For those familiar with the early wooden body cars, what is the best way to repair some separation? My early 1910 has some minor wood separation on both sides of the rear corner. I think I've seen corner braces on some cars, but I'm not sure how to shape it since it curves. Any suggestions would be helpful, as I don't want the split to get any worse or water/bugs to get in!
Looks like sheet metal rusted out along a crimped joint. More pix as an overview ?
That lower body section where the side panels and lower rear panel meet is a chronic problem. On my '10 I reenforced from the inside using hardwood blocks to hold screws driven in from the outside to bring the pieces back together. The screws were countersunk and then the area was filled and sanded down as needed using a good wood filler before repainting. It has held up for about 15 years now but is once again starting to show a slight separation. The bodies are so flexible that it is very hard to keep them from doing that. I would post pictures but am about 1,800 miles away from the car right now.
I can't really tell much from the photo but this is a proven method used in wood boats in the past. Apply 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive in the crack as deep as you can. Clamp the crack tight and clean the excess 3M 5200 up. If possible, apply a block on the backside of the crack full length of the separation with 3M 5200 on the contacted surface. Allow to dry clamped for a week. This will close the crack and the adhesive will not fail because it flex's. Do NOT use screws or nails or epoxy or glue. The crack is caused by stress and if you "stiffen" it, it will just separate again. Clamp it and have the patience to let it cure. You may never have the problem again as long as the wood is sound. It is only as strong as the wood around it. Just a old wood boat guys way of doing...
Wow, thanks for all the advice! I really like the Marine Adhesive idea - where do you find that 3M 5200 stuff?
Any marine store and HomeDepot carries it...at least they do here but I'm about 1 mile from 22k sq miles of wawa.
Thanks, Don, I will give it a try. And Rich, the body is all wood so the good news is there's not a trace of rusting going on!
Bill feel free to PM if you have any questions.
Hey Bill how about posting some pictures of the whole car. if you already did I missed them. that 10 will make a good roommate to the best model T ever made. Tim
I have the same problem my 09 Touring. These are the rear views and the passenger side.
Has anyone tried the 3m 5200 on a wood car body? It seems to be an idea solution..
Tony, it looks like someone had used fiberglass mat on that one. It won't last for two reasons. Fiberglass resin doesn't block moisture it traps it. That is why you are seeing it separated from the wood. If one needs to use a fiberglass mat it should be used with a product like West System Epoxy which doesn't breath but the wood has to be completely dried before hand. I have rebuilt several wood boats and now doing Model T's. I have always used the 3M 5200 for ALL the joints. It is as strong as any glue and screw job but remains flexible so road shock won't break the joints apart. Looking at your pictures I would preferably replace the wood however, you could dry it then heat it and brush the West Epoxy on it. The heat will draw the epoxy deep into the wood and make it the same tinsel strength of aluminum of the same thickness. I would then use the 3M 5200 on the corner seams clamping them in place. 5200 take a full week or more to cure so take that into consideration. The joint would be as strong as possible but have enough flex to absorb the twisting and pounding of the road. Having said that, you really need to determine if the wood should be repaired or replaced.
I agree about the fiberglass mat, a good deal has been removed. My plan is to remove as much as possible then add a skin to the lower surface. The skin could be veneer or a glue/cloth technique. I have used both previously and have been shown to produce an excellent paintable surface. But both techniques need a stable surface.
I would like to retain as much of the original wood as possible, I really don't want a 2017 Model T that looks like a 1909, just me.
(Message edited by Tony_bowker on August 05, 2017)
It is possible to retain and repair the wood. The West Epoxy System was designed to do just that. As long as the wood is going to be painted and not varnished the epoxy will work wonderfully. The whole point to this is to repair or replace and leave that transom flexible so it can absorb the road shock without damaging the wood and starting the problem all over again. If you want to send a PM we will exchange phone numbers and I can walk you thru the methods that old lumpy wood boat restorers have used with success. I would feel privileged to help.
