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Projects 28/29 Model A pickup project

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by JB401, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    I’ve had an itch to build a hot rod for a number of years now. A few months ago I picked up a fairly complete, but disassembled 28/29 Model A pickup that is in overall good shape. I have been lurking in the shadows here for a while but figured it was time to create a thread to document my progress and gather advice.

    This will be my first stab at a traditional hot rod build. I consider myself handy and tackle my automotive jobs myself but have never built anything from the “ground up”. I am constantly changing my mind but my current plan is to see if I can get the four banger going and run that for a while if all checks out. Might add on a few mild speed parts if so. It does turn over so I have that going for me. The pickup will be fender-less with ‘35 wires and bias ply tires. Big and little possibly? Tossing around a juice brake conversion as I have acquired some backing plates and drums over the past few months. I need to get a wood kit to assemble the cab and find a better bed as mine is pretty darn crusty. Other than that I’m trying to keep things fairly simple to start so I don’t get overwhelmed right off the bat. My goal is to have the pickup on the road by next year in some form or fashion.

    I’ll take any good advice or input that anyone may have. Biggest first question is should I try and get the motor running as it sits or pull the head and pan off first to inspect/clean? I’ve received mixed opinions on that thus far. Thanks for reading!

    3267D4D7-5A4D-473D-A88C-DE6A0B88CB8C.jpeg F75A50EF-D393-4538-89B4-1ADAA17BB2BA.jpeg 180FB5DC-FB06-4A52-9DFB-1C90F964C481.jpeg 7F251104-0890-41E3-9EB5-D6F2B8BB3299.jpeg 5B97BAD4-2B28-41FE-90BF-814CEABFA709.jpeg 7A9B8925-AE8C-40D7-A8A7-5E491100C639.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  2. blue motor may be a rebuilt already. is there a tag?
     
  3. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    I will have to check it out later today and look for one. Thanks for the tip
     
  4. Pull the head,and have a look at the cylinders,valves.Replace the head with one of the aftermarket high compression heads.Later add a touring cam,intake/carb.Have the fly wheel lightened.
     

  5. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Thanks for the input Steve!
     
  6. Aaron D.
    Joined: Oct 27, 2015
    Posts: 951

    Aaron D.
    Member

    If it were me, I'd try to fire the motor. It's already mounted and looks like it wouldn't take much to try to run it. If it fires, that will give you a ton of motivation to get the truck together.
     
    modelacrazy, chevy54man and Budget36 like this.
  7. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,685

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    A couple of things: you can use a 12v battery and jumper cables to turn the engine over. Talk to Steve at Bert’s Model A in Denver (800321-1931) about individual wood pieces and consider doing your own top profile with white oak. Mine has a 6-1/2” stretch so it was easier to do a bobbed flatbed.

    Most of all, have fun! FF2CD621-AFAD-4793-9558-BD67B3E43675.jpeg
     
  8. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Thanks for the advice on the motor and wood kit! I must say I am very tempted to try and fire the motor as it is because of it being all there and spinning free

    Nice truck you have there Denis!
     
    modelacrazy likes this.
  9. you won't hurt anything trying to start it first. just take the plugs out and put some tranny fluid, marvel or light oil in each cylinder and rotate the engine to lube the cylinders before trying to get it running
     
  10. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Slow progress on the pickup thus far but it’s time to start making some headway. I blasted and powder coated the ‘35 wires and pulled the trigger on some new Firestone’s. Went with 600-16 up front and 750-16 in the rear. Now I can roll the chassis around without dealing with a flat and can dial in on the ride height. Reverse eye front and rear spring are ordered. Once I get those I can mock up the 32-36 front axle I have and get that bolted in.

    I also messed around with the motor a bit. Had two stuck valves that I was able to free up with some marvel. I rigged up some quick wiring and am able to get the motor to turn over on its own but I have no spark at my points. I checked my voltage and I have 6 volts at the points but no spark. Any suggestions?

    85043F84-8BC2-42B9-9D92-7F26675B12F7.jpeg 9FC82F40-E38A-4009-854D-653598F81FBD.jpeg D53B5C7F-624D-44FD-B15A-31482611ADCD.jpeg 4E6ED23D-8D43-4077-B173-20675A03555C.jpeg
     
    hfh, ClarkH, modelacrazy and 6 others like this.
  11. Kelly Burns
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 669

    Kelly Burns
    Member

    Wheels and tires look great! Excellent choice!
     
    slv63 likes this.
  12. Jason Mitchell
    Joined: Sep 4, 2020
    Posts: 40

    Jason Mitchell

    Looks like youre off to a good start. You have a nice foundation to work with.
     
