Category: 1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe

Stromberg 97 and Secrets of Speed Scalded Dog Manifold Upgrade for the 1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe

Stromberg 97 and Secrets of Speed Scalded Dog Manifold Upgrade for the 1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe

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Some time ago before my Dad passed away we had chatted about what upgrades might have been done to the coupe back in his days. He was born in 1936. Before I managed to get the parts my Dad sadly passed away.

So as a bit of a tribute I bought the following parts


Stromberg 97 Carb – from Dave O’Neil (O’Neill Vintage Ford)
Scalded Dog Manifold – from Charlie Yapp (Secrets of Speed)
Chrome Air Scoop – from Dave O’Neil (O’Neill Vintage Ford)
Facet Electric Fuel Pump – Carbuilder.com
Petrol King Fuel Pressure Regulator – Carbuilder.com

Fuel Pressure Gauge – Carbuilder.com
Braided Fuel Line – Carbuilder.com
Copper Fuel Line – Amazon
Rubber Fuel Pipe – Carbuilder.com
Various Connections and Unions
Jubilee Clips -Screwfix
Fuel Pump Relay – eBay
Rocker Switch – eBay


Parts I already had


MSD plug lead set and tool
Modern distributor cap
Wire and connectors

My friend Austen fabricated the required new throttle link rod from the dimensions provided by Charlie

First job is to remove the existing manifold and carburetor

This is a Model B carburetor fitted by a previous owner, this carb has had a brazed repair in the body which whilst a bit rough and ready worked fine.

These inlet manifold fixing bolt holes where not used with the original manifold, but are needed for the new one. These were cleaned out with a tap.

The carburetor and manifold were assembled and bolted into place

First attempt at wiring the fuel pump and the use of braided fuel line. This looked quite bad as the wiring was temporary to get home from my friends workshop. I didn’t like the look of the braided line.

Decided to go with copper fuel line with rubber termination to solve any issues with engine movement that may cause leaks.

The fuel pump and regulator fit nicely in the chassis rail, these were removed to change 90 degree elbows for a better pipe run

First attempt with copper/rubber fuel pipe as you can see the wiring is a lot tidier, you can also see the pipe run between the pump and the regulator. The wiring will be tidied and weatherproofed further. Use of the screwed connector has been chosen to make a pump change on the road easier.

This is a view from above, quite tidy but still not happy! Too much pipe run above the exhaust manifold and the carb feed pipe is not secured enough for my liking.

At this point a leak from the sediment trap was noticed, caused by the failure of the gasket

The reproduction item is made of neoprene but a horrible fit and had to be cut to fit. Bowl and trap were cleaned and then reassembled

Wasn’t happy with the throttle feel so spaced with some fibre washers, a lot better now. The throttle also stuck a little, so the joints on the rods were lubricated and Clive at Stromberg provided a nifty little solution to snap the throttle shut. This also doubled as a safety measure as per Charlie’s advice in case of linkage failure.

As you can see runs very well, starts better, warms up quicker, very happy.

More once I get a few trips under my belt with the new set up.

Another Pandemic Project!

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Part of the no car show side effect of the pandemic is that you are kind of forced into doing the stuff you have been putting off for years, last year and earlier this year it was interior trim, this time it’s painting!

The rear end of the chassis, ancillaries, lamps are all freshly painted.

Also added is the new to me 1929 Penna licence plate along with the strengthening of the original number plate and fitting reflector bolts.

Noisy Speedo Sounded Like Something More Serious

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Took the Sport Coupe for a Sunday run, and about 5 minutes in there was a loud noise consistent with a transmission issue.

Investigation

Got the car back to base, jacked it up and put it on stands. Once safely in the air I drove the car in first and second gears, and the noise seemed to be coming from the speedo area. Another symptom was the jerky operation of the rolling Stewart Warner speedo display.

The power to the car was switched off , speedo cable was disconnected and the dash assembly removed and taken to the bench. You can the reproduction chrome dash in this slideshow

The speedo and other items were removed from the current dash assembly as the opportunity was taken to replace the repop dash with an original heavily patina’d item obtained from an auction in Holland.

The speedo was extremely notchy in operation so some 3 in 1 oil was applied to the gears and the speed spun over a number of times. This seemed to do the trick, but until the car is driven again it will be hard to tell.

OEM dash

All the items were moved into the new (old) dash assembly including a new repop script ammeter, which was a terrible fit requiring two cardboard shims to be made for a tight fit. The dash was then refitted and the lamp, ammeter and ignition switch all tested after switching the power back on.

The car was once again run up on the jack stands and the noise had disappeared. Once the testing was finished the car was lowered and road tested, again the noise was no longer apparent and the speedo operation was smooth. Happy all round with the easy fix and the original dash in place

Tune Up for the 1929 Model A Sport Coupe

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As it looks as if the car show circuit will begin to slowly open up in 2021, it was about time to give the Sport Coupe a bit of a tune up. Plus some pinking/detonation had been present under heavy load on the last few times out.

First task was to break out the tools to make life a bit easier.

