26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

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26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Fri May 31, 2019 5:10 pm

Hi, My name is Scott. I am not a model T guy...yet.

I am a race car crew chief for a 4 car NHRA drag racing team and have a good mechanical aptitude, but this thing is way before my time!! LOL

The boss owns 3 Model T's which he has decided I am in charge of, and must learn to drive and work on them.

So the first one seems to have a transmission problem. Maybe it is an adjustment related, or could just be operator error.

It is a 26T and was driven into the shop about 3 years ago. Now I try to move it around by pushing, and it feels like it is in gear, and occasionally the motor turns over as it moves. I have tried multiple pedal/level combinations but no help.

The car is currently up on stands. if I hold one wheel and try to turn the other, it is bound up. I have the cover plate off the transmission and it appears all three of the bands are released.

My current train of thought is to get the car into a "neutral" state before trying to start it.

The "popping"/banging" noise happened last time it was driven and backed up a steep ramp into the showroom (that was the last time it was moved - 3 years ago). I don't see any physical damage in the transmission.

So, anyone with recommendations as to how to find "neutral" if possible, or what kind of problem would cause the "pop/bang", please chime it!

Thanks in advance,
Scott

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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by perry kete » Fri May 31, 2019 5:16 pm

Double check to make sure you have the parking brake in neutral which is centered and not all the way back or forward. If it's all the way back your applying the brake, if it's forward your in gear. The popping sound my be backfire because you haven't set the timing properly.
1922 Coupe & 1927 Touring


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by John kuehn » Fri May 31, 2019 7:05 pm

Hi Scott.
To make sure you have a good neutral place the hand parking brake in neutral position which is straight up. Don’t start the car but place the car on level ground.
With the hand brake in straight up position that should be neutral if the linkage and transmission bands are in proper adjustment.
Since you have the brake lever in straight up position you should be able to turn the hand crank fairly easy and the car not moving forward.

If the car moves forward you don’t have a good neutral. You should be able to spin the engine fairly easy. If you can’t turn the engine over and the car moves forward something is out of adjustment.
When hand cranking a T it’s best to pull back the hand brake to keep the car from creeping forward. They will usually creep when they are cold but after a warm up it should be very little.
Always remember T’s don’t have a positive modern braking system. Learn to drive as if you don’t have brakes and use your engine speed to slow down and use the transmission brake to come to a stop along with using the your clutch pedal in neutral so you don’t stall and kill the engine.
Hope this helps.

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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Mark Nunn » Fri May 31, 2019 7:20 pm

Popping and banging in the drivetrain could indicate a bad u-joint and/or front driveshaft bushing. Remove the bottom plug at the front of the torque tube. It's the one opposite the small grease cup. Push on the driveshaft. If it moves up and down, the bushing is bad and needs replacement. You may also be able to see if the u-joint is worn.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Jeff Hood » Fri May 31, 2019 9:07 pm

Since you have the car on stands, release the handbrake and grab each rear wheel and try to move it in and out. There should be very very little movement, like none. There are babbit thrust washers in the rear end that crumble and fall out of place allowing the in-out movement. If you have excessive movement, you have found the source of the popping noise when backing up the ramp. The pinion gear is skipping teeth on the ring gear. Not a good situation, and it also means you have very sketchy braking unless there are auxiliary external band brakes on the rear wheels. Overhaul the rear end and install new bronze thrust washers.

You should be able to find neutral as advised above. The Model T transmission doesn't really have a neutral. It is basically just like a two speed automatic transmission. The difference being that the bands and clutches are manually applied by foot pedal instead of by hydraulic pressure on a piston or servo. When the handbrake is fully forward and the left (clutch) pedal is up a spring applies the clutch pack and the transmission is in high or direct drive. When the pedal is pushed about halfway down, the spring is compressed releasing the clutch pack but not not yet applying the low band. Pushing the pedal all the way down applies the low band stopping the low drum and forcing the transmission to drive through the planetary gearset for low gear. Pulling the parking brake handle back partway brings a cam up and holds the left pedal in the halfway (neutral) position while pulling it back all the way holds it in neutral and also applies the parking brake.

The center pedal is reverse. With the handbrake halfway (neutral and brake released) step on the center pedal to move in reverse.

