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Old 06-14-2019, 09:20 AM   #1
Jemelton#
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Default Driving The "A" In a Parade

What are your suggestions for driving your A in a parade?

Such as how to prevent over heating, riding clutch, and so on.
Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:26 AM   #2
alexiskai
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

We only drive in the Xmas parade, so it's not such a concern, but I'm sure the #1 risk folks will talk about is overheating. Before I drove in my first parade, I replaced my water pump and fan belt, did a radiator flush treatment, and adjusted my coolant mixture. If you really want to, you could change your coolant to be 100% water, which absorbs more heat than a water/antifreeze mixture.

I also test-ran it at idle for 15 minutes and checked different points on the block with an IR thermometer to make sure the cooling system was doing an adequate job.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

Usually I stay in 1st gear and leave a bit of following distance to allow for the slow/fast movement. It is not my favorite form of driving, but the grand kids love it. I do not have an over heating problem with any of my vehicles so that is not an issue. It gets my cars and trucks out into public view. The old timers, of which I am now a part really enjoy seeing them, and that makes it worth the trouble. Try a parade and see for yourself.


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Old 06-14-2019, 09:55 AM   #4
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

I've driven in a 4th of July parade in 4,000' Anza, CA with no problems. Be sure your rad is good, there is a product called Water-Wetter that works well to help cooling. What alixiskai about water is true but anti-freeze raises the boiling point, kind of a toss-up.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:52 AM   #5
Ed in Maine
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

Don't forget the individually wrapped candies for the kids on the side of the road! Ed
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

There also won't be much airflow on you personally, plus you'll be getting radiant heat off the firewall, so make sure you're set up with ice water, battery-powered fan, etc.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

All off the above mentioned comments and don’t ride your clutch. Put car in neutral and let the clutch out if your going to be not moving for a minute or two. Less stress on throw out bearing.

Parades are great fun. Enjoy.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:15 PM   #8
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

For a walking speed parade I adjust speed with spark, usually near 1/3 to full retarded, no riding the clutch. Have gotten out and run around the car, goes very stable for about 1 hour in 90+ weather, then need to possibly rev some to settle it, gets up to radiator temp if 180-190 (I have 160 thermostat)----- my only prep usually is horn maintenance, clean commutator, adjust one click out for best off generator charge sound
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

If it sputters on the way home, your plugs are fouled. Just stop and clean them. You might clean them before the parade. If your radiator is good, you should not overheat unless the whole parade is with the wind. Makes a difference.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

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Originally Posted by Kurt in NJ View Post
For a walking speed parade I adjust speed with spark, usually near 1/3 to full retarded, no riding the clutch. Have gotten out and run around the car, goes very stable for about 1 hour in 90+ weather, then need to possibly rev some to settle it, gets up to radiator temp if 180-190 (I have 160 thermostat)----- my only prep usually is horn maintenance, clean commutator, adjust one click out for best off generator charge sound


Would think full retard would make motor overheat - Yes/no?
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:17 PM   #11
barnstuf
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

I have over 75 years of Model A ownership and have driven in countless parades. I have never seen a Model A boil over, but slow parades with participants walking have caused cars of the 50's era to boil over. If your car performs well as a daily driver or on long tours it will be OK in a parade. Do not ride the clutch, do not tailgate, do not retard your timing control very much and you will be OK. The biggest hazard I encounter is occupants in cars in the parade throwing candy to kids. The kids run out to pick it up and create a hazard. In my area throwing candy can get you removed from the parade in some jurisdictions as the risk to the children is considered very hazardous. It also disturbs the flow of the parade as cars behind candy tossers slow down, then go a bit faster to catch up. Parade gaps are caused. My hometown of 3,000 population had 65 old cars in last year July 4th parade, a typical amount as no pre registration is required, so we drew many participants from out of town.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:48 PM   #12
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

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Originally Posted by barnstuf View Post
I have over 75 years of Model A ownership and have driven in countless parades. I have never seen a Model A boil over, but slow parades with participants walking have caused cars of the 50's era to boil over. If your car performs well as a daily driver or on long tours it will be OK in a parade. Do not ride the clutch, do not tailgate, do not retard your timing control very much and you will be OK. The biggest hazard I encounter is occupants in cars in the parade throwing candy to kids. The kids run out to pick it up and create a hazard. In my area throwing candy can get you removed from the parade in some jurisdictions as the risk to the children is considered very hazardous. It also disturbs the flow of the parade as cars behind candy tossers slow down, then go a bit faster to catch up. Parade gaps are caused. My hometown of 3,000 population had 65 old cars in last year July 4th parade, a typical amount as no pre registration is required, so we drew many participants from out of town.

I my town you can no longer throw candy from vehicles. Someone walking can throw it if they walk at the side of the street into the crowd, or can hand it out.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:28 AM   #13
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

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Originally Posted by 30 Closed Cab PU View Post
Would think full retard would make motor overheat - Yes/no?
The 4th of July parade here takes about 1-1/2 hour ----many times it has been over 90 ---because I have thermostat the motometer shows radiator temp, by end of parade it's about 180-190 ----it doesn't get hot at speeds over 65 either, original radiator,
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

I'm like Barnstuf, I've never had my car boil over in a parade. I just left space in front so I could idle on in first gear. I did it a few times in my home town, but then it got crazy with the candy throwing and kids running in front of you. I don't understand how that trend got started. Plus the people in charge were disorganized, resulting in chaos of who was supposed to go where at the start. Heaven forbid you get in front of a firetruck blaring it's siren for an hour. I don't even mess with parades here any more, but that's just me.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Driving The "A" In a Parade

Thanks to all who have taken the time to reply, lots of good advice on this subject.


The parade is next weekend and I will be sure to have the ougga tuned up!
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