Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

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FieldMarshalRed
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Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by FieldMarshalRed » Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:53 pm

Hello again. I have a question for anybody in this forum. Have you ever crashed your Model T? Or has it ever broken down on you in the middle of the road? If so, could you maybe share your experience? Thank you. Just curious.


jiminbartow
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:17 pm

A painful question to ask anyone who has. Kind of like war. Not something that elicits pleasant memories, especially if the beloved T was destroyed or a loved one was hurt or worse.


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Dan Hatch » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:36 pm

There are two kinds of T drivers.
One that has had their car break down. And
Those that will have their car break down.

These things are 100 years old. What did Forest say
“It happens “ .


Kevin Pharis
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Kevin Pharis » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:51 pm

Not too sure if it was a “crash”... but my speedster ended up rubber side up once. I don’t recommend it...!

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Henry K. Lee
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Henry K. Lee » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:05 pm

Oh please pass that very large salt shaker!!!!!!

Rick Rice and I are the "Crash Test Dummies (Twins)"!


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Last edited by Henry K. Lee on Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by walber » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:05 pm

Let me see, no accidents but over the last 35 years I've had a few flat tires, 3 crankshaft failures, one instance of oil petcock opening and losing babbitt, and 2 pinion gear failures. Also had a hydraulic wheel cylinder fail and a brake line cracked. Some timer and coil issues, and one modern coil failed. None of these happened while parked in my garage. All but the wheel cylinder occurred where there was little traffic and I could safely get off the road. The wheel cylinder failed in traffic in downtown Albany, New York. That was awkward and inconvenient but no accidents, just interrupted one lane of traffic for a couple minutes. Considering the years, a LOT of miles driven and a fair bit of abuse to my speedster I think the cars have done very nicely. Oh, right, my speedster overheated on me once when climbing the Eisenhower Pass in Colorado when I got stuck behind a semi. My fault, not the cars.

I figure if you never have a problem of some type, you aren't driving very much. Sure preventive maintenance can forestall many issues but 90+ year old stuff is bound to fail eventually.


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Rich Bingham » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:09 pm

FieldMarshalRed wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:53 pm
. . . Or has it ever broken down on you in the middle of the road? . . . share your experience? . . .
:lol: Which time ?? :lol: All of my roadside "downtime" experiences occurred over 50 years ago with my first T, and centered around unplugging the fuel line and patching 40 year old inner tubes. Lost #1&2 rod bearings once due to crap clogging the oul return line and had to be towed home. Last four years with my current Lizzie have been uneventful breakdown-wise. No wrecks to report. (Deo gratias) 👍🏻
"Get a horse !"


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Allan » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:45 pm

I have had one crash only, way back in the late 60's when returning from a long weekend interstate rally. Some young band members had driven overnight from Adelaide some 16 hours to Sydney to play in a gig Saturday night. Then they drove to Melbourne Sunday for another gig Sunday night. J On Monday morning, just short of the South Australian border, their driver took a nap at the wheel and his co-pilot woke him too late to avoid taking out the right rear corner of my 22 tourer. His car did a graceful 300 metre slide down the road, veered off into the scrub and came to rest against a fence. His only injury was a split lip.
The T was repaired, but the timber frame was badly shaken up and it was never quite right. When our T club members found out about the crash, it was remarkable how the prices of repair panels rose when the insurers went looking for parts.
The one good thing out of it was I later used the splash panel/valance and its Acuret dipstick when I restored my 1920 buckboard. That enabled me access to the original 5 digit registration number for the original tourer plates with the aluninium numbers, as the car was rebuilt using parts from the crash. That number is now permanently allocated to the buckboard. These days the transport department puts them up for auction. You have to bid for the number, and even if no-one else bids, they have a four figure reserve price!
Allan from down under.


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by George Hand » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:51 pm

Henry, What is that poor car doing in the under brush? George


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:56 pm

Never crashed a T, however one time the transmission locked up and we couldn't even push the car in neutral. Fortunately there was not too much traffic and we were able to call our son who came with the truck and trailer and a floor jack. We were able to jack up one rear wheel and winch it onto the trailer and take it home. This happened when the low drum shattered. I have posted pictures several times of the transmission after this happened, and what caused it to lock up, so will not post again.
Norm

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Henry K. Lee » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:38 pm

George that is an environmental friendly crash barrier across from my driveway. Saved our bacon when the Rocky Mountain Six Speed popped out gear with new brake linings not rubbed in! White knuckle express!

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by dobro1956 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:11 pm

The wife and I had the misfortune to flip the 27 touring while on tour last month.

Hank, You and Rick are not alone :)


here is a link to the thread I posted after the wreck
https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=16508
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Dan Haynes » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:40 pm

I once had someone in an Olds 98 reverse into the front of the car so hard they broke a front wheel. The man who did it refused to pay for the damage; his reasoning being the Model T was so flimsy - he hadn't even feel the bump in his tuna-boat Oldsmobile. Even when I found a replacement wheel for $15, he made his insurance company pay me the $15.

