This subject seems to come up alot on the HAMB, “How do I fit hydraulics to my Model ‘A’ “. Hopefully this should show how to fit said brakes the CORRECT way.
My Model ‘A’ came already fitted with hydraulic brakes, but the more I studied them the more things I noticed were wrong with the way they were fitted. The true horrors weren’t discovered until they were actually removed from the car.
I decided the best way forward was to start again with a fresh set of backing plates.
ere is your basic ’39-’48 Ford backing plate. In this case they are the later ’46-’48 plate as they have the riveted rather than bolted bottom pivots. You will also need the correct hubs and drums as the original ‘A’ ones will not work with the hydraulic backing plates.
We’ll start with the fitting of the front brakes first. This is the stripped hub. You’ll need a front fitting kit which consists of 2 bearing spacers and two backing plate spacer rings. You can see how these are mounted to the hub. Take care with the backing plate spacers as they are cast iron piston rings and will break easily if forced.
Once the trims had been cut to fit the next task is to refit them and the rumble seat. There were a few areas that needed painting and an arch bolt to be ground off as it was too long and was fouling the trim
The rumble seat floor mat was the first item to refit once it was given a bit of a clean up with trim cleaner.
Next up were the side trims, these were also given the clean up treatment
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.
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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.