Tips – Wheels & Brakes



Front Wheel Bearings
Early Brake Cross-Shafts

Front Wheel Bearings

Front Wheel Bearing Installation & Adjustment

  1. See that front hub, inner and outer bearings are packed with grease
  2. Front hub washer should slide over threads on spindle body with fingers (loose fit)
  3. Install nut and tighten it while slowly turning the brake drum so that all component parts are pulled together snugly; that is, inner and outer bearings will be snug in cones, washer is tight against outer roller bearing, and nut is tight against the washer.  (There will be a slight drag when drum is turned.)  Not over 8-10 ft-lbs of torque is required to get these results.
  4. Turn nut BACK two castle slots (this is approximately 1/4 turn of nut); insert cotter pin and try bearings for a slight side play and a free spinning drum or wheel.

Don’t forget the cotter pin!  The nut will back out and the wheel will come off.  That will totally spoil your Model A Day!

MARC WA Newsletter, January 2020, courtesy of Jim’s Tech Tip, Jim Cannon of MARC
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Early Brake Cross-Shafts

It is now common practice for vehicle manufacturers to issue public recalls to rectify manufacturing faults.  In the time of the Ford Model A manufacture, this was not common practice.  In 1928 it was a different world when the individual was ultimately responsible for looking after himself.

The initial Model A brake mechanism was designed to apply equal pressure on all four brake rods through a complex system of equaliser lever and sliding pivots on the two cross shafts.  Two stops were formed from the frame cross member and assisted the adjustment procedure (Refer Jan.1928 Ford Service Bulletin).  To simplify adjustment, Ford replaced the adjustable brake rods with nonadjustable rods possibly as early as April 1928.  In June 1928, the Service Bulletins commented that the stops in the back flange of the centre cross member were now eliminated.

In correspondence to the Ford Dealers reference was made to the installation of a “mystery” part on cars which were manufactured without the brake shaft stops.  This involved vehicles manufactured from approximately mid April 1928 to September 1928, i.e. some 250,000 cars.  It was found that these stops prevented any possibility of the brake equaliser coming out of the brake operating shaft.  This implies that in some cars the brake system had fallen apart!!

The dealers/service outlets were instructed to install part No, A-2476 on the frame cross member to form the stops that had been removed.  Further more it was deemed not necessary to bring this modification to the attention of the owner.  To the best of the writers knowledge, part No. A- 2476 was not listed in any Ford Parts Price List.

In November 1928 Ford reported that the complicated equaliser cross shaft assembly had been replaced with a single one piece cross shaft.

If you have a 1928 Model A with the original brake assembly, check that the cross member has the stops, i.e. the original stops formed in the cross member or the retro fitted part, (A-2476)

John Moorehead, MARC WA Newsletter Jan 2017
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