Could it be the Oil ?!

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Mark Osterman
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Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:20 am

For those of you who have followed and contributed to my previous post regarding brake chattering I have a very interesting development. I was poised to pull the brake band to inspect the Kevlar lining I installed three years ago to see if it might be glazed and causing chattering at the last few feet of breaking.

Well, last night I decided to drain the 5w 20 oil and install some straight 30w. The engine was still hot from previous driving and I started it up and gave it a test drive up my favorite test hills and 40 mph straightaways here in the city. And ... no chatter when breaking.

In fact the car ran smoother and was generally more responsive. It reminded me of the vintage anti-chatter ads I’ve seen. Could it be as easy as that. It’s been years since I used 30w oil.

This morning I decided to give it another test since it was cold and different conditions than last night. Same thing. I drove around the neighborhood for about 1/2 hour and no chatter when breaking .. better driving.

Could it be that simple? Not anxious to start the car this winter with 30w but will definitely park it facing the door. 😀


John kuehn
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by John kuehn » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:09 am

All I can say this post will cause some interesting replies! My thought would be that thin viscosity oils may be ‘to thin’ for T engines. Overall T engines are not held to really close tolerances as today’s engines are. Maybe some builders build them closer than factory tolerances. But the average T isn’t I wouldn’t think. MHO of course!



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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Adam » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:44 am

5w20 is too thin for the T unless it’s below 30 degrees outside.

You’re lucky you didn’t do any engine damage!

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by CudaMan » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:46 am

I follow Royce's recommendation and run 5W-30 year round with no ill effects. :)
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Russ T Fender » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:12 am

I run straight 30wt oil in all my T's. One chatters, the others don't. They all have Kevlar bands. It might be that heavier oil helps but there has to be more to it than that!


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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:28 am

I switched to 5w 20 because of the suggestions on the forum suggesting that it may have been more like the oil recommended in the model T era by Ford.

For years I ran straight 30w in my previous T. Was a little hard to hand crank in a Pennsylvania winter. In this T I had been using 10w 30 since the rebuild three years ago. Nevertheless ... the 30w oil made a big difference all around. Lets see how long I can feel the difference. I drive about 100 miles a week.


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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:49 am

I use 10w30 in mine with Kevlar bands and have not had a problem. I would think 5w20 would be to thin because at both cold and hot temperatures the oil is thinner than 10w30. Straight 30 would be fine also but need to warm up a bit more before driving because the thickness could slow the oil in passing through the gravity flow oil line.
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by twrenn » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:22 am

My former '20 chartered a lot..until I tightened the band just a wee bit. Didnt tighten much..I think just one revolution to the next dimple in the washer is all. Settled 80% of it out. I always use 10/30 oil.


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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:18 pm

I posted this new development on the model T Forum and had a couple people say that oil choice couldn’t fix the chatter (I guess other than masking it) and that it had to be either rear end or U-joint related.

So, now I have some people who have seen a difference between different types of bands or different types of oil removing the chatter. And I have others who say it must be something much more serious like the rivets on short shaft plate in the transmission, a bad U-joint, the rear axle or drive shaft bearings.

I’m very confused. What would I look for and test for in the rear or U-joint. I rebuilt all that stuff when I originally worked on the car three years ago. Or is it oil / band related and do I just drive it and keep a watchful eye?


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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:35 pm

Mark. Try the easiest least expensive thing first such as adjusting the band and or changing the oil. If this doesn't fix your problem, then look for other fixes which might be more expensive, or just live with the problem.
Norm

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by JP_noonan » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:07 pm

Mark, if all that violent shaking and shuddering in your video was fixed by just using a thicker oil, I'll be the first to admit i was wrong. :o Drive it and see if the problem returns, if it doesn't, don't worry about it. ;)
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Marty Bufalini » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:08 pm

At the recommendation of a long time and extremely knowledgable Model T collector, I use 20w50 with added transmission fluid. I've got kevlar bands. Haven't had any sort of issue in eight years.


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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Graybeard77 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:21 pm

I run 15-40 year round. No problems with the bands or engine.

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:26 pm

I know a guy that runs a bit of ATF in the oil because it stopped the wood bands from chattering. So to answer your question : yep.
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:45 pm

JP,

I went out again today and tried to make the brakes chatter and they just wouldn’t. I’m amazed. But also a little paranoid if there is something more important being masked by the higher viscosity oil. Like I said I was prepared to remove the bands to inspect them and then pull the back axle / driveshaft out to inspect that too. But everything sounds and works fine.

