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Old 09-15-2011, 02:18 AM   #21
COE Dan
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

Chris,

Great truck you have there. I'm back on Ford barn after my recent move to Hawaii. I've got a 47 COE as well and I've had it about 6 years now. Unfortunately, I could not ship it to Hawaii and it awaits my return in long term slumber...I won't tell you where so you don't 'promote' any parts off of it...just kidding.

Anyways, rest assured all of what you're going through is pretty much what I've gone through on mine and this wasn't the only old, big truck I've owned...it's par for the course but solving the problems is highly rewarding and my COE has brought me great pleasure over the short time I've owned it. Here's a couple of pieces of useful info (I think):

1) Tires: I've got 6 old, cracked, worn bias-ply tires. These trucks don't drive fast. If you can get the vibration out, I wouldn't bother replacing a tire unless there is tread separation or it won't hold air. You're not likely to get this truck going fast enough to lose control and go off the road. Having said that, I can only get my truck up to about 30 before my vibration gets real bad. I traced it to one of the rear wheels that is either bent or poorly balanced. I overlook the inconvenience and don't drive it any faster.



Secondly, you won't be able to find radial tires for these rims. In fact, all truck rims with an even wheel diameter (i.e. 18", 19", 20", etc) are bias ply and usually designed for tube-type, multi-piece rims. Radial tires designed for tubeless applications are all half-sizes (i.e. 19.5", 20.5", 22.5"). This is done to prevent your tire shop from "trying to fit" a tubeless tire on a tube-type rim.


Lastly, you talk about a vibration at 15 mph and up. One last thing to consider with bias ply tires... If the vehicle sits for a while (as little as a week) or you drive it in colder temps, then the bias ply tires will develop a 'set'. Essentially, they have a flat spot. Once the tire warms up, the flat spot disappears and the ride smooths out...somewhat. It won't be smooth as glass but better. Also, your rear tires appear to be NDMT...that is, Non-Directional Military Tread...great for on/off road use but not designed solely for highway use. Military trucks of the same era topped out about 45 mph and ride quality was not among the acceptance criteria of the tires. That may solve some of your vibration issue.



Several of the others have mentioned places to get the tires if they do need replacing. Try Coker, Lucas or Universal tire companies. All advertise in Hemmings Motor News.


2) Trans: First of all, if you want a quiet trans, you won't find it in the 4-speed. Unlike the commercial and car trans from Ford, all the gears are straight-cut which results in an impressive whine (especially in the lower gears). Also, the trans is non-synchromesh in all gears requiring you to double-clutch on the way up and both double clutch with a engine speed change on the way down. Can be tricky (took me a month to learn) but once you get the feel, it's like riding a bike...


Will a Ford 3-speed work? Maybe...the engine is no more powerful than the car or pickup but others on this forum might know more. The real challenge with converting to a 3-speed is that the 4-speed is of the more-modern open driveshaft design. Ford's 3-speeds were closed propeller tube designs on the car and commercial vehicles (pickup, panel, etc). I don't know when Ford switched to open driveshaft for the car/pickup...maybe around the 8BA era...(48 and younger).



3) Wiring: I think Rhode Island Wiring makes a harness for the COE...if you want to go totally stock. My truck had been totally rewired for 12V by the previous owner. Mine too caught on fire (badly installed aftermarket ignition switch). Fortunately the fire stopped burning insulation once the short melted through the 10-gauge battery feed wire. But that also killed power to everything while I was driving. I can't imagine what it looked like from the outside. Smoke was billowing out of the cab window while I was driving it and it probably looked like an audition for a Laurel and Hardy sequence. Long story short, I rewired the entire truck, threw out all the aftermarket hot rod crap that didn't work right or wasn't installed right, kept the 12V system but went back to the original ignition switch/push button start. Works like a charm. I've got all the schematics I drew up if you need any assistance wiring/rewiring yours.


Anyways, I'm by no means an expert but I enjoy the tinkering and problem solving and I'm always available to ask a question. If you need my email, just PM me as it's easier to get a hold of me that way.


COE Dan

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Old 09-15-2011, 11:04 AM   #22
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

That looks like a really nice COE.

I hope to have one myself someday.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:37 PM   #23
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

Thanks Dan for the explanation on the bias tires. The rears on my COE are the old non directional military tires. They have a real bad flat spot and any amout of driving doesn't seem to "round them out". I'll just have to get some new bias from firestone and get them mounted up.

The transmission in my Ford is no longer operable as of last night. I'm not sure if it's the clutch or transmission but I'll find out in a couple of weeks (I'm oil field trash and work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off and won't be home for a bit). Trans just went inop on acceleration and I was lucky enough to be headed down a big hill. Good news is that my garage is all cleaned up and ready for the truck. I'll give an update when I get the engine and trans pulled.

Chris
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:32 AM   #24
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

Chris,

Best of luck when you pull that trans. Take note that Joblot in Long Island, NY has quite a selection of NOS parts for the 4-speed trans. Mac's has a bit too to include some bearings. Chances are you didn't ruin any gears and I believe the bearings should be available...the same parts were used for 30-40 years.

