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Old 10-05-2018, 07:42 PM   #1
StockyM
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Default Model A cross-country migration

Hello,
I am new to the forum. I am purchasing a '29 Model A in Oregon and driving it back to Michigan with a friend. I have never sat in or driven a model A and I'm sure this will be quite the adventure! I have purchased spare parts and had them shipped to the current owner so they will be brought on the trip with me as a false sense of security. Any advice for the journey would be appreciated, and if interested contacts along the way would be nice for the 2,400 mile journey in case we have a breakdown. We will be leaving the 24th of Oct traveling via 26W mostly.
Thanks,
Matt
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:22 PM   #2
FordTudor1931
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Matt,


The idea of driving the Model A across the country is great, but your timing is way off. You will most likely hit snow and ice crossing the Rockies. We just got back from Seattle to Michigan driving and it is a very long drive even in a modern car. I wish you all luck, but time your mountain crossings to the weather reports. It can get nasty and the roads will be closed if it is bad.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:01 PM   #3
160B
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Here are some questions and food for thought.

What is the condition of the vehicle you purchased?

What is the condition of the brakes and the tires?

What is the longest trip the current owner has driven the vehicle, and when did this trip occur?

You will be driving a vehicle that does not have a heater or window defroster.

You will be driving a vehicle that at best has limited headlights, and tail lights.

Does the vehicle have an overdrive?

You will be driving a vehicle that on a good day you will average 50 miles per hour, you have a 10 gallon gas tank good for 150 to 170 miles between fill ups.

On a good day you will travel 250 miles.

What are your skills and knowledge to set points, time and trouble shoot problems on a Model A Ford.

We made a trip this year from Washington State to Reno NV, 741 miles one way, 3 days each way. So I would say you are looking at a 10 day trip, baring no major problems.

P.S. you will have limited daylight hours
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:34 AM   #4
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Check the fluids before you leave, don't drive over 45 MPH, and try to stay off any salted roads. It's a bit late in the season and you'll have to dress for cold weather. Modern or antique, I like to stay in the right lane on multilane roads. I feel it's the safest lane from speeding drivers, and it's easy to pull off in case of a breakdown.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

You're braver than I am. I was nervous driving my first A around the block. Best of luck.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:49 AM   #6
Chuck Dempsey
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Best of luck and PLEASE keep us posted along the way!
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:41 AM   #7
StockyM
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

I'm not sure he has used the car much more than around town. You are right the timing really sucks, but he wont store the car till spring. Its got 400 miles on the rebuilt engine, transmission, and new radiator. No overdrive. Hydraulic brakes and has been converted to 12volt, also has new wiring harness. As far as setting timing, do you need the cam wrench for the distributor? Seems like its gimmicky. I'm mostly concerned that the mileage I was hoping to achieve is a farce. Seeing your real numbers makes me reconsider. Well I didn't want to trailer it because no one would find that book very interesting about the guy who pulled a car on a trailer. We were planning to film it and put it on THE youtubes, it may just turn out to be a U-Haul promotional video.
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Old 10-06-2018, 07:07 AM   #8
talwrench
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

We drove 3000 miles to Branson, MO this summer in the near 100' heat. 200 -250 miles per day is about average. I was able to have all the answers to questions in post #3 be fore we ventured out. great list by the way. If u don't know the car condition well before the trip it will be rememberable trip for sure. Good luck on your decision!!
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:08 AM   #9
Corley
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Go for it, but not if you are not mechanically inclined. What are the rider's qualifications as well? How hardy are you both. Bring your warm clothing for sure, but if there is no manifold heater, can you get the seller to install one? If no, consider a couple of the small electric heaters for cars, at least you can keep your feet warm with one of those, and a decent alternator should power two of them.

If the current tires are aged out, consider new tires before you start the trip. (About 10 years old is pushing it.) Carry a good Jack and a decent tool set. Make sure your life insurance is paid up! Only kidding on that one.

