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  • Some expert advice please

    I'm new to this forums thing and even newer to the Model A hobby (obsession). My father in law has his first car, a 29 roadster that he also learned how to drive in, he also has a 31 deluxe roadster that has been in in the barn since 64 ish that is in hundreds of parts. Do to personal and financial reasons he needed to unload the 31. To help him out, I found a buyer but when it came time, he would not sell, "I"m not selling it to someone that may cut it up" sooo after a couple of months of thinking I told him I would buy it, the look on his face was worth it. Well I have restored some John Deeres but not a car, so I'm asking the people who know. I have the frame, front and rear axle, body, hood, trans, and a hand full of parts, no engine. For the last month or so I have done a lot of reading and youtube watching and man I believe I have got the bug, but I need some direction. I want a nice driver not a show car so do I blast all the chassis parts ? I guess I just need a good starting point to get a good rolling chassis and then go from there. Hope you can help, thanks. Mikey

  • #2
    Mikey that is a huge question and basicly the answer is no, you do not need to blast the chassis as long as it is sound enough to put on the road. Everything is going to be about condition. Build it the way you want to. Most of what you do with parts will be self evident based on condition and the extent you want to go with reconditioning. Just keep it safe and have fun.

    Comment


    • #3
      You don't 'have' to do anything.
      Don't be in a hurry. Return everything back to factory specs. Take your time, if it's not 'right' the first time, do it again.
      As far as blasting everything, while not needed, when will you have it apart again? as your skills increase will you wish you had ? will you want to set a beautiful body on a rusty frame? don't warp the sheet metal by blasting. take your time. Enjoy the journey.
      Check my site for some 'where to start' info
      Ymmv
      Jim
      http://jmodela.coffeecup.com/
      http://jmodela.coffeecup.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey Mikey, WELCOME to the VFF!!

        This will become more of a hobby than a project. As Jim has stated, you will not have it in this condition again, so take special care to do it right. There is a wealth of information as Beauford will attest to, since he started his roadster pickup in about the same condition you have and is getting closer to finishing it day by day.

        Personally, I would never sand blast anything but there is the soda and media particles to be used. Be sure that when you take a part down to bare metal you get primer on it before surface rust begins, this steel is tougher than most anything you have played with before, but rust is the enemy.
        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
          Mikey; Welcome to the VFF. Congratulations on keeping your Father-in-law's dream alive. The Model A is a great car to play with while learning new restoration techniques. Although not necessary to sandblast everything, that is at your discretion. Please ensure the frame is straight and square. Doing the brakes properly the first time saves a lot of headache down the road. Some of your fellow members here may help source out a good drivetrain. As you stated, you are into John Deeres, you're ok in my books. Have fun with your new obsession. Jeff
          Twiss Collector Car Parts

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Mickey,

            1. First, with your somewhat different, specific past mechanical experience, you are already most fortunate to have come to the right place for obtaining several very helpful written Model A answers to most of your Model A questions.

            2. A subsequent fortunate step would be to try to join or get familiar with a local Model A Club, where helping Model A members could maybe "see" exactly what you are asking about in order to provide very specific detailed advice ..... always difficult for Forum members to visualize and actually "see" specific details of anyone's exact Model A problems from miles away.

            3. Learning one thing at a time by asking questions while actually watching others and actually doing each step with "hands on" ... plus reading as you go .... is a good way to learn.

            4. Some humans learn better by "Reading", some by "Listening", some by actually "Watching", some by "Doing" with hands on ..... trying to cover all bases for learning is never a bad idea?

            Comment


            • Jim Mason
              Jim Mason commented
              Editing a comment
              Some by reading. Some by watching, some have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

            • JDupuis
              JDupuis commented
              Editing a comment
              I thought no one was watching. Lol Jeff

            • Mickey
              Mickey commented
              Editing a comment
              It's Mikey I'm the other guy.

