Cranking an early hand crank T

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TonyB
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Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by TonyB » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:47 pm

Those who have been following my restoration of the 1909 touring may remember that I built the engine over two years ago and I started it by temporary installing a later flywheel and hogs head. It ran for a few minutes then I shut it down. The engine has been sat now for close to 24 months and now I was unable to hand crank. I have skinny arms and I was reluctant to ask friends, most of whom have bad backs. I seriously thought of towing behind the truck but I was worried that I would ruin my white tires in the attempt.
So my friends and I have been looking into other options. Eventually we came up with a system that looks promising.
I removed the original crank and used a half inch socket welded into an old ratchet.
Modified ratchet
Modified ratchet
Then I modified an length of hard steel with a square half inch at one end and ground flats at 120 degrees at the other end. For power we started with a large powered impact driver. It failed. Then I tried my 1/2” drill. It failed. Then I borrowed a huge 3/4” wrench and success.
Drive shaft.
Drive shaft.
The torque is considerable so I used a 36” extension. My first effort threw me across the shop, luckily with no damage except to my pride.
Drill in place.
Drill in place.
So there we are, we can now turn the motor. Next is to remove all the covers, add some gas & coolant, install spark plugs and give it a serious try.
Tony Bowker
Ramona, California
1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.

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Ed Baudoux
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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Ed Baudoux » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:15 am

Tony, i have been following your progress on this T. Thanks for the update, and good luck!
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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by PDGx » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:17 am

Need something like this :
35B9488B-8CCD-496F-AC38-B00154010024.jpeg
But must make sure you have a positive DIS-engagement of the crank when you release the trigger. Unfortunately the T crank doesn’t really give you that, hence the kick back many incur. I’d at least clean all rust off the engagement fitting and crank end, and grease it, so it disengages easier. And keep track of the fitting so it doesn’t fly out on a kickback or a start.

Also be careful of those old high torque drills, as they continue to turn after releasing the trigger. I have one of those, and would not use it for this purpose. About 40 years ago, it almost broke my wrist, or arm, as it stalled while drilling, and I got tied up by the cord before it stopped spinning. Ugly.

You should only need one or two revolutions at a time to get an engine to fire. A drill will turn many more than that when you just pull and release the trigger.

I’m trying to figure out this same thing with my Mack, which needs a much higher torque than a T to crank it, although it does have a positive disengagement, since it incorporates a spring forcing you to keep pressure on the crank or it will push you away and disengage.
If my short term memory gets any shorter, I won’t even have thought about what I’m going to forget.

Can’t, ain’t Possible

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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by browning » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:42 pm

I have rebuilt a number of Fordson tractor engines and find that running them on compressed air saves a lot of anxiety and is actually very easy to do. I am currently rebuilding several Model T engines and will be breaking them in the same way. The beauty is that you can break them in on the engine stand without installing the manifolds and there is no exhaust (except an occasional ice ball) to deal with. There is a video of one of them running that I posted about ten years ago on a site that you would be familiar with. The video is titled "1926 Fordson Compressed Air Engine Break-in".


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Altair » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:19 pm

A Model T should start easily with just a pull over center. If using a battery be sure it is 1-2 notches retard to reduce a kick back. If you set the crank just over center and turn on the ignition you may get lucky and get a free start.

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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by JTT3 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:46 pm



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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by It's Bill » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:57 am

Great video, has a good beat and is easy to dance to. But forgive me for being thick, how do you time the shots of air going into the cylinders? If you pressurize the engine through the spark plug holes, wouldn't the cylinders just cancel each other out? Does the manifold in the video have some sort of timer? Baffled, Bill


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by bud delong » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:43 am

Long ago in a Chevy plant that no longer exist there was a V-8 engine line from the block casting to the running engines.At almost the end of the engine assembly line there was a [Air Motering Machine] where the spark plug holes were covered and every V-8 engine was run on air. Later in a Olds plant that no longer exist the assembled engines were all ran on air before shipped. :D Bud. :D PS,Also working on the engine assembly at Olds there were 2 or 3 blind people working! Often you would see them helped into the plant by other workers! Did i mention neither plant exist now,So rush out and buy some off shore crap!!! :oops: Bud. :oops:


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Dan Hatch » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:51 am

Please post more on the timing of solenoids. Thanks Dan


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by browning » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:08 am

Having received multiple requests for information via email etc. I thought it would be best to communicate on the forum. The Model T and Fordson are easy to run on air due to two factors. One, the sparkplug holes are 1/2" pipe thread and two, the timer provides perfect actuation of the solenoids. Simply wire each solenoid valve to the appropriate screw on the timer - make certain that the voltage supply is correct (common to each of the solenoid valves and one lead to the engine block). I use 12 volt direct current solenoids (a few bucks on ebay) and power them with a battery charger. Properly wired the timer thinks it is energizing the coils but is really opening the solenoid valves. The timing is exactly the same as if you were powering the spark plugs. Be somewhat careful - mistiming will still result in kickback although not as violent as running on gasoline. Compressor size will determine engine speed. Pressure equals torque and cfm equals speed. I use a 7 1/2 horsepower compressor and it works well. A lubricator on the air line will keep the guides and bores lightly lubricated while you break the engine in.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by 2nighthawks » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:28 pm

Tony - I can't help but think that perhaps the easiest and safest solution to make hand crank Model T engine starting easier (less physical exertion) would be to merely add an extension to the standard model T hand crank. After all,....the 40 hp Model A could be as easily hand-cranked to start as the 20 hp Model T, and that was Fords solution. They just added a bit of additional length to the hand crank so as to afford a fit of extra leverage!

In your case, why not just add even a bit more length to a hand crank for additional leverage? Only thing is that it would be even MORE important to guard against "kick-back" as a kick-back would be even more dangerous. Just a thought FWIW,.....harold

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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Duey_C » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:38 pm

Looking good Tony! like Dave Gingery said to a buddy and I once in Wyandotte "If it works, that's the right way to do it!".
I like the air break-in solenoid method. Super simple with a Ford timer.
Since I lost my mind mind, I feel more liberated


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Jeff Hood » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:24 pm

I'm afraid that the drill may still turn too fast. Even if it is slow enough, I would not use it to start the engine. I think you should leave the spark plugs out and use the drill to "run it in" until it turns easy enough to hand crank it. You definitely do not want to have it start and not properly release from the crank. That could be disastrous to you, the car, your shop, or all three! Also if it does release and the socket/claw comes off of the extension, it could be thrown into the fan or radiator.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by bud delong » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:18 am

A little while ago i asked about extending the stroke of the stock crank by a couple of inches to make cranking easier.I wonder if the model T crank was made that short to give a quick spin for starting on mag? :D Bud. :D

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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by TonyB » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:35 pm

PROGRESS
Now I’m back from the Death Valley tour, I made a start on finding why the 09 is so hard to crank.
I have carefully removed bolts until I could move the motor free of the universal joint and hey presto I can now crank the motor. Of course it’s still a little tight but that is expected of an engine that has run less than a mile. Later in the week I’ll use the sky hook to take it out of the car then I’ll see if I can get to the clutch without removing the pan.
One concern is why it didn’t loosen up when I jacked up the back wheels. Maybe the back axle is tight. That will need investigation. Most complex problems are two (or more) simple problems. 😊
It took me close to thirty years to figure that one out. 😊
Tony Bowker
Ramona, California
1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by wayne sheldon » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:28 pm

If it took you thirty years to figure that one out? You are doing okay. Most people never do figure that out.
I do hope you had a great time on the tour!