The right pedal is the brake. It applies a band on the last drum in the transmission stopping the driveshaft and of course the wheels through the rear end. This is where the problem arises if the thrust washers are bad. The driveshaft and pinion gear may stop, but the wheels, axles, and ring gear may keep going while making a horrible popping noise similar to what you may have heard while backing up the ramp.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Norman Kling » Fri May 31, 2019 9:50 pm

If the car was parked for 3 years with the parking brake lever back in the brake position, your oil might be thick and the clutch disks tight. Normally a T is a bit hard to push when in "neutral" because there is some drag on the multiple disk clutch. The clutch could need adjustment. It's rather hard to diagnose your problem from afar. It would be easier if you could get it started.
As for the popping when it was run, it sounds to me that you have an ignition or carborator problem.
If you need to move it without starting the engine, you could make it move easier by removing the spark plugs.
Norm


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Altair » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:50 am

Even with all the adjustments correct and the levers and pedals in the correct position the clutch discs could still be stuck. There are multiple methods to overcome this condition. I experienced this condition and I towed the car for about a mile with the pedal in the neutral position before it let go. An alternate method is to raise the rear end start the engine and abruptly apply the brakes. I personally prefer the towing method, I made a tow bar that attached to the front axle. I now park the car with the brake lever in the neutral position, leaving it forward for long periods of time can cause the clutch discs to (bond) together.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by James Mike Rogers » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:38 am

Knowing where you are located would help. Someone local might be able to come by your shop and educate you on the proper operation of the T.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by John kuehn » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:49 pm

If the T was driven into the shop 3 years ago and parked it must have been in driving condition then.
As suggested finding a club or someone familiar with Model T’s can help.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:13 am

Thanks for the replies over the weekend! Lots to look at now.
The "pop/bang" is definitely not ignition, it is a mechanical noise - like a gear jumping.
I have suspicions the rear end may be the problem. I currently have the brakes off the car awaiting now bushings for actuator rods, so i know they are not hanging up.
The car is located in Raceland LA, outside of New Orleans. (southwest - or as they say around here "down the bayou")
I have a call into the New Orleans model A club (didn't find a T club) to see if they have members near me.
I have been trying to follow internet instructions for adjusting "neutral", and think I am close. The car still does not push without binding, which is one of the reasons I am leaning toward a rear end issue.

Thanks!
Scott
P.S. - feel free to call and walk me through things! LOL (217)369-7665


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:48 am

One thing you can try is this. With the rear end jacked up, if you can get the engine started, in high gear, pull the parking lever into the neutral position and then push the low pedal release and push the reverse pedal release and then the brake pedal. This combination should free the clutch disks. Note, however, if your wheels are off the car or even when the wheels are on with them jacked up, they will still turn because of the normal drag on the multiple disk clutch.
Norm


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Jeff Hood » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:59 pm

Even a well set-up car doesn't push around easily. There is a lot of drag in the system. When you pull the hand brake lever back to the upright position, you should see the clutch pedal lower to the halfway down position. This is "so-called" neutral where the direct clutch pack is released and the low band is not yet applied. Some have reported stuck clutches and you may be experiencing this too if the car has been sitting for three years with the brake lever released (forward) however if the brake lever was in the neutral or back (brake set) position stuck clutches aren't very likely. When you get the brakes back on, if you set the parking brakes (lever all the way back, wheels locked) and can turn the engine over by the hand crank or starter, then you do not have stuck clutches or transmission problems.

Before you even put the brakes back on though, grab the axles and try to move them in and out. Like I said in my post above, if there is any movement on either side over a few thousandths, you have a thrust washer problem. I'm guessing you will be surprised by finding nearly a quarter inch. Thrust washers are about 3/16" thick, and if one disintegrated (common) that is enough clearance for gear teeth to skip. Model T ring and pinion teeth are less than 1/2 inch high and are straight, so only one tooth fully in contact at a time, and only about 5/16" contact depth. The noise was gear teeth skipping under extreme load backing up the ramp.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:46 pm

Thanks again for the insights!

Today I pulled the rear end out of the car to give it a good cleaning, check clearances, u-joint maintenance, and brake cam bushings, so it is not ready to be started right now. However, from reading the posts, I feel the symptoms are leaning toward the clutchs being tight/stuck preventing me from moving the car.

Meanwhile, new fuel line seals arrived today for the 1924 TT. The truck is one of the newer additions to the collection here at the shop. It showed up about 8 months ago and seems to be the closest to getting running. The fuel had gone bad and was leaking at the tank and at the carb. So I guess I will be working on it this week as well.

The 1922 four seater has never been moved or started in the 5 years since I have been here. The fuel tank is full of bad gas and rust. I guess I will have to join the apparent long list of people waiting for the re-pop oval fuel tanks!

Thanks again for the valuable information on this site!

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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Ruxstel24 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:49 pm

I have a fairly decent oval tank.... ;)

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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by RustyFords » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:24 pm

I've read this whole thread out of curiousity mainly.

After 2 and a half years of messing around with my Model T, I still find these cars (especially the transmission) to be bizarre and utterly fascinating. They're so impractical is so many ways. I mean, really, a car with no true neutral?!! What in the sam hill?! A car with three pedals...none of which is an accelerator?! Was someone smoking wacky tabacky in the Piquette design room?!!

