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Looking for my first Model A

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  • Looking for my first Model A

    Hi all, like it says. I have the bug and the wife is on board. She probably has it worse than me now that she has been window shopping on the web. Joining the local club and trying to suck up as much info as I can. I like to build wooden boats, and work on firearms in what little spare time I have. I am a control electrician in real life and can hold my own as a hack machinist. I am pretty pumped about the idea of working on these. I would like an older restore or such, as I don't have time or $$ to build one. We cant have too many projects lined up though, right?
    The hot rod guys that I know have already driven me crazy, shouldn't have mentioned anything to them about what I want. All they say is put it on a modern frame to make it a dependable and safe driver, convert brakes to hydraulic, convert to 12 volt and so on. Wow.
    Good info on here and thanks to all for the good reads.

  • #2
    Whats your budget?
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"


    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

    Comment


    • #3
      I am thinking around $15k

      Comment


      • #4
        How about posting a general location so we can know where you are at?
        You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

        Comment


        • #5
          greater Cincy Ohio

          Comment


          • DaWizard
            DaWizard commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh good, shame you aren't out here on the West Coast, one of the club members is selling his '30 Coupe. Pretty decent deal too.

        • #6
          Originally posted by dmdeaton View Post
          The hot rod guys that I know have already driven me crazy, shouldn't have mentioned anything to them about what I want. All they say is put it on a modern frame to make it a dependable and safe driver, convert brakes to hydraulic, convert to 12 volt and so on. Wow.
          Good info on here and thanks to all for the good reads.
          They are brain washed into thinking everything has to be new and up to date. We have A owners that think the same way. They want the 90 year old car to drive and feel the same way as their 3 year old car does.

          Restore each section to the same specs as new and you will have a safe, dependable, car that will be a joy to drive. I like it that my A does not drive like a new car. We have a member of our club that his olny car is his A.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by dmdeaton View Post
            greater Cincy Ohio
            You can add your general location in your profile settings
            3 ~ Tudor's
            Henry Ford said
            "It's all nuts and bolts"


            Mitch's Auto Service ctr

            Comment


            • #8
              Hell, Mine is practically new by now...only thing missing is shocks! I may ride dirty for awhile though...it's a truck dammit!

              Comment


              • #9
                Can I send you a 9mm derringer to fix? Firing pin not hitting!

                Comment


                • #10
                  Two things
                  1. do a search on hemmings news and also look at e-bay and old car trader.
                  2. find a club member who knows his stuff and is willing to help you inspect the car so you do not get a lemon.

                  Others here can probably chime in with good advice.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Hopefully a club member knows about a local car for sale. Don't buy one long distance without personally checking it out and don't trust those so called hired car inspectors or you'll most likely get bit.
                    3 ~ Tudor's
                    Henry Ford said
                    "It's all nuts and bolts"


                    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                    Comment


                    • BNCHIEF
                      BNCHIEF commented
                      Editing a comment
                      x10

                    • Jeff/Illinois
                      Jeff/Illinois commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Amen on THAT. We were buying an antique car once that was 900 miles from home. I thought 'Hey, I'll hire an appraiser to look at it before I buy'. What a joke that was. The owner told me about a woman that came to look at the car to 'appraise' it, and she didn't know squat about cars period. She looked at it, asked him what he was pricing the car at, he told her and she declared 'yep, that's what it is worth.' He said to her 'Don't you think you need to hear it run?' and she said 'Is that necessary? Yeah., I guess so.' The owner had to point out several paint flaws to her that she didn't see and several places where the fasteners were Ace Hardware specials (really stood out!). That fiasco cost me two hundred bucks for nothing. I went out to see the vehicle and bought it myself and had it trucked home. The owner was a super nice guy, very car savvy and very honest. We stayed friends and kept in contact!!

