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Old 10-14-2021, 11:11 PM   #1
bdtutton
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Default Gas mileage question

Hello...I have a 1930 Tudor that I often drive to work. It is about 11 miles each way and I drive about 48mph for 6 miles and 53mph for 5 miles....only one stop. The car runs smooth and I checked the plugs and they only have a slight brown tint after about five thousand miles. No carbon build up or any other issues.
.
Here is my question....In good weather I get about 15 and sometimes 16mpg. In colder weather I get about 13-14mpg. I assume it has the standard 3.78 gears. Is this normal? I hear stories of 20+mpg from a Model A. Do I have a problem? Is it because I am running at higher speeds?
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Opinions? Thank you....
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Old 10-14-2021, 11:31 PM   #2
Ruth
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

I can not comment on what is "normal" or what others get but I get about the same as you, 15-16 mpg. Many factors effect mileage. Have fun driving your Model A and don't worry about it.
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Old 10-15-2021, 03:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

The 30 Fordor I drive gets about 14-16 on good days, 10 on bad. I've tried turning the GAV way down, it doesn't help much on this one. If it was mine I'd have the carb gone thru. The owner is happy if it cranks.
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Old 10-15-2021, 06:22 AM   #4
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

When everything is proper mechanically you should expect between 20 and 25 MPG running up to 60 MPH.

This is based on the operation of properly restored cars to most Ford factory.

In one case my brothers 31 coupe averaged like 23 MPG on a trip from NJ to WI. That was an overall based on miles driven and gas input. The speedo was showing 55 to 60 most of the way out and back. But we found out later with GPS it reads low by about 5 MPH.

When I did a check of the 40 to 50 jets from the carbs we have I found most were flowing too much. But there are so many things that affect performance. Poor engine balance, used cams, improper valve setup, not properly setting timing and so one that cause poor fuel economy.

Please do not feel bad about your car. Most people do not understand the A driveline is actually a precsion built unit for the most part. If you take Ford prints to a machine shop they will tell you that you are trying to build a race car.

In the end to build the A properly (not JS correct) it is not cheap , easy or fast to do.
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Old 10-15-2021, 07:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

OK, two points. First, most people do not drive a Model A because it gets good mileage or worry too much about it. Second, a higher compression head will help.

I keep records of my mileage for this year. See https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=304450
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:09 AM   #6
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I have a 1929 roadster and I consistently get 19-20 miles per gallon. I don't drive over 45 mph. Maybe that has something to do with it.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

Your mileage sounds perfectly normal. Asking an A owner about mileage, top speed, etc is similar to fish stories; very little relationship to fact.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:27 AM   #8
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My Fordor (with a B engine) gets 18. We did a test with a Zenith gas mileage test machine on one for the A's in the club. He's running a Mitchell Overdrive and an insert engine with a 5.5 high compression head. He's getting just over 20 with the test machine and the miles tested based on a GPS.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

So many variables! Tires, tire pressure,dragging brakes, front end alignment , driving style, weather, wind!!!
I once got 65 mpg in a car that got mid 20's, driving 55 mph speed limit then, on the interstate the clouds shadows would pass me!
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle View Post
Your mileage sounds perfectly normal. Asking an A owner about mileage, top speed, etc is similar to fish stories; very little relationship to fact.
I agree with the fish story part. Many A owners have the tendency to exaggerate or they failed mathematics! Wayne
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by McMimmcs View Post
I agree with the fish story part. Many A owners have the tendency to exaggerate or they failed mathematics! Wayne
I ran my mileage keeping track of fill ups and the odometer for over a 400 mile period. Granted my odometer is likely off (speedometer shows slower than I'm going). My mathematics is fine.

The other test we ran was with a Zenith built test instrument developed for Ford so the dealers could demonstrate the miles per gallon on Model A Ford cars. When that one was run they used a GPS for the miles. Miles per gallon = Miles divided by gallon used. Pretty basic math.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JKY View Post
I ran my mileage keeping track of fill ups and the odometer for over a 400 mile period. Granted my odometer is likely off (speedometer shows slower than I'm going). My mathematics is fine.

The other test we ran was with a Zenith built test instrument developed for Ford so the dealers could demonstrate the miles per gallon on Model A Ford cars. When that one was run they used a GPS for the miles. Miles per gallon = Miles divided by gallon used. Pretty basic math.
I wasn’t suggesting your post was inaccurate. I went on a tour and realistically I got about 17 miles per gallon. We all filled up at the same time including top up when we got home. In the group of 12, 9 were close to 17, 2 claimed 25 and one claimed 28. I didn’t argue the point because they were only fooling themselves. The same 28 per gallon person on the golf course gets very low scores.

