sunnybaba

HELP needed...!!!! Advice....

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Driving the 1930 145 into town today... climbing up a mountain grade... I went to downshift into second gear.... (I still need to feel into where the gears are, because I haven't driven it alot)..... It went into reverse... and locked up... I immediately put in the clutch..... and it just sat there in the middle of the road , on a grade, idling..... It didn't roll back wards, with the clutch in.... and no  matter how hard I pulled on the shift lever with the clutch in... it would not come out of reverse... so There I sit miles from anywhere in the middle of a narrow dirt road...... it won't go forward, with the clutch in or out , it won't go forward or backward to get out of the road........ So I try starting the engine again, clutch in... it starts.... so I let out the clutch and jerk on the shift lever and it comes out of reverse and into first gear... and I let out the clutch and it moves forward as it should... (the clutch is working fine, engaging & dis engaging, as it should.... so I get up a little speed, moving forward up the hill, and try to shift into second.. and the lever gets stuck again between gears, somewhere.... and the engine dies, and I am in the middle of the road (very narrow dirty road).... and it wont go into any gear... no matter how hard I try to move the lever in any direction....., with clutch in or out, engine on or off.... so I try again, with engine running clutch let out and jerk the lever towards first... it goes in and as the clutch is let out and given gas, it moves forward as it should... so I drive it the 10 miles into town in first gear... park it at a friend's house , borrow his car for the day, and make all our goat's milk deliveries as scheduled and do our shopping and return to the Franklin,  Push her backwards out of his driveway (she won't go in any other gear),  start her up and slowly drive the 18 miles home in first gear... no problem... happy to have made it Home safely, with the car and all our goods.....

NOW the question;  Does anybody have an idea what might have happened inside the transmission to lock up like that...... and cause the shifting fork to not be able to move between gears...??

It has always shifted easily and smoothly even with the engine turn off , sitting still.........  Now it won't move an inch in any direction, clutch in or out........  I will pull out the floor boards, and unbolt, and open the top of the T77-1 

4 speed tranny..... looking to see why the shifting forks, won't move... maybe a pin in there fell out..... I don't know what exactly to look for..... ANY IDEAS......??????  😏

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Posted (edited)

First I ever heard of that happening with a T-77. They are a fairly simple and very reliable design used on many autos by Warner up into the 1970 at least. My 72 AMX and my 33 English Austin use the same basic transmission design.  

 

To be clear, what you calling "first gear" is the gear straight back from reverse ?  In that transmission first gear is actually what Franklin called, "emergency low" - its off to the left against spring tension from  the reverse/second gear line. And uses a different shifter rod (all the way over on the right side of the top cover). You normally start out in what is second gear, which uses the same shifter rod as reverse. it's the middle of the three shifter rods. 

 

Sounds like maybe the problem is in the shifter rods, or forks. See if anything is blocking the front and back end of the trans top cover where the rods extend out of the case, such as where the second/reverse rod hits the backing light switch.

 

Then check the side of the top cover to see if the detent balls and springs hole plugs are in place. 

 

Might have a fork broken, or came loose from it's shifter rod. The bolt holding the forks on the rods are supposed to be safety wired, but who knows what's been done in there over the decades.  That's not a transmission that was available for a 1930 so obviously it's been tinkered with to be made to fit.  See if the floor board is somehow interfering, or something that got stuck up in there.

 

Pull the drain plug and drain the oil through some fine screening like window screen. See if there's any pieces of metal that come out in the oil. 

 

Paul  

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Thanks Paul, will do as instructed....         I know Dick Lamphere, rebuilt the T77-1 completely.. before installing it.... I have 5 notebooks that covers 50 years of notes, on everything he did to this car, and notes on his long distance trips with it, gas mileage, average cruising speed, repairs done, etc.. he over hauled many parts... and this engine was completely rebuilt 23,000 miles ago and a new clutch put in then... this engine has inserts and a high compression head, giving it a 6:6 compression ratio...... I will look into it in the next week... and report (with photos)... and what I find out.... thank you for telling me what to look for.....

I was in third, ( the highest gear)  and tried to down shift ( double clutching) into second, because it was lugging up the hill, but I hit reverse instead... the way I describe the gears is ;   spring loaded Low granny gear, then first, second and third... I only use the spring loaded granny gear, for ascending or descending a very steep hill , Like out of our canyon......   I drove home in first... it is stuck in first... was stuck in reverse...   will get back to you on this, as soon as I look into it... I will use this public format, because others my learn something from our discussion........ Sunny

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Posted (edited)

Ok let me know what you find.

