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On the road again—Got My A Roadster back in action after a 30 year hiatus!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ChevyGirlRox, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. ChevyGirlRox
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,490

    ChevyGirlRox
    Member
    from Ohio

    When we last left off I was in the process of tearing the A apart in preparation to make it a safe driver. I last updated you here:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=296389

    (For those of you just joining the program I am referring to my 1931 Ford Model A roadster I pulled out of barn 2 weeks ago yesterday. The find post can be seen here:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=295376&showall=1 )

    Since I was tearing the front wheels apart pretty much completely I decided to do it right and take off the backing plates to clean, blast, and paint. I spent quite a bit more time with my favorite parts washer :D

    [​IMG]


    Needless to say the parts were a little dirty—this is the filter from the parts washer from just my parts!

    [​IMG]


    Nice and clean!

    [​IMG]


    My favorite stuff on earth, self etching primer

    [​IMG]


    In the meantime my new kingpins FINALLY arrived. They were supposed to be here Friday but got here Monday instead. Oh well.
    Getting the old ones out had been a chore!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    All ready for new ones…

    [​IMG]


    New ones installed

    [​IMG]

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    After I put those on and greased everything the seal of one tie rod end blew out completely. I decided I might as well go ahead and replace those as well. Don’t think I got any pics of that though.

    Once the kingpins and tie rods ends were installed I was ready to start putting my wheel cylinders all around and running the brake lines.
    First I had to convince my assistant the backing plates would be much better on the A rather than a hat on his head!

    [​IMG]


    Front backing plates ready for reassembly

    [​IMG]


    Getting closer

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChevyGirlRox
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,490

    ChevyGirlRox
    Member
    from Ohio

    Adjusting the brakes to zero with the help of my mama. She has learned if she wants to see me she needs to visit the garage! In all seriousness, she is great and always willing to lend a hand, preferably one that won’t get dirty :D
    [​IMG]

    I was adjusting both the tops and bottoms to zero to be adjusted once they were on the car. There are four points of adjustment (top and bottom on each side). This is what the top adjustment looks like. You can see that there are two of them on the next picture.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don’t have a good picture of the bottoms but they are little square pegs inside of nuts.

    This site recommended by Bruce Lancaster is helpful in this area:
    http://www.vanpeltsales.com/FH_web/FH_images/FH_brakes-pics/Flathead_Brakes_46-48car.jpg

    As is this site recommended by Lowcab:
    http://www.btc-bci.com/~billben/brakeadj.html

    Once they were all back assembled I put them on the car and repeated the process on the rear brakes.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was happy to see one touch of kustom in this roadster, a little bit of metalflake in brake pads!
    [​IMG]

    Once those were all reassembled it was time to run the brake lines. I got new brakes hoses for the front and all new lines. The old lines had been pure copper! I didn’t take really any pictures in progress, it was tough enough just to lie under the car and do the job :D Here are some of the progress/finished product…
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I went ahead and ran the brake line down the left side of the frame figuring I would probably convert it to open driveline someday.

    Along with the new brake lines came the new master cylinder. As I mentioned before it is from the mid to late 40s and most readily used on Kaisers. It was also used on lift trucks they tell me.
    Into my little access panel
    [​IMG]

    I had to ruin this little critters cocoon, oh well
    [​IMG]

    Bench bleed the master cylinder
    [​IMG]

    Then install. The access panel did make the job a whole lot easier!
    [​IMG]

    That was a big job, glad that is over.
     
  3. ChevyGirlRox
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,490

    ChevyGirlRox
    Member
    from Ohio

    About the time the brakes were done the electrical shop was done with my starter and generator. They both appeared to be working but to make the car dependable I felt it necessary to take them both in for a check up. Good thing I did. The starter had four dead spots and the generator was full of crap.

    Newly rebuilt and ready for installation
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Normally my guys at the electrical shop paint them all up shiny black but I’d asked them to refrain this round. I wanted them to retain their barn patina.
    Back on the car
    [​IMG]

    I also had to locate a new fan. The old one was cracked pretty bad. I’d deemed it as a weapon of mass destruction. Fortunately a guy I know just bought an A sedan and wasn’t using any of the stock parts.