Then, in December 2004 I was T-boned (the irony) in an intersection by a drunk doing between 55 and 65, right into the driver's side at my lower legs. The TT was smashed and crumpled and, after spinning around, came to rest on its side. In the collision I battered around inside the cab with the ends of the cab bolts puncturing my head and shoulders. The injuries to my back took until 2015 to regain most of my mobility. It's still not 100%, but it's better than it was for the first 11 years, during which time I couldn't sit, stand or lay down for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time. Attempting sleep was misery every night; I'd start in bed, then after a couple hours, have to move to a couch for a couple of hours, then sitting upright propped up with pillows for a couple of hours. The truck is still a banana-shaped mess. :|
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by ryanf1023 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:25 pm

Not a T, but my 29 Model A Roadster.

Someone was on their phone, who not only rear ended the guy in front of him, but then lost control and swerved into my lane, where my A and I were just getting up to speed. I feel lucky to have only banged up my knees at about 70 kph, but you really can’t trust other drivers. It’s made me very cautious about times of day and which roads to drive and when.

I was able to drive the car home, but just. Front axle was badly bent along with everything ahead of the rad. That steel bumper, though bent pretty good, can rip up a Dodge caravan quarter panel like butter!

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by TonyB » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:04 pm

I have been involved with two accidents in antique vehicles over the last 46 years.

The first was in the 1915 speedster when the front radius rod broke just behind the axle. I lost all steering and we turn right into a tree. My wife had the seat belt on but slid under the belt and her feet hit the windscreen. I was shaken up but unhurt. The chassis front cross member was bent and there was lots of small damage. I found a new chassis and it’s been on the road for several years but with two sets of front radius rods.

The second was in the 1901 Curved Dash Oldsmobile in Lansing MI. The front sub axle broke and I lost the front wheel. We drifted across the road and collided with modern tin. It damaged the wood body and the brass lamps. No one was really hurt but both my passenger and the other driver were shaken up. It was fixed by the Oldsmobile Engine shop and I gave the insurance money to the shop coffee fund.

There has been a couple of more serious accidents in San Diego, usually due to mechanical failure. The worst I recall was when set of Hasslers failed and the car overturn down a bank and the driver was severely injured. Not good.
Tony Bowker
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1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by jiminbartow » Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:02 am

I really love driving my 1926 T coupe and back in the 70’s and 80’s drove my T wherever I wanted, but have felt for long time that, with the advent of cellphones, movies in cars and all the distractions that modern drivers are occupied with, the 30 mph Model T is just too dangerous to drive in modern 70 mph traffic, so, if I want to go anywhere in traffic, I drive my 2012 Ford. As for driving my Model T, I live in a small town and drive my T on the miles of streets of the quiet, traffic free neighborhoods in my town where I can go as slow as I want or open her up to 30 mph and wave to the neighbors that get a kick out of watching my T go by. Jim Patrick.

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:04 am

Two or three wrecks, a major breakdown, and a few flats.

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This wreck came from going too fast, trying not to get stuck on a muddy road. A sand bar washed across the road steered me into a pile of branches. The damage was a broken top socket.

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You can see my tracks in this one. A wishbone nut fell off and took the steering with it. I hit the fence, but not very hard. No damage done, so I don't know if this really qualifies as a wreck. I was about a mile from Gary Paulsen's place and he gave me a nut to replace the lost one.

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This one was a wreck for sure. It's still embarrassing to say it was another lost perch nut that put me in the ditch, almost in front of my house. My next door neighbor heard me expressing my displeasure and brought his tractor to haul the carcass around behind my shop.

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This was a major breakdown, not a wreck, about 65 miles from home. Shorty and I are waiting for my cousin Wally to come and fetch us. I returned the next day with the trailer to bring the car home.

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A look at this low drum explains the breakdown.
Last edited by Steve Jelf on Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:00 pm

On my first T, the first thing I installed was Rocky Mountain brakes. I live on a mountain and wanted to be able to stop if something happened to the transmission brake.
On our first tour, I drove the car all the way from Alpine to Vista where the tour started. Then after the tour, back to Alpine. It is about 70 miles each way to the beginning and end of the tour.
When we got to about 25 miles from home on the return trip it was almost dark and I thought, "I'm going to need to turn on the lights for the rest of the trip". I had stopped at a signal. When I put it in low to start from the signal. The driveshaft broke and I was in free wheeling!. Good thing I had installed the Rocky Mountain brakes. my wife and I were able to push it into a parking lot and we called our son to come and get us. We didn't need the lights that day! Next day I borrowed a trailer and came down and took the car home. It turned out that some previous owner had welded the front part of a driveshaft to the rear part of a driveshaft and only welded around the edge. So the middle of the shaft was not welded. The rear piece is about 10 inches long and makes a very good drive on wheel puller. The pinion nut thread is same size as rear hub nut and you can screw a nut part way on the axle and thread the drive shaft piece into the nut till the end touches the end of the axle and rap it with a babbit hammer and usually get the hub off.
Norm

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:32 pm

It was about this time of year in '64. I had installed new kingpin bushings in one spindle and had a dickens of a time getting the king pin in. I threaded it in as far as I could from the top and threaded another one in from the bottom. Joe and his brother came over so I took them for a ride. After a couple of successful left turns the spindle seized on the next turn. The car kept turning until a tree in front of a house brought the car to an abrupt stop throwing Joe and his brother over the side of the car and onto the street. There were no serious injuries to the three of us but I had to get Dad to come and drag the car home. The old honeycomb radiator dripped even worse after that.
I turns out that those bushings need to be reamed out a little for the kingpins.
Many valuable lessons learned that day.
Rich
Nov64.jpg
When did I do that?