 

FYI, With their four speed trans, both the 29, 30 31 Detroit, then the Warner T77 that replaced the Detroit  partway into 31 production year, Franklin called the gears "emergency low" (1st, or Granny gear)), "low" (2nd), "intermediate"(3rd) and "high"(4th). For all normal driving the shift pattern is set up just like a typical "H" pattern three speed to start out in low (2nd).  When you say first gear some Franklin people may think your stating out in emergency low, which, if there is a problem with the shifter rods it is not the same shift rod and fork as the  low/reverse gears.

 

Just so you know, that T-77 means that your 30 has had a 1931 Trans, bell housing, and driveshaft swapped into it. Plus the floor and toe boards had to be changed. And it may mean the rear axle gears may also have been swapped to the 4.25 ratio that came with the 4 spd. trans.

 

The T-77 is a nice trans and it moves the parking brake lever to the center rather than the "knee-knocker" brake lever by the Driver's door of the earlier trans. A swap I've done a couple of times. 

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

OK Paul,  Now I took the floor board and toe board out.... and remember the shift lever would not move in any direction... so I unbolted the shift lever cup... four bolts and pulled the shift lever out... the middle slot/Rod was pushed way forward..... and the other two on either side wouldn't move at all (they shouldn't of course)..... when the middle rod is out of neutral.  So, I was able to pry the middle rod back into, what I thought was, the middle/neutral position... so all three slots were lined up in a row .... Which is supposed to be the neutral position...... so I bolt the shift lever back on, start the car, with the clutch in.... but when I try to let the clutch out, while in neutral it wants to move forward..... so I try to move the shift lever into reverse... it won't go... then I try spring loaded granny low.... it won't go..... then I try regular low/second ... it won't move into any of the gears either.... and neutral, it wants to move forward when clutch is engaged...   So I turn it off, open it up again, and start trying to move each of the slots/rods back and forth..... with a large screw driver.... the middle rod will only move forward...  it looks like it moves further than it should and when I look at the rod end at the back of the tranny it is a half an inch INSIDE of the tranny case... where the left rod is flush with the case when fully forward..... so I move the middle rod back to what I thought was neutral, but I see now it is NOT really back in neutral.. it needs to come back more to line up with the other two... but it will not move back no matter what I do... I keep pushing  the spring loaded tab on the right one and try to move it... but it won't move.....

So... at this point I feel the obstruction to movement is inside the tranny, below the rods... so I take out the 6 nuts holding the top with the rods down ....... but I can not lift it off because there is a metal angle iron brace across the top of the front of this lid I just unbolted... it probably has to lift straight up... And I am affraid actually to lift it up anyway... because something might move or fall and I couldn't put it back together again...... but I can lift it 1/2 inch and wiggle it around a little..... and then I try to move the middle rod/slot back with the screwdriver while to tranny lid is loose... and it moves back to where the other rods are ..... thus neutral... now all three rods are sticking out about 1/2 from the rear of the tranny... and I can move the left rod back and forth and I can move the middle rod back and forth.. but not the right rod........ and  when I move the middle rod it goes TOO FAR FORWARD AND TOO FAR BACK, sticking out further than the left one in both directions ....  This is not right  and why won't the right one move..?

So .. More to the story.... I bolt every thing back together, with the three slots lined up.... get in start the car (clutch in)  but as I let the clutch out (in neutral)  it wants to move forward... But now I can shift into 2nd,3rd, and 4th smoothly... and I can tell I am in each gear, because when I let out the clutch in 4th it bogs the engine ... in 3rd less so, in 2nd not at all,,, but it also wants to move forward (as in 2nd) in Neutral....

and it still will not go into reverse or low granny at all.......   So..... I have no neutral (or maybe the idler gear is not working) I can shift into 2nd,3rd and 4th... but not reverse and not low granny

 

But I can drive it up on a trailer to be sold CHEAP  or drive it to town..... and shift into the three gears... but nobody within 600 miles will know how to work on it... and getting parts..???

Even if I was to pull off the top plate of the tranny... I would't have a clue what things in there are supposed to look like, or what looks wrong in there...I might never get it back together........

And who would have a good serviceable T77-1 tranny..?? and for how much...? and shipping to New Mexico...?

