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New Model T Did Something Strange

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Hi, I have become a new Model T owner (I certainly waited long enough!).

Yesterday it did something strange. I was turning it around and apparently I turned the steering wheel too far and it started turning the wheels opposite the way intended. I realized what was happening and turned the steering wheel back and all was normal as before.

This T is in great shape and runs/drives very well. Please advise.

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I don't know the answer.  But I suggest you post this to the discussion forum on the Model T Ford Club of America website.  It's much more active than this one, and you'll get lots of responses. ( Some of them might even be helpful!)

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Probably wrong drag link, they were made in several different lengths. Too short and it will do that, too long and you do not get full range of steering but hardly anyone notices that! Pitman arm may be bent is another possibility.

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That is really just a quirk of the model T, I doubt you will do it again. The Model A  touted improved steering that would not go over center.

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That is not a Model T quirk and really needs to be addressed. Layden mentions the drag link and pitman arm issues which could be the reasons this is happening. On later Model Ts, as a safety precaution ( 1924? and later) Ford built a detent on the inside of the steering gear case and installed a longer planet gear pin so this would not happen. You definitely want to address this situation as it can be dangerous. There have been some dangerous accidents on tour because of "over center" steering issues.

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)

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When you find a solution post back I would be curious as to a proper cure.

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Remove the steering wheel and unscrew the steering box cover.

Remove the three idler gears and remove the grease (if there is any but should be) so you can see what's in the bottom of the steering box.

The radial "slot" is supposed to prevent the wheels from over centering.

 

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/178734.html?1293727614

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I have read that earlier models did not have this feature. What year car are we working on?

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When I bought my first Model "T" ('14 Touring) It did the same thing.  Pretty scary stuff.

 

The front spring was flattened out so when you steered right, the pitman arm banged into the radius rod.  So, the previous owner "fixed" it by simply bending the pitman arm so it would clear the radius rod.

 

This "fix" effectively "shortens" the pitman arm, which allows the drag link to rotate too far and then come around up to the top where your steering is now reversed.

 

When I restored the car, I first had the front spring re-arched to the proper height.  Then I ordered a new pitman arm from Snyder's which was an exact duplicate of the original and now the problem is solved.

 

(  I also changed the original 3:1 steering planetary gears to the newer 5:1 system and I feel like I have much better control of the steering now)

 

Please fix it.  It can be dangerous in the wrong situation.

 

Good Luck!

Gary Wheeler

NJ

 

 

 

The previous owner

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