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A common source of gasoline leakage in the engine compartment of the Model "A" is the cast iron fuel filter bowl, either firewall-mounted or carburetor-mounted, in the case of the late 1931 style.
These bowls use needle valves of either brass or steel at the cleanout ports and generally do not seal, due to scoring (or sloppy machine work in the case of reproductions).
A simple and effective fix for this leakage is to build up the contact surfaces of the needle with solder. Clean the needle with fine emery cloth and flow solder evenly around the conical portion of the needle. This is best done with a soldering iron since there is insufficient mass for the use of flame and damage to the part could result.
When cool, screw the needle back into the bowl and tighten securely. This technique accommodates a considerable amount of misfit between seat and needle.
Battery Tips for Summer Driving - Contributed by Gene Riddle (From the Okie "A's" newsletter, The Headliner)
In the summertime you should check your battery often. Because of the hot, dry weather, check not only the water in the battery cells, but for corrosion on cable terminals. Corrosion prevents good contacts and causes loose cables which in turn prevents the generator from doing it's job of keeping the battery "hot." Take that extra minute or two and give your battery some attention next time you plan to take your "A" for a spin around the block or for a parade.
How to Keep From Getting a Hot Foot - Contributed by Bob Hess, Heart of America Chapter, Kansas City, MO. (Stolen from the Early Bird News)
The Model "A" Ford exhaust system runs directly under the floor boards on the passenger side of the car. The muffler is located exactly under the passengers feet. Due to its rather large size and cone shape, the muffler can emit a great deal of heat which it was designed to do. Unfortunately, much of the heat passes up through the floor board and makes for very hot feet. This may be fine when it's chilly but it's not so nice when the outside temperature is also hot.
I have tried everything from extra thick carpets to fiberglass house insulation with various degrees of success. The biggest problem is that the insulating material must be fairly thick to block all the heat. Some materials just absorbed the heat. This eliminated the hot spot over the muffler but made the entire floor warm.
I found a modern plastic product that works very well and is not detected from inside the car. You can locate this product at a lumber yard. It's used as pipe or air duct insulation and is sold in rolls 3 feet wide, 20 feet long and 1/4"thick. The store I purchased the material from sold it by the foot off the roll and I was able to buy just what I needed. The product is made up of sheets of small air bubbles much like "bubble pack" used in shipping containers. The big difference is that this product has one side that is made of a reflective silver coating which reflects much of the heat. The thin bubble layer will block the balance of the heat from coming through.
To install, simply roll out and place your floor boards on the material. Cut to size with a razor blade and glue it to the underside of the upper and lower floorboards so that the silver side is to the outside. Don't let the material sag down and touch the battery terminals. Be sure to use a glue that works on both plastic and wood. Lacquer paint works well. It reacts with the plastic and permanently bonds to the wood. The surface must be completely free of grease and oil. Good luck!
The heart of any gear system is the lubrication, and thanks to Gary Stroebel of the Shade Tree A's Model "A" Ford Club, we have THE secret recipe from the Horseless Carriage Gazette, July/August 1985. Attention Wives: Do Not Read This! This recipe will yield 6 pounds of the best old gear lube in the country and is ideal for those old-style gear boxes.
Take 5 pounds of 90W gear lube (between 2 & 3 quarts), 1 pound heavy long fibered wheel bearing grease (not this new lightweight, high temperature stuff), and 1 can of STP motor oil treatment.
Pour and/or scoop the above ingredients into a container four to six inches deep. Then take your wife's multi-speed electric hand mixer and mix for 15 to 20 minutes. The reason for using this type of mixer is that the two beaters will pull the material into and through the beater blades, dissolving the wheel bearing grease into the mix of 90W oil and STP.
The resulting mixture closely approximates the old 600W of gear lube. This is an excellent, quiet running, gear lube. As a word of caution; the borrowing of the mixer is best done when the wife is not at home. In the author's case, he now has his own "private" mixer since some of the "good old gear lube" got up the mixer stems into the motor housing and then oozed back down the stems into the whipped potatoes.
Note: Another school thinks this is a good mixture for leaky transmissions with simple bearings. However, too stiff a lubricant will fail to penetrate long sleeve bearings, as found in some planetary transmissions.