I am waiting for my wood kit from Fordwood and was wondering if it will come with good instructions or if I need some books or DVD's on doing the job. I haven't seen any books on it listed with the venders. This will be a first for me, so any help would be appreciated.
Don't plan on the instructions helping much unless they've improved in the last few years.
This may help a little....
John here are a few tips in using a wood kit. I have used 2 Fordwood kits (runabout and touring) and both have the basic idea of starting with the firewall.
Attach the firewall brackets and firewall to your frame. That will give you starting point.
Another tip that I got from Leon Parker is to fit the body ribs to your body sheet metal first.
Lay out the body ribs on a flat table and fit them to the metal. Pay close attention for the fit up around the doors.
Then temporarily attach the main body rails to the frame and go from there.
Fitting the ribs to the metal FIRST and then attaching them to the main body sills is the way to go in my estimation.
A Runabout is probably the easiest wood kit to put together.
Take your time and get the measurements correct and you will be OK.
Make sure you frame is straight to begin with of course.
As Chuck observed the instructions are not as well laid out as a first time installer would like.
Note, Chuck's roadster is a 1924-25 high cowl body. There also is a 1926-27 version that doesn't use much wood as the 1924-25. And the 1924-25 tended to have less wood than the 1915-1923 versions which in general used more wood in the earlier and less wood in the later years. It also varied by body maker also. And if you are talking about an earlier body – in general they used even more wood.
I would suggest you confirm what year range your body is and ensure you ordered the correct body wood kit for it. And then I would suggest you include that year and if it is 1923 also include that it is a low cowl or a high cowl body when you are asking questions about how the body wood etc. fits. Mechanically it usually doesn’t matter if it is a 1923 or 1924 model year. But body wise it can make a big difference. Technically Ford called the high cowl cars 1924 model year cars even when they were produced during the second half of 1923. Some of those 1924 model year cars that were sold in 1923 are titled as 1923 cars and that often adds to the confusion.
RV Anderson did a good article for the "Vintage Ford" about rewooding his 1923 low cowl roadster body. If you would like a free copy of that, send me your e-mail address and I will forward a copy to you. You can click on my name, and my e-mail address is the third line down on my profile. Please include Model T or Send Model T wood plans etc. so it is not lost in the spam folder.
There is also a current discussion going on about rewooding a runabout at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/383308.html?1380323340 I never could figure out for sure if it was a 1924-25 high cowl -- that is my guess – but I never saw that confirmed and I cannot tell from the photos that I saw. But they are making progress and depending if your year range is the same it may be a lot of help or some help to you.
I also would highly recommend Leon Parker’s wood plans for the year of your runabout. Leon’s e-mail address is: (remove the nospam) email@example.com . Customer comment at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/198934.html?1300828585 see the last entry. While you will not need them to cut the pieces, they will probably still be very helpful as you work to install and modify as needed the pieces. In general the earlier the body the more you will need to modify pieces to fit your body.
Good luck with your rewooding project.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thanks for all the good advice. I ordered the early low cowl kit.
I received your e-mail and I have e-mailed you a copy of RV Anderson's rewooding article.
Good luck with your project!
Hap l9l5 cut off
John you mentioned you had the early low cowl kit.
My Runabout is also a low cowl car. Its a 1919.
Its good to remember that the wood kits just don't 'drop in'. You have to do a little fit up here and there.
This is where Leon Parkers advice comes in about prefitting the body ribs before they are attached to the main body sills.
Ford used up to 5 body makers so that probably is why the wood has to use a little fit up.
Good luck with your car.
Hi: My suggestions are to start with a good straight frame. Get it as straight as you can. It does not have to be perfect, but the straighter the better. Then set the frame on stands. It does not matter if it is a complete running gear or bare frame. You will need to level it both ways. Get it as level as possible. The leveling of the frame will really pay off. Next step is to attach firewall. Use a framing square to get it plumb and 90 degree to frame. Then check it for plumb with a level. Everything should check out if frame was level. The firewall is the starting point. I like to attach the main rails next. Unless the holes are already bored in your kit, it is best to clamp them to your body to frame brackets. You will need 6 body to frame brackets. Your 23 will use 4 of the smaller style with one bolt thru frame bracket and 3 carriage bolts thru the main sills, and then 2 of the longer ones in the cowl area. The front cowl area brackets are longer and taper to follow the cowl shape. If you need pics of them Ill find some and add a few pics. You will need to level the main sills lengthwise of the frame by using the clamps. You may also need to level them side to side. I place a straight edge across the sills and use some small ratchet strap tie downs to pull and hold everything in place. Now with everything in place and clamped they should be level in both directions and also should check square to the firewall with the square. Im going to post this much of the thread. This may take awhile to post and do not want to type for 2 hours and have it lost. Ill continue in next post.
Hi: After the main sills are level and square to the firewall, I like to do a test fit of the door post to the sills. You will also need to fit them to the sheet metal skin. The kits fit pretty well but there is some fitting required as not all bodies were built by Ford and there is some differences in fit. I have even seen differences from side to side on the wood work. Two different workers on opposite sides of car did the work in there own way. This is also a good time to do a test fit of all pieces and to get a good idea of how everything fits together. With the door post temporally fit to the sills and test fitted to the sheet metal. Try to install the outer sheet metal. After fitting the sheet metal over the door post see how it fits along the bottom of the sill and where it meets the firewall. If everything looks good, you are lucky and blessed. More than likely you will need to move the door post forward or back. If they need to move you will need to gut the notch out in the sill as needed. Once you have the door post located you will need to fill the notch back in where you removed the wood from. I have almost always had to do a min. of 1/8 inch. Useally it is about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch, but I have removed as much as 1/2 inch. Once the door posts are located, the worst of the alignment is over. Test fit the door several times before doing the final bolting and screwing of the door post to the sill. Do not for any reason glue the bottom of door post to the sills. If you do they will eventually break off above the sill.... I have glued the rest of the body wood together with no problem, but the door post to sill joint must be able to move. The rest of the body wood is pretty much a test/fit/install process. Just go slow, check everything many times, and use good workmanship. There are 2 types of "belt rails" around top of the body in 1923. One is a narrow strip of steam bent wood about 3/4 by 3/4 inches and the other is a larger piece made up of individual cut pieces. You need to know which you need before ordering the kit. Also if making the body from parts that you have acquired and not a re-wood of a complete body, make sure you have the correct seat frame. One last question is Do you have all your steel inner/body brackets. You will have to have them as you fit the wood together. In your roadster there are 2 castings that go in the top rear corners of the body for the top, there are door post top iron supports, there is the seat frame pieces, also some sheet metal straps at the "hip pad" area. A pair of floorboard risers. There are also some sheet metal covers that cover the exposed wood below the turtle deck. I am probably forgetting some of them. Its hard to describe all the tricks and details of building the bodies. If you have any particular areas of concern please let me know. I have assembled dozens of these bodies and will help you the best I can... good luck with the build... Donnie..
Thanks for all this information, I am saving all this for when I get the kit and start putting it together. John