These rear fenders turned out to be from the touring body and frame I have been working on for a few years now. Better methods or replacement would be in order for a fine restoration but this one is not that. I have always admired the back yard fixes I have found on some panels and fenders. I was blessed with 4 pounds of #8 machine screws so this is an opportunity to use some up.
The first step was to true the fender to shape and braze the cracks.
Then after persuading a panel into place a patch was cut, drilled and screwed.
The outer lip had rusted and much was detached from the fender. Spot brazing and a piece of wire will hold it in place for some time. The mounting flange to the running board was badly rusted so these patches were made and screwed in place.
Over the years I have restored fenders and built new ones for some of my cars. This project is less demanding and as much fun or more than doing it right.
I show these for those who might be amused by it and not a recommendation of how it should be done. However, I learn lots that could be useful each time I try something.
I'm sure you must be proud of your work but I'm not amused. We are only custodians of the cars and parts for the time they're in our possession. Now the fender is ruined forever. Over one hundred years of life and history just ended for that fender.
Yeah, you should have thrown it away instead of ruining it forever. Nice barnyard repair, ill post some original repairs that i have for a look see.
Screws and rivet repairs, done in the early 20s.
Gasp !! Uk-sput ! Is that a >choke< WOOD running board ?!? Not original !! You guys have no shame !! Besides, how are the fellers making reproduction sheet metal supposed to make a living ?? You're taking bread from the mouths of their poor chirruns !! -
I love my Liz, and she's mighty purty, but I know everything below the body sills is "re-pop" stuff, and sometimes I wish the "real" parts were still there even if they had to wear a patch or three. Fun to see this !
Rich, your '14 is going to be an incredibly satisfying T to own and drive. I can't wait to see it !
The barnyard repair is an art form that has almost been lost! These repairs harken back to a time when people didn't throw any useful things away, instead repurposed or returned machinery to its functional form.
Beautiful work, Richard and Ed.
Thats actually the remains of an accessory linoleum running board they sold back in the day to spiff up the look of a plain T. The linoleum had dried up and flaked away leaving the wood exposed.
Mine were done close to 100 years ago by a long dead poorly skilled "custodian"....god bess him. Without the Frankenstein repairs, this car would be long gone by now.
Not to worry Stephen. I know of several other fenders with patina you can see through. They will carry on the tradition of "Unrestorable" parts.
Great stuff Ed. I have several riveted/screwed fenders. They do have a folk art charm about them. I can do and try out things on this car that would be cruel and unusual for a nice T.
I have said before "There are many ways to enjoy a Model T"'
Rich, well done! You have inspired creativity. I am imagining welding these plates and then removing the bolts 1 at a time then MIG welding the sheets together. Eastwood has some tools, materials, and tips that should make your good workmanship nearly invisible, if that would amuse YOU. Don't let those who are "not amused" stifle your decision to post.
Richard, I think this fender is in line for your farm yard repair. I have better fenders but I want those for another project. The hole is ok until I hit a mud hole. Better than pitching it! I have aged screws and bolts for this truck so a patch will be in order. How would one make new top material look aged? The wood parts are easy because I save everything. Your repair looks better than pop rivets that are in the other fender and door on my RPU.
I love the way you are doing it! Far from ending it, you are allowing it to continue for decades or even generations more. Most people take fenders in that condition and replace them a la Rootlieb. The hundred year remains are usually then thrown out. THAT ends the fenders years. It is difficult to "draw those lines" when is a fender beyond salvage, or beyond restoration. Areas of the sheet metal age differently over the years, and damage from collisions. At some point, the damage is just too severe to make it into a nice fender again. At some point, the metal is simply too thin. But with a little old fashioned repair and straightening? Some of those fenders could enjoy many more years of use on a car such as you are fixing up.
I love it!
And, just to be clear, I have no problem with the Roolieb family or their products. Their products are among the best, and highest quality, of any products like them. I had family in Modesto (which is very near Turlock) and was going to the Turlock swap meet almost every year for a long while. I remember when they had only been in that business for a few years, and I heard them joke about "figuring it would be a good business for only another ten years or so". That was over forty years ago. I admire them, and their products. Countless antique automobiles exist in beautiful condition today, in part, because of the excellent products they make. And not all of them are model T Fords.
Besides, I don't think any of us would want to be having "bidding wars" over fenders far worse than what Richard E is using, only to have to spend hundreds of hours trying to make them look nice. All model T owners and caretakers owe the Rootlieb family a huge "Thank you!" If not because they are using Rootlieb's products? Then because other people using those products have made affordable old fenders and parts available.