1/ NuRex timing wrench

2/ D&B Quick Point Gap Setter

First off the points gap was checked and found to be within specification

Please note these are the “modern points” however the tool works on both types of contact breakers. Prior to adjusting the points they were given a quick clean with some emery cloth, the distributor cam was lubricated and few drops of oil added to the distributor oiler.

The NuRex wrench was then used to set the timing, following the clear and simple instructions on the tool

The instructions state to have the spark lever all the way up, this works better for me with the lever one click down. They also state to make two turns, however I’ve always found that one usually does the job. You’ll need to see if either of these suggestions work for you as results will vary from vehicle to vehicle and may be better to use settings on the tool first time out

As you can see the result was a very pleasing idle with good power on road test afterwards, will need to see if the detonation issue is cured.

1929 Model A Sport Coupe Door Trim Improvements

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The Coupe was missing most of the door furniture and the trims are not really correct

The door cappings and trims were removed and inspected

The trims were cut to allow the door lock escutcheons to be fitted, as the door trims are incorrect repairs had to be carried out to allow the fitting of the door furniture

At this time the holes to allow the fitting of the footmans loop checkstraps were also created. The trims were then fitted to the car. The window winder handle locking pin holes had to be reworked as they were too small for the pins to be fitted. Some slight adjustments were made to allow smooth operation of the windows. Otherwise all is well.

1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe Seat Back Refurbishment

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As with the seat base the seat back on the Coupe had also had some previous “attention”

Once the cover and padding was removed the inspection began with a clean up

Once again the dangerous sharp fencing wire was removed and again a number of the springs were in need of repair

Again the springs were given the foam treatment after repair

An extra foam support was cut to sized and added to the top of the seat back for additional support for the springs at the top of the seat back

Webbing was also added for further support, belt and many braces!

The hessian base was then attached to the seat back springs using hog rings, along with the extra foam support.

The foam and wadding was then attached using hog rings and a little tape to keep the shape whilst the cover is being installed

The cover was then installed using hog rings as per the norm.

Some more foam was added to the he rear of the seat back before the vinyl on the trim was glued and refitted

The set back was then test fit into the Coupe.

Again this is how we did this and it worked for us!

1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe Seat Base Refurbishment

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Here’s the process we used to restore the seat base on the Sport Coupe

1929 Model Sport Coupe Base Underside

Removing the cover, foam and padding which was attached via a combination of nails and hog rings. Once the cover was removed the details from LeBaron Bonney were found and the production date was 1997

The seat base had clearly been worked on before and as we began the strip down we found that some interesting repair methods had been employed, now it may be that some of the repair work had been carried before the aftermarket luxury that we enjoy today.

The chicken wire or fencing had been wired onto the springs of the seat base, this was very sharp and not easy to remove.

Once all the wire and other detritus was removed if was found that a number of the springs were broken. These were repaired using metal brake pipe

To add additional support to the springs they were stuffed with high density foam which also has the added advantage of making the seat more comfortable and quieter in operation.

Once the foam was added to all the springs webbing was added and the hessian base was applied via hog rings.

The layers of of foam and padding were then added and secured with hog rings and stitching

Before the cover was refitted a number of repairs were required, including a new piece of material dyed with tea to match.

The cover was then put into place and secured with staples from an air powered staple gun and the edges stitched in place, rather than the previous effort which was damaged by the use of hog rings. Some tape was added around the edges for a neater finish. Once this was completed the base was test fitted to the car.

This is not the way that everyone would do this but it works!

Model A Ford Sport Coupe Interior Trim Refurbishment Part 2 – Rumble Seat Area

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Once the trims had been cut to fit the next task is to refit them and the rumble seat. There were a few areas that needed painting and an arch bolt to be ground off as it was too long and was fouling the trim

The rumble seat floor mat was the first item to refit once it was given a bit of a clean up with trim cleaner.

Next up were the side trims, these were also given the clean up treatment

Right hand side trim on the way in

Trims and rumble seat now reinstalled

 

 

Model A Ford Sport Coupe Interior Trim Refurbishment Part 1 – Rumble Seat Area

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The Coupe has had a previous interior restoration that wasn’t of the highest quality, and in fact it has the wrong trim kit fitted, this is evidenced in a number of areas.

The side trims in the rumble seat area whilst fitting well in this area do not fit into the passenger space correctly. So the rumble seat and trims were removed.

Once removed there were a number of bolts that were too long and were interfering with the trims.

Once the trims were out of the car the glue was removed from the vinyl to allow the pieces to make them fit correctly to be identified and cut to size.

The cut edges of the trim were cleaned up with sandpaper and the vinyl was attached to the new trim edges. Yes the clamping was a little agricultural but it did the trick.

It’s odd that the wrong kit was fitted as it’s a genuine LeBaron Bonney item, may it was from a clearance sale? 🙂

Stay tuned for the next instalment!

 

 

Model A Ford Sport Coupe Seat Rebuild Part 2

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Once the seat spring was inspected, the wear and tear and the damage was repaired

The broken springs were repaired by clamping metal brake piping to repair the breaks. The clamps that clamp the coils to the seat spring were removed, straightened and refitted. The missing nail securing the seat spring to the wooden frame was replaced and the others tightened. For a 90 year old spring set it’s not too bad!