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Old 10-15-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
lookin-backtexas
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Default Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

For those of you who have been following the Australian guys attempting a nonstop New York to California trip in a 1930 Model A we just heard the bad news - the guys just posted this on their Facebook:

Disaster has struck. The Tudor Rose was struck down with a broken crankshaft just the other side of Amarillo. She needs major repair. Obviously the fellas are devastated.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

Sorry to hear. Maybe a fellow Model A Local Club would chip in and help with the repair. Lot's of Good Folks in Texas! Best of luck Keep us posted.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

I have a spare crankshaft I would give them but I'm 476 miles south of them near Austin - plus it would need to be machined to fit their car. They just installed a freshly rebuilt engine before leaving on this adventure.

Even if they were able to find someone in Amarillo with a crankshaft, by the time it was machined and installed it's highly unlikely that they could reach their goal of doing the entire trip in under 60 hours to Venice Beach, California.

They just posted "The crankshaft has broken. It's all over. We're all devastated as it was looking like we were going to set the record. We are going to get a hot shower and a sleep before making our way to LA."

Fred
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

That's too bad but it kind of fits in the discussions that we've had about crankshafts in the last week or two.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
Del in NE Ohio
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

Rod told me that he broke a crankshaft on the Peking to Paris ralley. They must drive the ---- out of that "A".
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del in NE Ohio View Post
Rod told me that he broke a crankshaft on the Peking to Paris ralley. They must drive the ---- out of that "A".
They aren't taking It easy that's forsure. But they do have a Mitchell overdrive as well. The car is set up for touring, but you have to wonder with all the extra weight they put in that thing with that huge gas tank, the massive trunk on the back, and whatever else they carry with them. That's a lot of weight for a model a crank to pull from one side of the country to the other, not to mention while running I believe it was posted an average of 60+ (67?) mph from one coast to the other. It sucks that it broke on such a well documented, and advertised trip, but it doesn't necessarily suprise me. Cuz you know they had to of been hammering the throttle down the whole time no matter if they were on flat grounds or in the mountains. It will only take so much abuse, especially if you keep your foot in it while trying to pull serious hills with all that weight.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

Only thing that would save the trip as planned would be a quick motor swap.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

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Cuz you know they had to of been hammering the throttle down the whole time no matter if they were on flat grounds or in the mountains. It will only take so much abuse, especially if you keep your foot in it while trying to pull serious hills with all that weight.
There are no hills anywhere near Amarillo - I grew up in west Texas and we used to say "you can see so far you can see the back of your head."

They may have hit a few hills coming through Missouri. Anyway, it's too bad for the guys since they planned this for so long and were on schedule to break the record - they made it almost 1850 miles before the breakdown.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

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There are no hills anywhere near Amarillo - I grew up in west Texas and we used to say "you can see so far you can see the back of your head."

They may have hit a few hills coming through Missouri. Anyway, it's too bad for the guys since they planned this for so long.
May have cracked it earlier in the trip, and it didnt fully fail until Amarillo.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

They had been pushing their speed faster than originally intended,trying to make up the time lost when the car overheated.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

[QUOTE=Logan;745154]That's a lot of weight for a model a crank to pull from one side of the country to the other, not to mention while running I believe it was posted an average of 60+ (67?) mph from one coast to the other. QUOTE]

Logan:
Their original route was planned to be 2947 miles to be completed in just under 60 hours so their average speed to go that far in that amount of time would be 49.11 mph. They were running around 62 mph today to try and make up for some lost time from when the car overheated in Ohio.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

Fred, I would think 49.11 would be even worse with the overdrive installed. You're hauling so much extra weight, and then put it in overdrive. At 50 mph if you put it in overdrive assuming its the normal Mitchell overdrive ratio of 26% the motor would be spinning at 37 1/2 mph. I would be using rpms, but I'm not sure what the rpms are at those speeds. But that is some low rpms for for hauling that much weight. And then you come up to a hill, and chances are they keep their foot in it, and ride overdrive as long as possible, and then they down shift to be able to climb faster. Not to mention that overdrive requires so much more torque to pull the car even on flat land or a slight incline. All that stress gets transferred to the crank. It'll be interesting to see where it broke at. With that big of a load, a quick off the throttle, then all the back on the throttle could be enough to stress crack it. Then as they had to make up for lost time, the higher rpms under load slowly made the crack worse, until it gave out. There's lots of different things that could have contributed to It breaking, I'm sure the overheating didnt help it any. But I just think they were asking a little bit to much of the crankshaft.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

I was always told, "Don't work on your car the night before a big trip." I'm sorry these guys didn't make it, especially given that they weren't just out on a toot, but actully trying to do good. I wonder if they had a chance to drive that new engine a bit before setting out.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

I think the reference to 49 mph was the average speed they needed to attain, not the speed they were most often traveling, which was probably over 65 mph a lot. I think the slow speed of 49 reflected in the lost time they suffered due to the overheating episode. But you are correct in that one way or another a lot of load to place on the engine. I have a Mitchell along with a 5.5 HC head and I do not shift into OD on the flat unless I am going at least 45 mph and even then, I do not give it a lot of gas suddenly, but let it build to 60 mph or so. It will climb modest grades in OD at 55 or so, but I am very careful not to push it or give it full throttle...........
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

That's sad that it happened.
Makes me wonder if a crank is more likely to break with a heavy flywheel, or with a lightened flywheel, or does it matter?
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:49 PM   #16
Richard in Anaheim CA
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

Lets face it, these cranks are over 80 years old.

I've got one of those 2 piece cranks myself.

I intend to buy a new crank.

Come our to California, fix the engine and drive it back to NY.

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Old 10-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard in Anaheim CA View Post
Lets face it, these cranks are over 80 years old.

I've got one of those 2 piece cranks myself.

I intend to buy a new crank.

Come our to California, fix the engine and drive it back to NY.

Richard
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They'll need to have a BBQ and sink a few beers first

Gotta get the priorities right
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:45 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

One big problem with reground cranks is no one seems to grind the radius in the rod journals like it should be. That is a high stress area. It should have the right radius and a smooth surface. This is very important, most that I see have no radius or they grind to the radius with a sharp edge on the wheel and leave a step. That is a break waiting to happen.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

They were pushing pretty good. I watched them via there website yesterday. They were running around 63MPH for sometime according to their gps postings on the website.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cross Country Model A Trip Disaster

To Mark Saunders,

Sorry about that. I did get a little ahead of myself.

You Aussies always get your priorities right the first time.

I forgot the "tinneys".

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