                  • #12
                    A buddy of mine is kind enough to share his large new wood shop with me. Each of us has an office and I have a room on the back that is our small machine shop. We just stopped by a couples home on the way back from lunch. They have a few Model T's and he is on the prowl for me local. He knows all the Ford guys in the area, including a local shop in Shandon, OH that rebuilds the T engines. We are going to go talk to him when I get back in town from working this week. Things are looking up.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Nobody has asked so I will, what do you want to do with this car, parades drive it on tours , shows etc How big of a guy are you (no offense meant) cause roadsters are a tight fit ditto for pick-ups. Two doors are my personal favorite easier to get in and out of same for 4 doors, coupes are ok but can only seat two some have rumble seats some do not personally i do not like getting in a rumble seat great for small grandkids tho. Find some thing take lots of pictures post them here maybe we can help you look for obvious things there are some really sharp guys here.

                      Comment


                      • Beauford
                        Beauford commented
                        Editing a comment
                        x2 on pickups. I'm 6ft and 175 and had to let the seat stuffing out!! LOL

                      • BNCHIEF
                        BNCHIEF commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I was thinking of you and your seat issue I am 5'7 and 185 so you know where I would be.

                      • Beauford
                        Beauford commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Haven't done back rest yet but I'm leaning to the plywood. Nice waste of $200 on the spring....live and learn.

                    • #14
                      Some good info posted. Don't be like me and jump the gun ,take your time try to drive it a ways and check for oil leaks after you park. There are model As everywhere for sale, so relax and make an informed decision. I know I know of several right now in the Puget sound area, for example

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        x2 what Chuck says...don't be like me. I am enjoying the journey but it is costly.

                        Comment


                        • BNCHIEF
                          BNCHIEF commented
                          Editing a comment
                          A it is a learning experience lot of us have been down this road. But you are taking your time and doing it right it looks good to me.

                        • Beauford
                          Beauford commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Chief is right as I can do. My painting is not the best by no means, I have 19" wheels on a '29 but I don't care and the kids love it! When I get it done my son wants me to drive him to school everyday. At six years old he will be the talk of the school. Gonna be fun!!!

                      • #16
                        I like to use a base coat clear coat any trash can be sanded out and then buffed out to give it a fantastic looking finish, street rod boys taught me that.

                        Comment


                        • #17
                          I am 6'1" 200 lb. My plans are just to enjoy this. No shows, maybe parade. We want to run around town and no touring. Drive it as much as we get comfortable with. It will not sit around. I am pretty excited about learning and working on these. Couple questions if ok here, or tell me if you want me to start a separate thread.

                          1. Electrical system, do you all leave stock for most part? Or convert to 12V? I see pics of some converted.
                          2. Brakes, I have heard some add hydraulics in place of mechanical
                          3. Shocks, do they have shocks?
                          4. Cooling system, aftermarket radiator with more tubes?
                          5. Ignition, I have heard of distributor conversion to allow modern points?

                          Sorry so much.

                          Comment


                          • #18
                            Most leave stock and maybe add a 6v alternator, Brakes are mechanical, yes they have shocks but I don't have any on mine but probably should, if the original radiator does the job then let it be, original distributor if in good order I'd say keep. I have a Nurex repop and works well as my original was toast.

                            Comment


                            • #19
                              Ok, lets start with A. Your size says '28/'30 Tudor as it is the easiest to move the seat back for your driving and entering and exiting pleasure.

                              1. The stock 6v electrical system is adequate providing you are not driving entirely at night, and live in a suburban area.
                              2. The mechanical brake work very good for the weight and driving speed of the car.
                              3. They do indeed use shocks, and if you don't have a car with them, at least put something on the rear as a minimum.
                              4. With a properly clean cooling system, you should have no problems keeping the engine cool.
                              5. I have found that the reliability of the stock distributor is unsurpassed.

                              I have done some modifications to my car that I feel is best for me, but still have other things I would like to do but can't afford to do and will wait til I can. Each owner gets to learn their own cars little quirks and understands just how much the car will take and works within those areas to make it as safe as they can. Remember, these cars are 80+ years old and none except the very carefully and costly restored are perfect, and those folks that own those have taken pains, years, and moneys that they will never be able to recover to make those perfect cars.

