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Old 07-19-2019, 06:10 PM   #1
rfitzpatrick
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Default Engine Longevity

Stock engine and running gear driven on a simi daily basis - maintenance by the book.
How many miles should I expect to achieve before I would need an engine overhaul--assuming I started with a new re-built-
Thanks
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:51 PM   #2
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Thats a $64,000 question.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:05 PM   #3
Gary WA
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

till it dies! Maintain it, should go for ever.!! It's a Model A.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:06 PM   #4
Dick Steinkamp
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

My original 30 has the original bore, original bearings motor with about 80,000 on it. Some valves have been replaced.

EDIT: Full disclosure. There is some piston slap, especially when cold, and there are few main and rod bearings where I was able to leave a shim and still stay within clearance spec. I am VERY close to needing a rebuild.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

I believe that driven sensibly, these engines will go a looonnngggg way. Even further if oil and air filters are added. Like that, I'd expect maybe 100,000 miles.
Trouble is, to drive them like they were designed to be driven is not so easy in todays traffic with so many idiots about.
Off topic but personally, I'm looking forward to the day when cars will drive themselves. They will be programmed tro avoid "obsticles" like my Model A so I can drive as I like.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

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Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
I believe that driven sensibly, these engines will go a looonnngggg way. Even further if oil and air filters are added. Like that, I'd expect maybe 100,000 miles.
Trouble is, to drive them like they were designed to be driven is not so easy in todays traffic with so many idiots about.
Off topic but personally, I'm looking forward to the day when cars will drive themselves. They will be programmed tro avoid "obsticles" like my Model A so I can drive as I like.
Don't be surprised when laws start favoring self driving cars and our old ones are banned from the road!
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

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Don't be surprised when laws start favoring self driving cars and our old ones are banned from the road!
Our state government recently conducted a survey into the value of the old car movement to the state's economy. They were blown away by the result - they had no idea. By the time everything was counted, it was huge. To ban them would be a big dent in the economic situation in the state and politians don't want that - it would affect their chances of re election! Electric cars will make the car world as we know it, disappear. Very few mechanical workshops, no dealers (Tesla, for example is sold ONLY on line) and very few body shops, just to start. That weill shake things up so much, they might welcome our activity.
That said, I hear you.
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:15 PM   #8
Bill Cal.
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

I think Gary is correct. I have a rebuilt engine in our 29 coupe that we put in in1972 and it is still going strong. I use the car almost daily and have done some good trips in it. Never drive over 45, change the oil once a year and keep it tuned and don't abuse it. Think it will last for the duration, and of course appreciate the car an awful lot.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

My engine was late done in 1961. Its .080" over, original type valves and I believe original camshaft. I tightened the crank and changed timing gears about 5 or so years ago. It doesn't leak or burn anything but compression is getting low. Thats just fine with me. I too am a slow driver. Under todays road conditions these engines should run for a long time along with todays good oils.

Last edited by Patrick L.; 07-20-2019 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Add many many miles to the engine's life by using synthetic motor oil.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Our 1929’s engine was rebuilt in the 60’s. We have owned it since the late 70’s. We stay under 45 mph, change oil once a year. Have changed timing gear. Compression all in the mid 60’s. Does not smoke, knock, or have any other strange noises other than what is normal for a Model A.

My personal feeling is that a properly rebuilt and maintained engine will out live the owner.

Even a worn out engine will drive on and on. Enjoy.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:09 AM   #12
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Most folks won't drive there hobby cars daily but I suppose there are those that do. The average time before overhaul was likely between 80K and 100K miles back in the day depending on conditions. Rural areas were largely unpaved back then and hard on cars. It's all about maintenance and upkeep for the older cars. There are a lot of variables that change the outcome of longevity.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

An old engine builder told me that engine metallurgy has not changed much in a hundred years. The reason modern engines often go 200,000 plus miles is dramatic improvements in oil and gas additives. Probably some truth to this and good news for the Model A community. What we need now is beer additives so we can enjoy our rides even longer.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:00 AM   #14
rfitzpatrick
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

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Originally Posted by Bob Bidonde View Post
Add many many miles to the engine's life by using synthetic motor oil.



YES - I use synthetic oil but didn't want that to affect response and start a different discussion. Feel that any cost for repair's are worth buying best-available - I've ordered a new radiator for suspected cooling issues. And I follow the Book.


Once had this Captain tell me: "The Company Follows The Book -- I Follow The Book." So - that flight was delayed


Thanks everyone

Last edited by rfitzpatrick; 07-20-2019 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Me too!
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:23 AM   #16
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Piecing together a lot of loose info. No one told me this and it may be wrong. I believe the model A was was designed with a life of 50K - 60 K miles or about ten years in time. My Town Sedan made 75K , but was totally shot by then. So here we are 91 years hence! The worst thing to happen was the depression, then the war. In the depression people couldn't afford proper maintenance and in the war, they literally were prevented by the greater needs of the military. Yet the damned things survived! Today's better bearings and lubricants and maintenance schedules will only extend their lives longer than the original period between manufacture and the first restoration from say 60K to 100 K. If they're driven 5000 a year, that's twenty years on this engine. Having just passed 75, I doubt I'll be here.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:15 AM   #17
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Quote:
An old engine builder told me that engine metallurgy has not changed much in a hundred years.
Maybe not, but the manufacturing techniques have.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

The most significant change in technology was the mandates that required fuel injection with computer control for modern automobiles. This was part of EPA clean air regs to reduce emissions. It costs folks more when purchasing a new car but it is way more efficient than any carburetor could ever be. The oil stays cleaner in your new cars because there are less contaminants getting by the rings.


Oil technology has changed so that folks can run the catalytic converters more reliable and efficiently (removal of a good portion of anti wear additives like ZDDP). I can't say that there was any improvement at all. It was mandated changes also part of the Clean Air Act and its revisions. The catalysts help burn off what ever left overs from combustion there are which are a lot less now than there was back when carburetors were still in use.


Ester based synthetics last for hundreds of ours in turbine engines but turbines don't have blow by and combustion contaminants to be concerned with like piston engines do. They just have high speed bearings to lubricate.


If synthetics could be thoroughly cleaned of contaminants, they would last as long as the engine but the stuff also has viscosity index polymers in there that break down so that stuff has to be cleaned out as well. Basically the only way to do that is to re-refine the oils. No filters work well enough to do that job.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:22 AM   #19
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

FWIW, in 1980 I bought a new Ford 1/2 ton w/a 300 CI 6 cylinder engine, when it had about 150,000 miles on it I decided to replace all the rod and main bearings. While I had it apart I decided to also replace the oil pump. I opted for a high volume pump (pumps about 25% more oil than stock). After this job I noticed that the oil a lot stayed cleaner. I suspect that more oil was going through the (full flow) filter than previous.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: Engine Longevity

Miles to go - Endless with proper maintenance...
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