Here are some pictures of the 1925 Touring body I recently picked up. I'm having some issues with installing the wood kit on the rear seat back.
The rear center wood piece doesn't match up with the rear corner pieces, it sits up too high. The center piece is also nearly straight, whereas the body metal is curved.
The wood kit pieces install on the inside of the side panels, but the rear center panel has a step in it to allow the wood to be mounted on the outside of the panel. Is this combination correct, or was the center panel replaced with a later style one at some point?
I haven't cut on any of the wood kit parts yet, I'm just mocking them up with clamps to see how they fit.
I'm highly suspicious that either the sides or back are wrong.
The sides you have take the reinforcing and tack strip as a single piece of wood, whereas the rear is indented to have the tack strip above and inset to the panel.
I am not a body/year expert so take it for what it is worth. However, I completely rewooded an early '23 roadster from scratch and struggled with folks sending pictures of their cars with all panels shaped like your rear panel. I think it was RV Anderson and then finally, others who provided some pictures of MY body, who's panels all looked like your side panels. It all suddenly became quite clear. The indented panel is a lip for the tack strip...so if there is a structural piece, it goes below the indent.
Best of luck and hopefully someone who has done your year body will chime in.
Never had any experience with this but my initial impression looking at the pics is the rear piece needs to go in behind those rear slats. You've got a countersunk screw hole that right now doesn't go into anything. If you drop the rear piece down behind those slats you could then screw them into the rear piece and it would sit sorta level with the side pieces. Doesn't seen like that rear piece should but up against the top of the slats like in your photo. Try it ad post another pic and let's see how that looks.
I am lurking. Would/should my '23 be the same?
Thank you, Paul in Tacoma
My understanding is that the 23-24 bodies (and maybe some 25 bodies) have the upper wood all inside the body, like the side pieces in the pictures above. Later 25 bodies have a step in the upper parts of all the panels for the upper wood to sit on, outside the body.
The vendors sell a composite (plastic) strip that fits on the outside of the later bodies that conforms better to the shape of the body and supposedly takes tacks/staples as well as wood.
I think I'm going to order a reproduction earlier (23-24) rear panel and swap it out to see if the wood fits better on it.
From what I can see this looks just like my late (July) 1925 touring. You need the tack strip, not the tack rail like you have now. There is a metal piece that connects the tack rail to the curved wood piece. We just fixed the wood on my car but unfortunately didnít take any pictures.
Thanks, Jeff. By metal piece, do you mean the splice plates?
I have the splice plates, courtesy of Donnie Brown.
The back seat top rail goes behind the vertical strips. The splice plates hold the top rail pieces together.
Thanks Rick, I'm going to order the earlier configuration center panel and set it up like your photo.
Here is my thought. Order the composite strip, notch the ends of the corner pieces to receive the strip and screw down from the top in the notches.
Mark: The tack strip does mount like your rear panel, on the out side, and the vertical holes hold it in place. The left and right sides should be the same arrangement. The front seat should also be that way.
Larry, I must have a mutt body. The front seat is the earlier style all the way around, the wood fits inside the body.
The side panels on the rear seat match the setup on the front seat (wood on the inside). The only panel that has the provisions for outside wood mounting is the center rear .
The early style rear center panel is on order, if it doesn't work out, I can always switch back to the later style panel that is on there now.
Update - I got a PM from Charley Shaver, asking me to give him a call. Charley has decades of experience with the variations in Model T bodies. He has since retired from fabricating bodies and body wood after doing hundreds of them over the years.
After answering a few pointed questions from Charley about some other features of the body, Charley told me that the sheet metal configuration that this body has IS correct for late '24 through '25.
What is incorrect (at the minimum) is the rear seat wood upper center piece - it should be shorter in height, a little thinner, an inch or so wider side-to-side, and have a curve in it instead of being straight. It should also have a shallow rabbet in it to provide a "pocket" for the top material and trim welt to fit in.
The corner pieces also aren't quite right, the back sections of them should reach further towards the center of the body and have a notch to go over the metal seam between the center metal panel and the side panels.
So, I'm going to cancel my body panel order from Lang's tomorrow, and fabricate a new upper center wood piece to correct the problems with both it and the shortcomings of the corner wood pieces.
One interesting tidbit - Charley said that the best wood to use for body wood is Sycamore - it is much less likely to split than the Oak or other woods that the current wood kits are made from.
Oh, p.s. - Charley said that the front seat should have all the upper wood inside the body like this one has, even though it has a mix of inside and outside wood at the rear seat.
Thanks Charley, I'm always eager to learn!
I miss Charley S here. It still bothers me that a few people just had to get into personal garbage and drive away several good people. I keep hoping that Charley and a few others will return. Their expertise and good advice are sorely missed.
It is nice to know he was looking in and reached out to you.
Thank you Charley S! Wherever you are!
A new update - I received a new "late 1925" rear seat back wood kit from Lang's today, see pic.
I can tell just from looking at the pieces that they will fit my '25 touring body much better than the earlier pieces.
Note that the center piece is sized to fit on the outside of the body, on the sheet metal "shelf". It is also curved to match the contour of the back, not straight like the earlier piece.
The long armrest pieces are taller, and have a "notch" near the front for the top pivot iron to fit in.
The corner pieces are longer than the ones in the earlier kit, and have a "notch" on the back end to allow them to fit over the seam where the center sheet metal panel attaches to the side panels.
I'm confident I can get these pieces to fit my body well with only minor work.
Coming in late to this thread; I'm restoring a July 1, 25 touring and re-wooded the body. The rear seat pieces you have in your last picture are what I used and with a little adjustment fit correctly.
That is pretty darn close to what I suggested.