Installing the "pop" rivets in the 26-27 coil box rebuild kit from Fun Projects. These stainless rivets are a bear, just like the stainless brake lines I use on muscle cars, they are HARD!!
So I have two rivets I had to stand on the handle of my rivet gun to "pop" the "nail" on. The last two I installed are tight it seems, but I can not get the nail to "pop". I can not get my gun to even get a good grip on it to get another bite on them.
Can I just cut the nail part off that normally pops on off in the gun? I don't see any harm, but thought I would ask first.
I think I had to use the long handled setter to get mine to work. It has maybe 18" handles or longer. You can't use a typical hand setter.
If the rivet head is seated and not wobbly, then yes, cut the nail off. Be sure to do it flush.
Have done these, and as with SS Pop rivets, the use of a heavier gun is handy.
I just realized that it bent my pop rivet gun--if you look in Dans picture, it was right in that slotted area on the side. It bent the two side pieces of the gun outward. I straightend it and was able to get a grip on the nail, but it bent again. I will weld a reinforcement to the end of my gun and try it again. Sucks because I have had this gun about 20 years now with no other issues. The stainless is nice, but sucks to work with.
For the '26-'27 box, those rivets show on the face too, so they look neat. Ah....this is a one-off custom in tan plastic, looks like wood! Prototype parts from John for my Beta testing when he created these plastic kits. Love 'em.
If the nail will not pop off I usually just remove the nail by pounding it back out.
Tried to fix my pop rivet gun. It seemed like it was going to work, but I think it has just lost its grip after trying to many times. The end of the rivet is pretty rough now. I guess I will just cut them off.
They are definitely tight as you can see a slight distortion in the bar as Dan's photo just above shows too.
Harbour Fright has the large setter for $19.99.
Toasted my old cheapo pop rivet tool on the Funprojects install but it was well worth it. Bought a quality replacement and never looked back. Both the coil box and rivet tool are serving me very well.
Sorry guys but I hate things that rust so I won't include rivets that will eventually rust. The size of the rivet was chosen by Ford and a smaller diameter rivet will swim in the hole and not line things up correctly. On the plus side you should never have to do it again. I didn't just want to make things hard for you but ordinary soft steel rivets will rust eventually and then you have problems. My motto is "do it once - do it right". So long as the internal portion of the rivet is below the surface of the coil box liner wall and the rivet is tight you should be OK.
Working on my coil box for my 24' and got a new "kit" of the bolts and washers. Already had the Fun Projects kit to replace the wood. My question: will the plastic be soft enough that the small copper plated carriage bolts be strong enough to embed them selves in to the plastic with out breaking? The small fiber washer that fits under the head seems to allow the head to not want to embed in the the plastic. Waiting for the porcelains to show up.
Why not just use copper Pop Rivets? or any of the other non rusting Pop rivets such as Aluminium or Monel metal
Interesting how certain things pop up that you have already experienced! "Toasted" my old pop rivet gun on the same job when rebuilding my 1916 coilbox. Did not want to post on it as I thought it was just my cheap tool. Anyway, the kit is great and has stood up to some pretty wet weather motoring that would have given the old box plenty of trouble. Cannot recommend rebuilding your coil box highly enough.
Those rivets broke the handle in half on my old pop rivet gun! Replaced with an ebay special which made light work of them.
John, I totally get the Do it once, Do it right, motto. The stainless rivets are indeed a good idea, so do not change that part,
I also think it would be advisable to update the instruction sheet to say "a heavy duty rivet gun is highly recommended, a standard one might fail in pulling the rivet" --- or something to that effect.
I am certainly glad to see I am not the only one with this issue though. The only issue I have now, is that the Fun Project kit looks too good in my original patina box, LOL.
Don't put fiber washers under the head of the plated bolts for the porcelains. Those washers go outboard, under the porcelain.
Best to solder the terminals to the bolts, then use a punch with the new plastic board suspended up and knock in those carriage bolts, setting them fast in the plastic. Easy.
'Punch' in the carriage bolts
Mounting porcelains (ah John won't like my black painted exterior on the plastic, might be a carbon tracking issue later, but will see, its a plastic primer paint, low carbon content.)
The wood on Ford T coil boxes was NEVER black paint so not sure why you guys want to paint the thing and then cause problems. They tried everything except paint in vain attempts to seal up the wood. Paraffin soaking was the thing they returned to but it didn't last that long and all traces of it are probably gone on any surviving original wood.
