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Old 10-29-2014, 06:54 PM   #1
tnewton@swbc.com
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Default Looking for help

newbie here looking for advice.

I pulled my father's 1930 sport coupe out of storage to try and surprise him by finishing the restoration he started 35 years ago. When he stored it the car was running and just needed interior, top and rumble seat to be complete.

He retired last year and started working on it again but could not get it started. The engine would turn over but not start. For some reason he wanted to pull the head but wound up breaking off the first bolt he was wrenching on. The engine was rebuilt in the late 70s so I know it was running. It was the first car I drove even before I had a license.

I thought I would pull the radiator and fenders to make it easier to pull the motor but I now realize that the body seems to sit on the fenders... So here is my first....of many questions I am sure.

How should I pull the engine? I am not sure how to attach the lift. Given the fact he twisted off one of the head bolts with hand tools I don't want to have the block breaking off the lift? Also can I separate the block from the tranny somehow while it is in the car?

Here are a couple of pictures of the car as it sits. I will make sure and update everyone as I make progress.

Thanks for any help.

Todd
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File Type: jpg model a 4.jpg (57.0 KB, 281 views)
File Type: jpg model a 5.jpg (62.6 KB, 244 views)
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Looking for help

You don't have to remove the fenders to remove the engine. Before you go any further, do two things: 1) Contact a local Model A club and go to a meeting and introduce yourself and your problem. 2) Buy Les Andrews's book, Model A Ford Mechanics Handbook Vol I, and read about removing engines and working on Model A's. Those two things alone will save you money, time, and heartache.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Looking for help

PS: Welcome to the Barn and to the most gratifying hobby ever.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Looking for help

Welcome to the Barn! First of all, Why pull the engine just because it won't start? Do a compression test ! Is it getting gas? Does it have spark? It is common for the valves to stick. Here's a good formula for unsticking things that may be stuck. 50% automatic Trans fluid + 50% acetone. Better than liquid wrench! Have you changed the oil yet? All this should come before you pull the engine.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:19 PM   #5
Bob C
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Default Re: Looking for help

Before pulling the engine why not do some trouble shooting
to see why it won't start, could be as simple as dirty points.

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Old 10-29-2014, 07:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Looking for help

welcome to the barn
i seem to be a little confused as to why you decided to pull the engine. it ran 35 years ago but wont start now, did you check for a spark or fuel issue? the broken head stud can be repaired without pulling the motor. a common issue on cars that have sat are oxidzed points and bad fuel... another common problem is when individuals try to start a car on bad old fuel it hangs up the valves like syrup...

Last edited by Mitch//pa; 10-29-2014 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Looking for help

I'd agree, don't pull it yet!

Bad fuel and closed points would be my first port of call?

This is handy:

http://modelabasics.com/Roadside%20Troubleshooting.htm
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Looking for help

Welcome Todd! Assuming the bolt that got broken is a head stud, the head will eventually have to come off. But first, I would get the motor running as it sits. Drain all fluids and check for sludge and rust (tranny and rear end included), in the oil pan and tank. Pull the valve cover off and make sure things are moving and there is no rust/sludge in the holes that feed oil to the main bearings.

Do a compression check, check the whole ignition system, from the battery to the points. Fill her up and start her up. After you get her running for a bit then change out the head gasket-or do it before. As mentioned by 700, go find a club there is a wealth of info at your fingertips there.

Mike
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Looking for help

yes slow down. im willing to bet it something real simple like coroded points and bad gas.

Do a search for "won't start" here on this forum.

Go to MARC and MAFCA website and find a local club to give you first hand help (not that we can't help).
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Looking for help

Agreed- After sitting that long in a non-temperature-controlled garage, it's likely the condenser is bad too. As suggested, search for where you do and don't have spark.
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Looking for help

I always pull the engine when my car doesn't start. I drop it down in a corner, then kick it really hard, several times, then put it back in the car, and find myself in a much more relaxed mood to find out why it didn't start. Usually it's gas or spark related.
Not judging.
:-)
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Looking for help

guys thanks for the advice and humor!

My father said he was getting spark and gas before he started to pull the head off. I think he said there was water/antifreeze in the oil. I hate to make things worse which is why I was going to address the bolt issue, replace the gasket and take a look around the rest of the engine while I had it out before trouble shooting anything else.

I know its not necessary to pull he fenders to remove the motor. I just thought it would easier to work without them in the way. Now that I see all the work involved in removing them I wont bother.

