Tips from Owners

Tips received from time to time from owners who have found solutions
to various problems. Thank you for sharing, and please submit your own



In Nov. 2006 a question came in about sources for car covers. Someone wanted to get a gift cover for an owner who was uisng a TARP to cover their car. Mostly with the help of Louis, a long-time Glassic friend, I learned the following info.

Yes, a REAL Model A cover will likely fit a Glassic. Louis had purchased a custom made top for his car from California Car Covers and he was very happy with it.

Go to   Make sure you get a storage bag to keep it in when not in use.   When they order the cover they should not only know the mirror and spares but also if it has a trunk and any antennas that don't fully collapse.   good luck, great covers.   Louis

Annexmaster: Louis followed up with his receipts for two tops. One for his Glassic Phaeton and one for his Shay Roadster. In 2003 -04  he paid $199 for each cover, and $ 5.00 for a bag for one of them. Shipping was $12.99 for each one.  He sent me several pages from a catalog, showing a variety of prices for different qualities. A phone call to the vendor may help you decide which one is best for your situation. 1-800-423-5525

Apparently, you can get them to fit side AND/OR rear mounted spares.

Annexmaster's observations: 1931 Deluxe Phaeton, or 1931 Roadster are the closest matches, but I wonder if a general purpose cover for a SEDAN or COUPE might also fit.  I saw Model A covers in several Model A parts catalogs (see LINKS) and the one picture I saw had a cover that seemed loose enough to handle side mounts, etc.  Perhaps someone will share their ACTUAL experiences.



In Sept., 2006 Clint, owner of car 562 found this solution:

I did replace the front screen in the radiator shell. I was at Lowes and saw the right material in a screen door shield for $20. I bought the shield, disassembled it, cut the frame and screen to the proper size and then riveted the assembly to the radiator supports. the frame stops the normal flex and wear, so this should solve some problems. I left the screen in natural silver aluminum. It looks awesome.

 -- photo of the modification appears here.


December, 2012. the owner of car 1500 reported:

I had been checking the net for a stainless steel material that could be used for a grill screen. I found this material at the Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies website (1-800-688-6946) Stainless steel wire mesh part # 3642-18x24x.047 wire. This makes a great good looking grill screen and is very stiff even though the wire at .047 it is not as heavy as wire that I seen used on the grill stone guards. Next best part is that it only cost $18.99 plus about $6.00 fast shipping.


Dimmer switch foot rest accessory (Called "Accelerator Foot Rest")

Sept. 2006 -- The Annexmaster says: I may have posted this somewhere on the site before, but when someone spoke of the crowded foot space in a Glassic, I remembered this item that is on my car and works great. It is a foot rest that goes near your dimmer switch. They can be found in Model A parts catalogs, and bolt on a base through the floorboard.  You rest your foot on IT, not your dimmer switch. When you want to hit the dimmer, you slide  your foot over and off the pad. They appear to be originally on Model A's as a rest near the accelerator.  Bratton's 2006 Antique Auto Parts catalog pg. 68 shows them at $3.95 plus a base plate with 3 holes for screws / bolts for $2.50 more -- plus postage.

My placement of this footrest was arbitrary, it might well go directly above the dimmer switch, so it is more centered under the ball of your foot. Where mine is works fine, too.


Cowl light lenses

Dave (car 1279) found that 1957 Chevy parking lights, or turn signal lights, were a pretty good fit for his 1978 Glassic cowl lights.  I got some for my car #1254, and they fit great, although the holes don't line up exactly. The Chevy lens holes look to be designed to be a bit off center, so I ground down the length of the bolts that came with the lenses and used only the top one.  They look good.  Those parking lights are available as reproductions in both orange and clear.

57 Chevy parking lens fits 1978 cowl light..



Headlights cut off and on again -- photos below -- headlight switch

Nov., 2005 - (car 1254, a 1978) I turned on my headlights and after a few seconds the lights went out --There was a "tink" sound from within the dashboard. A few seconds later, the lights came back on and soon cut off again. When I turned on only the cowl lights, same problem.

Not being a mechanic, I took the switch loose by pulling off the knob and unscrewing the bezel (chrome housing) on the dash. I had taken the dashboard loose, but you MAY be able to do this without loosening the dash. from below the dash, I pulled the unit down so I could reach the wires. At first, I thought that the problem was a bad switch, but, after labeling the wires connected to the switch (to put them in the same place on a new switch) I started pulling them off, one at a time.  The second one from the front of the switch on the left side operated the cowl lights. When it was removed, the headlights worked, but cowl lights did not -- and they did not cut off.  I marked and cut the wires to each cowl light in turn but the problem continued when I connected that wire to the switch. THAT'S when I realized that the tail lights also came on with the cowl lights.

