Tech Tips

 Copper Gas Lines

​by John Borcyki


[A friend of mine from the Model ‘T’ Club near Batavia wrote me of a problem with his Model ‘A’. Here it is. ed.] “I had my #2 Model ‘A’ coupe out yesterday, drove to the gas station, put some gas in and it wouldn't start back up. Ugh! Seemed like a vapor lock. After a slight tug by my son with modern vehicle it fired right off and ran fine. I drove back home, shut it off and again it wouldn't start, still hot. Then I noticed I had replaced the fuel line when I first dragged this barn find home. I made the line from copper tubing. Hmm! I'm wondering if the copper is sucking up the heat from the manifold. I am going to replace it with the proper steel line.” Jeff H.


A good idea, Jeff.  Copper bad. Steel good.


Vibration damage would be a big problem. The vapor lock that you experienced is another. As an ‘A’ and/or ‘T’ owner, this is especially critical, although it is often seen at car shows and cruise-ins.


Another thing to avoid is the use of ferrules in gas lines. They often crack or distort, causing leaks and sometimes fires. Use flare fittings.   J.B.




(Oil film collecting on the firewall?)

By  Jim Gregory (12/2019) Greater Baltimore Model A Ford Club


Not all the internal combustion engine exhaust leaves the engine through the tailpipe. Surprised? Well, this is typical in that there is no such thing as a “perfect piston ring seal”! A tiny wee bit will manage to get by the piston rings into the crankcase in a low mileage engine.  If you tour in your Model ‘A’ and have accumulate some really great “Model ‘A’ Windshield Time” regularly accumulating some “seasoning” miles in your engine, this leakage could be making an oily mess on your firewall. These accumulating oily vapors exit the crankcase through the oil filler tube cap and can be a more than a bit troublesome to keep clean. Touring on a hot summer day, these smelly fumes can also be a bit pleasant in the cabin. No, this does not mean your engine is in trouble. Likely it is just now “feeling it oats”, to use an old farm term, and is just getting the job done. There is an aftermarket oil breather extension tube available that eliminates this oily mess firewall problem.


At least two Model ‘A ‘parts supply companies can provide this Oil breather Tube (around $40) with a 20-inch extension flex tube you can direct below the firewall/floorboard. Another neat feature is the spring hinge cap that stays open when you add oil to the crankcase. This neat looking “fix” is attached by a simple clamp to the top of the oil fill-breather pipe and can be easily removed. Take a look at the pictures to see the sealing hinged fill-cap and where I ran this extended vapor vent-tube between the chassis and the steering column down under the floorboard. One oily firewall avoided with a cost-effective solution. 



Model A Ford Restorer's Club
Niagara Frontier Region

Model A Ford Restorer's Club
Niagara Frontier Region



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