23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

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Michael Davis
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23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Michael Davis » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:35 pm

My 23 center door while i am driving starts this loud high pitch squeal and locks up car stops. I wait a minute it turns over hard at first and then starts drives a couple of hundred feet starts the noise again and locks up again. what the heck can be going on. The noise comes from the engine or trans I cant tell Bad hearing. Any Ideas

Thanks
Mike
Last edited by Michael Davis on Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by KeithG » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:38 pm

Low on oil? Then locking up. When it cools down, it can be started again, to have it repeated again. Or maybe it has a bad bearing (s) that seize when hot. Just the first things that come to mind.

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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Dennis_Brown » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:26 pm

Is this a recently overhauled engine? If so were new aluminum pistols installed ? I have seen new pistols sieze up overhauled engines when there was not enough clearance when they got warm and kill the engine. They would cool in a very short time and the eengine could be started again. Otherwise would think about a bearing seizing. Can anyone tell me if a transmission bushing would cause this.

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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by HalSched » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:55 pm

I had a "new" engine act the same way. Long story short: I had the front cam beariing too tight. Lucky I didn't rev the engine because the cam was not hurt. Reaming the front cam insert cured the problem


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Norman Kling » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:05 am

Another thing it could be is the transmission triple gear bushings too tight on the pins. Has the engine and transmission been recently overhauled? If so it could be one of the previous causes. If it has not recently been overhauled, it could be running too hot and the pistons expanding in the cylinders. If the car was recently overhauled, drive it short distances and let it cool. Vary the speed most of the time going slowly, but occasionally speed it up for a few seconds to get the oil flowing. Then slow down again. Drive only about a mile at a time then cool off. Hopefully it will wear in and the problem will stop. If the problem persists, you might need to pull the engine and inspect it. You will find the bad parts because they will be blue from overheating of scored. Check all clearances by the book and correct if too tight.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Kerry » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 am

Driving in low? or direct?


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Loftfield » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:56 am

1912 engine seized, stopped, then could be turned a little later. Professional rebuild showed that the wrist pins on aluminium pistons had not been honed properly, causing the #2 pin to seize. Heat caused the aluminium pistons to begin to melt, pretty scary!


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Michael Davis » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:11 am

Ok thanks everyone. It is a newly rebuilt engine and transmission .

Mike

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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by aDave » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:20 am

Don't drive it any more...get the rebuilder to fix the issue.


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Norman Kling » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:57 am

I agree with Dave.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by tdump » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:13 am

For goodness sakes park it before you ruin the cylinders.
I bought a rebuilt engine,never ran,put it in my T, ran it 20 minutes total,and this was what number 3 and 4 looked like.
Scars the cylinders if ran to long. I buffed off the pistons, honed the cylinders and she is running fine now
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Art Wilson » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:19 am

There are several things that can be done to help prevent the pistons from seizing.

The aluminum pistons that are available today are not optimally designed and manufactured.
The areas where the skirts attach to the top part of the piston is comparatively large and lets a lot of heat to transfer to the skirts, which results in additional expansion of the skirt diameter.

This requires the cylinders to be bored with a .006 in piston skirt clearance just below the oil ring groove to accommodate the additional expansion. The piston skirt needs to be measured at the top edge just below the oil ring groove and at the bottom edge. Sometimes the pistons are tapered larger at the bottom. If so the clearance at the bottom edge can be somewhat tighter.

A modification I recommend is to smooth the sharp edges on the piston skirts at the top edge just under the oil ring groove and also at the bottom edge of the piston. The bottom edge of the cylinders is another place where a sharp edge may exist. That edge also should be smoothed. Doing that will allow oil to stay on the cylinder bore instead of being scraped off.

Adding dippers, x-grooving the rod bearings, and adding squirt holes like the Model A connecting rods have will help cool the piston and reduce expansion.

The piston pin can be easily distorted from tightening the connecting rod to the pin. Lightly honing the small end of the rod may help insure the hole is round. The clamping force at the pin does not need to be overly tight. The piston pin hole should be honed slightly larger to accommodate the uneven stresses applied by the rod to the piston pin.

