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. 

Service Brake Hang-up Issue


Cause and Fix by Dennis Weis:  Taken from the Tailpipe, Tyler ‘A’s newsletter For some time, I have had an intermittent brake issue with the service brake on the passenger’s front wheel. Sometimes after applying the service brake it would hang and not immediately release when brake pedal was released. Other times the brake would operate normally. I replaced all the parts associated with that service brake, but still had a problem. It would not release sometimes. I thought that it was the operating wedge and replaced it, among other parts. Still the problem existed. One day while working on the issue I became so frustrated that I could not find the problem that I wacked the back of the backing plate with a dead blow hammer. The brake released! I took the wheel off along with the hub, disconnected the draw rod from the actuating lever (for the 50th time) and began operating the brake by hand. It worked perfectly until one time it hung. I whacked the backing plate with a hammer and sure enough, the brake released. I operated the actuating lever about 10 times, and the brake hung again in the full energized position. To make a long story short, I pulled the front brake shoe away from the backing plate, slightly, and the brake shoes retracted. I did this several more times. The hung brake shoes would retract each time the front brake shoe was slightly pulled away from the brake backing plate. Humm! I disassembled the brake mechanism and started measuring parts with a dial caliper. In the process I noticed a dull spot on the head of each roller pin. Inspecting at the backing plate, using a bright flashlight, “whala!” there was a scratch on the backing plate where the head of the “new” roller pin had been dragging on the backing plate. Finding an old roller pin, I compared the old against the new pin, and “sure enough” the head of the new “roller pin” was twice a thick as the old pin. Well nothing to do but cut the head of the new roller pin down. Chucked the new pin into the metal lathe and removed about .030 off the new roller pin head. I then did the same to the other new roller pin. Reassembled everything, then operated the brake by hand about 30 times without one hang up. Took the Model ‘A’ out for a drive with not one front brake hang-up. The moral of this story is: Do not assume that new parts are made correctly. Inspect and measure before installation. 



Model A Ford Restorer's Club
Niagara Frontier Region

Model A Ford Restorer's Club
Niagara Frontier Region



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