He has another complete drive train, frame and suspension...basically everything but the body...so I guess I could kick some of that down the street to see if it helps LOL
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:05 AM   #13
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Tnewton, I'm pulling my engine now so I'm in the middle of this operation and intensely familiar with it. First, Take the hood and floor boards off/out. Then the light bar and lights pull it forward, then the grill shell, pull them both forward out of your way. I forgot to tell you to drain your radiator 1st. Drain and remove your radiator being extra careful not to damage the fins. Disconnect the fuel line and remove the manifolds w/carburetor and tie them back away from the engine. Disconnect all linkage and wiring marking with tape where each wire goes. Disconnect the wish bone underneath.
It's just two bolts that keep the ball captive, This allows you access to the two lowest bolts of the bell housing. Which is where I separate the engine from the transmission. You may want to pull the trans with the engine. in which case you'll leave the trans attached to the engine and make the disconnect at the universal joint, Both are feasible. But before you do all this, you'll have to locate a lifting source, a tree, strong over head beam, a machine with a boom. I have a Case Backhoe that I use. Well, you're started! More to follow
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Looking for help

Terry, thanks for the more specific advice. My only solution is a engine lift for picking up the engine. I already have the hood, light bar and radiator pulled and out of the way. I would normally use the manifold bolts on a more modern v8 to lift the engine. The head bolts look pretty short and knowing one has already failed I am concerned about using them to pull the engine out with. any suggestions on what to attach it to? hoping to tackle this weekend.

thanks again
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Looking for help

You can use two of these to pull it,http://www.mikes-afordable.com/product/T17022.html but I wouldnt pull it when its easier to diagnose it when in car and all hooked up. You can check for spark, you can easily check compression, ect. after its out how you going to crank the engine to check such things? You can also replace the broken head stud while engine is in the car. Hey man its your car and your labor but i like to k.i.s.s it myself. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: Looking for help

Todd,
there are a couple of options for attaching a chain to pull the engine.

Most preferred - use one of the eye hooks in the #3 spark plug hole..... you can buy them at the Model A parts suppliers or make one from an old spark plug base
Alternate, remove the exhaust manifold and water inlet ( in drivers side of block) and bolt on there. I would use the #3 stud from front manifold stud.

As others have said... just because there is water in the oil doesn't necessarily dictate removing the engine. I would remove the head gasket for a change, possible head resurface as well and then the pan for cleanout, and inspection. If the pan is removed there is a process for removing/installing the inner dipper tray which should be done for a thorough cleanout.

You don't have to use acetone to get valve unstuck.... but can if you desire. some of the good penetrants like kroil, gibbs, etc do excellent as well.

I would suggest a good logical common sense approach and not to rush into a big tear down without thinking it through. It could be he got water in the oil from leaving the distributor hold down loose on it's head stud, leaving some coolant leakage to pass, it could be head gasket, or more. If you are going to remove the head and pan I would suggest having someone available who is schooled at engines to assist and advise.

best of luck !
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:57 PM   #17
Terry,NJ
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Larry's advice is good! Anything to save pulling the engine! However, If you must, you must! Is the car in a garage now? If so , does the garage have an open ceiling? If so, can you put a short 4 X4 across 2 or more joists If they're only 2x4s Attach a brace (Purlin) to the roof rafters from the joists. This will distribute the weight more evenly. Park the car under the 4X4 and think of ways to lift. Those little cable pulls ($20) work well. You might want an old piece of dog chain to wrap around the 4X4 for something to hook the hoist onto. (2-3 times around) Take the head off and you'll have about 60 lbs less to lift and you'll have the full length of the studs to work with. Get a short length of chain that links will fit over the studs and with the nuts and washers, it will hold. A mod A is not that heavy, especially with the head and manifolds off. Good Luck!
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:08 PM   #18
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you desperately need a local enthusiast to assist you before things get way worse than they are. There is at least one club near you:

try
http://www.alamomodela.com/

this is a very active group. go to a meeting, join, introduce yourself, immerse yourself in the hobby and there will be a flood of ppl willing to help, and help you find resources like how to get the upholstery done when it is time. The local clubs are loaded with expertise and passion to help others. This way you can learn the car under guidance as you go. It will be the single most important step you will take
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdtbird View Post
you desperately need a local enthusiast to assist you before things get way worse than they are. There is at least one club near you:

try
http://www.alamomodela.com/

this is a very active group. go to a meeting, join, introduce yourself, immerse yourself in the hobby and there will be a flood of ppl willing to help, and help you find resources like how to get the upholstery done when it is time. The local clubs are loaded with expertise and passion to help others. This way you can learn the car under guidance as you go. It will be the single most important step you will take
This is the best advice yet. I don't know why people want to try to work on these cars with not much more than a socket set, a couple of screwdrivers and a pair of pliers. One on one help and advice where a mentor can help is more valuable than the car itself. The reason the FIRST nut that was loosened, broke was not knowing. Listen to tbirdtbird and contact this club.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #20
tnewton@swbc.com
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Guys thanks again for all the advice. I will definitely look into the locals here in San Antonio this evening.

I had some time today so I thought I would try and pull the head to see if I could weld something onto the broken stud and get it out before pulling the engine. Unfortunately the stud broke off pretty flush. Also the rest of the engine looks like its in pretty bad shape. The front cylinder doesn't look too bad but the other 3 had between 1/8 and a 1/4 inch of rust and crud in there...probably from the cylinder walls when my dad was turning it over. The plugs were pretty rusted and corroded as well. The head was pretty rough too. Here are a couple of shots for your enjoyment/disgust.

Thanks again. I will see what locals I can find. Isnt it wonderful to live in a time where communication and the sharing of information isn't limited to the local garage! Its amazing.
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File Type: jpg model a head.jpg (39.4 KB, 52 views)
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