Be Prepared For Touring

by Bob Bidonde, May 1996

Spare Parts, Materials & Tools

Points (2 sets)                                                                       Socket Set - 3/8 Drive

Condensers (2)                                                                      Grease Gun

Rotor (1)                                                                                Torque Wrench

Fan Belt (1)                                                                           1/2 to 3/8 Drive Adapter

Water Pump (1 rebuilt)                                                           Drag Link Socket

Water Pump Packing (2 rings)                                                Valve Spring Compressor

Ignition Coil (1 tested good)                                                     Gasket Scraper (Putty Knife)

Spark Plugs (1)                                                                      Pocket Knife

Light Bulbs (1 of each size)                                                     Scissors

Plastic Wire Tie Wraps (12)                                                    Ground Cloth

Water Hoses (1 set)                                                               Plastic Wash Bucket

600 W Oil (1 quart)                                                                 Sponge

Oil (1 quart)                                                                           Tire Irons (2)

Water (1 gallon)                                                                     Flash Light

Head Gasket (1)                                                                    Wrenches - 1/4 to 3/4

Gasket Paper (1 square foot)                                                  Adjustable Wrench

Valve Springs (1)                                                                    Allen Wrenches

Electrical Tape (1 roll)                                                             Hammer

Bailing Wire (3 feet)                                                                Vise Grips

Electrical Wire,12 gage (12 feet)                                              Magnet

Cotter Pins (Assortment)                                                        GoJo Hand Cleaner

Turn Signal Flasher                                                                Paper Towels

Fuses (If your car has them)                                                   Jack & Handle

Inner Tube                                                                             Drum Puller

Tube Patch Kit (with fresh cement)                                          Feeler Gage

Generator (Tested good)                                                         Brake Adjusting Wrench

Cutout (New)                                                                         Gloves (Leather & Rubber)

 36” Long Jumper Wire (Alligator clips each end)                       Drift Pin

Ammeter (New)                                                                      Files (Round & Flat)

First Aid Kit (Band-Aids, aspirin, burn ointment)                        Small Mirror (Ask your dentist for one)



Generally, you should have enough tools to install the spare parts you take along.         

Pack the tools, points, condensers & water where they are quickly accessible.

For very long trips, pack a national club roster in case you help from another Model A’er in route.

6-volt electrical parts cannot be bought in modern stores, so be sure to have spares.


What To Do When The Engine Quits

Stay calm and think. Most cases are fixable at roadside.

Pull over to the side of the road as far from traffic as possible.

Think methodically and follow this plan in the order given. Avoid randomly replacing things!

Check the gas gauge. Is there gasoline?

Check for fuel flow at the carburetor by disconnecting the fuel line. Use the gas shutoff for On & OFF control. If no or inadequate flow, work towards the tank. Clean-out the sediment bowl. If you have added a filter to the bowl, remove it and recheck the flow. If there’s debris in the tank or clogging the line, blow hard through the line.

Check for spark at 1st the plugs, 2nd the points and 3rd the coil. A weak or non-existent spark is likely the result of a faulty condenser, bad coil hi-voltage wire connection or defective coil. Backfiring and noticeable loss of pulling power just before the engine quit are symptoms of a decaying condenser.

Check primary (low voltage) electrical supply to the ignition coil. The wire under the movable distributor plate, poor battery connections, defective ammeter or defective pop-out switch are likely bad actors.

Check for compression by hand cranking the engine - feel it.


Maintenance Recommendations

1. At Least One Month Before The Trip:

a) participate in a club safety inspection then fix all discrepancies found;

b) remove the wheels & drums. Clean and visually inspect all brakes and wheel bearings for wear and damage. If the service brake linings are worn replace them. Make sure all of the brake rollers rotate freely. Tighten the backing plate attachment nuts & bolts. Check to see that all cotter pins are in place. Repack the wheel bearings with a good quality grease and adjust them. Adjust the service and emergency brakes. Skid test the brakes.


2. Within One Week Of The Trip:

a) Engine Compartment: check distributor plate wire, check condition of ignition points (if pitted replace the points & condenser), adjust point gap, lightly lubricate the distributor cam (use a slight amount of high temperature grease), install a new condenser if existing one is more than a year old, oil distributor cup; clean distributor & coil Bakelite parts, clean & gap spark plugs, adjust ignition timing, adjust fan belt tension, check water pump packing and adjust packing nut if necessary;

 b) grease every grease fitting on the vehicle including clutch throughout bearing and U-joint;

 c) top-off or change the motor oil as necessary;

 d) check transmission oil, steering oil, rear axle oil and top them off as necessary;

 e) drain the gasoline sediment bowl and carburetor lower body. Clean all gasoline filters;

 f) check the battery fluid, and clean the battery terminals and lugs;

 g) sparingly oil the generator bearings;

 h) check all lights and the horn;

 i) check all wheel lug nuts are tight (45-50 ft-lb. torque) & all tires are properly inflated;

 j) put proof of insurance and registration papers are in the car;

k) check the spare parts and tools you will be taking along. Pack them where they are accessible! Include a water pump, fan belt, ignition points, a FEW CONDENSERS, ignition coil (tested), water pump packing, one of each type of wheel bearing, electrical fuses (if applicable), light bulbs, plenty of cotter pins, inner tube, tube patch kit, generator cutout (tested), stop light switch, bailing wire, 14 gage stranded copper wire and wire repair materials. The tools you take should be sufficient for maintenance and to install your spare parts. Bring at least one gallon of water, one quart of oil, a quart of gear lubricant, some rags, hand cleaner, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, a chamois to wipe the car down and maps of the route.