Also, if you have a clutch issue, the 4-spd uses the 11-inch clutch and pressure plate combo (not the smaller 9- or 10-inch for the 3-spds).

Lastly, if you plan to do the work yourself and need some info, there is a short (78 pages) "Repair Manual, Transmissions, Clutches, Overdrives and Power Take-offs" for Fords from 1932-1947. It's a pretty good synopsis on what you need to do and shows diagrams on how everything fits together (order is important). They occasionally pop up on ebay but Macs sells reprints for about what a well-thumbed original goes for. Might be worth the $8.

Hope all goes well...

Dan
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:28 AM   #25
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sorry you lost clutch/trans last night. If you need some gears I have a 4sp out back and will strip out and send anything you might need for postage.
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:14 AM   #26
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Thanks for the advice and offer. I'll take it one day at a time and see how things progress. I just bought that transmission book. It'll be a nice reference during the rebuild.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:33 AM   #27
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It's good to see more people preserving more of the old trucks, they also are an important part of American automotive history.
Fordestes
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:35 PM   #28
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Hi Chris, nice 41 coe. I just bought a 41 coe myself. Body only for a custom hauler project. Im looking for an emblem for the side of the cowl vent. Also a hood and grill.
Good luck with your truck, it's a keeper !!
Randy
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:58 PM   #29
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Very impressive old truck. I wouldn't mind haveing that one myself. lol
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:01 AM   #30
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I have a wheel wrench with handle for that truck should you need or want one John.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:52 AM   #31
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

Been working a little on the old COE. I shoehorned it into my little garage on 1/4 plywood rolling on the front drums. Length wasn't an issue but I only had a quarter inch on the roof.

Started disassembly on the truck this past week or two and finally pulled the engine today.

I seperated the trans from the engine and found the source(s) of my problems and noise. First thing I found was the damper springs from the clutch disk were on vacation and laying around in the bottom of the bellhousing. The clutch disk itself was in great shape. It must have been replaced at some point as it has a remanufactured tag on the clutch plate.

The throwout bearing has a little excessive play as well. Inside the trans I found some chewed up gears and excessive bearing play. Kind of goes right along with the metal I found in the drain plug.

Well thats it for a week or so. Sorry about the cell phone pics. I'm headed to work in the morning for a couple of weeks and didn't feel like digging out the wifes camera. Input and advice is always welcome.

Chris

Last edited by cwh; 10-13-2011 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:47 AM   #32
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

if you found metal shavings in the trans, you will need, at least, to replace the bearings in the trans. Looks like a new clutch pressure plate, throw out bearing and possibly a clutch disc, make sure this one is not warped. Gears in these old trans are tough and since they are non-synchro get chewed on a bit and will continue to be of service unless the gears have teeth gone and are not chewed up too bad
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:54 AM   #33
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That gearbox picture doesn't reflect the damage well. The (2nd maybe) gear is ground down across the face about a third of the way. The trans needs bearings for sure and seals. Most of the 9/16 head bolts that I removed were not much more than finger tight. That being said I believe that's where I was losing much of the gear lube.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:29 PM   #34
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

before I forget Is the young man in the picture one of your helpers? If so put a wrench in his hand and let him get greasy as my two boys did.. I will look into my trans and send you some pictures of the gears, 1/3 of the way across bad, it definitly needs replaceing!
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:29 PM   #35
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Default Re: '41 Ford COE questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanwoodieman View Post
before I forget Is the young man in the picture one of your helpers? If so put a wrench in his hand and let him get greasy as my two boys did.. I will look into my trans and send you some pictures of the gears, 1/3 of the way across bad, it definitly needs replaceing!
Yep. That's my main helper. The middle boy loves projects and is always ready to dive in. He swapped the motor out in his dirt bike a couple of years ago. Did all the work himself except for breaking the stubborn bolts loose. I have three to train up. The oldest does well in the garage as well and the youngest hasn't shown a ton of interest... yet.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:43 AM   #36
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Got my wheels powdercoated and some new bias ply's mounted up. Working on painting up the rear drums prior to bolting the wheels back up. Should have it all done by the weekend.



The motor is all resealed and painted up ready to go back in. Still haven't gone through the transmission yet.



On another note. Anybody know where to obtain another of these little bottom cushion centering posts?



Thanks,

Chris
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:31 PM   #37
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chris is that the piece that is tacked welded to the seat frame? I am going to look but I think I have one that is similar and will e-mail you a picture. Good progress, tires will make a big difference, engine looks good, trans will be a piece of cake! Alan
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:55 PM   #38
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Yep, That's the piece. It's been fun. Trans is next. Still pushing to have in on the road by the end of February.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:37 PM   #39
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OK Chris, How about an update? Still making progress I hope. Post a picture when you can of the finished project. Alan
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:24 PM   #40
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The engine and trans are going back in this evening. Here's a pic of both on the stand...



I'll post some pics when it's back in and together. Goal is stll the last week of Feb for a running driving truck.
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