Montgomery Wards T555

#1
Hello OMB fellas. I just picked up a T555 from Facebook marketplace for $300. Frame seems to be in decent shape. The guy I bought it from said he got just a rolling frame and he rigged up brakes, throttle and engine. He got it operable but it’s quite sloppy. 4830EF1E-551A-4B12-9A63-0FB4FB11DBD5.jpeg
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You can see here that he trying to rig up 7/8” hardware to the 1” frame.
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The oddest part is that he got the motor to line up by flipping around the axle. Usually there is a jack shaft setup and the sprocket is in passenger side of motor mount. I’m a bit worried that it’s missing.
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I wanted to post for you guys and see if anyone has suggestions on direction of the engine setup. I really like having things as original as possible, but I have limited equipment and no fabrication skills. The main concept I’m rolling around is that i might keep axle like it is and bolt on a predator 212 with a torque converter on it. If anyone has words of advice or encouragement, I’d love to hear them.
Also, it seems that a thumb throttle doesn’t exist for a 1” diameter handlebar, only twist.
 
#2
You already know your missing the jackshaft mount. You have an earlier “3” bearing axle hanger version. But it looks like they also cut the third bearing hanger out when they flipped your rear axle/differential. They added the fourth later on to support the differential. Without the forth it puts too much stress on the differential housing and wears the bushings in the housing so the axle shafts get loose and the gears chew themselves up.. I suggest adding the third bearing hanger back in as well as adding a fourth. If you look at the pics you can see what I mean. I understand keeping it original but you will have more fun riding it if your not worried about when it will wear out... I also moved my jackshaft above the motor mount. I can get pics later. I’m 350+ pounds and beat the hell out of my T555 racing and have had many. They are my favorite of all the trikes I have owned. By doing these mods it won’t really affect the way it looks to 99.9% of people so I highly suggest them. Also when it comes to the rear differential I always clean and degrease inside the gears. Replace every bearing and use all new brakes and cables. The most time consuming part of any trike is getting the rear differential set up and serviced. Once your done with that the rest is easy. And it will last a long time. Do it right the first time. F53143B0-001E-4332-AE82-533A6177DDCF.png 2E4F4251-465D-4F7B-A6BF-58B82C05B2EB.png 0E042B12-82D3-44C9-A20E-B052FC5EEEE8.png 270A0B63-09D5-49AB-8E33-0B0EA237BE3C.png 39A9B71A-5AA9-4BC1-BF32-6D3669715F92.jpeg
 
#4
Thank you a million for the information! I'm messed around with mini bikes for quite a bit and feel comfortable with them. This axle and differential thing is uncharted territory. Go Karts have been around forever. Is it possible to build a NEW axle setup for more reliability?
That was the most important question. I have close a MILLION more questions about your experience/knowledge Gumpit.
 
#5
You could remove the two remaining mounts. And ad a cross support where the 4th lines up. Put a solid metal plate across to mount pillow block bearings. Then cut out the section where the housing and sprocket will be. Instead of using two separate plates I would use the one and cut it. You want to make sure the bearings are in a straight line. So there is no binding when the axles turn. This gives you the 4 bearings and will lower the rear about 2”. They sit pretty high compared to other trikes so lowering the center of gravity will help. Even if it means you have to cut and raise your motor mount and put the jackshaft on top.
Or you can buy a couple of bearing hangers and put them where the missing one is and make a crossbar an add a fourth. I added one on a trike by using 2x2 angle iron as a cross member and welded the hanger to it... Thesd trikes are great because there is plenty of room to do things to them. I have added gussets to beef mine up. I have also had a big block mounted to it. They are hard to hurt.
 
#7
Great info! I need to stop and read this carefully while looking at the bike tomorrow to figure out what ideas your sharing. I’m too new for it to sink in instantly. Will a predator 212 push enough power or do I need to plan a bigger engine? I’m still trying to figure out how to create the jack shaft setup but I’m aiming to put it on top, as you suggested. If I understand, the jack shaft is basically a torque converter as far as helping push power to the wheels? Not sure how on earth I can figure out all the pulleys and sprocket sizes and belt. Chain is easy.
 
