Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-02-2020, 10:39 AM   #61
WHN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,234
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
When you reference "He", exactly who is 'he'?

Personally, I would want to look at the crankshaft. Maybe the grinder missed a stress riser or crack when he Magnafluxed the crank? Maybe he didn't Magnaflux it?? Maybe the crank got inadvertently nicked which set up a stress riser??? I am unsure if you mean the flywheel is 30 pounds, -or whether they removed 30 pounds from the entire assembly (flywheel & pressure plate).

The reason I mentioned what I did above, is many unknowledgeable crankshaft grinders put too small of a radius on the Model-A journals. Ford specified a ⅛" radius to be ground on each pin. For a 20" x 1" (wide) crankshaft grinding stone I am paying nearly $250. If I dress each end to a ⅛" radius, then that leaves about ¾" to grind the journal pin. Many modern engines call for a radius of 0.050 to 0.070 (-vs. 0.125) which means when the grinder finishes a Model-A crankshaft, he must true his wheel removing 0.125" of the diameter of his grinding wheel. Based on useable size of his wheel, that cost him about $10.00 in material expense plus the extra time of truing the wheel. Therefore it is much easier (i.e.: cost effective) to cheat on the radius and use a radius that is much akin to a modern crankshaft.


.
.
.



I think you are trying to confuse others in your justification. Very few hobbyists have ever driven a very low-mileage Model-A, -or driven a completely restored Model-A that was taken to fine-point status, so they really have no idea of the facts or how they can be driven. For the ones that have, we will tell you that those type of Model-As have no problem driving 60 mph, ...and they feel safe & comfortable doing so. When a Model-A struggles to get to 60 mph, -or if they cause their owner to feel uncomfortable at those speeds, then YES, they are unsafe.



One other quick thing to point out. Unlike today's society where a person's word is often found not to be factual, back during the Model-A era things were vastly different by comparison. Not to imply there were not shysters or con-artists during that time period however you did not find advertising from top-level companies to be as deceiving or misleading as you do today. When Ford offered a statement in their advertising, it was very likely to have been proven factually, ...and especially when their boast or claim was used in multiple years of advertising. So to infer that 45 mph was considered "high speed" back in that era is just not factual. Therefore, a 'restored' Model-A with a properly (-and thoroughly) rebuilt engine should find it to be reasonable to be able to be driven at the same speeds as it was when new. After all, a 'restored' vehicle should be in at least the same mechanical condition and specifications as when it was new. Prove me wrong in what I am saying!!

.
.
Confuse others?

Someone asked for members views. Which, on this same subject, a number of times over the years people have given. The general consensus seems to be that around 45 MPH a lot of Model A owners think their cars run very nicely. Having said that. I don’t believe those same people are saying their cars will not run faster. Just that at that speed things seem very good.

I would ask everyone to please remember the original question that we were asked. “What is a reasonable speed in a Model A for one to get reasonable engine life”.

I have no idea what level his car has been brought to. Nor do I know the quality of the engine rebuild. I do know that at 45 MPH or less, even a worn engine will last longer than one driven faster.

Enjoy.
WHN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 12:09 PM   #62
BRENT in 10-uh-C
Senior Member
 
BRENT in 10-uh-C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 9,733
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Quote:
Originally Posted by WHN View Post
Confuse others?

Someone asked for members views. Which, on this same subject, a number of times over the years people have given. The general consensus seems to be that around 45 MPH a lot of Model A owners think their cars run very nicely. Having said that. I don’t believe those same people are saying their cars will not run faster. Just that at that speed things seem very good.

I would ask everyone to please remember the original question that we were asked. “What is a reasonable speed in a Model A for one to get reasonable engine life”.

I have no idea what level his car has been brought to. Nor do I know the quality of the engine rebuild. I do know that at 45 MPH or less, even a worn engine will last longer than one driven faster.