Hope this helps


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by Michael Davis » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:03 am

Thank You

Mike


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Michael Davis » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:49 am

Thanks again everyone. I put the cat up on stands and running it about an hour at a time I have a box fan keeping it cool, So far so good. I also run it in and out of low range. No noise . I plan to do this for about 10 hours and take it out on the road ?

Mike


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by tdump » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:09 am

Eh,I wouldn't run it but long enough to get it in the dry where I could at least remove the cylinder head and look at the cylinders for scaring. The more you run it,the more damage you could be doing. Things could bind up and break in the transmission,crankshaft damage.If you are planning to sell it,don't mess it up any worse than it already is.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Dan McEachern » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:15 am

Triple gear bushing issues will cause a lack of neutral, not seize up an engine going down the road. I suspect you have issues with your piston ring end gap.

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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by TonyB » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:45 am

Many things can cause an engine to seize but most mechanics are familiar with the clearances to avoid such problems. We now know it’s a newly rebuilt motor so it probably has aluminum pistons and new rings. Most mechanics know how to gap the rings so that’s unlikely to be the problem.
Remember we don’t actually know we’re are guessing based on virtually nothing other than probability. Now there is one thing in a T motor which many, but not all, mechanics get wrong. It’s the triple gear bushing clearance.
Ford bless him, specified “two thou working clearance”. Most mechanics read this as 0.002” which it plain wrong. Working clearance is that clearance all round the bearing, which in modern terminology is 0.004”.
The odds are that given the work was done by a competent mechanic, this is the problem as it is unfamiliar to all except T experts.
The fact that it’s now running probably means the bushings are turning in the gears. Been there. Done that.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Altair » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:19 pm

There are so many stories about tight rebuilt engines, some have to be towed, some would not turn over because they were so stiff and some overheat and seize. Most of these engine rebuilds were done by "competent" engine rebuilders or a shop that has been in business for multi years and still these tight engines continue to come out of these shops. I am not an engine rebuilder but I have assembled many engines and never had one so tight that it had to be towed. I have to admit to one engine that seized when hot and it was a 60s V8 where the oil galleys were plugged it would run for a short time seize up cool down run again, I would have classified the engine as "rebuilt". It required the engine to be completely disassembled the galleys hogged out and reassembled. I am not a professional and I am sure a professional would have caught this.
It still boggles my mind that so many "rebuilt" engines are improperly assembled for their intended purpose. Any piston should slide in with a very light tap and when tightened on the crank the engine should be rotated to check for any binding, it should turn with little or no resistance. All the components should be rotated when assembled to confirm free movement.


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Michael Davis » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:39 pm

Thanks for all the replies

Mike


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:03 pm

Hi Mike
thanks for speaking with me yesterday about the car.
based on our conversation, and what has been posted here, I don't believe it's a piston or ring issue. If it's a continuous squeal, it's likely a rotating part like a main bearing, rod bearing, triple gear bushing as mentioned above, rather than a reciprocating part like a piston, wrist pin, or rings. The noise would change as the piston or ring changed speed and direction.

perhaps draining the oil, dropping the rod inspection cover, and looking for evidence of heat at the mains and rods ?


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by tdump » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:24 pm

Well,whatever it is,if it is making noise that long,it is not healthy for the engine to continue to run untill the issues are looked into,just think of it as a cash regisiter clanging and banging and your wallet getting lighter and your face drooping as you watch your money go away..

I have rebuilt alot of small engines over the years and been involved with some car engines. I have never understood putting a engine together so dang tight it's starter can't turn it over. That just seems to me like it is going to create premature wear on parts.I know the factory ran in the engines on a electric machine using the rear wheels. They had a certain,proven method of running in a engine. We as commoners don't have that tool.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:41 pm

All of this speculation is moot. If the engine is a fresh rebuild, every second this engine is run without the builder's direct involvement is a complete disservice to him and will make his warrantee work all the more extensive the longer this problem is allowed to go unchecked/remedied.

