First thing I want to say here is I finally got the doors off after major effort to remove the slotted screws that had rusted up. I will say every screw was different in that some came out semi easily and others I used every trick in the book but I was successful and only have to repair 3 nuts out of 24. Not a perfect average but not bad.
I decided to begin with the passenger door as that is my problem door that won't shut right.
So first order was to photograph this thing and measure 6 ways from Sunday. I got my dimensions and to my surprise the door was straight as can be!
Hmm I think I may have a bent A Pillar! There are some funny things going on about how the cowl meets the firewall. Oh well that is a little farther way down the road.
So after more measuring and calculating and I was ready to cut the bad stuff away from the lower door.
I have laid out and marked the area of the inside structure that needs to be removed. Also in trying to think ahead I realised I should do this structure before tearing the skin off and replacing it.
I planned on grinding the edge of the skin and removing the strip that is folded over along the bottom of the door. After looking at things I did about 3 inches back on each side without actually removing the skin. Doing it this way I have the old skin still in place to use as a template per say and a guide to keep the structure straight.
I will say grinding the edges of the skin was simple and so easy. I found that if you watch your line your grinding you know when to stop because the very center of the area you are grinding will become slightly discolored and the separation line is clearly visible..
So I have the bad section cut out and the new piece partially fit .. I left a lot more steel on the door when I cut structure earlier and now I need to start sneaking up on the line and make a final fit then weld it in.
Next I will finish removing the old skin in preperation of attaching the new skin. I have some hardware like pressnuts on the door that needs to be replaced too.
Looking it over I am feeling comfortable about doing the work. I just hope I don,t jinx it..
Door1 I am gonna start with the passenger door.
Door2 Some rust through in the bottom of the door.
Door3 The whole way along the area is rusted through. What is left is thin
Door4 Laying out the new piece just to make sure it will work.
Door5 Checking the door skin sizing
Work1 The first cut the debachery begains
Work2 Second cut no going back
Work3 Making sure the patch is going to fit.
Why thank you Mr LA. I am holding myself to a better standard than was done 91 years ago. so far I am making progress not at light speed but progress just the same. Got a ways to go. If my body holds up and don't breakdown I might actually get the body of the Coupe ready to fit to the chassis which means basic bodywork done. Lots to do.. Thanks for stopping by!
So after trimming cutting and fitting and some fixing I have the bottom of the passenger door fit and welded up.
However it was not without incident. The cutting and fitting went very well but when it was time to weld... The old 91 year old steel and my relative inexperience with welding old metal to 18 GA new steel rears its head. I did good at first and if it blew a hole I would cool the whole piece before I went on. Then it struck.. The old "I can fix that little hole by welding more on and blowing a bigger hole. I chased the holes way to far and when I stopped to come to my senses I realized I needed to STOP what I was doing and figure out what I was doing wrong?
To shorten the story I watched a lot of video, read about different techniques, Did some practicing trying various techniques and finally figured out my technique.
It all boils down proper angles and backing up every old steel seam with Copper. I cut a strip of 035 copper sheet. I mounted the strip on top of a small block of wood and held it to the wood with some foil HVAC tape. I positioned the strip and clamped it to the panel to be my heat sink.
I cut away the bunged up metal and mate two patches out of 18 GA and using the copper I was able to tack and weld the repair piece in and never blew through once! I like using this 035 copper better than aluminum cause the copper is more malleable and it did a awesome job! This was actually fun doing this even when I was getting frustrated but more rewarding when it finally clicked!
I have the inside lower part of the door complete on the passengers door but I am not going to cut the outer skin all the way off till I get this part done on the drivers door. When both doors are ready for the skin replacement I will do both doors at basically the same time. That is so I can clean and prime the interior of both door shells and the back side of the skins before assembly. Then I will have the inside all epoxy protected and ready to be assembled.
