Tag: O’Neill Vintage Ford

Oil Pressure and Vacuum Gauges for the Sport Coupe

Oil Pressure and Vacuum Gauges for the Sport Coupe


To add to the limited instrumentation of the Model A oil pressure and vacuum gauges are a useful addition.

The oil gauge is a new unit from O’Neil Vintage Ford as is the gauge mount which fits under the existing dashboard

The vacuum gauge is a vintage Feeney & Johnson unit from eBay at a very reasonable price

The gauges were then test fitted into the mounting

A good fit!

On to the installation

First job is to remove the oil gallery plug (seen better days!) Was a bit concerned that this might be difficult to remove, however no issues with the removal.

The fittings provided with the gauge were then checked and Permatex sealer applied to block fitting and PTFE tape to the pipe fitting. The pipe end was a little rough, so a clean up with a file was required. The two fittings and pipe were then installed. Applied a bit of a bend to the pipe to ensure clearance with the throttle linkage.

The capillary pipe was then run through the firewall via the wiring grommet and then routed in the wiring clips

Again the end of the pipe needed a adjustment with a file once again. Another point to note is that the fitting at the gauge end cannot be fitted unless the gauge is removed from the mounting. Again sealer and PTFE were used to avoid leaks

The vacuum gauge was a more simple affair, just a matter of teeing into the vacuum wiper pipe under the dash and then securing the gauges.

On initial start up, both readings are good. Need to bear in mind that the 1929 Model has a non pressurised oiling system, so the reading on the gauge relates to the oil flow into the valve chest, however a good indicator of circulation. The vacuum reading at idle is well within specification.

Oil pressure reading warm is acceptable for this engine. Had a slight leak at the gauge end after testing, easily fixed by tightening.

Will see how they perform on the next run out!

Accessory Hood Prop For the Sport Coupe

1928-36 Black Bonnet/Hood Prop Kit A-16608-PC

Ever since one of the bonnet/hood clips came adrift from the radiator it’s been impossible have both sides open at once. To that end a black hood prop kit was purchased from O’Neill’s

The kit is of good quality with all the hardware required for a quick installation and has options for wide or narrow applications. For the 1929 Model A utilises the narrow option

The cross bar attaches to the radiator support rods

A quick measurement to ensure the bar is level

The support arms are bolted to the end of the cross bar, as mentioned above these are the shorter arms for the narrow application. As you can see the edge of the hood sits in the coated part of the arm.

Now fitted the kit gives the option of having both sides open in a tidy and safe manner. One thing to remember, be sure to fold the support arms before closing the hood.

1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe Dash Rewire and Happy 4th July!


Happy 4th July!

Decided it was high time the dash wiring was replaced as it was pretty much the same age as the car!

As you can see it was a bit crispy and the ignition switch wire was badly chafed and liable to cause a short.

The dash loom came from O’Neils and the ignition switch wire is a home made item with some loom braiding for protection.

Probably the biggest pain of the whole job was having to disconnect the speedo cable as removing the dash made the whole job a lot easier.

Pro-tip don’t leave your magnetic torch on the exhaust when you road test the car (ask me how I know :))

Whilst the dash was out it was a good opportunity to lubricate the speedo and tighten the ignition switch which can work loose and also make the dash light wire a bit safer as it’s showing its age.

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


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

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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.

TV’s Car SOS feature a Model A Ford – O’Neill Vintage Ford


Dave O’Neill the owner of O’Neill Vintage Ford one of the premier sources of all things old Ford here in the UK has recently been featured in the Nat Geo Channels Car SOS series. You can see Dave’s really nice set up here

Dave’s 1930 Model A Sedan is featured in the programmes opening sequence.

Read the full story here



Back to the Future (well kinda :)) Part 1


After the breakdown on the way to Wheels Day 2017 and some diagnosis the Pertronix module was the culprit (well the symptom anyway :))

This is the second module failure, so it’s back to points which as least can be fixed on the road. I’ve gone for the “modern points” setup by Nu-Rex, “modern” is pretty amusing as the new plate contains the 1957 onward Ford V8 points as opposed to the original 1929 setup.

Before I began I set the timing to TDC via the timing pin as per usual on the Model A I then started to remove the Pertronix system

During removal I found that the lower distributor plate had been deleted, a bit annoying as I’d ordered the upper plate from O’Neills. Luckily John Cochran had a used item I could use (thanks John :))

I’d also ordered the recommended longer pigtail for the lower plate, this is recommended to alleviate the stress on the original which is a little short and often fails due to fatigue. So after desoldering and drilling the old pigtail was removed. Then it was a matter of a little cleaning and soldering to get the new item fitted. As my car has no pop out ignition switch I further modified the plate to securely fix the hot cable to the plate by drilling the dimple which was designed to contact the original pop out switch.

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Once all the modifications were completed I installed the plate into the distributor.

Lower plate installed

The pigtail was connected to the points contact ensuring that the connector was not able to accidentally ground to the distributor housing.

Also checked that the timing advance lever was in the fully retarded setting at this point

Next the upper plate was installed taking care to wrap the pigtail around the cam spring whilst making sure not to pinch the cable.

The upper plate will only install one way into the tabs and groove and should turn freely.

Nu-Rex Modern Points Upper Plate Installed

See the next episode for rewiring, points adjustment, timing and hopefully an engine start.

Looks like she’s dead Jim…


A day after the trauma of the breakdown on the way to Wheels Day, the investigation began!

Still refusing to start and having no spark I decided to swap in a known good coil, lo and behold the car started and I was able to reverse out of the garage having to push in the day before.

After letting the car idle for about 10 mins it decided to cut out and refused to restart.

Knowing that the Pertronix is very sensitive to correct voltage I decided to charge the battery, however the car still failed to start and still had little or no spark.

So the decision to go back to points is confirmed and the parts are on order from O’Neills

Alternator Update


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As mentioned in my previous Alternator post I called Nu Rex in the States and they were very friendly and helpful.

They advised that I’d have to split the Alternator to be able to tighten the belt pulley which in turn locks the fan pulley in place. It’s apparently very rare for one of the pulleys to come loose. I’m wondering if the clearly incorrect fan belt was part of the issue?

Nu Rex advised that the centre of the belt pulley should not be shiny if the belt is the correct item or not worn out,  as you can see we were wide of the mark on both counts!

I was also advised that the standard Model A Fan Belt is the correct item, and also to re black the pulley with a marker, which once it becomes shiny again will indicate belt change time.

Popped up to Simon’s and both he and his Dad gave me a hand to tighten the pulley and also lent me a piece of welding rod to lock the brushes in place to allow reassembly of the unit.

Correct fan belt was ordered and has been delivered from the ever reliable O’Neill’s Vintage Ford

Weather permitting I can get the unit refitted tomorrow

I’d like to get back mobile as there is a car rally/breakfast event at the nearby Wellington Country Park Farm Shop on the 11th September.


Kill Switch


Finally got around to fitting the kill switch on the Model A. With a car this old it’s nice to be able to kill the electrics when parked in the garage, this saves lifting the floor boards each time to disconnect the battery. Nifty bracket from O’Neill Vintage Ford which utilises the starter bolt, vintage style kill switch courtesy of eBay.