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Bringing 1931 Roadster back to life

Guest Bob Leonard

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Guest Bob Leonard

I have a few Model A repair questions.

First, a little background. I restored a 1928 Model A pickup when I was about 17. My dad gave me a true junker and said that I could have it if I rebuilt it. I disassembled it (to the frame) and reassembled it. I had professionals do the chromework, woodwork, inside engine work and similar "craft" jobs, but took it apart, put it back together, and did a lot of the engine work myself.

But that was almost 50 years ago and I have no confidence in my memory about quite a bit that the things that I did with ease then.

I traded the pickup in on a 1931 Sport Roadster long ago and drove it occasionally for years. Almost four years ago, I moved and put it in a shed. Now I want to get it running again with the help of my son. This is all to say that neither of us has as much talent or skill at this as I would like. I would appreciate some help.

Obviously, the fuel system is a first concern. We removed the carburetor and soaked most of it in carburetor cleaner. I blew out the various vents and tubes with my compressor.

The gas (what there is left of it, has pretty much turned to varnish or gone to where deceased gas goes. I intend to siphon whatever is left out.

What else do I need to do to the fuel system? Is this something that I need an expert to do? In the day, I took apart and repaired several "A" carburetors and don't remember any particular problems.

Next, I will approach the electrical system. The battery (rather obviously) needs to be replaced. I intend to replace the spark plugs just for good measure and to reset the points. I intend to have a new condenser handy, just in case. What else do I need to do to the spark delivery system?

Next, I will change the oil and grease everything that I can find that has a grease fitting.

What am I missing?

Also, please feel free to point me to any publications, books, or forums that would help. If anyone wants, I would be happy to chronical our "adventures" in getting this car rolling again. As much as I want the car going again, this is more about doing a project with my son.

Thanks for any response. I can be reached at bob@bobleonard.com if someone wants to respond outside the forum. Also, I apologize in advance if you see this in multiple forums, but I intend to publish it in at least three to improve my chances for a good response.

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If there was varnish in the carb, then you can be pretty sure the gas tank is going to be full of crud too. Be prepared to clean out the tank.

Electrically, I'd recommend cleaning every wire connection in the car. Bright and tight is the way to go!

I'd recommend that you purchase Les Andrews repair manual http://brattons.com/product.asp?P_ID=3330&strPageHistory=search&strKeywords=andrews&numPageStartPosition=1&strSearchCriteria=any&PT_ID=all

The manual describes everything about taking apart and putting a Model A back together. It also describes how to set the ignition timing, which is something you'll need to adjust.

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Guest Bob Leonard

Thanks, Pete. I'm making notes as I go and your the only one to mention cleaning out the gas tank and tightening up all the electrical connections. I will order the manual.

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