Now that I have the tailgate just about done, I'm turning to the front panel. The panel on my bed is pretty rough and eaten up in one corner. I have another front panel that is solid, but beat up. The part that extends forward to allow battery access appear to have been flattend. I'd like to try and straighten it out and reshape the battery piece. Can anyone tell me how far that piece extends forward from the main panel. It looks like an inch or so. A measurement at the bottom would be helpful. Here's what my panel looks like. Thanks!
Just using my failing memory, the panel you show is for a 25 with less than 2 inch step. The 26-27 has about 3 inch step and has a wedge shaped insert on each side. I could be wrong. Not the first time.
Trying to post photo but mine measures 3 1/2 inches deep on the 26.
Steve, my 26 photo
3 1/2 inch setback. Pretty good memory Jim.
I do not see any step only a cut out between two ribs. Are you sure this is a T bed? Seeing the photos that were posted before I was wondering if it was an A bed.
I did not know there was a difference between the '25 and '26/'27 front panel. This one had a small kicked out area for the battery before being smashed in, but not 3.5". So maybe it is from a '25. I bought this and the tailgate separate from the bed. This is the bed, you can see how rough it is and how the front panel is badly eaten up. The battery kickout is welded closed on this one.
Why was there a difference in the size of the battery kickout? My intent is to put this on a '24 touring cutoff. The end-game question is how large a kickout do I need for this application? I can rework it as needed. Thanks.
Dallas - thanks for the photos. Is that kickout part welded to the front panel or riveted? On the one I have it was just punched out, but 3.5" is too much to punch out. Thanks.
Steve, I will look when I get home after work.
Steve, I see no rivets in the bump out for battery box.
Thanks for checking Dallas. I did some measuring on my car and it looks like i'll need the 3.5" of kickout in order to access the battery and keep the fender indentations centered on the axle.
I spent the afternoon getting the heavy rust off the front panel, straightening it out and a good bit of welding. I welded up about a dozen cracks, filled 3 holes and made and welded in 2 patch panels I'm the lower edge. I still need to do a little more clean up on the welds too. I got the kickout panel fairly straight. But it only sticks out about 3/4" - 1". In order to get 3.5" of stickout I'll need to cut the kickout panel on each side, then bend it further forward. Then cut two triangular pieces 3.5" at the bottom and then weld them in place.
It's a lot of work, but i'm enjoying the process. I know I could order a new front panel from one of the vendors, but I wanted to try to save the parts I have.
Still wondering why the two different size kickout panels between '25 and '26-'27.
The '25 bed has a very shallow 'kick out' for the battery lid. The kick out is formed. The metal lid is also smaller and different part number from the '26-'27 metal battery lid.
Here are '26-'27 beds, the 'kick out' is deep, and side are spot riveted to the kick out part, as its too deep to form in the metal panel.
The lower bed kick out panel is un-molested.
Thanks Dan - the photos help a lot.
Nothing like the feeling of saving parts that were bound for scrap to build a new toyota. Glad to help. Keep us posted on progress.
I could be all wet on this, but to me that front pickup panel looks like it belongs to a '25!
I just went though fitting a replacement 26-27 forward panel to my '25. I had to shorten the "kick out" from 3.5 to a tad less than 2" to get it to fit. I was able to re bend the triangular parts after drilling out the spot welds. I riveted it back together. Wish I had figured this out before painting and finishing the bed. I was able to use the '26-27 battery cover by removing more wood. Not a bad plan as the battery hole is small and not so easy to get the battery in and out. I made a nylon strap/handle for the battery too.
The spacing of the bed against the back of the cab is dictated by the 3 holes in the bed rails where it bolts to the rear frame horn corners. (where the rear fender brackets usually go)
Yes, I agree - it is a '25 front panel. But since I need the 3.5" kickout, i'll have to cut the sides of the kickout and add triangular shaped side pieces to open it up.
Not unless someone has a '26-'27 front panel they'd like to trade. Since '25s are quite rare, I feel a little bad doing it. But this and the tailgate were on the verge of being scrap parts, so I'm ok with it.
I have two 1925 pick up box's and I agree with Larry that the one your working on Steve is from a 25.
