Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-26-2019, 09:21 PM   #1
Straw530
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 22
Default Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

I have a 30 Tudor that I just got back together. It's my first Model A. I am working to get the bugs out, including a pretty good oil leak. The engine was rebuilt before I got the car. It runs very well, and can go down the road well at 50 MPH, with more to spare. The only problem is the vibration. While I would not call it severe, it is constant. At some ranges it pretty minor, 30 and 50 MPH. Many people tell me it is normal for a Model A, but I would like to make one better. I do have another engine, and would like to rebuild one myself and try to balance the parts myself. I mean the ones I can. Is there some info where I can get ideas on how to do this? I was thinking of buying a balanced crank, and then try to balance pistons, rods etc. Whatever I would need to send out I would, such as bearings. Any help would be great! Thanks
Straw530 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 09:32 PM   #2
chrs1961815
Senior Member
 
chrs1961815's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Spring Grove, Illinois
Posts: 589
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

If it is coming from the engine it can be a combination of balancing issues and perhaps the motor mounts depending on what you have.

Now before I go any further, are you positive the vibration is coming from the motor and not something else?
__________________
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
chrs1961815 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 08-26-2019, 09:43 PM   #3
Flathead
Senior Member
 
Flathead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 1,118
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

Model A engines will vibrate to some degree no matter how well balanced they are. A poorly balanced engine will vibrate even more.
Flathead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 09:43 PM   #4
Synchro909
Senior Member
 
Synchro909's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,730
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

Vibration is built into a 4 cylinder motor - it's inherent in the design. Are you sure you are not expecting more than is possible?
__________________
For the first half of our life we trade our health for wealth. For the second half, we trade our wealth for health.
Synchro909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 09:45 PM   #5
Straw530
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 22
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

I assume it is the engine, because it will vibrate when I idle and rev the engine. I have float a motor mounts on the rear. I had assumed it was the flywheel before I took the car apart, so I took it to a pretty notable Model A guy up here and he said the flyweel was fine, and replaced the crank pulley and distributor rod. (If that is the correct term)
Straw530 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 09:48 PM   #6
Mike V. Florida
Senior Member
 
Mike V. Florida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 14,045
Send a message via AIM to Mike V. Florida
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

This is just my opinion, that's a lot of money to spend for a little vibration, but your plan sounds good. Don't forget the flywheel and clutch that can cause vibration as well.
__________________
What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them. - Henry Ford II
Mike V. Florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 09:49 PM   #7
Straw530
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 22
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

I have been told by other guys that I may be expecting too much from it, but it seems excessive to me. I am hoping to ride in another one so I can compare as well.
Straw530 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2019, 10:27 PM   #8
Railcarmover
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 1,262
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

I went down to the local 'emporium' and bought a gram scale..balanced the rod piston pin and rings as assemblies,I know it isn't the proper way to balance but I did get them within a gram.they did have a 10g or so variance so it helped.The biggest bang for your buck balancing is getting your flywheel,pressure plate and clutch done as an assembly.

In line four cylinders have an inherent shudder,accentuated in the A with siamese intake ports ,mine runs pretty smooth,thouigh I dont know if the fooling I did with the scale was the difference..probably not
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Fdu4tDV.jpg (41.1 KB, 84 views)

Last edited by Railcarmover; 08-26-2019 at 10:41 PM.
Railcarmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 06:51 AM   #9
History
Senior Member
 
History's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: NC Mountains
Posts: 397
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

The first time I took a ride in a model a was last year. A man I know stopped by my shop in his A and said "get in". I hopped in and we took off down the road. I was checking everything out inside and was hit with what I thought was a huge vibration. I asked him why it vibrated so bad and he pushed the clutch in and it quietened waaaayyyyy down. He said they all did it, atleast all of his as he has several.

Starting mine for the first time this past Saturday I can see that it too vibrates.
History is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 07:17 AM   #10
ryanheacox
Senior Member
 
ryanheacox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Northwest CT
Posts: 797
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

A good indicator of balance is how fast your car will go, a stock engine should push the car to 65 if all else is good. Any imbalance in the engine will make the engine fight itself.



I thought my car had some bad vibration but it turns out the upper drivers door hinge pin is loose and the horn rod rattles. If I grab the hinge and turn the lights on it seems like a completely different car. I also rubber mounted the tail pipe and that made a noticeable difference.



