I have a '17 touring with the upper mounted wishbone. I know it was changed a few years later. What I wonder is whether the early wishbone support kits I see sold by various vendors are needed and if so, for what reasons?
So the front axle does not fold under if you hit the curb too hard.
Good info - I can see the value of such an item.
I see Lang's sells a brace - looks pretty simple but costly and large to ship. Has anyone come up with a drawing with dimensions of how to make one?
Look at Ebay "model T radius rod support" $58.00. Uses the original upper and lower to make your own.
David - thanks for the suggestion, it certainly has possibilities. I'm going to give it some serious thought. I see he sells original style wishbone ends as well. I'd be a little concerned about the strength of welding something like that on without a reinforcing sleeve or the like. Anyone out there done it?
You don't have to weld the axle ends on. The sacrificial wish bone is cut at the ball end and held in the clamps.
Oh, you might have to rework a pair of the later nuts to be able to insert the cotter pins.
I saw no reason to put these on but added one to my Touring. It made it feel more stable. Now I have put them on my other early cars. They are somewhat in the way when adjusting rod caps through the pan inspection cover but I like them now.
I’ve heard the pinion nut works great for these to make toe cotter pin line up.
That should read THE cotter pin.... darn auto correct
I have them on all my early cars and used wishbones with messed up ball ends that I cut off. I used pinion nuts and had no trouble lining up split pins. Worked just fine!
Anybody got a wishbone with a messed up ball they want to sell?
I probably do, Tim. Do you want eyelet ends ?
Now I'm a little confused. I hobbled out to the shop to look at my T and saw that the wishbone is inserted into the casting of the front spring perch. It doesn't have eyelets as shown in my earlier photos taken from ebay. A little research showed that this is correct for my '17(see photo).
I wonder if the angle of the Vee is a little different between the two types of wishbones and if that would cause any problems with the mounting bracket at the ball?
Dave, if you have a donor wishbone with eyelets that you think would would work, I would probably suggest cutting it at the ball for ease of shipping. The other question is, how thick is the material at the eyelet? I can't change the mounting bolt although I could use a thinner castle nut. Why don't you PM me with the particulars?
Tim, I'll have to get over there and look.
I believe the eyelet is about 3/8" thick.
You may be better off to cut the stud off the perches and have longer ones welded in.
I think the issue is with your style, being on top of the axle, as opposed to below. The geometry would be stronger on the bottom.
Give me a day or two, I know I have a couple.
Dave - From what I've read, you are correct about the geometry. A strong jolt has been known to throw a car out of control if it has the upper mounted wishbone.
I'm going to take a closer look at the perch and see what I have to work with. Since the engine is out and I'm going to be going thru the front end, now is a good time to do such things. Thanks for your help.
When I first got my 14, my good friend, Jerry Van and I, took it out for a test drive. Jerry was driving, I was shotgun. We came around a turn and went out of control; steering locked, front end went nuts. Jerry got it back under control and if it wasn't for Jerry vast knowledge of T's and decades of driving them, it would have been a disaster.
He didn't suggest, but, pretty much told me to add a second wishbone.
I have a set up like the one in Tim's post.
Mine is a go car, not a show car. We drive it a lot. Adding that second wishbone has made an enormous difference.
The car is far more stable. The steering is much more solid.
Frankly, I feel much safer with the second wishbone.
Just my opinion -- but I'm right!
Got a photo of your installation Marty?
Here is my setup on my late '13 Touring. I bought one of the brackets that are for sale on eBay. I had a worn out later style wishbone and cut the ends off and welded them to some solid 7/8" steel rod. I had to make the bends so they would clear the tie rod and drag link.
Hmmm....Would I be correct that others have had Ed's problem of clearing the tie rod and drag link?
Take a look at this thread of a front end I picked a while back. It has an accessory brace.
The rods on the accessory brace are threaded on the end and screw into the bracket that is clamped onto the stock wishbone (although there are no good photos of that end of the brace in the photos). In other words, the length of the rods is adjustable so the correct geometry can be maintained when it is installed.
Also, note the dog leg in the brace where it connects to the underside of the axle so it does not interfere with the tie rod.
Tim, I'll have to take some. I'll be back.
Tim, sorry this took so long to get these pics, but here the are.
There is a later wishbone on the bottom.
I hope these help.
Let me know if you need/want more. I know that one pic is a little out of focus.
Originality is obviously not a concern here.
Why not just swap the spring perches and the wishbone with later style and only use the one wishbone ?
The later style is not as problematic as I understand.
