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Old 05-22-2020, 09:24 PM   #1
JoeCB
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Default The source of the problems?

Just an observation.. no judgement or criticism intended. Reading through the postings here, and most are very informative.... for that I'm grateful to the responders. My observation of the topics is that the great preponderance have to do with problems associated with design alterations and/or non-standard parts. Makes one wonder what this forum would look like if all the issues were related to strictly stock Model A's maybe Henry did have it right.

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Old 05-22-2020, 09:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Ditto
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

If no judgement or criticism is in intended, I'm not sure I understand the point of this thread.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:06 PM   #4
shew01
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Default The source of the problems?

After 90 years, a strictly stock Model A would be hard to come by. I would venture to say that only the high points show cars come even close to being strictly stock.


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Old 05-23-2020, 12:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

The issue would seem to be whether YOU wanted to drive a car as originally intended (stock), or one that could and would be a 'more dependable' and capable of 'long distance' usages on modern roadways?



I have always desired a 'stock Model A', but I have come to the conclusion that as I wanted to drive my Model A on today's highway, then I had to make the adjustments to allow for greater performance. Therefore, I went to a Weber carb and intake and the exhaust manifold necessary to increase that horsepower.


I now run along with the rest of traffic without feeling that I am holding up traffic. Still, I realize I am driving an older car and try and time my arrivals at Stop lights so I can still be moving along before I have to come to a complete stop before the light changes. I ALWAYS keep my eyes open and slow as I come toward standing traffic.



The Weber carb allows me to get up to speed quicker and maintain the speed of the other cars on the road. I first take a county road, then onto a state road, and then on a short part of an interstate access whereby my Model A is doing 65 mph for about 5 miles. I 'love' making this drive every time I go to work in my Model A.



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Old 05-23-2020, 05:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC-Mo View Post
If no judgement or criticism is in intended, I'm not sure I understand the point of this thread.
Perhaps Joe B. is deserving the "GOLDEN SPOON AWARD" for an attempt to stir the pot
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PalAl View Post
Perhaps Joe B. is deserving the "GOLDEN SPOON AWARD" for an attempt to stir the pot
I see merit in Joe B he says even though I don't own a Model A that is near original. After driving an original spec car for a while, I realised how much driving conditions must have changed since the Model A was a current car. It was either park the car or get it to the point where I wasn't a (slowly) moving road block. I chose the latter and have since driven my Phaeton places I would never even imagined going before I worked on he performance.
On this forum, there are those who are sticklers for originality (I once was too) and those who don't mind putting their stamp on the car. Henry had things pretty right for the day but there have been a lot of clever people making improvement since If Henry were still here, would he build a car like the Model A now? NO, he would incorporate what he and others have learned since. It's called progress.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

>>My observation of the topics is that the great preponderance have to do with problems associated with design alterations and/or non-standard parts.

A Weber carb is reliable, overdrives seem to work good, synchro gearboxes seem fine, high comp heads seem trouble free, new cranks seem OK, good camshafts available, radial tyres work good, V8 wheels seem to last, electronic ignition hmmm, alternators are OK, water pumps with water were always dodgy anyway, high speed diffs are OK, new radiators of all sorts seem to work.

What's left?
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Most enhancements are not necessarily. A few are highly recommended. Exs: fuse, one piece aluminum fan blade, for those who do not want/need original design - leakless water pump, water pump bolts (stud/nut combo). Most all are debatable, part of the hobby, depends on what you want in your car/truck.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

I know absolutely where my A's problem is: ME. I keep tinkering, thinking that I can tweek her just a little bit more and bang! She's worse than before and I have to start over.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

I have watched people spend copious amounts of money on their airplanes only to screw up a perfectly good airplane. How much can you spend on a classic car only to have a car that’s no longer fun to drive. When is a model A no longer a model A. I do not see the lure of proving I can keep up in freeway traffic. Give me country roads where I can enjoy my A. At my age driving my A is relaxing. Time to slow down and enjoy life.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Lets see..starting from the engine..

1.Winfield red head.7.5 to 1
2. B distributor
3.Ansen intake with a single Holley 94
4. Late B high lift cam
5.Red's 4 into 2 header
6. 2 1/2" exhaust with resonator
7. Horn harmonic balancer
8. full front and rear modern engine mounts.
9.high speed babbit with stock A crankshaft,lube line to center main.
10. full oil filtration
11. hardened valve seats
12. B flywheel balanced with PP
13. 12v alternator electrical system using relays and modern blade fuses
14. modern bendix starter drive
15.Mitchell OD
16. cast iron brake drums
17. teflon tie rod and drag link cups
18.F100 steering box
19.16" wire wheels with modern radials.

Looks like Ill be working on it forever given the subject of the thread..I like the solitude and satisfaction of the shop almost as much as I like driving the car.I can leave it in low range and drive it just like a stock A, or shift it into high range and drive it in modern traffic conditions.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gufshoz View Post
I know absolutely where my A's problem is: ME. I keep tinkering, thinking that I can tweek her just a little bit more and bang! She's worse than before and I have to start over.

Ah .... the fix it till it’s broke syndrome !! I love the lighthearted response. The forum is here to help folks with advice when those have questions or issues. I think it pretty well does that. Some have more experience than others but that’s a great thing as contributions from all can and are valuable.
Let’s keep it informational and helpful with a flare of fun and a laugh or two now and then. Great A memories and experiences are good too.
All the best to you guys on this Memorial Day weekend and bless those who died in service to our country so we can enjoy our freedom. I do A work full time and feel blessed to be able to do what I love. A folks are the best!

