After the shock of the early delivery I started to take stock of what I had bought as it’s always a gamble buying sight unseen even with pictures.
Joe had left some start and stop instructions in the car which were really helpful and the title was also in the car
Managed to get the car started and reversed the car out of the garage, pretty hard to move as the brakes were stuck on to a degree and the handbrake cable was inoperable and I’d hazard a guess never worked. I’ll come back to the brakes a little later.
Upon opening the hood I found that the car had been fitted with a Pertronix electronic ignition replacing the points. Another point to note was the state of the wiring. As suspected I was looking at a little bit of an unfinished project. But on the bright side the car ran well.
An initial look at the underside showed some rust mostly surface but some work needed on the usual inner wheel arch area
The interior looked good and appeared to have a LeBaron Bonney interior kit fitted
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!
There are still quite a few items to take care of on my Model A. Managed to take care of one of these today. The Pertronix electronic ignition hadn’t been very well fitted which resulted in the module that arrived with the car failing. One of the issues was that the conduit for the distributor wiring was missing. I managed to source one and fitted it today after putting it off for ages. It makes things look a neater and more authentic.