Archive for July, 2012

What’s Next?

Posted: July 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

The car is happily in the garage and waiting for a post trip cleaning/maintenance/inspection.   I’ve already come up with a list of “next items” to address on the car.  I am not doing any of them today.   Some of these items are “simple”….. like flushing the radiator again (to see if anything shook loose over the last 225 miles).  Other repair items are beyond my skill set and will require the assistance of others (like dropping the oil pan and figuring out where the heck I am loosing all this oil — the pan likely hasn’t been off the car in 40 years…. I don’t know what to expect to see).  I will attempt to document these items/repair and keep all those interested in how the journey progresses. 

I would like the next trip to be a little more “local”… 100 +/- miles from the car’s suburban NY garage.  This should allow me to bring things to the next-level before attempting Burlington VT or Ithaca NY or somewhere like that.   Before the next trip, I would like to address the oil loss… which is excessive.  There is more oil on the floor than in my exhaust.  I am hopeful that this is “good news”.  I am feeling more confident in the car, but now know a lot more of its current limitations. 

Moving forward, I will also take more photos of the car with landmarks in the background (I don’t have anything “Boston” in my photos).  If you have a location suggestion, please let me know via email or comments. If you find yourself in the NY Metro Area, let me know. 

My goal was to learn about the car, meet some people, and come home with the car in better shape than when it left.  All these goals were met multiple times over.  THANK YOU TO ALL WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE.  I can’t thank folks like Red, Rick, Harold, Joanne/Rodney, Mitch/Ali, Chris P, and others enough for all their help.


Posted: July 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

What a trip!  What an adventure! 

Thank you to everyone who has been following on the car’s first (but far from last) roadtrip. With all the short drives added in, I would guess about 500 miles were put on the car.   It is now 11:00 PM here in the NYC suburbs and I am exhausted and have a scotch in hand, but wanted to post a few things before passing out for the night.  (There are a bunch of thank yous I want to make and that too will be posted later).

Here is a video from the road… I misspoke in it.  I was only going 46 MPH, not 56 MPH.

Here is me chugging along….

The car celebrated a big hurdle on the ride back… 55,000 miles on the odometer.  We don’t know how many miles is actually on the car (the odometer didn’t work when I first got her).


…. and here is a photo of me filling oil in front of the Carey household and an image of John and Tracy. The Carey’s filled me with ice tea and chips just prior.  John took the car for a spin and did great. 

The short drive from Newtonville to Waltham to Framingham was a great test for the car this afternoon.  I drove on 95 and the Mass Pike for a while “at speed” and there were no overheating issues, no bubbles from near the spark plugs, and no odd noises.  This bodes well for my long drive tomorrow.  I posted the following video as proof that I actually drive on the major roads. 

Tonight I am at the Corton’s.  Mitch is one of my closest friends from my high school days.  He married a mutual friend Ali and they now have two kids (Will and Molly) that are both full of beans (high energy and with fun personalities).  It is WILD watching Mitch and Ali being parents.  The stories I could tell about young Mitch… heck, the stories he could tell about me.  Regardless, no one would believe the tales.  Will and Molly both were able to join for a short ride in the car (as well as one of the neighbors) and then we went to the Framingham Outdoor Concert Series in the town square. 

I also decided to leave behind some impact on the kids and taught them to approach people and ask “guess what?”   When the person responds with a “what?” they instantly get a “chicken butt!” as the response.  Yes, I am just that evil.  I have taught them something annoying that will likely stay with them for years.   These kids are great. 

Late Night In Newtonville

Posted: July 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

With my client giving me the clearance to do a “call in” tomorrow to the meeting in CT, I decided it would be a good idea to “test run” the Phaeton this evening.  Here is a photo with Joanne, Carla and me.  I know Joanne since she and I were  about 13.  She is one of those friends that turned into “family”.  I think I only know Carla and Gus for about 14 or 15 years.  Gus took this photo (so he isn’t in it).  If he sends me a photo of himself in the car, I will post that as well.

