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Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:21 pm
by NorthSouth
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Hello fellow Model T-ers,
As many of you know, I am hosting the Golden Gate and Alexander Valley Tours June 3rd thru June 10th.

I would like to include a one mile loop segment out over the Golden Gate and Pacific Ocean but am uncertain as to whether or not an 18% grade is too steep for a Model T to descend down. This thin stretch of asphalt road has been recently repaved and is in perfect condition. Only parts of it have an 18% grade. However, it is only one car wide (a one-way single lane) with zero shoulder on either side. Our tour would be the only traffic here on this Monday afternoon. You can view this beautifully spectacular, yet ominous, stretch on Youtube. Here's the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjRCHcmmfos

What do you guys think? Should I include it on my 'day one' Marin Headlands tour or avoid it altogether and choose a flatter way?

I would appreciate your advice.
By the way; We still have 2 spots available on these tours.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:40 pm
by TonyB
I agree that it’s marginal. In setting up a tour you want it to be safe. For example, I try to limit left hand turns on busy roads. Sometimes a three rights and a few extra miles is worth the peace of mind.
Best try it in a T prior to publishing any route. How would you feel if there were a fatal accident after you had questioned the route. Strongly suggest you give it a miss.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:07 pm
by lesvonnordheim
I would not do it......the Brakes very between model T's and drivers. Have just one accident on the hill and some one gets hurt bad..... may forever spoil your hobby and others.

Is this 18% grade too steep for a Model T to descend down?

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:29 am
by NorthSouth
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Is this 18% grade too steep for a Model T to descend down?

Your comments against including this segment on the tour make sense. I sort of knew this already. I just hate to have everyone miss such a spectacularly
beautiful stretch of road. Nevertheless, as you all have confirmed, and for various reasons, it would be too risky (perhaps even stupid) to include an 18% one-way grade, with no shoulders, on a Model T tour. C'est la vie.
Thank you very much for your advice.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:49 am
by Aussie16
My opinion seems to differ. Most folk who attend tours have their cars set up to tour, ie rocky mountain brakes or disks, and they know how to drive safely according to the descent and road conditions. The scenary looks spectacular in the video and I think tour participants who have travelled a long way would really enjoy it. I assume tour safety checks for the vehicles, so no unroadworthy cars would be allowed to participate. I say go for it and the tour participants will love it. I did a cycling tour across the bridge and down hill to that delightful little village at the bottom where we enjoyed authentic Italian pizza. It was a memorable day. Include it I say. Wish I could come and be part of it.
here is a link to some of the steepest and roughest Model T driving I have done. All cars were standard Model T and did it easy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUD1MrExJoc

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:34 pm
by Hal
I'm no safety nut or even REAL paranoid.....But having said that, the very fact you posted this on here would be GREAT ammunition for some ambulance chasing lawyer if something were to happen.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:41 pm
by walber
I'd never do it with stock brakes but then I've always had auxiliary brakes on my cars. If I were able to attend your tour I would hate to miss this. Would it be practical to have two choices for that section of the tour so folks with good brakes and confidence could enjoy that road and those who prefer easier routes could have their way too. That would be a stunning route in a car that had good brakes and steering.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:49 pm
by Dan McEachern
Looks like there is an alternative route to Ft. Cronkite. Can you bypass the steepest part or simply make it an optional route for those that want to go that way? For serious touring folks, its just another day in a Model T.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:40 am
by HalSched
This beautiful Touring hit neutral when shifting an aux transmission when climbing a fairly sreep grade. The car did not have aux. brakes and overturned as it went off the highway near the bottom of the hill at high speed. The occupants were hurt.

Model T Accident 21949.jpg

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:29 pm
by walber
I don't know the person driving or the owner of the car but that touring accident was the result of two critical failures that I would put on the owner/driver. He/they may be some of the finest people in the world but -

Failure 1 - In my mind it is criminal to drive a T with an auxialary transmission without having fully functional wheel brakes.

Failure 2 - Don't shift a non synchro transmission on a hill! Shift before you get there. Fundamental driving technique that helps you stay out of the hospital or morgue.

OK - Flame me now but people need to learn how to prepare and drive their cars before they hurt or kill themselves or others.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:51 pm
by twrenn
I would use the rhyme that is used in
the food service industry about questionable food..."If in doubt...throw it out".
Clearly you have a reasonable doubt..so I would "throw it out" of the tour, or at least have an alternative route to get people to the same destination if THEY have any doubt. Takes the liability off the tour organizers, maybe.

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 6:35 pm
by YellowTRacer
Old school. You drive down a hill in the same gear that you would drive up it. And continually press hard on the low pedal so no band slippage! Problem solved!

Ed aka #4

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 7:14 pm
by HalSched
Walber....Right On!

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 9:27 pm
by Original Smith
We have people in this club, and others too, who shouldn't own a Model T! Accidents do happen, but that shouldn't be because you don't know how to shift an auxillary transmission. To do so on a hill is asking for trouble. I used to run a Warford, and could shift it just about anywhere, but then, I knew how to do it. I finally got rid of it, because it was a pain in the ass!

Re: Is this 18% game to steep fore a Model T to descent down?

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:45 am
by Hal
Not Model T, but Model A.......I climbed and therefore descended Brasstown Bald in Northern GA in my stock Model A, much to the chagrin of those behind me (in both directions). There were many places going up that I had to get down into 1st gear, so going back down, I never left 1st gear. I'd rather be in first gear wishing I was in second than be in second gear wishing I was in first, and I sure as "L" wasn't going to downshift going down that hill.

I even downshift an automatic transmission when descending hills in the mountains. Makes it a lot easier on the brakes to just go downhill in a lower gear. My F-150 has a Tow/Haul button. That will downshift your transmission the first time you hit the brakes and will hold it in that lower gear until you hit the gas again. Very handy function.......and I'm not one for many bells and whistles, but I sure like that one.