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Old 09-02-2019, 12:48 AM   #1
ETAModel
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Default New to the Addiction...

I grew up watching the Walton's and listening to my dad talk about Model A's. I still don't own one, but a good friend bought a '30 Fordor last month and I am the designated driver due to his physical limitations.

She's road ready...mostly, but needs a little tweaking.
She appears to be a 1970's rebuild, seems to be all original, Briggs body, Mohair interior, has a strong motor (top speed so far is 63), I'm learning how to drive her and do some upkeep.

I'm having problems keeping the fan belt tight, which is causing her to run hot. I've tightened it but it got loose after an afternoon drive...maybe needs a lock washer on the generator bolt. The firewall shows signs of water blowing onto it, and she takes a cpl qts of water after a drive.

I also think the hose clamps might need replacing...the original ones don't seem to be working.

I saw the model A how-to youtube videos, havent watched them yet. I grew up driving tractors and dad's 58 Ford P/U, so double clutching/timing the gears is nothing new.

I'll have plenty to ask in the coming days...I have my eye on a '29 Tudor!

ET

PS, I've been "ghosting" this site a while, finally have a reason to say something.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:57 AM   #2
Synchro909
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Default Re: New to the Addiction...

Welcome to the site and to the hobby. You are in for a world of fun!
You might like to add your location to your profile info so we know where you are. Not that your location means much to me but others will find it helpful. there will also be recommendations to join a local club where you will get plenty of help. There's nothing like talking to other Model A owners to fill in some gaps in your own knowledge.
I'm sure those little niggles will be soon sorted and you will gain more and more cinfidence in the car's ability. I have mine pretty well sorted and have done trips of up to 15,000 miles with confidence.
Enjoy!
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:45 AM   #3
kenparker
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The vendors sell, and I have acouple on the shelf, a small brace thaht pushes against the generator and is bolted to the Timing cover using one of the timing cover bolts. It keeps the generaaror (or alternator) from tilting back toward the fan, thus keeping the belt tight. less than $10.


Radiator might need flushing. If you are not driving a show car the modern hose clamps are easier and more seecure than the original Ford clamps


....and howdy neighbor, ken from Van, TX
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:02 AM   #4
Bruce of MN
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Popular opinion is that 63 mph is a bit fast for the engine life, suspension, and the brakes. Many keep it down to 45 mph.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:06 AM   #5
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Unless you have a new radiator, your core is plugged. You want to run the belt as loose as you can. Just tight enough to work. Your overheating problem is not a loose belt.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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You might not be running hot at all. However driving the car at 63 might be pushing it a bit and causing things to warm up.

The fan belt should not be super tight. Just enough tension to turn the generator and the fan/water pump.

Adding a couple of quarts of coolant after each drive is very common if the radiator has been filled too full.

You need to leave room in the radiator for expansion of the coolant as it gets hot. Model A's don't like to be filled to the top. Instead drive the car and keep an eye on the coolant level. Allow it to puke coolant out and don't add any back into it. As long as the coolant level stays above the tubes in the radiator it will be fine.
Resist the urge to put coolant back in. Let the car find the level of coolant it is comfortable with.

Buy a cheap dial meat thermometer and use it to check the temperature of the coolant directly. That way you will know for sure if the engine is running too hot. The radiators on Model A's are not pressurized so you can take the cap off and check the temperature multiple times during a drive.

It is also possible that you have a head gasket that is leaking and it will let gasses into the cooling system pushing coolant out. With the cap off look into the coolant while the engine is running and look for bubbles. If you see bubbles you will need to torque the head. Probably a good idea to check the torque anyway.

Have your friend purchase the Les Andrews Volume 1 book. This will be a great resource for maintaining the car.

If after checking things over and it is actually running hot one of the next things to be looking at would be the timing.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
You want to run the belt as loose as you can. Just tight enough to work. Your overheating problem is not a loose belt.
Ditto
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:41 PM   #8
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Shoot the radiator with a heat gun. It will tell you if it's plugged somewhere. Make sure the timing is correct. Also check all for wheels turn freely before,then after a drive. Check air pressure.
45mph is good speed to live with, nothing wrong with 55-60mph for a few miles. Note...use a gps for speed.
Welcome and have fun!
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:22 PM   #9
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Check your radiator core, if it has only 2 rows of tubes, most likely it is undersized.
Brassworks radiators are the only known exception.


