I just received the corner patch panels for my 26 coupe but putting them in place they don't meet up. Is this typical? I was under the impression that you just cut and weld.
This is really not where I want to be first in line? I would prefer to chime in later with some clarification, or a snide remark. But it is only a half hour from Thanksgiving here, and many of our best regulars may or may not be available for a day or two.
Patch panels generally cannot be made to an exact fit. The fact is, most bodies throughout model T production, Ford and non-Ford, and most later cars actually, including some even to this day, were not made exactly alike across the many months, years, or models that would use similar panels. Even a '26 T coupe, which for a year and a half production, was about as uniform in stamping and construction as any car of that era, will vary considerably in numerous small ways. I know several people that have restored one, and ran into similar problems.
Patch panels are usually pattered after a few similar original pieces, altered slightly to appease different customers a few times, and then basically hoped to come close to a decent fit.
I usually make my own patch panels. In part, I do that because I am cheap, in part because I am usually broke, and in part, because I can. I would have made that piece myself, if it were for me. But I can tell you from enough experience that it would be tougher to do than you probably would think. That bead where it tucks behind where the fender attaches? WHEW! Curved compound curve on a straight edge?! Yikes!
Yeah. I would have made that myself. But if you do not have the experience, or the time for a long learning curve? And the torch to do it? Be glad you can buy them.
I would tell you "Happy Thanksgiving", but I think you are in Australia.
So good luck, and have fun!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
One additional comment. You will probably need to fold the edge over where that piece meets the center panel under the bead (which I think I have read on those should be spot welded somewhere and bolted in). The exact positioning of that fold probably varied just enough that if the panel maker put the fold in? It would be totally wrong for about half the customers. Easier for them, and probably easier for you, to have to fold it in place, to fit.
Thanks Wayne for your post. I was just hoping the corner may have been a closer fit but you are right about still being able to buy them.
I have a question about the T strip. Do I cut the rusty piece up to the TV strip then cut the new piece just under the TV strip then fold it under? Did you read about the corner piece on this forum?
Thanks again and happy Thanksgiving.
I have never worked on much of a '26 coupe body. I read on this forum how the center panel was attached, also a few things about the spare tire mount that need to be watched out for, but without a vehicle to reference, I can't repeat it with much accuracy. I know they were here, but Mr Google and I don't get along very well. I usually cannot find old threads if I need them, unless they are in my own bookmark file (hundreds of them!). I remember reading them, but not bookmarking them. A '26 T coupe is much too different than my '24 coupe to do me much good.
I am not sure I understand your question? TV?
Exactly how the piece needs to be fit in and surrounding areas trimmed, depends a bit on your level of welding skills. If you have and are good with a Tig welder? You can trim and fit close, butt the edges together, hold with clamps, and Tig weld/fill the cut with little distortion. Fairly straight forward, and quick. Although a course I took 40 years ago included Tig welding, I don't have one, and have not touched a unit since that class, therefore I have NO practical experience with one. My AC buzz-box Lincoln arc welder doesn't like to work on anything lighter than quarter inch thick steel, so I avoid it for body work. That leaves me with the Oxy/acetylene torch. I can weld, or braze, whichever I prefer for whatever circumstances. Some purists prefer welding, not brazing. Actually, they prefer Tig welding for the less distortion.
Many body repairs, I braze. A little cooler than steel welding with an open flame. That means a little less distortion. Brazing can be done butt edge. However, a slight overlap can help with fitting and also reduce distortion problems. A square step overlap is best, but a bit difficult to make freehand. A simple slight bend in with the other piece meeting in the overlap can work well. It can be brazed in small sections with adjustments made as you go. This method can also reduce distortion.
It may be easiest to remove the center panel , then fit and weld in the corner patch. Afterwords (after all the refit and distortion has been reshaped to your satisfaction), then fold the edge to match against the center panel and the trim piece. Then it should be easy to put the center panel back in with a nice fit.
If the center panel (whether original or new) is already firmly in place, and nice, needing only minor repair (or none)? The corner patch panel can be fit and welded without removing the center panel. Just a bit more foolishness trying to fit things with the panel in the way.
Good luck! Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
When I replaced mine, I had a good edge on the body, so I just cut leaving the edge on the body, and fitted the replacement to it. I made some panel clamps, and then clamped it into place, and then spot welded them on. I then welded small section at a time, and jumping all around, as to not over heat the panel, and warping it. I did both quarter corners on mine. In the picture you can see that I still need to fix the wheel well, that is why it doesn't fit tight there.
