The top irons that came with my '24 Touring farm car are pretty beat up.
I'm going with kind of a Great Depression, Texas cotton farm vibe with the car and I don't want to spend $1,000+ for a new set of irons so I'm thinking I'll try to patch them up solidly and make them functional but not necessarily put them back to original.
I'd like my repairs to look like they're vintage farm repairs.
Does anyone have any ideas, or maybe even photos of homespun top iron repairs?
Below is a photo of one of the breaks...there's a couple more breaks like that elsewhere on the set.
One suggestion would be to make a piece of steel to fit inside the top iron about 2 inches long. Let it fit half in one of the pieces and half in the other. It is just to give added support and act as a "backup" for "brazing" the two pieces back together. After welding, you can either grind and then file the weld smooth, or grind and file the weld leaving it as an exposed/raised weld. I always like to file finish the weld after grinding as it will get rid of the grinder marks, and for your project leave it looking more like a blacksmith/farmer worked on it.
Another option is to use the steel backup bar inside like I mentioned above. Then weld the gap shut with a mig/tig/or stick rod. Leave the weld just a little low, and then "cap" it with brazing for the "farmer fix look" The conventional welding will give you lots of strength, and the brazing will give you "the look"
have fun and be safe....
Don, I'm bringing some spare top parts. Maybe there will be something in the pile you can use. If not, somebody else may have something for you. You may be able to fix those breaks, but if the sockets have extensive weakness from rust it might be better to find replacement parts. I have a couple of sockets I intend to fix and use if I have to, but I'll bring them with me and find better ones if I can.
Thanks Steve....see you in a week.
Ha ... looks like a common problem. I posted my rusty and cracked runabout top irons earlier in the week.
Part of the problem is that many old irons are rusted badly inside where it can't be seen. I restored a set for a touring and they looked fine outside but collapsed under heavy snow one winter.
If I was going to fix the one pictured I might clean the area and braze it. Then make a sleeve to fit around the outside extending a few inches each way from rusty discarded sheet metal. Then wrap the ends of the patch tightly with rusty bailing wire. New metal and wire would be even better if they could be rusted afterword. A little load testing on that piece or a practice piece would determine the strength of the repair.
Thanks for all the replies.
Based on what I'm hearing, I'm thinking I'll find a solid piece of metal to fit inside the break, then weld/braze it into place....then maybe add some bailing wire for marginal support but maximum effect.
This car had lots of bailing wire on it when I started on it and I feel almost an obligation to replace some of it in places as I remove it from
Don, with all due respect, those spokes shown in your last picture above don't look safe at all. I certainly hope you aren't driving on them, and they are just used for "roll around during restoration" use.
We surely wouldn't be happy if they broke while being driven on.
I agree with Keith G. If your going to Chickasha you can find some pretty decent wheels from time to time. It depends on how much you want to spend on some decent originals. If you see some you had better get them as they usually get grabbed fairly fast. Good luck!
Count me in with Keith and John. I wouldn't trust those spokes for anything beyond just rolling around in the shop.
I think Don posted that picture before, I believe it is wall hanger status as I recall. Dave
Those are definitely wall hangars.
I already made a deal on a set of nice wood wheels that Iíll be picking up at Chickasha
Hereís the set Iíll be picking up at Chickasha.
Canít wait to get them home and install them on the car (after my axle rebuild project).
Don, the sleeve/rod inside repair sill work if the break is well above the casting on the ends. The trouble is they usually rust out at the casting. Then the repair is best done on the outside.
Allan from down under.
How about putting the filler in then wrap the outside with sheet iron and rivet the whole thing. That would be an old time fix.
Thanks for the replies.
I think the consensus is to add something structural to the inside, then possibly add something to the outside. Iíll see what Steve has this week and will make the repair when I get back from OK.
Iím really trying hard to respect the car by avoiding anything cartoonish like hanging a bunch of junk on the car or adding anything to a repair for visuals only.
(Message edited by Rustyfords on March 12, 2018)
Don, I did this same repair to my top irons last month. At first (6 months ago)I made a plug on my lathe and crimped a length of copper pipe (thin wall) around the outside. It worked ok and only occasionally pulled out. Then last month another spot broke. Before long I noticed that all the unbroken irons were cracked.
On the first one I welded it and then ground it flush and followed up with brazing. A lot of work and it didn't look great.
On the rest i just freshened the surface with emory paper and brass brazed them. It was much faster, just as strong as the welded one, and overall looked just as bad as the welded one did.
Old rusty does not complain about the rough look of the patched up irons.
You may wonder why I didn't do this 6 months ago when the first one broke. I have been looking for replacement irons. Having failed that the ugly repair works just fine. I am even considering redoing the top and upholstery.