loss of water
Oil at correct level
I do decent maint on greasing and oiling
I'm at a loss. Ears are open.
Well, the new item is your work on the fuel system. -If it's running hot and you haven't already done so, try enriching the mixture.
Could it be you got a hold of some bad fuel?
Lack of power is sometimes because of running on three cylinders. Do the screwdriver test.
I agree on the mixture maybe needing 1/8th enrichment. Maybe only 1/16th.
Morning guys, I believe the fuel is good, I have been running non-ethanol premium since the new tank. I did perform the screw driver test, because it feels like its on 3 cylinders, there was noticeable change at each cylinder.
As to the fuel mixture, I have been hoping thats my problem. When I put the new tank in I rebuilt the carb, except the spray nozzle. I couldn't get it out. I have a request in to one of the members for a complete rebuilt one but its not ready yet. When I adjust the spray it goes from running to lean and stalling to a 3/4 turn later running too rich and stalling. There is no noticeable change during the 3/4 turn sweep.
Check for a vacuum leak around the flanges and carburetor.
All the Best,
I think you answered your question. A 3/4 turn adjustment on the carb should make it go from running well to not running.
FWIW, as long as fuel is fresh ethanol vs. non shouldn't make any difference. A T was made to run on about 70 octane fuel so premium again makes little sense chemistry wise. For touring many of our group adds top lube or a bit of diesel to fuel to lower the octane and stop preignition.
Again, start making sure you have a good spark ateach plug. Each plug is actually firing and not fouled. Often we get way too complicated. Also a tiny piece of debris would restrict fuel flow thru carb. It will run but not get enough to have power.
How do I check for vacuum leak? I did buy new manifold gaskets because I have to change out the rear frost plug.
Also a question, anyone nearby to loan you a good Carby from a running car? Bolt it on. Will give lots of answers in just a couple minutes. If it solves problem you know your Carby needs help. Just on olt and return borrowed Carby when done.
UPDATE - I got my rebuilt carb back from Corey. A beautiful and quick job I would say. I installed new manifold gaskets, managing to get all gland rings in place. Then installed the carb. The car runs better than it did and the carb is alot more fine-tuneable. But it still has a problem like three is lack of power when first getting going or when shifting into high gear. Once it gets into some higher rpms, it runs just fine. Cruises at 28 mph. It just seems to be lacking low end torque. There does seem to be a fair amount of "smoke" coming out of the throttle hole thru the block. There has always been some, but its seems worse. There also seems to be valve noise (slap), that is worse than before. I got some video, now I need to figure how to get it on youtube or facebook and link it so you guys can here and see the "blowby".
Burnt valve? Is there compression in each cylinder? It doesn't take long to remove the head and check things out.
Running poorly before may have fouled a plug, try shorting out one at a time and see it all 4 are firing at idle.
Then pull the plugs and clean them, before you get to deep into anything else.
The blowby is usually a sign of ring problems, but some is normal.
You said the timing is on, are you sure it's advancing when you pull the spark lever down ?
If I did it right, heres a link to the video. You can see the smoke and hear the engine. I did move the camera around to try and get the microphone in different spots to pick up the noise differently.
All 4 plugs are firing. I forgot to mention, I replaced them today. The others are all fouled from the carb before rebuild.
Make sure your wires to the commutator are not grounding out as you advance the spark. Sometimes the tabs are to long and touch the timing plate.
The timing is advancing correctly. The engine "speeds up" or slows down thru the entire sweep of the spark lever.
I would probably check compression next, if ok, valve adjustment next.
I think you're going to see an issue with compression, hard to tell from a video, but I hear something odd, other than valve noise.
John, is it still getting hot prematurely? Hard to tell from your video about the noisy tappets and excessive smoke as its pretty normal for both. Is it possible you added too much oil? Also thinking maybe a leaking head gasket?
It does not seem to be running too hot anymore. The oil level is good. I think my next check will be compression. Then the head will come off. One more thing of note, while I had the manifolds off, I took off the valve cover just to see. Non- adjustable valves and very crooked sitting valve springs.
Such fun with a car that sat for 45 years.
That seems like a good logical next step. Before you pull the head check for noticeable bubbles in the radiator while running, and keep us updated on your progress...Good luck.
Just because all 4 plugs are firing up top does not mean they are firing down in the cylinder. Could have a crack and plug firing to ground thru it. Or could have burnt on carbon and is the is shorting the plug, so no spark at the gap. Try a different set of plugs.