Please READ the instructions that come with the coil box kit since it addresses the carriage bolt into the plastic issue that you guys are discussing. It shows you how to do it and includes picture of the way to do the job.
Using copper rivets against steel parts results in galvonic (dissimilar metal) corrosion but I also didn't want you to be able to solder to the rivet as is done originally which always causes intermittent bottom strip connection later on. Ford actually soldered the wire to one of the rivets and they are always loose and cause many of the coil box intermittent issues. Stainless is strong and never an issue once installed.
Went and got the Harbor Freight heavy duty Rivet gun with the long handles. I got one rivet to bust the nail, the other one busted the top of the nail off leaving most of it still in the rivet---no doubt from fatigue of trying so many times with the old gun. I just hammered it out the backside. All set now and everything looks good.
Of note, I did have to round some of the sharp corners of the plastics with a file to make them fit better in my box---the areas where the metal is bent isn't a perfect crisp bend, so softening the corners helped on the fit.
Other than that, this is a great product---as I already knew being I had one of the kits in my '25 pickup. Thank You John for your effort in making these.
Looks good Chad. I make the parts exactly per Ford drawings but probably the original wood parts are not as tough at the edges which may have allowed the wood to crush into some of the corners. I have seen coil box metal for all years that seems to have softer corners than others of the same vintage. I suspect it may just have been a case of the form tooling getting worn after many boxes being made. I know that on the 13-25 metal parts that the box very often got somewhat deformed just from hanging on the firewall for so many years with the 4 coils in there. On those boxes I always encourage folks to spend a little time with a rubber mallet and flanging tools (if they have them) to get the metal back in position to fit the holes of the plastic parts rather than egging out the holes to fit the metal which results in a less than perfect fit for the coils into the box. My own '23 box had ill fitting coils and the kit wasn't perfect fit at the start but the main issue was that someone had been forcing cardboard and wood shims into the box to hold the coils in place and the front to back metal strip brace was not there and had not been there for a long time. After working on the metal for a bit and stealing the metal brace out of another box I was able to get it all to fit together and then coils fit great and didn't wobble around in there anymore. They also did not need any shims whatsoever after that.
I forgot to say that I will indeed add warnings concerning the rivet tool to be used but given the typical Model T enthusiasts pension for being "thrifty" (cheap) I doubt anybody will go out and buy a new tool before they start
John, you mention egging holes out, I wasn't going to do that, because I knew how precise you made these kits. The one for my '25 pickup was a perfect fit. But that is how I noticed the bottom of the plastic pieces were not sitting down all the way in the box--thus not allowing the side panel holes to line up. It's all about the details, for me it was easier to round the corners rather than reengineer the metal box corners into perfect corner shape---this box was in real nice shape so I didn't want to mess with the metal.
By The Way, I will be using the 26-7 kit to redo a Fordson box for my power unit. It should go in with minimal mods to it. Looks like just drilling a few new holes for a couple screws to mount it in different spots. It could be a market you haven't tapped into yet.
Thanks Dan and John. Should have it back together over the weekend. Tomorrow I will solder all the bolts, and the small wire in the bottom. John, does all your kits use a pop rivet?
Got it back together today.
John, bought and installed one of these a couple of years ago. No problem installing and it works great. Just thought I'd let you know. Thanks.
FYI the materials you pictured are not made by Fun Projects. The back panel is clearly not made from the same material that we use and have researched. I can see missing machining details but I am sure you saved some money. If I am correct in what I think that material is, it contains more carbon than wood does. Not wishing you any evil but not just any plastic works for the long haul or in some cases not even for the short haul.
When my pop rivet gun exploded and left the rivet bent but not broken, I went and bought a new super-duty one that cost more than the 'kit' to finish the job...
I figured the old one had set about a zillion 'pops' over the previous 30 years and was ready to go anyway...and thanked John silently that I got to buy a new tool Then I turned around and bought the second 'kit' from John...
John Regan, that's not my picture above. I didn't post any on this thread. I did get the one from you and it's great.
I am sure John is referring to the wood replacement kit depicted I the Jerry Hoffman post above. I.e. not made per Ford drawings.
My bad Marty. I was indeed referring to the posting above your name.
Just walked in the door from a tour to Wisconsin that I was on that started on Wednesday. Boy was it a beautiful tour. Perfect weather and perfect planned events. It was hosted by the Gas and Brass club. Great job by Tom Effers and his wife.