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Lions Gate Model A Club
Dedicated Model A enthusiasts from across
British Columbia and Washington State!

  
 
 
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This page is devoted to Model A restoration projects that may be of interest to other members.
Please feel free to submit photos of any work you are doing, no matter how big or small.
Send your photos and any relevent information to webmaster

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John Carey's Barn Find

My friend Rob Merz inherited his dad’s collection and this Tudor was last registered 1948 when the head gasket went and while in the shop the owner died.  Bud Merz got it from the estate in 1961 drove it home and parked it in the shed, used the wheels for whatever and it sat on blocks.  We installed a set of wheels I had and she saw daylight Aug 26 2017.  Things only dreams are made of!







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Tom Spouse's Phaeton


North Van helpers Murray Cockle, Alf Cockle, Don Homer and Ralph Bower turn up at the North Van home of Tom, to work on project adding re-modeled body to his Phaeton frame.. and a push it back into his garage.



September 2017 progress

 
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Wayne Culos' 1929 Model 60-A Leatherback Restoration

Wayne has spent over 6 years on the restoration of this car. Following is his story and a photogallery showing the progress.

Click on thumbnail pictures to open/close or alternatively you can use the buttons to scroll through the set.

It all started when my brother in-law said lets go for a drive I’ve got something to show you, I had just completed my restoration of a 1975 21’ Campion boat and he figured I was bored. Well we went to one of his businesses storage sheds and there in the corner was this very sad looking model A. He said there you go that’s a car for you, I said thanks but NO, he said it’s yours and we’re taking it to your home shop today, its yours!! After more back and forth the car ended up it my shop, pushed into the corner where it sat for about 3 years.
After completing some other projects and much gut churning on how a first timer would proceed with such a restoration chore, it was time. Soon after I started another friend came along and told me that there was a 1929 2 door A for sale in town and I should buy it - just what I need another car. Well I went and looked at the 29, it was disassembled and did have a few parts that I needed (radiator, tranny etc) and more body parts, so I bought it! Now my plan was to sand blast the second frame, powder coat it(Terry Heselton) and start from there, transferring parts to the fresh frame, onward.

Body wood:
Pulling apart the 28 leatherback was frightening. As you probably know the leatherback’s leather rots out and water seeps in everywhere, causing much of the wood to rot and metal to rust. I was trying to save the body wood for patterns for the new wood, I very carefully pulled all the nails from around the windshield header, took many pictures, because you could tell that this was a complicated piece, anyhow it turned out that the header had been replaced with  fir 2” x 4” crap! This is where I decided it would have to be a purchase of the body wood.
The door wood was somewhat better, although difficult to remove. Bought some yellow cedar from a local sawmill and proceeded to make the door wood, bought more cedar (3 times), took a lot more wood than I would have thought and about 2 weeks work per door. Milling yellow cedar gives quite a pungent odor, love it or hate it, ok in small batches tho. Started assembly of the purchased body wood with no instructions. Found a body wood parts diagram from another company on the internet selling the body wood, just enough info to get me through the process.
Made/repaired the front door post attachments, as everything in that area was badly rusted.

 

Engine:
Got the motor out, disassembled, cleaned, mag fluxed etc. no cracks. Took the block to Vernon for new Babbitt bearings, I question that decision now, time will tell. Back at my shop, assembled the motor with new valves/adjusters, hard seats, rebuilt oil pump, distributer, water pump etc., a local shop milled the head for me, hoping for the best.

Metal work:
I’ve always liked metal work so it wasn’t as scary, but bodywork, that was foreign. Bit by bit the new MIG welder became a friend, as did the pick and file tools and I can honestly say she’s “bondo” free, just glazing putty used. One of the most rewarding parts was making all new metal for the top and wrap around sides, 5 pieces in all that support the leather, using 3 borrowed wood mallets and a lead shot filled bean bag. I would describe my best metal work skill as being “grinding” as you can always weld up.

Paint time:
I did all the painting outside of my shop, to be foiled many times by rain, bugs, lack of experience. Just when I would start to get some confidence I bought buy a new and more expensive spray gun and wonder why I did that, learning curve all over again!!!