But I still love what Richard E is doing with that car!
Thanks guys. Maybe I should explain this car to those who haven't watched it's progress. A friend bought a slew of Model A parts and promised me the T parts with it if I would help him retrieve it all. There was a lot of "unusable" sheet metal but since some of it looked early I took it all. As it turned out there was a 1914 frame and nearly all the body panels. After assembling my Rusty coupe from beat up panels and enjoying the heck out of it I decided these panels could be roughed out and used. I doubt if any of them could truly be straightened enough to put glossy black paint on but streaked flat black paint looks great on them.
Wayne is right about Rootlieb. I have some wonderful things from them.
Here are the body panels i speak of.
As a former T owner and current builder of brass-era replica cars I commend any of you who make your cars your OWN. Do the car and repairs the way YOU want, the purpose of this hobby is to enjoy the vehicles. As a retired professional autobody repairman I can state absolutely that the fender I'm looking at on this post as repaired is perfect for the level of vehicle it will be placed on. This fender could not be restored back to original condition. It is too far gone. Back before the internet and easy access to nice parts the 26-27 T's were tough to find front fenders for, the rear roadster fenders were really difficult, and a roadster spare tire bracket for a wire wheel was a treasure. You would see a beautiful roadster or touring, the outside surfaces of the front fenders looking great, and the underneaths with fiberglass applied to them to stiffen them up and hiding the welding, patching and filling done to cleanup the outside. Restored? A nice-sounding term for a upgraded good-looking patch job. If the current owner is happy with the vehicle GO FOR IT. Great save of an old abused part!
Nice authentic repair job, Richard. Very resourceful. You are an inspiration to us all. (Well, almost all.)
I have some body sections and fenders in similar condition. I bring them to the flea market in hope that someone can use them, perhaps as Richard does above.
NO ONE wants them.
I may just harvest the useable brackets then bring the remainder to the scrap yard. It does seem that most folks opt for the new reproductions and throw away the old. Sad.
WOW, Richard! Nice job. Wish you were closer. I've got my original 1914 right front fender that needs that repair where it meets the running board.
The barn finds have a charm that the restored cars don't. I spent many years restoring cars. This is quite a change from that. I can imagine the grouch that protests that this is not an authentic barn find but something someone just threw together. The variety of opinions never ceases to amaze me.
If some parts are saved from scrap or some similar cars are assembled that would be worth while. What if dozens of cars were put together from discarded parts?
This project has continued 3 times longer than the respectable 1915 Roaster I restored some years ago. The cost has been about a third. I guess I can't justify it but for the pleasure it gives me and and fun others may have seeing it.
Again, thanks for the comments.
(Message edited by rich eagle on June 04, 2017)
One day (Bucket list item) I would like to see a car show of nothing but survivor cars, Barnyard repairs, wife sewn seat covers etc. That would bring a smile to my face.
My roadster has "kustom" seat cover. Notice the patch job on passenger side.I finally have a set of original seat springs but these match the truck right now.
What I find quite wonderful about Rich's project is exactly how scattered bits and pieces can come together in a complete car.
"Re-purposing" may be a recent buzz-word, but it was the abundance of crippled and discarded Model Ts that conspired with necessity during the Depression and later, that truly realized the term long before the word "re-purposing" was ever uttered !
Over 50 years ago when I was a kid enamored of the Model T, I don't think a day went by that I didn't see some evidence of the Model T presence . . . farm wagons, two-wheel utility trailers, gear drives on one-row spud diggers, a front axle bent to hang a church bell, wheels on carts used to put out milk cans, axle stands made from differential housings, even the back-stop on our junior high ball field was patched with a panel from a touring car. The list could go on and on.
After a generation of being torn apart and scattered to the four winds, it seems like some magical magnetism has been working on all these several parts the past 50 years, enabling them to come back together again in running vehicles of all descriptions, and I think it's truly great ! The "franken-Ts" take nothing away from the cars that survived intact - they are just another way Henry Ford's goal of creating a car everyone can own continues to prove out !
Richard. I like it that you are saving parts that normally would be thrown away by the "restore it to new condition" crowd. Here are some pics of my poor old girl. She is a very early non starter 26 touring. The very early Improved models were made with lots of design issues. One of them was too thin of metal in the fenders and lack of extra reinforcement plates to the inside of the fenders. It was corrected fairly early in 26 model year, but the early fenders were prone to major cracking issues. Here are some farmer/shade tree fixes on her fenders. I plan on leaving all the old fixes in place and leave her "in her work clothes" Ill mechanically make her safe to drive, but that is it. Keep up the good work, The vast majority of us get what you are doing. The main thing is to have fun and be safe.
