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Old 01-27-2019, 02:17 AM   #1
rrich1
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Default Newly acquired '31 AA

Hi,

I have been lurking for a few weeks trying to learn as much as I can. I recently purchased my grandfather's '31 AA. He purchased it very early 80's and he sold it in '11 when alzheimer's started to set in. Well yesterday I was able to purchase it back. Growing up, I'm 33, we would take it to Walcott Iowa every year for the Trucker's Jamboree truck show. I have a lot of great memories tagging along and setting the truck and tent up, talking with people, and enjoying the antique trucks. My dream for this truck is to get it back up and running, preserve the looks as much as possible, and fix what is needed as time and funds allow. It will be my toy for the next several decades.

The cab is dark green with black fenders and radiator. Unfortunately with his alzheimer's I am unable to ask him any questions about it. The engine block number, A1551291, doesn't match what is on the title and from what I have looked up the engine looks to have been produced sometime in 1929. So I don't think it is the original engine. Even so the "vin" on the title is nowhere to be found on the truck as far as I can find. So I am trying to figure that out.

I believe the truck is a stake bed, possibly a 187-A but I am not positive. The wheel base is 131". The bed has all enclosed sides so I do not believe it is original. The rear has a sliding gate that goes up. I

From what I have been told is that it hasn't been ran in over a year and last needed a rolling start to get it started. Thoughts on what that might be?

Any info from the pics you might have is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
​​​​​​​Ryan


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Old 01-27-2019, 05:22 AM   #2
Steve Plucker
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

Ryan,

Nice looking truck.

Here is an article to tell you just where to look for the engine number that is stamped on the frame and more if it applies to you.

http://www.plucks329s.org/pdf/studie...ND%20CODES.pdf

Also, there is the Ford Model AA Truck Club that you might be interested in:

http://fmaatc.org/

Neil Wilson is head of this club and has done wonders for the hobby and the Model AA Truck owners as far as the fantastic research that he has done not to mention the yearly magazine that he puts out every April.

As far as the bed is concerned, more photos would be nice to see the rest but by viewing what photos you have given...It looks to be a home-made set up???

If original and the sides, which are "enclosed sides", would of been used for Grain Sides.

Again, more photos of the bed and sides would be helpful to really ID and pin it down.

Pluck
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

You have a beautiful double A but I would suggest that you replace one thing before you make it "run ready", and that is the steel two blade fan. They tend to rip apart as they get older and runin a nice hood, or radiator, or you. The vendor's sell an aluminum replacement that looks correct and is durable. Find a local club where you might get some help getting this truck running. Good luck. Jack
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

Welcome Ryan and congratulations on your new toy. I think it is good to keep memories alive of our family members and it sounds like they are good ones. Just some FYI points.

The AA used the same engine as the A and they would get swapped out if worn out. So having one that doesnt match numbers wise is normal. If you really want to find the original number you can lift the body up and check on the frame. As far as the bed goes as was mentioned it could be original and home made. Also, there is no VIN as we know it, they used the engine number.

If it has not been run in over year, change the fluids, grease everything and flush he gas tank out several times. After flushing install a pencil filter in the gas shut off valve to keep the crud out of the carb. You may also want to flush the cooling system a few times and then install a GANO filter in the upper hose.

Again you have a beautiful looking truck.

Mike
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

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Originally Posted by jhowes View Post
You have a beautiful double A but I would suggest that you replace one thing before you make it "run ready", and that is the steel two blade fan. They tend to rip apart as they get older and runin a nice hood, or radiator, or you. .... Jack
I have for years, annually inspect our original two bladed steel fans for cracks. One spring, while doing my inspection I found my fan was terribly cracked and it was about to fly apart. It was fine just a year earlier. A good looking original fan can fail quickly. I had a model A home made tractor that lost a fan blade while I was using it. Besides a blade going through a perfectly good radiator, it also blew the tractor's hood off and into the air. It was a real dramatic experience for me. What a waste. I now run aluminum fan blades on all my model A Fords. I like your truck. We also have a 1930 AA long wheel base stake bed truck. Your truck is a keeper.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:41 AM   #6
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From what I can see, the fan looks to be aluminum. Try to inspect the fan and determine if the pulley and the blades appear to be all one piece. If so, it may be a new replacement fan that will not explode and you may be alright. If you cannot determine if it is one piece or two, for the cost of a new replacement, I'd call Snyders and get a replacement fan. They really are cheap enough and consider it insurance...


Frank
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:47 AM   #7
Charlie Stephens
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No thoughts on why it need a rolling start to get it running. Not enough information. Did you have the battery load tested? Now that it has run a little can you start it? etc.