The CAR RUNS!!!!!! I’ve been tooling around the Newton/Waltham area on/off all day and the car is not showing signs of overheating.  I couldn’t motivate to drive to Tams to pick up a replacement water pump to deal with the SQUEEEEK and decided to check other things just in case…..including loosening the packing nut on the pump. I loosened the nut and no noise for a long idle and a few short rides. I tighten the pump and then I had a noise. I did this sequence again. The pattern continued. I’ve concluded that I probably overtightened the nut while on the road and again when I repacked it here. I do need a new pump, but am not getting it today (and hopefully not tomorrow or until I am back in NY).  I’ve also been made aware of a sleeve you can add to the pump to help restrict its movement.   Guess what is on the “pre-tour checklist” as an item one might want to bring…. Yup, A water pump. 

Model A Ford Phaetons are convertibles.  This is what makes them so AWESOME.  They have no real windows… just side curtains that get hooked up if/when you need them.  Most people don’t even have them.  On another day I will hook them up for all to see.   Model A’s also HEAT UP in the cab when driven.  This is because the muffler is just a piece of plywood away from the passenger’s feet. What does this mean to me?  It means that if I try to close up the car to make it more water-resistant, it will likely be too hot in the car to drive.  The forecast for NY tomorrow is RAIN.  I would prefer not to drive in the rain.  Here is the kicker, a good client has asked me to be in Hartford (this is the client I didn’t meet with on my way to Boston).  I may just drive the 2 hours to Hartford in the SAAB and return to Boston that evening to leave Boston in the Phaeton on Saturday or Sunday. 

I need to post this picture of Daniel Rosenberg and myself. He is a shopping center owner (he owns a bunch) and lives in NYC. I drive all the way to Boston, sit next to this guy for lunch, start talking, and it winds up he is a good friend’s brother-in-law and knows another friend of mine for 30 years.  Daniel and I have never met.  The photo also proves to the Model A world that I do own a suit. 

Oh, and there was a slight air leak from where a spark plug goes into the engine.  I removed the plug, cleaned up the washer it uses, cleaned the threads (which are already dirty…. the engine is a little tired), and the leak seems to be gone.  I am also considering “re-torquing the head” again regardless.

I should know my travel plans in a few hours.  If I drive the Phaeton to Hartford and risk the rain and a breakdown in route to the important client meeting, I will leave here at 5 AM.  If I take the SAAB, I leave at 8AM.  If the client is ok with me tele-commuting, I sleep until 9:30 and get some dunkin donuts (it is Boston).

It is just after  8 AM and I am playing the Model A “what is causing that noise” game.  Would you like to play?  Here is a video.  Squeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

Note that the squeek seems in conjunction with the back/forth play of the shaft holding the fan. This could be the belt or the pump.  Thoughts?

My conference ended today (the ICSC New England Idea Exchange in Boston so I can now focus on getting my ride back in shape for my return trip to NY.  

If you remember from the last post, I wasn’t able to finish putting the radiator back on the Ford before the conference started because of time constraints.  The step that caught me up was the “simple” plunger connections used for the headlights.  This should be a simple “connection”.  One side kept shorting out — to a level that could cause a fire.  So far on this trip I have spent over 2 hours dealing with this “simple” headlight connection system.   

Here is a video on my thoughts on how Henry Ford goofed this one up:

With this all together, I am happy to report the car runs.  With a 10 minute fast idle the engine temp looks like it is doing what it should.  Tomorrow I will likely test the car for overheating…. but first I need to address that SCREEEEEEEEEEECH I heard the other night in route to Boston.  I suspect it is from the water pump or from the fan belt.  In the AM I will try to again replicate the noise (which I did tonight) and come up with a plan of action.  Chances are that I will end up driving to TAMS Model A Parts (about 1 hour from here) and picking up a new waterpump and a few other supplies.  I’ll try to post more tomorrow as continue to trouble shoot.  If you happen to be in the Boston area and have an extra 1929 waterpump, please shoot me an email.