I’ve been meaning to sort out the perished windows channels on the Model A, so I headed over to John Cochran’s for some expert assistance.
Once we had removed the door trims it was very interesting to find the details from the trim manufacturer from 20 years ago! I may research the detail to see if I can get a bead on who owned the car back then. I’ve tried writing to the owner listed on the title but sadly got no reply.
It was great to drive home with slightly less rattles thanks to John!
After the breakdown on the way to Wheels Day 2017 and some diagnosis the Pertronix module was the culprit (well the symptom anyway :))
This is the second module failure, so it’s back to points which as least can be fixed on the road. I’ve gone for the “modern points” setup by Nu-Rex, “modern” is pretty amusing as the new plate contains the 1957 onward Ford V8 points as opposed to the original 1929 setup.
Before I began I set the timing to TDC via the timing pin as per usual on the Model A I then started to remove the Pertronix system
During removal I found that the lower distributor plate had been deleted, a bit annoying as I’d ordered the upper plate from O’Neills. Luckily John Cochran had a used item I could use (thanks John :))
I’d also ordered the recommended longer pigtail for the lower plate, this is recommended to alleviate the stress on the original which is a little short and often fails due to fatigue. So after desoldering and drilling the old pigtail was removed. Then it was a matter of a little cleaning and soldering to get the new item fitted. As my car has no pop out ignition switch I further modified the plate to securely fix the hot cable to the plate by drilling the dimple which was designed to contact the original pop out switch.
Once all the modifications were completed I installed the plate into the distributor.
The pigtail was connected to the points contact ensuring that the connector was not able to accidentally ground to the distributor housing.
Also checked that the timing advance lever was in the fully retarded setting at this point
Next the upper plate was installed taking care to wrap the pigtail around the cam spring whilst making sure not to pinch the cable.
The upper plate will only install one way into the tabs and groove and should turn freely.
See the next episode for rewiring, points adjustment, timing and hopefully an engine start.
After a few days preparation, a good road test and Simon’s assistance with clutch adjustment we were ready for our annual trip to Wheels Day in Aldershot, well we thought we were…
Things started to feel a little strange on the M4, but we put that down to a GAV adjustment as after a tweak things improved. However the car cut out and restarted after we came off the motorway, we managed to get around another couple of miles and then broke down with a bang and no restart this time. We had fuel but no spark, the Pertronix electronic ignition module had failed, this is the second such failure in the three years that I’ve had the car.
A very wise man named John Cochran did suggest that I stick to points a couple of years ago, I took the “if it ain’t broke” approach, well now it’s broke and I’ll be reverting to points!
Luckily my friend John Barron was travelling with me to the show, and his personal AA cover ensured we got home safely and very efficiently (thanks again John!)
Hats off to the the two AA staff that helped us today, customer service at its finest. Suffice to say I joined when I got home!
Wheels Day 2017 is coming up on Friday so I’ve been doing a bit of prep. I’ve been meaning to change & rewire the ammeter for a while. The unit the car came with was a 20 amp example which hadn’t been rewired during the change to 12 volt/alternator and negative earth by a previous owner.
The new 30 amp unit is of course a repop as is the dash. The existing 20 amp was a better fit in the dash than the new 30 amp. So the answer was to swap the bezel from the 20 amp to the 30 meaning a better fit in the dash. I also needed to reverse the wiring so it reads correctly.
Whilst I was about it I gave the dash a clean with metal polish and WD40. I think it looks great and has a nice patina.
My new fan belt arrived on Saturday morning but the weather was bit a rubbish, so I began work on the Alternator today. After finding more bad workmanship around the pulley alignment I eventually got everything in place, but to my disappointment I found that the standard Model A fan belt is a few inches too long meaning that it will rub the radiator hose. So the search for a belt goes on….
Took a couple of days off work and with a huge amount of help from my friend Simon of Simon’s Autos and despite the shocking efforts of Parcelforce and HM Customs (parts held for over 3 weeks despite taking 2 days to get to the UK from Bert’s Model A Center in Colorado) we achieved quite a bit :
Front Tube Shock Absorber Conversion
Fitted the bracket kit from Bert’s and the Gabriel shocks sourced from US Automotive here in the UK. Pretty much a bolt on apart from drilling the front axle in two places. I have a new rear spring and tube shock absorber brackets for the rear to do in the summer.
Rear Brake Grease Boxes
Those of you that read the blog will know that the car had hydraulic brakes when I purchased it, the conversion was quite badly done in parts so it was upgraded to 1948 parts. I was short of a couple of grease boxes for the rears which I got from the States via eBay for a reasonable price. These were nicely fitted by Simon
Engine Oil Leak
After I changed the sump gasket in the process of cleaning out the years of sludge, I ended up with quite a bad oil leak near the timing gear inspection cover using a combination of gaskets and black RTV. Fingers crossed as it’s OK so far.
Clutch Pedal Modification
Due to my height, (6’4″), and the fact that I have a dropped foot it’s difficult to drive a standard Model Coupe. We came up with a few modifications to help me drive, these are working out quite well so far, still have a bit more to do as the clutch is dragging when hot despite slowing the idle as much as possible making the selection of 1st gear difficult. But it’s a great improvement. I think we’ll still need to design a new thinner seat back to give me a few more inches of room. The modification is done with wood so far to see how it goes. Makes life a easier for me!
John Cochran kindly pointed out that my “A” has a “B” carburettor, so I treated it to a K&N filter which I think looks OK, car’s not original anyway so 🙂
Transmission & Rear End Oil Change
Thanks to Simon’s space heater and heavy duty pump we managed to get the Morris Lubricants SAE 250 Golden Film gear oil into the gearbox and axle, no mean feat as this is some seriously thick stuff, I can only imagine how thick the 600W spec oil from back in the day actually is!!