Register now to get rid of these ads!

1931 Ford AA rescue

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by trevorsworth, Jan 9, 2024.

  1. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    Hey guys! Jumping in the deep end once again. I just committed to buying this AA. I'm going to pick it up on Sunday with @RMONTY.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The seller is a lady selling it on behalf of her widowed mother in law so nobody knows anything about the truck at all. It may or may not run but the body tin and chassis look SUPER nice compared to what I'm used to, and I've been wanting a classic 1 ton so bad I can't stand it.

    Current plan is to see if it will run. If it will run, it'll get a cosmetic fresh-up, I'll build a flatbed for it and drive it like it is. If it won't run it'll probably get a later motor. I'm guessing the process to put a flathead V8 in one of these is about the same as for any other A? Has anyone done that?

    I guess I should post this thing up over on Fordbarn too, maybe I'll wait til I have it in hand and can really assess it.
     
  2. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    I got her to send me some pictures under the hood. Looks like a late 31 and I bet she will run for me with a little work. I called the shop and spoke with the guy there and he said it's not locked up and does roll.

    72659644598__294441C8-0CA6-433D-9DEC-BF6A0690904F.jpeg 72659648477__C0640E19-8C35-4EDE-A4E6-C337FE42807A.jpeg

    Can’t wait to get it home!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2024
  3. Good for you!!! I love AA's, just no place to keep one. If you want to drop a flathead in, the only real difference that I am aware of, is everything is just beefier than an A frame. If you want any speed out of her then you may want to contact Mitchell OD and see if they can build you an OD for her.
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  4. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    I am not too interested in achieving high speeds but being able to somewhat keep up with traffic would be nice. If I could comfortably run 50 that would be great for short hops on the highway to get around my local area. I’ll mostly be using this truck on my 2 mile daily commute & for mobile mechanic work within the surrounding 10 miles. If the banger won’t run or isn’t healthy the 8RT should be a good replacement as it has the 1-ton transmission already mated to it.

    There weren’t really any good pictures of the interior of the truck provided, but as I understand it, some of these were optioned with a Warford OD that would allow them to do about 60. Mine may have that… I can’t tell, the location of the shift lever is obscured in the only interior picture.
     

  5. By looking at the bed pic I don't see a Warford there-could be wrong and just am missing it though. There is an AA Ford forum that you might want to join up with along with the Ford Barn.

    I don't know how familiar you are with Model A/AA's but as far as the engine goes, if it is worn out you may want to keep it and add some speed equipment. Outside of a wagon (I think), my sedan is the heaviest car out there and I can go 50 all day long with some minor mods. Do you know what diff you have? It should be either 5 or 7:1, the 5:1 is the 'high speed' and will eventually get to 45, the 7:1 will get to about 35 and screaming. Also just remember you have to be able to stop from 50. But if all you are doing is back road around town you will be fine.
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  6. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    Once I have the truck in hand and have tinkered a bit with it I’ll definitely hop on Fordbarn with it. I didn’t know there was an AA forum, I’ll have to go find it.

    I have a T-bodied A with a banger, so I know a little about As but not much about the AAs. I had my A up to 69.9 mph according to the GPS speedometer which was quite scary.

    No idea on the rear diff yet. I assume the truck has mechanical brakes like my A chassis. I rebuilt them & after I got them adjusted correctly they are more than adequate for that little car. I’m guessing they are less adequate for the 4500lb empty AA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2024
  7. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,396

    1952henry
    Member

    Nice find! Hope you get it running.
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  8. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,396

    1952henry
    Member

    Inspect the differential, it may have some numbers stamped into it, not cast. Those would be ring gear/pinion teeth count.
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  9. If you rebuild the brakes properly then they should be fine. Yes it has mechanical brakes and as long as you drive within the engineering envelope you will be fine. If you are not hauling that much weight that is even better. I assume you know that it has a granny gear for 1st and you can probably walk faster than it goes;). I will be following this thread so post lots of pics and introduce yourself on the Ford Barn-lots of knowledge over there.

    Mike
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  10. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 2,550

    RMONTY
    Member

    Truck and trailer ready to roll for tomorrow morning. Battery for the winch charged...Check! Ramps loaded.....Check! Tire pressures checked.....Check! Should be an adventure trekking out into this Arctic Blast that is headed our way. Windchills are going to be in the teens or single digits. I am glad Trevor is bringing some help so I can sit my ass in the warm truck! :);):D
     
    simplestone and trevorsworth like this.
  11. Go get her and bring her home to a nice warm garage!
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  12. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    Well… a greener pasture anyway!
     
