I bought several new body panels since the ones that I had were pretty rotted out around the frame area and the front apron area. I would have needed someone to spend a fair amount of time fabricating patches and it just didn't seem worth it. I bought new front fenders, side aprons, radiator apron, and running boards. The fenders, side aprons, and running boards fit together fairly well with a tiny bit of tweaking. When I went to test fit the radiator apron in the front I realized that there is a huge gap on each side of the apron where the fenders don't quite line up. Also, the tab for the apron won't fit over the holes for the radiator mounting studs. The tab isn't long enough.
I suppose I'm going to have to bring the car to a body shop and have them mess around with what I have, cut a few spots, weld a few spots, add a litte here and take a little there.... I'm sure this is normal, and I probably would have been better to buy some original fenders but I didn't so now I just need to work with what I have. Any thoughts? Anyone ever have to deal with this before?
Warren, you have started on the right track. Some paint their new panels and then have these little setbacks.
I would measure the side on the radiator apron and the vertical side of the fender front. They need to be about the same. If your fenders are bolted up tight to the frame, then some correction to the edge of the fender lip is needed. I would make the line you need, and then unfold the bent over edge and reform it on the line. Then the back edge of the fold can be ground off and the edge tapped down again. There will need to be a little removed along the edge that sits next to the radiator support too. That bit is easy.
Remember, it's not a Rolls, so some discrepancy/misalignment is tollerable.
And most radiator aprons are not formed correctly!
This is one reason for fixing or replacing with original Ford parts when at all possible.
Is that first photo reversed? When I replaced my front apron, I don't remember there being a choke wire hole on the right side. It should only be on the left. I replaced my apron on the '26 Touring with a "high quality" one from Langs. It fit perfectly...including the nickel trim. Wonder what's up with yours?
T's had some misalignment in their bodies when they came off the assembly line. The Ford assembly line folks pushed, shoved the body parts till they looked pretty decent. Examples of this can be seen on an original car when you look close.
I bought an original Coupe deck lid years ago to replace the old one on the car. It looked good until I tried to install it on my car when it wouldn't fit the hole as I thought it would. The lid turned out to be 3/8" out of square. It was formed that way and the wood was installed to fit the lid. I noticed a few misaligned pieces on the 2 other cars I have also.
I have come to realize over the years of being around T's that we restore them better in some ways than the way they came from the factory.
To my recollection, my 26 Fordor, with all original Ford sheet metal, isn't a whole lot better in that area where the fender flanges meet the radiator apron. I can understand your wanting to improve it however. I would probably do the same.
kevin,the original 26-27 had a choke rod hole on both sides.It was so they could be used for RH/LH drive.The nickle trim strip hid the extra hole.
The repo we got have the holes on both sides. Problem with the RHD vs LHD choke wire hole, the carburetor does not change sides and you still have to crank/turn the engine the same way.
Jack the carburetor and the choke wire are in the same place regardless of RH drive or not.
Thanks for your comments. I have been looking at various photos and it seems that most cars out there are not perfect. I would like to get it somewhat close since I have it all apart now and hopefully won't ever need to deal with it again.
The apron that I got was from Lang's and it was the "Best Quality" one that they had. There is a hole on both sides. You can't see it in one of the pictures because of the shadow on the pic, but it's there.
Michael, the choke wire hole on the left side will be covered by the nickel plated trim piece when it is installed. The left hand hole is a mystery.
Allan from down under.