          • #7
            Some pictures would be helpful for us too see what you have!
            I drove my car for a couple of years, then it sat in a gravel floor metal building. Years of being steamed cleaned by the moisture coming out of the ground and heat inside the metal building cleaned all the dirt, grease, and oil off.
            When I started reworking the car, my main purpose was to stop the rust.
            Starting with the bare frame a week using a drill and sanding disc :-( I gave up and found a place to chemical strip the frame! When I picked up the frame it looked like brand new. Epoxy primer and black paint it should never rust again. All the other chassis parts I glass bead blasted one or two parts a day a work on breaks after work and some weekends. Epoxy primered and black paint (way too shiny) !
            When I started working on the body I contacted the stripper to chemically clean the body. I asked how far to disassemble the body, his answer was the more I took it apart the happier I would be. When I arrived at his place he said oh my!
            the largest piece was the cowl less gas tank. Quarter panels, back panel, doors, subframe,fenders where all apart! If it had bolts, rivets, spot welds, I removed :-(
            Sorry for a loooong post but it’s your project and you need to decide what you want in the end, For me I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’am driving it but not finished, This year fingers crossed. Started my project in 1981

            Comment


            • #8
              Try and find out why it went into the garage in pieces so you will know what condition the motor is in among other things. It might be that the motor is good enough to try and fire up to see how it runs. Just depends on how big a hurry you get in but I would try and restore original parts as it gets expensive buying new stuff. Restoring the brakes will be a priority as a lot of slop gets into the system from worn bushings. Have fun with it.

              Comment


              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                I think he said there was no motor

            • #9
              Have fun with the car no matter your choice, and there will always be plenty of qualified help here. We all love to help save'em!

              Comment


              • #10
                Welcome Mike to the VFF!
                It’s not that much effort or cost to clean down the frame and chassis parts. IMO i would go that way heck it’s in pieces. When your done refinishing them with your favorite product it will look slick. Being that your new to the forum thing you did great. Your question was posted in the correct area..
                3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
                Henry Ford said,
                "It's all nuts and bolts"
                "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

                Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                Comment


                • #11
                  My advice standards: 1. Join a local club and a national club. 2. Buy and READ at least the Restoration Guide & Judging Standards; the Ford Service Bulletins for Model A; and Les Andrews's red book, and cross reference these throughout your project. 3. Put it back to original and keep it that way. 4. Go slowly for a more harmonious outcome. 5. Buy from recognized reliable parts suppliers. 6. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can do this cheaply or quickly. 7. Remember this is a hobby and is supposed to be fun. 8. Never hesitate to ask questions and get varied opinions.

                  You've found a treasure store of Model A knowledge here on this forum. There are probably at least 25 guys here (maybe more) with an average of 40 years in the hobby. That alone amounts to an aggregate of 1000 years of hands-on experience, and I'll bet that's a lowball number.

                  Good luck, have fun, and keep us posted.
                  Last edited by Ray Horton; 01-16-2018, 07:12 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Welcome,
                    First thing is to make sure the frame is straight by running a string tight along the top of each frame rail. They like to sag near the rear motor mounts. Get that straight, then sandblast and paint it, then you can start adding the springs, axles, wheels, engine and tranny, etc. Restore each item before installing it to the frame, and it should take too long to have a rolling chassis. I like to use Black Beauty to sandblast my parts, then paint them with PPG epoxy primer and then top coat with the PPG color it should be. If you don't do your own sandblasting, it doesn't cost all that much to take the frame somewhere and have it done. The same goes for the springs, axles, etc. Don't let anyone tell you they need all kinds of modern changes to be roadworthy.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      If you are a John Deere guy you will do fine in my book. I had a few Jds when I was farming years a go. 720, 2010, H. and A. the A had a 1/2 inch over size bore. I was a special block.

                      Much good advice above.
                      Last edited by George Miller; 01-16-2018, 09:20 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Mikey, welcome to the forum. Take your time and make sure the chassis is done right, as already been said several times here.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          I do believe there are more unfinished A’s than there are finished ones. Be realistic about how much time you can spend on the car. How much is in your budget and expect to spend much more. Be prepared to change your plan several times. Don’t leave your lover because of your car. It’s a blast!

                          Comment


                          • #16
                            Wow, thanks so much to you all. Believe me, I'm not afraid to ask questions and for advice. I'm doing a lot of leg work and trying to get my ducks in a row. I'm looking in to joining a local club tomorrow. Thanks again, Mikey

                            Comment


                            • #17
                              Do something on it everyday and before you know it it will be done.Start the local angle by hunting for an engine,you'll run into all sorts of folks...and stuff.