  13. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Thanks for the kind words! I just ordered a handful of ignition bits to hopefully solve my no spark problem. I’m leaning towards it being the condenser but ordered a new coil, points and lower plate as well just in case. Really want to hear the motor run before I pull it to clean it up
     
  14. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Alright I need some guidance from the Model A gurus. I wired up some temporary wiring to try and get the banger to fire before I pull it out. I have the motor turning over on its own (when I press the “button” on the back of the starter solenoid) but I have no spark at the points. New ignition switch, ignition cable, condenser, coil and coil wire, points, point block and lower plate. The wiring was a mess from the start so I started fresh. I’m assuming I wired something wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The pictures are hard to follow as I used black wire but here is a rundown -

    -Positive ground from battery to back of transmission
    -Negative wire from battery to terminal on starter solenoid (PO installed this)
    -Wire from starter solenoid (same post as negative battery cable) to passenger side of terminal box
    -Wire from drivers side of terminal box to negative post on coil
    -Wire from positive coil post to ignition switch
    -Armored ignition cable from distributor to ignition switch

    B72760E4-7E28-4E1C-B4D1-3674B886D81A.jpeg 9DB7E3A0-492F-4042-9EE9-88027B510018.jpeg 8A5511FA-D158-4A17-B9E5-FC7DC3945578.jpeg
     
  15. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,307

    badshifter
    Member

    Looks like you don't have power going to your ignition switch? seems to be wired so the coil is hot all the time and the ignition switch is making the contact from coil to distributor.
    The way I see it your ignition switch wiring goes to the coil and the distributor. So the coil isn't getting power from the switch, but straight battery power. The switch should get power, and send it to the coil.
    Right now you don't need the junction box.
    Run a wire from the battery terminal on the starter to the ignition switch. Then from the other terminal on ignition switch to the + on the coil. Then from the - on the coil to the distributor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  16. TheeKeithAllen
    Joined: Nov 10, 2020
    Posts: 2

    TheeKeithAllen
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If your wiring is correct, make sure you’re not grounding out at the wired connection for the points on the bottom side of the upper plate. I recently rebuilt my distributor and had this problem with the new parts. A quick check, there should be no continuity between the the points and the upper plate when the points are open. Hope this helps.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  17. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Thanks for the responses! I appreciate the help and will give it another go. This is my first time messing around with one of these motors so I am constantly learning
     
  18. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Changed and simplified my wiring based off of badshifters advice this morning. I now have 6 volts at my points but still no spark. Something must be shorting/grounding out. Going to keep digging around to see what I can come up with.

    74C829D5-BB3A-48C3-80A5-B64EADDC4E76.jpeg
     
  19. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member



    Partial success was achieved today. Got the motor to fire for a few seconds (with the help of some starting fluid). Blew a bunch of debris out of the exhaust which was nice. I never cleaned the carb so I’m going to give that a quick cleaning tomorrow and give it one more go. I didn’t hear anything that was overly concerning during the short period it was running. Thank you to everyone that took the time to give me suggestions thus far.
     
  20. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,683

    chevy54man
    Member
    from NC

    Love your Model A truck and everything you are doing to her! Looking forward to updates, best to you man!
     
  21. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,955

    wheeldog57
    Member

    Mint bro, keep at it. The banger will run, they always do!!
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  22. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,972

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Fantastic result. So what did you discover the reason for no spark?
     
  23. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Thanks everybody! Hearing the motor fire definitely gave me some more motivation.

    Believe it or not I think my no spark issue was caused by my NEW lower distributor plate and attached wire. The wire that connects the lower distributor plate to the upper was a bit long and it appeared it was grounding out on the inside of the distributor wall when the upper plate was turned. I ended up using the old lower plate and soldered on a shorter wire for the time being and it seems to be working and not hitting the inside wall of the distributor.
     
  24. Dedsoto
    Joined: Jan 7, 2014
    Posts: 95

    Dedsoto
    Member
    from Australia
    1. Aussie HAMBers

    that fan belt must be rock hard! check out the monthly banger thread for hop up inspiration
     
  25. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Go, man, go! Looking forward to cheering you on!
     
  26. Aaron D.
    Joined: Oct 27, 2015
    Posts: 951

    Aaron D.
    Member

    Not sure if you know but the timing is adjustable with the lever on the steering wheel. It may help you keep it running next time you start it.
     
  27. JB401
    Joined: Aug 30, 2020
    Posts: 141

    JB401
    Member

    Slacking on posting...Since my last post I have stripped down the chassis to a bare frame, blasted, primed and now in the process of getting some black paint on it. I had some other bits blasted at the same time as the frame. Goal is to work on getting it back to a roller. Need to finish paint, assemble the ‘35 front axle with square back spindles and backing plates I have next. Then I need to look into swapping the A banjo rear to juice brakes. I’ve researched a handful of methods (rotate/clock the backing plate, flip it upside down). Anyone have any success with one method over another?

    A9A41929-CF33-4A67-B4E8-1920848B78FA.jpeg 9A4EE3C8-0E27-496B-BA4B-B6FE019E9880.jpeg E1A911BF-48A7-4C34-BE90-78643F72B736.jpeg 30E0CB01-BFDB-4AA7-B82D-608EEA0A771A.jpeg 637EDF8C-2BA4-477D-809D-B1E30325E26D.jpeg
     
    kidcampbell71, Tim, ClarkH and 8 others like this.
  28. little juanito
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 10

    little juanito
    Member

    Lookin' good JB!! There's a warm place in my heart for Bangers. I went another way on my '31 pickup. 283 powerglide Pontiac 10 bolt but yours is gonna be the stuff dreams are made of -- keep plugging
     
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  29. ...nice project, I really like A's,..your shop is way too clean & organized. woodart 2020 092.jpg woodart 2020 253.jpg
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  30. Travis latour
    Joined: Jul 7, 2015
    Posts: 165

    Travis latour
    Member
    from Putnam CT

    looks like you have an eye for style, i can tell. id go with the rotate method for the rear backing plates. really not that involved. theres a book that has all the info. ill take pictures from the book for you when i get a chance.
     

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