If using a IR Temp gun. Top tank to bottom tank - temp differential with car running warmed up should be 20 -30 degrees.


With car running scan left to right at midway down the core , then about 6 inches up from the bottom of the core.


At mid level horizontally, all core tubes should be about the same temperature, 5 degrees or so.


Same with horizontally 6 inches from the bottom of of the core.


If you find tube(s) that are cooler than the others, you have a blocked tube(s).


Any problems with the above, hopefully a radiator/motor back flush/flush helps. Then may need to use backflush/flush treatments.


A model A cooling system (radiator/water pump/motor) in like new shape, will not steam or lose coolant once it has "found its level".


As mentioned multiple times above do not over tighten the belt. As long as the belt does not slip on the pulleys when running, that is tight enough. Too tight can cause water pump and generator bearing failures. You should have about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of deflection in the belt. The single nut bolt should be sufficient to hold the tension, unless for a fact you know the nut is loosening, can not remember of the gen has a lock washer.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:38 PM   #10
Jeff/Illinois
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Welcome to the hobby

Don't start throwing parts at the car, especially a new radiator they are pretty pricey.

Do the basics, like double check the timing, make sure the brakes aren't dragging, flush the radiator, stuff like that. If your radiator hoses are pliable and not leaking they are probably OK.

Fill only to the baffle in the top of the radiator, they seem to find their sweet spot after you drive them awhile. Use a 50/50 antifreeze mix with diluted water don't run tap water.

And hold her down to 40- 45 tops don't run 63

Try these things first they only cost your time. Sounds like you will do fine.You know your way around tractors and older trucks already!
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff/Illinois View Post
Welcome to the hobby

Don't start throwing parts at the car, especially a new radiator they are pretty pricey.

Do the basics, like double check the timing, make sure the brakes aren't dragging, flush the radiator, stuff like that. If your radiator hoses are pliable and not leaking they are probably OK.

Fill only to the baffle in the top of the radiator, they seem to find their sweet spot after you drive them awhile. Use a 50/50 antifreeze mix with diluted water don't run tap water.

And hold her down to 40- 45 tops don't run 63

Try these things first they only cost your time. Sounds like you will do fine.You know your way around tractors and older trucks already!

X2 except for one thing.


Until the water loss is resolved, keep using water and a rust inhibitor. Paint does not like antifreeze.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:55 AM   #12
ETAModel
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Default Re: New to the Addiction...

The first thing I bought was Les Andrews manual, i've been pouring over it, there's tons of good info there.

I know 63 is way too fast for the A, i just wanted to see what she'd run. Only held her at 63 for about 10 seconds.

I have an app for my phone for speed, the speedometer doesn't work.

She needs a good lube job, been sitting a while.

The meat thermometer is a great idea...i have several and can devote one to the A.

The belt had about 2" of slack, i tightened it to about 1/2", but after a drive it had slipped back to 2".

I'll concentrate on stopping the water leaking from the hoses, then go from there.
Im only using water in the radiator until i get the heating/leaking problem solved.

I filled it one morning, drove her about 30 miles, then about the same the next day. After a cool down, (it was over 100 here), the radiator took 3 quarts of water.

Thanks everyone for the help.
ET
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: New to the Addiction...

If your going to replace those hose clamps I would check the hoses for cracks and replace if necessary. LOT"S of YouTube posts on radiator flush and almost everything you will ever need, or not need to do on the "A". Always watch the videos with Les Andrews red book nearby and make sure things line up.
I did a vinegar flush on my car, rinsed with water and baking soda then filled it with 50/50 anti freeze and distilled water. Because I am in Arizona I added a bottle of water wetter.
Sometimes overheating is caused by wrong advance/GAV settings. My car loves running at about 45mph with the advance lever (left one) at about the 9:30 position. GAV open about 1/2 turn. If it starts to get hot I just slow down to 30-35 and she cools right down.
Try a lock washer on that Generator bolt.
Here is a link to the Operating Manual which is full of info.


http://motormayhem.net/wp-uploads/20...ion-Manual.pdf


Enjoy the adventure... Chap
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