New car.. needs top
I have top irons, but no wood or fabric..
How does one start a new top project?..
Is it.. DIY only?
Welcome to the forum. This appears to be your first posting. Please let us know if this is your first T or you have been around them for a long time and this is your “new to you” latest T.
Please confirm it is for a 1924 touring like the one listed on your profile. And if you are new to Ts please post a photo or two or let us know how you decided it was a 1924. In my Dad’s garage the title was wrong on 1 out 4 of his old fords and many Fords are actually a different year from the engine number because the engines have been changed out sometime in the past. They are just as much fun to drive no matter what year, but the 1915-1922 tops have different bows, top irons etc.
See the following posting that describe how to fabricate the wood that fits between the metal top bows. Also a couple of ways to do the wood (some used plastic) lattice to build up the side pieces that fill the metal bows.
“IF” it is actually a 1923-25 touring body with the slanted windshield the following information will be very helpful:
The 1923-25 USA tops are basically the same (first 100,000 had straight line cut all the way back to the rear and after that they curved gently down about 2 5/8 inches at the rear (ref page 327 Bruce McCalley, “Model T Ford”) and the rear window changed in late 1925. Note the Canadian tops were introduced earlier in 1920 (some say 1921) but they had approximately 5 different top bow designs with minor differences. (Ref from memory – the Canadian Service bulletins – so not as reliable as looking it up.)).
Phil Mino has done a great job of documenting the dimensions of the one man top used on the USA 1923-1925 Model T Tourings. See his postings at: http://www.fordfarm.net/25TrgTop.html
Dan posted photos of how to make the curved part that fits in the curved part of the bows using wood at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/173560.html?1291318078 it is for a 1926-27 but the idea is the same. And it includes some relevant information you can use in fitting the bows that overlaps 1923-1927 when the bend is in the metal top irons reinforced with wood.)
Patrick shows how to use plastic lattice to do the same thing at: Lowes Lattice Strips - DIY Top iron bow corners!
Please see Tony Cimorelli’s excellent photos on rebuilding the 1923-25 touring top (includes the photo above) at: http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/projects/bodyopen/23-touring-top-web/index.htm and http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/projects/bodyopen/touring_top_rebuild/index.html Tony did a lot of documentation when he rebuilt his 1923. It may or may not be exactly what the factory used – but it looked good when he was finished. If anyone has more accurate or better documented information, please let us know.
Tony discusses replacing the top socket wood at: http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/projects/bodyopen/replacing_top_socket_wood/index. html
Some may be repeats – but better posted twice than not at all:
Great info – save the photos: http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/projects/bodyopen/replacing_top_socket_wood/index. html
Nice photo of top irons: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/552384.html
How to wrap the bows: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/93079.html
That should help get you started. And of course Lang’s and other vendors sell the wood for the bows you will need. They have even added the curved section for the 1923-25 and (26-27 for folks looking for that) – well not so fast – that is listed as part # 7941WF3 front top bow corner and 7941WF4 for the middle bows and rear bow. But they aren’t showing up on their web site. Worth a call.
And for the straight part: https://www.modeltford.com/item/7941WS5.aspx
That should help get you started. Others will post additional information.
And welcome to the forum and to the hobby!
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You buy the wood spans and the rivets to mount them with from Langs and the top kit from Classtique. Costs a bit, but it's well worth the money and a hell of a lot easier than trying to figure everything out or sewing your own.
You also should have a nice warm area to put the top together too. The wood spans and corner you can do anywhere, but the fabric you've got to do inside a warmed garage. If you don't and it's cold out, the fabric wont be stretched or relaxed, so when it come summer...it'll get all loose looking when it does relax.
You can do it your self -- see the links listed above. Or you can purchase the complete top bows already assembled (see: https://www.modeltford.com/item/7941E.aspx ) and hire an upholstery person to install the kit ( see: https://www.modeltford.com/pl.aspx?t=s&v=TUK7ACL25&page=1 ) Note Lang's points out that some cars assembled in 1922 were actually 1923 model year cars and take a different kit. And as mentioned above if you are basing the year of the car on the engine number or the title -- the body could be a different year and have a different style top.
The more you do yourself normally the less cost and more time. It is a trade off. And of course you don't need a top to enjoy your T. Our 1915 cut off hasn't had a top since the rear body was removed. And I've had lots of fun with it for years. (Ok don't get caught in the rain and yes, it would be nice to have some shade on a really hot day.)
