After I get the body back from paint, I am struggling with the firewall bracket issue. I have read here that some just eliminate them so the firewall just rides with the body. Was the firewall brackets installed initially just for assembly and test running anyway?
What is the opinion?
What model car? The brackets are there to hold up the cowl. Not all models have enough sill strength to maintain alignment with just the forward body mounts. There could be a lot of weight hanging on the cowl with a box of coils or a gas tank.
It's also a needed anchor if you need to adjust the body for door alignment.
The brackets should be there for pre-25 chassis, and the brackets fix the firewall firm to keep the steering column braced too.
On the Improved cars, the cowl (firewall) is more robust. And more body to frame bolts. On those '26-'27 models, one of the two firewall bracket to frame bolts can left off if they don't line up.
But even so, the brackets should be in place.
Henry wouldn't have placed them if they weren't needed!
Here is what Tom Carnegie wrote at:
"My advice is to leave the brackets off. They are not needed and cause the firewall to crack. Late in production Ford quit using them. In fact, some late firewalls are not even punched for them."
This is the only place I've seen this and the parts list does show brackets on the 27. Does anyone have a late 27 without holes or brackets?
I don't know,
I had one. It was a Tudor.
They caused the firewall to crack on my 26 coupe so i took them off it has not made a difference except there is no more cracking.
The car is a 24 Roadster, thanks for the input thus far. I will play around with it and see what happens.
Also, little OT, my 25 Fordor has both broken firewall brackets AND the doors are hard to shut, wonder if it has a sagging frame?
I wonder if the bodys firewall resting/settling down on tight bolts is the reason for cracking firewalls on the 26-7s. I am going to put my new ones on and leave the bolts loose using cotter pins & crown nuts to keep them in place. If they rattle I will use rubber washers between them.
Do 26-27 firewalls tend to crack at the same place? If so exactly where do they crack?
I don't believe the photo Dan posted has '26 brackets. The '26s have a notch cut in them. Probably Ford did that to conserve metal?
Those pictures are the same as my 1926 roadsters that broke, and my new reproductions.
Over the last year my firewall has developed a couple of cracks. I am thinking about taking the brackets off. Can anybody see a problem with doing so?
I do wonder that if, Stephen, your firewall is cracking and you remove them, where then will the stress be transferred?
I wonder the same for myself if I don't use them.
If the firewall and/or brackets are cracking/breaking, there is a problem somewhere. Removing the brackets isn't the answer. JMHO. Dave
There seems to me a difference of opinion and fact here. Based on what Tom C. has stated above, Ford's answer to the issue was just to not install the brackets on at least some later 27 cars. Ford apparently did not think they were required and apparently figured that the body to frame mounting bolt just a few inches back on the frame was all that was needed to carry the front part of the body. Based just on the "fact" that Ford left them off, I would see no reason for not removing them today and maybe help to reduce cracking on the firewall.
I have a late 27 coupe with brackets. I am not sure what the bracket facts are.
I've seen lots of 27 bodies with bracket holes. I have seen a total of one that didn't have bracket holes. My assumption is that Ford left the brackets off at some point, maybe before he quit punching the holes, maybe not. Perhaps this body missed getting punched at the factory, but I doubt it. On the other hand, people could easily add brackets if none were installed from the factory. I'd really like to know the answers.
I do know one thing - pretty much every 26-7 body I've seen with brackets installed has a cracked firewall. The one without holes that I had was NOT cracked. No cars that I've welded the firewall up and put together without brackets has subsequently recracked (to my knowledge). Again, its your car, do as you like, but I leave the firewall brackets off 26-7's. There is no down side (unless perhaps you think it looks funny).
One other thing you could do is drill the holes bigger and leave the bolts loose, so you retain the look without the danger of stress on the firewall.