My 1929 Ford Model A Closed Cab Pickup Project

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by crazydrummerdude, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

    Joined:
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    Let's talk about my new Rusty Things project. Oh, this is Shiny Things? Crap.

    Some folks may remember my old thread working on my grandpas 1929 Ford Model A Tudor. One adv member even remembered riding in it with my grandpa many years ago!

    I was a broke, bored, clueless dude tinkering with whatever was laying around the corners of the shop. Once I started to gain steam on the project, my uncle (the current owner) took it over and is still doing great work (although I need to get some new pictures of it).

    After that, I was on the hunt for my own project.

    Almost exactly a year ago, I found it.. in a snowy barn in Illinois.

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    The picture is deceiving, as most of the missing pieces were in the bed of my truck out of frame.

    Some more "before" shots:

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    Popped the top, filled with ATF.

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    That said, it is missing the cloth top, interior, and glass. I later discovered that both the radiator and gas tank are "beyond repair." I sourced a new radiator from the FordBarn and found a gas tank local to me in Los Angeles.

    Oh yeah, did I mention that a couple months after I bought this, I moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles? Kinda puts a kink in the rebuild, but I am actually still getting some work done.

    Before I moved, I tucked her away in one of our barns.

    [​IMG]

    Also in this picture is my antique Jaeger cement mixer (with a Wisconsin engine).. that I got running that same day.

    I am rebuilding a spare engine and transmission we had in the shop and have some more updates to post, so stay tuned!
    #1
  2. flemsmith

    flemsmith lurk

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    wow, that will be some project...good luck with it, and thanks for letting us watch/share in the fun.

    roy
    #2
  3. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

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    I'll be watching this thread! I have three old Model As out in my garage and barn-I've gotten them all running, but they are in various states of roadworthyness so far. I spent this freakishly warm day working on the front suspension of one -the previous owner apparently never owned a grease gun, or ever bothered to look underneath the car-if it moves, it's worn out.
    I've found that parts are cheap and plentiful for Model As. Craigslist is full of people clearing out a pile of parts their deceased Dad left behind. I just bought a complete, rebuilt engine that an old guy had sitting in his garage, waiting as a spare for the one in his car, but never used. The shelves in his garage were filled with carbs and other useful parts, that i picked up cheaply. I drag it all home, just to save a lot of it from being scrapped out.
    My only hint: don't spend too much effort on that engine before you assess the state of the babbit bearings-if they are broken up or too scarred, it's big dollar signs to fix. This is one of the reasons I have a couple of spare engines in my garage. Anyway, Good luck with your restoration!
    #3
  4. caycek5

    caycek5 Bionic Man, got Ti

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    I don't know anything about this company, other than I've seen their sign up since I moved to Columbia SC back in '92.
    http://www.snjparts.com
    I'm sure y'all have places that you get parts from, I just wanted to share this as maybe it could be helpful.
    #4
  5. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    If the engine in the truck ever sees the light of day again, it will probably be decades from now. I have a few other engines in much better shape. I won't be using it for this truck, but I did put some ATF in the cylinders because it couldn't hurt.

    Also, I've found a guy in Illinois that does babbit work for a very reasonable price and have used him on two Model A engines now.

    More pics of it after I popped the top:

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    .. but here's one I prepared earlier! Hardened valve seats, bored .100 over, resurfaced.

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    ..and a resurfaced head:

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    More updates to come..
    #5
  6. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

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    You obviously already know your way around a Model A, I see......
    #6
  7. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Shiny new-ness.

    [​IMG]

    ..and installed. New babbit main bearings were poured, a wider oil pickup installed, new timing gears, etc.

    Installing the valve-train, too. Adjustable lifters installed. Originals were not adjustable; in order to change valve clearance, you had to grind the valve stem. Pardon a few bad iPhone pics:

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    Test-fiting the valves after installing camshaft, adjustable lifters, and one-piece valve guides. Original guides were two-piece but I figured the one piece might live longer? On the next block, I'll probably stick with two-piece for old skool sake.

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    Lapping the valves.

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    Springs/keepers/retainers installed. Almost a complete short block now.

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    Setting valve gap as a function of lift. Easier to do now than when it's in the truck, although I'm sure adjustments will be necessary.

