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Old 05-10-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
Mitch Bunkin in PA
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Default This novice learns an important lesson

I hope this helps other novices like me. I found out that a loud, disturbing rattle was caused by a loose battery retainer nut & washer. Just for the heck of it I decided to check all nuts not cotter pinned. To my surprise I found many needed snugging up (i.e.:1 shock to frame nut, most body to frame nuts, all headlight rod to fenders nuts, all water pump to head bolts, most running board support bracket nuts, front floor board to frame screws, all valve cover bolts, oil return pipe bolts, muffler pipe to manifold clamp bolts and one radiator hose clamp). My radiator splash apron screws and hood latch screws were extremely loose. Everything was fine 2000 miles ago & I never realized until today how important it is to check things like this frequently. I hope this helps others who are novices like me.
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Last edited by Mitch Bunkin in PA; 05-10-2010 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Forgot to include last sentence.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:44 AM   #2
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

It is also important to tighten the cotter pinned nuts also, as the newly painted parts settle closer to each other and push the paint out of the way the bolts and nuts need to be taken up --the spring U bolts are important to check, the steering gear to frame bolts, the motor mount to flywheel housing bolts, radius rod to axle, are all important to check after a few thousand miles, or the first year.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:53 AM   #3
ken ct
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Thats a daily practice for harley riders. ken ct.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:44 AM   #4
Special Coupe Frank
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Mitch,

About 3-weeks after getting my car, front battery hold-down bolt on my '28 dropped-out entirely, and the battery swung around until the hot terminal shorted against the main brake rod...

Good thing I was driving at night, and noticed the headlights suddenly got dim...

I quickly wheeled-in to a convenient, well-lit gas-plaza ( Thank you, Turkey Hill !), and shut the car down.

It was then that I noticed smoke coming up through the floor boards ( not fastened-down, thank goodness!). I pulled the floor board out and noticed the brake rod glowing red-hot.

The battery terminal bolt had welded itself to the brake rod, and I had to struggle to separate the two, grabbing the hot brake rod with my bare hand in the process...

Tragedy averted, I managed to make it home safely.

It became apparent to me why all the fasteners on the Ford are fine thread, and many are cotter-pinned or safety-wired !

SC Frank
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:16 AM   #5
Modelabob
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Just a little food for thought. When you buy a model A driver you might want to go throught the car and check things out. Just because thay say it's a "Great Driver" doesn't mean it's OK. I bought one a few weeks ago and noticed the steering was a little loose. When I got into it I found bolts loose, and parts missing from the tie-rod ends. This investigation grew to find the front cross member was not in the correct position so I re-positioned that. Rear main was leaking so I pulled the pan to find a balanced engine. I had to pull the engine to repair the rear main. Thrust was gone so I had to have a new cap poured. Just decided to go throught the hole car and redo what was needed. Wanted to re-pack all of the wheel bearings and found that the Rear Brakes were shot so I'm a brake man now. Fronts were new. Luckely I enjoy it so I am having fun and learning everything about the car. I like doing this so I know what I have when I am out driving it. A long explination just to say "CHECK IT OUT AND TIGHTEN EVERYTHING"! HAPPY & SAFE MODEL AING!
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:51 AM   #6
Stan/MO.
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

My original unrestored 1948 panhead is smooooooth as silk compared to that Model A coupe. In fact the original 1919 Indian is smoother than the Model A. So there!!
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

I use locktite all around.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:14 AM   #8
Special Coupe Frank
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Modelabob View Post
Just a little food for thought. When you buy a model A driver you might want to go throught the car and check things out. Just because thay say it's a "Great Driver" doesn't mean it's OK. I bought one a few weeks ago and noticed the steering was a little loose. When I got into it I found bolts loose, and parts missing from the tie-rod ends. This investigation grew to find the front cross member was not in the correct position so I re-positioned that. Rear main was leaking so I pulled the pan to find a balanced engine. I had to pull the engine to repair the rear main. Thrust was gone so I had to have a new cap poured. Just decided to go throught the hole car and redo what was needed. Wanted to re-pack all of the wheel bearings and found that the Rear Brakes were shot so I'm a brake man now. Fronts were new. Luckely I enjoy it so I am having fun and learning everything about the car. I like doing this so I know what I have when I am out driving it. A long explination just to say "CHECK IT OUT AND TIGHTEN EVERYTHING"! HAPPY & SAFE MODEL AING!
A big A-MEN to this suggestion !!!!

After the battery incident, about a month later, I noticed the steering was "getting loose"... found the big castle nuts holding the steering-arms to the knuckles were loose (no cotter pins ! )...