  13. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    She’s coming home! I’m really happy with the condition of the truck. It really only has one rust spot on the body at the bottom of the cab back. It will need to be completely re-wooded but that is OK. The doors are in great shape, gas tank is good. The radiator is toast, that’s OK. All the cool commercial stuff is there. I think it was a wrecker.

    IMG_7875.jpeg IMG_7877.jpeg IMG_7881.jpeg

    Rolls, stops and steers just fine. Shifts stiffly and the engine moved a little bit. I think it’s gonna be a runner…
     
  14. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,879

    Lone Star Mopar
    Member

    Heck yea, that'll make a nice hauler !
     
    RMONTY and trevorsworth like this.
  15. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 2,550

    RMONTY
    Member

    Flathead V8 with a T5? Spending Trevor's money for him!
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  16. It is cool and in great shape. I think the proportions are great for a truck. I have some of those wheels and love how they look. So many options- flat bed, dump bed, wrecker, fifth wheel, camper body, some sort of amusement ride.
     
    The_Cat_Of_Ages and trevorsworth like this.
  17. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    I have always loved the proportions of these AAs, the 30-31 in particular. They ooze that old school blue collar, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-shit-done attitude... Never thought I'd be in a position to buy one but here we are. I'd love to find a period trailer for it but for now we'll build a flatbed.

    Kinda kicking myself for having given away so much of my Model A stuff over the past couple of years but I went through my stash and came up with some stuff for the truck! Headlight lenses, a good Zenith carb (and a good Tillotson as a backup), a new distributor cap, spark plug leads, spark plugs, a belt, a generator, body blocks, a voltmeter, the interior door handle I'm missing on one side, a window crank, window regulators, a couple of pop out ignition cables, and a few other bits and bobs.

    I was also able to find a set of tires at a local tire shop for $120, although they are radials and will probably be kinda ugly they will be great for now considering 'correct' tires will run me over two thousand.

    If the motor runs and the transmission isn't freeze cracked, I think I can get this truck all the way back together and on the road with a bit less than $1600. The bulk of that expense will be the body wood at almost $900.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2024
  18. two thousand dollars for tires??

    and i thought buying some diamondback iis would be expensive...
     
  19. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    Six tires at $330 apiece! That’s the cheap ones.
     
    SS327 and The_Cat_Of_Ages like this.
  20. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    OK, $901 later at Eckler's, got all the body wood, plus new window channel felts and a brake rivet tool. Forgot about tax and shipping in my estimations so that was another hundred bucks but whatever.

    This weekend if the truck looks like it wants to run I'll get the radiator on order, then it's just piddly stuff from there on out.
     
  21. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 4,524

    RodStRace
    Member

    Really nice score, T!
    Hope this project responds to your touch and you can get it going quickly, easily and cheaply.
    That way, you have a driver and can get back to your long term project.
    I know all about the back burner car project. My 40 is still not running, being worked on or touched, and I mounted the body on the chassis in 97!

    [​IMG]
     
    The_Cat_Of_Ages and trevorsworth like this.
  22. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,396

    1952henry
    Member

    I asked our farm land tenant about his grandfather’s 1930 Model AA. He said still have it, do you want it? Never got down to brass tacks about it. Lingers in my mind…something about those cantilevered rear springs.

    it has been shedded as long as I know. Last I looked at it a couple years ago, engine still turned over. 4 speed still hit all gears . Now you got my juices flowing.
     
    tractorguy and trevorsworth like this.
  23. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    Go get it!!! If you have even a moderate stash of A stuff you probably have most everything you need... I found a ton of stuff in my garage.

    We were plugging away at it today. It was cold as hell and that hampered our progress badly. Item one was cleaning out the cab... I didn't think to take an after pic of this (cold) but we found some cool shit under the seat in among the rat shit and hantavirus.

    [​IMG]

    This battery gives us a clue as to the last time it was really rocking and rolling...

    [​IMG]

    At this point the engine was still stuck but had been sitting with ATF in the cylinders for about a week. We had a socket that matched the crank nut but there was no way to get a tool on it with it on the nut. We puzzled over this for a moment, then I realized there was probably a crank handle under the seat... et voila. Now- I've been lucky with 3 random pasture engines so far. Will I score with a fourth? Lo and behold...



