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Old 04-01-2017, 07:17 PM   #1
Mike the Grump
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Default Inherrited restoration project

Trying to come up with a game plan on how to get this back on the road.

I've posted a link to some pictures below. If the it comes up as a list of files there is an icon at the upper right (a bunch of little squares) that will switch it to thumbnails.

The chassis work was done in the late 70's. Last time it was started was probably eight years ago. The clutch may be rusted to the flywheel.

Looking at the body panels I'm struggling with where to start. Not pictured, the rear sub-rails are rotted. Given the condition of the quarter panels and the panel below the rumble seat lid, I don't see a place to start and have any confidence that it will all fit together. I have no prior body work experience.

I've considered fixing the subframe and trying to locate a better panel for below the rumble seat lid. Then use that and the cowl as reference points to piece the rest of it together.

It seems like the bodywork would have been a lot easier when the frame was bare.

A quick look at the Mac's site and I come up with a minimum of 1,500 in patch panels, figure another 500-700 in tools. (mig welder, argon tank, clamps etc.) Pile on an unknown number of hours and I'm beginning to think that a new brookville body may make more sense.

The fenders, hood, top cowl panel and gas tank are in pretty good shape. Could reuse those to keep something of the original car.

Any thoughts? I'm not afraid of trying but don't want to start down a path of inevitable failure or commit the rest of my life to this.

https://bakerm-my.sharepoint.com/per...3a09%3a09.000Z
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:51 PM   #2
JohnLaVoy
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Brookville Roadster makes complete new steel roadster bodies that would eliminate much of your problems, they also sell new fenders etc. We used several of their products including the bodies and found them very good quality.

Have you made contact with a local Model A club? They would have suggestions where to get parts. MACs is not our first choice, you might look at Snyder's and Brattons. You can find a lot of information on the MAFCA.com website. (Model A Ford Club of America) they have ads from several companies right on the site.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Mike, great looking project. That body is definetly restorable. Great looking fenders too.
Best of luck. Jeff
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Love the project. If it were me I would fix as much of the rot as I could and assemble the body with scars and all and enjoy driving it. Or you could look for replacement panels at your local swap meet. Either way I believe this is a great project to learn on. Enjoy
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Mike,

You need to put your general location in your profile so people can give you a heads up on activities of interest near you.

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Old 04-01-2017, 11:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Mike, you said you inherited the car....that gives you a lot more leeway as far as money goes to invest in the project. First thing, (just my opinion) forget Mac's. Second, do what you have to do to the chassis before you put the body on, brake s springs, steering, wiring, engine, tranny etc. etc. Much easier without the body. Third, get the Les Andrews books. Fourth... work on one thing at a time so you don't get overwhelmed with it and lose interest in it. Get tired....just walk away from it, work on it the next day. You own the car, it doesn't own you. Just my two cents.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Hey Mike,
You did real good taking all of those pictures for details.
I were you, I'd locate a club where I could seek that help of those who have been there and done that. It will not be easy, at all, for a beginner to assemble this puzzle !
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:06 AM   #8
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Looks like if you had all of the packs of M &M's that were taken out of those empty M & M cardboard boxes on the shop floor you could sell the packs M & M's to a convenience store and not only have enough money to buy all of the Model A parts; but have enough left over to buy Jay Leno's vintage car collection.

On a more serious note, if you are really having fun while restoring this Model A, why try to finish right away anyway?

And even more seriously, why not do like most of us and try leave a few things undone so you always have some fun Model A thing to do?

You have a nice project. Many friendly folks here will try to assist you if you continue to ask.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:43 AM   #9
Tony Hillyard
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

As with all the replies above, the most important thing to do is enjoy yourself. If you like to potter in your garage and restore your Model A, do so. There is no hurry to finish it.

If, on the other hand, you would rather be driving your Ford, go for the new body.

The nice thing about this hobby is it is for you decide. But it's always interesting to cost it all out first, just so you can feel smug!
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:59 AM   #10
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

In our club, there's a Model A Roadster with a RE-PRO body, that passes off as an ORIGINAL Model A.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Tony nice avatar.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:38 AM   #12
Barry B./ Ma.
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Hi Mike,
I would buy a Brookville Roadster body and save yourself a lot of work, it would be different if those parts you have were in better shape. That's what I did and the dealer I sold my 30 roadster to got more money for it than an another original roadster he had for sale. You can always get some of your money back by selling the parts you have left over that you inherited. Good luck, Barry B.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Man I wish my parts were in as good shape as yours! Your right, you need a MIG welder (Generally available used for under $200, .030 wire, 120V W/ gas) Some of those round holes (nickel Size) can be fixed with an electric drill, small grind stone, and electric box knock outs. The work done one the chassis looks complete and well done. The fenders are exceptionally solid and straight. What is that windshield from? Is this a Roadster?
GET IT RUNNING! An engine that sat for a while, even in dry conditions, has a small amount of rust on the cyl. walls, cam, lifters, etc. Starting this engine will scrape this rust off the parts and put it in the oil as an abrasive. So don't run the longer than 15 minutes, drain the oil, put in fresh, change it after 5 hours, and you should be all right. All in all, It looks like you inherited a pretty good starting point. I've seen far worse.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike the Grump View Post
Trying to come up with a game plan on how to get this back on the road.

