I figured I’d post this as evidence for the next guy doing this job.
Here’s a Canadian 26 Touring (Montreal) that came out of the New England area. My son asked me to put this project on the front burner for a planned 2016 summer activity or his. I’m going to try painting it per the school of Don Booth. This is the third ’26 Touring I’ve owned and dang it, I plan to finish it instead of giving it away for a lawn ornament or to a street rodder. Another story someday perhaps.
While most exterior work was done pretty well, a previous body man made some major revisions to the back panel and rear corners and he ignored the T-Strips pretty much when he spot welded his patch panels in. This photo shows the back panel on its side with the right side of the photo being the bottom corner on the right side of thebody.
I ended up unbolting the back panel and broke several welds and rivets taking it apart. The ’26 was definitely not designed for service.
Since I had it this far disassembled, I figured I would try and get a new back panel from Howells. I have to say thanks to Smith and Jones because somehow they managed to get one drop shipped to me from Texas in a matter of days. Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones even called me personally to tell me not to wail and gnash my teeth because the panel would get here soon and soon it did. They will get more of my business after going through a tough task.
With the help of a dry marker and my brother’s pneumatic hole-it-tizer I punched new holes in the panels and I made new corner pieces and welded them in using the previously riveted brackets to tell me where everything should go.
After all this work, I turned to the T-strips. Mine had braze on them and the top area of them was pitted. Some of our suppliers told me the ones they sell “they’re close”. They are, and here is proof.
I believe I can make these fit. Although it might be a good opportunity for the gent in Denmark who makes these things to offer a shorter set for the touring with a more correct curve. Just think, a shorter shipping box. I’ll use the cutoff pieces to make a doll house or cheese board so they won’t go to waste.
Working some more on this, I am finding the sweep of the curve is different from the Tudor in other places.
Using a c-clamp and a block of wood and starting from the center, I drilled pilot holes in the T-strip. By thinning out the cross section, it seems to bend easier. Once in place, I clamped it in place with some temporary nuts and screws. I haven't cut this Tudor piece to its final length just in case I need to start over and slide up to an unused section.
I cut several saw cuts at the very bottom to allow the strip to conform to the tighter radius at the bottom. This bracket originally had one rivet in the empty hole between the two screws. This bracket was riveted to the t-strip which was spot welded to the center panel. I'm now wondering how this was originally assembled since I don't see how they were able to buck the bracket rivets to the subframe if the bracket was attached to the rear panel. These are three of the six rivets I needed to remove.
Now that I have verified I have a tight fit to the original side panel and my patch, I am going to transfer the t-strips to the center panel and repeat locating the holes.