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Old 10-24-2017, 08:43 AM   #1
Licensed to kill
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Default What to do, what to do???.

I've been pondering what to do about an air cleaner. I was going to get on of the ones that the vendors sell until I saw it and realized that it wasn't an
"air cleaner" at all. Just a screen to keep from sucking up a seagull. Did a search and found a thread here discussing the issue and was AMAZED at how many people don't run one. I've seen some examples of cleaners that curve down and around to come up in front of the carb so that the filter can't get saturated with leaking fuel and start a fire in the case of a backfire through the carb. However, it seems to me that if the carb leaks, fuel would collect in the lowest portion of the piping and STILL run the risk of a fire should a backfire occur. Been thinking of perhaps putting an electric solenoid in place of the manual fuel shutoff valve on keyed power so it automatically closes when the key is turned off and opens when the key is turned on to eliminate the possibility of leaking fuel (I forget to shut the fuel off about half the time when I shut the car off). This way i could just put a K&N or something similar right on the carb, no fancy plumbing required. Another option would be a small valve on the bottom of said "fancy plumbing" that would be pulled closed by the vacuum when the car is running but will fall open to allow any fuel to run out when the car is not running. Could even put that valve right in the carb just behind the choke plate and then just run a filter right off the carb. Thoughts??
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

We run our Model A’s using Zenith carb’s and the regular air filter sold by most suppliers.

Keeps most of the big thinks out and does not choke out engine. No fire problems.

Engine side pans also will help with air flow and road dirt. We try to keep it simple. Enjoy
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

Two things you should think about, One is that a properly built carburetor will not leak although I still recommend shutting the gas off. The second is that in the day these cars did'nt not have an air filter and the roads were dirt for the most part and everything worked fine. The car was used every day as base transportation back then. A third thing is that many believe that a balancing tube needs to be installed because the airflow into the carb is restricted by the filter especially as it begins to clog up. The tube keeps the pressure of the inlet the same a the pressure in the fuel bowl. Just my thoughts. Jack
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:37 AM   #4
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Two things you should think about, One is that a properly built carburetor will not leak although I still recommend shutting the gas off. The second is that in the day these cars did'nt not have an air filter and the roads were dirt for the most part and everything worked fine. The car was used every day as base transportation back then. A third thing is that many believe that a balancing tube needs to be installed because the airflow into the carb is restricted by the filter especially as it begins to clog up. The tube keeps the pressure of the inlet the same a the pressure in the fuel bowl. Just my thoughts. Jack
I realize that but it is still just an internal combustion engine working on the exact same principle as todays cars and trucks. I fail to see how a model a engine would be more capable of ingesting dust than a modern engine. I've read the "babbit is softer and therefore can embed particles where modern bearing shells aren't/can't" line of thought but don't buy it. It's the rings/cylinder walls that wear the most due to dust ingestion and I'm not aware of any real difference there between the banger and a modern car. I also think that people, due to not knowing any better just didn't expect engine life to be all that long. Even Henry didn't as, while I have been unable to find how long the warranty was on a new model A I doubt that it was much. Even in the 60's it was perfectly acceptable (and expected) to change plugs every 5000 miles, rebuild the heads at 25000-50000 (if you were REAL lucky) and at 100,000 miles, it's considered used up. We get more miles today out of a set of spark plugs than they got out of the whole engine in the 60's.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

I like those "HIGH-BOY" FILTERS.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

What about using the long tube with filter and putting a tiny weep hole so fuel can leak out from the lowest point?