    At this point we figured we'd better take the shifter top off and see why it no longer wanted to shift. It had reluctantly gone into second gear while I was tinkering with it in Brady, but after that trip now didn't want to.

    [​IMG]

    The old oil had turned to a solid pack of grease in both the transmission and the engine. This shit was rock solid. About 30 minutes with a heat gun was able to get it to liquefy and start draining; we chased it with some brakleen until it was all outta there.

    [​IMG]

    We got the transmission drained and cleaned out and she shifts good now. Even the detents are nice and strong, I couldn't believe it. This truck is eager to go...

    Next step was to put power to it and see what it would do. (The original wiring is all shot so we scabbed some stuff in.) Initially the starter would spin but the bendix wouldn't budge; we pulled it off, cleaned it up and got the bendix to retract and extend like it's supposed to, put it back on the engine, put power to it again, and then something died inside the starter and it doesn't even spin on the bench now. So this is where I started cannibalizing stuff off the T. With the T's good starter that old banger whirled right over.

    A basic ignition circuit, set the timing and...



    ... that's as far as we had time to go today. It was getting colder (and it was already only 28) and sleet was coming in. With a two hour drive home ahead of me I wanted to try to get out in front of the weather.

    I think the timing is just off. It wants to but it's not quite there and can't catch. Next weekend it will run... I'm very sure of it.
     
  24. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 4,524

    RodStRace
    Member

    I hope you don't have straight water in it with temps like that.
    If you replaced the engine oil too, I'd crank it and make sure it is getting lubed everywhere before putting ignition to it.
    It sounds fairly even on compression, were the puffs coming from the intake?
     
  25. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    There is no water in it at all right now - there's a huge hole in the rad haha. We were not planning to run it for long, I have a radiator on the way. We were mainly trying to verify that it would attempt to run before I continued to order parts. Next weekend it should be a little warmer and we are gonna change the oil again in both the engine and trans.

    The puffs were from the intake, just white smoke from the ATF/MMO in the cylinders. It occurred to me that the timing actually seemed right at the end (it was really trying to run) but the exhaust may be plugged. It was crushed by someone picking up the truck with a forklift. I have another exhaust to throw on it so we'll do that next time as well.
     
    SS327, Lone Star Mopar and RodStRace like this.
  26. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,396

    1952henry
    Member

    Get it going!
     
    trevorsworth likes this.
  27. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,461

    trevorsworth
    Member

    OK, got all the wiring, a radiator and yet more random piddly shit ordered. Less the top kit and interior upholstery, I have everything I can think of to make this truck a driver. Hopefully the wiring comes in before Sunday. If the truck will run and drive I will bring it back from Robin's to get it out of our way over there so we can focus on his car and get it done. I decided for now I'm just going to stabilize the little bit of rust it has on the cab and drive it like it is.

    The radiator is dinky, an ebay aluminum special. I'm not really happy with it because it won't accept a stock radiator cap. But it will get me going for now. I will either have the damaged original recored or bite the bullet on a new one from Brassworks ($1100 :eek:) once I get my credit card paid back down.
     
  28. Recore the original rad. It should be cheaper and will actually fit. Looks like she is trying to fire!!!!
     
  29. milosmith
    Joined: Aug 27, 2020
    Posts: 96

    milosmith
    Member

    Cool truck! I had a '30 back in the day. It had sat in a barn for a while before I got it. I initially had symptoms like yours. Two valves were stuck up, so the compression was low in those cylinders. I removed the side cover plate, sprayed Kroil on the valve stems. and they freed up after some light tapping and prying. That was enough to get it started. It ran good, but sometimes would backfire when you shut it off. That's always entertaining at the gas station...

    Have you removed the valve cover on the side of the engine to confirm that you don't have a valve that is stuck open?

    There's not much you can do to adjust distributor timing - usually the distributor body is rusted in place in the head. Check your points to confirm they aren't oxidized, either...

    Also, an 8 volt tractor battery does wonders to improve the starter cranking speed. Sometimes that, and a shot of starting fluid through the carb opening, are all you need.

    Oh, and mine was also a short bed like yours, with the "high speed" rear end and 4 speed trans. It would get to 30mph on a good day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2024
  30. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 4,524

    RodStRace
    Member

    milosmith, all very good information, except
    How about that lever on the side of the steering wheel? How about the dist. lobe adjustment?
    http://www.modelabasics.com/Ignition.htm
     
    trevorsworth likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.