It really is weird. But that's a big part of what gives them their charm and why I'm so smitten with them and will probably never sell my 24 Touring.
1924 Touring


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:54 pm

Don

I hear what you're saying, but when these things came out, planetary gearing was the rage and when you consider the lack of cars, or newness of the genre, none or few of the paradigms we know today had been developed yet. Cars then were not standardized on anything, much less what the pedals did, where they were placed, or in what order.

If you ever get the chance to go to a show with EARLY cars, you will be amazed at the ideas (some good, some bad) that did or did not make their way to the modern era. Sadly, these cars are not usually to be found at today's car shows.

I plan to keep my cars until I croak, too.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Jeff Hood » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:19 am

Since you've got it out of the car, take the driveshaft assembly off. The whole tube, driveshaft, and pinion gear come off as one assembly. Then get a big screwdriver or prybar and see if the differential and ring gear move back and forth. You may as well fix it now while it is out of the car.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:18 pm

With the rear end out of the car, I have removed the torque tube/driveshaft assembly and split the case.

One side of the case had 2 steel washers with a brass thrust washer. The other side had the 2 steel washers, but no sign of any brass washers. So in what I have read in the posts from everyone, I am guessing I have found the "pop/bang" issue. Also there is wear in the case. Apparently the pinion gear has actually moved over enough to grind on one side of the case.

At least one of the torque tube bolts was too long, bent, and hitting (ground down on 1 side) on something on the differential. The other bolts varied in length, with 2 being short enough only 1-2 threads were engaged. All 6 of the holes for the long torque tube bolts in the differential have heilicoil repairs installed. To me it indicates this has been a problem area in the past.

One axle appears to have had a bad bearing at one time. The current bearing looks and rolls ok, but the axle is worn about .040 on the outer end.

Thanks again for the responses! This is definitely a steep learning curve for me.

I tried telling the boss, I would be more comfortable installing a 12-bolt rear end, MV5 trans, and LS motor in the chassis rather than try to learn this 100yr old technology! LOL

Scott


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:21 pm

Ruxstel24 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:49 pm
I have a fairly decent oval tank.... ;)
We may be interested. I am going to attempt cutting the tank open, cleaning out the rust and weld it back together.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:26 pm

Mark Nunn wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:20 pm
Popping and banging in the drivetrain could indicate a bad u-joint and/or front driveshaft bushing. Remove the bottom plug at the front of the torque tube. It's the one opposite the small grease cup. Push on the driveshaft. If it moves up and down, the bushing is bad and needs replacement. You may also be able to see if the u-joint is worn.
Thank you Mark. I removed the u-joint. The yoke does move up and down on the pin, but there is no torsional "slop". I will double check the condition of the bushing once I get everything cleaned up.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:27 pm

James Mike Rogers wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:38 am
Knowing where you are located would help. Someone local might be able to come by your shop and educate you on the proper operation of the T.
South of New Orleans! Come on down for some crawfish! :)


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:29 pm

Jeff Hood wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:59 pm
Even a well set-up car doesn't push around easily. There is a lot of drag in the system. When you pull the hand brake lever back to the upright position, you should see the clutch pedal lower to the halfway down position. This is "so-called" neutral where the direct clutch pack is released and the low band is not yet applied. Some have reported stuck clutches and you may be experiencing this too if the car has been sitting for three years with the brake lever released (forward) however if the brake lever was in the neutral or back (brake set) position stuck clutches aren't very likely. When you get the brakes back on, if you set the parking brakes (lever all the way back, wheels locked) and can turn the engine over by the hand crank or starter, then you do not have stuck clutches or transmission problems.

Before you even put the brakes back on though, grab the axles and try to move them in and out. Like I said in my post above, if there is any movement on either side over a few thousandths, you have a thrust washer problem. I'm guessing you will be surprised by finding nearly a quarter inch. Thrust washers are about 3/16" thick, and if one disintegrated (common) that is enough clearance for gear teeth to skip. Model T ring and pinion teeth are less than 1/2 inch high and are straight, so only one tooth fully in contact at a time, and only about 5/16" contact depth. The noise was gear teeth skipping under extreme load backing up the ramp.

I am pretty sure we have a winner right here! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!!!


