ryan95

1923 Moon Restoration Progress

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This is my first time posting the progress I have made on the car that I am working on. It is not my car, but belongs to a friend in my neighborhood who recently retired and has been looking for someone willing to restore his car, which he purchased intending to restore it. I am 24 years old and this is my first car restoration. I had not had much experience in woodworking either until last year. I have always appreciated old machines though, so when I first saw this car in 2018 I caught the "old car bug." From late 2018 until last fall I spent about a year researching and planning the project. The pictures below are some before and after pictures from Thanksgiving until now along with some pictures in the wood shop. Almost all of the original wooden parts were rotten, cracked, and or twisted, so I spent the winter remaking as much as I could. About 2/3 of the wooden parts are done and assembled. I am a small engine mechanic, so this has been a good way to keep me busy in my slow season. Now more customers are beginning to call with repair jobs, so I am putting less hours into the car, but I hope to keep putting in a few hours per week. Our goal is to get the car on the road again in 2023 for its hundredth birthday. Please let me know if you would like to see anything else or have questions of how I did something. I'm posting this since I figure that some of you would appreciate seeing a youngster restoring a prewar car!

Ryan

 

 

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Looks good.......my building that holds my cars and shop is a 1922 Moon Car dealership......still have the showroom lights.......it's 8000 sq feet. Located in Springfield Mass.

 

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Posted (edited)

Very nice to see someone your age tackiing one of these, to see a fine old car being re-done, and to know there will in future be an experienced person in auto wood framing in your area. I've done a lot of woodwork on  2 cars, a '27 Pontiac Coupe, and a '31 Chevrrolet Coach, some with good old patterns, some without patterns for some pieces. It is important to get the pieces very exact to the originals as most know, or otherwise sheetmetal fit will be near impossible. Also crucial to keep everything square and true, most factories used jigs to achieve that. You seem to have the knack, so good luck and please keep us in the loop. and BTW, 4 door tourers are probably the most difficult of all to get proper fitting of all 4 doors, the slightest bit of sag, twist, mis-dimension, poor shimming on frame etc will make door fit impossible to get right. I helped a friend rebuild a '28 Ford Touring car and getting doors aligned was a nightmare.

Edited by Gunsmoke (see edit history)
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Thanks edinmass. If you are willing, I would like to talk to you sometime about your building and what you know about Moons.

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I have some Ideas for the doors, but any advice is well taken. They will be the last parts mounted so that the pockets for the hinges can be very carefully placed and recessed.

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Ryan, I agree with Gunsmoke, that it's encouraging to see a 24 year old doing a restoration such as yours. Please keep us up to date with pictures about your progress. I replaced from the rear doors back on my 1946 Ford, Station Wagon, so I can appreciate your work.

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35 minutes ago, ryan95 said:

Thanks edinmass. If you are willing, I would like to talk to you sometime about your building and what you know about Moons.

 

Sure...just PM me. 

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Ryan looking good.  I have the splash aprons from the barn and will send you measurements this afternoon.

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Excellent work. Just recently got to see the progress on body rebuilding for a V-16 Cadillac. It's quite an undertaking to have to start with wood suited only for patterns just to make the framework.  Your talent and patience are evident!

Terry

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Looks good and I like the tools you are using.

I am still working on getting all 4 doors to fit, repairing  repairs one at a time.

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Hi Ryan,

 Great to see your work, you obviously have the skill necessary to do this task.

 I was a bit younger than you when I started rebuilding a 1928 Chrysler tourer, so I would like to offer some well meaning advice.

 I built my body on top of 4x  5gallon drums and got the whole body together with doors fitting nicely, when it came time to fit the body back onto the frame, nothing opened or closed, not even close. It was so far out, that I had to strip out the centre pillars and doors and pretty much redo the whole thing.

 You are building your body balanced on two trestle tables, with the front and rear of the body hanging over both ends, much the same as I did on the drums, my advice to you before you go any further is to mount the body onto the chassis frame, and finish the bodywork on the frame. 