Now to move along to something I discovered today measuring the front "A" Pillar. The passenger door had been hitting the top of the A pillar when you tried to close the door and I found the cause is a Bent A Pillar. about 10 to 12 inches down from the top on the right A pillar it makes a almost imperceptible lean rearward. If you put a straight edge on the drivers A pillar starting at the top and going down to the center of the pillar the drivers is straight absolute flat.
Do the same thing on the passengers side and there is a full 1/4 inch bend in the passengers A Pillar. from mid pillar to the top. Soooo I am going to have to take a little time and figure out how this happened so I can un happen it. My suspicion is someone picked the body up with a forklift on the strips of metal the top attaches to between the A and B Pillar at the top. I dunno I think I will have to set down and smoke on this!! Looks like I am going to have to "Endeavour To Persevere Again.
I like that the doors are alive and well in my shop today. So here is the score card as of today.
I have both door bottoms installed and ground. I finished cutting the door skin off both doors. I cut long this time to be able to cut the door skin skin on the top and make a decent seem with room for maybe a small oops lets hope that never needs to happen.
I have found some interesting things in that it looks like I am missing one lower window channel in each door might be interesting finding the oem replacement parts. I am also going to have to find the lower window strip that the attaches to the glass and lift arm. Then I think I will go with electric windows as all my old hardware like window crank assembly is pretty rusty.. and electrical windows simplifies construction.
Moving on now I think I may delete the outside door lock. The only door lock is on the passengers side and If I delete it, it makes for a smoother cleaner look on the door. I don't want to have to go to the passengers side to lock and un-lock the doors. Besides putting a 1927 lock on this car is just the same as leaving it open. The door mechanisms are crudely made and if someone really wanted inside there are plenty of ways. I do think I may use a couple of door lock solenoids and a remote to lock and un-Lock. I dunno.
So the first door is stripped and ready for a little sanding, however I have the inside of the door all clean so I can give the inside of the door a good coat of SPI Epoxy I will do the same for the new door skin and do both doors insides so I can do the skin fit up and installed. At least the inside will have a fighting chance of staying in good condition.
Tomorrow I will finish cleaning the inside of door number 2 and then do the exterior. I will need to shift to bead blasting as I need to blast the hinges the window pieces and a whole bucket full of SLP's.
I am feeling better working on the doors now as it is actually fun. Oh did I say that??
I hope to get the door in SPI Epoxy and the skin finished and ready to get back to the A and B pillars. When that s done I need to trim the underside of the cowl in front so it will fit on the 32 frame. The 32 frame is flat in the middle and starts a gentle 1/2” rise to the front of the frame. This starts about 18 or so inches from the firewall back.
I can actually see some sort of progress on this thing. Still about 18 million steps from completion. I am going to persevere on this thing. I am actually getting into the kool fun things in this project and I am diggin it!!!!!!
While you have your doors apart, may I suggest that you take the time to work out your bump stop rubbers and window tracks.
Even make your slide tracks now since it is so much easier getting this stuff done now.
I tried doing it at the end when the car was painted and I can honestly say I wish I had the opportunity to see inside my doors like you have now and was able to do all the fiddly stuff then.
Just my humble opinion...
You are right fiftyv8 now that it is open I better fix this track and such.
The missing window track mystery has finally been solved. It seems it is not considered a window track per say but it is what holds the track in place as the original appears to be a semi rigid cloth and wire channel.
The side channel was attached to the body and lower track base with clips. The top channel is a fitted foam cushion for the window top to rest against. The cushion has it's own special channel it attaches to and I was lucky as that channel was still attached to both doors as It is almost impossible to find!
After a full day of research it seems pretty clear what needs to be done. The overall prefered way is to replace the flexible cloth channel with a rigid channel of the correct size. I found the channel I needed and bought 2 96 inch inch sticks. I need 2 channels 36 inches long for each door. I could buy shorter pieces but there is no price difference between a stick of 48 inch and stick of 96 inches. Go figure?
I found I needed to get the piece that attaches to the glass at the bottom of the window. I think ford calls it a window lifter. Those parts are available so I have a couple on order. In fact I ordered the tracks and the other little bits and pieces so I can get this part wrapped up. I should have the goodies next week so it is off to the bead blaster and blast for a few days.