By all means, do a careful wet & dry compression test before taking the head off. Be sure to block the throttle wide open and be sure to write each reading down for each cylinder. First, record the four dry readings, then second, go thru' them again and record the four wet readings. A compression test can tell you a lot. Some things very subtle, like for instance, two cylinders that are not really terribly low, but lower than the other two. If the two low ones are adjacent to each other, that can mean that the head gasket is starting to blow out between adjacent cylinders, which is a very common problem because the cylinders are very close together, and the head gasket is very, very narrow between cylinders. That is just one of a number of problems that can cause a noticable loss of power on an engine that still runs fairly good (but weak) on all four cylinders. Again, wet/dry compression can tell a lot,....FWIW,....harold
John C. - I should have added one other thing,.....be sure to post the wet & dry compression readings here on the forum, because there are some pretty darn good "T" engine guys" here on the forum that can interpret things like compression test results a lot better than me,.....harold
The blowby seems a little excessive to me. When you do the compression check, if the compression is low (20-25 psi), add a teaspoon of engine oil to each cylinder and re-test. If the compression pressure comes up you likely need a ring job, perhaps with a rebore and new pistons.
Its hard to find a compression tester that fits our spark plug size.
Most people fabricate an adapter to fit a standard tester.
You can start with an old 2 piece plug.
Or you can buy an adapter from one of the suppliers for $3
Do you have Kevlar bands? Did you recently take them up?
I have cotton bands, I did recently adjust them. But not until after I had this issue, hoping it was just band slipping.
While I wait for a spark plug adapter to check compression I decided to shoot another video of me operating the controls so you can hear the change in the engine to see if there are any more clues. Its a little long but hopefully it sheds a little light. The car was jacked up, both rear wheels off the ground.
John, not sure if this will help with your overall problem, but here is a similar video i have taken and will link to as the way my T runs using the spark and throttle levers. A few questions i have is, will your T run at all with both levers up? And have you checked to see if there is lots of slop between the levers and the timer and carb? Hope this helps.
It will not run with either lever up. There is some slop, but very, very minor.
My car has never started like yours either. I just participated in a parade with another T that started like yours and I was amazed. It usually takes 4-5 revolutions with the starter to get mine going. Unless its hot - been running a while, then its two revolutions. And thats the only time I can crank start it.
Sounds too rich to me, videos are tough to get the whole picture...
John, don't get discouraged..T's are fickle by nature. Get your compression test done, then we can figure out all the small adjustments you may need. Lots of support here to get you running right
At first, I'd say it sounds like it's running on one cylinder, but it is firing evenly. Firing on one cylinder only would mean that it would barely have enough power to pull itself,....in other words, not drivable. Because it apparently has enough power to drive it, and because it fires evenly, it must be firing on two cylinders only, but it must be that they are the right two cylinders for the engine to fire evenly. In other words it running with the four cylinders acting something like this:
chug-nothing-chug-nothing,....this would let it run evenly on two cylinders when it's the right two cylinders, but with very little power, and this is how it seems to me to be running.
If it was only running on two cylinders, but the WRONG two cylinders, it would sound like this,.....
chug-chug-nothing-nothing-chug-chug-nothing-nothing-chug-chug-nothing-nothing,.. ..etc, etc
In your video, it sounds to me like it's running on the right two cylinders to make it sound even like my first explantation, and I'd bet that the reason for that is an ignition problem, because your compression readings are good for all four cylinders.
Sorry for the long post here, but that's the only way I could explain how the engine sounds to me,....FWIW,.....harold
Well,....I guess I'm confused. I thought I read where you had over 40 lb compression in all cylinders, but maybe that was in another thread. Sorry,.....unless you know you have good compression in all four cylinders, you can disregard my post above, because when I wrote that, I was sure you had determined that all four cylinders had good compression.
(....note to me,....never post until after 2nd cup of coffee!)
As the novice that I am ... forgive me if I steer you in the wrong direction. Looking at John C video and John N's video... leaving everything else discussed aside... John C's amp meter is all over the scale while John N's amp meter runs smoothly.
I know John N's car is running properly while John C's is having some sort of problem .... could the problem lie in that circuity? Or could it be a symptom of the poorly running engine?
Just an observation!
So, compression check dry done. Signs don't look good. I get 30+ psi on 1 and 4, and 0 psi on 2 and 3. If I put a plug in 3 and check 2, I get some compression. Going to check wet now. Hoping for just a head gasket.
I also wondered about my ammeter, but thought it was a cause of running rough. Not the reason for rough running.
Harold, would cylinders 1 and 4 be the right ones to run (although poorly) on 2 cylinders?
