I'm preparing to remove the body from of my 1926 coupe for some body repair and paint. I pulled the steering column, and saw that the firewall is cracked around two holes for the steering column mount.
I am planning on welding these up, and possibly adding a plate to the engine side of the firewall to prevent future cracking.
Any thoughts or comments? Is this common?
I have seen similar damage on many '26-7 cars. The cars were heavier, there was more mechanical advantage in the steering gear with the lower gearing and larger diameter steering wheel. The balloon tires took a lot of force to turn when stopped or at lower speeds on hard surfaces. All this added up to stress cracks on the steering column tube and the dash.
I wouldn't bother adding a plate...that would detract from the originality and really not make any difference in your lifetime. Just weld them and forget.
I think that welding it back together would be good enough.
It will last another 50 plus years before it cracks again.
I don't think you'll be driving the car as rough and hard as it was before to crack it.
I had numerous cracks in the firewall on my car. The crack next to the steering column was down on the right side of your picture where it bulges out, then on the right side of the firewall on the same bulge, under the fuel bowl. Like yourself, I welded these up prior to a paint job. I have yet to see how my welds will hold up as I am still reassembling my car.