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Old 11-08-2020, 12:09 AM   #1
tjmckenzie
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Default What am I missing? 1930 Model A

1930 Model A and just for the record the car was handed down to me from my Grandpa. I am semi mechanically inclined.
Okay, here is the facts as I know the:

1. Fuel seems to be getting to the intake manifold/carburetor. The reason I know this is it is soaking through the gasket above the carburetor.
2. New Spark plugs are firing.
3. Spark Plugs are dry, no fuel on them.
4. Distributor is firing. New coil, cap and rotor.
5. Points are firing.

When I turn the car over, it seems to me that we are not getting spark. Just keeps turning over with no sound of combustion. I know the info is lacking maybe but any ideas on what it might be? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Replace the gasket that’s leaking, or at least tighten the bolts. It shouldn’t be showing any fuel.
There are multiple ways to check your spark. One is to remove the dist. cap, make sure your points are closed, turn on the key, then hold your primary lead from the coil about 1/4" from a head bolt and open your points. You should get a blue spark from the coil wire to the bolt.

If the engine is properly functioning inside (valves, rings, timing gears)You only need three things to make a Model A run: spark, fuel, and timing.

I suggest you find a local club and attend a meeting. Explain your trouble, and you will be swamped with good advice.
Also put your location above with your name. That will help draw local help.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-08-2020, 01:26 AM   #3
alexiskai
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

If you've confirmed that the plugs are firing (e.g., by creating a small gap between the lead and the plug as the engine is turned over), and you know that fuel is flowing, the next thing to confirm is that the timing is correct. With a car that's a complete unknown, make sure you visually verify (via removing plug 1) that the #1 piston is coming to TDC when indicated by the timing pin. Then time as normal.

If the plugs are firing, fuel is flowing, and the timing is correct, you should get at least some kind of combustion.
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Old 11-08-2020, 06:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Try to start it with the throttle fully opened to flush out the excess fuel. If you get a fire, back off on the gas. Join a club.
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Old 11-08-2020, 08:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Does it start using "starting fluid? If not, make doubly sure that your point gap is correct. I had a similar problem only to find that my points were not gapped correctly
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

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If fuel is flowing (your #1) but not getting to the cylinders (your #3), are the valves opening?
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Spark plugs sparking but not wet, carburetor gasket wet. If your compression is weak, it may not be sucking fuel into the clylinders. Squirt some fuel into the cylinders, replace the plugs and see or hear what happens.
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Are you pull on the choke when trying to start?
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Have you checked your timing? It could be 180 degrees out.
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Old 11-08-2020, 04:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Check compression and if good spray a shot of starting fluid while someone cranks the starter with the key on.
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Old 11-08-2020, 07:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

I'm going out on a limb here... but I'm going to assume the car was running when grandpa had it, and has been sitting for a while. Don't create more problems than you started with by changing a bunch of stuff. If it was running, then assume timing is correct.

If you have spark at the plugs then move on to fuel and compression checks. Valves could be sticking open. Do a quick compression test to insure that intake and exhaust valves are closing. If they are, then move onto fuel.

If it's been sitting, your carburetor might just need a good cleaning out. You shouldn't be seeing fuel leaking around any gaskets so you also have some tightening to do.

Not sure what your experience level is with a Model A, but some good advice to seek out a local Model A club member for help. Open GAV 1/2 turn, retard spark, slightly advance throttle, pull out choke and step on the starter.
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Old 11-08-2020, 07:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

If the plugs are dry, your not getting fuel.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:59 PM   #13
tjmckenzie
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE.....
See attached pictures of wiring. Electrical seems to be right, tested coil and distributor. Thoughts on the wiring?

One thing I noticed but not mentioned before is that the ammeter does not flicker when key is turned but does bounce when turning the car over. Is this a red flag?

Same conditions apply:
Fuel to the intake at top of carb, I even installed a new gasket, still leaks. See attached photo. Car turns over has dry plugs, no start.

Next up is....compression test and timing?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20201115_175029.jpg (48.6 KB, 154 views)
File Type: jpg 20201115_175000.jpg (36.9 KB, 152 views)
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Take the plug wires loose from the distributor body and lay them all about 1/2” from the contacts on the distributor body. Key on. Turn over starter. Do you have spark jumping from the body to the plug wires?
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

I would not be using the original wiring harness that you have pictured. try disconnecting the wires from the coil. Making up some new ones to hotwire the car. When you get it running this way then rewire the entire car properly.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Some will think this is a crazy suggestion but crazy $#!T happens. Is the rotor button there and OK?
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:39 AM   #17
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Another crazy question but is the rotor button turning as you crank it?
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:57 AM   #18
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

I would recommend that you REWIRE if you ever get it to run. Join a Model A club is a GREAT experience! Good luck and welcome to Ford Barn.
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:14 AM   #19
tjmckenzie
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Brand new rotor button and it is turning.
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:38 AM   #20
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Default Re: What am I missing? 1930 Model A

Is that new coil definitely a 6 volt coil? With aproximately 1.5 ohms resistance of the primary windings?
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