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by George N Lake Ozark » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:45 pm

!0/30 is great for running around town. If doing any long distance runs I'd use 15/40 or 20/50. I used 1/2qt ATF when I was using standard 10/30 and it did help with chattering. I've since switched over to full synthetic 20/50 Z-Rod by Amsoil or Walmart 20/50 4stroke motorcycle full syntec and no chattering issues. my car loves it for the last 4 years. Car is running turbo400 clutch and levies.

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:44 pm

I hope that's all it was Mark. :)
I also think you may have mistaken what some were saying about original oil. Being close to a straight 20 weight, which is nothing like 5W-20.
The later being much thinner. 5W-20 is a fairly recent requirement for newer engines with hydraulic chain tensioners, variable valve timing, etc. New stuff has zero tolerance to sludge.
My car has been running on 10W-30 here in NE Ohio for as long as I can remember. No starting problem when cold out (30s ?).


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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:35 pm

Here is one post that suggests 5w20 oil for climates under 95 degrees ... which is Rochester except for mid August. There were also other posts. I only used it for about a month here this late spring / early summer.
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by HalSched » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:26 pm

FWIW, my Fordor has an "A" crank with inserted main bearings and a drilled block with an engine driven oil pump. I can't maintain oil pressure with 10-30 oil. I have to run 30 to keep the pressure up. I also have an electric oil pump to get the pressure up to 40psi before I start the engine. I run 30 in all my Ts. (3)

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:47 am

Hal Just curious - how old was the 5W20. Oil loses its viscosity over time (heat, contamination for other lubricants, fuel etc), another reason to change it. So the arguments about 5W20 being to thin may be further substantiated if you hadn't changed it for some time.

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by HalSched » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:10 am

Hi Frank, The pump pushes the oil through a filter but I still change oil often. I own an auto repair business and pump oil from 55 drums . I special order 30 weight in quarts for the T's.

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Duey_C » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:37 am

Very interesting thread and I know you'll keep us up to date with your daily driver which is really cool. I like that. :)
I happen to have 15-30 in my 18 and he never bucks me but the 24 (5-30 or whatever tops him off) chatters the last couple feet but he's shot (worn out).
When you are first stopped with your foot on the pedal, your Runabout doesn't roll back and forth a small amount like the shot 24 does it?
Probly not. That tells all is well behind the transmission.
These tough little buggers are the same but all a bit different from each other. :)
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:14 am

Oops, sorry Hal I meant Mark O. Mark, Just curious - how old was the 5W20. Oil loses its viscosity over time (heat, contamination for other lubricants, fuel etc), another reason to change it. So the arguments about 5W20 being to thin may be further substantiated if you hadn't changed it for some time.

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:57 am

I switched to 5w 20 because of the suggestions on the forum suggesting that it may have been more like the oil recommended in the model T era by Ford.

I made the same mistake. That, combined with a prodigious leak, may have contributed to my rod failure. As Adam says, 5W-20 is NOT the same as the old 20 weight recommended by Ford. I see by Royce's website that he is now using 5W-30, not the 5W-20 he posted about in 2010. I'm currently using 10W-30, but I'm considering a switch to 10W-40 because that's what some very knowledgeable Model T folks are using.
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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:31 am

Steve, Well, thank goodness my engine is fine. No knocks or other strange sounds as far as I can tell. I only had the 5w 20 in there for a short time as a trial. What a mistake that was in hindsight. Right now I’m going to keep running with the SAE 30 since it evidently cured the chattering from what I see so far and is clearly better for the engine. But I’ll have to change as winter approaches and starting becomes harder with the higher viscosity.


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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:44 am

Duey, no, my drive train is in very good condition, very little slop and no roll back after breaking. This is why I was so resistant to the concept that the chatter was being caused by mechanical problems in the rear axle or the short shaft. I went through everything when I rebuilt the car because I knew how much regular driving / service it was going to get.

Frank, That 5w 20 oil was only in there a few weeks in late fall early summer as a test in my quest for stopping the chatter I was experiencing. I had not taken any long trips during that time .. just driving to work and around town. Learned my lesson though ....

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Re: Could it be the Oil ?!

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:52 am

For those who haven't seen it, here's a chart from the MTFCA engine book.

Oils Chart.jpg
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