#10
Great info! I need to stop and read this carefully while looking at the bike tomorrow to figure out what ideas your sharing. I’m too new for it to sink in instantly. Will a predator 212 push enough power or do I need to plan a bigger engine? I’m still trying to figure out how to create the jack shaft setup but I’m aiming to put it on top, as you suggested. If I understand, the jack shaft is basically a torque converter as far as helping push power to the wheels? Not sure how on earth I can figure out all the pulleys and sprocket sizes and belt. Chain is easy.
I will try to get pics tomorrow of how I put the jackshaft on top of the motor mount. A 212 with torque converter is plenty to have fun. Look on YouTube for “rbtrike T555” for some videos of mine with the stock 212cc. It is a blast
 
#11
Thank you sir. I've watched a few of your videos of you ripping in the snow. Looks so fun! I wish the videos were longer than 0:45 secs though! So I have been doing a lot of reading on the internet to find out any details about this setup since I'm such a novice to this T555. Correct me if I'm wrong but the differential still exists in the world. It's a PEERLESS 100. Stumbled across a video of someone actually working on one! Not sure if it's against forum rules but I'm going to post the link here:


I had no idea if these things had oil in them or how they even were set up. This will help anyone who stumbles across this thread one day.
Also, I was ready that there are 2 torque converters made by Comet. A 30 series and 40 series. Someone was commenting that the 30 series may not be beefy enough for the trike and would recommend the 40 series. I've never used either so I don't have any idea. I definitely plan on putting 2 more axle hangers in place and then figure out the jack shaft after.
 
#12
The 30 series is fine. It is what I am running right now with my 212cc that has been slightly modified.In fact it is the one you want to use because the driven springs are “outboard” this will make sense when you are mounting it. If you go with a 40 series you will need to run a reverse driven spring and the driver is so much heavier that the take off is slower on the 212s trying to rev up. I have run both. The differentials are available still. They do not have oil in them. They have Bentonite grease.
 
#13
Don’t worry about the motor plate on mine. Your sprockets would be on the right side of your mount. Mine was set up for a big block at one time and had a second larger plate mounted on top of the stock. If you notice the flat side of the driven sits along the motor mount and the spring is facing outward that is how you want to mount it. If you ran a 20 or 40 series the spring would face the other way and the motor would have to hang off the mount to get the belt to line up,
You can buy the jackshaft plates and raise the motor like I did to run the jackshaft above the motor mount or find a stock mount and go back underneath but on top makes it much easier to work on.
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#14
Awesome information! I didn't know there was such a big difference amongst the 20, 30 and 40 series converters. I will look for a jack shaft kit and mount on top. Although, I haven't completely made up my mind about the jack shaft original location or on top. My limiting factor is finding an original or replacement bracket/housing (whatever the U shaped box is called). Any suggestions on correct jack shaft sizing and equipment to help set things up for me? I can do some calculating but I trust your judgement since you have built multiple trikes and I have not.
Also, I think I'll drop some $$$ and buy a budget welder to make some axle bearing hangers. I was going to try and find someone and avoid the cost of a welder, but I don't trust anyone to make what I need.
 
#16
I haven't totally made up my mind about running it on top, although I think that would be the easiest route. You mentioned finding the original mount; any idea where such a rare part would be? Did you buy your comet 30 series TC as a kit or each part individually?
 
#17
One internet source recommends using Asymetrical driver and driven pulleys. I didn't fully understand the difference in the two. Thoughts? And what teeth sprocket on the jack shaft, opposite the TC?
 
#19
Either one of those mounts should work even if it is temporary until you can locate a stock one. I will look around.
30 series are Asymmetrical which just means one side is flat. I run the Chinese Tav kits and just use the driver and driven. You will need to probably get a different belt depending on the distance from the center of the jackshaft to the center of the crankshaft but that seems to be the cheapest way to buy them at @$50 You should have a 54t sprocket on your axle. I usually run a 9t on the jackshaft for 6:1 If you put an 8T on the material gets a little thin and I have cracked 8T sprockets. 9t will give you a good ratio. I think I bought my last bearing hangers from Bmikarts. I used the 2” angle iron and welded one hanger to it as a spacer to drop the second down into position. So 2 hangers for the added bearing was used. One just as a flatstock.they are pretty beefy.
 

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