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1930 Model "A" My Gramp gave me


Guest John Mac

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Guest John Mac

I was given my Gramps 1930 model A. Im currently stationed in NJ and live near Fort Dix. It has been in the family since it was purchased by my great aunt for the farm. Its my turn now. It has never been restored that I am aware of but has been maintained. I was driving it a few weeks back and it was back firing. I tried to fix it by adjusting the timing but now I have buggered it all up. I am geting no spark. Im kind of new at this game of mechanics and was wondering if anyone lives near by and come take a look at it. Might be a quick easy fix for someone who knows what they are doing. Ive tried several manuals and downloaded many insrtuctions. I am at my wits end. Thank you to anyone who can help or point me in the right direction.

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Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. I am not near by but I can recommend a few things. I suggest replacing the condensor as the most likely fix for backfiring. Another possibility is too rich a fuel situation.

I suggest you purchase a copy of the Model A Ford Mechanics Handbook (Volume 1) by Les Andrews. This book is available from any Model A Ford parts supplier. The troubleshooting charts and other information will prove valuable in solving this and future problems.

My personal favorite supplier is Bratton's. You can check out their website at:

http://www.brattons.com/

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I was given my Gramps 1930 model A. Im currently stationed in NJ and live near Fort Dix. It has been in the family since it was purchased by my great aunt for the farm. Its my turn now. It has never been restored that I am aware of but has been maintained. I was driving it a few weeks back and it was back firing. I tried to fix it by adjusting the timing but now I have buggered it all up. I am geting no spark. Im kind of new at this game of mechanics and was wondering if anyone lives near by and come take a look at it. Might be a quick easy fix for someone who knows what they are doing. Ive tried several manuals and downloaded many insrtuctions. I am at my wits end. Thank you to anyone who can help or point me in the right direction.

John, Go on line and look up Model A Restorers Club or Model A Ford Club Of America. Find a local chapter in either ( or both) and speak to a person of contact that is listed. I strongly suggest that you join a Model A Chapter. They are a great group and stage many events. The Model A is a simple car, but only once you learn its quirks. I was in the same position when I bought my 31, I knew auto basics but the A is a whole different thing. Suggest that you by some shop manuals . Les Andrews' mechanical procedures is excellant.

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Guest John Mac

Tank o for the response. I wish I had come here first. When I took the distrbutor cap off nd began tinkering I decided to change the condensor the little tab weld had broke loose. At that time the truck was running now nothing..

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To set the timing, remove the small bolt on the timing cover that has a rod on the end of it.

The rod end is rounded. Stick the round headed stud back into the same hole and then turn the engine over by hand as you push in on this stud.

It will hit a detent hole in the timing gear when you are on No 1 cylinder firing order.

Loosen the screw on the rotor shaft (under the rotor) and set the points to just opening.

Lock the rotor screw, replace the rotor and cap. Put the timing cover screw back in to cover and luightly tighten it.

Now try starting the engine.

My grandfather also gave me a 1930 4 door sedan for 8th grade graduation. Loved that car and the Model "A"s are the only Fords that I have much use for.

A good thing to have is an owner's guide.

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Coley, one of the best investments for information, cheap, is a reproduction printing of the Model a Ford "owner's handbook" for the 1930 Ford car. They are always on fleabay for around 9 bucks or so. The timing procedure is spelled out clearly in the book. Always retard the spark lever when timing or starting the Ford. (the lever on the left, under the steering wheel). "UP" is full retard. The lever must be advanced when driving, usually not "all the way down" if your timing is done correctly, as too much advance of the spark lever can be hard on your center main bearing, while not advanced at all while driving can lead to overheating in a short time, especially in this weather.(HOT).!!

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John, congrats on your new prize! Having owned an "A" for a number of years I will tell you that once you learn some basics these are very easy cars to maintain, diagnose problems on and repair. I would definately go on the national Model A club websites (MARC - Model A restorer's Club & MAFCA - Model A Ford Club of America) and see if you cannot reach out to a local region contact - or our own club, AACA, whose membership near you will most certainly include some "A" owners. One thing these clubs are looking for is active, younger members not looking to ruin their antique with a modern engine - and my guess is you will look to keep it as it has been in your family. They will likely offer you assistance, and as good as the manuals are, an afternoon or two with an "A" owner who knows how to handle the basics will really pay off tenfold.

Keep us posted, and post up some pics!!

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That little tab that broke loose is crucial. That's how the condensor is grounded. No condensor ground = no spark. You'll need to replace the condenser. There is a couple of online parts suppliers. Brattons (www.brattons.com) is located in Maryland and if you order parts before noon you will likely have it on your doorstep the next day. Bratton's catalog is a must have for any Model A owner.

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Guest John Mac

Steve,

The way I see it this truck has made it 81 years on this engine, who am I to change it. My son is 7 and loves this thing. He enjoys gong to football practice in it, getting ice cream, heck last spring we took it to the landscape store. I have tried every thing form the shorts, to new condensor, to new points. I still cant get spark. The next is to find an old timer who knows how to do this stuff. Thanks for the info.

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John, I take it you've installed a good condenser now. Whether your timing is right or wrong, you still should get "a spark" at the points. Here's how to check--remove dist. cap with coil wire still attached to it and lay it aside on your engine block so the little center contact is on one of your head studs, making a ground. Next, turn your ignition key "ON". Go back over to your distributor and with your finger,open the points. (start this procedure with your points closed). You should see a small spark between the points. This is only your battery voltage, you won't get shocked. If NO spark is present, stop there and trace the problem backwards all the way to your battery for loose or dirty connections. If your Ford has any modern up-dates or non-Model A add-ons, double check those. I only run stock Model A's, They're easy to fix. I also want to mention, the problem may exist under your top plate in distributor. There's a little wire under there that's prone to break if it's 80 years old or a crummy repro wire, that breaks all the time. Let me know what's happening.---Pete.

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John Mac,

It would take an awful lot of typing to "talk" you through all of the possibilities. You either need to find another local "Model A guy" to help you, or you really need to buy Les Andrew's Model A Ford Mechanic's Handbook. For less than $100 you could probably buy every possible replacement part for the ignition system and that along with the Model A Mechanic's handbook and an inexpensive volt ohm meter should allow you to fix it easily.

It might be worth your time to check out the entry for Second entry with the title of "Shorts" at this link on the Model A Ford Club of America's website:

http://www.mafca.com/tqa_electrical.html

The answer for that gives a good explanation of what you need to check on your problem.

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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John if you have a test light make sure you have fire on both sides of the coil you should have it with switch on and off if no fire when swith is on you might won't to check the armored cable going into back of distributor if you have a pop out switch they give all kinds of grief.

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