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Old 05-14-2019, 06:44 PM   #1
dan
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Default Finally done

Hello again Fordbarn Folks. Possibly almost none of you remember me from six years ago, but I've been lurking on-and-off here on Fordbarn since I sold my 1931 coupe and moved from California to Kansas. I've been extremely busy for the last six years working on my Auto Restoration degree from McPherson College here in Kansas. Tomorrow I take my last final (Advanced Sheet Metal) and then I'll have my degree. And at that point I suppose it will be time to start looking around for another Model A :-)

Amusingly enough, my Senior Project was a 1930 Model A Tudor that needed a bit of work. I thought I'd post some progress pictures here for your amusement.

Here's the car in the College's storage shed:



The original project guidelines were to assess the car and rebuild the front end.

We found the usual, amusing, restored-in-the-70s Model A stuff:

Lovely green shag, baby


An interesting water-based heater under the front seat fed by this hose


This non-standard fuel filter


And the obligatory brake rod fix


---------------------------------------------

We took apart the front end and decided it needed a bit of help.

Some cleanup


New roller tracks


Ball joints


The cool thing was that the college has all the necessary tools (wash tanks and sand blaster, rivets and bucks, mill and TIG welder) to do all the work and professors who know what they're talking about to ask questions of when you get stuck.

We got the front end rebuilt (brakes, bushings, king pins, etc) and painted

(Yes, those are not cotter pins... this was a test fitting)

Did some painting of the whole assembly


And the wheels


And put it all back together




Then when we were done they asked us to swap out the rear end and transmission for ones that the chassis class had rebuilt


It was a learning experience and quite enjoyable. And best of all, I didn't have to pay for any of the parts or tools (directly).

----------------------------------
Anyway, I just thought I'd post for anyone who is interested.

Last edited by dan; 05-14-2019 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Finally done

Looks great. Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Finally done

Congratulations on your graduation. ! Thanks for the tutorial of the shop and restoration.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:16 PM   #4
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Congratulation's on your graduation. Now your Armed and Dangerous with knowledge.

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Old 05-14-2019, 08:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Finally done

Woohoo!!!! So when are you coming back to California to open up a shop����?

Mike
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:16 PM   #6
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Looks great. I'm sure you learned a lot. Hands on is the best way. Wish I had that spray booth.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:07 PM   #7
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That's the kind of education that you can actually use, and congratulations on getting out of California.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:33 AM   #8
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Congrats on your accomplishments and your degree. So what are your plans now as far as employment and residency?
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:26 AM   #9
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Congratulations! Great looking work. Bring that red 356 along with you! Best of luck, we need your skills.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Finally done

Well done Dan,
Congrats and Good Luck for the future.
Regards
Chris
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:56 AM   #11
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Congrats on finishing school! Also appreciate the pics.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:28 AM   #12
Purdy Swoft
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The model A looks good . Congratulations on your graduation !!!
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:58 AM   #13
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Very nice Dan, thanks for posting. McPherson College has a very good reputation. I am 82 now and had, what I think, was a great career. I earned an AA degree in Automotive at a Jr. college. 5 days a week, 3 hrs. a day. The teacher was great and the school had all the tools and equipment we needed. The mechanics at the GMC dealership I first worked at couldn't understand why I wanted to be a mechanic. I just always liked cars, and loved using my hands and seeing a job well-done. I retired from the City of L.A., as an Airports Maintenance Superintendant, have written a book on performance 4-bangers, and am well respected in the hobby. with the tools you now have, I'm sure you will do as well or better than I did, good luck!
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:47 PM   #14
Chuck Dempsey
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Congrats, and good luck....
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:51 PM   #15
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Thanks to all...

I currently don't have plans to move back to California. I'm still working for my employer there (a large software company) from my home office and the cost of living and pace of life here is much more suited to raising three kids (8, 10, and 13). In this rural area of Kansas it's like living about 40 years in the past, which has definite advantages. Obviously I make more money doing software than I could as a restorer, so I'm not thinking to switch careers. Of course, who knows exactly what the future holds...

In the short term, I do plan to buy another A and use what I've learned to fix it up and keep it running. I should know enough now to be able to make the hobby a lot more enjoyable/affordable. And several of the professors have mentioned that they'd be happy to offer advice and assistance when I get my next car.

Long term, I've thought about writing a book that would be a complete tear-down of a Model A to "no two parts attached" and then reassembly with plenty of photos and exploded diagrams. While the currently available books are good, I think I might be able to do better as I'm a trained technical writer and illustrator. But that's not something I'd be ready to tackle immediately. And it's more of a possibility than a concrete plan.

Anyway, thanks again to all who replied. I'm looking forward to buying a car and being a contributor here at Ford Barn again.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:57 PM   #16
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Congratulations Dan. It is great seeing a youngster (compared to MOST of us....lol) looking forward to working on Model A's. My only wish is you would move to the east coast of Florida. I have a 29 Roadster that is in pretty good original state but could use some TLC on the body. Keep us informed on where you are and what you are doing. Many of us travel around the USA and would love to stop and say hello.!!
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim M View Post
Congratulations Dan. It is great seeing a youngster (compared to MOST of us....lol) looking forward to working on Model A's. My only wish is you would move to the east coast of Florida. I have a 29 Roadster that is in pretty good original state but could use some TLC on the body. Keep us informed on where you are and what you are doing. Many of us travel around the USA and would love to stop and say hello.!!
I should have mentioned that anyone driving through the dead-center of the country should let me know. If you're here when the school is open, I could definitely take you on a tour of the school's facilities. It's pretty neat to see. I've already had two sets of visitors (one set who were driving their A's from California to the east coast) and would be happy to meet more Model A folks.

McPherson is about 2 hours south of I-80 for anyone who happens to be traveling along that route. My email is riderdan@gmail-dot-com, just in case anyone wants to get in touch.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Finally done

Did you have any instruction in sheet metal forming at McPherson? If not, that is the next step if you are really into restoration. And it is fun!

Mcpherson had an instructor in this area too, you might want to contact him if he is still there.
"Ed Barr, best-selling author of Professional Sheet Metal Fabrication, teaches welding and sheet metal restoration in the Technology Department at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas. Barr has been restoring cars and creating metal sculpture since he was a teenager. Barr graduated from the University of the South in 1991 and pursued a career in art museum administration after receiving an MA degree from the University of Kansas. Barr then served as director of the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Barr earned a BS degree in automotive restoration technology from McPherson College and subsequently worked at Vintage Restorations Ltd. in Union Bridge, Maryland, where he restored British cars. He resides in McPherson, Kansas. www.mcpherson.edu/academics/autorestoration."
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Hand Lurker View Post
Did you have any instruction in sheet metal forming at McPherson? If not, that is the next step if you are really into restoration. And it is fun!
I had sheet metal and advanced sheet metal with Ed. I certainly learned a lot, though I don't own the tools to continue working in sheet metal on my own (yet).
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:16 PM   #20
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If you are into making your own machines, a treadmill motor and speed control makes a good direct drive power source for a planishing machine. Used treadmills are really cheap too!
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