Guardian Angel Found the issue!

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Mustang1964s
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Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Mustang1964s » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:53 am

I had never really believed in a guardian angel until the events of this past weekend.

We have an old/new T in the garage, and I was trying to get it ready for the road.

After several attempts of getting her around the block. I was able to take her on a three-mile loop around the neighborhood. Got back to the house and the youngest grandson was itching for a ride. Sure, one more time around the loop would be great for him and the car. We had just made it past the first right turn then the T just died. DEAD. No lights, no starter, nothing. I pushed it back a little bit to a neighbor’s driveway. Then did a hard-right turn. Just like the one that we would have encountered at the next turn. Then SNAP something broke. The steering wheel would just spin, the wheels stayed put. I had the grandson jump and run get his brothers to help push it back in to the garage. I had been working on the electrical system off and on for some time. I was just miffed at the car, or more at myself. After the T was back in its place, I started to determine what happened. The positive lead popped off. I had tightened it. Then just left it and turned my attention to the other T. Later that night, I just started to think about the events and why the T just stopped and what could have broken in the steering. Then it hit me that I am thank full for the cable coming loose and killing the T. Just imaging what would happen if we had taken the corner and the steering had broken in mid turn. It would have not ended well. As it turns out the guardian angle saved our bacon. I still have not figured out the steering issue, that will be one evening this week. Don’t know if the T or my grandson has the angle. My bet is the grandson. He had so many health issues it is a miracle that he is here. God has a plan for him. I hope I am around to see what the plan is.
Last edited by Mustang1964s on Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TWrenn
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Re: Guardian Angel

Post by TWrenn » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:13 am

Wow. I'm glad you guys had that angel with you!

There's not much to the steering system. Whatever broke will show up pretty quick. Start underneath and work your way up.
Could be something hidden under the steering wheel in that gearbox, but I bet it's something down below.

Good luck. God blessed you!

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Re: Guardian Angel

Post by John iaccino » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:41 am

Check the keyway down where the pitman arm is attached.


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Mustang1964s
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Re: Guardian Angel

Post by Mustang1964s » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:46 am

Yes. I will inspect the steering from wheel to wheel.


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Re: Guardian Angel

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:02 am

Wow!!
Norm

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Re: Guardian Angel

Post by FreighTer Jim » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:09 am

Steve

I call that “ The Best Bad Luck “ 🍀

Happens to me all the time 👍


FJ

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Re: Guardian Angel

Post by RustyFords » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:33 am

My angel quit a while back, citing exhaustion. The new guy has already put in for a transfer.
1924 Touring


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Mustang1964s
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Re: Guardian Angel

Post by Mustang1964s » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:06 pm

Found the steering issue. Dodged a bullet.
I thought the steering columns were solid.
IMG_2503.jpg
Now to find a good straight column.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by George Hand » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:20 pm

Steve, Looks like it has been cracked for awhile, my guess would be excessive up & down steering column due to a week firewall at the column mounting. By the way I gather you have an early Mustang(s). I have a NY Rusty 6cyl. convertible warranty plate data date July 25th.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:35 pm

I honestly never would have thought that something like that could happen. I'm glad both you and your grandson are safe. This is a good reminder that these cars need to be thoroughly checked out and repaired before any serious driving can be done. I've had some big surprises what was damaged and worn out when restoring my own cars.

Stephen


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by John kuehn » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:49 pm

Surely the steering column isn’t a piece of tubing! Hopefully at least it was the standard solid
column. But I would never thought a steering column would twist in to like that. The ones I have found in junk yards and farm auctions were used as pry bars, chisels and no telling what but for a break like that I have to say WOW like Norm said!
That copper color sure looks like a piece of hard drawn copper tubing but surely not!

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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by RajoRacer » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:53 pm

Not a "FORD" steering shaft ! They are solid 3/4" steel - I just cut one to make a pry bar.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:53 pm

WOW! I'm shocked. I too always believed these were solid!