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Old 10-24-2017, 11:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

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Originally Posted by Licensed to kill View Post
I've been pondering what to do about an air cleaner. Did a search and found a thread here discussing the issue and was AMAZED at how many people don't run one. I've seen some examples of cleaners that curve down and around to come up in front of the carb so that the filter can't get saturated with leaking fuel and start a fire in the case of a backfire through the carb. However, it seems to me that if the carb leaks, fuel would collect in the lowest portion of the piping and STILL run the risk of a fire should a backfire occur. Been thinking of perhaps putting an electric solenoid in place of the manual fuel shutoff valve on keyed power so it automatically closes when the key is turned off and opens when the key is turned on to eliminate the possibility of leaking fuel (I forget to shut the fuel off about half the time when I shut the car off).
I run a K&N filter (#E9257) and have never had a problem, mainly because:
1. My carburetor doesn't leak. If your "filter is getting saturated with leaking fuel", I would say you have a major carb problem... Also I shut off my fuel before the key and let the carb run dry. Then, of course you will have to remember to shut off the key.
2. My engine doesn't back fire. If your engine is backfiring, find out why.
3. I keep the filter clean. Some folks say the Model A doesn't need a air filter because it has an updraft carb... to which I respond "then why does my filter get dirty?"
Not suggesting you run a filter, just relaying my experiences...



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Old 10-24-2017, 01:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

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Originally Posted by Licensed to kill View Post
I realize that but it is still just an internal combustion engine working on the exact same principle as todays cars and trucks. I fail to see how a model a engine would be more capable of ingesting dust than a modern engine. I've read the "babbit is softer and therefore can embed particles where modern bearing shells aren't/can't" line of thought but don't buy it. It's the rings/cylinder walls that wear the most due to dust ingestion and I'm not aware of any real difference there between the banger and a modern car. I also think that people, due to not knowing any better just didn't expect engine life to be all that long. Even Henry didn't as, while I have been unable to find how long the warranty was on a new model A I doubt that it was much. Even in the 60's it was perfectly acceptable (and expected) to change plugs every 5000 miles, rebuild the heads at 25000-50000 (if you were REAL lucky) and at 100,000 miles, it's considered used up. We get more miles today out of a set of spark plugs than they got out of the whole engine in the 60's.


Youíre right, it canít digest dirt any better than a new modern engine.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

Check this out:

http://www.modela.org/filtering_air_into_carb.html
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

That your Model A doesn't need an air filter because it never had one not a logical argument. Later cars all had them.

I use the Hiboy filter and like it. It is not as restrictive as the Air Maze with a paper filter, but it is likely that the cars will run rich with any filter. One of mine ran rich until I added the Hiboy. I know that Renner's Corner will modify your carb to fun better with a filter. I may try that to see how it works.

I also agree that the carbs can be made so they don't leak or leak less. That should be the goal of all of us to get are carbs leak free.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

Currently my 29 has an Air Maze on it. I am considering a 5.5 inch K&N. I have noticed photos of several engines where a second 90 degree bend has been added, making the filter parallel to the ground and moving the air intake away from the exhaust pipe. I'm sure the extra bend will cause some flow restriction. Does any know where to buy the extra bend?
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

Paper filters should be banned. Biggest potential fire hazard out there. I have been running the K&N for many,many trouble free miles. I did re-do my Zenith properly and flow tested my jets. In my case I did not air balance the carb.
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Licensed to kill View Post
I realize that but it is still just an internal combustion engine working on the exact same principle as todays cars and trucks. I fail to see how a model a engine would be more capable of ingesting dust than a modern engine. I've read the "babbit is softer and therefore can embed particles where modern bearing shells aren't/can't" line of thought but don't buy it. It's the rings/cylinder walls that wear the most due to dust ingestion and I'm not aware of any real difference there between the banger and a modern car. I also think that people, due to not knowing any better just didn't expect engine life to be all that long. Even Henry didn't as, while I have been unable to find how long the warranty was on a new model A I doubt that it was much. Even in the 60's it was perfectly acceptable (and expected) to change plugs every 5000 miles, rebuild the heads at 25000-50000 (if you were REAL lucky) and at 100,000 miles, it's considered used up. We get more miles today out of a set of spark plugs than they got out of the whole engine in the 60's.
In the Model A era, the natural habitat of an A was probably 95% gravel or dirt roads, and ring life was short! I grew up in rural Minnesota and when I started messing with A's in the early 60's, I think I only saw one with standard pistons. They had already worn out once, been rebored and had worn out again. And rebuilders didn't bother with standard oversizes, they just bored to get a clean cylinder and fit the pistons to match. Had one engine apart with .045" oversize pistons, and saw other odd sizes.
An A in the big city with paved roads lasted longer, I'm sure.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

