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Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:47 pm
by dobro1956
Let me say this first. My wife and I are not hurt. My wife is sore from the crash but seems OK. This week while on tour, I messed up. While climbing a hill in Warford 3 (overdrive) I let my speed get too low and missed a shift into Warford 2. The Rockies did not hold in reverse (I knew that they do not work in reverse) But because I was also in Warford neutral the Ford brake does not work either. I could not get the Warford (new KC Warford) back in gear, maybe because I had already started to roll back ???. But in the few seconds of trying to get it back in gear and also I saw another T behind me and turning to miss it. I lost my window of time to pull the hand brake. In aprox 5 to 7 seconds from the missed shift I was already headed down a steep embankment in a hard turn. then sliding sideways down the embankment and flipping over at the bottom. The person behind me said the whole event happened in seconds. Im not saying Im the best T driver in the world, but I have years of experience behind the wheel of a T. So even an experienced driver can screw up. We were very lucky the T landed in the trees or it would have flipped all the way over. So everyone please stay aware of what can happen when out driving....
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Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:59 pm
by Dallas Landers
Very glad nobody was injured. Thanks for posting this. Hanks post kept me ready on a recent drive. Going up a steep hill, the Muncie popped out of gear. I was on the E brake in 2 seconds which saved me. His recent post had me ready. Maybe yours will do the same. I hope the T is an easy fix.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:41 pm
by Tim Williams
Wow, I am so glad you and your wife were not hurt. Thankyou so much for the post and reminding us all to remember the limitations to T's.
Please someone correct me if I am wrong but the way the New Kc warfords are built, shouldn't they pop back into gear easier?

Tim.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:51 pm
by sweet23
Glad everyone is ok, some times events and timing stack up, and there is little that can be done to change course.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:41 pm
by ThreePedalTapDancer
Fix it and get back on the road. Most long term T drivers have close calls or horror stories to tell. The ones that get back in the saddle have a story we all can learn from.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:55 pm
by Hap_Tucker
Donnie,

I'm so glad you and your wife are OK. I'm so sorry this happened to you. And thank you for sharing to remind all of us of some of the limitations of the T. Take care of yourself and your better half.

Tim,

The advertisement in the Sep-Oct 2020 "The Vintage Ford" page 55 says:
KC Warford Sep-Oct 2020 The Vintage Ford
KC Warford Sep-Oct 2020 The Vintage Ford
Note I've always read it as "No more missed shifts!" 3rd line down and "You just can't get this gearbox stuck between gears!" 7th line down. But it was not until reading it again tonight that I noticed it also says on the 5th line "Four additional forward speeds and two reverse speeds are added and OFFER A TRUE NEUTRAL" (emphasis - all caps -- added by me so you don't miss that like I have.) Note that the 4th line starts off "The original Warford transmission ....." So I don't know for sure if they are saying the new KC Warford also has a true neutral or if they are referring to the original Warford.

I know it is a great accessory and it is on my "wish list" -- but it appears it got into neutral for Donnie. Hopefully Donnie when he is feeling better or someone else with a KC Warford or even Layne Machine Works will clarify that for us. And perhaps there is a chance something failed or got out of adjustment? In theory a Ruckstell axle when properly functioning & assembled cannot get stuck in neutral. You find out it isn't functioning properly when it does go into neutral -- see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/11 ... 1266015983 .

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:25 pm
by Wayne Sheldon
It is like I told my wife about fifteen years ago when she hit a deer. (Nobody loves deer and thinks they are beautiful more than my wife!) And like Daryl B (above) said, sometimes the timing and placements just work out wrong. I don't care who you are, or how good you really may be, ANYBODY can have it all go wrong in an instant, almost anywhere, almost any time, and wind up in an accident. Hopefully, and thankfully this time, nobody is seriously hurt.
Reminders such as this are always helpful. ALL of us need to be reminded occasionally. So thank you for this.