    The new fan
    [​IMG]

    Now the cleanest part in the engine compartment!
    [​IMG]

    That completed putting the engine back together. It was almost ready to go!

    I didn’t get any keys with the car and I didn’t want to hot wire it forever so I decided to do some searching. I pulled out the seat and started looking hoping at one time the former owner had slipped a set under there. I found lots of interesting stuff--- a crescent wrench, a glass jar, a wooden spoon and a sign the car was meant to be mine--- a tootsie pop wrapper from back in the day! I didn’t realize they were around then but according to Wikipedia they’ve been around since 1931, how ironic! (anyone that knows me knows I love my candy :D)
    [​IMG]

    The Tootsie Wikipedia link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tootsie_Pop

    After some more searching I came upon a key! Just what I had been looking for, well, not really, this was more like a house key!
    [​IMG]

    Cool key chain for the A none the less.

    After I concluded the search I removed the ignition with hopes the local locksmith just might be able to make me a key. When I took it to him he told me not to get my hopes up, it seemed awfully frozen. About 25 minutes later he called me up to tell me it was done!
    [​IMG]

    Here is a video of me 2 weeks from the day I picked it up driving using the new key and my starter switch!
    <embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://i36.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid36.photobucket.com/albums/e46/ChevyGirlRox/Model%20A/Model%20A-%20putting%20it%20back%20together/Thurs0210pics015.flv">

    Yay, it really ran! All on its own with its own points, condenser and coil!

    That was also the first night I had the &#8216;kustom&#8217; exhaust hooked up.
    Remember my fancy exhaust? :D
    [​IMG]

    Used this flex pipe to get the job done
    [​IMG]

    The first time the car fired through it there was a bit of a mess :D
    [​IMG]

    That left only a few things left to button up. One being my worse nemesis&#8212;wiring :(
    I kept reminding myself there was very little to wire in this car, really only 4 elements&#8212;ignition, tail light, brake light, and headlights. I picked up a little fuse panel at Napa and went to work.
     
  4. ChevyGirlRox
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,490

    ChevyGirlRox
    Member
    from Ohio

    First of all I wired in a new solenoid since the once on the firewall had started to periodically stick
    [​IMG]

    A little bit longer under the car running the wires to the back
    [​IMG]

    Finishing up the headlights
    [​IMG]

    I also put in a new headlight switch because the old one had decided to work intermittently. The stock tail light isn&#8217;t working so I wired up one to get me by until a I find a stock replacement.

    With all of this done I was ready for the big show. I spent a lot of the day Saturday driving it. I probably put 40-50 miles or so on it. What a hoot to drive! I have learned a lot about the timing and idle levers and how to listen for everything to be in sync.

    Finally a day time drive!
    [​IMG]

    Sunday morning I awoke to chili temps (mid 30s) and lots of fog. It was early (5:30am), dark, and foggy but nothing could keep me from this drive I had been thinking about for so long. As I made my way over to a friend&#8217;s house to join them for breakfast, I only passed one car on a isolated county road. I can&#8217;t help but think the must have thought it was a ghost car rolling through the night in the heavy fog! After filling our bellies with yummy pancakes we headed off to the show. We took back roads to beat the traffic (which would be heavy no doubt for a show expecting a 1000+ cars with only one entrance). The A performed flawlessly on the bumpy, gravel and dirt roads. I was so proud :D The more I thought about it the more I realized this is the kind of road these cars were made to drive on! I made it to the show without a hitch a grabbed a nice spot on the tree line sure to provide shade from the afternoon sun.

    [​IMG]

    I spent the day chatting with old friends and making new ones. I can honestly say I was shocked at how many people stopped to chat and see the A. For what a 6 year old friend of mine calls &#8220;a little piece of history&#8221; it sure garnered a lot of attention. People kept telling me I was sure to win the &#8216;Survivor Award&#8217; but none were given. It didn&#8217;t matter to me though, driving the car there was all the award I needed!

