My friend and I are restoring a 1926 coupe, and we're having some difficulty installing the cowl lacing. We got the upper parts riveted on the cowl, with one of us inside pushing against the rivet head and the other outside spreading the tangs into the lacing. We can't finish the last few rivets on either side, because the floorboard risers block access to the holes. Does anybody have a trick for this, short of removing the risers and re-riveting them when we're done?
Instead of using the rivets, cut brass strips the width of the rivet tangs. Form these into the shape of the Greek letter Omega so that the round part just pushes through the hole in the body. Push in from outside with some adhesive. They look like the rivets from outside.
While it is not original when i got to those on my 26 coupe, i used pop rivets it keeps the end from flapping.
Im going to install mine tomorrow. Does the rivet head go inside or out.? Ive seen it both ways. Also, at the area for the hood hinges on both sides of the cowl, there is a "dip" in the cowl. Do you try to form the lacing to the dip or "stretch" it across the dip. My hood lacing was worn in two, at the hinges from the hinge rubbing on it. I almost forgot to put the lacing on before re-installing the gas tank....
ON the 26-27 cowl lacing the 2nd and 3th hole up from the bottom did not have a rivet but a ring shanked push pin. I used a small ring shanked nail cut down to fit.
Tim: The push nail makes since. Thanks for that info. I think the rivets go in from the outside and spread on the inside. Im not sure of that but I have seen lots of rivets remaining in old cowls facing that way.
I got those pesky rivets in place by making a small bucking bar to wedge the cap of the split rivet. And placing them with thin tongue depressor with masking tape out on the tip to hold the rivet for inserting.
Don't know how Ford did this, but yes, the originals are split rivets in every hole in the cowl, with the split ends opened and embedded into the fabric welting.
Original remains of split rivet ends
Thanks for the info, guys. Seems like Dan's idea of a "rivet on a stick" device seems like the easiest to try first, since Lang's sent plenty of rivets with the cowl lacing. If that doesn't work I will look into the other solutions. Thanks for the help, and I'll try to get some pictures put up with what we end up doing.
Can you add the rivets if the gas tank is in place?
The rivets have to be put in place before the gas tank is installed and I wonder if the lower ones were installed before the interior metal was installed at the factory.
Here are some ideas:
We got the upper rivets in before we put the gas tank put in. There's not enough room to reach up in there otherwise.
I know the history of my car and the push pin are the original way that part of the lacing. The rivets come from the inside and split on the outside on my car. This car was built in Columbus, Ohio.