Roof and upholstery:
Installing the leather(vinyl) was a pain, again no good instructions available, Used factory instructions for a 31 Vicky, which did provide some help especially around the back window. Took about 3 weeks of hanging 20 lb cannonballs, springs and using heat guns to get the leather as what I describe as good as I could get it, on. The hideum and gutters trimmed it out nicely. Bought carpets from vendor about 4 years ago, called vendor at the time asked if they would fit a leatherback, oh ya, there all the same was the reply, well 4 years later they are not all the same, the rear carpets were not even close, recently had to make 6 paper patterns and send them away, new back carpets arrive, they are now installed and fit better than the front carpet.

So here I am with 700 nails pulled, 700 nails hammered back in, the wiring all done, windows in, fenders/running boards going on, inside upholstery done, I bought new seat springs and did the seat upholstery in the basement 2 years ago, upholstery gun very handy tool! Six wheels sand blasted/painted, whitewall tires mounted ready to go. Cowl lights on, head and tail lights ready to mount, hanging of the doors for the final time, door upholstery still to go, but getting close to the big day after 6.5 years and I don’t know many hours or how much cash has been consumed but it doesn’t matter as it’s kept me off the streets, I Guess!

 

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Monte Robinson's Heater Installation

The Model A did not come with a heater because of expenses and room for installation, according to Henry Ford's plan for that period. Other plush cars did have heaters and so be it. I have found a place and method to install a heater in the smallest of cars.

A motor cycle oil cooler or water cooler for the engine. They are small enough to fit under the seat, at least for my coupe. I found one on Speed way magazine and other parts stores that would fit and installed it under my seat. I made sure of the size, including the hoses, fan and the fittings. I measured the whole system and installed it. The heaters come in different configurations, such as hose fitting nozzles, height and length.
The installation should be measured for hose connections that would not be comprised. I drilled holes in the seat riser so that 2 hoses would pass through with rubber grommets to protect the hoses. I also drilled 3 1 !/2 inch holes in the front of the riser to allow the heater blower would pass through to the cabin. The heater should be secured to the front of the wooden section of the riser. I put a wood stand-off to secure to the riser and heater. The hoses should have shut-off valves to regulate in the spring and summer. I used gas valves for the ease of operation and also used 2 clamps for each connection. I also insulated the entire cavity to prevent heat loss.
The motor is a 6 volt, 6 amp, 2200 rpm motor which measures 3 inches diameter as well as the fan blade. I used Teflon paste for the connections that are connected to the outlet and inlet to and from the radiator hoses. The fan blade does a satisfactory job, but can be improved by using a propeller blade for the 1/4 inch motor shaft. The propeller blade produces more CFM than the multi-blade provide with the motor. The blades should be the same diameter of the motor or enough to clear the seat above.
The heater has another comfort in that it heats the seat as well as the cabin. The motor was strapped to a rubber coated wood piece to the floor. The rubber was to avoid noise problems. It is very quiet and the whole system is operating as expected and nice to travel on the cold and sunny days for me and my bride.


Click on thumbnail pictures to open/close or alternatively you can use the buttons to scroll through the set.

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Brian Thompson's Engine Installation

One of the benefits of belonging to our club is the terrific support amongst fellow members. If you have a problem with your car, you can be sure that help is on the way.
Brian Thompson had everything ready to replace his engine, but medical problems prevented him from completing the task. Four of our club members showed up at his door one day and said "we're here to change your motor over". Over a two day period, the team of Tom Spouse, Don Homer, Alf Cockle and Ralph Bower had the old engine out and the new one back in and the car was soon on the road.

In Brian's words, "I can’t begin to tell you what an emotional lift it gave me at a very low time in this situation and I will be forever grateful. The car seems so much more to me now and has been driven more this year than the total time i’ve owned it until now.



Well done guys!
Sadly, Brian passed away January 5th, 2016, but thanks to our guys was able to enjoy driving it for a few final months.

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Al Glen's 1931 Sport Coupe
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

before
April 2011
January 2015
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

completed chassis - Jan. 2015
Body on frame - March 2015
October 2015



The finished product - 2017.
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Hugh Hunter's 1929 Pickup - April 2015    
     
     
     
     
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