I'll be starting on my 15 touring in a couple of weeks and I'm looking for info/advice. The wood appears to be solid throughout except for the tackrails (I bought those in 03 and have not yet opened the boxes). The problem is a rust through the size of a large cantelope in the lower right rear corner that has eaten the bottom of the corner piece and the corner of the back panel and corner of the right rear side panel. I have the 3 new repro panels, but, would it be easier to cut the bad sheet metal out and cut the appropriate "patch panels" from my new panels and weld those in, or try to remove and replace the 3 complete panels? I also have another complete rear section (rear door around to other rear door)from another touring. I've built speedsters, TTs, Hacks, and even created a closed cab T pickup, but this is my first touring and I don't know what hooks to what! I've got a set of Mel Millers plans where he says "...the metal was crimped around the wood, but, don't straighten out the lips but just enough to get the wood in....). Starting with the complete car with the fenders and seats removed (and no tack rail), where do I start? (I've got a 4-post lift, so I can get it up to eyelevel to work on it)
My personal preference would be to try and keep as much of the original panels as possible and patch the holes in the two panels using the new panels to make the patches. Not only because nothing fits like the original but I think that it is more desireable to retain as much of the original car as possible that was originally assembled at the ford Factory 97 years ago. Lastly, if you remove the original panels, it is very likely you will be unable to attain the same fit to the original wooden frame with the new panels and in removing the original panels you make weaken the wood framing so as to create a muchroom effect of escalating problems. "Mushroom effect": A phenomenon, well known to most Model T'rs and house renovators. When a seemingly simple job becomes a major undertaking due to unforseen problems that arise as the job progresses. Jim Patrick
Boy are you right--My house is a breeding ground for them mushrooms!! Come to think of it, my '25 T roadster seems to be breeding them too. . .
Too much humidity???
Thanks Jim, that's probably what I'll do
I apologize for this tired old saying but I truly believe it,
'It's only original once'.
Nothing is more satisfying to me than saving old tin (and other original parts) when ever I can.
PS. Some may look at my current project in profiles and claim, "What a bunch of B.S., your making a whole new body for your speedster"! True but I saved the 1919 chassis and motor from being hauled to the scrapper by just one day. Jimmy Naperville, Illinois
I'll tell you...you do not want to get into removing the three panels. Seems just cutting out the bad and welding in new would be best. The biggest problem with the panels is that, and it may be different on a 15 than a 25, but those panels should be bolted and spot welded together.
On my 24-25 touring all of the sheet metal is original metal except for the rear seat toe panel, the rear body panel, and the radiator apron. The original rear body panel was unusable so I decided to go with the repro panel from our "favorite" supplier of such metal. I reused the original molding pieces (as there is only ONE company that makes that stuff sold in 8 foot sections, and isn't 100% exact but damn close). Those molding pieces had to be cut off the rear panel as they are spot welded on. I did not spot weld them back in when I redid it.
If you plan to replace all the pieces, I realized later that all the rear panels including the quarters need to be removed, reassembled, and then assembled to the wooden frame as one assembly. Things would have worked out better for me had I done that, but live and learn.
And all of this may not even pertain to a 15, and if that turns out to be case, at least you have an idea of what might be involved.
You can shape a piece of wood to the approximate contour of the corner and hammer form a fairly decent patch panel. The holes in my 24 were fairly small so I free formed a patch panel with a hammer and welded it in. Usually you can wire weld a patch panel in place without removing the wood.
I agree with replacing the smallest area possible, the only trouble being that you can only see the area that is rusted right through. The adjacent areas are quite often also rusted badly, just not right through. Make sure you clear back to sound metal before cutting the patch to size
Gavin is on the money here find the good metal around the rust area, , one thing though cut the new patch for that area and mark it out on the old panel and cut the old rusty bit out not the other way round. It will be a lot easier to weld in and its easier to get it to fit that way.