John, while you have the plugs out doing your compression tests, take a flashlight and check inside #2 and #3 cylinders to see if the valves are operating properly and not stuck open. Also, open the throttle wide open during the tests, it will give you a more precise compression reading. Good luck.
Throttle is wide open. I went back down with some extra eyeballs and checked the valves. They are all opening and closing as normal.
Did you look to see if there's water in the oil ?
I have not checked for water in the oil. That would be next, before I pull the head.
If the lack of power is in both low and high gear, bands are irrelevant. In high gear the bands are not used.
John - Just now saw your question.
It's a bit late so I hope I have this right. Hopefully, someone will correct me if wrong (:^)
The firing order is 1-4-2-3, so I think for an engine to run evenly on only two cylinders, it would have to be 1 & 2, or, 4 & 3.
John - I really am too tired to post anything right now, and I don't know how any of this would help you anyway, but it just occurred to me that, believe it or not, these ol' Model T's will actually run on only one cylinder! No power at all of course, but they'll do it!
Forgive me if I missed something, as I didn't thoroughly read everything above, but 0 psi compression on 2 and 3 sounds like a blown head gasket between those two cylinders. The only thing that makes me question that statement is that those two cylinders are further apart than 1&2 And 3&4, but I'm sure it could still happen.
Hal - I don't think anything was said about......"0 psi compression on 2 and 3", however a blown head gasket between adjacent cylinders usually occurs between 1 and 2, or between 3 and 4. That's because those cylinders are so close together that the head gasket is very narrow between 1 and 2 and between 3 and 4. However, there is lots of head gasket between 2 and 3,.....not that any of this makes any difference in this case anyway however,.....(:^)
I tried to read all the responses, but didnít have the time. Go through your timing again after you check your timer. What timer are you using?
Dump the premium gas and put regular in. The Model T ignition and compression doesnít need premium and has a harder time burning it.
What do the plug insulators look like. Post a picture if youíre able.
I apologize if any of this is a repeat.
See johns post at 9:53.
By John Chady on Friday: So, compression check dry done. Signs don't look good. I get 30+ psi on 1 and 4, and 0 psi on 2 and 3. If I put a plug in 3 and check 2, I get some compression. Going to check wet now. Hoping for just a head gasket. (end)
Me too. A cracked head between two adjoining cylinders is no big deal but a cracked block can be fatal. On the brighter side, even if 30 psi
across the deck (wet) would indicate a valve job was needed away.
Harold, firing order is 1, 2, 4, 3.
That "SMOKE" looks more like steam to me.
Definitely sounds like time to pull the head.
I would not run it anymore, about sure there's water (coolant) in the oil. You don't want to chance damage to the bottom end.
And yes, Steve is right, firing order is 1,2,4,3...
Thanks Steve - I should have known it was too late and I was too tired to get into any of that,......harold
I drained the oil yesterday, no sign of any water. Likewise, there is no sign of oil in the water. Going to do a leakdown test before I go further and see if it helps point in the right direction.
I just listened to your video. I am going to bet your leak down test is going to show air escaping into the exhaust on one or two cylinders. You can hear it (live combustion) in the exhaust when you're running.
Running (seemingly well) with no load or in low with higher revs, followed by no power and lots of extra heat is a classic sign of leaking exhaust valve.
A family crossing the country in two "T's" from California to Virginia experienced this exact same problem with exact same symptoms. Yosemite and Yellowstone did it in. They limped into Cody, WY where we met. We found # 2 and 3 exhaust valves burnt 1/3 off. Reamed guides, surfaced exhaust seats and 2 new valves sent them on their way.
Best of luck
And, I'll add, that with low or no compression on one or more cylinders, the fuel flow will be totally messed up, further impeding power at lower RPM.
An intake leak could well have preceded all of this, causing some cylinders to run very lean.
Cylinder leak down test complete. Cylinder 1 lost no air through intake or exhaust valve, but lost all air past the rings. Cylinders 2,3,4 all lost air out exhaust valve. 2 and 3 lost all air, 4 had a small leak but a leak none the less. So, it appears it is now time to pull the head. Valve job on all 4 will be in the works. Should I re-ring all 4 as well? Should I pull the motor and have it all gone through? At what point do I stop?
How will the car be used? For a weekend local drive to the ice cream shop and an annual parade, valves and perhaps rings may suffice. If you want to do tours or other long drives, I'd pull that sucker and have a pro check it out and do whatever it needs.
You will answer your own question after pulling the head and looking at the cylinders.