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Jeff Hood » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:28 pm

Tony, before you pull the engine, I think you need to figure out what is causing the bind. It sounds like the u-joint/driveshaft is pushing everything forward causing a bind in the transmission or maybe even pushing everything forward binding the crankshaft against the thrust bearing. With everything loose, see if you can feel the endplay in the crankshaft, then check for all the proper play/looseness in the transmission. If this all looks OK, tighten the driveline back up to the transmission and see what and where the bind is. Maybe the driveshaft bushing needs to be faced some more. Maybe the bushing is pushing the u-joint into the transmission forcing everything forward.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Les Schubert » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:08 am

David
In regards to the air crank system a couple more questions;
1. Do you use full system pressure (120 psi or so)
2. What size lines
Thank you


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:16 am

I would agree with Jeff. Try to isolate the cause of the binding before tearing everything apart. That way you only need to address the cause of the problem. If the engine turns without the rear axle assembly, that would strongly suggest the problem to be either in the rear end or that the driveshaft is pushing forward causing a problem. Since the engine will turn with the driveshaft out, try inserting the u joint but leaving the bolts loose. That should keep the driveshaft from pushing the rear of the engine. If it still turns with the wheels jacked up, try tightening the bolts around the U joint and if it stops turning, you will know the problem is between the u joint and rear of the engine. Anyway try to find the location of the bind before you disassemble everything.
If you need an extra couple of hands, give me a call and I can come up and help you.
Norm


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:25 am

Norman, you may well be right, and your methodology of tracing back seems OK. You are, however assuming without proof that the clutch is functioning correctly, as all engines with stiff or locked up transmissions will turn over just fine, right? If I have missed pertinent information leading to the conclusion that the clutch is free, then I am of course in error.
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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:42 pm

In one of Tony's posts he said he moved the U joint free from the engine and now it turns free. Earlier he noted that it wouldn't turn even with the wheels jacked up. That's why I first suspect something in the rear axle or in the rear brakes. The reason for inserting the joint part way and trying again is to determine whether that makes it harder to turn with the wheels jacked up. Then with the wheels on the floor but the joint still not tightened up, to put it into neutral and see if it turns. If so, the clutch is free. Then bolt up the joint and see if the clutch is still free. By doing these things, it is possible to isolate the cause of the tightness. Now I also realize that a little tight here and a little tight there all add up to tight when turning the crank. I have never tried to crank start a brand new rebuilt engine. I have always pulled the car to start it and it usually starts within 300' so if it is possible to pull it a short distance without messing up the tires, that would work. After it runs for about 5 or 10 minutes let it cool and torque the head again. Usually after that it will start with a starter, maybe with a crank. If not pull start it again. Even if you need to replace the wheels temporarily to keep them from getting worn, it would be easiest to pull the car to start it. Usually the rings settle in and the bearings settle in and the oil gets splashed all over after you start it the first time and as you continue to use the car it will get easier to start and run for longer periods without overheating.
Norm


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:08 pm

Well Norm, not sure I forgot that sequence or never read that, but it is not hard to completely agree with you now.
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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by TonyB » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:01 am

This sure is a puzzle.
Norm may have hit on something close to the problem, except the UJ is not too long but too short.
Let’s back up. The engine is out and it turns quite freely. The front and support holes in the pan all lineup with the chassis. Just to make sure I tried a spare pan and it too lines up with the chassis holes. So it seems the problem is not in the motor of transmission.
However I noticed last night while the spare pan was in the chassis the nose of the axle is not in line with the rear of the pan. Remember this is a early pan and is very flexible. It appears when the driveshaft is connected it distorts the pan cause it the fourth main out of alignment and subsequent hard cranking.
Next I will investigate why the drive shaft is not lining up correctly with the pan. Later I will add pictures as this is something new to me.
Could it be caused by a defective or damaged rear spring.?
Any ideas are welcome.
Tony Bowker
Ramona, California
1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Dallas Landers » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:08 am

Is the frame square? Bent rear cross member? Tork tube square with rear axles? Just thinking out loud. Im sure all this has run through your mind as well.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Les Schubert » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:11 am

And people wonder why broken crankshafts happen. I am not sure if even my floating transmission shaft would handle this


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:29 am

I would suggest you do these:
While engine is out of the car with nose pointed downward, try sliding the 4th main in and out of the transmission. It should not bind if the crankcase is correctly aligned.
If it meets the above test, then when you have the engine in the chassis with the nose inside the front mount and the ears in place, measure from the center of the 4th main to the rear corner of the chassis. Do this on each side. The measurement should be identical if the chassis is straight. Next measure from the bolt where the radius rod is attached to the end of the axle tube to the bolt where it is attached to the drive shaft tube. Should be the same on each side. Take a square to the drive shaft and measure to see if it is perpendicular to the rear axle tube. A large framing square would be best so you can measure at two places far enough apart to get the most accurate reading. If this is square, the next question would be whether the rear spring is in alignment from one end to the other.
Somewhere, you are going to find the cause of the problem. Something must be bent.
Good luck in finding why the driveshaft is out of line.
Norm