Enjoy.
Yes, I do think your comment is very confusing. My modern daily driver drives nicely at 45mph, ...however equally as well at 55, 65, and 75 mph. You still have not answered my question as to what fails. If I drive a Model-A with stock tires and gear ratio at 30 mph, the engine internals rotate at 1,270 rpm. If I drive the same vehicle at 60 mph, the rpms are 2,540. So the engine turns the same amount of revolutions to cover the same distance however one speed causes the engine reciprocating parts to rotate for twice the length of time. Outside of that, there really should not be any difference in my view. So again, what internally fails, ...and why does the component(s) fail? Is the engine failures at these higher speeds due to engineering design flaws, -or due to faulty craftsmanship?



As for a worn engine, how is this applicable to the original poster's question as he clearly stated it was a freshly rebuilt (i.e.: not worn ) engine. Commenting about a worn engine lasting longer is kinda confusing to the original question.
__________________
.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
.
www.model-a-ford.com
...(...Finally Updated!! )

.
BRENT in 10-uh-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 11-02-2020, 12:45 PM   #63
Terry Burtz, Calif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Campbell,CA, USA
Posts: 116
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

The Model A engine has several engineering design flaws including small diameter poured bearings and not enough main bearings.
A contemporary engine like the 1927/1928 Dodge "Fast 4" has larger bearings that use replaceable inserts and a 5 main crankshaft.
No amount of craftsmanship can make up for an inadequate design.
Terry Burtz, Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 12:59 PM   #64
WHN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,234
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
Yes, I do think your comment is very confusing. My modern daily driver drives nicely at 45mph, ...however equally as well at 55, 65, and 75 mph. You still have not answered my question as to what fails. If I drive a Model-A with stock tires and gear ratio at 30 mph, the engine internals rotate at 1,270 rpm. If I drive the same vehicle at 60 mph, the rpms are 2,540. So the engine turns the same amount of revolutions to cover the same distance however one speed causes the engine reciprocating parts to rotate for twice the length of time. Outside of that, there really should not be any difference in my view. So again, what internally fails, ...and why does the component(s) fail? Is the engine failures at these higher speeds due to engineering design flaws, -or due to faulty craftsmanship?



As for a worn engine, how is this applicable to the original poster's question as he clearly stated it was a freshly rebuilt (i.e.: not worn ) engine. Commenting about a worn engine lasting longer is kinda confusing to the original question.
Brent, your just looking for someone to argue with.

Have fun.
WHN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 03:30 PM   #65
BRENT in 10-uh-C
Senior Member
 
BRENT in 10-uh-C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 9,733
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Quote:
Originally Posted by WHN View Post
Brent, your just looking for someone to argue with.

Have fun.
I am having fun. I repeatedly asked a simple question that no one can seem to give an answer to.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Burtz, Calif View Post
The Model A engine has several engineering design flaws including small diameter poured bearings and not enough main bearings. A contemporary engine like the 1927/1928 Dodge "Fast 4" has larger bearings that use replaceable inserts and a 5 main crankshaft. No amount of craftsmanship can make up for an inadequate design.
Terry, define "inadequate design" please? Inadequate by today's standards -or inadequate in the Model-A manufactured time era??

While I agree there were design advancements/improvements that came subsequent to the Model-A (i.e: Model-B engine with larger crankshaft journals, counterweights, higher compression, better carburetion, pressurized oiling system), but exactly what consistently failed on a Model-A engine that caused it to be deemed as an "inadequate design"?

Maybe another way to ask this is; -you mention poured bearings and not enough main bearings as being 'engineering design flaws' however did these two items create longevity issues during the era of the vehicle?