After you pull the pistons, you can assess the bearing condition and the crank.
This can all be done in a couple hours with hand tools, you really don't need a jack even...I'm giving your diameter the benefit of doubt !!
What is interesting is the valves that are burnt all have pressed machined seats. 2 of them also have "IN" cast into them, the third is so bad I can't tell.
The cylinder walls are all in good shape, even number 1. No signs of scoring.
To answer Steves question, I drive the car daily to work. 20 mile round trip. Plus I take it on frequent 200 mile trips. Year round, rain, snow, sleet doesn't stop me. And I will admit, I drive it like I stole it. I think I will call over to Doleshal in Oconomowoc where you had yours fixed and pick his brain. He is only 30 minutes away.
as I suspected, the bulk of your trouble lies with exhaust valves/seats. Don't go pulling pistons at this time. Fix the valves and enjoy your car.
Your cylinders may be worn barrel shaped, tapered...who knows? Likely oversized to boot. So, you pull the pistons...do you put in standard rings in a worn standard bore? If you do you'll have a pretty good gap on the rings (as you likely do now). You'd need to go up one size on rings. Now you need to file them...do you own a proper ring filing fixture? No? Don't feel bad...few folks do. Lots of time and expense for negligible results relative to fixing your valves. T's are very forgiving. Do the obvious thing and get on with having fun.
And if the bores are egg shaped. Will new rings ever seat in?
Scott, the only part that bother me about not looking at the rings is the amount of blowby in cylinder 1. It felt like a hair dryer on low coming out of the oil fill.
Well, that would explain the smoke at the carb rod. Personally, I'd work one issue at a time. Head gaskets aren't really that expensive. See how the valves pan out.
See Hal's comment above. There is wisdom in his question. These kind of problems can lead you down an expensive rabbit hole, when a (relatively) minimal amount of work can put you back on the road.
And one thing further...you're mentioning that it seemed to happen overnight. Burnt valves will do that...once they start, a few hundred miles can really burn them up. Your rings have been wearing out for thousands of miles. This blowby has been around for a long time.
I think replacing valves and putting it back together is the direction Im heading.
Do you suppose the valves that goy burnt were installed at a time when leaded gas was prevalent? Seems weird to me that only the replaced valves with pressed seats burned up.
A couple things of note, two of the "good" valves appear to be original. All the valve stems are stock size. It appears that most of the seats are destroyed, both the factory ones in the block and the pressed in ones. I am borrowing a hand valve seat cutter and will attempt to recut the seats. I think that will be the definitive answer as to whether to pull the motor or not.
I appreciate all the help and ideas from you guys.
One thing I have learned with this car is to slow down and look at things.
Many things can cause valves to burn.
Lash adjustment too tight.
Running too lean can create excess heat, intake leak, also can lean out the charge.
Running too rich can soot them up to where they won't close properly.
Oil consumption can coke them up.
The valve job previously could have been poor.
Timing too far advanced or not advanced enough.
Now all you can do is to fix it and afterwards, ensure everything else is right.
Hoping for the best for you.
Neway cutters are really great tools. I hope that is what you are borrowing...if so, I think you'll be pleased with the results.
I borrowed an Albertson & Co cutter. Worked really well on the forwardmost 6 seats. One of the pressed in seats started turning though and I was able to clean up all the burnt area. I cant get enough down pressure on the 4th cylinder to cut, and the rear most exhaust seat is the worst of all. The rear most guide also has alot of slop side to side, none front to back. The pushrod actually has a divot worn in it from the valve rocking so much. And the valve seat is horribly worn because of it.
Yeah, worn guides slipped my mind...
You can ream it and run an oversized valve.
I don't like the seat spinning...makes me dizzy.
No really, that's not good, maybe you can stake it in ?
If a pressed in seat is turning, you're done. That's one reason the valve burned so badly...poor heat transfer from valve to seat to block. You can't stake this in. One reason I dislike these things so much. Too tight a fit and the Cast Iron is damaged and potential exists for the seat to come out...too loose a fit and they can come out... You cannot afford to have this thing come out while running or will beat the engine to death in an area where there is little extra material to begin with. Off to the shop for you...
I had a valve seat break up once, Went out the exhaust pipe. You can stake them on a lawn mower motor..
So there was a time I fitted a valve seat, shrank it with liquid nitrogen. Wart removal kind.
I can only guess you'll have to drill the guide wider (the sort of thing I do) fit a valve seat, or heavy wall pipe as a seat. And then the valve facing tool should cut the seat to fit.