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Old 03-22-2013, 04:07 PM   #1
Tiny
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Default Where do you fit in?

The question I am about ask I have pondered for a while.
Where do you fit in?
1. I buy my parts rebuilt or have others do it for me.
2. I will take on some jobs but I'm not comfortable with working on all of parts of my A
3. Bring it on. I will learn how to do it myself.

I pose this question after lurking on this board and reading the Tech section of The Restorer. It seems as though a lot of people are content to let others do their rebuilding and repairing. A common asnwer to questions is "buy part A from supplier B". I dont think this is bad, some people just enjoy driving their car not fiddling with it. Or maybe they don't own a lot of tools.

Myself I fit in #3. The coupe is my first A but will not be my last. I buy the book for what I am going to do and tackle the project head on. If it needs a special tool I buy that. Next time I have the tool and book. An example is the Tillotson on my car a $20 book and a $2 gasket set and it runs like a champ. Rebuilt Tillys are a bit more than $22 and if I srewed it up its only $2 for the retry. I have always enjoyed building driving and wrenching much more than shows. At 40 I very young for the A's but have been playing with old cars since I was born. I have ammassed a nice shop full of tools over the years and coffidence and paitence to at least try just about anything. I dont think pouring babbits is on my list to try though!LOL.

Sowhere do you fit in?
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I'm the same age as you, and for the mechanical stuff, I'm a 2.5, but when it comes to the electrical system, I'm an enthusiastic and capable #3.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

Electrical has always been one of my weak areas, but I'm learning. I replaced the entire harness in the coupe after I got it. It was scary before. Your a "young" guy too. Econimics also tend to play in to the equations for me. If I can rebuild, repair, restore it myself then I can buy more A stuff
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I'm a 3, bring it on, I'll learn it if I don't know it. Lot's I don't know but I'm not afraid to learn, sometimes the hard way.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I'm about a 2.5 also. The only area that holds me back a little is paint and body..... Ive also never learned to weld............
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctlikon0712 View Post
I'm about a 2.5 also. The only area that holds me back a little is paint and body..... Ive also never learned to weld............
2.5 same a ctlikon
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

3
having been a mechanic, fabricator,painter all of my life now that things have slowed down a bit, what am I doing?
47 ford 8n tractor nut and bolt restor used regularly 2009

1956 chevy truck frame off restor only things I didn't do was mount the tires
and grind the valves 2011, best in class 2012

1931 CC P/U frame off restor going back together didn't install the hard valve seats

not beating my own drum.......just proud of my work!
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I am a 2.5. There are some sub assemblies I leave to the experts. I will tackle anything if I have help.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

Mechanical / Electrical: #3 -- I can always ask for help from my buddy if I get stuck.
Body Work: A big fat "0"

I'm rather like Tiny when it comes to tools. I have always thought that owning a Model A was, in a large part, an excuse to buy more tools.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I am mostly a 3. Call me a 2.8.

MOST of the work on the Model A I've done myself. But some things though are cost ineffective to do one's self. Rebuilding an engine, for one. Well, I skirted the issue mid-way.

I did the er, subcontracting of the work on my present operable engine. I disassembled. I had a guy hot tank it. I took out the crank and brought it to a crank grinding shop. I had the block rebored and piston fitted and then after delivery of the crank, I had him re-babbit the block to fit. He provided a re-ground cam from his stock. And he assembled it into a short block.

Meanwhile after his work I had found the crank-grinder had bent the crank at the center about 0.003. I nearly had a heart attack as he put it into a crank straightening press and brought it back to straight - under warranty. After the straightening, I chucked it in my lathe and re-faced the flywheel mount.

But this hands off management involvement for the engine is sort of the exception. Speedos I have not done myself. But I might try. The rear end I did do myself, soup to layout dye. Ditto the front end including straightening the axle as the ends were curled in a bit. The tranny I did myself. The clutch I bought a reman as I hadn't seen the D.J. Voyce article on how to do.

Body work is still sort of in my future. But I have done a lot of paint stripping to get back to bare metal. And I have visions of fixing the bottoms of those pesky CC pickup doors.

The Gordon-Smith compressor has been a sort of adjunct to my preservation efforts. The frame and front and rear axles were sandblasted using this. And I have a set of backing plates all set to go (although I'm still using the brakes that came with the car when I bought it.)