I guess my way of looking at this entire thread is what is a 'reasonable expectation' of a Model-A engine back then. It has been stated over & over that Ford proved their engines could be driven 60 mph for periods without their engines failing. While the engines may have not been developed to their maximum potential, it sure seems to me they were engineered well enough for the class of car they were intended to be sold in, and they lasted well enough during their era to be around today in large numbers.
__________________
.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
.
www.model-a-ford.com
...(...Finally Updated!! )

.
BRENT in 10-uh-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 04:16 PM   #66
Jack Shaft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 929
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
It appears that was Mr Fords point as well,when his engineers in 1927 pointed out the center main bearing/crankshaft diameter issue..the first case of design obsolescence? Perhaps..
Jack Shaft is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 04:28 PM   #67
Ernie Vitucci
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 422
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Good afternoon...I said this way back at the beginning of this discussion....I've had Model A Fords on and off...since 1963...at that time...we were told...'If you want the car to last, Engine and running gear...drive it at 40 miles an hour'. Most of us don't drive our A's more than a 1000 or 2000 miles a year. So driving too fast might not show up for a number of
years...but if you are using the old girl daily...and I often do...then 5000 or 6000 miles a year become normal...and hard use will show up much quicker...Keep in mind that the 'Old Guys' giving us youngers these instructions...in 1963...were from the Model A Era...and knew what they were talking about...I believe more than we sometimes do. Ernie in Arizona

PS...If you have a Mitchell or some other overdrive...then you can go faster without engine damage...but the running gear will still absorb additional punishment...

Last edited by Ernie Vitucci; 11-02-2020 at 04:33 PM.
Ernie Vitucci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 04:30 PM   #68
Bruce of MN
Senior Member
 
Bruce of MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 808
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

As I understand it, there weren't many long, straight paved roads back then to drive at 60 mph for an hour or more. How smooth was US 30 in Nebraska in 1928?
Bruce of MN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 04:31 PM   #69
shew01
Senior Member
 
shew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Roanoke, VA USA
Posts: 1,011
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Brent,

I’m curious. Your shop puts a lot of effort into an engine rebuild. How long (in terms of miles) does one your rebuilds typically last, regardless of whether is driven at 45 or 60?

Also, how does that compare to how long an original engine would last when new? (I presume lower quality oil and dustier roads would cause the original engines to need rebuilds sooner than today’s rebuilds.)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
shew01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 05:34 PM   #70
BRENT in 10-uh-C
Senior Member
 
BRENT in 10-uh-C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 9,733
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Quote:
Originally Posted by shew01 View Post
Brent,

I’m curious. Your shop puts a lot of effort into an engine rebuild. How long (in terms of miles) does one your rebuilds typically last, regardless of whether is driven at 45 or 60?

Also, how does that compare to how long an original engine would last when new? (I presume lower quality oil and dustier roads would cause the original engines to need rebuilds sooner than today’s rebuilds.)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mr. S, I honestly do not know how long they go as many of them likely still have less than 30k-40k miles. I would however, expect them to get to the 50k mark at a minimum. I offer a lifetime warranty on our engines as long as the bearings are kept within factory specs, and the oil is properly changed. If something comes apart (such as the bearings) I will replace it under warranty. If the engine simply wears out or is improperly maintenanced, then the repair is on them.

With that said about the 50+k expectancy, I know of a couple A/B engine rebuilders that have inserts in their Model-A engines that have that kind of mileage too. I know Dave G. from here is one that has been all over the country with his engines and at higher speeds. Any issue he has had has been in areas above the pistons and not below.

Again, the Model-A hobby went thru some sloppy craftsmen back in the 50s thru the 00s where methods and materials used gave casting bearings a bad reputation. Now that better equipment is being used by some, -and materials & procedures being used are much superior, then longevity, reliability, and performance has increased substantially. Unfortunately, old notions & opinions from yesteryear are sometimes hard to put aside by some.
__________________
.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
.
www.model-a-ford.com
...(...Finally Updated!! )

.
BRENT in 10-uh-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 06:58 PM   #71
johnneilson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: 34.22 N 118.36 W
Posts: 516
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Burtz, Calif View Post
The Model A engine has several engineering design flaws including small diameter poured bearings and not enough main bearings.

