I wonder if there are ever any pleasant surprises during a tear down. The process certainly revealed a lot about the ABC bodies and the work that lay ahead.
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The start of the tear down. First bad news was after removal of the "rust covers" at the lower cowl, I discovered why they were there. Also, stress cracks around the windshield mounting holes.
These two photos show details of the front fender mounting. The catalog describes motorcycle fenders for this model and full fenders for the roadster and sport models. However, this one has full fenders.
Back and side padding was tacked directly to the wood frame. A second covering was under this one. As shown in the catalog, the original covering was pleated with pleats 5 or 6 inches wide.
A standard round Ford gas tank sits behind the seat. It is filled by opening the trunk lid.
Side rail arrangement is very weak. The "B Post" had been nailed and renailed until the wood was completely chewed up. Note holes in rear deck and hinge for top that once existed.
The catalog and ads claim every joint was glued and screwed. I found no evidence of either, but there were numerous cleats like these, most were broken from fatigue. The sheet metal was all that held most of the wood frame together.
This photo shows details of the rear fender attachment. A rod with turnbuckle passed all the way through the tail, but was not tied securely into the wood frame. Stress cracks were found around the holes in the body. Another support bracket attaches to the front of the fender and the bottom of the sill.
The body comes off. Note (here and next photo) the extra cross members in the frame. There was also quarter inch plates welded to the inside of the frame rails. These modifications were probably made when the car was used as a department store delivery truck.
The frame was obviously the original one, beefed up for duty as a delivery truck. The title lists the car as a 1914, but the frame was of the type not used after early 1913. It was later lowered using the additional cross member (see catalog) to relocate the spring in front of the rear axle. This arrangement put stress on the flange of the frame, causing the stress crack. I'll use a different frame and spring relocation method.
These three photos show the bare wood after the sheet metal was removed. Clamps were required to hold it together. The wood was not rotted, but it was chewed up due to numerous nail holes. Also, welding of stress cracks at the rear corner of the trunk opening severely burned the wood. I wanted to reuse as much of the wood as possible.
The tail portion of the frame hangs off the ends of the sills. The main support is by the two 2x4s which are attached to the floorboard.
The 2x4s and triangular supports are clamped together here, but were not originally. This rear section is very weak. Since I wanted the frame to stay together, I reengineered this tail section for greater strength.
What have I done? Here are the pieces of the wood frame, except for the side rails and a few other small pieces. The "D" shaped tail and the main sills were the only ones I could salvage. The others were either burned, chewed up from repeated nail repairs or part of the tail which was too poorly constructed.