Moral of the story, you may be able to make driving the car WAY more tolerable without touching the engine.
ryanheacox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 07:29 AM   #11
BRENT in 10-uh-C
Senior Member
 
BRENT in 10-uh-C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 9,075
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straw530 View Post
I have a 30 Tudor that I just got back together. It's my first Model A. I am working to get the bugs out, including a pretty good oil leak. The engine was rebuilt before I got the car. It runs very well, and can go down the road well at 50 MPH, with more to spare. The only problem is the vibration. While I would not call it severe, it is constant. At some ranges it pretty minor, 30 and 50 MPH. Many people tell me it is normal for a Model A, but I would like to make one better. I do have another engine, and would like to rebuild one myself and try to balance the parts myself. I mean the ones I can. Is there some info where I can get ideas on how to do this? I was thinking of buying a balanced crank, and then try to balance pistons, rods etc. Whatever I would need to send out I would, such as bearings. Any help would be great! Thanks


Again, knowing where you are located would help us point you to someone knowledgeable. There are rebuilders out there that do not have balancing equipment, so they assume many things including new parts will be balanced. They produce engines like you are mentioning, ...and my theory is generally if they take a few shortcuts on items like balancing, what else did they take a shortcut on? You did not mention where the oil leak is, and you did not mention how many miles are on the rebuild, but you may be trying to put lipstick on a sow if the thrust is killed or the babbitt is loose which would be causing the leakage.
__________________
.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
.
www.model-a-ford.com
...(...Finally Updated!! )

.
BRENT in 10-uh-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 07:59 AM   #12
kenparker
Senior Member
 
kenparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Van, Texas
Posts: 1,073
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

I have done exactly waht you are asking about , in my "home shop". It can be done and it does make a difference in the smoothness of the engine. Four cylinder engine VIBRATE, but you can take most of the vibration out.


Balancing an engine and installing a counterbalanced crankshaft are two different things. You should take your new (or old) crankshaft, Flywheel, Cllutch pressure plate, Clutch disc to a professionall balancer. My balancer even wanted the front pulley. Each piece is balanced while rotating, then balanced as a unti. This is to one step most "home shops" do not have the very expensive ewuipment to do.


The balancing of the pistons and rods you can do. Slow and tedious but very satisfiying when you get er done. I had one set of pistons theaat were 20 grams out of balance - out of the box from on e of the majr vendors. Sent them back and the second set was within 4 grams of each other. 4 grams is common acceptance, but not gud nuff for me. I balanced to within 1 gram - pistons with rings. Rods are a little more complicated to balance, but doable. Worth the try.


When I went ot my balancer with the crankshaft, he wanted to see the rods and pistons, then rebalanced them to within 1/4 gram on his homeade equipment. He balances engines for racing engines.
kenparker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 09:49 AM   #13
1930artdeco
Senior Member
 
1930artdeco's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,678
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

My question is this: How did that guy know the flywheel was good with the engine in the car? One would have to take it out to balance it separately and then with the clutch from what I have seen.


Mine has a bigger vibration at 48/49 mph. Why I am not sure but it is at that exact speed so I know how fast I am going if I feel that.


Mike
__________________
1930 TownSedan (Briggs)
Still learning after all these years....
1930artdeco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 09:56 AM   #14
Joe K
Senior Member
 
Joe K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cow Hampshire
Posts: 3,499
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

Quote:
Balancing an engine and installing a counterbalanced crankshaft are two different things. You should take your new (or old) crankshaft, Flywheel, Cllutch pressure plate, Clutch disc to a professionall balancer. My balancer even wanted the front pulley. Each piece is balanced while rotating, then balanced as a unti. This is to one step most "home shops" do not have the very expensive ewuipment to do.
Plus 1. This is where I went with my Model A engine rebuild. And he did take the front pulley - and cut a surprisingly large number of "drill imprints" out of both sides at one location on the rim to make it balanced.

That was a repop pulley, but one would think the issue would have come up with the manufacturers long before and he would have made more effort.