OR, better yet, rent a storage unit until spring. In fact, I'd bet someone on this forum would have space and store it for you. A car hauler would run around a grand,. Probably cheaper than a uhaul truck and trailer. Plus, the speeds on an open trailer can ruin the As top. Man, you have a lot to consider.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Read up on recommended maintenance. Lube/Oil changes, lubing generator, distributer, etc. This will be required on the road on a trip of 2400 miles. Thoroughly read and understand the owners manual.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

The Nu-Rex Timing Wrench is an acceptable timing procedure, quick and easy which helps when you are on the road. Not as 100% accurate as other ways. The spark retard/advance lever more than adjusts for any very small tolerances using the wrench. The wrench is discussed in the flowing post/string.


https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...+timing+wrench
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:13 AM   #12
Simonpie
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

I just looked at your route, and the following applies to any winter drive there in any car. Have food, water, and blankets. 26 is a "highway" but out in parts of Utah and Wyoming there is a lot of nothing and your cell phone won't work. Traffic can be really sparse. Be ready to fend for yourself for a while.


Warning aside, I say do it.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:18 AM   #13
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Don't forget the steering gear when checking fluid levels
Clean the fuel filters every night till nothing shows---by the end of the trip the fuel tank should be clean
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:52 AM   #14
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Take plenty of extra gas In places you have very long distances between gas stations. Be aware that gas gauges are not very accurate at/below quarter full, especially at below 1/8th tank. Use your trip meter to gauge your gas. And even then realize you mileage will vary depending on if you are on a flat road, foothills/mountains, or bucking a strong wind. In many ways I envy you, a real adventure, I am too much of a scardy cat to do something like this.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:13 AM   #15
1ton
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

I love it. Combining the fact that you are fricken nuts and have the balls of a rhinocerous will certainly make this a trip of a lifetime, No, it will not be easy but go for it. And remember, the turtle won the race.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:24 AM   #16
Roger Green
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Matt, Where in Oregon are you starting? Would you like some company for your first days travel? Would a little Model A driving lesson help? I live just North of Portland and would love to help you get started.
One important item to take is a copy of a national Model A club roster. If you need help along the way, you will be able to call near by club members.
Good luck & have fun!
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:41 AM   #17
michael a
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

I think this is fantastic it will be an adventure of a lifetime you know what to check just make sure you have AAA and if something happens along the Route you can always rent a U-Haul truck and trailer keep us posted on your travels

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Old 10-06-2018, 12:11 PM   #18
Benson
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

Before you start I urge you to read service bulletin page 450 and BE SURE this modification has been CORRECTLY made to the radiator.

MANY new RADIATORS ARE NOT setup correctly!

IF not coolant will be lost rapidly out the overflow tube resulting in over heating.

This time of year if it was me I would seriously consider the use of a trailer or paying a professional to move the car.

There are just too many things which can go wrong and being stuck on the side of the road for a week during a blizzard is just too risky and dangerous.

Above all be sure there is antifreeze of correct strength whether you drive or ship ... many people do not use antifreeze (for various reasons that i WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND ...) and when the car gets to the destination the block and radiator are frozen and maybe cracked.

Last edited by Benson; 10-06-2018 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:23 PM   #19
Ernie Vitucci
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Smile Re: Model A cross-country migration

Good Morning...Some humble and yet experienced thoughts...Since Roger Green has offered to help, I would suggest that you arrange for him to make a complete inspection of your new 'A' and see what he feels regarding the condition of the car. The engine is one part, wiring and brakes and front end and steering slack need to be considered. Clean gas tank, good tires and tubes and wheels, radiator, just to mention a few things...While this might be an exciting trip, if the overall condition of the car is not up to snuff...hire a car moving company to bring it to your home and then get it completely ready to do a long trip in the spring...My experience is that the car moving company at $700 or $800 or even a little more will be less than you will spend even if this adventure is reasonably successful. If it is less successful, you might end up spending money on hotels, food, towing and such that could be better spent in getting your 'A'into really good shape if is not in overall good shape now....Enjoy...Ernie in Arizona
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:01 PM   #20
Bob C
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Default Re: Model A cross-country migration

It would be one thing to attempt this with a couple of model A's BUT with no Model A experience, alone, with an unknown car, this time of year, through areas with no
cell service is nuts. I wish you luck


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