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What's the difference between a 28-29 and a 30-31 Model A?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by spudshaft, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. spudshaft
    Joined: Feb 28, 2003
    Posts: 438


    Generally speaking? I think a 30-31 is wider? Do a lot of the body parts interchange?
  2. Smokin Joe
    Joined: Mar 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,711

    Smokin Joe

    Look at the sides of the cowl. 28/29 has that curved indented portion. 30/31 doesn't have this. Easiest way to quickly tell them apart. [​IMG]

    The frames are interchangeable all 4 years with minor variations. You can put a 31 body on a 28 frame.
    28/29 bodies are different than 30/31 so things like doors won't interchange. There are also Briggs and other bodies to add to the confusion. All the smaller pieces were changed as Henry saw fit and some things changed in mid year or were held over. Mirrors, step plates, horns etc.

    2 door sedans and closed cab pickups use the same doors. At least in the 30/31 cars.
  3. Honest
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 159

    from Dallas Tx

    Rod and Custom magazine had a very good article how to id years and body styles.....I dont remember which one...but someone will remember.
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  4. The 30-31 cowl is more like the 32,while the 28-29 cowl is more like the 27.I think the belt line is slightly different,and the 30-31 has an extra bead that runs along the bottoms of the doors.Rad shell is different,and I think the hoods are different lengths.
  5. Darwin
    Joined: Oct 14, 2002
    Posts: 505


    There aren't all that many body parts that will interchange between 28/29 and 30/31 on a roadster or otherwise. The 30/31 is a bit wider in the cab. The fenders, splash aprons and boards are all different. The firewall configurations are completely different. Headlights are different and the very early tailights are different from later ones. Fuel capacity is a bit smaller on the 28/29. All I can think to add for the moment.
  6. rod and custom feb 2001 is the one you want...`model a spotters guide`
  7. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 2,792


    -The big firewall difference is that 28/ 29 gas tank IS the upper firewall and cowl, while 30/ 31's have a one piece convex firewall.
    -The trunk lids interchange
    -30/ 31 have longer doors, different beltline, etc.

    On a side note, most folks call 1928 Ford Roadsters 29's, but there is a difference- 28's have no outside door handles!
  8. chromedRAT
    Joined: Mar 5, 2002
    Posts: 1,714


    not to hijack the post, but how do you tell a 28 from a 29, and a 30 from a 31?
  9. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,432


    From what I understand, 1928 cars had forged running board brackets and in 1929 they switched to stamped steel brackets. front fender brackets could be either stamped or forged. So if tha car still has running boards you can reach under and check which kind of bracket it has.
    somewhere in there they put rubber motor mounts in them too.
    1930 had a two piece apron with a seam above the front ede of the running board and the 1931 had a solid one piece apron. these can be swapped but the body has to come off to do it so it's not usual. (Except on DRD57's coupe, I think his are switched years)
  10. 1928-29

    Attached Files:

  11. 30-31

    Attached Files:

  12. zonkola
    Joined: Nov 29, 2002
    Posts: 567

    from NorCal

    It can be tricky to pinpoint the exact year on a hot rod A. For example, take the naughty-looking model A coupe right above this post. It's a '30/'31 body, but which? Because it has a deuce grille shell and no fenders (not to mention a '32 frame) you can't go by the grille shell ('30s and '31s are different) or the splash guards (two piece vs. one piece).

    Unless this coupe has a teardrop-shaped indentation on the firewall that only the late-year '31s had, I'm not sure there are any clues left. To make things even more difficult, Henry was known to 'use up' parts from a previous model year on the current year's model to reduce costs, so there are exceptions to many of these rules...
  13. zonkola
    Joined: Nov 29, 2002
    Posts: 567

    from NorCal

    By the way, that chopped '30/'31 is badass!
  14. 4port
    Joined: Aug 3, 2003
    Posts: 22

    from dallas, tx

    The most important difference is more leg room in the 30-31.
    Try riding in a 28-29 roadster if your over six feet tall.
  15. 4port
    Joined: Aug 3, 2003
    Posts: 22

    from dallas, tx

    All 28-29 cars have the assembly date stamped on the drivers side firewall.
  16. sedan_dad
    Joined: Nov 13, 2002
    Posts: 255


