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Old 10-28-2014, 07:55 AM   #41
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

Imagine this scenario;
A Man attends an auction to purchase a Model-A very similar to what he remembers riding in with his Dad back in his youth. The vehicle is fresh out of a long stay in a museum. The paint on both the outside, -and underside are beautiful. Matter of fact, the engine compartment is beautifully detailed (- albeit WAY over-restored!) and the interior is very nice also. The man bids up into the high-teens ( + 10% bidder premium) and is the successful high bidder. They transport the vehicle home and as time permits, they start making small evening drives in the neighborhood becoming familiar with the car and just relaxing. Next the drives turn into 15-20 mile trips. All seems great until one day the man finds the transmission becoming harder to shift between gears. Next it seems the engine tries to overheat and the entire vehicle just seems to labor but this has been a gradual oncoming so it wasn't immediately obvious. Now, to make this story much shorter, I will take you to the last chapter.

The vehicle finally broke something in the rear axle so he contacted me about repairing it. I explained that it could be as simple as a faulty U-joint or as severe as a broken tooth on the Ring & Pinion. After transporting it 500 miles, it locks up again in the shop parking lot as we are unloading it. Once inside the shop, and upon removing the drain plug to see if any metal falls out, we are 'greeted' with nothing. No lube drained out nor any pieces falling out the drain hole. Evidently the museum drained the lube and it had been run dry. Now our fears were suspected when we lifted the top off of the transmission. The same scenario except we were seeing shiny gears with Blue coloring. Oh what a mess!

Since he told us the engine leaked from the rear, our suspicions were confirmed when we removed the pan. An old rebuild however upon starting the engine there was a noise. It was an upper-end noise that was similar to a wrist pin however it would not go away even when the spark plug was shorted. Removing the head revealed a gaulded piston, ...likely caused by being driven while overheating.

So long story short, the Man now has a rebuilt rear end assy. with a 3.54 Ring & Pinion, a totally rebuilt transmission, a partially rebuilt engine, correctly re-assembled brakes with new shoes and brake drums with bands, and a cleaned & properly set-up steering gear box. This entire exercise also included re-bushing the pedals, installing oversized brake pins, and even correctly assembling the spindle bolts.

My point is that Yes, the term 'Restoration' means many things to many people however this car really was NOT restored, ...but merely a "Used Car" that was Repaired & Repainted to fool folks. There are a lot of similar Model-As out there! Kevin is spot on when he says it is not quick or cheap, but unfortunately many Restorers opt out of doing the job correctly. While many folks diss the Purists for their level of restoring, I would say that 99% of the Fine-point cars I have seen in competition in the last decade are truly restored both mechanically and aesthetically where all of them can be reliable tour cars with little to no additional tuning needed. Unfortunately my customer learned a valuable but expensive lesson on what ' Restored' means!
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:56 AM   #42
Lee Mitch
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

Model A Man- I don't like to do a half-way job, even if it doesn't make financial sense. Since you are in the midst of the restoration, do it right and put a "for sale" sign on it after you get it in your restaurant. Definitely keep all your receipts, and since this is your restaurant, you may be able to get some tax relief for décor.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:05 AM   #43
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

The first thing I do when getting a new car, bike, scooter . . . is check all fluids. The second thing is changing them (as soon as I've done my research). Amazing that people buy a new car, more so one that is 80+ years old, and a year or two later don't know where the oil stick is to be found . . .
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:49 AM   #44
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

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Originally Posted by Brother Hesekiel View Post
The first thing I do when getting a new car, bike, scooter . . . is check all fluids. The second thing is changing them (as soon as I've done my research). Amazing that people buy a new car, more so one that is 80+ years old, and a year or two later don't know where the oil stick is to be found . . .
Yep, it would be wise to even check the fluids befor a test drive. In 1969 I bought a Corvan and in 1995 I bought a Caravan, and both vehicles had dry rear ends. I checked the fluids after I got the Caravan home, but the 35 mile drive had already taken it tole on the transaxle. I was going to check the Corvan when I got home on leave, but the rear end locked up half way home in the middle of Kansas.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:30 PM   #45
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

BRENT in 10-uh-C I looked at your file 4 Hours to get a vehicle into the shop . I could push my coupe to town in four hours . lol
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:56 PM   #46
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

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BRENT in 10-uh-C I looked at your file 4 Hours to get a vehicle into the shop . I could push my coupe to town in four hours . lol
Can you really? Let's see if I have this straight, can you really or are you just hoping you can?? .