I think previous owner kind of put things back together in a hurry when he decided to sell the car.

Caveat emptor !
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Special Coupe Frank View Post
A big A-MEN to this suggestion !!!! ............................................. I think previous owner kind of put things back together in a hurry when he decided to sell the car.

Caveat emptor !
That's what I found on my car as well. They used the wrong bolts with no washers to hold the backing plates on, that got me started taking everything apart to look at things. One of the nuts came loose and was inside the brake drum rattling around.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

This is one of the best posts I've read in a LONG time.........gonna plan some inspection time before the next drive. Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

It is always said [ CHECK YOUR NUTS] before you go for a "drive" [and then check on the car]. I was driving behind a friends car when the front wheel came off. [at speed of 45 miles per hour ]
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:07 AM   #12
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

It is important to consider the effects of a freshly restored car. We paint everything, sometimes a little too much.
So for the wheels to the hub. There are 2 major contact points (there really 3 points, but only 2 are critical). The paint on those surfaces will wear off fairly rapidly. This means the wheels will get loose as the paint goes to bare metal. There is the additional problem of uneven paint on the mating surfaces causing the drum to warp. My powder coated wheels would cause up to .012" of cast iron drum warp before I sanded the surfaces flat on the wheel.

The rear spring has a piece of frame welting that is going to crush. The spring will get a little loose and will need to be tightened up at first. Not to mention the lug nut holes sometimes being loose and have some paint to wear off.

As you put your car together you need to consider all these areas. You must expect that the car will loosen in some areas until the parts settle in removing paint where it wants to remove it.

Same thing goes for things like the points. People think the points are bad cause they keep needing to be reset. Every year they replace points because they think they need to and restart the process. Now they think that the points are all bad cause they wear so fast. Truth is they do not leave them on the car long enough to stop wearing into the cam.

I have not even put cotter pins in some bolts on my chassis. I plan on driving the car a few miles then go over the nuts before I put cotters in place.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:40 AM   #13
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Check out the owners manual and look at the lubrication schedule and all the places that need a shot of grease...that is actually a scheduled trip that gets your nose into practically every part of the car, an ideal time to check out fasteners.
With a newly purchased car, also, you need to assume that the previous owner was a criminally negligent dimwit...don't assume that even the most obvious things are right until you have studied then yourself.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:06 PM   #14
Clem Clement
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Good job. To help knowing where you are, you might chalk the nuts after you tighten it. Tha way you know what you have done. When you think you are done, take a rubber hammer or you fist and pound vertically the bumper ends, the headlite bar, and other areas. I picked up a loose cowl lite lens that way.
clem
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Many very goos suggestions, I will go over my car a little better with help of some friends (i'm in a wheelchair) before my next outing saturday..... And how bad is it to pull the engine in one of these cars? My rear main leaks like the exxon valdeez...... I know it was "designed" to leak a bit on the wishbone felt pad, but mine is beyond that...... I see it dripping off of a cotter key underneath.....

Thanks!!! James
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:48 AM   #16
Bruce
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

That fabulous cotter key hanging down out of the bottom of the flywheel housing is my very favorite Model A bit. It would be very interesting to go back in time to hear the engineer explain how a loosely-applied cotter pin would wobble enough to keep the weep hole open so that every Model A could do its thing -- leak erl all over the garage floor. Think he got a bonus?
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:53 AM   #17
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Remember those old Murray Fahnestock manuals explaining Ford features in a Question and Answer format??
Here's my take:


Q. Why does the new Ford have a cotter key hanging out the bottom of the bell??

A. Its natural shaking as the car is driven ensures that the hole will not become blocked by dirt.

Q. Why is the hole there?

A. To allow oil leaking from the engine to drain out before it can get to the clutch frictions.

Q. Why does the oil leak so??

A. The leak is provided in order to prevent the formation of rust on the cotter pin.

So there. Skilled engineers design everything as a system.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:07 PM   #18
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Now, that's funny! Finally the mystery of the cotter pin is solved.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:41 PM   #19
Frank The Plumber
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Default Re: This novice learns an important lesson

Most of these cars are kept by us as big boys toys, we take a lot of pride in them, the first couple I would let Mama nature take her course and if something broke I d fix it, usually it came as a complete surprise in the pouring rain, then as the years went by I came to a general compromise actually due to my involvement with cycles. Own One, Own it well, Polish it lovingly, give it loving periodic maintenance, go through it annually and make sure it has no reason or way to kill you. If we love building them we should relish servicing them, make a comprehensive service manual for your vehicle specific and follow it religiously, help others to do the same, it will pay off in the beginning and the end.
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