Getting it Ready for Sale, Show or Touring

Milton J. Webb

It takes more than a can of gas and a new battery to prepare a Model A Ford to go on the road, or to get it ready for sale.


This  article provides some remedies to get your Model A going on the road.  If you're mechanically restoring your Model A, or you need technical  detail on "How To", get your Model A on the road, be sure to review the  reference material at the end of this article.


You always hear,  "It ran OK 10 years ago!" In my experience, it takes all the checks,  cleaning, repairs, and adjustments outlined below to get through the  first mile!

Here's how!


STARTING SYSTEM

Install  a new 6V battery, using the positive post as ground polarity. Remove  and clean the ground strap bolt on the frame. Install a second ground  strap from the frame to a transmission bolt. Use a heavy woven-style  cable or a #1 gauge cable with flat ends. Loosen one mounting bolt on  the starter and re-tighten. This breaks corrosion, if any.


Remove the starter switch button on top of the starter. Sand the starter button and starter switch contacts to shiny clean.


Install  a new #1 gauge cable, from the battery to the starter switch. Old  cables are usually corroded even when you cannot see the green  corrosion.


Caution: Do not use 12-volt cables on a six volt  system. Twelve-volt cables are too small and will get warm or hot during  cranking, plus the cranking speed may be very slow. I have experienced  Model A 6-volt starters cranking at 4.8 volts with a 12-volt [small]  battery cable. With a heavy duty ground cable [one gauge], the cranking  voltage increased to 5.2 volts!


It is best to test the starting  system with a digital voltmeter. For best results, acceptable six-volt  system voltage drops during cranking readings are:


Cable, batt. to starter switch0.2 volt max
Cable, batt. Pos.[+] to engine 0.2 volt max
Battery, pos. to neg.5.0 volts min
Starter draw [6-volt]300 amps max
 


If the current draw is over 300 amps on a 6-volt system, have the starter re-built.


The cranking rhythm should be smooth and energetic sounding.


IGNITION SYSTEM


Test  the ignition system by holding the coil [out of the distributor cap]  wire ¼ inch from ground. Crank the engine with the key on. The spark is  very good if it is blue and will jump at least ¼ inch. It's better if it  jumps _ inch. If it's orange, it will be a weak spark. Test and service  the ignition system as follows:


Make sure the spark plug wiring straps are intact.


Loosen the distributor lock nut and set screw; remove the distributor. Note  the offset blade on the end of the distributor shaft. Rotor location  will be re-established after replacement using the timing bolt on the  front timing case cover.


In some cases, the distributor housing  will be rusted into the head. Using two large screw- drivers, gently pry  distributor body up. Have helper gently tap the distributor with a  light hammer as you lift it with the two screwdrivers.


Remove the distributor cap, points, condenser, the upper distributor plate, and the lower distributor plate.


Check  the primary insulation washers on the lower plate using an ohmmeter.  The ohmmeter should read infinity ['1' or 'OL' on the highest resistance  scale] between the lower distributor plate and ground on the plate. If  resistance or continuity exists in the pigtail insulation washers,  replace the lower plate.


Also check the upper plate insulation on  the point pivot. The resistance must be infinity between the upper  plate and the point contact spring, with the points open. This ensures  there is no short to ground


Both the upper and lower plate must  pass these tests. If resistance exists, on these tests, a weak or no  spark will prevent startup!


Install new points on the upper  distributor plate. Make sure the point screws and nuts are tightened  during installation. Test for shorts again as described above. Test with  points closed. The ohmmeter reading should be aero or less than 0.3  ohms [digital ohmmeter]. This ensures good point contact.


Distributor plates for modern points and condenser are available from Model A parts houses.


Install  the lower plate and the condenser [original style]. If using modern  points and new condenser on the upper plate, leave the original style  condenser out.


If you are using the original style ground point  contact, make sure the distributor point block clamp is not cracked.  Tighten the 'fillister' screw to just jam the ground point contact  screw.


