I've slowly resurrecting a very rough '26-'27 steel pickup bed. They last 2 days I've been working on the tailgate. After welding up about a dozen cracks in the sheet metal and getting most of the twist and bends out of it, it fits pretty well.
The arms of the latches were badly bent. I got the worst of that straigtened, but they are still not right, especially the right side. I have new latch pieces for the bed sides, but it seems the arms don't line up with them. Do the arms go above or below the side pieces? Can anyone post a good close up photo of the closed latch assembly? That would really help me to understand what is needed. Thanks.
Not sure it is correct , but mine has one link of chain that slides over tab on gate and the hook holds it.
Hope this helps. Mine is a 26.
Well, if that is correct, then mine is closer to the correct position than I thought. I assumed the holes lined up and the hook went through both holes.
Larry Smith, can you post a picture of this area on your '25 pickup?
Dallas posted the correct setup for the 25-27 latch.
Close up view of latch on tailgate.
Thanks guys. Mine has loops brazed to the side to hold the chains. This does not appear to be the factory set up. Did the chain originally attach to the large link that connects to the side latch bracket?
The master link is solid link attached to the side panel bracket.
The tail gate chain is then fitted with an open link closed over the solid master link. The master link locks over the bracket on the tailgate.
At the end of the short tail gate chain is a rather large hook, the hook is inserted into the bracket hole on the tailgate to secure the master link that will then hold the tailgate to the side panel.
The large hook is normally inserted 'upside down', i.e. the hook goes up from the bottom into the bracket on the tail gate, then turned in place.
The reason is you want the hook not to be just dropped in from the top, as a bump in the road will easily jar the hook up and out. The correctly placed 'inverted' hook won't be bounced out!
Make chain long enough to allow the hook to invert from underneath and twist up and in. The cover on the chain isn't stock, just added for cosmetic look and to prevent chain dangle rattles.
I had to replace the bracket on my '25 that the link is in. It is riveted to the stake pocket. What a chore! And BTW, the tailgate pictured above is for a Model A, not a T! Another thing that is interesting about the hinge bolts: On 1925's they oppose each other. On '26-7s they both go the same direction.
Thanks Dan, now I understand. The best I can determine, mine is a late '26-'27 that had the front battery access welded up. The hinge bolts both go from left to right.
I made a little more progress today - got the new side latches installed. It was a bear getting the old frozen and rusted rivets out, but eventually they relented. Since my goal is to make this old bed servicable, not a restoration, I installed the new latch pieces with carriage bolts and square nuts. Not authentic, but at least it looks period and is servicable. One the the latches had the holes drilled off a little, so I had to deal with that. But otherwise it went pretty well. I picked up 5' of chain today, but need to order the loop pieces from Langs. The old bed is coming along.
Mine on my truck look like Dan's pic.
This is all I can share.
Last night I finished up the tailgate repairs and got the latches, chains and hooks installed. It's not pretty, but will be serviceable.
All you need to do now is find some worn-out, faded top material and make the sleeves for the chains!!
I was thinking of making some from old canvas, but that's a good idea. Thanks!