Ford Model A Pickup Restoration July 2015

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched - this is also the case in my project. I found a problem with my front leaf spring but I found a solution to fix it. In July I have made my 2nd braking tests. The rear brakes pull very good (2 black strips), but I must have a look at the front brakes again. Original Model A brake ratio is 60% at the rear and 40% on the front wheel, but I would like to have a little bit more brake force at the front.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

When I have made my brake test I noticed that the brake rod on the left side touched the adjustment screw of the shock. A measurement of the front leaf spring has shown that the center screw, which holds together all the leafs, in relation to the two eyelets on the left and the right side is slightly off the center. It's about 3 mm, but when I turn the leaf spring by 180 degree, the front axle related to the frame will move by 6 mm to the other side. That's exactly what I need, in this case no parts will touch each other anymore. The spring is already out and I'll show in the following pictures, how to remove and mount the spring.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

First, you must raise the car at the front and place tripod supports under the frame (not below the axis). It is also necessary that you remove the shock links.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

Then place two pieces of wood between the axle and shackle on both sides and lift the front axle.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

The leaf spring will be tensioned and because the shackle can not move down, you will be able to remove one shackle at a certain point. Always work very carefully and take care, that the spring is always located on top of the axle. Such a spring can develop dangerous forces and I do not want to be near by when it becomes out of control … Now, the spring tension can be decreased (axle downwards) and finally remove the 2nd shackle and the spring.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

The leaf spring is out, I can now rotate it by 180 degrees. But first I'm going to measure again and verify whether it is indeed the same as I have measured when it was installed in the car.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

Everything is ok, I can re-install it. To compress the spring , I additionally have used a spring spreader and protected my parts with 1 mm PET film to prevent any damage.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

First inspection after assembly - right side: there is enough distance between shock and brake cross shaft.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

The big question is, of course, how does the left hand side look like? There is sufficient space and nothing touches.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

To mount the shock links cost me lot of time in the past. The last time I connected the links with the shocks and finally mounted the shocks. While this works very well, I did not want to remove the shocks again. For this reason, I have built the following small tool. It is made from a 1 mm aluminum sheet size of 45 x 25 mm (sheet metal will work too). This is then brought into a round shape with the aid of a pipe and at one end I bent it 90 degrees outwards (5 mm).

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

The tool can now be set into the shock link.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

I can now easily put some pressure onto the ball seat and the lower ball seats will not jump out (connection to the chassis). Now you can easily push the ball of the shock arms into the link. Remove the tool and install the final seat and plug. Simple as this I have never mounted my shock links before!

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

For wheel alignment, there are various possibilities. I have decided for a tool that I have bought in UK. It works with a laser and a mirror and is very easy to handle. I have chosen this tool because I can use it on a parked car and the car has not to be moved forth and back like it is necessary with other tools. At the ground, left hand side you see the laser, on the right hand side beside the wheel there ia a mirror.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

This mirror reflects the laser beam back towards the laser.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

The laser unit has also a degree scale where you see the reflected laser. In this case, for the first alignment you have to move the laser unit (left/right) until the reflected beam is in the middle of the scale.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

Now you can move the mirror to the other wheel and see where the laser strikes the scale.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

If both wheels are in parallel, the laser would hit the scale in the middle. At my first measurement I am quite out of the middle, I have to adjust the front wheels.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

After several steps of adjusting and measurement, this is my final value which is in tolerance now.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

To align the brakes I use this piece of wood. The brake pedal is then depressed in 1/2 " steps. On a jacked car you can see in which position the wheel has a light or heavy drag or can't be turned at all. To verify the setting, a brake test on the road is made.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

The rear and emergency brake are okay, at the front brake I had to remove the drum and make some adjustments with my self made tool. I hope my next brake tests will show better results also for the front brake.

Ford Model A Restoration July 2015

And here is a first picture of my Model A when I have made a test run 2 weeks ago and checked my brakes!




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