The Model A point gap spec is 0.018-0.022 inches. Adjust  to wider spec [0.022 inches]. This allows for rubbing block 'wear-in'.  Also note, as the rubbing block wears in, point cap closes up [dwell  increases], resulting in a slight timing retard.


Temporarily  tighten the distributor cam screw. Screw in ignition cable by rotating  the distributor three to four complete turns or until the threads are  hand tight. Re-install distributor aligning the offset slot on the  distributor shaft. With aligned slots, the distributor locking pin  should drop in. Re-install the distributor locking screw [tight] and  then lock the jam nut.


The cylinder head hole, the distributor  body, and the set screw must be shiny clean prior to installation to  maintain a good ignition electrical ground back to the battery (+).


Rub a small amount of 'cam lube' or 'dielectric grease' on the cam leaving a small blob behind the point arm rubbing block.


Check  the coil polarity. In a Model A, the wiring from the starter switch is  connected to the coil (–). The coil (+) is routed to the ignition  switch. From the switch, the primary wire goes to the distributor.


If this is not wired correctly, coil maximum and reserve voltage may be low resulting in ignition misfire under load.


With  the engine off, retard the spark lever [up]. Remove the timing pin and  re-install with the round point facing inward to camshaft. Watch out for  the fan while cranking to locate the timing notch.


With key off,  crank engine by 'bumping' starter switch. Note, the rotor turns  counter-clockwise. Crank engine with starter until you feel the timing  pin drop into the notch; it may jump on past as you bump the starter.  Stop at this point and put transmission into high gear. Have your helper  push the car backwards, just a little, to turn the engine. As you push  it backwards you will again feel the timing pin drop in and slip by just  a little. Then push car forward very easily until the pin just drops  in. This forward motion also removes all gear lash for timing accuracy.  Put transmission in neutral, so the engine won't turn during your  adjustment of the distributor cam. Also, don't crank with starter at  this time.


Now, the distributor is set up to fire number one cylinder.


Loosen  the cam screw. Install rotor and rotate cam until it points to number  one in the distributor cap. This is about the 'four o'clock' position in  the distributor cap as you look towards the right side of the engine.


Remove  rotor. Turn cam [screw loose] until points just start to open on number  one cylinder. Remember, the cam will be turning in the  counter-clockwise direction. Tighten cam screw gently trying not to turn  the cam on the distributor shaft. The shaft will turn in the clockwise  direction as you tighten the screw. For now, this is good enough to  start the engine. If the timing is too slow or too fast, minor  adjustments can be made later during final tune-up adjustments.


ENGINE CHECKS


Remove  the spark plugs and measure the compression. Continually crank the  engine until the compression pressure has built up four times. Record  the compression pressure of each cylinder. A good engine should crank up  to 90% of the specified pressure. If the variation from cylinder to  cylinder is over 10%, consider a valve job. Most early Model A engines  should crank up to at least 65 psi. Check the reference specifications  for acceptable compression pressures.


Insert a couple of oil squirts into each cylinder. Crank for 30 seconds. Then check compression again.


If compression is still uneven, valves are burnt or sticking open.


If all cylinders increase far above the 'dry' check, the rings may be weak. After running the engine, test compression again.


When  sitting in mothballs for years, the rings may 'glaze', and there may be  lots of soft carbon in the combustion chambers. After running, the  compression may improve.


Drain the oil. Install pan plug using a  small amount of RTV gasket maker on the washer. If previous engine  history is unknown, install five quarts of 30-wt non-detergent oil. If  the engine is newly re-built, install five quarts of 20-50 weight oil.


If  the old oil is 'jelly' or 'syrup' let it drain overnight. I do not  recommend a flush. Clean new oil will provide a good flush.


You  may want to review other references for the pros and cons on 20-50 wt  oil. I have never experienced any engine problems using 20-50 wt oil on  newly rebuilt old car engines or in engines sitting for 10 years. Clean  oil is the key!


After running car 100 miles, change oil again. If  the engine exhaust emits white oily-smelling smoke, change oil again.  If white oily smoke continues, it's time for an overhaul with new rings.


After start up, let engine warm up for one minute at around 1000 RPM.


Increase  the RPM to 1500 and hold it steady. Then, short each cylinder, one at a  time, to detect rod bearing knock. Rev the engine to a steady 1500 RPM  [the exact RPM doesn't matter, just hold it steady with the hand  throttle. Then short each spark plug wire with a screwdriver to the  cylinder head. The RPM will drop on the shorted cylinder. If the knock  diminishes, it's loose. It should be adjusted (remove shims)]. If the  rod knock(s) continue with a warm engine, the rods are loose. Refer to  engine re-build manuals for adjustment procedures and correct bearing  clearance.


COOLING SYSTEM


Drain coolant water and re-fill. Add a cup of Sta-Lube 'soluble oil' [order from NAPA stores].


If  the radiator tubes are rusted on the top end, remove radiator and have  it professionally flow-checked, rodded-out, or flushed at a radiator  shop.


If the engine loses water and emits white steam like smoke,  try a 'block sealer'. If it doesn't stop smoking, check head gasket  and/or for cracked head. Surface the head and install a new head gasket.  Clean studs thoroughly right down to the block. Clean the head bolt  holes using a 15/32 drill bit in a drill.


Check the fan blade for  fatigue-type cracks near the center hub and in the flat surfaces. If in  doubt, replace fan blade with a two-blade aluminum fan blade.


Beware, if it breaks, you won't believe the noise it can make, and it may go through the hood! It may also break the water pump!


FUEL SYSTEM


In the fuel system, checks should include the fuel tank, fuel lines, filter, carburetor, and intake manifold leaks.


Start  at the fuel tank. If it's full of flaky rust inside, or there is  'algae' and/or it has rust holes in the tank bottom, have it restored  professionally or replace the tank.


Use aviation, gas-resistant sealant on the threads. Do not get sealant inside gas passages.


Do not use 'Teflon' tape. Gasoline will dissolve the tape, and it may cause flooding problems.


Pour in one gallon of gas and test for leaks.


Disassemble carburetor and clean in carburetor cleaner.


Replace the needle valve and seat with a new needle and seat.


Test  the float [brass] in hot water. If small bubbles escape while immersed,  the float is defective. Replace it! Adjust the float level to one inch  [Zenith] from the float seam to the machined surface of the carburetor  top surface.


On Zenith carburetors the cap and main jet tip must  be at the middle of the venturi for correct operation and fuel  atomization. If not, full throttle power will suffer.


Install a new gasket kit.


Carburetor  repair books and gasket kits detail bench adjustments. They also show  'exploded' views of parts. Adjust float level exactly to specifications.


Pre-set the carburetor idle mixture screws one turn out from seat for start-up.


Flush  the entire fuel system with new gas before final hookup. Install  carburetor fuel line and a new in-line filter. With line disconnected at  carburetor, turn gas jet on and flow gas into a plastic jar until  clean. This is all very necessary to minimize carburetor flooding.


TRANSMISSION AND DIFFERENTIAL


Drain  gear oil from the transmission and differential. Install 600 wt. [as  specified] gear oil to the fill plug level. Do not flush. You may want  to change the gear oil again after 100 miles. During a second refill,  you may want to consider adding gear oil additives to reduce gear noise


If  the transmission howls or jumps out of gear and/or the differential  whines, re-build these units as specified in other references. Be sure  you understand gear dimension tolerances. Consider professional help in  solving difficult noise or shifting problems.


STEERING


Start with the steering gear box. Fill the steering box with 600 wt [as specified] gear oil.


If it leaks out, consider complete re-build.


Tighten the steering gear housing mounting bolts to the frame. Many times they are loose!


Check  the pitman arm on the shaft. Many times the clamp bolt and nut, and arm  are loose on the steering shaft. Oil threads and tighten clamp bolt and  nut.


FRONT AXLE


On Model A's, test the drag link  ball caps for looseness by turning the steering wheel free play [wheels  on ground]. Put your finger between the cap and the steering arm. If  there is 'slop' [more than 1/32 inch] remove cotter pin and tighten the  big slotted screw.


The end plug should be screwed in until it contacts the spring, and then turned in about one turn more.


If drag or tie rod link binds as you turn the wheel [wheels off ground], loosen screw.


On the connecting link tie rod ends, the adjustments are the same as the drag link.


If  binding occurs, disassemble each tie rod and inspect for flat spots on  the ball. If worn, replace appropriate parts. If flat spots, left as is,  hard steering may result.


Check the radius rod 'wishbone' ball  and cap. If less than 1/64 inch play side-to-side when turning the  steering wheel [front wheels on ground], grease wishbone ball cap,  tighten and /or replace studs, springs, and nuts. The wishbone ball must  be tight in the socket with no side-to-side play. Install cotter pins.


Disconnect the brake rod and loosen brake adjuster until wheel turns freely.


Remove  and inspect the front wheel bearings. Clean bearings in solvent ['paint  thinner', not lacquer thinner]. Blow dry with air and then wash in  solvent, again. If rollers are pitted, replace bearings and cups  [races]. Do not spin bearing with air.


Grease bearings using moly  wheel bearing grease. Install inner wheel bearing into the axle shaft.  Install hub on spindle shaft and install outer wheel bearing.


Tighten  axle nut until snug and back off until light bearing play exists.  Tighten nut to line up cotter pin slots. Bearing play should be just  snug without wheel binding.


Turn wheel [off ground]. If it stops abruptly, loosen nut one more notch and re-test for free turning.


Lastly, test the spindle and bushings [king pins] for end [up and down] play and for vertical plane play [wheels off ground].


In  the vertical plane check [wheels off ground], grab the top and bottom  of the tire and wiggle in and out. If the in and out movement at the  spindle [king pin] bushing is more than 1/64 inch [0.015"] the spindle  pin bushings are very loose and should be replaced.


Next, test  the bushing end play [up and down movement in the vertical plane]. The  end play clearance should be zero. Test by placing a tire iron under the  tire [wheels off the ground]. If end play clearance is greater than 0  [like 0.010", 0.015"], replace king pins, bearings, and end play shims.


Grease all the fittings with moly lube.


Test for wheel runout as discussed below in the wheel section


Test  for camber, caster, and toe-in ['gather']. Make a 'plumb bob' with a  string and a nut tied to one end. Measure camber by holding the string  at the top outer surface of tire. Move forward until string clears the  hub cap. The horizontal measurement at the bottom should be around ¼  inch, wheels on the ground. This is around ½ degree of positive camber.


Measure  the 'gather' [toe-in] by holding a tape measure the inside front rim  edge about halfway up from the ground. Measure distance to same spot on  other rim. Move the tape measure to the inside rear rim edge. The  'toe-in' should be around 1/16 - 3/16 inch. For example, if the front  measures 53½ inches and the back is 53_ inches, the toe-in is _ inch.


Many  times, the toe-in measurement will be ½ inch toe-in or up to ½ inch  toe-out! Needless to say, the car will wander all over and severe tire  wear will occur if the above toe measurements are incorrect.


The above checks and procedures are necessary to get your Model A on the road.


Review the service manuals for more accurate and detailed procedures to measure camber, caster, and toe [gather].


WHEELS


The wheel(s) may be slightly out of true in the vertical plane.


Check  for out of round and cracks on steel rim or wire wheels used from 1928  to 1932. The wheels are useable, if runout is not over 1/16 inch in the  vertical plane and/or out of round.


Check tires for out of round and balance.


REAR AXLE, and DRIVE SHAFT


Grease the drive shaft front bearing with moly grease.


Test  the rear axle up and down play with wheels off the ground. Any play up  and down up to 0.005 inches is OK. Test the play with a tire iron on the  bottom side of the tire using the iron as a lever. Lift it up and down.  If it's over 0.005 inches, it's loose! The hub [wheel], roller  bearings, or axle housing may be worn. Check service manuals for  specifications.


On tapered axle shafts, jack up one side. Install  a rear axle hub puller on opposite axle shaft. Tighten the puller bolt  to the end of the axle shaft. Strike heavy blows on end of the puller  bolt with a 'sledge' hammer. If really tight, re-check puller bolt. If,  after three hard blows, it is not loose, install a Ford 'wheel puller'  to remove the hub.


While the hub and bearing is off the axle,  check the axle end play. If over 1/32 inch [0.031"], it's excessive. If  left this way, the axle may shift in and out causing the drum to rub the  brake lining edges. It may squeal!


Grease the rear axle bearings with heavy duty gear oil. Install new grease seals. Leave drum off to check brakes.


BRAKE CHECKS AND ADJUSTMENTS


Play it safe! Brakes must be installed and adjusted according to specifications.


Remove all brake drums.


Check the brake shoe lining and drums for grooves.


If grease is on the brake lining surface or lining is worn to the rivet heads, replace lining.


Do not  use bonded lining on old 'soft' drums. The drums will score. Use  original-style woven lining and rivets. Follow specifications for  correct thickness, width, and length. Review Model A car repair manuals  for procedures and adjustments.


Recently [1997], I had my Model T  11-inch rear brakes relined with a 'molded Kevlar' lining used in  industrial brake applications. The brand name is Redco Heavy Duty Woven  Lining. This Kevlar lining will withstand higher temperatures before  fade. This Kevlar is soft enough so drum wear will be normal. On one  long 10% downgrade, my lining was smoking and the brakes were still  holding!


In all cases, have the lining professionally drilled  and riveted with brake machinery. Don't skimp and do it 'by hand'! It  will work loose! There goes your safety factor!


Oil brake arm lever and roller pins. Oil all brake rod pivot points.


Prepare  rear axles. Remove axle burrs and shine taper surfaces with 80  grit-type sand paper. Peen the outer end of the axle keyway. Insert the  axle key by tapping into the burr. You don't want this to move when  installing the wheel hub. Clean axle threads with nut to clean thread.


Lightly  oil axle surface, axle thread, and nut for a better mating of parts.  Install hub and drum. Rotate drum. If you hear a metal scraping, it may  be the brake lining edge rubbing the drum. Remove hub and install an  axle shim lightly coated with oil. Re-check for scraping sound.


The  oiled axle shaft surfaces will provide a better seating of the hub on  the axle. Install the hub, axle key, and nut. Torque nut lightly [for  now].


With brake rods disconnected, adjust the brakes to a very light drag.


Follow  manufacturer's specifications when re-connecting brake rods. Check  cross shaft-lever-arm angles. If this is not right, brake performance  will be poor.


On Model A front brakes, the brake front lever must  be at a forward tilt about 1/4 inch from vertical. If not, remove drum  and install new operator actuator pins or cup-shaped shims on the old  pins. Re-install drum. Check brake lever angle again. Make sure the shoe  adjustment is at a light drag with the brake rod disconnected when  making these checks. Brake lever should only move about 1/4 inch back to  lock the drum.


After adjusting the brake shoes to a light drag,  adjust brake rods to fit the brake arm with the mechanical lash removed.  Push brake pedal 1". The rear wheels should have a distinct equal drag.  Adjust rear rods for same drag on back wheels.


Push brake pedal  2". Rear wheels should lock when trying to turn by hand. Adjust the  front wheel rods until the brakes just drag.


Be sure brakes are free and releasing with pedal released.


As new brake lining high spots wear in, re-adjust brakes at backing plate for equal drag.


If  all the above adjusts out as discussed above, tighten brake rod clevis  jam nuts, oil clevis pins, and install cotter pins in clevis pins.


Torque  the rear axle nuts to 100 foot pounds, align the cotter pin slots, and  insert the cotter pin. Re-check torque after 100 miles.


LUBRICATION


Follow the Model A specifications on lubrication. If running gear is lubricated, wear is minimized.


Beware,  after long storage, grease congeals in joints. Ports in grease fittings  may plug up. Many spring and steering systems and joints may be dry and  rusty after many years of sitting.


I have experienced systems  that were cleaned only during restoration or after long storage, but  never disassembled for wear inspection and lubrication during  re-assembly! If you find one joint with rust, no grease or a plugged  grease fitting, you can bet most joints will be in this poor condition.


Good lubrication leads to long and safe touring.


The  special grease fitting tip is available at Model A parts houses. Some  Model As have been converted to the 'zerk'-type grease fitting. Grease  guns can be converted to either style.


START UP


Now,  for the big test! If all the above has been performed with good repair  practice and adjusted to specification, your car should start in 5-10  seconds and almost be ready to drive on tour! The order of start up and  drive events are as follows:


Turn idle mixture screw one turn out


Turn choke rod ½ turn open


Crank and start [pull choke rod momentarily while cranking


Test for rod knocks, cold engine


Test for vacuum leaks


Drive car, test shifting and clutch


Drive car, test brakes [light application]


Drive car, test for front wheel "shimmy"


Test for overheating


Clean car, detail it, or


Drive car on tour!


With gas at half throttle and full spark retard, crank engine for five seconds. During crank, momentarily choke.


Upon  start up, be prepared to choke slightly as the engine begins to rev up.  If it's 'sputtering', open choke [no choke] to let engine rev up more.  To lean the mixture, gently push choke in. Advance the spark halfway.


Return to idle slowly. Adjust idle throttle screw and idle mixture screw to maintain good idle smoothness.


Adjust idle mixture to peak idle RPM.


During warm up, rev engine to around 1200 RPM. Leave it at a steady RPM. Listen for knock(s).


At  1200 RPM, short [with a screwdriver], one spark plug at a time. That  cylinder should drop in RPM. Simultaneously, listen for knock while the  spark plug is shorted. If the knock goes away while shorting out the  cylinder, the rod is loose.


Perform the same test on the remaining cylinders.


After a long warm up, perform the same rod knock test, again. If it still knocks, the rod(s) is/(are) very loose.


Sometimes,  single disk clutches will stick on the transmission spline or to the  flywheel surface. Adjust clutch for one inch of 'free' play with engine  off.


If it doesn't release, stop engine. Put transmission in high  gear, set emergency brake, depress clutch pedal, and crank engine to  start. If it won't crank, or it drags during crank, replace clutch!


Test for vacuum leaks by spraying water on the two intake ports. If RPM changes and intake leak exists, install new gaskets.


READY FOR ROAD TEST


Now the big plunge! You're ready for the road!


If  you are not experienced in driving Model A Ford cars, ask an  experienced friend who regularly drives on tours to drive your car the  first time.


Engage reverse gear gently and back out of the driveway.


Take  off slowly in first gear, shift to second, and then high gear. Double  clutch to minimize gear clashing. Note how smooth the shift is! If it  chatters, the disk may be 'hanging up' or it may have oil on it. I have  experienced 'chattering' clutches. But, after only a few shifts, the  clutch may get smoother.


By now, you have been applying the  brakes gently, noting pull. At 30 MPH in high gear, let off the throttle  and push foot brake to lock the wheels [panic stop]. Be prepared for a  pull to right or left.


If it pulls to the right, adjust the left  front clevis pin one turn tighter and re-install cotter pin. Try panic  stop again. If you cannot get equal pull, re-line brakes as discussed in  brake section.


Test for shimmy [wobble] at low speed.


Proceed  over chuck holes slowly [5 MPH]. If shimmy develops, re-check front end  looseness and alignment checks, as outlined in the 'Front Axle'  section.