I also had a guardian angel watching over me. Driving my T down a hilly country road, I made a left hand turn. Proceeded about 1/2 mile and just after topping a nice hill, I realized I made a wrong turn. Seconds after pulling into a driveway to turn around, a Ford Explorer topped that hill at maybe 100 mph, all 4 wheels off the ground. Had I not pulled into that driveway, I'd now be one of your guardian angels myself, (I would hope so anyway). I can think of at least 3 other miraculously timed T failures that happened to others. (Henry? Is that you???) :shock:


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by George Hand » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:10 pm

Solid shaft? Maybe the early ones by the look of the throttle lever this car has a Vaporizer Carburetor which would make it from a later '26-7. The wood firewall tells me it has a aftermarket body & not as supported as it was when it would have been in the "Original" car with a metal firewall & column support. My guess old "Henry" always looking to save on the vehicle cost had hollow shafts in the late vehicles. George


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:02 pm

Non-original
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Humblej » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:34 pm

Looks like a copper tube to me too. Yikes! Wounder what else is lurking out of sight.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:25 pm

I think antique automobiles have guardian angels. Given everything else in my life, I am sure I do not have one.
But the model Ts? In one T, I sheared the pinion gear key in my driveway. I missed that Endurance Run, but I was okay with that when I thought of the places I was expecting to be that it could have broken. Another T race car broke the tie rod in my driveway, the day before the Endurance Run (different car, a few years earlier). That time I was able to replace it and make the run. That could have been a lot worse considering sudden steering loss at racer speeds. There have been many times I and others I know have had potentially dangerous breaks at the most perfect time and place.

I hope I didn't upset the angels by telling these tales.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Dan Hatch » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:33 am

Looks like pins holding that gas lever are copper wire too. Better check everything on that car before you go far.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Allan » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:45 am

On close inspection I think it was welded together at that point, and the weld has let go. It certainly is not a standard Ford shaft. The weld may ave been filed back into round, thereby further reducing its strength. I believe the copper colour is red primer. Under where the paint is buffed off it shows bare steel. The weld too is broken steel. It looks like the throttle arm is held in place with two cotter pins. All in all, I would be checking everything on that restoration. If that sort of work is done on steering components, I seriously distrust the standard of workmanship.
The angels have served you well.

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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by D Stroud » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:43 am

George H., as frugal as Henry was, he never made hollow steering shafts, which are not columns. A column is what the shafts are enclosed in.
We need more pictures of that shaft, there is something seriously wrong going on here. Clean everything up and take several more pictures. That looks very scary, hope nothing else was repaired that way. JMHO Dave
1925 mostly original coupe.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by D Stroud » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:22 am

As an afterthought, I have made most of my living for the past 40+ years as a welder. As experienced as I am, I would never weld two pieces of a steering shaft together on something that would be driven. I have seen many shafts, not just steering shafts, welded together with just a small bevel on each end, and then the weld was ground down to fit whatever, leaving very little "meat" to hold the joint. Several years ago, there were some posts on the old forum about some reproduction early '09 type front axle "yokes" that were made to weld on later axles to convert them to the earlier style. Apparently, the ends of the axle and the ends of the repro "yokes" were just beveld a bit and welded on. Then, a lot of the weld was ground off to look "original", leaving very little "meat" for strength, causing some accidents when the ends broke off. Anything like that should be beveled enough to get at least a 100% weld, anything less is just asking for trouble. As for the steering shaft that has been shown, beveling both ends to get a 100% weld would be much better, but I wouldn't trust it without some close inspection periodically. JMHO. Dave
1925 mostly original coupe.

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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by George House » Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:55 am

Steve,
You ever get south around Caldwell County TX ? If so, I’ll give you a good steering column...
One of the biggest problems with today’s youth is they’ve never known the fear of hearing leather being rapidly pulled through seven Wrangler belt loops.


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Mustang1964s
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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Mustang1964s » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:26 am

George, You're just a couple of hours south of me.
I will PM you to make arrangements.