You could drop the car into the ocean for all I care, it is you and your better half that are important. The car can be replaced.
Fortunately, the car does not look too badly damaged. I am sure you can fix it up just fine, if you choose to. Or you could pass it along to someone else to repair (if the insurance company isn't too difficult?). I am sure a lot of things are tweaked more than they appear at the first glance (always that way!), and a few things bent or broken enough to need to be replaced. But it should be a lot easier than so many of the rust bucket projects I have seen in recent years.

Let it hurt for a couple days (it WILL!). Then get better soon!

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:36 pm
by Henry K. Lee
Donnie so glad you and the bride are fine! Boy can I relate!

Humbled Hank

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:43 pm
by Steve Jelf
It's a lucky thing those small trees were on hand to provide a cushion. It's this kind of event that makes me intend to install AC brakes, not Rockies. I know that's not a guarantee against "special events", but I hope it will reduce the chances of experiencing this particular variety. I'm just glad the boiler man and the missus came out OK.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:30 pm
by John Warren
It happens way too often 😕 glad you are ok.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:43 am
by Norman Kling
I am happy that you and your wife survived without major damage. The picture of the car looks like the top has the worst damage. How does the other side look? It shouldn't be too hard to fix. I would suggest you put on some brakes which work both directions or practice grabbing the parking brake quickly whenever there is an emergency.
Norm

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:15 am
by dobro1956
The car survived remarkably well. The top material is destroyed, but I was needing a new top anyway. It only bent the rear driver side top iron in the solid steel part .It will be a easy fix. The wood top bows are also OK. It slightly flattened out the passenger side front fender lip. A little dolly work will fix it. Both windshield posts broke at the bottom. They will be a simple fix. It also broke the bottom windshield glass. There is a small dent at the passenger side top saddle area where it came to rest leaning on a tree. It also is a simple fix as it is not even creased, so It should just pop back out.
The car was on its side about three hours. It takes a loooooooong time for help to arrive in the hills. In that time it lost 2 quarts oil, 2 gallons of water, and maybe a 1/2 gallon of gasoline. When we got home the next day I re-filled everything and the car started up immediately. It did not even turn over more than 1 to 2 revolutions. It took about 5 minutes to burn off the smoke cloud :) :) And it still "free starts" 99% of the time.
The car was fully packed for the tour. There was 2 extra gas jugs, water jug, extra oil, box of camera stuff, ice chest, and food baskets, and under the seats were tools, jack's, extra band sets, carburetor, boxes of spark plugs, set of coils, ECT, ECT, ECT. When the car turned over the seats and rear floorboards fell out along with all the other stuff. We were on bottom and all the "stuff" landed on and around us. It was an interesting ride.
Hap, Mike Bender was on this tour. After the wreck we discussed me not being able to get the Watford back in gear. We wondered if the Warford will not go back in gear if rolling backward ?????. He said he plans on getting in a safe place and try it out when rolling backwards. I also want to contact Laynes and see what they say.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:18 am
by MWalker
Wow, Donnie -- I'm so glad that you and Kathy are OK. You are indeed fortunate not to be seriously injured. God was watching after you both.

It looks as if most of the damage is to the top, so you should have the car back on the road in short order. But you have only until Thanksgiving, when you go back to work on your Speedster. :D

Thanks for the reminder that things like this can happen to any of us at any time.

Edit: I now see that we were typing our posts at the same time.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:23 am
by dobro1956
Mike, I folded down the top, If I put the top boot on you could not even tell Its torn up. If the glass had not broken in the bottom windshield I could have continued on the tour. But Kathy says we "WILL" have disc brakes before we go again. :) :). There is nothing mechanically wrong with the car. I was afraid it may have bent the two passenger side wheels but they are OK. I think the ground was soft enough to not stress the wheels as we slid sideways.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:36 am
by GEmering
Thank God that no one was hurt.
Another sobering reminder for all of us.
Cars can be fixed.
People not as much.