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Dan McEachern » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm

Be aware the driveshaft bolts are not a standard thread size, so order some new ones from one of the T parts houses.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Jeff Hood » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:15 am

The pinion bearing spool and torque tube are mounted to the housing with studs on earlier models and bolts on later 22-27 cars. As Dan said, they are an unusual size and thread that is NOT in use today (I can't remember the size right now.) They are special, but available from vendors or swap meets, HOWEVER, you stated that all six holes had been "heli-coiled." I assume that is because somebody made previous repairs and didn't know, or couldn't find the correct size and thought that the holes were bad. Now you are going to have to use whatever size they were heli-coiled to, or find new housings. I doubt that there are heli-coils available in the odd size, and the housings have already been tapped for the current ones.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:29 pm

Dan McEachern wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm
Be aware the driveshaft bolts are not a standard thread size, so order some new ones from one of the T parts houses.
Jeff Hood wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:15 am
The pinion bearing spool and torque tube are mounted to the housing with studs on earlier models and bolts on later 22-27 cars. As Dan said, they are an unusual size and thread that is NOT in use today (I can't remember the size right now.) They are special, but available from vendors or swap meets, HOWEVER, you stated that all six holes had been "heli-coiled." I assume that is because somebody made previous repairs and didn't know, or couldn't find the correct size and thought that the holes were bad. Now you are going to have to use whatever size they were heli-coiled to, or find new housings. I doubt that there are heli-coils available in the odd size, and the housings have already been tapped for the current ones.
This would help explain why all 6 bolts look like they were "stripped" at the end. I am guessing I have original bolts forced into standard Helicoils.

I have the axles and differential on a stand. The axle don't seem to pull out of the differential easily. Is there a retainer clip I am missing???

P.S. - I have not yet figured out the knack for posting pictures on the forum, or I would be giving visual aids! LOL


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by FordFool » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:39 pm

Funny, I didn’t see a reply that mentioned getting the model T Ford club of America repair book on rear ends. It will give you all the information and specifications you need to do a rebuild or repair on your rear end. You can order them through the model T Ford club of America club or any of the vendors. I believe I would try that before going any further.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by John kuehn » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:07 pm

Good advice! Using the Model T Ford service manual for repairs along with the MTFCA manuals for different aspects of the car can really help. Good advice on the forum also.
If you are going to be in charge of some Model T’s having the T manuals at hand can save you grief and time.
With the manuals you will know what NOT to do and that’s important with 100 year old technology.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Jeff Hood » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:06 pm

Yes, get the books! The differential side gears are pressed onto the ends of the axles and retained with a "C" clip. You have to take the differential apart and take the axles out from the inside.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Altair » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:11 pm

The differential can go in backwards if you don't pay attention to the assembly, don't ask me how I know.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bill Crosby » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:27 pm

Scott, It sounds to me that you might have a broken 3317 transmission driven gear. I have had 2 customers with the same problem this year. If you message me I can talk you through the process to see If that Is the problem. Bill


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:12 pm

FordFool wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:39 pm
Funny, I didn’t see a reply that mentioned getting the model T Ford club of America repair book on rear ends. It will give you all the information and specifications you need to do a rebuild or repair on your rear end. You can order them through the model T Ford club of America club or any of the vendors. I believe I would try that before going any further.
Thank you Don,

That jogged a memory, and I was able to locate the transmission and front/rear axle books from the boss's museum library!

Jeff, thanks - none of the parts catalog pictures seemed to show a c-clip, but I had my suspicions.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by jab35 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:37 pm

Scott: FWIW, I recently removed some good gears from bad Ford axles and pressed them on new Snyder's axles. It took on the order of 1500 lbs on one gear and 2700 pounds on the other to remove and install the gears. There should be approximately 0.001" interference between the axle diameter and gear bore. all the best, jb


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:43 pm

jab35 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:37 pm
Scott: FWIW, I recently removed some good gears from bad Ford axles and pressed them on new Snyder's axles. It took on the order of 1500 lbs on one gear and 2700 pounds on the other to remove and install the gears. There should be approximately 0.001" interference between the axle diameter and gear bore. all the best, jb
thank you for the heads up.
I have a press here in the race shop, but i don't think it is tall enough to fit the axle in.

Hopefully I can chill the axle and warm the gear to get enough clearance to install the gear.


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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Bptracing » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:48 pm

Ok - next issue. It looks like the thrust washers for the rear end are supposed to have shallow pins to keep the steels in place. There seems to be only 1 pin still intact in the entire assembly! All others are worn flush. Anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy way to deal with it?

Scott


Scott_Conger
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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:04 pm

Beware that the axle gears must first be pushed ON far enough to remove the two semi-circular retaining clips before being pushed OFF
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


Jerry VanOoteghem
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Re: 26T - no neutral? can't push. loud popping when driving

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:25 pm

Bptracing wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:48 pm
Ok - next issue. It looks like the thrust washers for the rear end are supposed to have shallow pins to keep the steels in place. There seems to be only 1 pin still intact in the entire assembly! All others are worn flush. Anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy way to deal with it?

Scott

Drill & tap holes in the sheared off pins, then pull them out with a slide hammer. Buy & install new pins.

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