Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

OT: sawdust in gearbox, really?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OT: sawdust in gearbox, really?

    I'm reading Matilda to the kids and as you might recall her father is a shady car salesman who "adds sawdust to the gearbox to quieten it for the sale"

    I couldn't really tell the kids whether this was true or whether Dahl took some artistic license here. Internet seems to be full of people who encountered sawdust in ruined gearboxes, but perhaps all of the applicants were influenced by Roald Dahl. Either consciously or unconsciously.

    As this forum is loaded with people who worked on cars half a century ago, perhaps someone could shed some light on whether this actually worked, and if so how long a transmission would live after.

    And to get back on topic, will it improve my chinese lathe gearbox if I replace the sand in the oil with sawdust

    Thanks,
    Igor

  • #2
    Sawdust was never anything I have heard of. And I worked for such a man years ago as a lot boy.
    Now what was common for a gearbox or engine with a knock was adding gear oil, or overfilling the gear box with oil to deaden the noise.

    Put it on a lift, pull the trans, drill a hole in the top and fill it up. Then stuff a rubber plug in it, maybe.
    Sawdust was for radiators. It would fix holes by getting in them and expanding to stop the leak for a short time.
    Of course this was a summer only fix as it would clog a heater core up in short order.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yup, fill the cases of whatever to deaden the noise. I have heard the sawdust, cork, rubber thing a few times over the years but ever encountered it and don't think it would do much as it would get pushed out of the way and the noise would persist.

      I have encountered many other "fixes" over the years though. Latest nifty one was loose spark plugs in a subi to cover up bad headgaskets.
      Andy

      Comment


      • #4
        I've heard about it ever since I was a kid but have never seen it...others say they have.

        https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...ential.489889/
        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

        Comment


        • #5
          I've heard of it but never saw it done but I do believe it's true way back when.

          Comment


          • #6
            My dad told me of a guy who claimed to use nylon tights to the same effect. No idea if they were his own or the wife's.
            Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

            Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
            Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
            Monarch 10EE 1942

            Comment


            • #7
              Sawdust, oatmeal, bananas, the list is long but I've never encountered any.

              How about wrapping a strip of pork rind around a crankshaft journal to repair a run bearing? Seriously proposed to me by a older neighbor and good friend who had farmed during the Depression and after, when I told him of a bearing knock in my MGB.
              Last edited by cameron; 05-14-2017, 09:14 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sawdust and a banana, perhaps......

                Someone's been reading "The Grapes of Wrath"?
                CNC machines only go through the motions.

                Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've heard of sawdust in the gearbox, and also that tights/nylon stockings are better because they deaden the noise for longer. I've never heard of sawdust in the radiator, but I believe that the white of an egg was effective, because it congealed in the leak when the water got hot. Unfortunately, all the old time car mechanics I knew have gone to places where I can't speak to them directly.

                  Geo.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I never heard of egg in the radiator, or bacon for a temporary bearing. I did hear people speak seriously of putting oatmeal in the radiator to stop a leak. Rear rear end was where I heard of using sawdust to quieten the gears.

                    I also heard of using a strip of harness leather as a temporary bearing, that would probably last longer than bacon, but the bacon might smell better! There was also some trick with leaky rear main seals, but I can't remember what it was.
                    Jim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wasn't meant to fix the problem just to quiet it down so it would sell...

                      A friend, that was a mechanic, told of a neighbor, when he was a kid, their Model A started knocking. Someone had made a wooden piston with a steel plate boltedto the top with 4 carriage bolts. Started knocking when the top of the wood piston carbonized and created some free spacew for the plate to rattle.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J Harp View Post
                        I never heard of egg in the radiator, or bacon for a temporary bearing. I did hear people speak seriously of putting oatmeal in the radiator to stop a leak. Rear rear end was where I heard of using sawdust to quieten the gears.

                        I also heard of using a strip of harness leather as a temporary bearing, that would probably last longer than bacon, but the bacon might smell better! There was also some trick with leaky rear main seals, but I can't remember what it was.
                        My dad worked in a garage/gas station in the twenty's and thirty's and had stories of similar discoveries when people brought their cars in for repairs. No bacon or eggs though, and I believe that the leaky rear main seal fix was to add some brake fluid to the oil to swell up the rubber.
                        I also remember that he told me of a time where a guy had brought in a car with a miss and wanted it tuned up, no spark plug wire on one cyl. easy fix right? wrong! new plug and wire did nothing even though there was a strong spark, upon closer examination he discovered someone had removed the piston and rod from that cyl. and drove in a wooden plug to close off that cyl. that crank throw was shot and the crank needed replacing. The car was not worth the repair costs so it was put back together minus the spark plug and wire and the guy drove off with the miss.

                        Steve

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My favourite uncle was a alcoholic motorhead who taught me all the tricks when I was young. Sawdust to quiet a noisy rearend or transmission. A handful of hardwood ashes into the inspection plate on the bell housing to temporarily keep a clutch from slipping if the rear main seal in the engine was gone and oil was migrating back to the clutch plate. A leather insert cut from an old work-glove soaked in oil and then clamped under a rod cap to quiet a knock in the engine. I can't remember what dodgy trick was used for leaking radiators. All of these things worked very well, but just for long enough to sell the car to some poor sucker.--And yes, I have heard the story of cars with a miss where the piston and con-rod had been removed to hide a bad rod bearing.---Brian
                          Brian Rupnow
                          Design engineer
                          Barrie, Ontario, Canada

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kf2qd View Post
                            Wasn't meant to fix the problem just to quiet it down so it would sell...

                            A friend, that was a mechanic, told of a neighbor, when he was a kid, their Model A started knocking. Someone had made a wooden piston with a steel plate boltedto the top with 4 carriage bolts. Started knocking when the top of the wood piston carbonized and created some free spacew for the plate to rattle.
                            That's pretty resourceful.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Used machinery salesman trick. Problem = open gears on very old machine are very noisy. It's a real deal breaker. Solution = squirt nasty, black belt dressing on open gears while they are running. Gears become whisper quiet. Machine sold.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X