Stay safe,
Gene

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:44 am
by big2bird
I went thru a red light with a Warford stuck in nuetral.
Luckily no one was around.
I won't have one on my cars. Ruxstell or nothing.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:35 am
by Mark Gregush
Even a Ruckstell could get stuck between gears. You should have outside brakes anyway no matter what extra transmission or rear end is installed.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:47 am
by jiminbartow
That must have been incredibly scary to be out of control in an open car, going down a hill with your wife next to you knowing at anytime you can start rolling. You are to be commended for keeping your head and not panicking. The important thing is you are alive and well. The car can be repaired. It is much harder to repair a person and impossible to bring them back to life. I’m glad you are both well. Jim Patrick

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:07 pm
by RustyFords
So glad yall are ok. The fact that the car is essentially ok is a bonus.

I was considering a Warford, but this introduces some serious doubt about doing so.

DRIVER TRAINING

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:22 pm
by Novice
All is well that ends well.Glad it had a injury free outcome. One thing that comes to mind. not to criticize. is the importance of practicing emergency procedures and driver training and ingraining them into Your thinking. So it is automatic when the un thinkable happens. As a retired police Officer My Driver training saved My life at least once maybe more.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:01 pm
by ModelTWoods
DO-BRO, I echo everyone's concern that you and your wife were not hurt seriously (or worse). Question: did this experience shake your wife's faith in your driving ability or a Warford or Ruckstell equipped Model T roadworthiness? My wife was in a serious accident before we married and she doesn't trust anyone's driving but her own, and even then, her cautiousness would drive many riders, crazy. Unless she's been to her eye doctor and got her eyes, dilated, she insists on driving everywhere we go; one more exception, if we're in unfamiliar territory to her. There's no way she would drive a T, though. Again, glad you and your wife, are O.K.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:32 pm
by George House
Wow Donnie !! I’m sorry about the tragedy to your touring but thank God you folks weren’t badly hurt. Thank you for turning this traumatic time into a teaching point for us old timers and newbys alike...

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:35 pm
by RustyFords
George House wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:32 pm
...... Thank you for turning this traumatic time into a teaching point for us old timers and newbys alike...
yes....well said. It can't be easy to post on here saying 'look at the not-so-cool thing I did', but it is very instructive, especially to those of us who've not been at this Model T driving thing very long.

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to do so.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:59 pm
by dobro1956
Thanks for all the kind words and concern. I have almost 50 years of seat time in a T. I have thought thru almost every way a T wreck could happen. I have utilized the hand brake before to avert a mishap. But this time things just happened to fast. After thinking about it a couple days, the only thing that could have helped was the hand brake. But by dealing with the missed shift, and turning to miss the car behind me, I lost my window of time to use the hand brake. I just did not think enough about how fast things could go bad.
Terry, I think Kathy is still OK with my driving ability, but she has been really paying a lot more attention to the disc brake side of the discussion. So we will have disc brakes before the next tour.
I called Laynes today. Had a nice talk with them. I in no way put any blame on the transmission. I was just interested in knowing if the trans will still go in gear if rolling backwards. His answer was, Yes, it will still go in gear. He said the sycronizers work either direction. His thoughts of me not getting it back in gear was, I was either in the "gate" above Warford 3 or in the cross gate between Warford 3 & 2. The gate above 3 would not let me move side to side and the cross gate would not let me move up or down while shifting. That is also what I was thinking happened. The second or two I used in the missed shift and the second or so I used to miss the car behind me used up my time.
The guy at Laynes also said that he has been really suggesting the use of the disc brakes as the final safety addition to a T. The disc brakes are not one of their products. He has installed them on all his cars as a added layer of safety. For what it may be worth. "Disc brakes are in our future".
As to talking about or hiding the bad or stupid things that happen to us. When I worked in the Nuclear industry, one of the sayings we used was. "There is only one stupid mistake" " The mistake you try to hide or not talk about"

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:43 pm
by DontKnowMuch
I want to add my thoughts and prayers for you and your wife and that you are both okay. For all of us that are not "so experienced" T drivers, we need to be very vigilent about driving conditions, traffic, and our Model T equipment, especially brakes.