 Look forward to following your progress and wish you all the best on this restoration 

Viv.

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I have been working on wood for my 1925 Buick touring for some time now.  Since the original wood was gone, my effort has been directed toward making a full body wood pattern using old scrap softwood lumber to come up with patterns, tools, and know how before I start cutting new hardwood.   The body curves front to back, and again in up down direction, so all the pieces above the sill line require a lot of hand fitting before the sheetmetal will sit correctly.  The center pillar between front and rear doors is critical to door alignment.  If tipped forward or backward a fraction of an inch, both front and rear doors won't line up.   The front doors have a warp of approximately 1-1/2",  and I figured out how to produce that after finding a rear door at a swap meet that had original wood in very poor condition, and measuring the angles of the corner tenons.  They are compound tenons which can be reproduced with a table saw tenoning jig. The saw blade has to be tipped to the first angle, and a wedge cut to the second angle is placed behind the workpiece when clamped in the tenoning jig.  I must have made over a dozen door frames before getting one that fit. You can see the mark I put on the tenons in the photo.  2 & 3 degree angles are too small to be obvious, so I mark the direction and measure of the angle before cutting.  A good protractor is also necessary. 

Kevin

body wood.jpg

corner tenon.jpg

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I appreciate the advice Viv. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. I did notice that the sills had significant flex to them when I put a level on various parts a month back. Since then I purchased a sandblaster and painting equipment so that I can get the frame painted this summer while it is warm. Thank you for pointing that out. I would have been quite discouraged If I hadn't noticed and made that same mistake.

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Ryan, checkout Dougman65  help needed post put up about 25 mins ago. Moon radiator cap

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Nice work Kevin. In my situation the original wood acts as a pattern, so I am fortunate in that way. Even though the wood is shot, I can usually get a measurement off of on side or the other. I am glad that most pieces have opposite pairs. Some of it is guesswork or averaging the two measurements. Our sheet metal is so ratty that most of it will only serve as patterns for the pieces that will replace them. Since so much of the metal needs replaced, the final shapes of many the wood pieces are not as critical as they might be if I were trying to fit them to the original metal. I am still trying to get it all pretty close to original though. That said, I'm a little jealous of how nice your sheet metal looks.

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3 minutes ago, viv w said:

Ryan, checkout Dougman65  help needed post put up about 25 mins ago. Moon radiator cap

 

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Thanks a million. I have been searching for one of those for some time now. I hope it is for sale!

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viv w wrote "my advice to you before you go any further is to mount the body onto the chassis frame, and finish the bodywork on the frame. 

 

Yes, (or build a proper jig), but if you mount on frame/chassis, put 3/16" shims at 4 or 5 points along length each side and clamp lightly in place so nothing moves around. Before body is set on chassis, make sure chassis is perfectly level fore&aft, and side to side, both at front and rear. You can use jack stands and wood shim on the stands, but it is important that nothing is moving around when you do this. If you use this method, once everything is together, slight additional shimming (adding/subtracting 1/16" here or there) should enable perfect alignment of doors, hood etc. 

 

With these cars, the first order of business is to get the rad shell, hood and cowl aligned, you want a uniform gap at both front, back and sides of hood. Depending on method of bracing between rad shell and cowl, there are specific proceedures for this. Once that is done, then you work backward, getting the 2 front doors aligned/gapped (work both at same time). In most of these cars, the door edges are perfectly vertical at hinges,  so you may have to raise or lower back of car slightly to achieve that. And finally the 2 back doors are fitted, doing both sides at same time while constantly checkng front doors stay in line. I've seen guys spend 2/3 weeks or more tinkering with these parts on 4 door tourers before everything is close enough to button up.  Patience is your best friend. 

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Thanks gunsmoke. I took many measurements to make sure the hood would like up when the body is mounted. I wasn't planning on actually test assembling them yet, but now I think I will soon to make sure everything is right before going further.

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Posted (edited)

My hat is off to you fellows doing the wood bodywork.Excellent work Ryan, you’ve joined the right group here.

Edited by Steve9 (see edit history)

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