    The ride home was somewhat eventful but I&#8217;ll sum up a long story by saying I&#8217;ve learned when a Model A is out of gas and backing up hills is really a reality :D

    There are things left to be done and lots of decisions to be made but I&#8217;m really happy with how the little A is coming together. I&#8217;d still like to put together a hopped up B and throw in a 5 speed. As for the fenders, we&#8217;ll see about the long, boring, cold nights in January and if they survive them :D

    Thanks to my friends and family for the help. Now I am going to sleep for a month. Ok, not really, I&#8217;m headed to Hershey! :D
     

  5. dirtbag13
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,540

    dirtbag13
    Member

    too cool ! glad to see ya got it back on the road a& havin fun with it !
     
  6. Church
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 2,819

    Church
    Member
    from South Bay

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Does this mean I need to make you a roadster shirt?
     
  7. HellRaiser
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,240

    HellRaiser
    Member
    from Podunk, NE

    You've done good Megan. Congratulations,,,


    HellRaiser
     
  8. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,974

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Sounds like a sweet little drive. You're doing good work! I bet you got a lot of rust in your face, hahaaaa.

    Leave the fenders. ;) It's very Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. :D
     
  9. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,737

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Nebraska

    Nice :D Good for you, Megan - all that hard work has certainly paid off! :cool:

    Malcolm
     
  10. fisher_man_matt
    Joined: Jul 22, 2006
    Posts: 147

    fisher_man_matt
    Member

    Congrats for finding a cool old car and fixing it yourself.
     
  11. Absolutely GREAT!! Good job Megan. That thing is soundin' good! You sure didn't waste any time gittin' 'er goin'. I'm really happy for ya. Definitely days that will be remembered!!
     
  12. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,763

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Straight up ruler.
     
  13. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,168

    NoSurf
    Member

    That is so great! Congrats.
     
  14. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471

    ryno
    Member

    congrats, as usual cool story and pics.
     
  15. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,079

    SUHRsc
    Member

    good job megan it looks great!
    see you in a day or so

    Zach
     
  16. greasemunkey
    Joined: Jul 24, 2007
    Posts: 201

    greasemunkey
    Member
    from katy, TX

    Congrat-you-frickin-lations....
     
  17. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,563

    Elrod
    Member

    WOW! I've been overseas for a little while. I didn't know you had inducted yourself into the Banger club! haha! That roadster is too awesome! A lot of period upgrades on it from stock. Very cool. Congrats Megan!
     
  18. leave the fenders, please!
     
  19. Dick Dake
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 788

    Dick Dake
    Member

    Nice Ride. I would keep that one original as long as I could.
     
  20. congrats on getting your ride on the road megan! excellent job..
     
  21. Now thats my Idea of a woman, with her own ride no less.
     
  22. Very cool Megan.

    Charlie
     
  23. Nominal
    Joined: Jun 9, 2005
    Posts: 162

    Nominal
    Member

    Fabulous effort on a wonderful car. I am big-time jealous!
     
  24. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 4,014

    48fordnut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    megan,you write as well as turn wrenches.
     
  25. hot-rod roadster
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,027

    hot-rod roadster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Omaha Ne.

    Megan, really nice job. So happy for you. It had to feel great taking it out on the road. Gary
     
  26. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,763

    hotrodladycrusr
    Member

    Way to go sweetie! I'm thrilled you got everything done in time to make your goal of the show on Sunday. Have fun in Hershey.:cool:
     
  27. Good goin Megan!! Just so you wont have to back up any more hills,Go to your favorite Auto Parts store and tell him you need a Modle A fuel pump.He can find it on the shelf next to the Volkswagen water pumps!!!!Ha Ha
     
  28. AV8Paul
    Joined: Mar 2, 2003
    Posts: 1,813

    AV8Paul
    Member Emeritus

    Nice work, Megan. You're doing a swell job on that old A. Keep posting your progress. It's a fun read.
     
  29. You just continue to really impress me.
     

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