Hope you both get over the soreness soon.
Dennis Sanford

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:04 pm
by Dan Haynes
Anybody else think of Walt Rosenthal while reading this?

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:23 pm
by Allan
Donnie, thank goodness that you both have come out well in this, and the T hasn't suffered a whole heap too.
I was reassured by your conversations with Layne re the new Warford. The positive neutral is an absolute boon when hand cranking my 1917 T. getting caught between gates on the shift makes sense. Down shifting from overdrive to Ford high is the more likely problem shift due to the change in gates, and having to do that under worrying pressure is something else.
My 17, having an extended chassis to accommodate the transmission, and the longer solid timber depot hack body, means I can only use the overdrive on open, flat running. So my changes are usually confined to 1 and 2 on the Warford, and they are on the same gate, and they do make it simple.
My lesson from your experience is I should re-adjust my Bennett brakes and adjust the Ford transmission brake so that it comes into play a bit earlier in pedal application.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Allan from down under.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:13 pm
by dobro1956
Allen, If caught in the gates between shifts. The Warford is in a true neutral. So the Ford brake is of no use at all. If your Bennett brakes will hold in reverse then they can help you out. If they do not hold in reverse like the repro Rockies, then you will have no brakes at all in reverse. That only leaves the emergency brake to stop or hold you in reverse. The small 1925 and earlier emergency brake will not hold but the 26-27 emergency brakes do work. They are not real good but do work.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:02 am
by Wayne Sheldon
I have never had or used one of the "modern Warfords". So take what I would say with a grain of salt. I would imagine that it is a basically standard synchro- clutches gear system. IF (my big IF again) the clutch in the T's transmission isn't centered to a near neutral (full disengage without band drag), and/or the speed or direction between the gears are too far off? The synchro-clutches CANNOT turn the engine enough, and certainly NOT in a backward direction in order for the gears to be engaged.
I have driven relatively modern vehicles a few times with a blown clutch that could not be disengaged. Even with good synchromesh, one MUST match engine and road speeds in order to shift the gears.

As for adding disc brakes? It is a personal thing. I try to keep my antiques as close to era correct as I reasonably can. Era brakes, properly done, and properly adjusted, are adequate.

Allan B, My opinion, based on a couple different accidents years ago, fortunately, no serious injuries, and wasn't me. But mixing the rear wheel brakes with the transmission brake is basically a very bad idea. While they can be set up to work well, they do not stay in that perfect balance of adjustment. I have known a few people that ended out of gear, or suffered a failure, only to discover that the brake adjustment had changed due to minor wear and the transmission brake killed the engine and did nothing to stop the car no matter how hard they pressed the pedal. Even if some sort of mechanical equalizer were used, so much braking power becomes lost and reduces the remaining brake's efficiency.
One should always have two totally independent braking systems. One set of brakes on the pedal, one set of brakes on the handle. One should NEVER have both the pedal and the handle work one set of brakes regardless of what type of brakes it is.

Dan Haynes, I thought about Walter Rosenthal right from the start of reading this. We all should never forget. He too was a very experienced model T man.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:38 am
by Hap_Tucker
For Dan Haynes – yes, I too thought of Walt Rosenthal. It was his Ruckstell that got stuck in neutral as he was going forward down a hill. He was planning to install auxiliary brakes very soon – but had not gotten it done yet.

Thank you Donnie for the update. And thank you to others for their concern for your speedy recovery as well as your insights on how to minimize the chances of something similar happening in the future. Yes, brakes that will stop us when going backwards sound like a very smart item to have. I believe the reproduction AC brakes will do that (ref advertisement on page 61 of "The Vintage Ford" Sep-Oct 2020 issue. I would guess the disk brakes work even better (or we would still have mechanical brakes on the cars instead of hydraulic and drum brakes instead of disc brakes etc.)