                              I say the '28/'30 Tudor because to move the drivers seat back 2in only takes reversing the seat post mounts, OR replace with a 4in set back by changing out the same mounts. This may only be good for the '28/'29 as I am not exactly sure on the '30.
                              You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

                              Comment


                              • #20
                                Originally posted by dmdeaton View Post
                                I am 6'1" 200 lb. My plans are just to enjoy this. No shows, maybe parade. We want to run around town and no touring. Drive it as much as we get comfortable with. It will not sit around. I am pretty excited about learning and working on these. Couple questions if ok here, or tell me if you want me to start a separate thread.

                                1. Electrical system, do you all leave stock for most part? Or convert to 12V? I see pics of some converted.
                                2. Brakes, I have heard some add hydraulics in place of mechanical
                                3. Shocks, do they have shocks?
                                4. Cooling system, aftermarket radiator with more tubes?
                                5. Ignition, I have heard of distributor conversion to allow modern points?

                                Sorry so much.


                                1. The original 6v pos ground system works fine no need to change it. Tom Wesenberg thats here on the forum makes an EVR (electronic voltage regulator) which goes inside the generator to automatically compensate for the correct needed amps. This is all i would recommend adding to the stock system. This will also compensate for night driving automatically.
                                The original style generator has an adjustable 3rd brush which would get moved manually for day to night driving.

                                2. A properly set up and functioning mechanical brake system will skid the tires. This is one area that can cost some $$ and time if an overhaul is necessary. Switching to hydraulics is costly also so why not keep it period correct and you wont have to worry about fluid concerns, leaky cylinders and clogged brake hoses etc

                                3. Yes they have shocks and this is another area that can cost you a G-wiz if your's are missing. There is a modern tube style conversion kit available but that will alter the original look, your call

                                4. There are two main players for radiators Bergs and Brassworks
                                Bergs makes a radiator that cools better than the stock and Brassworks makes an original looking one fin wise with the stock cooling capacity. You can buy direct from them cost 750
                                in your case i would go with the Bergs
                                stay away from the other ones out there ,,,aluminum jobs on ebay etc. remember other than cooling you need a good fit or your hood etc wont go back correctly and your basically screwed

                                5. The original style points are easier to adjust and those modern wireless lower plates will let you down or cause driveability issues. I would stay stock with the wired lower plate.

                                Last edited by A-doctor; 08-14-2017, 10:08 PM.

                                Comment


                                • #21
                                  I have 6" adjusters in my tudor lots of room

                                  regarding the 5 questions i think the last two posts helped answer them.
                                  3 ~ Tudor's
                                  Henry Ford said
                                  "It's all nuts and bolts"


                                  Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                                  Comment


                                  • #22
                                    Join a club if you haven't the clubs do activities and you will find a lot of people to help you. Myself i am not much into parades they are hard on cars clutch engine overheating etc. Clubs will do short tours this is where you all get together drive your car to someplace to eat together and see if you like the touring side of things this is what I love to do. Think about attending the national in Branson Mo. next summer it will be a great oppurtunity to see a lot of model a", meet some of the people here. Go watch the fine point judging you will learn a lot here. There are also seminars as well as activities for the ladies and a multitude of things to do in Branson. I may be wrong but I think the fordor does not have as much belly room as the two door, I know model t's are that way. I think the two door would be a great fit for you plus more of them were made than any other body style. Posts 19 and 20 pretty much says it all and good luck.

                                    Comment


                                    • #23
                                      If you go the fordor route the Murray & Briggs body's have a complete wood body structure so make sure the wood is in good shape or your in for a resto. Checking the door alignment is one indicator of this.
                                      The slant window fordor doesn't have this intense wood structure

                                      below is pictured the Murray / Briggs

                                      Comment


                                      • #24
                                        I recently got rid of my Fordor body....AKA the "lumber wagon"....The wood alone would have cost as much as my RPU body and fenders.

                                        Comment


                                        • #25
                                          http://www.saltydogmuseum.com/
                                          http://www.ronsmachineshop.net/Home.html

                                          10 miles from me, found today!!

                                          Comment

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