Rip, take a step back and be sure the channel that you plan to use will work, as the channel needs to be installed at the same time as the window pane, it is an unusual method and was not used in the Model A's.
Snyder's have the correct channel and you will quickly note that each end of the channels requires a hook at the top and a T tag at the lower end. The T tag inserts into the keyhole cut out at the lower part of your doors.
The channels need to be a correct length to install and fit right.
I think that I may have found a You tube video that helped me get my head around how it works.
That is why my comment about doing stuff now is so important since you have excellent access to see how things will work.
I suggest take it slow and easy and make you channels and ensure all your lock mechanisms fit and work as do you window winders and the like.
I did it the Irish way and it was painful to say the least...
I am in a holding pattern on the door work till the parts get here.
It seems the schnieders and Macs and Langs channel kits are not oem equivalent. I believe they all use the same supplier. I spoke with Langs and they said the channels need modification before they can be used in a 27. It seems like the aforementioned "tracks" won't work out of the box as they are too wide at the clips and you need to cut them down. The replacement channels also include the top piece which is Nothing like the original, it is just plane old flexible channel and you have to use adhesive to hold it in place. That is not oem looking. I still have the two top channel strips that the oem foam fits into. The stories I read from people that bought that kit and installed it were not very flattering and a lot made the comment it doesn't look right at the top..
So I read several more articles and fell upon one that I am going to use. This guy uses the rigid track I just ordered and he uses a factory top cushion at the top and the cushion is glued to a strip of metal and then screwed to the top of the door. I saw photographs of his installs and they look perfect. They even look tid e r than a oem job. corners are clean and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.
It appears the missing tracks in my door is just a result of time. Looking where the the missing channel was supposed to be I found a clean fatigue break at the top and the other end still had some plain ol balin wire in the hole where it should mount. It is pretty common for these to break. Also because they are considered a part of the door structure no one repops them. No one will trash even a beat up door just for the lower window channel brace so people have improvised their own. One benefit of doing it that way is there is a modification you can do to make replacing window glass easier.
I might add I am looking for a original look when it comes to windows and trim. I have seen about everything used when it comes to the windows on a T and I want to stay with a outside stock appearance and I ain't a restoration nut.
I have a window template made out of plexi and will make sure of fit and alignment. All I have to do now is decide on a window raising device.
Man O Man all these SLD's I am going crazy and it is a short trip!!!
Rip, just be sure that you satisfy yourself that you are able to install and remove your panes of glass at any time.
I am not sure if I had a kit or just purchased the components individually.
The glass channel track is hooked at the top and tagged at the lower end and supported in position by the internal garnish moulds.
Obviously there is more than one way to skin a cat so if you develop a method please share it.
I have tried posting replies several times now, only to be told I was lacking some kind of token and needed to contact the Administrator.
In trying to post I have lost all of my replies and am just about to give up on the problems for now.
So this reply is a last ditch attempt to see if the Administrator has fixed it...
I know what ya mean about being able to remove the windows I am just waiting for parts to arrive in the meantime it is clean wire wheel and sand to get everything ready so when the track gets here I can set it up and see how things fit before I accept or reject this idea. I am still on the fence about an elevation mechanism to raise and lower the glass but I am leaning toward the dolphin kit. I saw some stuff cheaper but as it usually goes ya get what you pay for. I have read a lot about them and they seem to be fairly reliable and not bad price. Oh, and they look like they will fit my doors.
I did get parts in the blaster today and I am pleased to say the top channel that holds the oem cushion turned out great after chiseling the hard as a rock rubber out. They looked awful when I pulled them off the door, However when I finally got all the oem rubber out they were internally perfect with a shiny black original paint. The hardened rubber protected the inside.
I will be doing some blasting I hope tomorrow but I started maintenance on the compressor and have to replace the drain valve so I may not get running again till Saturday.
Thanks for the cautions and help.. Back to squirting glass!
When you say Dolphin, I assume you are planning to go electric?
