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Old 09-14-2020, 09:11 AM   #1
Licensed to kill
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Default Follow up to the "counter weight" thread.

I didn't want to hi-jack the thread on counter weights so started this one to ask my questions. If counter weights are so much better, why didn't henry incorporate them in the original design. Also, if a lighter flywheel is preferred/better, why did henry opt for a heavy one??. I understand that technology and our understanding of internal combustion engines and reciprocal mass has come s LONG way since the late 1920's. henry seemed like a pretty sharp guy and these two design inclusions seem pretty simple so why would Henry take such a different position on counter weights and flywheel weight than what seems to be the general consensus today??.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Follow up to the "counter weight" thread.

He did go with lighter flywheel and counter weights in 1932-33.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Follow up to the "counter weight" thread.

You are looking at the Model A from a modern perspective. The automobile, and everything else, developed progressively, not "once made and perfection achieved". Henry believed in cost control. Counterweights were not needed in cars that were run on mostly dirt roads and not very fast by todays standards, so that expence wasn't needed either.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Follow up to the "counter weight" thread.

The Model A engine produced by Ford was already reasonably balanced as produced at its 1928 - 1931 era price point. The Volkswagen bug engines produced in the many millions had no counterweights for the same reason.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Follow up to the "counter weight" thread.

It was thought not needed as the crank was static balanced. And being a inline 4 2 up 2 down the piston and rod assembly was weight matched along with big and small ends being within a weight spec it was considered balanced. A heavy flywheel got the car rolling without revving the engine due to its low hp. Ford engineers determined as we know now there were other forces in play that were offset by adding counter weights to the crank. Flywheel was lightened to offset the added crank weight
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Follow up to the "counter weight" thread.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursus View Post
The Model A engine produced by Ford was already reasonably balanced as produced at its 1928 - 1931 era price point. The Volkswagen bug engines produced in the many millions had no counterweights for the same reason.
Boxer design engine not as affected by torsional vibration,it balances better by design.

https://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/...d/6468/rec/116

Above is the oral history of Harold Hicks,the tri motor engineer brought in to help Sheldricks team increase engine horsepower in 1927,He discusses the main bearing issue,how engineering saw it,and how Mr Ford saw it..you could say its an early example of planned life cycle,a science today.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Follow up to the "counter weight" thread.

If they were planning for obsolescence, they didn't do a very good job of it. There are still a lot of roadworthy model As out there.

The model A engine as developed for automobile production was finally capable of twice the horse power of the model T but engineers weren't into building race cars. They were building a dependable car for the masses. The cubic inch displacement and the Zenith design carburetor got them that after mods to the cooling system around the valves during the block casting development phase. Henry got exactly what he wanted except for having to pay licence fees for the Zenith carburetor but Henry eventually got the price of the carbs way down.

Mr. Hicks normally worked at the Ford airport in the aircraft division which was more isolated from the rest of the Rouge but Edsel would consult him for personal projects from time to time. He also worked with Colonel Hall on the Liberty aircraft engine in his early years at Ford. Harold had a tendency to think out loud and sometimes say things that he probably shouldn't have. This didn't him make him popular with guys like Henry Ford and Charles Sorensen. He knew what he was doing alright and did it well but he had a knack for rubbing some folks the wrong way. He knew that the old design intake manifold & vaporizer weren't going to give it any more power than the model T and he was right but he would say stuff around Henry like "you won't want to use the Zenith carburetor" because he knew how Henry was. This kind of stuff just made Henry mad at him but Henry did appreciate that he updated the design enough to get the horse power that Henry wanted.

Counterweights were generally used on engines that required higher rpm to operate so they weren't all that concerned about using them on the model A but they did use them in the model B years due to the rpm capability of the model B.
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