First some background as to how I got here. My 1924 Coupe body project started with this 2013 thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/364760.html. I've found a number of mistakes were made by the previous owner, one of which was rewooding the body without having completed doors to verify the fit. Since then, I've found a nice pair of solid original doors but do not fit my rewooded body as easily as I would have liked. It appears the previous owner made the "A" post a 1/4" too short. Fortunately I was able to buy the cowl that was originally with the doors and have verified the original "A" post is a 1/4" taller than the one on the rewooded body. The project this winter is to mount the original cowl and doors to the rewooded body. I'm preparing myself that more of the body wood will have to be replaced once this is all fitted. On a positive note, I've found just about every hard to find part that was missing when I bought the body, that is with the exception of the aft vertical 1/4 window trim (opposite the notched trim).
The cowl wood is very solid but repairs are needed at the "A" post bottom and the drivers side post is cracked along the grain. I'd assume the split is from the door swinging too far and not having a footman strap to stop it. Talked to Dave Sosnoski recently and he pointed out that in order to attach the bottom of the "A" post to the sill, the cowl sheet must be removed from the wood in order to get to the wood screw at the bottom of each side. Of course the belt rail molding covers the sheet metal.
The solid aluminum belt rail molding on my cowl is located under the windshield opening and wraps around at the ends to about 90 degrees toward the doors. I believe it is the same for the Tudor and Fordor cars of 24 as well. The problem appears that the nails at the ends would be about 90 degrees to the ones along the front, effectively locking in the molding. I can get a thin tool in at the ends to pry it out, hoping the nails will pop out thru the paint from which I could then pull them out. Another thought would be to attempt to shear the nails off from behind at the ends and pry the rest of the molding along the front.
I have another molding with the locations of the nail holes so I can target those locations. I may be over thinking this but would like hear from those who have done this before. Any suggestions as to best way to remove the molding without distorting it?
Found that by using a putty knife with the blade through the handle, a few hammer hits were enough to shear the two nails at each end between the molding and the body panel. Then using the same putty knife, I was able to carefully pry away the molding. Also useful were wood shims that are normally used for home windows and door jams. Used them to to drive behind the molding to keep pressure along the entire length.