Happy Memorial Day weekend !
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:37 AM   #14
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCB View Post
Just an observation.. no judgement or criticism intended. Reading through the postings here, and most are very informative.... for that I'm grateful to the responders. My observation of the topics is that the great preponderance have to do with problems associated with design alterations and/or non-standard parts. Makes one wonder what this forum would look like if all the issues were related to strictly stock Model A's … maybe Henry did have it right.

Joe B
Joe, while you have definitely struck a nerve with some here, your thread is definitely thought provocative. Sometimes this can be a good thing. To address your comment, I would like to add something that is likely more controversial to some, ...and while I am not trying to stir the proverbial pot, my observations come from participation in this hobby for over 50 years as a hobbyist, -and as a professional in this hobby for over 20 years.

Most Model-As that I find with issues stem from a component being worn past factory specifications. We could pick one of a multitude of components, but I will choose a few to make my point;

1) A Model-A generator restored to factory specification will more than capably provide many years of service to a hobbyist. The Model-A generator is not that difficult to restore to factory specifications however most hobbyists chose to cut corners on rewinding the armature, or installing cheap brushes, or a cheap off-shore manufactured Cut-out when they restored it however they made sure they sprayed the case with shiny Black paint to fool the onlookers into thinking it was completely 'restored'. Every failure has always blamed on the generator being outdated technology and poor quality of parts, so hobbyists began their search for a modern retrofit. They chose a Delco alternator that was poorly retrofitted with a self-exciting regulator that had a constant parasitic current draw, and has become increasingly more difficult to find quality replacement parts for. So is the root problem of this from the deviation of originality, -or the laziness of the Restorer when they cut corners?

2) Brakes are another topic that many modifications have been made that equated to inferior performance. Hydraulic Conversions or "Floater Technology" are buzzwords that for years, hobbyists have exaggerated the truth on to convince their peers that to have safe Model-A brakes, the system must be modified. So is the root problem of these modifications from a poorly engineered system, -or the laziness of the Restorer when they cut corners during the restoration of the brake system components and/or lack of maintenance as Ford prescribed?

3) Speed -a safe cruising speed or lack thereof. One of the stupidest phrases ever to be used in the Model-A hobby goes some thing like "I wanted to tour with my Model-A so I had to make all of these modifications." as if to imply that Ford originally did not build a Model-A to be driven long distances safely or reliably. We have all heard "I had my engine modified because I wanted to be able to drive 55mph to keep up with traffic!". Or how about, I don't want a 100 point show car as I want to be able to drive and enjoy my Model-A.


I could go on with these analogies but the brutal facts are, it is not the modifications to the Model-A that needs to be done to have a safe & reliable vehicle, ...it is the modification of the Hobbyist's brain and their skewed opinions that needs to be changed first.

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Old 05-23-2020, 10:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Its easier to say Ford Engineering in the late 20's,along with a balance between cost and quality in manufacture yielded a quality product that stands the test of time.What alot of hobbyist fail at is having the experience technically to adequately maintain the car. Although it appears to be quite simple mechanically it requires technical skill to achieve the best results for the design. Modifications require the same level of attention to detail in repair and quality of the component used.

The required skill was watered down when the car became cheap and used,its basic design tolerated some shortcuts,which suited the owner who made a minimal investment in purchase. Unfortunately these shortcuts gave rise to the 'wives tales' of the success of shoddy repair practices,and has led many to this day to believe the car is 'tolerant' of slipshod work.Either correctly restored or highly modified the process requires skill and standards.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

Brent, Well said. I learned long ago when looking for a car, truck, snowmobile etc. to avoid anything with modifications. Chances are your buying someone else’s headaches. Been down that road too many times.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:07 AM   #17
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

I will say that my car is more stock than most and I rarely have a big problem with it. When I inherited it the only non stock part was a diode cutout. I have since added a 5.5 head when I found the stock head had cracked and installed one of Tom W's EVRs when I rebuilt the generator. I had problems with the repro points oxidizing quickly and installed a NORS set and now she starts every time. She'll also cruise at 50-55 all day long and stops straight and quick enough to feel safe.

Sometimes I have to catch myself but I try very hard to only mess with something IF it needs to be fixed. My grandfather was always helping one of his friends with his Phaeton because he would "fix it till it broke".
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:08 AM   #18
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

To a mechanic,assumptions are only useful in troubleshooting,not in assessing the quality of a used machine.There is a measure of risk in modifying,it can be offset some by attention to detail and quality practices,the same required in proper restoration.
Part of the satisfaction in modifying a car is assembling the correct blend for increase of performance vs reliability vs cost. One of the many qualities of the model a was the 'over engineering' of the car, many of the components are far more robust than required,allowing a modifier to sanely increase the yield of the component with out sacrificing too much reliability.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

I prefer to drive my modified Model A because ... I prefer it that way, and it is mine to do whatever I want to do to or with.
'31 wide bed, 4-port Riley on full pressure A block. B trans w. Zephyr gears, Colombia rear, early V8 hydraulics, 15" radials, on Mag wheels, 12v, sealed beams etc., etc.
'31 Vicky, Rutherford OHV on diamond B block, T-5 open-drive trans, 8" Ford rear, hydraulics, 12v., 15" radials on steel wheels,etc.
'28 speedster, BRIERLEY 7:1 flathead, V8 trans, Quick-Change rear, hydraulics, 16"radials on Kelsey-Hays wheels.
Bonneville Lakester, turbo Cook OHV, on early B block, last run was 167.450 MPH.

Both the 31's are stock bodied, non-stock paint, drive-able anywhere I want to go, when I want to go. I'm not a long distance driver, but have put many miles on my A's, for many years. All run like Jack-the-bear and are extremely reliable!

I try to help people on this forum with my professional input, retired truck mechanic, and fleet manager.

TO EACH HIS OWN!
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: The source of the problems?

So you no longer have a model A.
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