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Projects Drdave accidentally buys a Model A. Now what?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by drdave, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Depending on what brakes you are talking about the bolt pattern fits the later brakes Ford '40-'48 and Lincoln about that period and that is the bad part. Bad because most people don't realize that you need an adapter so the wheel is properly supported, https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/40-ford-wheels-on-a-model-a.750368/#post-8330045

    Charlie Stephens
     
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  2. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,166

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member



    If it is going to be an around town driver why not just keep the mech brakes? if everything is adjusted properly and lubed they work quite well. You know what Henry Ford used as a sales pitch in 1938 when other car companies had gone to hyd brakes?

    "The safety of steel from pedal to wheel"
     
  3. Fred A
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 276

    Fred A
    Member
    from Encino, CA
    1. Upholstery

    Is this one of those threads where negative opinions are not considered? I have a pristine Town Sedan that doesn't seem like any kind of a candidate for rodding in that it weighs so much with serious wood. Might as well be an old Chevy, only without the rust. Models A are so cheap in my opinion that a sportier body style seems to be a better place to put my money. Laundry list hop ups work best where the really get something for your money and effort. Go for it if you don't expect much. Good Luck: Fred A
     
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  4. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,178

    sloppy jalopies
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ditto on the long ford small blocks... ballpark measurements from 2 projects back, hope it helps !
    . DSCN1468.JPG
     
  5. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,541

    Squablow
    Member

    I've also heard really good things about the "floater" kits for mechanical A brakes, it's supposed to be a very straightforward bolt-in deal that could be done in less than a day and should improve the stopping power quite a bit. If you're not going to radically lower the car or change the suspension beyond the point where the mechanical brakes won't work anymore (some suspension modifications will ruin the geometry, but a wheel change and reverse spring eyes should be fine) that's another option for better brakes which might be easier and not take the car off the road for so long.
     
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  6. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,861

    alchemy
    Member

    If you really want the 35 wires, it's best to use a brake setup that can fit a 40 Ford drum. Those repro Lincolns would be fine too as long as you use a 40 style drum. The old Ford wire wheel fits over the hub and drops down over the face of the drum in a fashion that only the 40 style drum works best. If you use a 48 drum (hubs on the outside) they are likely to have balancing weights on them which are in the way of the wheel's outer mounting face. You can grind the weights off, but that's probably making the drum out of balance.

    You will also need to buy a set of support rings when running the old wires on hydraulic drums. They take the place of the little nubs found on the original mechanical drums, which are missing from the hydraulic drums.
     
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  7. Great quote! I hadn't given too much thought on keeping the mechanical brakes, just assumed juice was the way to go. You guys have given me something to think about on that. Wonder if the stock brakes will clear a dropped axle or if reversing the eyes is as far as I can go on the front? Hmmm.....more research to hunt up. :)

    No sir, all comments welcome. I was the picked on kid in school (and am still a dork and not anywhere close to "cool kid" lol), so I don't get my feelings hurt easy. LOL I agree with you Fred. I think it's a good looking car largely as it is and mostly want to just adjust the stance a bit and maybe a few more ponies just so it moves away from the stop light a bit better.....of course, my lack of experience on a manual trans, never mind one that double clutches is probably the bigger hindrance at this point. LOL Not expecting or intending a whole lot out of this and certainly not looking to make a pure hot rod per se out of it, just give it a bit better attitude. :)
     
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  8. jerseyboy
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 634

    jerseyboy
    Member

  9. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,368

    manyolcars

    The mechanical brakes can be brought to a point of perfection such that you can skid all four tires. The problem that it requires way too much effort and that level of perfection degrades quickly. Mechanical brakes have many many wear points and the wear is cumulative. Self adjusting Bendix brakes are installed once and can be ignored for years especially if you use DOT5. I was a maintenance man for many years and one thing you learn is that maintenance men prefer a maintenance-free lifestyle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,516

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'd say less changes are more outside of maybe the B engine and juice brakes.

    There is a slick little A in this area that runs with the Model A club to a lot of events and parades that runs 35 wires and may have juice brakes but I haven't checked it that close. It looks right and just a bit cooler than the stock wheel A's it travels with. I think that is the way I'd leave that one. Slick little local cruiser that you can take to local events and maybe even on a Model A or other vintage car tour but they all don't have to be road burners that can keep up with the Rolling Bones brigade for days and miles on end.

    When I drove out to the mailbox last Friday there was a vintage Rolls touring rolling up the highway with it's polished bare metal hood and all. Got down to the Branding Iron and there was a Simplex and Fiat touring about the same age stopped for lunch after coming over the pass. In town there was what looked like a Stanley Steamer parked in front of the Mexican restaurant (one of) in town. They were on tour to some event or the tour was the event. Meaning you can have kick ass fun with old cars and not have to run 80 down the highway.
     
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  11. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 13,086

    straykatkustoms
    Member

    Great thread! Now I'm not the only kustom guy being introduced to the Hot Rod life style.
     
  12. Congrats Dave! Two words... or maybe two letters and 2 numbers... V8 60!
     
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  13. Looks like the most appropriate way to approach this will be to first adjust and make sure the mechanical brakes are working to their best, get some decent tires on some 35 wires, adjust the stance and get to driving while I contemplate driveline. Somewhere in there I'll likely throw an interior kit in it.