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    #7
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  8. BillsR100

    BillsR100 Happy Paleoflatus

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    This is interesting, thanks
    #8
  9. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    Nice thread keep us updated.

    :thumbup
    #9
  10. dhallilama

    dhallilama Long timer

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    another A fan here.... really like '28-29 closed cab pickups, too.

    I traded a 6 pack of beer and an afternoon of stories for a truck & small trailer load of A parts, about 6 years ago. Nothing complete, but a lot of parts. '28-'31, and a few '32 parts. The guy had purchased the contents of 3 barns near him, all a hoard of A and '32 parts. I was basically getting the stuff he didn't care to bring to a swap meet.
    I got mostly sheetmetal. Traded / sold some of it off. I've got a pretty decent start to a '31 Coupe, have a Murray 4 door cowl/doors that'll eventually be a Modified, and a pretty good stash of parts, all beginning from that first 6 pack trade.

    Looking forward to seeing your project come together...
    #10
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  11. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Sweet

    :lurk
    #11
  12. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Score! Nice.

    I'm still in the market for a lot of stuff for this one, particularly seat/glass/exhaust.. and a ton of little stuff.

    Thanks. It'll be slow but steady. I live 2000 miles from the project, but when I go back, I get work done and take some stuff back with me (carb rebuild waiting on my shelf here). Still ordering parts, though.
    #12
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  13. dhallilama

    dhallilama Long timer

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    The 6 pack deal was a definite score. Right place at the right time.

    I live about 20 feet from my project... still slow. And not steady. Haven't touched it since last summer... or maybe it was summer before that. I have the body* on a build table in the garage, parts stashed in the basement/crawlspace/under-the-porch/etc.
    *the body is pieced together from 5 cars. 6 if you count the running boards, more if you count the fenders I don't have yet.
    #13
  14. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Been working on the carb. The following picture is very deceiving. This thing was solid rust covered in grease/dirt. You can see how badly pitted the controls are. This carb was abandoned, to never see the light of day again. I'll give it another shot at life.

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    Disassembly:

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    Everything actually came right apart and the inside was surprisingly good. In fact, I'm going to keep the original venturi in it because 1) it looks fine, and 2) it's stuck and would require a special puller that I don't feel like making/buying.

    I decided to use a phosphoric acid treatment from Rustoleum. The bottle said it works in 30 minutes, but that seemed too optimistic to me, so I let it sit for an hour. Worked great!

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    A wire brush and some elbow grease to finish it off and I've layed down a couple coats of paint this afternoon. She'll be reassembled soon.
    #14
  15. WYO George

    WYO George Epstein didn’t kill himself

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    Very nice project, I'm a fan of A's too! Thanks for sharing the process.
    #15
  16. ontic

    ontic

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    Probably would have been a good candidate for electrolysis, though the acid seems to have done well.
    #16
  17. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Looks like I'm going to have to update the photo links from facebook to photobucket. I'll get around to that this weekend.

    Looks like I left off with the carburetor rebuild. I can cross that off the list now.

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    I had the gas tank boiled out and sealed. It's tough to find a shop in California (or at least LA) that does this kind of work still.. but Gardena Radiator hooked me up.

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    I went back to Missouri (where the truck is) and pulled the original engine.. without a hoist. That required throwing a strap over the barn roof beam, attaching a come-along and a chain, and inching it up. More like half-inching, actually.

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    There was a typo on the title paperwork for it, and I had to bring it to an inspection station to get the VIN re-inspected. I asked if it had to be assembled. No. Ok.

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    I was messing around with the old engine. Removed the crankshaft bolts, stood it vertically, and tried to lift the 65lb flywheel off. The rust on the crank locating/dowel pins refused to budge and lifted the whole ~400lb assembly. Impressive.

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    In the mean-time, I prepared a transmission I had sitting around. Clean-up, paint, and new bearings.

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    More updates to come..
    #17
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  18. WARRIORPRINCEJJ

    WARRIORPRINCEJJ Forsaken

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    Awesomeness. :nod :thumb
    #18
  19. Barkmagnet

    Barkmagnet Long timer

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    :lurk
    Awesome thread.
    #19
  20. Heyload

    Heyload Bent but not broken Supporter

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    Looks like a fun project!

    This is my best friends Model A pickup. His dad owned it and restored it, and it passed on to him. He's always tinkering with it.
    Rick's Model A.jpg
    #20
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