I purchased this 1928 Model A with the intention of doing some minor repairs then selling. The car was in the process of restoration by the prior owner and unfortunately he passed away before the car was completed.  

What was accomplished? he did remove the body from the frame and rebuilt the engine and drivetrain, installed new brakes, rebuilt the tie rods and drag link. 

He reinstalled the body with a complete new electrical system. His final project was installing a new roof and reupholstering the interior using original type fabric for the year of the car.  

He had plans for the body restoration but he passed away before that could happen. 

The car was not started in over three years when I purchased the car. To get the car operational I removed and cleaned the carburetor, removed the distributor, replaced the points and condenser then oiled all moving parts. I then adjusted the points, Next I drained and cleaned out the fuel tank. 

Then I installed the new battery and the car fired right up immediately! The cars engine sounded and ran GREAT!  I took the Old Girl for a spin around the neighborhood and the transmission was making major noises in second gear and I knew exactly what was going on! Whoever rebuild the transmission left out important spacers on the main transmission shaft. 

The car was bouncing like a PoGo stick because he did not install the shock absorbers?

My next project was replacing the transmission fortunately I had a rebuilt transmission on my shelf that I rebuilt years ago, and shocks were definitely needed so I ordered new shocks from Brattons

When I was removing the drivetrain I noticed that all the mounting hardware was incorrect. The mounting hardware on the Model A are grade eight, he was using lower grade mounting hardware.

On the "Up Side" everything else looks great and in excellent condition "Reason, he never drove the car" every mechanical part that can wear was replaced but whoever replaced the parts did not follow the correct installation procedures.

While the engine was removed I cleaned the engine and put another fresh coat of paint on the block. 

The downside of this project is I now have $9,843.47 invested in the car to date (1/27/2020).

This is a picture of the transmission main shaft exactly as installed. Whoever rebuilt the transmission did not install two very important items which are the  # 21 & # 44 spacers. This was why the second gear was making noise. Without those spacers the main shaft was moving forward and aft.

Fortunately all the gears are still in great condition so all I will be able to replace the missing spacers and keep for a future project. To save time am installing the transmission that I rebuilt a couple of years ago with all new internals.

I have replaced all of the above parts: 

1. Water pump with a leakless seal type (Brattons part # 12210 $139.95)

2. Modern shock absorbers (Brattons part # 24862ND $375.00)

3. Rebuilt transmission - All the original gears were in perfect condition but I used a bearing kit (Brattons Part # 10082 $157.95)

4. Newer type Model A steering column which I completely rebuilt "There will be absolutely no play in this front end! (Brattons parts # 4709 $314.95)

The first picture is the drivetrain being removed, second picture is the "New" rebuild latter model year steering column, third picture is the old "Sloppy" seven tooth steering column, Fourth picture is the entire old column then the last picture is the transmission and engine ready for reinstallation.

I then reinstalled the drive-train, carburetor, generator, water pump and all bolt ons.

The 1st picture is the "Frame Spreader" which makes installing the engine much easier, 2nd, 3rd & 4th is the engine installed, 5th is the engine painted, 6th is a picture of the new brakes, 7th rebuilt transmission and bellhousing, 8th Engine and transmission painted and ready to install.

Next step picking up the new radiator at Brattons. The powder coated wheels should be ready for pickup at Rice Tire in Frederick and then I will install all new tires.


1st picture is the clutch, brake, shift tower and emergency brake install, 2nd picture passenger side of engine, 3rd drivers side of engine. 4th picture is the worn out 92 year old speedometer drive gear, 5th picture is the stamping on the block and this is a numbers matching engine to the cars serial number. 

Installed the new radiator and ran engine for 20 minuets then topped of. Engine is so very healthy 



The following is the picture of the carburetor bowl full of "Crap" the jets were also clogged! I drained the fuel take again and flushed out.

Installed another fuel filter, upgraded the electrical system by installing a six volt 60 AMP alternator (Brattons part # 14970 $215.95). The generator just does not offer enough power for lights at night with the alternator you will have headlights that are as bright as any modern car. Additionally I upgraded the six volt headlight bulbs. 

Picked up the wheels and Rice Tire "They did a FANTASTIC JOB! If you need anything powder coated this is the place to go. The total cost for Powder Coating was $235.00 for five wheels 

I then placed the order for the new tires at Brattons. 

I AM NOW IN THE PROCESS OF "GETTING THE BUGS OUT" of the Old Girl and she drove me "CRAZY" ! 

During the test drives the car crapped out repeatedly due to fuel starvation. I thought the float bowl check valve was sticking so I removed the carburetor and replaced the valve and then reinstalled and took another test drive. Once again she crapped out due to fuel starvation ? I opened the fuel line at the carburetor feed fitting and fuel was just trickling out of the fitting? Prior I did install a new fuel filter so that was not the problem. Model A Fords do not have a fuel pump the fuel is feed to the carburetor by gravity 

Then I completely removed all fuel lines starting at the gas tank. I found the problem! it was the new fuel shut off gate valve. The valve had a large piece of crap stuck in the intake side of the valve and was blocking the majority of the fuel flow. There would not be anyway to clear this out unless the gate valve was removed

I again flushed the fuel tank. After flushing reinstalled all fuel lines and filter which corrected the problem.