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Let me set the scenario and see how you would estimate your time to do the same task;

Suppose you have an inoperable vehicle that has been delivered with flat tires (sitting in a garage for 25+ years). It has been here for a few months awaiting its turn to be restored, so you ( by yourself ) go up to our storage building to retrieve that vehicle. Once inside the storage area you realize it has a couple of flat tires. Now ( by yourself ) you walk back to your tool box and gather all of the items necessary to air up the flat tires. Next with that little 'distraction' corrected, you ( by yourself ) try to push the car out of the storage building over to the Main Shop ( remember this is by yourself ) and into the bay where you ( by yourself ) can prepare all that is needed to begin the restoration process ...HOWEVER it appears one of the brake drum is dragging -or frozen and the car won't budge. What now? (That little trip to town is looking a whole lot easier ain't it?? )

OK, now since this entire scenario is now a little more than you ( by yourself ) bargained for, you now are looking for an easier way so you obtain the help of a friend to assist with what so innocently started out to be an easy task. Heck, to help expedite the entire process, you might as well summon 2-3 helpers to share your struggles with! Next ( by yourself ) you suggest one of them go get a tow strap and his pick-up to pull this old car with while the other helper has gone to fetch a floor jack and an air hose. You in the mean-time are (re)moving extra items from inside the old vehicle (--which the owner graciously sent) trying to ensure that you have a clear path out of the storage building and over into the shop SAFELY. So now we are unsticking faulty brakes, airing up flat tires, checking for unwanted rodents inside the vehicle, and making and reviewing a game-plan for your buddies to closely follow that ensure your safety, --and the safety of this customer's car is upheld.

What we have found in the past is old 'Murphy' generally is gonna be one of your unsolicited "helpers" ...and he will likely add a few things to the list that you had not planned on! Therefore experience has shown us how we should allow a little extra time for tasks just like this when someone restores a Model-A. I am hoping by now you are realizing that estimated 4 hours on paper may have seemed a tad excessive however if You, --and 2 of your buddies each have just over an hour of your precious time invested (by the time the vehicle is finally moved and all of the tools are returned to their proper place), you have quickly approached those 4 hours of allotted time!!

So after reading this, how did your trip to town pushing the ole Coupe go??
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:11 PM   #47
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

Took me 4 hours just to read and digest the previous post
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:24 PM   #48
Dennis Pereira
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

So after reading this, how did your trip to town pushing the ole Coupe go?? I just have to make it to the end of my driveway . Then its down hill and when it slows to a stop I'll be blocking the road and will get plenty of help lol .
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:29 PM   #49
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

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Took me 4 hours just to read and digest the previous post

Yeah, also I struggled in elementary school too!
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:40 PM   #50
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

I'll let you know if I ever get mine finished
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:04 AM   #51
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