Awesome job Rich.
Here are a couple fender patches recently done by a friend.
Ain't a nuclear sub or a space shuttle, it's a model T Ford, fix it so it will work, my opinion, not a model T guy, but I like the forum, and I think it's changing my mind. Dave in Bellingham, WA
Awesome TT JD! Dallas, have you seen these pictures? Dave
Rich, I think those type of repairs are great. I've seen many fenders and body parts repaired with whatever was available back in the day, even license plates. I once saw high head that had a freeze crack that was repaired with a piece of steel sheet secured with several screws, probably drilled and tapped for them. Dave
I once went to look at a 1927 Chandler sedan for a fellow that was interested. The whole car wasn't very good, but it had some possibilities. Then I looked at the engine. Clearly, this thing had thrown a rod, but good (NOT good). This thing had the biggest aluminum casting I ever saw on a mid size car of the '20s. The entire upper crankcase was a single unit, about eight inches tall from where the lower pan would attach, up to where the steel cylinder bock bolted on top. Front and rear had big aluminum arms cast in to support the engine in the chassis. And between those support arms, from the front of the motor to the back end of the motor was about a quarter inch thick aluminum engine side pan, on each side. No chintzy thin sheet steel side pans here! The whole thing was one piece.
I could not see all the damage, much of it was hidden behind the steel plates bolted across the breaks, with many small bolts. But I could see enough, that the crack started clear at the top, where the cylinder block bolted on. The steel plate was several inches wide, indicating that maybe a sizable chunk of the crankcase was gone. and it covered from the top to the bottom of that side of the crankcase.
There was also a steel plate bridging the side pan. It, too, was fairly large, filling the space between the crankcase and the frame rail for about three inches. From under the car, I could see a missing chunk in that side panel large enough to push a tennis ball through.
I think that rod came out and came out hard taking prisoners as it went.
I could only speculate what the damage was inside. Who knows? Maybe the rod, piston, and even crankshaft were replaced, and only the aluminum crankcase left to show its past. And what a repair job it was!
I could have considered the car for myself, even with that engine. But I could not recommend it to someone else. Especially since the rest of the car wasn't very good either. Some apparent body wood issues, hideous bad paint job, bad interior and top
I hope somebody got the car and restored it nice.
In my quest to build a Brass T I picked up any early fenders I could find. These influenced my method of patching them.
Wayne, My White has a "Lynite" crankcase similar to the Chandler. The pan and transmission case also. If they were made of cast iron they would be very difficult to lift. Fortunately mine hadn't been broken up.
Here Richard, you'll like this. '11 Torpedo / Open Runabout fenders have large flat areas that tend to "oil can". On both my rear fenders somebody attached a reinforcing stick using knurled spark plug nuts.
I do like that Walter. Just when we think we have seen it all something new and different pops up.
Backyard or farm repairs add character. Half of my TT is held together with baling wire. Thanks for posting about this subject. Not all T lovers want to, or can afford, total restorations for their T. Sometimes we have to make do. Great pictures!
Rusty license plates from 30s and 50s work awsome
I am by no means an expert body and fender person but have learned a lot on these rusty things. You can try all sorts of crazy ideas that you wouldn't try on something that had to be perfect.
People ask how to do body work and the old rejects are a good place to practice.
Another item I didn't mention is that I use Por15 between the panels as sort of a panel adhesive. If you ever get Por15 in the lip of the paint can and try to pry the lid off you will know how this might work.
I have long been a fan of rivet repairs. Sometimes I use copper rivets. steel or even aluminium. The key is to make a sensible and well thought out job of it, as is seen in some of these old repairs, done when folks did not throw things away that could be repaired.
In a way I felt bad about discarding the very old repaired sheet metal but it was interesting what and how things were done, like a broken wood support in the deck lid of my '25 coupe, it had a NAIL through the metal then it had been clinched like a rivet that split the wood, I did fix that ok. But the four fenders and splash aprons I replaced with new. I would rather have original but a line has to be drawn somewhere! I'm hoping for someone many years in the future long after me, was it worth it? Was to me.
I'd truly like to see a patch repair on that dirt daubers nest.....hahaha