The old Girl now runs like a Model A Should! 

One less Gremlin and onto other tasks and road tests

The first picture are hubcaps not "Original" The prior owner purchased them. I cleaned and polished them and now look like new.

Next picture is the original radiator cap and fuel cap. I will use the radiator car.

Will not be using the original gas cap because I can't clean out the vent holes sufficiently, and without vent holes clear the gravity feed type tank will not drain correctly which effects a free fuel flow. Remember Model A''s do not have a fuel pump.

New tail light assembly is installed "I forgot to order the new tail Light bracket reinforcing plate" This is the picture of the bracket on the drivers side" Placed the order with Brattons and will pickup when the tires are.

I mounted one of the old tires which will be used for a spare. This tire was never on the road and still has the original sticker on the tread! Thay are 39 Years old! This is the reason I purchased all new tires. The prior owner never drove the car.

Installed the new emergency brake handle assembly and a new brake light switch. I then removed the rear wheels to check and pack the real axle bearings, the bearings are in great condition. I repacked the real wheel bearings with grease. They were installed incorrectly, See blue text below.

The above pictures are the right and left axles. You can see the new brake linings and emergency brake linings. 

I did mention this before. All the brakes including the emergency brakes have new linings. 

Bottom line every mechanical component on this car has been either replaced or rebuilt. 

What I did find which was totally incorrect and dangerous.

Whoever installed the rear drum/hubs on the floating axle put grease on the axle! this is totally incorrect the axle must be totally free of any contaminates "Totally DRY" and must be torqued to 100 foot pounds.

Both axle nuts were loose! why? There must have been multiple people working on this car and did not know how to re-assemble parts to factory specifications. (The prior owner was the owner of a Ford dealer so I assume his mechanics were the people who worked on this car) 

I made a point of going over every mechanical item on the running gear and suspension. Now the drivetrain and suspension are assembled too factory specifications with correct grade eight fasteners as required.

Picked up the new tires at Bratton's. The first picture are the new tires and tubes, second is the new tube inflated so then I can tuck into the tire, third is the rim liner install on new powder coated wheel,fourth is the tires date code which is December 8th 2019 "Nice Fresh Tires" fifth picture is the beginning of installing on rim and last picture is the first tire and wheel mounted on the car.





The above pictures are the Model A Manifold heater (Bratton part # 13660 $84.95). 

These manifold heaters are actually very effective. I have personally driven the car when the outside temperature was in the low 20s and they will keep the cabin comfortable. Most important is not to have any exhaust leaks. 

These heaters are mounted on top of the engines exhaust manifold and as you can see in the 2nd picture is ducted into the cabin, the engine fan provides the air flow and the manifold air intake is in front of the engine which does assist in keeping the exhaust from entering the cabin. At idle if the exhaust is not sealed tightly at the muffler downpipe connection and the exhaust manifold attached to the engine block you will get exhaust entering into the passenger cabin. 

It is extremely important to have both these connections sealed. I use a combination of methods: 

The 1st is the connection of the muffler to the exhaust manifold, I  insert the "Muffler Connector" (Brattons part # 7030 $6.30) that fits into the muffler downpipe and the inside of the exhaust manifold then apply muffler cement to assure a leakless connection. 

The 2nd is the installation of exhaust manifold "Gland Rings" (Brattons part # 13730 $2.95) these are installed inside the exhaust manifold and inside the exhaust port of the block to prevent leaks.

The 3rd is the duct from the manifold to the passenger compartment, I use a 1 1/2 X 2" Fernco wrapped in foil duct tape, The rubber does not melt in the winter but when the weather warms up it will!. I will remove the heater when the outside temperature are in the 40s.

I received the reconditioned speedometer from the rebuilder. I then installed and guess what? It worked sporadically you ask Why? turns out the Speedometer Drive Gear is worn out! (Brattons part # 23190 $12.55) Every mechanical item relating to the speedometer has been replaced!

To replace this gear the entire rear end has to be dropped and then you have access to the drive shaft speedometer gear. The picture shows you the location of the gear on the driveshaft. 

I will not be replacing this and sell the car "As Is" This is a job that will take about six man hours and my back is in pretty bad condition and believe it or not it is easier for me to pull the engine than the rear end. 

I should have replaced this gear when I had the engine out! live and learn! I just use the speedometer Apt on my IPhone and will make that suggestion to the future owner. 

If you need to have your speedometer reconditioned call Chris Connors the expert who not only rebuilds speedometers but any type of gauge you may have, Chris has rebuild three Packard speedometers for me in the past and he is very reasonably priced his phone number is 563-210-1695.

Here are pictures of the car the body is rust free, the interior was completely redone in original type materials

The following is a scanned copy of my REAL COST to date for this project. These costs do not include my labor but I have included the majority of the labor work performed, there are allot more labor tasks that are not recorded. 

There will not be any profit when I sell this car. No complaints whatsoever as I enjoy working on pre-war cars and glad to be a part of getting one back on the road again. Whoever buys this car will have a very reliable car that he/she can drive many SMILES PER MILES for years to come

The car was sold for my exact cost of the project and the person who purchased will have a reliable car for many years to come, and now we have another Model A back on the road!