In the instructions from Cartouche it mentions a metal channel that surrounds the hip panel on its front and top. My T may have never had this channel. Can someone show me a photo of how the panels are installed? Also they mention door straps. I do not see that it ever had door straps. There are no holes where the strap would have been attached so I'm thinking of not installing the straps..
Most of the runabout and touring bodies, '26-'27 have the strips (channel) for holding the hip panels. Strip on the arm rest part down the pillar are noted with part numbers in the Body Parts Price List, p. 11. Provided a smooth look in finish.
So without those strips, just use some nice looking black headed tacks. The door panels use very small headed ring nails into the panel cup fasteners. You could use those maybe, but the hip panels are padded and upholstered, so perhaps just black painted upholstery tacks.
With the strips, the hip pads are held fast to the arm rest and pillar areas. The lower part of the pads tacked to the wood at the base.
Touring front seat but shows the strip (channel) to hold the hip pad.
Showing strips (channels) on the runabout body.
Without the strips, then as you posted, place the tacks into the wood in any place or pattern you wish.
As for check straps, the Improved Open cars did not have check straps on the doors. But many put them on for keeping check of swinging doors.
Here are some more pictures of the metal channel that surrounds the hip panel. These are taken from a 27 Roadster.
Eric, This is great. My early '26 (October 1925) is so different. I'll take some pictures and show you tomorrow.
It good to know about the check straps. I think I'll not include them as it is pretty obvious that mine did not have them. I'm also curious about how the door latch is treated in regard to the door panel. The panel that Cartouche supplied has no cut out for the door latch lever-only an oval cut out in the cardboard backing. Do I make a slit for the latch lever? If so what shape should it be?
You can make a paper pattern to do the oval hole needed in the cardboard door panels.
The trick is the repro oval metal escutcheons are made with a tiny channel, so I have found that using a razor blade to make the cardboard thinner at the leading edge, lends to having the channel clip tight to the oval hole you will make.
Here are some photos to help.
Paper template helpful, this one is from one of Eliz Esteep's installs on a maroon touring.
This touring likely was missing those channel strips so you can see some tacks holding the top edge of the hip pad in this install too.
Typically some of the edges of the kick panels and hip pads used Ford mechanical features to hold those pieces in place.
If still present, the top clip part is long gone in this touring You just have to deal with what you got
The door handle trim plates from A&L have longer tabs on them, and are easier to install. Probably the cardboard door panel stock we buy today is thicker than what was used originally.
Thank you for all of that. It's very helpful. Where do I get the repro oval escutcheons?
Here is an image from my early '26. It appears to me that it never had the trim strips that you show in your pictures. Here is what mine looks like. There is a separate piece but it is different.
Will, from what I can see in your picture, the trim strip looks practically the same as mine. It guards against rubbing the edge of the seat side panel when getting in and out of the car as well as protecting the front upper edge of the same panel.
Lang's has the door trim pieces, the larger curved piece fits to the door panel around the latch plate/striker area.
And like Eric posted, yours likely did have the channel strip, but its missing. I can see the divots and damage in the metal down the door pillar, where that strip was. The strips are fragile, and were spot welded in place, so when rusted or damaged, they can fall out or be pried away.
Eric, Here are the trim strip from my car. They appear to me to look nothing like what was on Eric's car. Like I said, this is one of the early production cars of the Improved Cars, I think you will see the difference. The panel goes on top of this piece. There is a slight raised edge that I would assume be there to protect the panel edge where it meets the door jamb.
Your piece looks just like the one in Eric's pic, except the lip on yours is 'mushed" down. You may be able to straighten it out with some clever wedging and hammer work.
I can't see that they are the same at all. Mine does have a bit of mushing (as you call it) . His lips over the panel, mine meets the panel which rests on top of it. His curves around and forms an edge at the top, mine is only for the vertical portion of the jam.
I was looking at this picture you posted, and it looks like there is a top piece, but it is very mangled, maybe I'm not looking at it correctly. I do see what you mean about the vertical piece though.
It's not really mangled but looks ragged because of the paint job was not finished there. Here is a closer detail with also shows the piece previously photographed as is should be installed (circled in yellow). As the cardboard panel probably would often be bumped as installed in the early open cars, so Ford decided that it needed trim as shown in Eric's photo to prevent that from happening and therefore installed it on later production models.
Will, you're right about the two cars being different. From what I can see from your pictures, the "L" shaped vertical strip simply offers a recessed area for the seat side panel to fall into which protects it from abrasion as people get into and out of the car.
The later car has a protective channel which the seat side panel fits into along the front edge and along the top edge at the front, then the panel fits inside the body in the rearward area.
Thanks Eric for validating my conclusions.
OK, that 'splains it. I imagine Ford found the rolled over bit to better protect the side panels and made fastening them in quicker on the production line.