1930 Model A Ford Tudor

In 1966 I purchased a 1930 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan from a fellow in St. Cloud and towed it home to St. Paul. I began a restoration project that got as far as nearly a total disassembly, a state that it maintained mostly for the next forty or so years, although I did work on it some from time to time.

I realized that the project would never be finished if it was up to me. When I heard that Raeburn “Dyke” Ongalo, a retired body shop owner, and a high school classmate of my sister Joanne, might be interested in doing the body work on it, I jumped at the opportunity. He had restored a number of Model A’s so I knew it would be in good hands so we trailered it to Cook MN where it got all dressed up in a new top, shiny new paint—inside and out. The body was removed from the frame for a complete rebuild. The frame too was sandblasted and painted. It also looks new.

At home again, the body was temporarily removed again and the frame rolled out to make more convenient the installation of the engine and transmission. The brakes and steering mechanism were overhauled. The refurbished radiator, new wiring and a new exhaust system was installed while the frame was free of the body.

Our neighbor, John Huber mentioned that he would be interested in overhauling the engine as well as the transmission. Wow! What luck. John is an expert mechanic with an interest in antique machinery, and has through his work, many connections with engine machine shops and rebuilders of all sorts. All are familiar with Model A components and as requested, did the work to original specs.

The engine was basically in o.k. shape but the center main bearing was shot. We decided to go ahead with a complete overhaul. Which means to bore the cylinders and fit new pistons and rods, grind the crank and true up the flywheel surface, install hardened exhaust valve seats, install modern valves and guides and adjustable tappets. To round out the rebuild, the oil pump, water pump, radiator, starter and generator have been overhauled. A master stroke of luck found a local machinist and Model A expert and enthusiast that is equipped to do the now-rare and almost lost art of babbitting and line-boring the engine crankshaft bearings.

I overhauled the rear axle and differential and replaced all grease seals. Everything that moves was restored, including all spring shackles and bushings.

Merv

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