Test the radiator. If it boils on a cool day during  these pre-tour tests, consider a 'flat tube' radiator re-core or a new  radiator.


Run car at 50 mph. If steering wheel feels like a 'shimmy', balance wheels.


CLEANING FOR SALE


A  sparkling clean car is easier to sell even if the 'cosmetics' are not  the best. If the dirt, oil, and grease is slight, start by washing the  grease and oil off the undercarriage and engine with solvent [paint  thinner, not lacquer thinner]. Spray with engine de-greaser and let it  sit for at least 30 minutes. Cover distributor and carburetor with  plastic. Hose off with water. Apply engine de-greaser a second time to  get it clean.


Wash the engine and chassis with liquid detergent. Wash under the fenders and the inner and outer wheel and tire surfaces.


Scrub  tire rubber with a brush and liquid detergent. Finish off the tire  rubber with a 'tire black' liquid to make it shine while still wet with  water. This makes a nice, clean look without over shine when dry.


Clean  whitewalls with SOS pads. Finish off with a tire cleaner bleach. Scrub  until they are white! There's nothing more distracting than yellow  whitewall tires!


Scrub the chrome with cleanser or pumice powder.


Wash  the car's outer surfaces with car wash soap. Keep water and soap below  the windows to minimize water getting inside the doors. Dry the surfaces  with a chamois. Wipe the top area and glass with a chamois.


Polish  the chrome, nickel, or stainless steel. If rust pits are still present,  use a mild rubbing compound to polish the rust away. Re-apply polish to  shine it.


Clean top vinyl-type material with car wash soap using  a heavy towel. If the top is really crusty dirty, scrub with a brush  and car wash soap. Use 'tire black' on a moist towel to shine and make  it black.


In my experience, tire black works better than a vinyl cleaner.


Polish  the car with a cleaner polish. Do not use wax or a silicone polish.  You, or the new owner may want to re-paint the car. Just make it look  clean and 'spruced up'!


Lightly clean the upholstery [seats and  panels] with a foam cleaner. Scrub it with a soft, wet [water only]  wrung out towel. Let it dry allowing the foam cleaner to 'work', then  vacuum.


Vacuum the head-liner, seats, and panels until no dust  comes out as you pound the seat cushions. Clean the floor mats [carpet  or rubber]. While the mats and seat cushions are out, vacuum the floor  pan. Include the trunk area. Wipe it clean with detergent and a wet rag.  


If the floor pan is crusty with lots of dirt, check for  drainage crevices and lightly spray with water. Wipe out the dirt flakes  as it drains and drys.


Wipe all sill areas and door jambs with  detergent and water. Clean off latch areas with solvent. Re-grease  [lightly] latches so the doors close easily and sound solid. Check  alignment of the rubber door bumpers. Adjust door hinges to realign.


Clean  all windows, inside and out, with glass cleaner. Do it twice to make it  sparkle and 'squeaky clean'. Everyone likes to look through clean  glass.


All the above, is just to make your car presentable.  Depending on how dirty the car is; this could take up to two days! If  you're going for show or want it spotless, review appropriate books for  concourse quality cleaning. It will take many days.


SELLING YOUR CAR


Review  old car price guides, auction results, and newspaper ads to determine  the price range. Try and judge your car according to the definitions in  the judging guide. Review want ads in collectible car magazines and  local newspapers to determine a reasonable starting point for a dollar  value.


Have the car professionally appraised to check your price range.


All this will give you a reasonable place to start your selling price and negotiations.


A  sparkling clean well-running car will sell much quicker at a higher  price than an unattended car! However, I would rather see you drive your  car on tours!


REFERENCES
 

  • Model A Ford Mechanics Handbook
    - Les Andrews Cottage Hill Publishing
    Grass Valley, CA ISBN 0-9658240-0-4
     
  • Old Cars Price Guide
    Krause Publications ISSN 0194-8404
    Auction ResultsKruse International