My little sweetheart, the 1925 Boat Tail Speedster starting making a hell of a strange noise very similar to a two piece crankshaft club up and coming member (been there twice before). After taking the inspection plate off and going thru her nice and slow, I was relieved to see no funny metal chards, cracks, etc.
OK, What's going on? Started looking into the transmission, Where oh where is my magnet that sits on top of my aftermarket transmission screen? Tell me how this super strong flux pulling monster could have migrated pass that area up hill no doubt? Totally destroying my triple gear(s) bushings and God knows what else.
This is going to be a new one for me folks. My drums appear to have not been affected, big bonus. You will know where I am at for awhile. Total take down, cleaning and inspecting.
Hope none of you ever have had this happen, I am not using those magnets again and removing them from my other cars.
All the Best,
Hank in Tin-A-See
How big was the magnet? I see some of the trans cover screens seem to come with skinny little rare earth magnets now but mine has a big rectangular beast that couldn’t possibly escape... could it?
Yikes! Maybe I should remove my magnet the next time I check the screen.
I always keep mine in the screen portion of the junk catcher and mine has never even slightly began to move out of the screen.
Guys, Mine was the big one (2" x 1" x 1/2') and placed down low where you guys are stating yours are. I would have never in a million years thought that could happen.
That's really strange. I've never heard of that happening. Hopefully it didn't mess too much up.
That's bad news!
Wonder why too, and had thought about it before.
So did a test where the inspection cover with it's 'v' shape pins the magnet. Tried shaking the pair, and the magnet could not dimensionally get out of the lower chamber. So figured all is well. All my screens have magnets, plus some added holes for oil drain too.
Now will re-think that magnet, they have holes in them too. As Murphy's Rules state, "If a part can move to a bad place.....it will."
Will remove my screens now and safety wire that magnet to the holes in the screen!
Mine was right where yours is in the picture. I am still befuddled!
Mystery not doubt, but the T can really shake and wiggle
Thinking more right now, am just gonna remove and discard those magnets. May be useful for new engine metal wear, it just catches little magnetic fuzz.
Magnet appearance after 20 miles on new rebuild, at break in oil change.
But.....this screen had no magnet and it caught bits of unknown metal pieces just fine. I think bare screen from now on!
The only magnets on my T's will be screwed down and staked on the flywheel
I believe, (not running one myself), it would stick better on the flat beside the holes.
Oil pressure, I recon, can get underneath it on the screen portion and cause it to lift and go for a ride.
Just my opinion...
Usually magnets of that sort are kinda soft, I hope there's no major damage.
Hank Up Yonder, that is horrible, I'm going to check my two cars, they both have the magnets, I installed them. I have one heck of time, pulling it out to clean it, have to slide it around whiling pulling on it to remove it. I wouldn't think it would ever come out under normal circumstances, I will now remove them, unless there is a hole I could wire to the screen.
Thanks for posting and hopefully buddy, it's not too much damage.
Could something like an electric short have de-magnetized the magnet allowing it to move into the engine? Our mags in the engine can be de-magnetized when we accidentally hit it with electric so why not the small one in the screen.
Sorry to hear about your transmission.
Here's the answer you are looking for. Vibration.
Think gold table where they use a vibrating table to separate gold from pannings. The correct vibration in rate and intensity will make products actually move UPHILL. Your engine/transmission must have accomplished the perfect resonant frequency to get the magnet, not only to move up the screen, but to wiggle through the tight spot at the top and fall out into the transmission.
The answer: any type of restraint ie. safety wire, screw, bolt, toothed bent angle, or a narrow spot in the top that is much less than the magnet could ever get through. I think a piece of safety wire through the holes in the screen and magnet would be a great solution.
Again, Sorry to hear about it. Hope the damage is minimal and hopefully the magnet, being softer than the gears, disintegrated without any serious damage.
Been doing a little research on these magnets. Come to find out that inferior magnets made by my cousins in the Far East do not hold up to any sort of vibration and go into self destruction mode, loosing their strength, and falling apart.
I don’t want any of my Model T brothers and sisters to go through this mess as I did.