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Old 10-15-2021, 02:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by McMimmcs View Post
I wasnít suggesting your post was inaccurate. I went on a tour and realistically I got about 17 miles per gallon. We all filled up at the same time including top up when we got home. In the group of 12, 9 were close to 17, 2 claimed 25 and one claimed 28. I didnít argue the point because the were only fooling themselves. The same 28 per gallon person on the golf course gets very low scores.
I'd love to get 28 per gallon and very low golf scores.
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JKY View Post
I'd love to get 28 per gallon and very low golf scores.
A friend said if the 28 mpg guy ever gets a hole in one on the golf course he’d count zero on the score card!

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Old 10-15-2021, 03:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

I have over 15,000 miles on a fordoor. This is loaded with luggage, spare parts , ice chest etc while traveling/touring. My average is 12 to 16 MPG. Also the faster I drive the lower the MPG. A speed of 40 to 45 has yielded me the highest MPG of 17. And that is my story! Average tours 1500 to 3500 miles!
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Old 10-15-2021, 03:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

So random people shouting out their fuel mileage is kind of a useless.

There are so many variables as pointed out.

So on my brothers car we know it has a used B cam, a B dist cam, not sure of the pistons but the engine only had 40,000 miles on it. The block was cleared of all crap in the heat jacket, you might be surprised how much can come out of a block. Factory carb, fan, brakes that are well set up- able to take the car from 60 down to 30 on the highway around Chicago when the A hole takes the on ramp, cuts in front and slows down rapidly. They do not drag.

The car had crappy babbitt done by a shop known for failing babbitt. The reason why we bought all the KRW tooling at the time to do our own babbitting. So we were trying to kill the babbitt on the trip. My father drove the motor home with a tow bar just in case.

We have verified accuracy of the odometer with GPS much later because we wanted to be sure of distance. The distance of the odometer also matched the distance on the paper maps. My degree is in Physics so I like data with control to know I can trust it. Since the trip in 86 my brother has done more fuel mileage checks and it is inline.

The fuel mileage went down a bit when a rod threw the babbitt (we cant babbitt rods). He inserted a different rod and put the engine out of balance. Lost 5 MPH off the top end and the fuel mileage dropped some. Today there will be more variables to fuel mileage as formulas change based on predicted temps and state rules. They vary the additives changing the total energy available per gallon of fuel. There are also some issues with jets and amount of alcohol in the fuel.

From above: OK, two points. First, most people do not drive a Model A because it gets good mileage or worry too much about it. Second, a higher compression head will help.

The thing is items like top speed, how well it drives, and fuel mileage are all indicators of the vehicles health. If it cant do those things well it is an indication that there are problems.

Historically we know the A was able to run 60 MPH, we know it would get in the mid twenties for economy, and we know it could stop well.
How do we know, well do like I have and read all the stories on how people drove their cars back in the day when they were everyday cars. There are A LOT of stories in magazines of the day. Yes, I have read about the history. I wanted to know what I should expect from a properly restored car.

The simple truth is a car that can only do 45 MPH is not right. If the car does not feel comfortable to drive at any speed, it is not right. If it is only getting 15 MPG something is wrong.
If that is acceptable to you fine.
But maybe you should consider spending some time learning about what a properly restored car is truely able to do.

Oh, yes if you want to spend the extra bucks the higher compression head improves the efficency of the A engine. This is because today we have fuels of a higher octane that will support the compression. Back when the A was built that was a serious issue so Ford engineered the car to run on crappy fuel.
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Old 10-15-2021, 04:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

My fuel economy vs your fuel economy is a bit like "Which oil do you use?" Everybody has something to say, yet at the end of it all, it doesn't really matter. IMO, we should jusy get in and drive the wheels off them while we can.
Just sayin.
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Old 10-15-2021, 06:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

Many many years ago there was a story in the paper about a 1927 Chevy that got 100 mph. (Anybody remember this?) The photo in the paper showed the roadster running around an oval track that was normally use for track meets. There was one person driving and one person feeding gasoline into the intake manifold with an eye dropper. The tires were bald and pumped up to make them solid. Probably at less than 25 mph. I must have been in high school, so maybe 1957 or so.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.
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Old 10-15-2021, 07:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

I'll add a data point - competely stock survivor 1930 Town Sedan, just filled the tank an hour ago (going for a drive tomorrow). Last filled several weeks ago. 132 miles, 8.2 gallons = 16.1 mpg. Mostly to and from work, surface streets.

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Old 10-15-2021, 11:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: Gas mileage question

I started this thread and reading through the comments there are a couple of things that seem to make a big difference.....high compression heads and overdrive gearing. I don't have either of those. It seems that at higher speeds a high compression head and proper gearing could greatly improve fuel economy.
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