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Old 06-12-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
Modelakid31
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Default Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

So as most of you know I have been restoring a 31 Tudor and now 4years later I'm close to being finished. BUT, I am stuck on a few major problems. The main problem I'm having is the car won't shift between each gear. So I pulled the motor last weekend and spent all day taking it out and adjusting the pressure plate and checking all the clutch parts. After getting it all back in I went for a test run and couldn't get out of my yard without it grinding. I'm double clutching fine I just can't shift unless I'm at a stop. I believe it's not freewheeling inside the trans. I tried 2 different transmission tops thinking the forks were right. I'm dumbstruck as what to try or do next. I just want to drive the car. I'm so close but so far. All that's left is the interior. Im hoping to be able to start going to national meets and local gathering, trying to get more kids my age into model A's. The other problem is the engine runs really hot yet the radiator is cool and when I open the drain on the lower tube the coolent is cold. I think the head could be plugged? And the last problem, well it's just something that worries me is that the engine I have in it had a repair weld someone must have made on the side of the block, and when I pulled the motor last weekend I noticed it was a bit rust and damp under the weld. I had painted the engine a few years ago so I believe it's leaking out of it this makes me wonder if I would ever make it far on a long distance trip. I'm out of ideas and money, and this past year was the last year I could apply for the youth restoration award as i am turing 21 this Sunday.

If anyone has any ideas about anything please let me know. I am dieing to drive the car!

I will update my website soon with all the current pictures and info. Just been busy with work and school.

Mike Cataldo
Aka modelakid
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
James Rogers
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Wish you were closer, I would fix them all. The shifting is probably you. Have you ever tried shifting without the clutch after getting the car rolling? It is easy and just depends on letting the transmission and engine get syncronized. Try it, just get the car going in first and don't use the clutch. Push slightly forward on the shifter and let off the gas. The shifter will fall out of first and you can push it toward second and when the motor and tranny are in sync it will fall into gear. If it grinds because the motor slowed down too much just rev it up and try again. Once you succeed at this you can shift using the clutch. Just a matter of getting the motor and transmission to the same speed. I have driven cars all over more than one town like this including Tampa,FL in the early 70's.

The radiator problem is one that should be diagnosed by a radiator shop but, you can flush the block at home. Just remove top and bottom hoses and run a hose in the outlet and see what comes out the inlet. You can even wedge the hose in the head outlet and get some pressure into the block.

The leak can be fixed with some JB Weld. Drain the water, and just use some sandpaper to rough up the leak and smear some JB on it and let it dry. Paint it and add the water. If it leaks just do it again.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

I've driven my Model A over MANY miles and somehow I can't seem to get past a double clutch between second and third. It's become a habit now I tend to do even on a modern car.

I thought that was why Ford arranged the center portion of the "H" to do exactly that.

It ain't a synchromesh.

Take comfort in that you'll never find shards of brass in the bottom of your tranny.

I won't talk about what you might find.

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Old 06-12-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Thanks for the replies, but a few things i ment to mention. The radiator and block i flushed out many times and have done it many times for other peoples model a's i work on but will try it again. The block i will try the jb-weld idea. As far as the shifting, its definatly not my first time driving a model a i put 4,500 miles on my dads two 31's anf have almost 8,500 miles under my belt driving model a's. i have had a few local oldtime model a guys take it for a drive and the can't shift it either. It sounds like ur not using the clutch and as if ur trying to shift into reverse while driving.

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Old 06-12-2013, 08:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Could any of the trans gears be in backwards, or would it have locked up already if i tried that.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

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I have been having an issue like yours with my 31 Tudor transmission after it was completely rebuilt last year. Before it would shift really good but had to rebuilt it after a bearing went causing a bad noise. Since getting it back it feels different and grinds in each gear. I have adjusted the free play but after awhile it comes back. I have driven many model a's and know how to clutch them and this one just seems different. question-- does it get better when the tranny is warmed up?
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Mine shifted good then i rebuilt it like you did and then i have this problem. And during one test run it got better when it warmed up but still didn't shift right.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

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Mine shifted good then i rebuilt it like you did and then i have this problem. And during one test run it got better when it warmed up but still didn't shift right.
That makes 2 of us. I'm going to get the 31 Tudor out Friday and see if its better. Keep me updated if you figure it out. I was told by the builder that it will get better and it might be because everything is new and tight. Not sure if I believe that
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Take a 3 inch sander with 36 grit paper to grind the junk and paint away from the weld, be sure to get it really good where it's leaking. Then scratch the area around the crack with sand paper or grey scotch brite. Spread the jb weld, then take wax paper and spread it over the jb. This will allow you to smooth out the jb while it's wet, and it will look really nice and smooth when it's done. Once you have it looking the way you want, remove the wax paper and it will dry how you want it to.