All the Best,
Hank in Tin-A-See
Here's a video of a gold table in operation to show how gold is separated and moved up hill.
Another vibration item: Sand Bed. Hospitals use vibrating sand beds, for long term patients, to prevent bed sores and improve recovery. With vibration, the bed is soft, without vibration it is solid like laying in a sand box.
Good Luck Hank.
Hank, sorry what happened to your T, but I would not suggest everyone removing the magnets. This is the only known case in 15,000,000 T's. Wire or zip tie it instead of removal is my suggestion. Personally I am leaving mine the way it is.
Dean this NOT the magneto magnets but an accessory on a transmission screen.
All the Best,
Hank, I should of said magnet instead of magnets. I was referring to every ones single magnet. Sorry about the confusion.
Dean with gray hair we all have SENIOR MOMENTS! LOL and at myself.
Hank, would one of the magnetic drain plugs work as well as a flat one in the top screen? Just wondering if this would be a quick fix for my two Ts. I run a screen in my roadsters but no screen in my speedster.
Wow....that sure is remarkable.
I'll be getting my engine rebuilt in late 2019 and will probably run a magnet for a hundred miles or so, then pull it out.
I'm also wondering about a magnetic drain plug. Do they make those for a T?
Probably vibration as others have talked about. But every magnet has a temperature where it is demagnetized. Hi tech magnets can be demagnetized at 176 F. They regain their magnetism when they cool down. Iron magnets can go to 480 F before they are demagnetized. If your speedster runs hot, that may have been a cause.
And there, I think, you have your answer
Thank you Neil.
It looks like a gentle wrap of brass safety wire through the mesh is in order.
Well guys the break down appears to have occurred by multiple sources etc. My engines runs at a perfect 178 degrees, counter balanced crank, (little vibration), balanced flywheel, triple gears, and drums.
I appriecate all your inputs as I wish this on no one. I am thinking of epoxying on a super magnet to the drain plug when done with my therapy. Trust me when I say I am not mad, pissed off, or anything. It just happens and I am a blessed man for having the knowledge, time, parts on the shelf, and facilities to do the repairs.
But it does appear the fault was with the “Mother Earth” magnet. Even if you safety wire it, the forces of frequencies are going to break it up in the end and fall downward into destruction. As we know Henry Ford was cheap, and the location and type of magnet used failed. I believe as some as stated, using a magnet is still a good idea and just relocate it to the drain plug.
All the Very Best,
Hank in dim dar hills in therapy
Just pulled the magnet from the '23. Was last cleaned 6 mo. ago, after oil change. The cutoff '23 isn't driven on tours, just around the 'hood, so oil changes aren't done like my tour cars, after each tour.
So this may have been total of 300 miles?
Just tiny amount of oily magnetic residue, hardly much to worry about in the Ford, esp. if you change the oil more often. No band lining fuzz, 'cause there is Kevlar there.
Since IMO, little benefit of that magnet laying in the oil screen (except perhaps new rebuilds during break-in oil change)....have pulled it from the screen.
Then checked the nature of this magnet, and dropped it from about 4' and it landed on the edge and fractured.
One piece chipped off that edge, but the whole magnet didn't crumble, so it is strong. Don't think this one could have self-destructed by vibrations.
Instead, think that some how that magnet of yours moved into the trans. How, don't know. It sticks fast to the inspection cover, and to the screen.
But since there is a risk of that magnet going into the moving parts, the benefit of that little piece is IMO low....so out it went!
Thank you for posting your occurrence, hard on you, but easy on the rest of us that heed your experience
I wired my magnet to the catcher. I simply remove the catcher and clean it with grease/oil remover. The magnet is not going to budge!
Maybe the round doughnut magnets that are in transmission pans would be better, they are subjected to hot trans fluid all day long and never seem to lose any magnetism. And you could easily put some tie wire through the hole and into the screen
Hank - I imagine a bunch of guys are taking off their transmission covers and checking out their magnets because of your post. I know i'm one of them :-) Thanks for the "heads-up"!
I have another complete engine ready to go if need be, and as I have said I am a fortunate soul. But for those that do not have and done without to make happen, you are correct Tim, "Heads Up". This is an expensive endeavor.
