Well, here we go. I am going to put pressure on myself to see if I can get one of my Moons ready for the Moon meet in March. It’s 8 weeks until the meet on the weekend of March 19th & 20th. My objective is to get the 1925 Series A Moon Roadster started and road worthy (?) by that weekend.
I am not a mechanic or body shop person by trade nor have I learned everything needed to do all the work but that will not stop me as I WANT to learn as I go along. With the help of my friends in the local Model A club that I belong to and with Ron Moon’s advice (who has restored a number of his own Moons over the years) I will jump into this project and force myself to learn what it takes to do repairs and total restorations of these cars.
First, a little bit of history on this Series A Roadster. I am the third owner that was bought new in St. Louis and has spent its entire life in and around the St. Louis area. The original owner lived in south St. Louis (only a few miles from where I grew up, but I didn’t know anything about it) and he and his family owned the car until about 10 years ago. They had stopped driving it in 1970 and had “put it away” in a garage at that time. It was sold to the second owner, who put it in a barn on a farm. There, the mice, spiders, and dirt-dabbers had their way with the vehicle in the open barn. I heard about the car a few years ago from a friend of and I contacted the owner about the car. Long story short, a year later I bought the roadster. I have had it in my shop for over a year without doing anything to it other than to get the mice out of it and lightly washing the dirt off the exterior. The car is very complete, solid and in original condition as far as I can tell. It even has the original Moon mat! The one exception is the brush on paint job the original owners wife did to the car back in the late fifties.
Because it seems so original, I am not going to “restore” the car at this time but just go through it enough to get it running and safely drivable as long as I don’t run into any major issues. We’ll see how that goes over the next 8 weeks.
What I am attempting to do in getting it drivable is the same thing our local Model A club when we have our annual “Start-up” party with a Ford Model A that typically hasn’t been running for 20-50 years. Our club has done 17 of these start-ups and with the help of 5-15 hands on “mechanics” and another 80 people watching, we have gotten the targeted Model A started and running down the road in less than 60 minutes. Since I am newly retired and only having a couple of my Model A friends on hand during some of this process, I am going to take that 60 minute process and most likely turn it into an 8 week ordeal. While I want to work on it as much as I can, I know that if I get a few hours or a day on it a week I will be lucky. That is what happens when you are retired, you try to get one thing done and six other things pop up in your way that takes your attention from the task at hand. I have experienced that already in my 6 months of retirement.
Here is my list of things that I believe I must do to meet my objective of “getting the engine running and make the roadster drivable in a safe manner”.
Take a look and let me know if I forgot something and need to add it to my list!
Starting & running the Engine
- Clean the car of the dirt & crud from 40 years of storage including 10 years in an open barn.
- Drain & replace all fluids – oil pan, transmission case & rear end
- Inspect & replace the battery cables and other electrical wires needed to start the car
- Inspect the exhaust system and make sure there are no obstructions
- Inspect & test/flush the radiator for leaks and replace the hoses
- Replace the fan belt (it’s a leather belt that is about to fall off)
- Inspect the starter, distributor and water pump – oil & grease where needed
- Inspect & clean out the carburetor and vacuum tank
- Inspect & clean out the fuel tank and fuel lines (install a temporary I gal tank if needed)
- Lube all levelers & rods that control the starting and operating of the engine
- Install a new 6v battery and start the engine!
Make the car safely drivable
- Pull the wheels and inspect & grease the wheel bearings
- Inspect the steering system & front end and lubricate where needed
- Inspect the brake system (Remember in 1924 they started putting on 4 wheel hydraulic brakes)
- Inspect the tires & wheels –replace the tires and tubes
- Inspect & replaced the wiring where needed throughout the car for working lights
Week 1 – This week I put the roadster on the rack and raised it up to get a better look at the underneath and start the process of cleaning it up. I also started the process of draining and replacing the fluids. Check out the pictures that I took. Each week I hope to provide another article in this series until I get to my objective or I run out of time before the Moon meet in March. Come back each week to see if I have done anything on the roadster OR if I got sidetracked and messed around on something else.
Please feel free in adding your comments to my articles and pictures for this project…good or bad, post them so we can all see them and learn from this process. Just remember; when you post a comment, there is a process where I have to approve the posting before it shows up on the website. Unless there is bad language I will get your posting approved as soon as I can.
Thank you and LET’S HAVE SOME FUN WITH THIS,