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Old 01-27-2019, 05:00 PM   #8
rrich1
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

Thanks everyone for the info and advice. Currently the truck is about 2hrs north of me. I was in Chicago yesterday for a hand tool event and was able to swing by. I only got to stay for about 45min to an hour as it had already started to snow pretty badly. I got the title for the truck and took as many pics that I could. I didn't get any more of the bed, I thought I did but didn't. He is going to trailer it down to me in the springtime when it is warmer weather.

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Old 01-27-2019, 06:00 PM   #9
Bill Cilker
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

Ryan
Your truck looks great. I am building one like it. The truck is a "late" (after May) 1931 AA truck. It has the under hood gas shut off (indented firewall) which was introduced about May of 1931. The frame is a 131.5" long frame which was introduced about April 1931. The truck serial number (original engine number) should be about 4,400,000 or higher. It looks to me that whoever restored the truck restored the cab and sheet metal but did not restore the chassis. Ford offered 2 rear axle ratios: 6.6 to 1 and 5.17 to one. I cannot tell which one you have. If you pull the speedometer drive on the torque tube, it will have the ratio on it. The bed is either a home made unit or an after market unit. It is not the Ford produced bed.
I hope this helps.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:33 PM   #10
rrich1
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Ryan
Your truck looks great. I am building one like it. The truck is a "late" (after May) 1931 AA truck. It has the under hood gas shut off (indented firewall) which was introduced about May of 1931. The frame is a 131.5" long frame which was introduced about April 1931. The truck serial number (original engine number) should be about 4,400,000 or higher. It looks to me that whoever restored the truck restored the cab and sheet metal but did not restore the chassis. Ford offered 2 rear axle ratios: 6.6 to 1 and 5.17 to one. I cannot tell which one you have. If you pull the speedometer drive on the torque tube, it will have the ratio on it. The bed is either a home made unit or an after market unit. It is not the Ford produced bed.
I hope this helps.
That helps a lot. Thank you. Without the title in hand I believe the "Vin" was a 6 digit number starting with 4. I bet there was a missing number that didn't get written down which would put it in that range that you mentioned.

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Old 01-27-2019, 07:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

Ryan, Welcome aboard. Nice to have a truck that belonged to a loved one, now keep the memories rolling. When the weather breaks check the battery & starter for your starting problems. Looks like it has a battery disconnect on it also.Yours is considered a SWB (short wheel base) nice size, I have both a SWB and a LWB and prefer the looks and driving of the SWB. Not an interstate speed type of vehicle, but enjoyable on secondary roads, the rear axle ratio prevents it from going fast. With your history of the truck, I am sure you know most of this.. Enjoy!
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:12 AM   #12
Joe K
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

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Originally Posted by rrich1 View Post
That helps a lot. Thank you. Without the title in hand I believe the "Vin" was a 6 digit number starting with 4. I bet there was a missing number that didn't get written down which would put it in that range that you mentioned.

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Very possibly a "rebuilt" engine - and someone started to grind off the number, lost heart (or got to the level of the protruding gasket) and gave it up.

Some small number of engines went away from Ford with NO numbers. My 29 CC pickup had a "red" engine when I bought it - but NO number - and a full height boss. It is thought that engine was sold directly to Sears for sale as a replacement engine in the 1950s and by then the numbering system was superfluous.

But this one may be a re-build. Probably is considering the nice "older restoration" status of the rest of the truck.

Joe K
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

Check the fan with a magnet. If it sticks get the aluminum replacement before you start it. Your radiator looks too nice to see it need replacement.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:09 PM   #14
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Cool truck! the starter switch is two large discs of brass that are pushed together with the rod. 4 screws on that cover on the starter motor. that was step 1 for me filed them to remove soot and was careful to keep them flat. or you can replace them if they are too bad. then further work on the starter. the choke doubles as a mixture knob called a g.a.v. one turn out for starting 1/8-1/4 after warm.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:55 AM   #15
burner31
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

Good God man...that is sweet.
You made a very good choice in life by getting that truck back into the family.
Welcome to the Barn, and enjoy for the next 20..30...40...50...60 years.
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:00 PM   #16
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Very cool truck!!
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:40 PM   #17
rrich1
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Good God man...that is sweet.
You made a very good choice in life by getting that truck back into the family.
Welcome to the Barn, and enjoy for the next 20..30...40...50...60 years.
Haha. Thanks. My wife always knew that if it became available it wasn't an option of not getting it.
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Very cool truck!!
Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:47 PM   #18
Stew Masche
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

WOW! nice truck! Follow the advise of earlier posts. You are going to have YEARS of enjoyment!
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:28 PM   #19
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Default Re: Newly acquired '31 AA

really nice truck. I did not relize that they had a black commercial headlight bucket in 31. I sure would like to find a set of those for a project
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:21 PM   #20
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really nice truck. I did not relize that they had a black commercial headlight bucket in 31. I sure would like to find a set of those for a project
The buckets are the same shape as the stainless ones. I would just find a rough pair of stainless buckets, do the body work on them and paint them. That would probably be your cheapest solution.

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