My wife explained to me, "If it didn't break down, Well Honey, You would just have to build another car". She's one in a million.
The Humbled Hillbilly in Tin-A-See,
When you say boat tail, is it the one in your profile photo? WoW that is a nice car! Hope it all comes out ok.
WOW Hank, shes a keeper alright!
Yes John, my labor of love.
Yes Doug, I found her in the biggest beach in the world (Saudi Arabia) and she fell for me of all the good looking guys. But I am still not taking her to an eye doctor just yet. I can still drive.
RE; Do they make those for a T
If you do not see the pan/drain magnet plug in the the T catalogs look in the Model A parts. Same threads.
In your picture above (Jan 1 10:44), could it come out if the inspection cover was mounted upside down (And Lord knows, a lot of them are.)?
Or....an earlier one that is flat rather than stamped?
? Am stumped by Hank's savage destruction of that magnet in the screen.
My test with the inspection cover on correctly provided interference to that rectangular magnet....but a cover on wrong, or a flat cover, then yes. There is a possibility.
Still bewildered by the fact that strong magnet left it's position.
Took out the one from the '23, and that rectangle magnet was where I put it.
On the '24, I had place a round al-nickel magnet, about 3/8" x 2" in the screen tray. It had not moved either, but I took it out anyway.
On the '27, checked it, but then realized haven't ever put a magnet in that oil screen...
But since the floorboards were out, good time to grease the universal and upper drive shaft bushing Got all three their extra grease yesterday!
My magnet was firmly in place but I took a turn of 0.032 SS safety wire around it just in case. The engine had less than an hour run time on it but already had a coating of metallic fuzz - particles too small for the screen to catch. Again - thanks to Hank for bringing this potential issue to our attention.
Tim, I plan to do exactly what you did the next time I have my transmission inspection cover off.
I'm not going to tighten the wire too tightly, I don't want tension from the wire to put any force on the magnet that might make it crack in half.
I am still befuddled on how it could happen. That engine is so balance in the Speedster, only about 500 miles max on it, and no super bumpy roads driven.
Glad to share this with everyone, just because one had a miss fortune does not mean all have to. Did I just get a bad magnet? A lot of questions I am attempting to answer.
All the Best
I did a lot of research in preparation for replacing the steel flywheel magnets with permanent "rare earth" ones.
The commonly sold neodymium magnets LOSE their magnetism as temperatures approach 200 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, they can slip or move.
Samarium Cobalt magnets will retain their magnetism up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit and usually stay put.
I chose the Samarium Cobalt.....more expensive, but worth it for peace of mind.
NOTE: ANY of the "rare earth" magnets are brittle, like glass. As long as they're in a fixed position or anchored with a cement, they should be fine.
Thank You George!!!!
Mark - I totally agree. My safety wire is just snug - you can still move the magnet a little if you want to.
Anyone who wants some 0.032 SS Safety wire and doesn't want to buy a whole roll, send me an email and I'll figure a way to send you a piece that will do the job. The stuff I have is used to safety aircraft fasteners.
I just wonder if a mistake was made when the screen was last installed. I wonder if the magnet was accidentally placed on the underside of the screen instead of in the screen basket. Just a case of plain old human error?
I have five 5 lbs rare earth magnets in my screen.
All do respect. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN! Read George's comments. Total breakdown of the materials. Rare earth magnets are prone to failure and vary greatly in quality control.
By the way, if I screwed up I am a big enough of a man to fess up to my faults! How full are your nut sacks? Insults of your nature have no merit.
Hank in Tin-A-See
Henry, I hate to say it but your comments are very in appropriate.
I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to Model T's. I have had mine for 10 years, and am working with my kid on his car which is being built from parts. I have learned a lot, but there is still a lot to learn.
I did not say you did install the magnet wrong, I just suggested it as an option, as the KIS method is often overlooked. When I make a human error, it is usually do to distractions or lack of knowledge. When I make such an error I usually I do not realize I did it until there is an effect due to that error.