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Rich Bingham » Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:37 pm

Rich Eagle wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:32 pm
It was about this time of year in '64 . . .
:shock: First I hear of it ! You guys OK ? :lol: :lol:
"Get a horse !"

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:57 pm

It wasn't a crash, and it wasn't a breakdown — yet. But a bad rod about to fail had me in Wisconsin for a couple of extra days while Adam installed a new one to get me home.
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Diagnostic test drive: Yep, it's a rod alright.


And finally, this old favorite:
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"I'm not going very far. The parking brake will hold it."
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by old_charley » Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:46 pm

And here's my Oops! On a camping trip outside Minden Nevada I was teaching a 20 year old to drive the TT on a back road that turned out to be just a tad too sandy. The left front wheel caught some deep sand and a couple of fishtails later....No one hurt. Broke all the spokes in the right front wheel. We got it flipped back upright with a jeep and tow strap. I took out the hub bolts to remove the spoke stubs and we bolted the jeeps spare to the hub by lining up two holes. It looked ridiculous but it worked to get the truck back onto the trailer. Can't find that picture. No real permanent damage except the the cab is tweaked just a tad off center. I had to trim the floorboards a bit to get then to fit.
brakes 1.jpg
brakes 3.jpg
brakes 4.jpg
brakes.jpg


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:57 pm

Yes, and I walked away from it with no broken bones. Here is a before and after.
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Dan_Jensen » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:03 pm

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This happened today to one of our Tucson Touring T's members. Tom is okay with a few bumps and scrapes.
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by John Dow » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:25 pm

Broken crank shaft on 45 mph, 4 lane road. Aside from that the weather was nice.

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Angmar » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:43 pm

Just for curiosity sake I googled this subject, the results were not for the faint of heart. Be safe out there.
Still crankin old iron


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by ModelTWoods » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:59 pm

Back in the 1970's, I was out for a after dark drive in my Grandfather's 27 coupe. It had working headlights but when I decided to turn around at the driveway of an abandoned gas station, there were no street lights and headlights were all I had. Because I thought that I had a circular drive to turn around on, I didn't slow down much and turned into the driveway. All of a sudden, my headlights illuminated a steel cable at least 5/8" in diameter which was stretched across the driveway. I hit the brake and slowed some but hit the cable head on. It was then that the car was propelled in reverse like a rock out of a slingshot. Fortunately, the headlights took the bulk of the impact and other than straightening dents in the headlamp rims and the radiator shell, and re-aiming the headlights, that was about all the damage.


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Darin Hull » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:58 am

I know my grandpa had a wreck in the 13T possibly during the 1976 Fulton, MO tour. Believe my grandma had to go to the hospital, grandpa was okay, and the 13T wasn’t ever as straight as she was before.

I’ve been told the cause in the past but seem to have forgot, steering related. Maybe a bolt coming loose in the steering quadrant? (What a donkey, don’t know why I said quadrant... meant gear case)

Darin
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by John Codman » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:08 am

No real crashes, but I did graze the barn door with my right front fender once. Several breakdowns on the road - all related to a cruddy fuel tank. I finally pulled the tank (not a fun thing to do on a '27) and had it cleaned. No fuel-related failures since.

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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:04 pm

...steering related. Maybe a bolt coming loose in the steering quadrant?

Losing a perch nut can make your steering go sideways. You know how I know that. :)
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by old_charley » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:16 pm

Darin, Your grandparents accident did occur on the '76 Fulton tour. I was on that tour and very much remember when it happened. My recollection is that the rivets holding the steering gear case together sheared thus causing them to lose the ability to steer.


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Re: Has anybody here ever crashed their T?

Post by Aussie16 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:26 am

I have driven numerous Model T's for many years on many different road surfaces. 2 years ago I experienced a rollover on an outback country track. Front left hand wheel dropped in to a deep sandy hole and engulfed the front wheel. The left of the car stopped and the right side kept going. I was only going about 20mph but the damage was enough to make steering impossible and a roll over onto its side resulted. The chassis was twisted, front radius rod bent and the steering arm now resembles a banana. That Vanadium steel is very tough, all bent but nothing broke. The car is now getting a full restoration using a replacement chassis which was severely bent. My teenage son and myself were both thrown clear of the vehicle and had a safe landing in the sand. The steering wheel wooden rim broke into pieces in my hands. My confidence is driving a T was set back quite a bit and I am still very wary of driving on loose surfaces. Be careful in your T's and how and where you drive them.
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