Quote:
My point is that Yes, the term 'Restoration' means many things to many people however this car really was NOT restored, ...but merely a "Used Car" that was Repaired & Repainted to fool folks. There are a lot of similar Model-As out there! Kevin is spot on when he says it is not quick or cheap, but unfortunately many Restorers opt out of doing the job correctly. While many folks diss the Purists for their level of restoring, I would say that 99% of the Fine-point cars I have seen in competition in the last decade are truly restored both mechanically and aesthetically where all of them can be reliable tour cars with little to no additional tuning needed. Unfortunately my customer learned a valuable but expensive lesson on what ' Restored' means!
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I totally agree... there are a ton of Model A's out there that are claimed to be restored... but few really have comprehensive rebuilding/restoration of all mechanical components, from full chassis rebuilding to door latches to make them as they were built when new. I've seen some of the best looking cars that were purported to be restored be some of the worst mechanically.
Yes, it can all be fixed.. but it takes time and money. If you don't want to part with the dollars to either restore it yourself or pay someone to do it then you are in the wrong hobby. In all fairness to some of us that do quality work I can say that we do it with the intent and pride of as if it were ours... and do what is necessary for a quality job. You always hope for the best for what you're working on for folks but have to expect the worst. While not everyone understands the time involved and might think it's only an hour or two job, I usually find that when folks assist and lend a hand that they get more of a taste of what's involved... good for both sides.
Compared to other Marques... Model A's are relatively inexpensive to work on and restore.... and fortunately we are blessed with an abundance of supply of quality parts.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:20 AM   #52
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

I was able to work on the car yesterday. It is now down to a bare frame. I have to straighten some of the frame that I can see is bent. Then to start cleaning and paint the frame. I installed new kingpins, brake cross shaft bearings and brakes a few years ago and they all still look good, I will just clean them up and repaint those parts to.
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:53 AM   #53
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

Are you ever done? there's always one more thing you can do, or go back and redo because it was one of the first things you did and now its time to redo it. and if you ever do get it just perfect you will then be on the look out for your next one.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #54
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

I bought my 1930 Fordor in 1960 from a little old lady for $50 . Trouble was her son had been driving it .It looked real good ,original paint ,no rust .Then priorities set in ,Like get married .I put it in a heated shop in 1968 ,where it sat for 25 years ,by then it needed a wood kit. Finding a good kit and putting it in took 10 years. now I took the body off and re done the motor and the chassis ,new, windshield, interior ,paint, and tires .It should be done by spring .This will be a hi points car, done to original condition which is a lot harder to do than just using different parts . I think cars with a lot of wood in them are the worst ones to do . So 55 years later I'll be driving it .
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:43 PM   #55
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well today I had to send out my welding gages to get "restored" (yes pun intended, I like to laugh at myself) so I was not able to work on the frame but I did build a temporary dolly to hold the rear end which I was able to strip and prep for paint. I know I used the word restore in the title, but may be I should have use the words cosmetic restore?
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:28 AM   #56
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

Gee, all this ? I watch TV and they get them done in less than an hour !
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:52 PM   #57
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I'm going to get a TV to finish my car . I'm now wondering what oil to use and what gasoline to use ? I need the ZDDP in the oil and most shops don't know what you are talking about .I have been using first grade fuel in any engine that sits around for a while .
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:58 AM   #58
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

My current 34 project was someone's attempt at a restoration. Took it all apart then bought, sold and lost pieces then lost interest. Engine and transmission went to a builder who sold it cause services weren't paid for. He parted out most of it then I came along. Body, frame with very rusted, unserviceable front and rear end was all that was left.
That was 8 years ago and I'm still building and tracking down parts.


One of the previous estimates was about right. 1000 hours of dedicated and organized effort is expected.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:38 PM   #59
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Default Re: how fast can a model A be restored?

Back in the mid 70s I restored my 28 station wagon in 13 months. I finished it just before the 1974 national on the Queen Mary in Long Beach California where it was awarded a 2nd place.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:59 PM   #60
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Take your time and enjoy the restoration. Rushing is no fun at all! The fun of woking on these old cars is slowly seeing it progress and enjoying each slight improvement you make. If I had to do it in a hurry I would rather buy one already finished. I think 99 Percent of the thrill of these old cars is enjoying the improvements. I knew an old world watchmaker clock reapairer that told me, once he got the watch of clock running he lost interest in it.
Sorry for preaching, but I was a preacher!
Well said! I am not a preacher, but close - retired after 35 years teaching in a middle school.
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