I really am feeling that I got in way over my head.... on this Franklin... and I don't have anymore money to be putting into it....   any body want a good Franklin CHEAP  you would have a good driver with about $500- $1000 more invested in replacing or repairing this tranny..........🙄  Any body want a slightly crippled Franklin...??         $8K

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Edited by sunnybaba (see edit history)

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Perhaps you and an expert could 'talk' using smartphones. You can use Facebook messaging with video on. You can have someone hold the phone and you can move something while the expert watches you and instructs you what to do. You and he are talking to each other while he is watching what you do and observes the results. You are using the front camera on your phone (best not the selfie).
These phones are excellent for that kind of thing. Even you go to the grocery and your wife is instructing you( by seeing) which of 4 different boxes of an item to bring home so that you wouldn't have to return a box !!!
An excellent long distance diagnostic tool ~~~
Richard Dryman
ps--don't give up without trying that {but not with me; I am not an expert}~~~good luck !

 

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Posted (edited)

Sunny,

The bad news is, T-77 is rare, so finding a replacement is not going to be easy. And it's likely that it may also need rebuilding. I've rebuilt a few and while the normal wear parts are still available, replacement gears are no easier to find than whole transmissions.

 

However, I know it's frustrating but don't give up just yet.

 

The good news is that the T-77 are fairly simple, rugged, and easy to get apart. That's why the basic design was used by so many auto manufactures  and lasted for over 40 years. If you can send me clear pictures, taken from several different angles, of what you are seeing with the cover and also down inside the trans, I can look at them and see if I spot anything out of place.  Email is best  for me. airiscool@frontiernet.net   

 

I also have  lots of pictures of T-77's, taken while I was rebuilding them to send to you along with steps to help guide you in trouble shooting - and if need be, in taking the trans out and getting it apart to see about fixing it.  I do several hundred emails each year guiding Franklin owners through maintaining and repairing their cars because most are nowhere near the very few shops experienced in Franklins. And like yesterday, I get calls with Franklin questions from shops, too. So your situation is not unique and if your willing there's a good chance you won't have to sell the car.

 

But first, have you drained the gear oil and screened it to see if there are any bits of metal in it ? That's one of the steps to trouble shooting and it doesn't cost anything, because if the gear oil is not too old, it can be reused for now.

 

Paul  

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Thank you for the good advice... Paul is now helping me and guiding me through this repair .... which takes away my despair...😊   Opened it up today and found a broken fork that controls second and reverse gears...  it was sheared off when I mistakenly down shifted from 4th gear into Reverse, at 20 mph...... what would I expect...??   we will get her fixed.. no serious damage... easy fix,..... what a great bunch of Franklin owners.. thanks again,  Sunny

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Posted (edited)

Sunny, you have email. I suggest posting the measurements of that fork if you want any help to find one. 

 

If anyone has a spare fork from a T-77  middle shifter rod - reverse and low (aka 2nd gear), or maybe one that matches from another 70 series, or other models of Warner transmissions, please let Sunny know.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Sunny, I have several T-77  transmissions  .I  MAY ... have a parts unit , Ill look tomorrow. . PS The seats look great in your car! Don't sell it, FIX IT. You will never get a full classic as great as a 1930 Franklin for 8000..  Don't rush it, breath deep and relax. 

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OK Mike... I am waiting with my fingers crossed that you might have a T77 parts tranny, with a good middle fork...  I need to know by Weds.. 5/20... because that is when I can go into town to contact a machine shop about building one for me.... and Mike could you Email me a price if you have one....   sunnybabaspirit@yahoo.com

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Sunny , I didn't find a loose shifting fork. The only thing I can offer is to rob one off a good transmission or  sell you a complete cover exchange .( me get your old cover and broken fork ) Why don't you see how much the shop wants to make one. also why not take the broken one to a good welder and have it tig welded ?

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I am going to the machine shop to have one built,  I don't think you can weld this CAST metal.... and the weak area on this shift fork is the recessed hole where the bolt goes through...(where it broke)... and that area is only 1/8" thick....  I will get this fork replaced with good strong steel.... thanks for looking Mike.... good to know you have a complete one..

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Sunny,

FYI, yes that fork it can be welded. And a welder can add extra material on the sides to strengthen that broken area. Should only take a competent welder  minutes to do.  And likely cost less than machining a new one.

 

Paul

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Thank you all for your help and suggestions..... I was able to find the correct part, in good condition, for a very fair price, from Mike West... after it is installed and shifting normally again, I will let you all know.... Sunny 

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Sunny, Keep your Franklin. I have enough parts here to rebuild your entire car  3 time over. Send me a few pictures of the leather moccasins  you make.  Happy Memorial day.