Joe K
__________________
Shudda kept the horse.
Joe K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 12:13 PM   #15
Jim Brierley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 3,122
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

First remove the fan belt to see if that helps. The best way to balance the pistons and rods is with a balance-beam scale but the Post Office sells a good digital scale that reads in ounces and/or grams. 1 gram is the weight of a dollar bill, not much but try and get everything that close. Balance both ends of the rods separately, and total weight. Pistons without rings, pins can be used to make a little difference in piston weight by switching them around. If inserts, don't include them, rings and insert bearings will likely be replaced at one time or another, and weight difference is so little it won't make any difference. Crank, flywheel, etc. should be done professionally. Good luck and have fun
Jim Brierley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 01:19 PM   #16
rotorwrench
Senior Member
 
rotorwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 10,988
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

The standard model A crank doesn't have a lot of places to remove weight. The "B" crank or a modified A crank with added counterweights will have a bit more to work with. The clutch and flywheel can be balanced separately but should be indexed to the crank after initial installation checks are completed. Runnout and end play should be checked on everything. Equalizing weight on the pistons and rods is a blueprint tactic and a person doing the balancing on a machine can calculate the bob weight mass from those figures.

The model A or B engine doesn't have a lot of mass in it's rotating assembly when compared to a V8 so they generally can work from their original balance at Ford. It's when parts start getting mixed & matched or modified that there can be problems.

Aligning the clutch housing with the crankshaft flange is another thing that is sometimes taken for granted. If the transmission isn't aligned with the engine, it's going to have problems. When things are right, the model A engine is pretty smooth.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 08-27-2019 at 01:58 PM.
rotorwrench is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 03:52 PM   #17
wensum
Senior Member
 
wensum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 429
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

First fit a harmonic balancer pulley, You will be surprised at the transformation and it could save you a great deal of trouble and expense!
wensum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 04:27 PM   #18
john in illinois
Senior Member
 
john in illinois's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,875
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

You said that you have rear float a motors. I found that if you tighten them too tight it will increase vibration. Try loosening or tightening and see. I like to be able to turn the top washer with my fingers.

John
__________________
Welcome each day
john in illinois is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 05:54 PM   #19
Straw530
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 22
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

Thanks for all the responses! One thing about all this old junk, is everyone is very helpful! I will try to answer all the best I can.
I got the car from someone who had lost interest. He had the engine rebuilt by someone, and I noticed the vibration. So, when I had the engine out, I took it to the guy here in Minnesota. He checked the flywheel as I asked and ran it on his stand. I can drive the car up to at least 60, that's how fast I have had it so far. I usually run around 50, but it has more it can go. It has about 650 miles on the rebuild, and does maybe seem like it has gotten a little smoother. (Maybe) The oil is mainly in the rear of the engine around the flywheel, but the pan is also oily. My plan was to clean everything and then let the engine warm up without driving to get a better idea of where the leak might be. I am wondering about a gasket between the flywheel and the block. I don't remember one being there, but I have been working on this thing for two years so...
I did add ships behind the throttle linkage as I was instructed, not sure if I should leave, add more or take out! I don't think the floats are too tight, but I can check. The harmonic pulley? I don't know anything about how to do that but I am interested! I am out of town now for work so I can't go out and look at the car yet. Thanks again for all the help!
Straw530 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2019, 07:50 PM   #20
Joe K
Senior Member
 
Joe K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cow Hampshire
Posts: 3,499
Default Re: Balancing an engine at home (Newbie)

You seem to all be headed in the right direction.

The oil leak at the rear of the engine would concern me. Generally a new rebuilt engine does not have the "developed faults" that an engine with more miles will have.

As originally and frequently re-done, there is no gasket at the "rear main" - the original design incorporates a "thrower" on the crank and shield/catcher at the outside of the rear main. Some rebuilders modify the crank and remove the thrower and incorporate a split knife-edge seal here. Some people swear by the modification. Others swear at it since there is no going back.

And some competence and plenty of Permatex No. 7 is required around the cork seal at the oil pan. And an even hand in tightening everything up.

As you say, when you go together check to be sure there is a gasket separating the engine from the flywheel housing. You'll recognize it as it has a "swelled out" section which covers the end of the camshaft hole in the block. Without this gasket you can get a leak here which may result in the oil markings you're seeing.

Shimming between the block and the flywheel housing is not difficult, but the housing is "flexible" and you may get inconsistent results with the dial gauge and sweep normally used for this. Keep at it and make it the best you can "on average." Later version flywheel housings tend to be a little stiffer because of the ribs which may be an advantage.

Anyway, good luck. Keep on hand gallon jugs of Fast Orange with the pump top. I prefer the Smooth but will use the Pumice version when that is all that is available.

Joe K
__________________
Shudda kept the horse.
Joe K is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:13 PM.