Just remember if that is the case to work out your cable from pillar into the door as well as determining how and where you will locate your actuation switches.
There is also an interesting couple of comments on another forum right now regarding model T door straps. The subject came to my attention when I fitted my finished doors on my closed cab T pickup.
I believe it is worse for RHD vehicles and that is the strap depending on what you end up using kinder bunches up when the door is closed and is a nuisance to the drivers right leg position on the accelerator.
I chose a rubber strap which creates this problem as well as being pretty poor in the quality stakes.
Others are using seat belt webbing which if doubled up for strength could also be somewhat of a problem.
It seems a solution developed and has probably been around for years but not noticed as it is a concealed solution, whereby the strap is configured on a spring that retracts the strap back and hides it in the cowl panel under the cowl trim.
Quite a useful and cleaver idea, I only wish I had discovered it sooner as I would be considering it as my first option.
Man what a week this has been. I had some problems with this bone disease that literally set me down and inert for a few days and just before that I was getting out of my van using my hydraulic lift and on the way down I blew the seal in the left cylinder and me and a bunch of hydraulic fluid found us meeting the ground a bit quicker and messier. So that has stopped my progress for a few. I have "Parts on order" a new cylinder for this thing is $450.00 and a new piston,Rings,Seals and the upper bushings are merely $145.00 a tube and my lift has 2 tubes.. So as soon as the stuff gets here I should be somewhat more mobile again. Maybe I will get the stuff and get it done by Friday.
Hey fiftyv8 that is an awesome idea about the retractable door stop strap I think I am going to do that. I also noted that maybe even a seat belt retractor mech and a fixed stop in the strap. I am definitely going to look into that as I am going to be working on the cowl there by the A pillars.
This window thing is driving me crazy. I wanted to convert to electric windows as it removes a knob off the door that might jab you in the leg and as small as a TCoupe cabin is every object that shares cabin space better not make me uncomfortable on down the road or it may accidently fall off!
So back to the window problems. So I had made a rough list of three manufactures, this was after I read literally everything I could find on each opener.
List was short after looking at everything I could find and thought I could afford this is what I found from lowest cost to higher cost. Oh not a lot of T openers.
First Dolphin.. Had a friend recommend them he has a set and has had them over 5 years with no problems looked like they just might work.
Stepping up a few dollars. Autoloc. I actually thought these might work and I liked the drive much better.
Finally a Speciality Power window kit. I started looking and it looked like the only a T type lifter was available. I then found the 1927 doors and the 1928-31 model A doors used the same window lift workings in the doors and literally were the same size so I checked Speciality again and they listed a different lift assembly and at first thought hmm maybe this one. However I do not like that one at all.
After looking to no avail I finally found "The Solution". The solution was Nu Relics model A 72800-211. Be Warned major Sticker Shock and I am still trying to get the ol ticker to idle smooth. They really really really like their product. I need to find a deal..
Nu Relics makes a opener for the model A. This opener bolts into the oem holes and works just like a conventional crank assembly the motors are set to clear obstacles and attached to the crank plate. the whole thing is built well from what I see. They actually use the ford stock type of mechanism. looks like minimum mods and is said to be the best.. The reviews were positive.
There is one last solution and that is one I don't want to do but it is the easiest of all and that is to just put a stock handle in and forget it.. Ahhh but that isn't any fun at all. I asked the wife this and she said Go for what I really want! Too bad that is a loaded answer! If I do she may need to buy her something of equal value that might hurt my parts budget.. ain:
Ohhh what is a person to do???? In the meantime I am finishing cleaning up both doors so I can shoot a coat of SPI Inside. I need to get the rest of my parts in and start to get everything lined up and ready to mock up while the skins are still off. My window rail came in and it fits just like it is supposed to. At least something positive for a change..
One thought came to mind while I was reading your post Rip. Even if the model A and the T use the same hardware, the height of the roof and travel required for the T window might be too great for a regulator designed for a model A.
Maybe not but worth looking into anyway. Best of luck buddy. :thumbup: