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Vintage Cars/Ford Model A


QUESTION: My neighbor has a Model A coupe that was her dads and she wanted me to try and get it started for her. The only problem is I don't think it has ran for probably 5 years or so. I haven't seen the engine yet but the body is in very good shape. Is there any tips on how to try and get it started after it has been siting for so long and/or is there something I have to do before I try and start it?


I'm assuming the car is stock, and has a 6 volt electrical system.

You'll probably need a new battery, but trying to charge the old one won't cause any harm.

Check the oil and the fluid level in the radiator. Is there gas in the tank? If not, you may want to take the gas line off at the carb and run some gas through the line to clean out any junk.

If the car was running when it was parked, it will probably start right up. If you have a problem, send me another email. It's common to have minor electrical or carb problems.

I've probably stated a couple of dozen Model A's in  worse condition. They are amazingly reliable, and will run even when they have lots of problems.

Good luck,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I am going to change the oil before I try starting the Model A. Where do I add the new oil and how do I make sure there is enough in their? Thanks


Here is a link to a picture of the drivers side of the engine.

The tube coming up between the generator and the lower radiator hose in the picture is the oil fill tube (about 1-2" diameter)

The dip stick is between the starter and the lower hose in the pic.

If you have a standard dip stick, there is a L (for low) stamped near the bottom of the stick and an F (for full) about an inch or two above that.

It should take about 5 quarts. You can use modern 30 weight oil. There is no oil filter to change.



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Gordon Petersen


I am an expert in Model A Fords. I can answer questions about the repair and restoration of Model A's. I also have expertise in the value of Model A's and Model A parts.


I have restored 3 Model A's totally, doing all the work myself. I have rebuilt about 15 engines, 100 transmissions, 25 steering columns, 200 shock absorbers, 10 front ends, 10 rear ends, and a variety of other components.

I have a bachelors and masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, and worked on a variety of automotive related projects for 25 years. I am now retired.

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