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First post.. and first T!
I love it..
I "know" it 1924 by slant windshield and
Full hood.. touring cars are my favorite..
Hood River,or has a auto/air museum that offered a model T ford day/class with lunch...
My T is perfect.. rebuilt engine/trans on original
Car until restored but stored over time.
Interesting history, under research...
Thanks all for friendship...
Gramps and uncle would talk T at the family cabin,
and this kid was all ears...
I can fund tires and new top for 1924 touring...
I want to do it once.. and do it right..
I'll get wood bows from Langs as my "T Guru" recommends them.. and so.. why not a top kit from Langs?
*Classique offers a better start for the novice?
What kind of price premium is it?
*Also.. I need to chage out 6v headlight bulbs..
Do I "Jimmy" off the headlight rim with pocket knife to gain access?
Don't "Jimmy" the headlight bezels!
In case the thread below doesn't mention it, put a pillow or folded up towel on the floor under the headlight when you take the bezel off, sometimes the headlight lens falls out during the process.
Also, I recommend Classtique for the top kit, it's worth whatever the small price difference is. Here's an older thread showing the installation of new sockets, bows, and Classtique top kit on my 1924 cut-off touring (now a pickup):
Here's a link to Classtique's video tutorial on installing a touring car top like yours:
"I'll get wood bows from Langs as my "T Guru" recommends them.. and so.. why not a top kit from Langs? "
Because it's not made by Classtique! I don't know the price difference, but it's worth it! Same thing is true of upholstery kits too.
There really is a difference in top kits, and oftentimes "the other guys' don't fit correctly.
Ask around, I'm sure you'll find most folks in agreement with this.
Classique offer one man top kit w/ roll up... $600
Then.. offered is "full back" $400.
Is that just a option?
Wise me up... I'm 1924 touring, roll up rear
Window sounds good.. is it?
Looks like a big job... for a summer day or 3!
The roll up back section of the top was last offered by Ford USA produced cars on the 1914 Ts. It allows you to roll the rear section up so there is a large rectangular opening instead of the top being there.
If you want comfort -- the roll up rear section is an option to consider. It helps the ride be cooler when the temps are high outside. It is NOT air conditioning but better air flow etc. And that allows you to have the top up for shade but also have the better air flow. I have never had one, but some posters have commented that it reduces the drag effect of having the top up when you are driving.
If you are a stickler for "like Henry made it" then you would want the original style rear top section that does not go up.
You might want to go for a ride in a T with and another without the roll up rear window so you can experience both. As late as the 1970s several convertible tops allowed you to lower the rear window area for extra air flow. It helped make the cars more comfortable.
You commented above that you were planning to purchase the top bows from Lang's. Note that Lang's top bows for the 1923-25 is only the center wood. See: https://www.modeltford.com/item/7941WS5.aspx If your top irons have the wood in the curved section and it is solid, you can often just fill the previous tack holes with wooden tooth picks held in by water proof wood glue. But if the wood is there but weak, you might be able to use something like “Kwik-polly” or other wood strengthener. And of course if it the wood is too far gone or missing completely you will have to replace the curved pieces. I do NOT know where you can purchase those. Lang’s no longer has them listed in their catalog, but they might still supply a few? You can ask them. The thread I posted earlier gives you links to how you can do it yourself.
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Add to your reference file for top bows and wood pieces to fit into the curved sections of the metal top bows for '23-'27 can be had from J.P. Anderson, R. V.'s brother.
Prices may or may not be correct as this price list is for 2014-2015.
Or you can make your own if you have the old wood for pattern, from lathe strips.
*I'm in the Pac NW and wood is no problem..
Green wood cut into strips can be formed on the bow.. (He, the politician said before doing...)
Likewise if the wood straight parts have span
width sizes published... *No sweat knocking these out on saw.
Hap.. you are #1 with me..
THANK YOU BUDDY!
Thank you so much for J.P. Anderson's information. And yes, I have added it to the top bow information. And thank you for all your support to our clubs and hobby. And thank you to all of you who help contribute to our forum, our clubs, and keeping those Fords on the roads.
I'm glad I could be of some help. So many folks have helped me over the years. And soon, you will be able to tell folks about how to install wood in the bows ets.
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