I ground the weld down, being carefully not to heat the panel up, and warping it.
E-mail me if you need, or want more info. a392hemi#yahoo.com
They are right. A picture is worth a 1000 words. So the "T" strip is riveted or screwed? I see in your second last photo you have removed it. I like the look of those clamps. is that just a "T" piece attached to the screw that pulls on the rear of the panel?
Thanks again everyone for your help. Once attached I will post some pictures.
Ok, I have replaced one patch panel and I'm pretty happy with it for a first attempt. Now I'm onto the rear. I have cut away the old piece and found the chassis frame is a little holey. What's the best approach to fix the frame and has anyone got a picture of the inside corner frame? Mine seems twisted and mangled.
Like I had said, I have never had a '26 style coupe. But, from experience with several other cars, mine and many other people's.
In hidden out of the way places like that? I have seen some people do beautiful custom recreation/duplication of severely rusted sub-structures. I cannot argue that it would be wrong to do so. I do always consider the structural integrity, long-term strength, survival, and safety. I have done some fairly nice reinforcement and recreation myself, but not as nice as some I have seen. The reality is, I lack the time and the money to do most things as well as I would like to.
From what I can see in the pictures? It looks like you have a fairly nice car and are doing a good job with the restoration. Most of that sub-structure looks pretty decent. I would probably do some minor brazing, and add some reinforcement around that back corner. Use a good rust killing product (I usually use some form of phosphoric acid after cleaning well, should be neutralized after). With a heavy coating of good paint inside, and reasonable care, it should be good for another hundred years!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I had a 27 coupe thAt was some worse than that and I blasted it and treated it with pour 15, painted it and the car still shows no signs of any rust. A friend of ours still has the car but keeps it I a garage. I assume if it were sitting out in the weather it might not have done as well. Just how it worked for me. Tim
Shawn, I seem to note a flat tire. Your frame should be square with the floor or your repair will come out with a bind when the tires are finally installed. Just saying.
Good catch Lee C! I know when I was re-wooding and repairing my '15 runabout, I checked the frame for square numerous times. I didn't think to mention that it is important.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll level it out before I start. ;)
Please don't misunderstand what I am trying to write here, I just want to try to be helpful if I can.
I think your getting the cart before the horse with your restoration job and I state that with all respect. You are repairing the body first before the frame but you should do the frame and substructure first. When you posted a picture of the rear frame missing, and bent that's when I thought I should chime in. How bad is the rest of the frame? Lift the body off and repair the frame and straighten it first, check the drive train, then start to make it look pretty with the body and interior. Like Lee mentioned above the frame has to be level and square for the body to fit correctly. If you try to fit the hood, doors, and trunk when it is not square they won't line up properly and cause all kind of grief.
Remove your tires and put it up on jack stands, or wood blocks. Add shims to level it out, all around.
The rear center sub-frame piece to yours is made by Howeell's. But the end pieces are not. I had made a set for a friend's '26 coupe, a bit of work to make them.
Here are some pictures of what you need for the corners.
The rear sub-frame of my '27 coupe is made totally different. It's one piece, as yours is three pieces.
Some more pictures
Thanks for all the input. I have already raised the body from the chassis. All I need to do it level the body (its nearly level anyway) The body frame is in really good condition except for that corner. I would love to move the chassis from under the car but I just don't have the room. I would rather leave the engine and drive chain (currently sitting in the bench) to last as I'm not sure how long this build will take and I don't want the engine sitting for years after being rebuilt.
Thanks Pat for all the great pictures. They really help.
Pat, you wouldn't have the length from inside to inside?
I will say on a long term job like this is it is very tempting to give 1's self some eye candy and try to make things purty first. But I agree with others, get the chassis,and then the body frame repaired and straight, THEN start on the body. Once you get all that nice sheet metal welded solid then repair the frame it will put things in a bind, like doors not shutting right and things creaking going down the road.
I will say that he could work on both, when stuck on one, work on the other. The body is already off the chassis, and is able to work on the body, as long as the body sub-frame is level, the chassis can be level under it. I'm rebuilding my coupes body, and I don't even have a chassis for it.
The inside length on mine is 39 5/16"
Those clamps I used to clamp the panel on with I made, I had some free time waiting for parts, so I made them. I'd buy them next time, they sell them on ebay for $15.00 shipped.
cut & paste---> http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-pc-Butt-Welding-Clamps-Weld-Sheet-Metal-Auto-Car-
any questions just ask, I'll try to answer them.