I've been following with interest the discussion about pressing/swaging new wheel studs into cast iron brake drums. I do plan on doing this myself. The press may be a separate challenge.

But for more time. This thing called working for a living.

As my dad said "I like working for a living - but it really raises heck with my day."

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Old 03-22-2013, 05:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I do all my own work. I'm not a machinist . I'm not set up to bore blocks, grind crankshafts or cams. I don't pour babbit . I pick engine cores with useable babbit in the mains.and send them out for boring. I do my own valve work and buy and replace whatever is needed. I'm a bodyman and painter and have no problem installing interior kits. I've had model A's for 53 years or since I was only 13. I rebuild my own generators, starters, distributors carburetors, backends, transmissions, water pumps, oil pumps, steering colums and front ends. I do my own brake work. I've got a lot of model A's and parts that I've collected over my lifetime. I'm not a rich man. I always figured if I couldn't do it myself, I probably couldn't afford to hire it done. Same applies to my house, shop and other buildings. I built them all by myself.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I'm a 3, with the caveat that it is limited to the tools and space that I have to work with. But mostly there isn't much on the A that I can't fix or repair or restore myself. Like Purdy, I've also been in this for 53 years, and no boring or pouring or cam/crank grinding, but just about anything else. Though I'm beginning to feel the limitations of my age, too.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I'm a# 3. Have access to a good model A friend with a couple of lathes and a milling machine, various welders, and we both have good mechanical knowledge. It all works out if you are not in a hurry. Can also do body work and paint, having managed a Lincoln Ford Mercury bodyshop for a number of years. Lots learned thru the School of Hard Knocks too!
The A's are robust cars, very well built for what they are, lasted for almost 100 years and with a caring owner anything can be done. Fordbarn is Great for help.

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Old 03-22-2013, 06:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

Things like pouring my own babbit are out of the question, but I'll be learning to paint soon.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

Too many people COULD be a #3, if they would just put their mind to it.

These are simple cars. But most people will not TRY to learn. They just accept that they cannot do, when , with a little research (book), and little effort (time) and a few bucks (tools), anyone CAN do anything.

So many people call me , to ask a question, that is already answered in the book they already own. But......they have never read it.

For those of you #3 people out there, lets all try to help the #1 people to turn them in to #3.

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Old 03-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveB31 View Post
...
So many people call me , to ask a question, that is already answered in the book they already own. But......they have never read it...
Steve Becker
Berts Model A Center
I hope that wasn't me!

Truthfully though, Steve and others like him have been a great source of information. Just finished up a major engine revival using Steve's wisdom (and parts). I was just about ready to throw it out. Got it started a couple of days ago and it's purring like a kitty. Thanks Steve!

Oh, And I do try to read everything I have before asking questions.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

#3 here
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

I am a solid 3. I bought a 30 tudor that had been sitting in a barn since 1985 that had some rust problems because the barn leaked. I did not want a restored car I wanted something to work on. I enjoy learning and trying and if I mess up on something it is my mess and my learning experience as I redo it until I get it where I want it to be. I have worked on cars most of my life either out of necessity or as a hobby now 8 years into some health problems I think the restoration work on the old car is part of what is keeping me moving. When I finish with this one I will be looking for another wreck so this wreck of a body can work on it to help me keep working.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

2.8...I have a machinist background ..Welding ,industrial/construction electrical and instrumentation tickets,,,do every thing from glass to the interior and all the wrenching ,painting and body work,,,,just any machine work that I don't have the equipment for gets farmed out ... Don't have a points car but love the challenge
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: Where do you fit in?

For the most part I can do it all myself. I prefer to hire out the more difficult body work and the body paint itself. I am a FAA certified aircraft mechanic that has spent most of the last 18 years in auto parts manufacturing and have also worked in packing houses on maintenance. Currently I am working as a forklift mechanic, so i have a wide field of knowledge and understanding. On the side for the last 12 years I do some antique car parts salvage, so I have seen quite abit of yesterdays designs. From time to time I do some work on local car club menbers cars, but hope to branch out at some point and take work in from further away or possibly find a nitch to fill in the hobbie with one or more of the current parts vendors. Rod
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