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1926 Ford Model T Fordor


ericmac
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I am going to begin a slow roll into a full restoration of this car.

As a bit of background,  my dad David Macleod and his younger brother George bought the car in 1952 spending their combined savings to get it. Together with their older brothers and my grandfather they assembled the car and learned to drive it. They drove the car extensively then sold it when they went to college.

Fast forward to 1969, my dad was working and had some spare money. He stayed in contact with the man who bought the Model T. Upon the man's death his widow contacted my dad, asking if he wanted the car back. Clearly, he did and the purchase was completed.

At the time we liked in Michigan's Up

per Peninsula so the car was driven around that part of the state extensively. 

Later when our family relocated to Kalamazoo the car was a frequent sight at the Gilmore Car Museum for shows and the Model T driving school. Most recently,  I participated in the Prewar tour sponsored by the Gilmore Museum. Part of the way through the tour the car began making the rumbling noises we typically associate with bearings going bad in the rear axle. 

I cut the tour short and got within 40 feet of the trailer when it broke for good.

In the course of the restoration I plan to do a traditional,  complete, restoration.  The engine and transmission were rebuilt about 20 years ago but probably have less than 1000 miles on them. I am switching from wood wheels to wires because I like the look of wires and I feel steel wheels are safer than wood on a top heavy car like a '26 Fordor.

Attached are a couple photos, one of the car when I last used it last fall and one of the car as it appears this morning,  just before I put it in the garage. 

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  • 5 months later...

It has been a while but this project is now on the front burner. Since my last update I have started the disassembly process in earnest. When I last restored a car I ripped through the disassembly in less than a weekend.  I didn't have any original hardware and much of the car was in such condition that nothing about it was original so preservation was unimportant.  With this car I want it as close to original as possible so I am slowly dismantling it and documenting the process as much as I can. 

Today's job was to disassemble the passenger side front door. . A Budd built body, the door itself was in very good condition though I had to repair one window regulator. Here is the progress, noting the place where three well placed ball peen hammer strikes were needed to realign an errant gear. Note the red striped upholstery. 20220308_220536.jpg.5607715cbb612dce56901e5a09b984d9.jpg20220310_223916.jpg.d338a27ccf1dd386acbd25c064c94c7e.jpg20220310_223901.jpg.6fa9cba9d3f4659113ccd513fd1ab7d2.jpg20220303_191920.jpg.2dd28a352c0c9adbea769d880aab0dca.jpg20220308_220407.jpg.7f2c22084a111b51526c4b06b4e86eb9.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

After a bit of a break to install some flooring in my house (when I say some, I'm talking about the entire main floor...ugh) I am moving on to removing the passenger side rear door and will be disassembling the inards of it. 

 

The first two pins came out easily but the third (closest to the rear fender) fought me. Clearly, the fender needed to be removed before I could proceed. Here, I found a significant amount of dirt, corrosion and, well, fight. Tonight I was able to remove but two bolts, breaking off both, but before doing so I photographed them so I could replace them with correct style hardware. 

 

This car. I'm predicting, is going to fight me every step of the way.  Part of that statement comes from a belief that the car has never been fully apart before, yet the restoration must be done to halt the tremendous amount of deterioration I am finding. My dad had a lot of fun with it but it is clear that he simply wore it out. Good for him!

Edited by ericmac
Adding photos (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

I am going slowly on this car but not on purpose.  My house projects got in the way and so has that pesky job of mine. Anyway,  after a hiatus I finally got the rear fender and rear passenger door off. I really had to beat on the hinge pin to get the door removed but it's done. I almost got the upholstery off before it was bedtime for my girls. 

I would add a photo but can't seem to make the link work. I'm sure I am doing something wrong. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I understand how overwhelmed you are.  I just finished my 1929 Graham Paige.  The driver side looked just like your passenger side. It took me and my son several months to get it working and looking good.  To see it now you would not belief it's the same car.  Here are a couple of pics

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  • 4 months later...

I came to a decision about this car. While sitting on the running board the night of my uncle's death (my dad's brother, with whom he bought the car in 1952) I told myself I really need to get going on this project. Within 36 hours I got a message from noted '26-27 Model T Fordor restorer Don Booth. "Do you still need that car rewooded?" We worked out an arrangement and the car leaves in less than two weeks for wood, bodywork,  primer, glass, wiring, headliner and a top. In the meantime I'll redo the chassis, nickel plating, wheels, tires and mechanical items. It's time.

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I continue to work on getting the car ready to ship out for body wood and other work. This car is fighting me every step of the way.  Every nut, bolt and cotter pin has been a battle.  Note to self, this car is case in point of why it's worth looking for a southern car next time!20221113_211903.jpg.63c52bbf1bfb74090cf4d6ac9a3d87e9.jpg20221115_231644.jpg.7b3f0b8af1e407d9add98d13a4e873a7.jpg

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I was looking at these photos again. If any of you are thinking  "jeeze, clean up your work area,  it would be easier," you would be right. But, life is happening now, with my oldest and his wife in the middle of a move, a lot of extra junk is sharing garage space with the car. Such is life.

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10 hours ago, ericmac said:

I most certainly will and I appreciate the offer tremendously! Hope all is well in Packardville!

So far so good! Parts run to Detroit on Sunday, then a whole bunch of work! Still trying to finish the body wood on my Pontiac but making good progress!

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I agree. I was all over that centerdoor at Greenfield Village and in the meantime he did a Ford TT truck that won big the next year. He and I have a good understanding of how I want the car to end up and I am confident we can get there. I'm telling you, IIam already thrilled with the amount of progress he made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Here is the latest update on the Fordor. The car has been dismantled cleaned and all of the wood rough cut. I wish I was in a place in life to do all this myself.  Since I am not it is certainly great to have an expert like Don who is willing and able to do the job.

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Hey Eric,

I just came across this post….very cool project and great back story! Keep up the progress reports (and you still need to stop over).

Scott

 

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