Am looking for "Best Way" to replace or repair the bottom body perimeter wood on my '23 coupe... Have been advised NOT to remove doors or use a rotisserie affecting future door fit. (After 91 years, perimeter wood is rotten, but only needing a small metal patch on body curve behind driver's door.) Interior braces are mostly sound, but can't weld cross-bracing to wood! FYI, Body Panels roll under and are nailed to the wood.
Any suggestions??? (Make a metal floor pan to weld tight but keep an extinguisher handy???) Thanks MTFCA!
I may be off a little,but for you to think you could just replace the bottom wood in a 91 year old body is asking for a bit. The only way is to de-skin the body,assess the damage, and then fix it. A formidable job,at least.Good Luck.
The body is loose but resting on the frame. Gasoline tank, floor pan, floor boards are all removed. Wood body cross-members and mounting holes are solid... Am aware of a company (Fordwood, located in Utah) that sells replacement wood. I've made some replacement wood parts already by using dry, treated lumber and enjoying the self-satisfaction. What is the best way of doing those 'most-outside' pieces?
All of the uprights are attached to the main sills, There is an upright and usually a top sill board. Suggest you by the wood body book the venders sell. It has photos that will help some.
Using treated lumber may have been a mistake. The chemicals used to treat the wood may react with the metal body. Please check with the fellows that are more familiar with wood than I am. I just know that the treated lumber cannot be covered by metal siding.
Am still wondering the best way to approach getting old wood out (with lower body panels nailed underneath), then replacement, without body distortion. Has anyone encountered this before?
If the lower body wood is old and rotten, the wood that fits into it is at least close to being in the same shape.
You can buy complete wood kits for these cars from Langs or Macs.
Fordwood also makes the kits. Go to their website and you can see the wood structure on their website.
I would think you would have to remove all the sheet metal skin so you can see the body wood to work on it.
I have a 24 Coupe I restored. I replaced some of the upper pieces on the roof line. The main sills were OK. (Luckily)! If the main sills were gone I would have removed all the body parts to do it right.
To repair the main body sills I would deskin the body so you can get to the wood to work on it.
Once you do that you will see its the best thing to do.
Its your car but I would use ash or some type of hardwood for the body.
Treated wood is not your best choice, as it will probably react with the metal. I replaced the lower wood in my 25 coupe, and the upper wood with out removing all the metal skin. It is just a puzzle that you can figure out if you go slow and maybe adapt some of the joints to something different.
It's understandable what's being said about what wood to use. However, I'm still trying to understand how to get at that nailed sill area without distorting the body. Pulling body panels seems like a last resort from what I see. Where I've had a couple of broken screws in the old wood (other areas), I've been able to drill out and 'plug' with dowel wood, then re-drill without any refastening or structural-strength problems. Some interior wood pieces under the quarter-windows I've now replaced with aluminum angle metal.
"...I'm still trying to understand how to get at that nailed sill area without distorting the body..."
What people are trying to tell is that, for the most part, you can't. At least not without removing the sheet metal. Of course, it's hard for anyone to really give you exact instructions or suggestions because we're not there to look at the body and you haven't posted any photos.
Just noticed - - It's nice to be called a 'Junior Poster' when you're 68 years old!
Thanks, Jerry and the rest of you. I can try to take a photo or two. Call me a 'Stubborn Kraut', but it sounds like I'll need to pull some nails and hope it works out OK. As Albert Einstein said: "We are limited only by the depth of our own imagination."
Tried to upload photos, but can't 'dumb down' the camera to 200kb or less... Will try later...
Marvin; I don't know of any alternative that actually works other than removing the skin and fitting new pieces. I've done the wood on my '15 from the ground up, never did a '23 coupe, but I'd expect the construction principal is the same.
Are you replacing it because of dry rot, breaks or some other reason? There is a product called Kwik Poly that is very good for repairing damaged or rotted wood. It is also used for horse hoof repair.... if you've spent any time around horses you know they're damn hard on hoofs, and the product does hold up.
Depending on the type of damage and the extent it may be an option for you.
Mostly, it is a small area of dry rot at the perimeter under the driver's quarter window. That is also where a small body metal patch is needed. Removing the wood completely would result in a collapse from no support.
I had received another email suggesting the same Kwik Poly product. Does one find it at a horse/tack supply store, or is it possible a 'big box' would carry it? Will definitely check it out.
If that doesn't/won't work, I'm at the point that (1) I'm ready to lift the body off, (2) set it onto a big sheet of cardboard, (3) trace the body outline pattern, (4) transfer the pattern to a sheet of 16 gauge sheet metal, (5) cut it out, (6) tack weld the perimeter to the body itself, and (7) to rebuild the interior bracing from there. Frustration anyone?
Most certainly, "Thanks!" to all for the input!
the wood boat guys use a product called "git-rot", mainly for making loose screw holes usable again. but if the body is rotten, its rotten! no fix other than rebuild which is a big project on closed cars. sorry to burst your bubble, but thats where your at
Marvin; I've used the Kwik Poly on small area of rotted wood, just dug out everything, mixed it up and pored it in. It has a very thin consistency but sets up pretty quick.
I would use this in a small area, but you need to evaluate the damage carefully before you decide. Small areas are one thing but you need to be sure the remaining wood is structurally sound. If so dig out the rotted stuff, get the sheet metal work done,then use the kwik poly. I would suggest using some sort of thin plastic as a form for the wood so it doesn't sit adhere to the metal, and maybe a thin cardboard shim between the plastic and the sheet metal while you poor and cure. Remove the cardboard and there will be a little space for airflow so the metal doesn't have moisture trapped against it. If you can paint the inside of the metal patch before the wood repair you should.
The thing you really need to honestly evaluate is the structural integrity of the remaining wood. If it really is just small areas and it's materially sound this may be a good option, but if the wood is weak there is nothing you can do but remove the metal and re-wood it.
Thanks, Gary. I've taken the 'deep breath' and have concluded that with thoughtful analysis, my persistence and patience will ultimately succeed.... Funny thing is that I'm recalling the quote "Beware the fury of a patient man!" I am going to try your suggestion. Thank you.