                              Comment


                              • Ray Horton
                                Ray Horton commented
                                Editing a comment
                                This is really good advice!

                              • H. L. Chauvin
                                H. L. Chauvin commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Love it .... Mr. CM2's kind & brilliant advice, i.e., "Do something on it every day" ...... Mr.Tom W. and others also commented on this many years ago when asked "How to "remain" interested in restoring a Model A over the years?"

                            • #18
                              This forum thing is kind of cool, you guys are great. Let me hit you up for one more thing for now. I told you all my 31 roadster is in a box, and just today I came across a 29 rolling chassis with a running engine, now since I'm planning to go thru everything, would I be money ahead to get this chassis and swop out the frame ? Its crazy I know but..... Thanks, Mikey

                              Comment


                              • #19
                                Mikey, getting that chassis sounds ok with me. Can you drive that chassis to test it out?
                                On another matter, before you get too far in on this, do you have a title/ownership? Please check that you have a frame number, and get pictures / pencil rubbings for future needs, should the DMV need them. As that 1929 chassis / motor #'s would not line up with your 1931. If you have a 1931 title, go for it. Jeff
                                Twiss Collector Car Parts

                                Comment


                                • Mikey
                                  Mikey commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Thanks Jeff, I have the title for the 31 and the proper frame but the engine I have is just pretty much just a block with a lot of missing parts and four rusted cylinders, no head. This running 29 chasses I'm looking at has a set of rims witch I don't have also and for $2500-3k, it just got me thinking. Thanks for the advice, I never would have thought of the title thing.
                                  Last edited by Mikey; 01-18-2018, 10:09 PM. Reason: haha I forgot stuff.

                              • #20
                                If you are swapping frames be sure you have one with the 1930-31 front cross member or the radiator and hood will not fit right.

                                Bob

                                Comment


                                • #21
                                  Mikey, it would be nice to own the earlier chassis but first do as Jeff says, get the title, not only a picture and rubbing, while you have the frame bare get your local Notary over to take the pencil rubbing and notarize it along with the picture!! If the '29 comes with a title all the better, but you will find that not all the holes match up between the two, so I wouldn't buy the '29 to set under the '31, but ya never know what can be used, front axle, rear end, trans and engine are all interchangeable, but the engine/frame number will be way off for the '31. If you have the funds and space to store it out of the weather, I say save it from the scrap heap as they aren't made anymore.
                                  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


                                  • #22
                                    There are differences between the frames, and running gear. see the standards. see Steve plucker's Web site.
                                    As soon as you get the chassis home you'll take it apart to rebuild. then you'll have 2 basket case chassis. is this better than what you have now? do you have room? A frankencar isn't worth as much to me. if it doesn't matter to you then...? A running engine can still need a complete rebuild. Take your time. think ahead. Enjoy the journey.
                                    Last edited by Jim Mason; 01-18-2018, 10:25 PM.
                                    http://jmodela.coffeecup.com

                                    Comment


                                    • Mikey
                                      Mikey commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Thanks Jim, were can I find Steves website at ? not sure where to look.

                                  • #23
                                    http://plucks329s.org/
                                    http://jmodela.coffeecup.com

                                    Comment


                                    • Mikey
                                      Mikey commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Thanks, it's a nice site.

                                  • #24
                                    Do you want a show car or a driver? restoring a car to the standards is way different than building one as a nice driver.I have a 29 that the chassis need a complete restoration,found a 31 chassis that was more than I could dream for...Im getting chassis ready,and if I don't find a body I'll put the 29 body on the 31 chassis till I do..I don't care about judging or standards I'm building a driver...once I find a 30/31 body I'll swap out and ultimately restore the 29..
                                    Last edited by CM2; 01-18-2018, 11:39 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #25
                                      Welcome and congrats! You know the saying, "if it's worth doing it's worth doing right"? That goes here as well. Take each section as a stand-alone project. Frame, get the correct frame for your year. As stated there are differences that could stand in your way later. With the correct frame in hand restore it. Then move on to the front end and so on and so on. Start one thing and finish it. Move on to the next thing and the next. One more old saying, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

                                      Get the books.
                                      Take more pictures then you think you have to.
                                      Remember there are no stupid questions.
                                      and more than anything else, have fun!

                                      Comment

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