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Old 11-04-2016, 11:26 AM   #1
Art Newland
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Default How fast in 2nd gear?

Most of my driving around where I live is pretty flat, so I went looking for some good hills to see just what my all stock (except alternator) 30 Coupe could handle. One road in particular has a pretty steep climb that just keeps getting more uphill as you go, and is about 3/4 mile long. You also have to turn off of another road to enter so you can't make a straight on run with some momentum. My first try I revved pretty high in 2nd, then to 3rd and tried to make it to the top in third but couldn't do it. On try number 2, I switched back to 2nd much earlier and held 30 mph to the top. The engine pulled well, sounded good, and was smooth at 30 mph in second gear. How fast in 2nd gear is safe on the drive train?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVflYiEm_HA
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

With everything stock, 30 in 2nd is about 2500rpm which is the same engine speed as 55 in high gear. With everything stock I probably wouldn't push it any further or hold it at that speed for a long time but for short bursts I don't think there would be any issue.

Remember, Ford rated these cars at 65mph when they were new, not that I would ever want to try it
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

I use this website (meant for Jeeps) to calculate speeds and gear ratios. There's a lot more there than you need for a Model A but it comes in handy.

http://www.grimmjeeper.com/gears.html
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

I believe 25mph is about 1000rpm in 3rd.
When I'm going up hill I shift into 3rd at 25mph but on level ground 20mph.
I'm all stock with 3.78 rear gears and 21" tires
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

I've run Minerva up to 45 MPH, in second---VROOOOM!--Helps keep the plugs burning CLEAN! I ran my Autolite plugs for 12,000 miles & never even looked at them. Chief always said, "If something works GOOD, leave it ALONE"!!
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

Wow, I need to figure out what my rear gear ratio is. Were there different options for 1930?
My car revs so high it sounds like it's going to blow up if I go faster than 20-25 in second or 40-45 in 3rd. I can't see how anyone could get up to 55 without doing some damage. Is it possible I have a 4.XX ratio?

What RPMS were these engines meant to run at safely?

This is my first "A" so thanks for the info - I'm still learning!
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

30 in second is too fast. Slow down and enjoy the ride up.
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

Keep in mind, it is not RPMs that kill in an engine.

If the crank, rods and such are properly balanced the bearing are riding on the oil film and all is well.

It is when you have the stuff out of balance or the timing not set right for the load on the engine. Pre-detination is a big problem for the engine.

If you know you have the crank and everything balanced out well then do not be afraid to run higher RPM's.

That being said....
Too many engines are not even close to properly being balanced. There it does not matter, the engine vibrates a lot and you do not feel safe running fast. The bearings will not hold up if you drive it hard.

Keep in mind, the Model A from the Factory ran 60 MPH no problem. Yes, even on the crappy roads of the day people were running them that hard. Tells you something about how well built the car was originally.
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

Remember that the more the car is stressed the the more probable chance of doing damage. The car is 85 years old and should be treated with respect. Wayne
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

My car has some vibrations here and there but at higher revs it's quite smooth. It will easily attain 50+ mph on the flats, but can't say that I feel comfortable at that speed... 45 seems happier. There is talk of a drive being put together by some local clubs beginning in Blaine, WA and traveling to Mt. Baker. It's a bout a 70 mile trip but the last 20 miles climbs 4000+ feet in elevation, and the last 8 miles has a lot of switchbacks as it climbs even more steeply. Sounds like maybe some sustained 25mph in second gear is doable?
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

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Old 11-04-2016, 04:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

Yes and have the car checked out to find the reason for the vibration by one of the more knowledgable members of the club. Wayne
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

OVERDRIVE!!! 35-38 comfortably!
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

I don't have numbers at hand, but do research on RPM ratings for Model A industrial and agricultural power plants. Those engines barked at full throttle and full power for hours on end and lived a happy, fruitful life. In the early '50's an uncle built a home made tractor with A power. It pulled a plow for several years until he could afford a 'real' tractor, then became a 'chore' tractor pulling grain wagons and such. It's retired now like him, but as far as I know, it's only had one valve job in its life. So don't be afraid to work that A!
Oh, maybe that original '32 grill shell he has on it helped!
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

I have a completely stock Model A Tudor with stock gears, and I shift at 15MPH and 35MPH.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

Like SteveB31, I shift at about 20 to second and 35 to third. I can run 60 all day long comfortably. I have done it this way for over 10,000 miles. If a car is built right, these speeds are easy to attain.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

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Originally Posted by James Rogers View Post
Like SteveB31, I shift at about 20 to second and 35 to third. I can run 60 all day long comfortably. I have done it this way for over 10,000 miles. If a car is built right, these speeds are easy to attain.

The manual says 5-8 in low and 12-15 in second. What is attained by much higher speeds in the lower gears than those recommended by Ford? Better acceleration?
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
I don't have numbers at hand, but do research on RPM ratings for Model A industrial and agricultural power plants. Those engines barked at full throttle and full power for hours on end and lived a happy, fruitful life. In the early '50's an uncle built a home made tractor with A power. It pulled a plow for several years until he could afford a 'real' tractor, then became a 'chore' tractor pulling grain wagons and such. It's retired now like him, but as far as I know, it's only had one valve job in its life. So don't be afraid to work that A!
Oh, maybe that original '32 grill shell he has on it helped!
Usually they had a governor on them and most ran 1500 RPMs or less, that I've seen.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

dunno, Dick, according to the torque curve the torque falls off after 2200, so why go past that?
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: How fast in 2nd gear?

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dunno, Dick, according to the torque curve the torque falls off after 2200, so why go past that? All you are doing is revving the nuts off the motor then for no reason
I agree. I do have probably 10,000 miles at 55, but the engine seems much happier at 50. 3:78 and no overdrive. It just seems like 60 mph is over reving. It would be 2680 rpm from this chart so basicly your overrunning a low speed long stroke engine .
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