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Morgansdad

Question for my A Model friends

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Yesterday I was told by an older gentleman that I needed to take the air cleaner off my model a. He said they weren't designed to have them. He explained the carb would run richer with the air cleaner in place. And, since there weren't that many dirt roads around here the filter wasn't really cleaning anything anyway. Comments ?

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When I stopped at Bert's in Denver on my trip to drive my Oregon-purchased Model A back to Atlanta in late 2014, I was advised by a very experienced Model A guy to ditch the Air Maze cleaner that was on my car. I did so the next day and did notice an improvement in the way the car ran on the rest of the trip.

If you wish to run an air cleaner, there are people who can 'air balance'  your carb to allow for the restriction the air cleaner causes.

 

Most of the air cleaners for Model A don't filter much out of the incoming airstream; just the larger chunks.

You asked and that's my opinion.

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Mr. Wells, I did ask and I do value your opinion. I will remove the air cleaner tomorrow. Thank you for your advice.

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Yes, they told you correctly. A Model A Ford will run better without any air cleaner... just like it was originally designed. 

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My Pontiac has a flame arrestor instead of an air cleaner.  I tried an air filter and found it running rich and having less power.  I reverted to the arrestor and have driven it as my daily driver 400,000 miles since in 59 years.  It now is .040" os pistons, the crank mains are .005" us and the rods are .010" us. I don't believe the lack of an air filter has hurt the engine at all.

Funny, I thought the flame arrestor was just a stone deflector until very recently.

Edited by Tinindian (see edit history)

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We know it's true, but it's hard to fathom, that the Model A did not come with an air cleaner of some sort. Back in 1928, when they first came out, the roads across America were mostly unpaved and dirt. I can't imagine how much dirt was inhaled thru the carburetor. If you ever pull the oil pan from a Model A, you can find a lot of in in the form of sludge. I once tried to drain the oil from a Model A motor and nothing came out even though the dipstick showed about an inch of what looked like tar. I poked a screwdriver into the drain bung and the oil came out like molasses. When I got the pan down I used a 1" putty knife to scrape out all the junk.

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So, do you think the sludge in the crankcase was due to the absence of an air cleaner??? More than likely, due to non-detergent oil rather than an air cleaner....

 

 

Frank

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I am assuming your car has been running fine with the air cleaner. Why remove it?  Are you fouling plugs? Running a little rich is not going to hurt anything like running lean could. If it ain't broke don't fix based on someone's opinion. The  mesh air cleaners are not seriously restricting air flow either. I have one on mine.

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I ran my "A' for 16 years without an air cleaner with no problems! If a design lasts for 70 or more years why change it!

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They are a potential fire hazard.  If the float bowl ever spills over the fuel goes straight down to the filter which will absorb gas.  Being right beside the exhaust down pipe from the manifold they have been known to catch fire, and with the fuel tank right above it things can get exciting in a hurry.

  I’ve never thought that a little dirt reduction to the engine was worth the risk of losing the car to a fire.

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Run a period air maze and it is meant as a flame arrestor not to filter out dirt - most pre-early=30's cars are that way - the roads were largely dirt then and the cars survived until today. Today, you have nice roads and drive even less than they did then. 

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old ford, I do think that a lot of the sludge in a Model A engine that has no air cleaner or filter is caused by dirt inhaled into the carb. All that sediment get's encapsulated in the oil and over the years turns to "muck". 

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Weren't the "air cleaners" like the Air Maze actually marketed as "flame arrestors?" We ran an Air Maze on our '30 roadster for decades without any issues, but then again, we never ran without it so I don't know whether there would have been a difference had we removed it.

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