The frame has been rolled into the house garage where the engine has been stored. Most of the accessories have been installed on the engine and it is readied to be lifted from the engine stand and put back where it belongs.
When the engine is free of the stand the water pump and starter can be installed. The square piece of clear plastic over the starter opening was to keep mice and falling tools from entering the flywheel housing.
The engine has been set down into the engine mounts and all accessories have been installed. When new spark plugs and coil wires and the refurbished ignition coils are installed we must give it try to see if it will start. The wheels erroneously painted this bright yellow have been repainted with a correct Straw color.
The newly painted body hangs from a chain hoist after unloading it from the pickup. Wayne Tanner did a great job of finishing and painting the car. The mottled appearance of the cowl and door is just a reflection of stuff around the shop.
Now that the windshield, gas tank and cover, and seat framing are installed the car is looking more like a Model T.
Now that all the work is finished on the body it is hoisted again and the frame is rolled under it.
The body is lowered and bolted to the frame and a rear fender has been installed.
This gas fired “boiler” was used to refresh pre-steamed oak strips to be further bent and laminated to make the tack strip that is used to fasten the back cushion upholstery and the top material.
Several “C” clamps were used to force the softened oak strips to conform to the required compound curve. When thoroughly dry the strips were glued and again clamped into position. This process resulted in a very solid, rigid tack strip that will be bolted to the body flange. Lots of tape and cardboard was used to protect the new paint.
Some evidence of progress is seen with the addition of rear fenders, splash aprons and running boards with step plates attached. The refurbished steering column is installed. Several small time-consuming items do not show up as progress but some big items hog all the glory.
Now the radiator and radiator shell and the steering wheel are installed.
The hood brings a bit more of a sense of completion. The front fenders and the upholstery are next. Then the top will be installed.
Two 40-pound bags of wood pellets were used to help compress the seat springs while installing the upholstery kit for the seat bottom.
The completed seat looks good. The work bench is our pool table.
Nearing the end of the restoration project the seat cushions have been installed. It turns out that the “fat man” steering wheel allows the fat man to enter just fine but the seat cushions are so close that the wheel rubs on my fat man’s belly. This after-market option has been replaced with an authentic original that is smaller in diameter and is also dished convex giving plenty of room but I have to enter from the passenger’s side.
For the gear heads here is a photo of the engine room from the driver’s side. The coil box cover is still on the work bench. The oil can looms large but it is really only about three inches in diameter.
The engine from the passenger side. A sheet metal cover would normally enclose the ribbed exhaust manifold and provide heat ducted into the passenger compartment. This optional accessory was probably added to the engine when it was in another car in a previous life.
With the front fenders and headlights installed the restoration project nears completion. The installation of the convertible top is all that remains and will be tackled in the next few weeks. Many little details still need to be dealt with and will probably be an ongoing effort. It does start and runs fine during trial runs up and down the driveway. The after market "fat man" steering wheel shown here and noted previously has been replaced with an authentic original steering wheel.
The installation of the top was a daunting task that I postponed for as long as I could. It was a job full of anxiety but someone had to do it. The rear “curtain” with the rear window has been installed. Barely visible are the nearly vertical “short straps” that position the rear bow. The tensioned support straps have been tacked to the rear bow and to the front bow. Cotton batting and jute webbing sewed into cotton fabric make a pad that is stretched across the corners of the bows.
Here you can see the support straps and the padding pulled tight and fastened to the front bow above the windshield. The hand operated windshield wiper hangs loosely.
Here the top section is being installed. Duct tape taped to the windshield was used to keep tension on the top fabric while it is fastened with tacks and staples. A “windbreaker” strip has already been fasted to the front edge of the front bow.
A strip of stitched welting called “Hideum” welt covers the joint and the tacks. I used a “C” clamp and bungie cords to tension the welting to help keep it straight.
I used a couple of small plastic wedges twisted to hold open the slit in the welting to allow the nose of a pneumatic stapler to set stainless steel staples into the wood bows.
Here a staple has been set into the bottom of the strip. When the slit is allowed to close up again the tacks and staples are hidden.
The front bow extends out beyond the windshield. This gap is closed with a strip of top material attached to the front bow. It is supposed to be doubled so it could straddle the top of the windshield frame to hold it in place. This kit came with only a single-layer strip so I just attached it to the top of the frame with self-stick Velcro. Don’t tell anyone. Well, as it turns out, the self-stick Velcro does not stick to the top material so I will install Lift-a-Dot fasteners to the frame of the windshield.
The top has been installed and looks good. I have lowered the top. It is just like the Miata.
Finally it has been taken outside for a photo shoot. Nice car!
In black and white it looks like a vintage photograph.
This is the end of the reassembly section. The Model T restoration project can be considered completed. More Model T items will be added from time-to-time as spring arrives and we begin to drive it. Go to the Model T Main Page