It turned out that one of the taillight lamp holders was sticking out and hitting the arm that held the taillight fixture on. (this car has Model A lights installed) That was shorting out.  The pictures below show the switch (I would look at '70s Bronco switches first) and also the separate device, which I guess is an overload protector. It is like a circuit breaker, only it re-sets itself .

Above, the white circle is the overload protector device mounted on the speedometer housing. On the bottom of the headlight switch, the black circle (# 2) is a spring loaded button that can be pushed in. Louis (car 1121) says that pushing this button in allows you to pull out the shaft and headlight knob. In my case, the knob came off when I pulled hard, so I did not need to remove the skinny shaft.  I was unable to get that shaft to slide out even when holding in the button. I replace my knob with one with a set screw since it kept pulling off when I turned on the lights. Two people have said that Ford headlight switches were notoriously bad back then.

Here is my headlight switch pulled down below the dash. I put on the bracket that goes behind the dash to hold it back, and the chrome bezel that goes through the dash. The threaded bezel screws into the large hole near the white notched dashboard dimmer wheel.

Summary: If your headlights cut off and then on with that "tink" sound, before struggling with the switch, first try checking for obvious shorts. If that happens with only the cowl lights on, check them and the taillights. If it doesn't happen with the cowl lights on but does with the headlights, the problem is likely the headlight wiring.


Fuel sending unit -- also motor mounts

Received 10/2005 from Ron, car #221, a 1967:

...The fuel sending unit in my Glassic is out of a 1967 Ford Bronco.....Also,my Glassic has a 302..I just recently had to change a motor mount...It turns out that the motor mount is also from a 67 Ford Bronco...

Received 2/15/06 - regarding Dave's car # 1279, a 1978

The motor mounts have a FORD part number on the rubber part on one end. It is D5BA-6038- BA.  ( THE D is for 1970's, C would be 60's etc. and the 5 is for the year -- so, 1975 -) The Ford dealer confirmed that it came from a 1973 to 1977 MAVERICK with the 302 engine. No other cars used that part number.  He ordered a pair from NAPA auto parts, who also identified it as a Maverick part from their books.  I think it was about $ 60 for the pair and he had to wait nearly a week for them to be shipped in. The same part works on both sides, even though the part looks one-sided. The holes on the engine block are set back so the second one works backwards.

Lowering the front of a 1973

from the owner of car # 800 - info received 4/11/05

lowered the front end 1" with a steel block between the axle and the springs and took out one leaf (to make the bolts long enough).
I put on longer rear shackles and raised the rear over 1".
Once I get new wheels and tires I should get a little more angle.  I plan on running 215-14-60s on the front and 255-15-60s on the rear. This is a 3" difference in tire height so I figure I should get another 1 1/2" in angle.



Hood latches -- Here is a tip: Model A parts suppliers have sets of little rubber-like tips to go on the hood latches to keep them from scratching the paint. A kit has a small cap for the end that hooks on, and a bigger one for the end that you pull on.

The tips that can be bought for those do-it-yourself wire metal shelves (available in Home Depot etc.) look like the same thing. I got some dark brown ones in a box of yard sale stuff, and they fit fine -- they also are likely cheaper and easier to get than "Model A" parts..


Paint -- including restoring the finish, painting, stain or staining vinyl

  Received from Louis (Car #1121) April, 2004 -- I sprayed the trunk black last night using  Dupli-color vinyl paint from Advance Auto and ordered new hardware from Snyders.   The paint came out good.  I first sprayed it with gloss black and I didn't like it .  I let it dry good and resprayed it flat black.  I like that much better. 

Oh, by the way , I first bought this new Krylon Fusion paint that the guy recommended and it didn't work.  I tested it on a old piece of the same material that the speaker wires used to run through.  It would never dry.  I called the 1-800 # on the can and the guy said "yeah, that happens sometimes when the paint reacts to the polymers in the paint."   He said it never would dry, (boy, I am glad I didn't spray that on the trunk).  anyway, don't use Krylon Fusion on anything car related. 

