Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

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Fozz71
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Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Fozz71 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:01 pm

Hey guys, I just got a 1919 Touring car and the darned thing has a back left sag in the body. The springs and shackles look good and even but perhaps when the resto was done, something was wrong in body measurements? My left saddle iron is 2" lower than the right, as a measurement. So, I need ideas how to best shim and RAISE the back corner?

The darned corner body bolt is completely boxed in by frame and extension arms? I am stumped. Please see pics.

Thanks,
Jim Chochole
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John kuehn
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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by John kuehn » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:40 pm

Was it that way when you bought it? Also was it rewooded or does it have the original wood in it. Depending on what kind of rear body brackets are in it the body wood may have given away where the body brackets are attached. As I remember there was more than one type of rear body brackets for that era. There were 4 or 5 body makers and some bodies were slightly different in the details. You can shim between the main body rails and bracket but check to see what’s causing that much sag.
I restored a 21 Touring which is essentially the same as yours and found about the differences in the bodies in the low cowl era of 17-22.
Crawl under the car and check the body wood rails to see if that sagging corner body bracket area looks suspicious.
That much body sag should have been noticeable before you bought it. Hopefully it’s not to hard to repair or adjust.


Jim Sims
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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Jim Sims » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:11 pm

Is that part of the body hanging down out side of the frame? The body mount should be easy to reach and in the open.

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HornsRus
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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by HornsRus » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:08 pm

something really strange in the frist pic,looks like no wood in the body and a strange piece of strap iron there.more pics, i have done about 300 wood jobs.charley


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:41 pm

One can tell from the photos that the car does not sit right. Before doing much, you need to determine just what is not where it belongs.
The best (easy) way to do that is have the car on a very flat, close to level, surface, and measure from ground/surface up to common points all around the car. Take copious notes. Compare the right to left of everything. Ground to bottom of frame at rear cross member, ground to bottom of frame a few feet forward of there, again a few feet forward of that, and at the front cross member. Check ground to bottom of body near the very back, under the rear doors, under the front seat, back of cowl, front of cowl. Check top of body in similar places, check all top irons, and the top itself.
You need to figure what has sagged, warped, bent, or come loose. Whether it was assemble wrong, or something has deteriorated. Then you can begin to shift, adjust, straighten or repair as necessary.
Errors can be cumulative or cancel each other. You don't want to "fix it" by moving the wrong thing the wrong way and make one thing worse by gaining an imagined improvement. Start by shifting and adjusting to get the frame level. On model Ts, sometimes that is a simple loosen and shift spring bolts. However you may need to correct sagging frame rails also. A short term "fix" can be to shim the frame to the body mounts to compensate for sagging.
If most of the issues are within the body itself? Things get more complicated. I have seen some rather saggy bodies patched and shimmed then enjoyed for years in spite of wood that needed to be replaced. Whether or not that may be a good or really bad idea depends on many factors hidden between the sheet metal and the upholstery.
I once saw a touring car with an about two inch thick stack of flat washers used to shim up the body after bad wood broke and separated from the sheet metal. It actually looked pretty good, unless you crawled under the car and looked up. But was really a bad idea.

Good luck! And looks like a fairly nice car. I suspect you can line it up and make a good car out of it.


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Fozz71 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:57 pm

Will do and thanks for the tips. I recently bought the car out of a dirt-floor barn and the floor was really uneven as one would expect from years and years of water and vehicles coming in and out. Once I got it home and on a level surface, I spotted the level issue. The car was restored sometime in the 80s I suspect from wear, but beyond that I don't know more.

The body was professionally painted and worked but the frame and body-wood looks original. The frame, springs and chassis are all level by floor measurement and I oiled and worked all the springs to be sure none were stuck. I can see measure that the body itself isn't plum and level. I can't see any wood damage underneath and all the 1919 seat pans and flooring looks solid and straight from top. The rear corners of the frame have the extensions that allow the weight of the body to sit on more steel so that's what you see in the pics. Are those from 1919, dunno.

I was able to get the left back corner bolt out and will see what it looks like when I raise it an inch. Maybe it'll expose an issue underneath?

