Jul 11, 2013 update to the Ford Model A project car

A Cardboard Timing Gear?

The Model A is running better than I've ever seen it run.
The old timing gear was held on with a chiseled nut, so we jammed a rag between the two gears and went to work with a hammer and chisel.
Between the shredded gear and the gratuitous use of our largest chisel, a lot of crud went into the A's oil pan.
Luckily, I was able to convince Nicole to fish all the little pieces out.
Here's an example of what would have clogged the A's oil pickup screen. We changed the oil afterwards just to be safe.
It's important that the timing gear and the crankshaft gear match up correctly, so we used a sharpie to mark the important tooth on each gear.
The new gear went on fairly easily, and we even managed to chisel the nut on without doing too much damage.
The next step? Making sure nothing leaks. We came armed with a new gasket, gasket maker, and a willingness to scrape crud off.
I doubt this is how the car left the factory, but why not use modern technology in a critical area like this?
With the timing gear replacement finished, the only step left was an oil change. We used conventional ND 30 oil.
Guess which gear is the new one.

I’m a 19-year-old kid named Tom, and my great-grandfather sold this very car new at his Ford dealership in 1929. Now I’m using it as my daily driver.

My last update left me with a new ignition system and a dead Model A–not a great position. I suspected the timing gear was the issue, so I bought a new one. Then, I had to put it in.

It was really a two-person job, so I enlisted the help of my girlfriend, Nicole. She’s not only smarter than me and better with delicate processes, she has tiny hands that can pick up dropped bolts and nuts! Pictures can explain the process better than words, so I’ll let them show what we did and I’ll explain what it accomplished.

To make a long story short, the A runs again! I’ve put about 60 miles on it since we finished it up last night, and it purrs along like a car 40 years newer. The cardboard timing gear was definitely my issue, which is why its replacement is actually a kind of fiberglass.

I’m back to taking the A everywhere I go, including the local “Crankin ‘A’s’” Model A club dinner tonight. How much do you think I’ll lower the average age?

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