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Old 09-05-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
DeBordEngineMan
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Default What is average highway speed for the model a?

Hello guys I have been driving the wheels off of the Tudor around town and on the back roads where I live since I have the overheating problem fixed and just wandering since I have never drove another Model A besides mine what is a good average speed? I have a stock motor and transmission and rear end, I do not know the history of the engine I have just been going real easy with it until I am sure nothing is going to fly lose! The only thing that I have done to the engine is a new oil pump drive gear and distributor and new oil and plugs and a rebuilt Zenith and alternator. Seems to run out real good no knocks seems to do good all way around. I have been running around 30 to 35 on two lane back roads and seems a good speed for this car, on highway is around 40 to 42 I took my GPS to accurately check speed I just didn't know what "IS" a normal highway speed she will cruse nicely at 42 mph but today feeling a little more like "LETS SEE WHAT THIS BABY WILL DO" I ran her up to 50 mph but with stock transmission it sounded like I needed another gear to change into! So I did not run at that speed for just maybe a 1/2 mile if that far. I am not about speed if I want to fly I should have never bought a Model A! I am fine at 40 to 42 mph that is plenty fast to get you skint up! Just curious what these cars recommended speeds were. Thanks for everything guys, Robert DeBord

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Old 09-05-2010, 07:42 PM   #2
James Rogers
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

Robert, mine will run a consistent 60-65 if I want. I generally run at 50-55 around here. Mind you I have made some mods to the engine and it is fairly fresh. I had a Tudor with only a HC head that we drove from Brent's to Dearborn in 03 and ran at 55 or more all the way there and back. 50 is not too bad once you get used to it. Seems like most have a vibration spot at 43-47 and once past that they run pretty good. Your experience may differ.
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
2manycars
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

Many people drive their cars quite fast, but I have always found that the car is happiest between 35 and 45. I drive 50 when the traffic makes it necessary to survive, and have had it up to 60, but I prefer 40-45. Your results may vary.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:00 PM   #4
Vic in E-TN
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

Robert:
My experience is two parts. If I am leading a group of A's in a club tour I need to keep my speed down to 45 MPH. I find that when I am alone, my speed is in the 55-60 MPH range. I have an OD and high compression head so I can usually go faster than many of the others. If I am out on the road I do not like getting run over.

I have been paying a lot of attention to my brakes. Good brakes are necessary and I know that you have been doing some work in this area.

I noted in your post a few weeks ago that you got Kevlar linings on your shoes. Why?

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Old 09-05-2010, 08:09 PM   #5
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

It depends on a lot of factors.

The major factor is how well balanced all the parts are and how good is your cam.

I grew up thinking 55 to 60 was the normal speed as that is what my brothers 31 coupe was always driven (since 1970). My crappy looking fordor liked running those speeds too.

Ford spent a lot engineering to be able to do precision work on the all the critical parts. It was cheaper to build a car when any parts put together would result in a balanced engine.

Today is is VERY rare to find a crank grinder that can keep it all centered up. Throw in out of balance rods and pistons and a worn cam and it you get a pot luck engine. I know a bunch of cars near me where the guys drive 45 and I believe that is too fast for the cars.

If the car is built right you will not feel you are pushing it to run 55+. That is without any real major mods, just building the chassis back to factory. With modern fuel a slightly higher compression head and some B grind cam will keep the car pretty close to factory and get a bunch of extra power with out over doing it.

Keep in mind a balanced engine put very little load on the bearings if you are running the advance properly and keeping the rpms up. Lugging the engine is what is not good for the bearings. Just spinning along cruising down the highway the engine is a happy camper at 55+.

But what do I know?
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
Mitch//pa
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

35-45 depending on the type of road i am on. being stock my cars are happy at those speeds. by listening to your car you'll find the sweet spot. its tough when someone climbs up your tail either they want a closer look or there in a hurry.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

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Originally Posted by 2manycars View Post
Many people drive their cars quite fast, but I have always found that the car is happiest between 35 and 45. I drive 50 when the traffic makes it necessary to survive, and have had it up to 60, but I prefer 40-45. Your results may vary.
I agree with this. My car is "bone stock" and even though my brakes are good, I don't want to risk outrunning my brakes. I also personally feel more relaxed & enjoy my experience more when I drive 40/45.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:12 PM   #8
Thom IV
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

I too like to operate mine at between 40 & 45 mpg. I've had it to 50 for a short period a couple of times. Will it go 60? Don't know. Maybe I'll try it one of these days. I am going to do a GPS check on the speed to see if my speedometer is accurate. My philosophy is: Why wear it out? I want it to out last me.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

For my A: 30 mph uphill; 50 mph downhill. Ergo, average: 40 mph. That's about all my heart can take!
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:42 PM   #10
marc hildebrant
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

My Tudor has a stock motor/transmission.

I've had it to 50-55 MPH, but it's happy under 45 MPH.

Marc
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

0 to 60 mph in less than two hours

downhill......

with a good tailwind.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #12
MCHinson
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

This is one of those subjects that routinely almost nobody agrees on. My Phaeton is all stock restored to original condition and well maintained. It is happy at 55 mph. I have had it faster, but normally drive it at around 55 top speed. In my experience, many of the people with heavier body styles than the Phaeton tend to be the ones that think a slower speed is better. It seems to depend a lot on which body style, the condition of the drivetrain, the terrain where you live, any modifications that you may have made, and your personal preference.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:25 PM   #13
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Default Survey says ....

Check this Survey for highway speeds.

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Old 09-05-2010, 09:37 PM   #14
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

When driving a car without properly operating shocks 40 mph is fast.

I have found that my car creeps up over 50 more and more the longer I drive --most times I drive with traffic, and am not afraid to pass cars going slower than the speed limit.


stock head, B cam, no overdrive, properly working shocks.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

40/45 good speed for me, feel the car runs at its best, don:t forget you gotta stop!!!
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

I currently drive around 45mph. I just got a new engine with new crankshaft, new cam, inserts, Brumfield head, lightened flywheel with V8 clutch, sleeved to standard, new inserted rods. When I install it I'll let you know! It should be as good as or better than a new engine.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

When I had stock A's I drove 55 whenever feasable.
The 2 door I have now I have had over 100 many times with the modified B engine but I sure wouldn't want to drive it at even 75 for extended periods of time because of the wind noise. The car handles and stops as good as any modern car but slippery it isn't....
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

More importantly than how fast will it go, is how fast will it stop. Betsy has a comfort range of 40 to 45 MPH though she has gone faster. Because of her Flat Head Ted brake system she stops very efficiently from her comfort zone speeds.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:53 PM   #19
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manycars


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manycars View Post
Many people drive their cars quite fast, but I have always found that the car is happiest between 35 and 45. I drive 50 when the traffic makes it necessary to survive, and have had it up to 60, but I prefer 40-45. Your results may vary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Bunkin in PA View Post
I agree with this. My car is "bone stock" and even though my brakes are good, I don't want to risk outrunning my brakes. I also personally feel more relaxed & enjoy my experience more when I drive 40/45.
Same here!
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: What is average highway speed for the model a?

I keep it to 40 when at all possible and stay off interstates except for very short stints.

On long trips, my wife and I probably only average 25 to 30 mph after all stops and meals are considered. That's okay. We get there---sometimes 350 miles in a day.

This is how we have enjoyed our 31 tudor over the past 16 plus years and 43,000 miles.

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