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:31 am

On the first test, you slide the 4th main in and out with the lower bolts started in the crankcase.
Norm


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:25 pm

After talking to you on the phone this morning, I thought of something very simple which could be the cause of the problem. Maybe it is the spring perches in the rear axle. Try loosening them up and with the axle in place maybe it will go right into the transmission. Then after it is in position, tighten them down. The car should be on jack stands while you tighten them so the weight of the car will position the axle in the correct position regards to the spring.
Norm

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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by TonyB » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:30 pm

I slide the fourth main in and out with no binding.
I measured from the rear pan bolts to the chasssis on each side and they are equal.
Below are the pictures of the distance between the back of the pan and the fourth main when in contact with the plate on the torque tube. That distance measure 3/8” on both sides.
Gap between fourth main and torque tube
Gap between fourth main and torque tube
I believe when I tighten the four bolts on the fourth bearing, the pan is being pulled down, remember the torque tube is at an angle, and distorting the pan.
This was confirmed when I removed the cap at the front of the pan, it rose up about 1/2”,Including all the weight of the motor, probably due to the force generated when the gap is closed.
Next I will compare the axle placement on the 09 to the 14 touring and see what it uncovers. Right now I suspect the back spring is the culprit.....
Tony Bowker
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1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:09 pm

From the picture, I appears the frame rail might be crooked between the rear engine mounts and the rear axle. Could be the spring perch on one side is back farther than on the other side.
Norm

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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by TonyB » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:33 pm

I did some comparison measurements between the 09 and 14 and sure enough the wheelbase on the 09 is about 1/2” longer than the 14. The distance from the rear of the running board to the center if the wheel is also greater by about 1/2”.
Conclusion is the axle is too far back. Right now the only thing location the axle is the spring so I guess that’s where the problem lies.
I might just try reversing the spring. Of course then it might push on the pan by 3/8” and I then have different set of problems. 😊😊😊
On reflection, I installed the spring two years ago, long before the engine was rebuilt. I wonder if it is tilting backwards. Maybe just loosening the U bolts might alleviate the problem.
Tony Bowker
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1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by 2nighthawks » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:59 pm

WOW! All of this discussion is much too complicated for me! What I can see from the picture is that the "fore & aft" centerline of the pan, and the centerline of the torque tube/driveshaft/fourth main should coincide as one continuous and common straight line, and it sure isn't! There is a distinct angle indicating that the pan is way out of line and that the front of the pan should be shoved over to the right at least several inches in order for the center line of the pan to be in common alignment with the centerline of the rest of the drive line!


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Re: Cranking an early hand crank T

Post by wayne sheldon » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:38 pm

At this point, one of the very next things I would do is loosen the spring perch nuts, loosen the spring mounting U-joint bolts, maybe even loosen the shackle nuts (less necessary however still a good idea). With weight on the axle, and using a known straight pan mounted with the nose sitting above the spring mounting bracket and forward about a quarter inch (because once pulled forward, and tightened, the rear will try to settle back a little bit). The back of the pan brackets should also be set on about half inch high blocks to help keep the geometry straight relative to the raised front of the pan. C-clamp the rear pan brackets in place.
Use come-alongs, ropes/pulleys, levers, whatever works for you to pull the rear end snug into the back of the pan (held snug but not forced), and resting comfortably in place. Then tighten all the spring and mounting bolts and nuts. That has worked wonders on a couple difficult cars I have put together.
With the weaker early pan, it is somewhat likely that the rear end could force the pan one direction or another causing the tail shaft to tweak enough for the magneto to drag. It doesn't take much, especially if the magneto was properly set up close.

Might want to consider double-checking the clutch pack to be sure it is right before putting the engine back in.

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