I've posted a link to some pictures below. If the it comes up as a list of files there is an icon at the upper right (a bunch of little squares) that will switch it to thumbnails.

The chassis work was done in the late 70's. Last time it was started was probably eight years ago. The clutch may be rusted to the flywheel.

Looking at the body panels I'm struggling with where to start. Not pictured, the rear sub-rails are rotted. Given the condition of the quarter panels and the panel below the rumble seat lid, I don't see a place to start and have any confidence that it will all fit together. I have no prior body work experience.

I've considered fixing the subframe and trying to locate a better panel for below the rumble seat lid. Then use that and the cowl as reference points to piece the rest of it together.

It seems like the bodywork would have been a lot easier when the frame was bare.

A quick look at the Mac's site and I come up with a minimum of 1,500 in patch panels, figure another 500-700 in tools. (mig welder, argon tank, clamps etc.) Pile on an unknown number of hours and I'm beginning to think that a new brookville body may make more sense.

The fenders, hood, top cowl panel and gas tank are in pretty good shape. Could reuse those to keep something of the original car.

Any thoughts? I'm not afraid of trying but don't want to start down a path of inevitable failure or commit the rest of my life to this.

https://bakerm-my.sharepoint.com/per...3a09%3a09.000Z
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:41 AM   #14
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

First off see where I come from, see the link to my website showing you what I started with and have done.

First off you must research what the Model A was when it was new and understand how they were manufactured. Contrary to what many will tell you it is a car designed to confidently run 60 MPH, get over 20 MPG, and stop very good for the narrow tires. It was very reliable as it came from the factory and known to go tens of thousands of miles running the higher speeds on really bad roads of the day.

Ford accomplished this with precision manufacturing. Rebuilding the driveline needs to be approached more like you are building a race car driveline. In fact if you took the parts to a machinist with the prints they will tell you exactly that.

Assuming you are not going for a points car, but a really reliable driving car that looks decent then you can do a lot of the body work your self from scratch. No need need to buy patch panels in most cases. In the case of the 68C I did there are no patch panels so I made everything from scratch. While it seemed impossible at first, once I learned some basics of moving metal, well it got easy.

Now for your driveline. Trust nothing. Take is all apart and check it. In the 70's there were a lot of bad repro parts and often people slammed the cars back together with questionable parts. People complain about brakes, well worn steel drums, worn used wedges, and shoes not arched to size and centered make for bad brakes. All of the above is a common problem. The engine is the same. If you have no idea who built the engine and what is in it, well it needs to come apart and be checked. Pistons and rods need to be check for weight and balance, crank needs to be checked if it is ground right (imagine a 66lb flywheel .005" off center) and so on. Check for worn pitted bearings in the tranny, gear condition and so on. Saddly there are some pretty bad rebuilds out there. Throw in some 'interesting' reproduction parts of the 70's and you have too many interesting reasons why the car is difficult to reliably run.

Please do not let all of this turn you off. You can select which order to do things in, just be aware. First thing I would do is all the drums come off to be checked. Quite frankly, expect that you are going to tear out the whole system to make it right. But, you need to be able to stop safely. All cars new to me get their brakes checked first no matter what.

Pull the top off the tranny and look at the gears. Are the shiny or do they have lines running front to rear on the faces? Shiney is bad, they are worn. Look at the noses of the gears are they worn. This is a quick idea if you might need to go further or if it can wait and may give you a better idea if you want to tear into the engine sooner.

Now for the body work.

Start with the front fenders. Look at my discussion on fixing fenders and get them checked and lined up while the body is off.

For the body work. Well you have to look close. I saw a few places where hinges were welded and screws were welded. Those parts might not be so good. If you take some time to learn about metal working (lots of great sites online) you might find making panels not such a bad task. Personally I really recommend a TIG welder, but that is costly. Look up small tipped oxygen/act torches at Tinman Tech with the proper rods you can do things a lot like a TIG. The key is the understanding that every weld is a shrink point you need to correct. If you get a MIG welder buy a quality unit with fine adjustments. The cheaper units often do not allow fine enough control and the setting you really want is in between what you can set. Craigslist is your friend.
With knowledge creativity you can do a decent job making all the patch panels and get them welded in place.

A recommendation. Seek out a good original panel below the rumble lid. The repro needs a substantial amount of rework. Vince shows what he did at his website Vince's website.

