5) '16 Ford center door Model T

Jeanine’s Model T

This is a trade work project, Gary upholsters Bev’s 47, I prep and paint Jeanine’s (his wife) ’16 Center Door Model T. The Model T is not to far removed from the horse carriage. The shape is very similar. Lots of wood is used through out the body, the metal is attached to the wood framework with wood screws and nails. The windows are very large. The two doors are in the middle of the body so a person entering can go either to the front seats or the rear seat which is very similar to a carriage. The body has been metal worked and strengthened by a steel framework underneath. 



                      The Body that I will prep and paint.                              The chassis that Gary will take home and spruce it up. 



To begin I did a survey of the body. The bottom edge of the body had slits at various intervals to allow the the bottom edge to be formed to the support pieces. When the body was on the frame these slits could not be welded. I decided that I had better weld them up so they would not crack around the edge and up the body. I haven’t done all that much welding laying on my back looking up (overhead) however after awhile and a few globs that I had to remove and some do-overs I got the hang of it and got er done.  

To keep from becoming overwhelmed the body was divided into 2 sections for prepping with the C pillar being the divider. Starting with the front section the firewall/cowl was sanded with 80 grit disk on a orbital sander. Next oil and grease remover was applied then etch was brushed on.



The right and left front panels between the windshield and front of the door openings still had old paint that needed to be removed. This was done with a 40 grit disk on a 4.5” grinder followed by an 80 grit disk on a orbital sander. Next paint was removed from the “A” and “B” pillars and the 1/4 round hardwood piece in between. Etch was then applied to the panels and pillars.

Materials used to prepare the T for paint. The “All Metal is used as a base over rough areas. The “5064 Filler” is applied over the “All Metal” and areas where the finished thickness will be 1/8” or less. The squeeze bottle contains Acetone which is used for clean up of the the mixing board and application tools. 

The epoxy primer sealer is applied over the bare metal and filler, the high build surfacer primer is applied over the sealer and is guide coat sanded. The boxes contain adhesive backed 80. 120, 220 and 320 grit sand paper. The sand paper is used on the 6”, 12” and 18” boards to knock down and shape the filler and guide coat sand the high build primer. 


 Next “All Metal” was to applied  over all the welds forward of the “C” pillar. The "All Metal” was sanded and reapplied until the    welded areas were free of irregularities and fairly smooth.


The “All Metal" was then covered with 5062 (Paint for Cars number) body filler and sanded until the areas were ready for epoxy primer.


Two coats of epoxy primer and 2 heavy coats of surfacing primer were applied, then dry guide coat was applied and sanded. The above photos show that the sanding removed material down to and including filler in some places in order to remove all the irregularities. More epoxy and surfacing primer will be applied when the rear section is primed. 


 "All Metal" then 5062 body filler had to be applied to many areas in the rear section.This process had to be repeated 2 times to remove all the irregularities.


Next sealer and surfacer was applied guide coated and sanded with 220 grit.


The highs were sanded down and the lows were filled with 5062 then re-primed guide coat sanded over and over until the body was free of irregularities. The wood trim around the window openings and door jams also had to be filled and sanded to look like metal. This total body process took 3 months plus at 20 to 30 hours a week.


Single stage black paint was applied so I could use the resultant shine to look for possible irregularities I missed. I found 3 on the cowl and i below the left rear window.


The areas were repaired and repainted with single stage showing no problems. Next the old paint on the doors was stripped using the tools shown.


The metal door skins were attempted to be repaired without disassembling the doors, this couldn’t be accomplished so the doors were disassembled. It was worthwhile not only for the metal straitening but also to repair the rust on the backside of the metal skins. 



Here is the right door after reassembling, sealing under the edge molding with 3M 85000 and priming, then painting with base coat, clear coat, wet sanding and polishing.


The above photos are of the rear fenders, the front fenders, the left door, the running boards, the body and the shields after base coat, clear coat painting, wet sanding and polishing.

 Gary and Geanene arrived and we assembled the finished pieces on the chassis as shown in the following photos.

Finally, the T was loaded on Gary’s trailer.