I'm currently modifying some originals to work well with the model A. I'll be selling them in Reno at the 2018 National meet, June 24th-28th.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

I too like the High-Boy design, but I also use a carb that is "air pressure balanced." Mine was marketed several years ago by some guy in Idaho under the "Whats-It" brand.

In the early days--before balanced carbs--Ford marketed a High-Boy style filter for use on trucks used under very dirty conditions. Apparently, there was a point at which the damage by dirt was deemed to outweigh the damage by running too-rich fuel mixture.

Theoretically, any filter must restrict the air flow and thereby lower the air pressure at the air intake. "Balancing" is a matter of sealing the opening of the fuel bowl to the atmosphere and running a vent tube to the carb's air intake instead, so the fuel in the bowl is not being pushed on by a greater atmospheric pressure than is the fuel at the outlets of the jets (other than the desired differential caused by the Venturi). Many people have reported that this theoretical issue is of no discernible consequence in their experience. I've only seen one wire mesh Air-Maze that clearly caused rough running, and suspect that most of the paper filters would be a problem, and wouldn't be surprised if the pressure differential caused by some of the foam mesh filters is negligible, depending exactly where the the carb is set up on the almost-but-not-quite-too-lean to almost-but-not-quite-too-rich spectrum.

Last edited by steve s; 10-24-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
In the Model A era, the natural habitat of an A was probably 95% gravel or dirt roads, and ring life was short! I grew up in rural Minnesota and when I started messing with A's in the early 60's, I think I only saw one with standard pistons. They had already worn out once, been rebored and had worn out again. And rebuilders didn't bother with standard oversizes, they just bored to get a clean cylinder and fit the pistons to match. Had one engine apart with .045" oversize pistons, and saw other odd sizes.
An A in the big city with paved roads lasted longer, I'm sure.
X2

Even if you just use the wire mesh, it should be soaked in oil to collect the dirt. Cars for many years used oil soaked mesh to catch the dirt. Throw away paper filters came out in the late 50's.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

I wasn't trying to suggest that a filter would not be good for the internal parts of the engine, I was only saying that the Model A engine and many others of the era ran without filters and in the early 50's when I got my first Model A the engine life was expected to be 40,000 miles. An air filter would increase that along with the more dustless driving conditions of today but realistically how many of our A's will see such milage. I like to drive mine as much as possible but I doubt that I will reach 20,000 miles so why worry about the filter that might cause other unwanted problems. The oil today is much better as well. Jack
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: What to do, what to do???.

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I wasn't trying to suggest that a filter would not be good for the internal parts of the engine, I was only saying that the Model A engine and many others of the era ran without filters and in the early 50's when I got my first Model A the engine life was expected to be 40,000 miles. An air filter would increase that along with the more dustless driving conditions of today but realistically how many of our A's will see such milage. I like to drive mine as much as possible but I doubt that I will reach 20,000 miles so why worry about the filter that might cause other unwanted problems. The oil today is much better as well. Jack
Point taken. I had considered exactly that, that I'm not likely to put NEAR enough miles on it to matter and that our conditions are much cleaner than back in the day. However, one of my quirks is that I want things to last forever or at last as long as possible even when it really doesn't matter. Example, when my folks built their cedar log retirement home, they were told that it should last about 60 years. I was horrified but my Mom said "what do I care, I'm not going to be here in 60 years". She's right of course but there's just something about putting that much time, effort and money into a house with such a short lifespan just seems wrong. Just one of my illogical idiosyncrasies.
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:20 PM   #19
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I agree, things should be built to last.
Many homes in Germany are centuries old, and beautiful.
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