Category Archives: Engines

Jumping Gear

If you have a Model A that jumps time, check the distributor/oil pump gear.  The later models gears were pressed on the shaft and could slip. This tech tip was provided by John Walliser and was printed in the Jan./Feb. 1987 “A” Quail Call.

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Model A Fan Airflow

There has been a lot of discussion about which is the best fan to keep that Model-A temperature the coolest. Is the original 2-blade metal fan, the later 4-blade metal fan, or the aftermarket 6-blade plastic fan the best? For this test a sophisticated instrument was used to measure the air speed in MPH (Miles […]

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Is A Thermostat Needed?

That is a question that has been kicked around the garage for some time now.  The early thoughts were that a thermostat was needed to slow the water flow in the radiator.  Extensive tests have shown that changes in the rate of water flow through the radiator results in negligible change in water temperature.  A […]

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Cleaning Dirty Spark Plugs

When the spark plugs are dirty, they demand a really good cleaning.  You can take care of the job yourself by buying a bottle of household ammonia.  Simply soak the plugs and they will emerge cleaner than sand blasted ones.  The ammonia loosens the deposits and floats them away.

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Diagnosing a Cylinder Miss

On our way to the Spring Banquet this year, my wife and I were riding with Les Meacham in his Fordor Sedan, following Don Harvey in his modified Tudor Sedan.  Suddenly, two puffs of smoke came out of Don’s exhaust pipe.  He immediately pulled off of the road into a vacant parking lot and we […]

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Ruling Out A Blown Engine Gasket

When all the symptoms point towards a blown head gasket, like loss of power and backfiring, try this quick and easy way to confirm the diagnosis.  First, you will need to take out all the spark plugs.  Next, take a section of paper towel, roll it up and push it into the removed spark plug […]

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Boil Over Blues

Boil over is often caused by loss of coolant out of the overflow.  Reproduction radiators do cool better than the originals but they don’t have the flow capabilities due to smaller tubes. When driving at road speed the water pump sends more coolant to the top tank of the radiator than can flow through the […]

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Blow-By

What a mess blow-by makes, an oily firewall, underside of hood and even on fenders. We install breather pipes or steel wool and even rags to slow it down.  What causes it?  I’ve heard a lot of theories but I didn’t have a clue. Recently while running a new engine on a test stand, I […]

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Clutch Clearance

Recently I replaced a clutch and throw-out bearing in a Model “A”, which I have done several times before.  But this time when the clutch pedal was engaged, there was a loud ticking noise. After dismantling the whole system again, I found the problem.  An obvious mark was seen on one of the four bolts […]

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Spark Plug Gap

The spark plug gap should be .035, right?  That’s what I thought.  But like lots of others, I tried different things.  When installing electronic ignition, it came to my simple mind to try a wider gap.  Modern systems use wider gaps with electronics. .040 was a bust, so I went back to .035.  Then Ed […]

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