Replacing the low speed drum on my 26. I thought I might want to have the pan checked for straightness while I have it apart. problem is the nearest alignment jig is 300 miles away. Wondering how critical this is? Are there checks to do before hand to verify the pan's condition?
It's advisable to check every pan, especially if there are signs of any collision ever happening - hard knocks to the wheels both rear and front are transferred to the poor pan.
But since you have a 1926, you have an advantage - the hogshead is connected to the engine block by two screws that makes a much more rigid assembly, lessening the dangers for a bent pan from normal use. Still a risk it's bent if ever in a collision, but if it hasn't, it might be fine..
Check with a ruler long enough to reach along the whole pan to see if the gasket surfaces are straight..
You may also attach the hogshead to the engine block with the same number of shims as before (if any), check the gasket area with the ruler and then check the pan with the engine - hogshead upside down acting as a instant jig. Just don't adjust the pan when on that jig
(I couldn't locate any pan jig in my part of the world, so I checked the pan with a ruler for my '27 engine and took my chances. Still works OK..)
Then when it's time to mount the pan on the engine, it's important to do it properly - see Mike Bender's info here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW0u6aUjQBI
"But since you have a 1926, you have an advantage - the hogshead is connected to the engine block by two screws that makes a much more rigid assembly, lessening the dangers for a bent pan from normal use."
It should also have the 2 corner braces for the pan (P/Ns 3118 and 3119), where the side of the block connects to the front of the transmission cover.
Check the distance on the pan "ears" to see if they will line up with the holes in the frame. Make sure ears are not bent. Consider brazing on the inside of the pan where ever there are rivets to help prevent oil seepage,