It's very easy to simply pick up a wishbone, cut off the ball, and make your own clamp. This will maintain the original geometry of the early front end and also provide a great deal of safety when driving over bumps and potholes and such. It's very well know the hazard of the early style as even Henry discovered.
Dave, you're right. I was/am more concerned about safety because we drive it a LOT!
Ninety eight percent of the car is original. Any changes made were for safety sake.
We wanted a go car, not a show car.
There is a marked difference in stability in riding and handling particularly over rough, rural roads -- which, on tours, we drive over a lot.
Anyway, to each his own, right?
Thanks a bunch...your pix and those from others have shown me what I need to know. I'm going to go with something like you have and have already ordered the clamp to go around the wishbone by the ball.
I'm making a few changes to my '17 touring but all in the name of safety and reliability. The Model T police will be able to spot them but the public won't know the difference. I plan to drive the heck out of my T so that is my first priority.
The accessory brace I have on mine is made from angle iron with the ends flattened and holes drilled in them. The clamp fits on top and a square headed bolt clamps it to the top and it passes through holes in the angle.
You can see my steering arm is offset a bit. The whole spring was over by that much. I don't know if that was the cause or result of an accident I had in 1994, but it's been that long since I've had it completely apart. I just noticed it a couple weeks ago but I did notice the car always turned sharper one way.
I lost control and ran off the road. I then installed that brace and another wishbone since mine folded under. It could've been anything that caused it since I'd only driven it a few times and didn't know much about it but I haven't had any issues since. I put it back in the middle now. I can't believe i never noticed before.
In your comment above about yours not looking like the photos from ebay is because in the photos from ebay, the axle is upside down. Your axle photo is from the top of the axle. - Matt
RE Model T police; I for one would see that the brace was added and would be glad that it was in place. Frankly I sorta cringe when I see an over the axle without the brace on a car that is being driven.
Tim, Don't be concerned about the "Model T Police". The wishbone brace is a safety item just like extra brakes or a stop light. For cars being judged, there is no points deduction made for safety equipment, except for Stynoski judged cars which must be exactly as they were from the factory.
I have this type of brace on my '14 and would not have a T with the above axle wishbone that didn't have a lower wishbone brace.
I have that modern accessory 3 piece cast bronze ‘coupling’ as in your eBay pic - on my ‘14. Gives me great peace of mind. I had to grind down the later cut off wishbone eyelets from their approx. 3/8” thickness to about 1/4” thickness and use the pinion nuts so as to install cotter pins on original spring perches. DON’T weld to lengthen those original perches. Also have a dozen of later donor wishbones I’d cut for ease of mailing. PM me if you don’t get one from Dave. And I didn’t have to bend mine like Ed’s.
Dumb question - Why not just store the over-axle wishbone and perches for another time and replace them to drive for now with later under-axle units?
Because some people don’t want to show/drive a ‘Frankenstein T’. They want their T to be anatomically correct. Why use one of those hard-to-erect 2 man tops on a ‘12 touring when a reconfigured 1 man top would be easier when threatening rain?.....(dumber question)
I learn something new every day.... Aren't Model T's great?
George - I was thinking of milling the eyelets down a bit thinner to better accommodate the nuts, pinion or otherwise.
On the cutoff eyelets I noticed they have a bit if an up-angle when mounted flat side up. I don't think I'll need to put that big a bend in the rods. When I eventually install them I'll post some photos.
Thanks to all for your information and advice. In particular I was not aware of the "safety item" judging exception so thanks, Keith.
Tim, your welcome. It has given me great peace of mind. As for the police, I never plan to have my car judged. It's there for us to have safe fun with.
Marty - I don't know if I mentioned it before but the car came from Brian Dowell, who speaks highly of you. Brian has gone above and beyond helping me with the car, even to the point of driving an hour up to my place to pull the engine out. A great guy! Brian signed me up for the MTFCI and told me I should join one of the SE Michigan clubs - we may have a chance to compare T's someday :-)
Looking at the last photo I posted, it looks like a dismembered thumb... Oops! Happy Halloween!
Tim - the up angle in the 1919-27 wishbone ends gives the caster angle for the front axle, so you don't want to reduce that. The older style wishbone didn't need any angle for that - it was built into the angle of the hole through the perches 1909-19.
Many of the period accessory reinforcements for early wishbones looks like they were made of angle iron and can be easily reproduced.
I got to thinking - I wonder if some of the reported "out of control" incidents are actually cases of death wobble (or maybe they're one and the same? You don't have much control there either.
Tim, Brian is a great guy but whatever he said about me is a lie!!!