You're heating problem could be you're water pump isn't turning inside the head. Could be a broken shaft towards the back. Could be a plugged block or radiator. You also haven't told us what temp you are considering hot. I wouldn't start worrying temp wise until about 190-200. Then to hot will be 210+. Remember obviously the water coming out the bottom will be quite a bit cooler than the top water. I would get a clear hose and make sure the water is flowing well from the block to the radiator if you are really concerned and over hearing bad.

The clutch just seems like you don't have the clutch arm properly adjusted. Unless you just have some horribly damaged gear, idk why else it wouldn't go into gear. Try putting the car into second, start it with the clutch in and then take it for a test drive. But just make sure your clutch arm is adjusted properly.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Quote:
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Mine shifted good then i rebuilt it like you did and then i have this problem. And during one test run it got better when it warmed up but still didn't shift right.
Maybe you put the wrong grease in it. That 600WT is there for a reason and it's not lubrication specifically.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

I was thinking the same as James about the gear oil weight.

As far as the clutch, is there any chance the hub got bent by letting the tranny weight hang on it during installation?
Also before installation of the disc, I like to make sure it slides smoothly on the input shaft.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

When the transmission was rebuilt, were new gears mixed with older gears? When I rebuilt mine a few years ago, there was an issue with the teeth on the new gears not being shaped correctly in some instances. Since the shape was not correct, the different shaped gears would not mesh correctly with each other and would grind. I don't know if that is still an issue, or if it really was back then. My gears seem to mesh correctly without grinding.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

The key here is, as he says, "i have had a few local oldtime model a guys take it for a drive and the can shift it". If someone else can shift it but he can't, the problem is with the operator.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:37 AM   #14
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

How hot is it getting? Is the water coming out the overflow on top of the radiator? Did you put a thermostat in the upper hose? Did you check the flow from the radiator when you flushed it? It should drain in about 3 or 4 seconds. Try flushing it out upside down. I had an engine that had sat for a year, I cleaned out an entire coffee can of acorns from the head.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

From the post Radiator Flow, "If the fins have broken loose from the tubes it can empty in .1 second and still won't cool the water in it. Also, if it flows too fast it won't have time to cool the water in it anyway. I have an engine on my test stand that I ran yesterday with a standard open hose on the top. The engine in 10 minutes pushed enough water out the overflow and the temp got to 190 in 15 minutes. Today I installed one of the thermostat housings that was discussed here lately. The engine got to 160 in about 10 minutes and you could see the temp rise visually and it never got over 160 after running for 30 minutes. Sometimes fast flow is not good."
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:16 AM   #16
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Is the clutch arm cracked?? Try the "vinegar" treatment for your radiator, nothing to lose but the cost for about 3 gal white vinegar.
Let us know. Nice to see you posting again.
Paul in CT
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

I would try and get the water flow issue addressed first. If the engine is getting very hot with the restricted flow, it may be the reason your patch is starting to leak. If it's just the patch letting go, then the JB Weld should do the trick.
Take note also if it's the patch letting go or if the block looks like it's starting to have a larger crack which would probably require a larger patching job than JB Weld alone. Check out
http://www.canadascapitalas.com/tech_castiron.asp for details on patching cast.

Did you notice anything different the other Model A drivers did when they ran your car? If the car is idling high (carb setting, or the pedal is sticking in the floor) , you will have a hard time to shift without grinding.

Best of Luck and I hope it's something small and relatively easy to address.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

The clutch is adjusted dead on. When stopped in neutral i can hold the gas down for a fast idle or immitating driving and then putlsh in the clutch while still holding te gas and the disc stops in less than 3 or 4 seconds. As far as oil i have closer to 600wt as you can get its way better and closer to original thickness that to crap the dealers sell. The heating problem, i consider too hot when you cant even touch the head or get close to it without feeling the heat.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1931 flamingo View Post
Is the clutch arm cracked?? Try the "vinegar" treatment for your radiator, nothing to lose but the cost for about 3 gal white vinegar.
Let us know. Nice to see you posting again.
Paul in CT
I checked the arm when i had the motor out and it was fine.
And thanks, glad to be back posting.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Almost done with restoration but shifting problem, and more.

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Originally Posted by Modelakid31 View Post
The clutch is adjusted dead on. When stopped in neutral i can hold the gas down for a fast idle or immitating driving and then putlsh in the clutch while still holding te gas and the disc stops in less than 3 or 4 seconds. As far as oil i have closer to 600wt as you can get its way better and closer to original thickness that to crap the dealers sell. The heating problem, i consider too hot when you cant even touch the head or get close to it without feeling the heat.
If the disk stops that quick or even if you can put the transmission in any gear while sitting still and the motor running it is you. There is nothing in the transmission that could be causing it to grind if that is the case. Like you said, some of the old timers you know don't have any trouble shifting it. More practice. Nothing in the transmission could be in backwards and the tranny work through the gears.
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