Wish I had a '26 front panel, but i'll have to work with what I have. I just got done making the new triangular side pieces to push the kickout panel out to 3.5".
The bed you are working on is a 26-27 bed, as it has the embossed wheel shapes in the sides, and it is later bed because the front pockets are back 6" or so from the corners.
Mounting rails are different from '25, as the rear section of the improved car is much wider.
The factory angle parts 26-27 are bent to a "Z" section, which is a major pain to bend without the correct tooling. The Front of it also extends down to the height of the bottom of the planking. Thus, the hatch can rest on it.
I agree Erik. These are simple L brackets. I'm not trying to make it exactly correct, just serviceable. I will cut the side of the kickout piece, then bend it forward and weld it to the new side pieces. I'll probably have to add a little more steel to the bottom of the kickout panel, as it will be a little short when it swings forward. The new side brackets will extend down to the planks.
The battery trap door, as Ford calls it, is the same size for the '25-27 pickups.
I just ordered a battery trap door, bed strip hardware and the tailgate loops. I'm going to hold off cutting and welding the kickout panel until I have the battery trapdoor. That way I can make sure it all fits properly.
The Mrs. and I are going on vacation to Arizona next week, so it will probably be a couple weeks until I get back to the front panel.
There is nothing in life more important then working on Model T's! You're just going to have to cancel your vacation until the truck is complete!
I agree Dennis!! My wife doesnt see it that way.
Well, if I had my choice, i'd keep on working. But have to keep peace on the home front. But I will be thinking and planning on what i'll be doing when I get home!
Should have proof read my previous post - the front panel your working on is definitely from a 25 (but not the box)
I understood Tex. The front panel and tailgate I purchased separately from the '26-'27 bed. The original front panel had the kickout panel welded closed years ago. The bottom of it is mostly rusted away. The new panel is in much better shape, but clearly is the '25 type. But I can rework it for the larger '26 style battery kickout.
That bed you have is a challenge. A lot of them look like that too, but occasionally a good one shows up. My '25 bed never had any rust on it ever. All I had to do was remove the plate in front of the tailgate, and insert a new piece of wood, and re-rivet it back on. How many of you have noticed that stake pocket goes completely around the bed from left to right.
A challenge is right! You really lucked out on finding an original rust free bed - wow!
Today I made the '25 front panel into a '26 style with the larger battery kickout. I made the side pieces earlier. Today I cut the panel and folded it back about 3.5". It ended up being a little short, so I made a 1.5" extension piece and welded that in. Then it was all welded together, using the battery access floor panel to make sure it was sized right. It still needs a little more grinding and smoothing. It's not pretty, but it will be serviceable.
We leave tomorrow morning on our Arizona vacation for 10 days. So no more progress until we return. But when I return, the old front panel will be removed and this one installed.
Got back from vacation last night. Today I got back to work. I did a little more clean up on the new front panel and removed the badly deteriorated front panel from the bed. Next I started fitting and trimming the side wall patch panels. A lot more work to go, but it felt good to make more progress.
Looking good Steve.
I think I'm over the hump on resurrecting this old pickup bed. I got the main patch panels welded and bolted in on each side. This afternoon I got the new-to-me reworked front panel installed. There is still more welding to do; holes to fill and cracks to mend. And I still need to repair the rear flange that supports the boards. But it's starting to look like a real bed again.
You have been busy Steve. Looks more solid than mine now. I use mine all the time.
Looks like you have a great co-pilot Dallas!
She is 13.5 years old. In dog years she's older than the truck. She is our retired arson dog.
It was an icecream run.
Nice - a well deserved treat.
Regarding the front panel, the nagging question that remains is will this bed with the extended battery kickout, fit on a '24 cut off touring? I took measurements and I think it will, but don't know for sure. I've not seen an explanation for the extended kick out on '26-'27 panels compared to the '25 panel. I hope so, but if not I can cut and weld yet again.
That would be a question for the experts Steve. I hope so.
Drive safe and often
Steve, the seat should have a recessed rear toe panel that is recessed under the bottom of the seat and the battery cut out might fit in this.
Jim - thanks, Since this will be going on a cut off 24 touring, I may have to modify the lower seat back to accept it.