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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by John Warren » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:33 am

Yes, there was an intervention, Thank God. Something similar happened to me and my friend. We had a desert buggy that we built at a young age. Out on a run in the hills, the steering drag link broke just after we had made a fast hard left turn next a deep ravine. We just had straightened out and slowed down and it broke, had it broke earlier....? Just doesn't hurt anything to believe. As many have said, NOT a ford steering shaft. Good luck and have fun with the kids and the car.
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Keep it simple and keep a good junk pile if you want to invent something :P


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Mustang1964s
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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Mustang1964s » Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:36 pm

I was able to pull the top half of the steering column out.
It does not look like it's hollow.
Still does not look like one piece of solid steel.
IMG_2504.jpg


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:09 pm

Somebody welded two pieces together... and very poorly. Why do people do stuff like this.......

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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by DanTreace » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:16 pm

That is what is seems, perhaps the builder wanted to shorten or lengthen a Ford steering post, and drilled part way into each piece. Placed a steel rod to act as a dowel, then welded up around the joint. Rather risky for a steering post shaft.
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Allan » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:00 am

Had the 'dowel' been of smaller diameter, had both sides of the shaft been deeply V'ed, had the weld been made deep enough to pick up the dowel too, then that break may not have happened. But, it is still a modified, welded steering component, which should be avoided. That it was done in such a manner raises alarm bells about the way other work may have been done.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by W Austen » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:22 am

Years ago when Ed Towe was putting together his Ford collection he purchased a 1909 from a guy that had been in the process of restoring it. The car looked good and Ed thought it was finished . Well one day Ed went to drive the car around a parking lot and he lost all steering. The previous owner couldn't find an original short 09 steering shaft so he took a later one, cut it , drilled and tapped one side , and machined and threaded the other side so it would screw together making it the right length . It unscrewed, Ed called the guy and was told "Oh I must of forgot to pin and weld it" Lew Rector fixed it.


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:16 am

I had something similar happen on my first tour with the San Diego Model T club. I had purchased a 1926 Roadster. I had trouble with the low band so, while I had it apart to replace the bands, I also installed Rocky Mountain brakes, because I live in the mountains. This work had been done before the tour. On the way home from the tour, twilight was just beginning and I wondered if I would need to turn on the lights to go the last 15 miles home. I had stopped for a red light and when it turned green, I pushed the low pedal and there was a BANG. I was in free wheeling. So I had to call someone to come get us. I didn't need to use the lights! I was able to push the car into a parking lot and came to get it the next day. If not for the auxiliary brakes, and if it had happened on a hill, it could have been a disaster.
It turned out that someone had welded the driveshaft about 10 inches in front of the pinion gear. And as in the above situation, only welded around the outside.
So this can apply to any shaft in the car perhaps even to the rear axles.
Norm


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Re: Guardian Angel Found the issue!

Post by Mikey1968 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:49 pm

We have 9 cars so many sit for awhile. One day I decided to take the 74 Bronco out. Our driveway is 200-300 feet of gravel. Got halfway when the Bronco no longer moved. Weird. I could rev the engine and speedo was showing a nice high speed but I wasn't moving. I looked at the driveshaft and it was spinning, alright. So I figured I shelled the rear gears. So, I figured I'd just lock the hubs and shift in the front wheels but the silly hubs were a bit rusty and sticking. So I got out again and looked under to see if I could see anything around the rear gears. Then, I noticed I could see my rear brake shoes on one side with the drum on the outside of it....the tire was jammed up against the fender (uncut rear fenders). Yup, the axle bearing and retaining ring had broken free on the axle and out came the axle, drum and wheel.

I just left it in the driveway until the new axles, bearing and retainers came in and jacked it up right where it stopped and repaired the one side, drove it back into the garage and swapped in the other set.

Imagine if this happened at speed! :shock: On a lesser note, what if the front hubs locked and I tried to drive it the short way back into the garage?

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