A lesser mechanic might even wash his hands of it once he finds out it was allowed to continually run with an obvious problem. A fresh engine should NOT make this kind of noise, or lock up. There is clearly a fault. To continue to run this car is willful abuse.

Don't pick up a wrench, pick up a phone; call the builder and let him diagnose and solve it.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by tdump » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:48 pm

I would say if the rebuilder happens to have been reading this thread ,the warrenty may allready be out the window like last weeks dish water.Repeated warnings of don't run it,and running it anyway,if I was the rebuilder,I would say, "that will be labor and parts to repair it sir". If you bought a new car,would you run it until it died,,then keep running it,or get it fixed? If you willing run something, after the check engine light comes on or something they can will void the warrenty on new stuff anyway.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Michael Davis » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:42 pm

The builder is long dead

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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:52 pm

Sorry about the issues with the engine. Hope you get it sorted out, there is good information posted above.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Bill Robinson » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:28 pm

My story: On the Not For Sissies Tour I let a friend drive my 26 RPU for a day. The truck had a freshly rebuilt transmission but I thought I had broken it in. At the end I’d the days ride my friend was waiting at my trailer with some bad news. He said “listen”, cranked it and there was a loud squeal. All Model T guys who walked by blamed a seizes triple gear bushing. Me too.
When I got home and cranked it up and started troubleshooting and for some reason I thought about tightening the bolts on manifolds and guess what....yep...the noise went away and has not come back.


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Kerry » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:01 pm

Don't waste time looking at the crank, Babbitt will not give you a high pitch squeal but brass/bronze will, my money is on it's going to be a transmission problem'


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:31 pm

Bummer on the builder.

Kerry, Tony B and others are probably right. By now the bushings are probably looser in the gears than the pins.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Altair » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:05 pm

Bill Robinson wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:28 pm
My story: On the Not For Sissies Tour I let a friend drive my 26 RPU for a day. The truck had a freshly rebuilt transmission but I thought I had broken it in. At the end I’d the days ride my friend was waiting at my trailer with some bad news. He said “listen”, cranked it and there was a loud squeal. All Model T guys who walked by blamed a seizes triple gear bushing. Me too.
When I got home and cranked it up and started troubleshooting and for some reason I thought about tightening the bolts on manifolds and guess what....yep...the noise went away and has not come back.
How can a triple gear bushing squeal when the transmission is in neutral? They are turning as a unit not turning on the bushings.


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Kerry » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:52 pm

David,
the only time that triple gears are not turning is in direct drive/top gear and rotating as one mass to drive.


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:37 pm

The key to whether it is the transmission bushings or not is that nothing (with one significant exception?) in the transmission rotates against any other part or bushing if the car is driven in high gear! In high gear, the entire transmission rotates as a single unit. It could be possible for a damaged band lining to allow the metal band to squeal against the drum, or a drum itself to rub against the pan? Although the brake drum which is closest to the pan would not move against the pan when the car was stopped with the engine running. The same holds true for the output (originally Babbitt) shaft bearing. It doesn't turn if the car is stopped.
Any changes in pitch, volume, or tone and when, could be a clue to the source. Try to think back about it. It would be best to not run it anymore if practical until the cause is found at least, and hopefully fixed.
If real damage has not yet occurred? Being a was fresh engine having sat for many years, it could still be an easy refresh job.


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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Kerry » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:01 am

Another possibility if a high pitch bronze bush squeal and stopping the engine is the rear cam bush, usually replaced with a bronze bush in engine rebuilds, I've even have a cam in stock with all 3 bearings being bronze.

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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again??? For sale

Post by Bill Robinson » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:17 am

Altair- since you posted a “quote” of my post, it is clear that you did not understand the end result of the squealing/chirping of my 26 RPU. IT TURNED OUT not to be triple gear noise as everyone predicted. Instead the problem was stated as being a leaky exhaust manifold gasket.
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Re: 23 Center door engine locks up and then starts again???

Post by tdump » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:31 am

In a case like this,it pays to explore until the issue is found!
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