Thanks, any tips about jacking up the body safely? :)

Jim


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by John kuehn » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:21 pm

Here is a photo of the right corner of my 21 Touring which is about the same as your 19. If you look closely you can just see the corner frame to body bracket and the space between the body and the frame.
This paticular body has a 14 gauge channel that attaches to the back of the frame rails and the sheet metal back goes over it.
When you look under your car you should have 6 frame to wood body brackets on your car.
Maybe it’s the angle but I can’t see the rear body bracket on your car. And as others have stated the rear corner looks to low.
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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Fozz71 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:34 pm

Thanks, here is a photo of my right side with the extension/brace that goes beyond the frame and the corner body-mount bolt goes through the brace. I also took two pics of the left side (offending saggy side) as well.

First two pics are right side.

Second two are left side.
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Topic author
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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Fozz71 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:47 pm

Here are underneath shots of these rear braces that support my body on both sides.
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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Jim Sims » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:48 pm

From what I see , you have some cobbled up mess for the body wood. You should not need any extra metal bracing in there. I suggest you find out what the correct wood is made like.


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by John kuehn » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:09 pm

The rear frame cross member ends looks like they were cut off for some reason and someone tried to add the ‘extra ‘ end extensions or ends to it. Can’t figure out why.
I can’t imagine why someone would do that to the rear frame crossmember.
If you raise the body up enough you could find an old rear cross member for the ends, cut them off and attach to yours. Use the measurement of the replacement parts crossmember to get the correct length.
Whoever did that caused unnecessary issues.


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by John kuehn » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:12 pm

If you look closely at 2 of the pics you can see where the missing crossmember ends pressed into the wood. That’s where the crossmember ends are supposed to be.


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Fozz71 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:23 pm

Hey, a lot of stuff can happen In a century. Before I start doing major surgery on the crossmember, and I will try and see if I can level the body.


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Allan » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:16 pm

Jim, your rear cross member has been shortened at each end. The extra braces should not be there. I can not see much point in shimming the body to level it up without paying attention to what may well be the root cause of the problem. The shims will need to go between the body and the cobbled up brackets.
The cockeyed front end view is largely due to differences in the way the top bows are sitting, not the body.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.

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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by HornsRus » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:25 pm

oh my!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wood start over from scratch.those bkts dont belong there.charley


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:04 pm

The following is pure guesswork:

I wonder if those brackets are not the last remains of a truck extension kit (Smith FormAtruck?)that was mostly scrapped and a touring body placed back on the remaining frame

I see a future that has the body lifted off, suitable extensions fabricated and rejoined to the rear cross member, and a happy camper a couple of weekends later... ;)
Scott Conger

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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by HornsRus » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:48 pm

not formatruck looks like from side rails of of a dodge in the teens.charley


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:05 am

I just looked in here again. I was thinking the same as Scott C. Those look like chopped off chassis extensions of some sort. I saw something similar at a swap meet years ago. Could also be like Charlie says, chopped up Dodge pieces. I am not familiar enough with Dodge cars to speculate on that much.

It may be possible to shim things and straighten the top enough to make the car look good. But I suspect a major rework may be in order. It may be easier and better to get a decent frame and transfer all the good parts onto it. It will require a close inspection of the body inside and out to determine if the wood is really serviceable or not.


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by John kuehn » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:08 am

I agree with Alan that the uneven top makes the car look uneven when it’s not that much. I have a feeling that the wood is still decent enough to use. The body lines along the side view of the body look pretty straight and the doors look straight so that’s a good sign with not that much body misalignment.
Go under the car and use a hammer to determine how sound the main wood frame rails are.
Tap on the wood and if it seems pretty solid you can repair the rear cross member by adding the missing pieces from another crossmember.
Shim the rear corner as necessary and you should be good to go. You may not get it perfect but it won’t be that noticeable.
Your isn’t the only T that’s off a little! Good luck.


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Re: Sagging and body shimming a 1919?

Post by Fozz71 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:17 pm

Thanks for the encouragement- its nice T and does have clean straight lines. All the doors lock and close and much mechanically has been done so hoping it runs well. I'll see what I can do and post after pics of the body righted.

Thanks again!
Jim

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