    When ever I see a bitchin' ride like that 31 coupe it reminds me of the morons who ask "What color you gonna paint it?"There are so many folks who just don't get it.
  17. Cword
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 728


    Other 28/29 differences are the tail light shape, (drum vs tapered) and the anti-rattler bulge in the rear of the splash apron. also the front fenders are different, the early fender is "round" where it meets the splash apron the later one has a squarish corner. To make this subject even more muddy we could add AR's

    Attached Files:

  18. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,026


    My 28 does not have a number stamped on the firewall, but does have a body number stamped under where the original seat riser was. canadian built A's were put together with those square headed screws, don't know what they are called, if anyone gives a shit.....Scott
  19. flt-blk
    Joined: Jun 25, 2002
    Posts: 4,502

    1. S.F.C.C.

    My truck is a 31 (Had dimpled firewall) with 30 aprons (Yes it has fenders).
    It's titled as a 29 because that's the only title I could find.

    Sometimes I call it a 30 and sometimes I call it a 31. I just agree with the idiots that call it a 32 Deuce because that's the only phrase they know.
  20. 28rpu
    Joined: Mar 6, 2001
    Posts: 250


    Just remember that the first Model A's were built in 1927. [​IMG]
  21. One way to tell a 30 from a 31 fenderless rod or body is to look on the firewall inside the car behind the gas tank. If it has 2 steel plates about 2" x 4" where the radiator rods attach to the firewall it is a 31. 30's don't have these reinforcement plates.
  22. kolor me kustom
    Joined: Jun 5, 2003
    Posts: 204

    kolor me kustom
    from Dallas, GA

    Cword, funny that you should mention AR , I just purchased a 29 Tudor from a guy here local I got the car and two parts cars with some extra parts and frames , He mentioned that the 29 was a AR ? How do you determine that ?, the frames look to be the same with the exception of some different bolt holes in the frame.
  23. Cword
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 728


    AR's were early production, built in late 27.
    The two major differences are a large red steering wheel(which lends them the name "red wheels") and the location of the handbrake. The hand brake mounts to the driver left on the frame rail. the body sub frame has an elongated hole, which later in '28's was covered with a riveted patch. also the tranny won't have a hand brake mount.

    (my dad has been sitting on an AR Phaeton for my entire life.)
  24. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 9,646


    MY Dad has been sitting on an AR pickup almost my entire life. Coincidence. Other AR differences I know about include the higher rear window in the pickup, beavertail rear fenders, powerhouse generators, tapered top edge of hood louvers, and bumpers without the connecting bolts on the ends.

    Kind of fun searching out AR parts at swap meets. My brother collects A stuff, and likes to use AR stuff if possible (so the restorers don't get it).


  25. flash
    Joined: Mar 12, 2001
    Posts: 579


    Now this is a good HAMB topic! Does the rule about no outside door handles ona '28 roadster also apply to roadster pickups? I have a 28-29 rpu, would like to determine the exact year.
  26. Cword
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 728


    Flash, I would expect so, but I'm no authority. Neither of our '28 pickup's has door handles (the stocker or 1149).

    I haven't been on the site in quite a while , but I expect and the Maafca site have more ID tips than we do.

  27. another shot for the topic, modified to make the ID even harder for the novice crowd. I dont know where this photo came from but I like the overall stance of that car.

    Attached Files:

  28. Digger_Dave
    Joined: Apr 10, 2001
    Posts: 2,513


    [ QUOTE ]
    .... the body sub frame has an elongated hole, which later in '28's was covered with a riveted patch.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    So that's what that "patch" is for! My '28 has one; thought it was for access to the body mount bolt.

    The "square head" screws used on Canadian "A's" are ROBERTS. They are far better than conventional "slotted" screws. They will "stick" on the end of the Roberts screw driver in any position. Try holding a slotted screw on the end of a slot screw driver when reaching into a tight space!
    Wesley Laster likes this.
  29. ben_shady1
    Joined: Nov 10, 2006
    Posts: 33

    from Arkansas

    Ok so what's the differences in the Quarters and what not of the Sedans?

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