The Model A is quite a remarkable car. You can beat the crap out of it, put it away wet and continue mashing the next day and it will be happy. It was designed to run fast over crappy roads and be very very reliable. So the car is a lot of fun when it is rebuilt properly.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

From your pictures, the frame and mechanicals look pretty good. If it were my project, I'd go ahead and completely restore the engine and running gear and then make a decision about the body. From my limited experience, there are two very different talents involved in doing the mechanical stuff and doing the bodywork. You might have both, might not.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:16 AM   #16
Dick Carne
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Welcome to an enjoyable and fulfilling new hobby frontier. From your pictures, it would appear that most of the mechanical/running gear restoration has already been completed, so obviously, the "elephant in the room" is the restoration of the body ... should you choose to go that route. I am in agreement with those who have recommended the purchase of a Brookville body. I purchased a new '28 body from them back in the 1980's and have never regretted that decision. And the craftsmanship is such that unless you tell someone, only a very technical person who might compare rivets or such would ever know that this was a replacement body. Furthermore, if you have to purchase new panels and pay someone to assist in the restoration of the current body, the cost will no doubt far exceed the time and costs involved with going with a new body. Since no one is making gas tanks,it is good that you have very usable original. From what I saw of the fenders, they can probably be reworked if you have the time, but if you have to involve others in their restoration, it may well be more cost effective to consider the purchase of new fenders as well. For the cost of a new fender, it would not take much time in a body shop for their charges to exceed the cost of new material (from my experience). Again, in the grand scheme of things, you have an outstanding adventure ahead of you. Good luck - enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:57 PM   #17
Mike the Grump
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Thank you all for the replies and advice. I'm hustling to get some chores done this afternoon but will post a more detailed reply later.

But, one thing I have to address is the comment on the M&M boxes. Those are the perfect cardboard box and a long time family favorite. Big enough but not too big, sturdy as hell. I highly recommend them.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Mike
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Great bunch of pictures showing lots of the real early body features. One such, that I don't think I've ever seen before, is that there is only a single reinforcing rib on the rear wheelwells. Don't recall ever seeing anything other than 3 of these ribs as I've sketched in on one of your pictures.

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File Type: jpg Rear quarter panel #2.jpg (68.3 KB, 575 views)
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:41 AM   #19
Gary Karr
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Obviously an early '28 body and cowl. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:22 PM   #20
Mike the Grump
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Default Re: Inherrited restoration project

Daunting number of posts to try and respond to. I appreciate everyone's comments.

Yes, it is an earlier '28 but it does now have some '29, '30, '31 mixed in now. When it was pulled out of my grandfathers barn in '75 it had Hudson hydraulic brakes. Not sure if those brakes were added before or after they purchased and towed the car back from NC in '57.

Yes, it actually was an old barn where the horses were kept.

Here's the challenge. I have a massively typical Southern Ca 24'x22' two car garage with an 8.5' ceiling. I have 2 other older, but more modern (60's), cars that are not going away. Of the two, one could live in the side yard. Not too happy about that but.... Space is constrained.

Although I'm not currently working, I will go back to work.

Previous work. NELKO poured new babbit bearings in '76. Bob Redd, a machine shop/engine rebuilder, did the head work, line bored the block, balanced the rotating assembly in the same year. Bob Redd had been around since at least '50 and remained in business until '84. I'm going to assume they knew what they were doing. I'm not taking the motor apart any time soon. Yes, fluids will be changed, cylinders oiled, motor turned by hand, etc., before starting it again.

My father had a retired Boeing machinist working for him at the time who was very involved with the Model A project. (I think he answered the phones and worked on the car). Between the two of them I expect they went over the mechanicals pretty closely.

I agree brakes are important. In the 70's oversized used drums were re-purposed for the car. I do have a set of new cast drums. Not sure if the rods are used or repo's. I do understand I need to go through that before the body goes on. Clever system, It appears to be all about the geometry and requires that there be no slop to work correctly.

As I stated I suspect the clutch is rusted to the flywheel. I may put it in gear and rock it a little. It's always been stored in a dry location maybe I'll get lucky and it will free up.

One of the pictures I posted shows that the plate on top of the transmission has two louvres. I think that indicates it would be a later transmission with the less complicated multi-part clutch. Is that correct?

The Body. The decision has been difficult, especially as noted in a couple posts that it has some of the early '28 "features", but I don't think I have much choice other than go with the Brookville. If I had another spare garage to play Model A in and previous metal working skills that might be different. I don't. I need to get this back together so that it takes up no more than one garage bay and spare bedroom soon. I'm losing the place where it is currently stored which is 400 miles away.

The hood panels are good, fenders appear in workable condition, the upper cowl and tank are in good shape. The plan would be to retain these and try sell the rest.

Gary Karr: You observed that the cowl was early. Can you explain the differences or point me at a picture?

I have no intention on chasing points. It's an early car that has been well used with many incorrect year and repo parts. To make it correct would be costly and take much more time than I have.

Thanks again for everyone's input. I'll be back with questions.
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