I vote for the West System also. It's used a lot durning wooden boat restoration . I used it on a 1906 Model N restoration years ago. Work with only a small amount at a time and wear gloves. The car I did in 1990 prior to painting I brushed the wooden portion and sanded with 80 grit paper and built the surface with auto primers from that point looks almost as good today as it did when first done
Mark, thanks for the backing. 30+ years and your work hasn't failed is a testament of doing the job right. The West System isn't the cheapest way to go and many get turned off at the cost. But like so many things in life, sometimes the cost is worth it. Back in the mid 70's I was confronted by a man at the marina to help his start-up company test a product for repairing bad wood in boats. I agreed to help them out and thru about 3 years of back and forth with the Gougeon brothers they developed and marketed the WEST SYSTEM. I have used it ever since. I built flybridges and boat tops out of regular 1/4" pine plywood that are still in use today. If done correctly the repair will outlast a replacement by far. Just be sure to have a fair amount of lacquer thinner nearby and some heavy duty rubber gloves. Just a note but just about all those lovely wind turbines you see nowadays have WEST SYSTEM built blades. The modern carbon graphite aircraft use it also. Good stuff.
When I restored my 1954 Corvette I used West Systems with glass filler to repair the stress cracks after V- grooving them-- Good stuff . I bet there was over 100 yards of stress cracks to deal with and they have held up well using this great product.
I also swear by 3M 5200 ( and at it when it gets on my hands) used this in my Century Resorter that got a total restoration job a few years back.
I'm another vote for West. I have done two whole original bodied cars with it and saved original panels that others said needed to be replaced or skinned. In areas where there are large cracks on a flat panel or poorly done old repairs where people have vee'd things out, you might see what's underneath telegraph through later, but I've yet to have anything break the paint. You're going to get that with any repair on a wood bodied car due to the expansion differential of the materials involved. On things that are lumpy, I've taken to doing as much of the leveling with West as I can before proceeding to primer and paint as I feel it makes for a nice stable substrate. We're lucky to live in an age where stuff like this is available. The prep process is not wildly different from how wood bodied cars were finished when new, but it certainly is longer lasting.
Another vote for West Systems here. They make a variety of products for different applications.
I typically use the 105 resin with 206 (slow) hardener. If you buy the quart kit (about $40 to $45 mail order), you can buy a set of their "Mini Pumps" for dispensing. These are little hand pumps that replace the caps on the resin and hardener cans. The two pumps dispense product in the exact proportion needed for mixing. One stroke of resin and one stroke of hardener gives you about one ounce of epoxy ready to be stirred and applied. Very little wastage that way. The pumps are fairly cheap, so you can throw them away with the empty containers. No need to clean them.
I've not used it yet, but West is also selling a product called "G Flex". This is a paste consistency epoxy that is formulated for flexibility and shock loads. I have never used 3M 5200, but G Flex is probably a similar application. Only difference is that G Flex cures within hours rather than days.
One last thing about West: They have a staff of technical advisors who will talk to you on the phone to answer any questions you have or to suggest a particular approach to your current problem.
Thanks Dick, the G-Flex is a epoxy resin designed to join two different materials such as wood and aluminum plate. It does offer enough flex to put up with the dissimilar materials but it isn't recommended to replace adhesive for force absorbing joints. 3M 5200 is a better if not best choice for the transom joints in my opinion anyway. 3M 5200 is a permanent adhesive sealer. Not unlike West System Epoxy it requires a learning curve to use it but not much of one. They do make a fast curing 5200 for those that lack the time or patience of waiting a week or so for removing the clamps. I have used that also on occasion and it seemed to work just fine. The 5200 adhesive uses moisture in the wood to draw it deeper into the wood for a strong bond. So I don't mind waiting and doing other things while it does its thing. Over 4 decades of using both products and I have yet to see any failure on the products behalf. Its important to know that patch jobs are only as good as the surrounding material.