In 2006 the Annexmaster received some old, weathered, dirty spare tire covers from a fellow owner and bought a spray can of Vinyl stain / colorant at a car parts store. It worked great when using white on the white covers. The dye was like spray paint, only quite liquid-y and thin, but it soaked in and covered well and did not look like paint. After a year or two, the tire line stains that had been on the cover re-emerged some, but all in all it was a great way to freshen up those spare covers.

Paint -- At the 2003 reunion, Mark, (Car #1290) suggested that owners use Allgirip 2 - when repainting their cars. Mark works for a boat company, and says that Allgrip2 is specially designed for fiberglass boat use..

3/06 Clint, car 562 reports on his dull, weathered paint job:

I found that by switching to Meguiar's Heavy Cut Compound and using a wool pad on my air powered polisher (professional body shop model), I can eliminate the sanding altogether. I was using a polishing bonnet from Harbor Freight on an electric polisher before. There is no comparison. The Gelcoat is shining now. I'm including a couple of pictures -- the first shows the hood after is was polished. The second shows the rear of the car. The left side has just been compounded, while the right side is still untouched and quite hazy.


Brake Line placement   -- two items:  1978 and 1973

While painting the battery box on my 1978 Phaeton in preparation for putting in a new battery, I noticed that the brake line, some wires and possibly the fuel line were resting directly on top of the u-shaped channel piece that makes an upright to hold the battery platform under the back of the car. I was afraid that there was a possible rubbing spot there so I put a piece of rubber gasket material across the top of the channel and the lines now rest on it. Forgive the second picture, which turned out blurry.

Car 838, a 1973 found the situation below while doing a frame-off restoration. This car
came from a junkyard where it had been in an accident and had been totaled.
Restoration pictures and story of car 838 appear here.

The view above is looking down from where the car floorboards would be if the
body had not been removed.


Gas Tank Filler Neck

The fuel filler neck (rubber) on my '66 had become deteriorated to the point that when I filled the tank fuel would leak both during the filling and after if I "topped it off". I tried to find a bendable fuel hose but the sharp angle needed to get from the filler opening to the top of the tank was to acute. I tried several approaches but the one that worked best was as follows.

To get access to the top of the fuel tank I cut a 7 inch hole with my hand held jig saw in the rear seat fiber glass panel. After removing the original and badly deteriorated hose I brazed a 2 inch right angle exhaust adapter to the gas cap ring. The right angle adapter is a standard issue NAPA part. The gas cap fits on the ring  with no interference problems. I had to make several measurements and a little trial and error was necessary to get the length of each of the "legs" to the correct dimension. I attached the gas tank end to the right angle member with a section of 2 inch fuel line hose. The tank outlet is very close to 2 inch OD.

After buttoning everything up I fabricated a 8 inch round cover plate from .030 steel sheet stock. I made a "gasket" from an old inner tube I had and used 1/8 th inch cherry rivets to hold it in place.

It all works fine and the gas leak problem is solved.

As a note of interest....the fuel filler ring in my '66 is a "Scout" part. I went to my local wrecking yard and picked one up and used it as my prototype. I don't know if the rubber hose that is in the Scout would fit in our Glassic. That would certainly be an easier installation if it did and if they were available.

Bob Soderquist
Steamboat CO -------------submitted July, 2002


Electrical problem troubleshooting

This was found on a Mustang II website in response to a question about a battery draining overnight -- the technique should be valid for ANY car.

Sounds to me like a faulty voltage regulator......

IT also can be the DIODE (which is an electrical one way switch only letting power go one way....)

After the car sits is the alt HOT even if the car sat over night??????

Also a quick test....
MAKE sure all is off and no keys in the ignition....
Leave the + batt cable on... REMOVE the neg cable.... PLACE a 12volt TEST light from the NEG cable to the NEG terminal on the battery... IF IT LIGHTS UP THERE is a drain on the BATT,,, Start BY first un plugging the alt... WHEN you DISCONNECT anything and the light GOES out THAT is the problem circuit.....

IF not start pulling fuses......

This is timely BUT why we get over 100.00 bucks an hour to diagnose
electrical probs....



Front End

From Joel in 2002, trying to recall info from 30 years ago when he was building Glassics:

All the components for front end alignment should all be standard Ford parts - probably for an Econoline E-100, vintage mid to early 70';s -- Tie rod ends should be easily matched up by any competent parts house (TRW or MOOG) with no problem...  U joints would be standard Ford, probably Maverick or Fairmont...

