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Classic/Antique Car Repair/Engine oil for a Model A


Dear Mr. Bahm,

thank you very much for your great books and videos. I'm a Model A beginner from Germany. In a few days I will buy my first one. Could you please tell me if I should use a detergent or non-detergent engine oil? Thank you in advance.

Best regards

Gernot Oertel

That is the $64 dollar question.  People argue about this all the time.  It goes on and on.  My opinion is that the A does not care what you put in it as long as you change it every 500 miles.  I use shell rotella,  my engine seems to like it.  Don't worry about it.  Again, my opinion.  Put good 30wt oil in it.  Be sure you do not buy the first A you come to.  You can get a good driver for $8 to $10k, or a very nice one for up to $20, but unless it is an open car, $20k is too much.    Good to hear you like my books and videos.  They were fun to do.  jack

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jack bahm


Only repair type questions on the 1928-1931 Ford Model A.


Owned one when I was 15 yrs old, and now have owned 5. Still own and play with 2 of them.

Oakleaf region of MARC. Model A Restorers Club. I have put several Model A videos on the Oakleaf site that may be of help. Things like how to start the A, how to Time it, how to troubleshoot it.. Go to and you will find them. Also, go to and search for "jackbahm" and you will find over a hundred videos. Many about the Model A and our outings. jack

"More than you need to know about cars." Just a small book for Car Nuts. "Model A Ford Tips and Hints" "Get A Horse" (What to do when Henry's Lady quits on you.) or Snyder's Antique Parts. "Engineering Stuff" (For the Kid who likes to take things apart and get them back together). Kids book for ages 10-16. 2012 Many Model A movies that can be found on

BSME LSU, 1958, Masters of automotive engineering from the Chrysler Institute of engineering, 1960, MBA Mich State, 1976. Worked as an engineer at Chrysler from 1958 to the end of 1991.

Awards and Honors
Two patents while working in auto industry. Go to this site for my Model A videos.

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