A quick 15 to 20 minute search, did not reveal any documentation of magnets dissolving completely. I did find a little information regarding magnets weakening as they erode.
My background, I am a Mechanical Engineer by education, a Project Engineer by profession, and my job requires a LOT of problem solving due to human tendencies/errors on manufacturing production lines.
I put my magnet on the flat above the screen. After reading this discussion I'll be adding wire. I will NOT be using brass wire, which is too prone to metal fatigue and breakage.
For those wondering about a magnetic oil plug, yes, it's available from the parts dealers.
“How full are your nut sacks” is an Old English statement of wit meaning, “ gathered knowledge” not male genitalia.
Steve. I don't like the position of your magnet for the following reasons. Vibration could cause it to block the holes drilled for the purpose of oiling the bands. If they are blocked you would get less oil to the bands and the drums. The other reason is that it is near the opening where it could fall in. If you put it in the dip of the screen it would be much less likely to move into the crankcase.
Three things -
I see some of you have added extra holes (or enlarged them) in the flat of the filter. Norm says the existing holes are to oil the bands... do the existing holes not allow enough oil to pass?
 Is there anything that can be done to the ends of the kevlar bands after they're installed to discourage fraying?
 I wonder if the large machine screws holding the cover on might benefit from some lockwashers. Any problem with them loosening up from engine vibration?
Tim, my personal answers to your questions:
1) I have not modified the band drip holes on mine, so far so good.
2) If the bands are already soaked with oil, I doubt there is much you can do to stop them from fraying. If they are still dry, some folks dip the ends in Glyptal, or saturate the ends with Crazy Glue.
3) I don't have any lock washers on my cover screws and I haven't seen any sign of them loosening.
Hope these help.
My magnet kits that I used are over 20 years old. Just went and check my inventory, all new kits use a small 3/8” disc magnet laying in the screen. Now with high frequency vibration laying in the screen not being supported equally appears to be the culprit. Steve having his laying on a flat plain for support is the right idea. Possibly gluing in place to absorb vibration would be a bonus.
I guess I was thinking as some you that laying in the screen was the best choice, but apparently not. The lack of support on the screen and the rare earth magnet acted as a vibration screen in a foundry.
Live and learn and past on! Thanks to all for sharing!
All the Best,
Hank in Tin-A-See
Tim The lock washers WILL cause leaks the large flat heads sit against the cover and if properly tightened don't leak (Maybe they seep a little if the tranny cover has a lot of dings) adding a lock washer allows space for the oil to find a way out. I know this from personal experience, My mentor showed me why!
Whoever makes the oil screens could modify it a bit and would end the magnet falling out issue.
If the lower perforated screen had a lip put on it to make a flush fit to even it to the top edge of the filter the magnet itself or broken pieces of it couldn’t move out of it.
Think of totally enclosing the magnet so it couldn’t fall out.
You would still get good oil flow to filter out any dirt or lint or small bits of shavings or etc.
In my HMO of course.
All of these magnets........neodymium or Samarium Cobalt......are available in a number of different shapes. Circles, disks, doughnuts (circle with hole), bars etc. Shouldn't be to hard to locate a magnet shape that would allow for a machine screw or rivet to hold in place. Many are offered with a countersunk screw hole in the middle!
Screwed down or riveted nice and snug without checking CTE of magnet vs fastener may result in two magnets for the price of one. Proceed with knowledge and caution.
So sorry to hear about this! You probably don't realize... but your T is now worthless. To ease your pain I will send a truck to pick it up and haul it out of there ASAP.
Thanks Gary! I will be awaiting your transportation company’s arrival. Please have them call me 24 hours in advance. LOL brother!
I use old round speaker magnets applied close to my oil drain on my street cars. I pull them off when I change the oil. Seems to work well.
Good Idea John K.
Me thinks given the frequency, or rather lack of, this happening, it was just a "fluke", and poor ol' Henry drew the wrong card. Keep calm and carry on.
Tim, I am with you on this one.
The voice of reason, I hate the fact the Hank had an issue, but the number of transmission screens with a magnet that are installed vs one problem really means there is an issue across the board??? I think not. I am with Tim and Dean on this one.