I recently replaced the wood firewall on my '19 centerdoor during it's restoration and forgot how the hood fit the cowl. Currently, the wood firewall is the same height as the forward end of the cowl and, with the addition of the drip strip/rear hood rod anchor, the top of the hood will be about 7/16" above the cowl. This correct? The 6 body/frame mounting brackets are matching their respective frame brackets with no shims. Should I have added any height to the body before mounting the wood firewall?
Just some comments that may or may not be relevant to your situation.
Did you purchase your firewall from a vendor? If so, be aware that they are "generic" and are missing a number of design elements compared to original firewalls and the original blueprints.
Last year my dad purchased a firewall from Langs for his 1917 touring - click on the link below:
The manufacturer of the Langs firewall is probably the same as the one offered by other vendors.
Although the reproduction firewall was the correct thickness and the existing holes were in the correct locations, the width of the reproduction firewall is 1/16" undersized. Also, a number of operations had to be done to it in order to make it correct. To name just a few items that needed to be corrected, the reproduction firewall was not beveled on the outer edge, certain holes that should be countersunk were not, some smaller pilot holes were missing, and the slot for the carb rod was a straight cut instead of an angle cut.
With an original 1917 dashboard in hand and the appropriate blueprint from the Benson Center, he had a pattern maker make all the necessary corrections to the reproduction firewall.
First Model Ts had a little more variation in their body panel fitting than the more costly cars. And after they were partially disassembled, turned at an angle in the railway box car and not always put back on the same frame they came off of there were some variations. However – you mentioned 7/16 of an inch higher than the cowl – and I don’t even think Ford would have said that one was ok.
Below is a picture of the 1917 Rip Van Winkel wooden firewall without the metal drip rail – but it still had a metal rail that went over the wood and that the hood lacing then went over. I don’t think the metal drip rail increased the height of the hood. You can see that the cowl is higher than the hood lacing. Of course the firewall may have shrank just a little – but the goal would be to have the hood and firewall be basically aligned. [Pictures from “Vintage Ford” and/or Bruce McCalley’s “Comprehensive Model T Encyclopedia.” And used by permission]
I think the next question would be, why is your firewall higher than the cowl? And a related question – in addition to the firewall what else was changed that might impact the fit. I.e. was the body changed also or just the firewall?
Please let us know if you would like additional suggestions (such as comparing the new to the old firewall height, new to the old firewall bracket holes etc.)
Hap Tucker l9l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Thanks Hap and Erik for the replies and advice. As usual you come through with the perfect picture(s) Hap. I, too, pored over the Rip van Winkle touring for hours at a 2004 National tour in Kerrville, TX. It has oval top bows and riveted cowl lamp brackets (to the windshield frame). My firewall isn't higher than the cowl, its the same height as the forward end of the cowl. I fitted the drip rail again to the firewall this morning and the hood rod rear receptacle is .590 above the cowl. BUT, as Erik succinctly stated, "the repro firewall wasn't beveled on the outside edge". That is also the case in my Lang's repop. Also, I fitted the drip rail while the firewall was bolted to the cowl and the little lip on the rear of the drip strip wasn't slipping down between them. Which brings up another question: Does that long curved drip strip fit OVER cowl lacing, under cowl lacing or is used in lieu of cowl lacing? After all, theres also metal strips vertically affixed to the firewall on each side. With my trusty dremel tool those bevels are going in today so maybe the drip strip will fit better. But those pictures Hap! They tell me many things. I shall replace all my square nuts on the firewall with hex nuts! And the commutator wire retainer to the wood firewall above and outboard of the coilbox mounting bolts. That, along with the two little mag head light wires retainers are new to my shallow base of knowledge. I'll make that change to my '15 ASAP. Thanks guys