No amount of craftsmanship can make up for an inadequate design.
There is truth in that statement, at least by today's standards. Given the roads and conditions back then, it made sense.

The '32 "B" motor was a big step in the right direction, but still too little too late.

J
__________________
As Carroll Smith wrote; All Failures are Human in Origin.
johnneilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 07:09 PM   #72
DHZIEMAN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Sunrise Beach, Mo
Posts: 394
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

On this original question, we all have a view. The safety item on these cars that varies by car and owner, are the ability of the brakes to stop the darn thing.
Now that I have redone my brakes, to me, keeping the old girl not much more than 45 MPH seems to feel right. Along with that, I have only owned this car for maybe 3 of its 90 years and I venture for the number of owners and the fact the engine gets the car up to 45, I am happy to drive at that speed.
DHZIEMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 07:44 PM   #73
Synchro909
Senior Member
 
Synchro909's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5,406
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

I'm sure everybody has been asked "How fast will it go?" My answer to that is "I don't know. I've never tried it." (And I haven't)
I love the confused looks on people's faces when I say that, especially younger ones.
__________________
Yesterday is History.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Enjoy Today.
Synchro909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 08:16 PM   #74
shew01
Senior Member
 
shew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Roanoke, VA USA
Posts: 1,011
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
I'm sure everybody has been asked "How fast will it go?" My answer to that is "I don't know. I've never tried it." (And I haven't)
I love the confused looks on people's faces when I say that, especially younger ones.

Someone asked me the same question the other day, and I gave the same answer you gave, “I’ve never tried it.” I got a confused look too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
shew01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 08:07 PM   #75
wwirz
Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Corning NY
Posts: 84
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

I am retired and worked with reciprocating engines and compressors my entire 40 year career. Slower RPMs is always better. Your forces are increased by the square of the rotative speed. I guy in my club says if you drive an A at 35 - 40 mph they will last forever. Enjoy the ride....there is no need to drive an A over 40 mph. Why would you drive faster in a car with mechanical brakes and no protection in case of an accident? If you need to get to a destination and drive at highway speeds, take another car.
wwirz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 11:43 PM   #76
Jack Shaft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 929
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

First thing that happens in an accident at speed is the doors fly open,next on front impact is the rigid steering column to impale you..oh,and there is a gas tank in your lap..40mph or 60 mph its about as dangerous as riding a motorcycle..5
Jack Shaft is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2020, 05:21 AM   #77
Bruce of MN
Senior Member
 
Bruce of MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 808
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

That's a relief, I've been riding motorcycles since 1970!
Bruce of MN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2020, 10:49 AM   #78
Ernie Vitucci
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 422
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Good Morning....Agree with wwirz...and said so early in this thread! However, we seem to be in minority...Ernie in Arizona
Ernie Vitucci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2020, 04:23 PM   #79
woofa.express
Senior Member
 
woofa.express's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,236
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Some people tell fibs.
I often speak of the greatest lies ever told.
The yield of crops. The size of fish caught especially the ones that got away and thirdly the speed of Model A’s.
Why doesn’t mine go fast just like others I read about? Well now I feel informed. Some have overdrives or highspeed difs. I figure they’d need upgraded breaks to accommodate. Some have modified engines and some clearly some meet category 3 above. They tell fibs.
I found it pleasing the speed of my A’s was comparable to many who have responded to this thread. Made my day.
__________________
I know many things,
But I don't know everything,
Sometimes I forget things.

And there are times when I have a long memory.
woofa.express is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2020, 07:56 PM   #80
Greg Jones
Senior Member
 
Greg Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Posts: 621
Default Re: What is a "reasonable" speed in a Model A for one to get "reasonable" engine life

Brent's posting (#53) is a very very useful list of engine rebuilding considerations. Now, I won't get into the "how fast can a Model A go" argument but I very much commend Brent for his posting.
Greg Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:29 PM.