    Had a succesful trip to the swap meet last weekend. Got a stack of 35 wires for cheap, a T rear spring and even a nice set of 1930 Arkansas plates a friend of mine had set aside for me from his collection when he found out I bought the A, so with any luck the numbers will be available and I can register it under those plates. Next step, get a set of wheels cleaned up and made "Straw" (I learned over the weekend that the proper color name is Straw not "Yellow" LOL) and call Coker for some tires.

    IMG_6034.jpeg
     
  14. Look's like a great haul, Dave! How are you planning to clean those 16's? I cleaned mine thru electrolysis. I bought my Firestone bias ply's, tubes and liners thru Coker and got nearly a $100.00 Alliance member discount. Next time you talk to your "license plate collector friend", see if he has some for my '29 please. Keep up the good work!
     
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  15. I've contemplated just dropping them off at the powder coater and having them blast and coat them if they can do the right shade of yellow.

    I'll ask Lee if he has any '29's. Of course, he doesn't guarantee that they are registrable. ;)
     
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  16. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,861

    alchemy
    Member

    Make sure to spin those wheels on some straight hubs before investing any more money on cleaning or coating. Most of them are bent, but some are only minor and can be straightened.

    Might want to invest in one of these: https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Speedway-Steel-Wheel-Rim-Repair-Wrench-Tool,2691.html

    And how about a color other than straw? Maybe that darker color of the beltline would be good? Add some hotrod flavor, while still being stylish. Note that all the latest trendy colors are actually old muted grays and greens like originally came on Model A's.
     
  17. Thanks for the tip on the tool.....I'll be getting one of those. I know there are a few spots along a couple of the rims that could use a tweak. I'll be sure to spin them first, as well, thanks for that.

    Tell you the truth, I kinda prefer the straw wheels. I've looked at a lot of pics and I like the look of the straw over darker color ones. My main inspiration pic from the beginning has been the one Vern did for his book. I know they ended up changing the yellow wheels for black, but comparing back and forth, yellow gets my vote. Call me weird. LOL

    hot-rod-your-model-a-vern-tardel.jpg
     
  18. Just a bit of trivia you probably already know. In my opinion, the '32 4 cylinder hubcaps look the best on those wheels. Stainless steel ones are available for about $100 a set from most of the suppliers or put a wanted ad in. See attached picture. The rims in the photos are 18 inch (1932) but they look about the same.

    Charlie Stephens

    IMG_8156.jpg IMG_6316.jpg
     
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  19. Another thought. The 16 inch wheel won't go into your fender well. Either use the 21 incher as a spare or use the 16 by letting some air out. Be sure to remember to carry a tire pump. It is obvious but don't reinflate the tire once it is in the well or you will bend sheetmetal. On the other hand when is the last time you had a flat with good tires?

    PS, If you are still trying to decide on tires I like blackwalls, they cost less and are easier to keep clean.

    Charlie Stephens
     
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  20. My 1st plan was to get my 16's blasted and powder coated straw to match the pinstripe on the body and dash but after finding out that the nearest place would be in Morrilton and how much they wanted to do them, I painted them black. After I get the hydraulic brakes on, I plan to use '40s solid 16" wheels anyway. Love that look with dog dish caps and beauty rings!
     
  21. What prices are you getting for blasting and powder coating? Did you get prices from more than one place? Often times businesses just don't want to do anything out of the ordinary and throw out a high price hoping you will go away. It has been a while but I would expect about $200 for five.

    Charlie Stephens
     
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  22. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,861

    alchemy
    Member

    I wouldn't even blast five rusty wire wheels for $200, let alone coat them (I'm not a professional). It would take me an hour each in my blasting cabinet to clean a wheel, and it is real work.
     
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  23. Unlike California, there are just a few places that will do this kind of stuff. It was a couple of years ago but the one's that were actually willing to do them, as I recall, were in the $150.00-200.00 each range.
     
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  24. Had a reality check while out for lunch. Stopped by a local powder coater. After a lot of talking about not being able to show him the wheels he said probably about $125 each. Prices have gone up more than I expected since I last had a set done.

    Charlie Stephens
     
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  25. $125 a wheel is more than I was hoping. They are no fun to blast that’s for sure.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  26. DrDave,

    What number did you get quoted for the powder cost, just curious? Remember don't try to run the solid wheels on the mechanical drums or you will damage them. See https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/40-ford-wheels-on-a-model-a.750368/#post-8330045

    Charlie Stephens
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  27. I haven’t gotten a quote yet. I’ll need to check for trueness and tweak some lips and spokes with the tool mentioned above first. My brother in law does quite a bit of business with a coater, so maybe I’ll get a good deal.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  28. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    I would drive the wheels off of it as is.
    Sometimes you need a stocker to really realize what a hot rod is.
     
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  29. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,053

    51 mercules
    Member

    I like the 4 Cylinder hubcaps too![​IMG]
     
  30. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,053

    51 mercules
    Member

    Wow! A few years ago I got mine powder coated for $50 a piece in San Bernardino.
     
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