But I would guess -- and it is only a guess -- that the mechanical brakes would last longer if a car was ever stored for an extended period of time? I know my Dad stored his regular car inside a closed garage for 36 months while he took the family for a 3 year military tour overseas. When he came back the brake fluid had absorbed enough water that it caused pitting on the master cylinder and brake cylinders. It was stored in the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana area so more humidity that Arizona etc. The car was up on blocks and not driven for those 3 years. It started fine -- but needed the brake cylinders replaced. That might have been avoided if he had been able to leave it with someone who would have driven it weekly or even monthly? And from memory – there used to be a type of brake fluid that did not absorb water as easily. More expensive than the normal brake fluid but it was recommended for folks with collector cars that were not driven much. But it had to be added to a completely clean (new?) brake system as it could not be mixed with the other types of brake fluid.

We will continue to be praying for a speedy recovery for both you and your wife.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap 1915 cut off

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:10 am
by MWalker
Donnie -- I heartily agree with Kathy on the disc brake idea. I can tell you from my experience that if you ever drive with discs you won't ever want to be without them. I know some folks don't like the looks of them, but safety trumps originality every time in my book.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:18 am
by dobro1956
Wayne, I'm not sure if the new KC Warford is like most sycronize trans. They are advertised as a "constant mesh" "dog style" transmission. I really do not know how they work inside. Maybe there is some info on the web site.
Mike, I am going to put the disc brakes on, and fix the windshield first. We may have to drive with the old top inside of the top boot for awhile. But discs come first.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:31 pm
by John Warren
Wilwood has mechanical calipers as well. I am looking into better braking on my race car.
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Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:37 pm
by Dan B
Hap_Tucker wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:38 am
I believe the reproduction AC brakes will do that (ref advertisement on page 61 of "The Vintage Ford" Sep-Oct 2020 issue.
I really, really, really wish they made these for large drums. You can’t beat the functionality at the price.

MWalker wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:10 am
I can tell you from my experience that if you ever drive with discs you won't ever want to be without them. I know some folks don't like the looks of them, but safety trumps originality every time in my book.
I’m sure that’s true, but where does it stop? Everyone has to figure out where they are on this curve and where the tradeoff between experience and safety is satisfied.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:58 pm
by RustyFords
I have to admit that the disc brake discussion captivates me every time it comes up.

I'm torn.

I drive a Model T to purposefully NOT be in a modern car and I want to be forced to operate the machine as it was (wooden coils, antiquated brakes and headlights, etc). But, and it's a big but, I drive the hell out of my car, in and amongst modern traffic, and after only a year of this, I've had situations pop up that have scared the hell out of me. And, most of them would've been much less scary with modern brakes.

As of today, my braking ability still consists of a properly adjusted handbrake and trans-brake, but I have to admit that the jury's still out on the topic with me. I know that the car would be much safer with that modern Willwood setup mounted back there, but oh man it just looks hideously out of place and there's no doubt that it would take away from the period driving experience that I love so much.

Decisions, decisions.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:35 pm
by Quickm007
Donnie, I'm happy you and your wife are OK. I'm so sorry this happened to you. You are very humble for sharing your history with us and this remind all of us to be careful with T. I thought I will start to test at least one a month my breaks in very little hill in reverse to see how I will react with the situation in case that happen to me suddenly like you. I would like to put some AC Brakes or disck brakes on my speedster but that will not work because I have some strange disc brakes on my T... So I have to be careful the way I drive. Thank you again sharing your story with us.

Re: Even old experienced drivers can mess up very badly ...

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:50 pm
by Allan
Wayne, I agree that keeping both the Ford foot brake and external brake are difficult to keep adjusted to compliment each other in operation. My Ford brake only comes into help with heavy pressure on the Bennett brake. I have upgraded the Bennett brakes with wider linings and these run on cast iron drums from a Hillman Avenger, a 1970's English car. They work well in reverse also. I figure I cannot do much better with a period correct system.

Allan from down under.