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On 5/17/2020 at 1:02 AM, sunnybaba said:

I really am feeling that I got in way over my head.... on this Franklin... and I don't have anymore money to be putting into it....   any body want a good Franklin CHEAP  you would have a good driver with about $500- $1000 more invested in replacing or repairing this tranny..........🙄  Any body want a slightly crippled Franklin...??         $8K

 And to think, less than a week ago it was 1/2 that price.😲

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The reason it was half the price... is the broken fork in the transmission.... and I didn't think I could fix it or even find the part needed.... Some one should have jumped on it then.. they would have gotten a steal of a deal.... now that I can fix it with the correct part it is priced at it's fair value...... ready to tour again........ subtract my paying half of the transport fees and I am getting about $14,500.....

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I am glad you got it fixed and it was a relativly simple repair.

I really enjoyed following your updates on your daily use of this wonderful Franklin.  I am sure it will find a new owner who cherishes it as you have. 

 

Best regards,

Terry

 

 

 

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Sunny , Please don't sell it you are a great guy and as you can see Franklins are very easy to fix. I has been fun working with you and the car is just getting better each fix you make.

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10 hours ago, odat said:

Sunny , Please don't sell it you are a great guy and as you can see Franklins are very easy to fix. I has been fun working with you and the car is just getting better each fix you make.

Sunny I might add to the above statement. It wasn't the cars fault it broke, it sounds like you made a poor shift and buggered it up. The Franklin is perfectly suited for your roads . Just go a little easy on the old girl. If you want a car to beat up get a Ford or Chevy and use the Franklin for a going to church car! I have at least 6 good sidedraft engines , transmissions (4 of the T -77s) axles ,shocks, springs, many steering boxes (Ross and Gemmers)  and more. Keep your car!

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I so appreciate, each of your interest, friendship and your encouragement to keep this awesome automobile, the Franklin...... It is a really good car for my needs here.. and I know what these roads have done to my four wheel drive trucks... it really abuses the suspension and front ends, (steering, ball joints, tie rod ends, etc,)... it is either thick dist, and loose gravel, or deep mud.... and because I like the Franklin, and think it is a fine car that I value and enjoy... I hate to see it sit at home, not being used half the time, because I don't want to abuse it and have it loose it's resale value.... because if I keep it , I will not have any extra money or extra income, above my daily living needs, to buy and start another project car or truck... this is how I have been able to afford to buy unfinished project cars or to rebuild prewar cars and trucks, over the years..... I have renewed and rebuilt, and built cars from the frame up...... using the money from selling the previous vehicle to finance the next one..... and I have done this with about 25, prewar vehicles in the past 50 years.... enjoying the process of bringing them back to life and enjoying them for a while and passing them on.. to reinvest that money into another one.... If I got attached to any one of them, then I never would have been able to experience , the uniqueness of all the others...

 It is just the way a poor man  (with income below the poverty level), has been able to afford to own, repair and build so many really nice vintage vehicles.....

So... If I keep this beautiful Franklin... it will be my Last vintage vehicle... I am 75 years old and have had a wonderful, full life, full of creativity and adventure... and I have to feel into whether or not I am willing to make this my last......

I love the Franklin ride (suspension and handling) as well as the comfortable interior... but I would love to build one that was four wheel drive, and a truck that could haul our hay from town, handle the mud and abuse... easy to get parts for.... but has those beautiful curves of the 'old time' bodies... that wonderful, 'old time feeling' of the ride itself (the journey) is the best part, and not the destination.....it would have the full elliptic  spring ride of a Franklin.... a 30's body with plenty of leg room (I'm 6'4").... be able to haul 3/4 of a ton , of hay, rooks, firewood, etc. in the bed... and have vintage wire wheels and the vintage look... but be a rough off road, 4X4 work horse ......    That would serve my homesteading/Farming lifestyle of daily use... and satisfy my need to drive a nice looking, vintage looking vehicle........ anyway these are my thoughts & feelings  about my selling or not selling this amazing Franklin......   I may be willing to make it my Last vintage vehicle/project.......  I am a very practical, unattached character .... we will see..... thank you for your support and caring... a great bunch of fellow vintage vehicle Lovers...  Sunny 

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Terry... I have built a few 4x4 trucks made out of model A sedan bodies... see photo...   And Mike West has a real nice Franklin pickup, he and his father built... and I think Mike is building another Franklin pick up right now... The  truck in the photo above is ill proportioned , in my opinion.... I don't think it looks right...

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