  All the later models (Replicars) - 1976 and up all used the mustang II front end components, but all the tube axles used E-100 components.  The bushings were in the spindles and the axle should not get ANY wear unless the set screws that held the king pin were loose allowing the king pin to work in the axle "end"...  The bushings in the spindles would only cost a few cents and a "king pin kit" would only be a few dollars...

More from Joel in 2004:

The FRONT ENDS on Glassics were 3 phases. First were the International based cars, using International front end components.

"Phase II" is the special-built chassis w/ leasf springs, MMI tube front axle and Econoline E-100 front brakes, king pins, etc., and a Maverick rear axle (V-8 - 5 lug) and later came the Mustang II (Phase III) chassis with the "molded" front suspension member and Mustang II front suspension, brakes, etc., with the coil spring - trailing arm rear suspension...  There may be Mustang axles available w/ 5 lugs (for a V-8 Mustang???) and front 5- lug rotors are available from Speedway, Honest Charley, Summitt and who knows who else to get you up to 5 lugs...  My wires (wire wheels) came from Vintique in California and they are all 15"...  My problem is that the wheels only have outside offsets, so they stuck out too wide in the rear, so I had to have the rear axle housing and axle shafts narrowed 2" to get the rear tires back up under the fenders...  The front was OK (thank goodness) but all the wheels (on Joel's car) are the 7" wide 15"...


Steering sloppy on a 1972


From Clint 3/2006 -- the problem:

Car 562. I took the wife for a ride yesterday. I noticed the steering had a lot of slop and seemed unsteady in the tracking. Later in the day a friend came over and we discovered that when the wheel is turned, the plate where the steering box bolts is flexing and deflecting. Is this something others have encountered?  Apparently, it is going to require some sort of reinforcement and closer inspection. I don't think anything is cracked, but I will have to pull it down to really inspect it well. This is with the tube axle.

His solution:

I heard from Gary Schmidt who has car #581. He reports the same flex I had. He also added reinforcement. I spent today (my day off) fabricating a steel bracket from square steel tubing and 1/4" U channel. I welded it in place to the frame and existing power steering bracket. I do have pictures. That took a lot of play out of the steering, but there was still slop, so I pulled the steering box from the car, since it looked like it might interchange with one from a 68 Mustang that I had on the shelf. FYI, there is no way to adjust the box in the car without cutting an access hole in the body, which I was not going to do. It turns out the box is a Ford SMA-B from a 70-77 Maverick or Comet. The Pittman Arm is also from a 70 Maverick and has the Ford Part Number D0DA-3590-A. I thought I'd better record it for others who may need the info.

Car drives fine now. No slop at all in the steering. Ride is a little rough compared to modern vehicles, but I figure the leaf spring suspension may be the reason.

New steering bracket fabricated

Steering bracket welded in place.



Steering vibration damper improves steering for a 1978.

John, car 1288, reported in December, 2007 that he had fantastic results in drive performance from adding a vibration damper to his steering column. John was amazed at the improvement that this $95 piece added to the comfort of the ride. The damper eliminated most of the front end and road vibration that went up through the steering column to the steering wheel. John made comments such as "It now drives like a real car" and "you will find yourself driving for much longer periods of time now."

He got the part from Speedway Motors after talking quite a bit to their support people. John is a retired mechanic, so he had no problem with the installation. Here are some tips he shared regarding the installation. According to John, most cars from that era had dampers, but finding one that was small enough to fit under our hoods (and the right diameter) made it not a good project to search for in a junkyard.

In 2016 I noticed that the above link did not work. It appears that the part number 910-32253 is likely correct, but the coding probably changed.  The link below works as of now to bring up that part number,2036.html?OriginalQuery=910-32253


He had to remove the lower piece of the steering column, cut off a length, grind the now shorter piece flat on each side (so that it resembles the original end of the shaft) and add in the damper in place of the length you cut off - reassemble using lock tight.
The less pleasant way to remove the lower steering column rod is to remove the steering column. That is absolutely not a fun job, so what John did was unbolt the two bolts that hold the front end onto the frame, slip the entire front rack forward a little (to get it out of the way) and then he was able to slip the column out from BELOW.
The end of the lower steering column (looks like a metal rod) is round, with two flat spaces at the end, on opposite sides. John suggests that a machine shop can very quickly duplicate those flattened spots on the shorter, round all the way around end. With care, you could flatten the ends yourself.
Since the column slides up inside the outer steering column, the length cut off does not have to be totally precise. That rod has some give and take anyhow to allow for road conditions.