Ford Model A Double Phaeton 1928

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Ford Model A Double Phaeton from 1928
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Von 1982 bis 1987 lebte meine Familie in Montevideo, Uruguay. 1984 kaufte mein Vater dort einen Ford Model A Double Phaeton von 1928/29. Diese Fahrzeuge sind extrem robust und waren deswegen oft lange in Betrieb. Auch heute gibt es noch relativ viele Exemplare und die Ersatzteilversorgung ist ausgesprochen gut. Vor allem in Südamerika wurden viele jedoch zu Pick-Ups umgebaut und im täglichen Verkehr verschlissen. Unser Exemplar hatte "Glück" und stand viele Jahre in Garagen herum. Der Wagen ist in einem sehr schönen Zustand und bis auf einige sicherheitsrelevante Teile weitgehend Original.

Vor allem die Blecchtrommeln der Bremsen sind den heutigen Anforderungen nicht gewachsen und wurden gegen identische aber schwere, gußeiserne gewechselt. Diese verziehen sich nicht bei starkem Bremsen und seitdem verzögert der Wagen trotz altertümlicher Gestängetechnik gleichmäßig und viel zuverlässiger. In modernen Zeiten mit ABS, Abstandwarnern und automatischen Bremsen muss man trotzdem sehr vorausschauend fahren!

Die Wasserpumpe wurde nach 20 Jahren herumärgern gegen eine neue mit modernem Simmerring getauscht. Seitdem tropft nichts mehr. Ich weiß, es gibt Puristen, die bei jedem Tanken die Dichtung nachfetten, alle 1000 km die Stellschraube nachdrehen und alle 5000 km den Hanf in der Dichtung wechseln, aber so richtig dicht kriegt man die nie (oder zumindest habe ich es in 30 Jahren nicht geschafft). Zuletzt wurde noch der original Dynamo ("Powerhouse") gegen einen moderneren Generator mit eingebautem Regler getauscht. Auch hier sind wir über Jahrzehnte mit der originalen Lichtmaschine undd Reglern gefahren und hatten immer zwei Ersatz-Regler dabei und irgendwie ging es dann doch. Aber wenn man ein Brautpaar zur Kirche fährt und muss die Karre bleibt stehen und man muss "schnell mal" den Regler wechseln, dann kann das schon nerven. Für die Alltagszulassung wurde der Wagen mit Blinklichtern, Warnblinkanlage und km/h-Anzeige (statt Meilen/h) ausgestattet. Die letzte TÜV-Prüfung (10/2015) wurde ohne Mängel bestanden.


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In 1984 my father bought an old Ford Model A Double Phaeton from 1928/29 in Montevideo Uruguay. Due to it's incredible durability there are still quite a few around which helps to find parts and keeps replacement costs low. The car is in great shape with only few parts changed from the original to improve security and reduce maintenance (brakes, alternator and water pump).

Contents

On Sale

The Ford is on sale now! Please contact Arnulf for details.

Initial Fixes

The wooden body framework was fixed by a small garage in the Hinterland of Uruguay in 1985. When we bought the Ford it had a silver metallic/black paintwork which was not original of the time so we changed it to a the green/black color combination which it has now. It is more appropriate of the late 20ies (at that time metallic effect paint was not even invented yet).

German model plate for the Ford Model A, required by German law. It says "Berlin" because there is no such thing in the USA...

Maintenance

We got two sets of new tires (first Nokia, now FUNSA from Uruguay). The gearbox had to be replaced because the second gear always jumped out. On closer inspection half the gear teeth on the second were gone. Remaking them would have been much more expensive than to get a used one in good shape.

Arnulf fixes the front brakes on the '28 Ford (in 2002)

Regular maintenance includes greasing lots of nipples following the original plan listing all relevant places and intervals. We do this in much larger intervals now because the roads are so much better these days (the maintenance plan was designed for the bumpy, dusty dirt roads of that time). Especially the original water pump was very maintenance intensive because it is sealed by natural flax saturated with grease. Every few hundred kilometers it needed a few pumps from the grease gun and every 500 km the main screw needed to be tightened by half a turn. Every few thousand kilometers the flax needs to be replaced. Later we changed the water pump for a replacement with a regular lock-ring that will be tight for the next decade. Much better.

The 6 volt battery needs to be taken care of. Initially they never lasted more than one or two years because we did not know that our recharge intervals were too long. If this type of batteries is left completely empty for any prolonged period after going through a full cycle then the lead crumbles to pieces and it dies. Make sure to recharge regularly or better even, give it a permanent trickle. Those bastards are expensive!

Fixing Things

In 2011 we bought a modern alternator because the old so called "powerhouse" dynamo never really did anything but cause trouble. The exhaust pipe was replaced and during disassembly we also noticed that the intake was cracked and the connecting mount of the exhaust manifold pretty rusted away so we got replacement for both. And while we were at it and the front is dismantled anyway we replaced the bracket of the hand crank under the radiator. And when we removed the radiator we might as well put on new water hoses. And when the radiator is removed we could just as well renew the motor paintwork. Originally we just wanted to replace the exhaust... - but it looks a lot nicer.

Motor block gets a fresh paint job

More Work

The car never ever deserted us / or rather, we could fix whatever broke on the road. But one regular issue is rust in the tank. It tends to block the reserve fuel pipe at the bottom of the tank which is why we cannot switch to reserve and are limited to some 30 liters. The intake of the shorter (reserve) fuel pipe gets obstructed by rust particles which reduces the amount of fuel in the gas causing the motor to stutter, misfire and eventually stop.

And then there are the brakes. Initially it felt like the car did not have any at all - like in 'no brakes'. Eventually we replaced most every moving part and now one can tell that something happens when you press the brake pedal. But it is still far from what I expect from a car. So this will be the next target: Make skid marks / wheel races. Planned for spring 2013.

Spring 2013

Update: Most brake parts have now been replaced - with a lot of headaches. The back plates could be renewed and the rod does not look too good either. The left rear axle has too much play. The lover side of the axle is just worn down by a millimeter or two. Replacement is hard to get and expensive. Alternatively it could be coated and reground to the right size.

Next will be anti clatter springs. They are supposed to pull back the brake pads keeping all rod connections on a pull eliminating any play that might be left.

Have some trouble with the front right brakes because they don't loosen up after releasing brake power. Suspecting that the the upper bolts have too much play and allow the pads to "stick" to the drums instead of staying put. Will weld the holes and drill them to the right size again. Tedious but doable.

Cast-iron brake drums

Notes:

  • Ball-head mounting
  • New cast-iron brake drums
  • Anticlatter springs

Nice story of a guy who drove a Ford A for a whole year as only transportation mode: http://www.365daysofa.com/

Autumn 2015

Sadly, our father passed away in May 2015 and never lived to see the Ford with regular number plates. But it has the German "§23 Gutachten" meaning that it is allowed to get a regular license. The brakes are a treat, getting all the new parts really did the trick.

The car has been put on the road now, for the first time ever with official German number plates. What a pity that our father did not live to see it.


Traversing Space with Time

This short video was taken at my father's 80th birthday who was incidentally born in the same year as the car rolled off the conveyor belt.

Speeding

Believe it or not, this car still goes 80 km/h no problem. This picture shows us in a speeding trap at 73 km/h in a 60 zone. Just to prove that the car is in good shape...

Speeding.jpg