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Old 07-07-2010, 10:50 AM   #1
29FordGuy
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Default Town Sedan body and door alignment

I am finally at the point of aligning the doors and attaching the body to the frame before I do the final painting. Yes, I have consulted Marco's write-up on doing this job and found it very useful. It is very clear how the different anchor bolds rotate the parallelogram to attain door allignment. As I remember I actually had fair alignment before I unbolted the body from the frame and did all the restoration work (that was 2 years ago). I have now started to align everything and attach the body to the frame, but now I don't know what is happening and am even to the point of frustration. And that, combined with my aching bones from getting up and down constantly has worn me out! Time to take a long coffee break (or something else) and ponder the situation. Maybe a light bulb will come on with a bit of pondering.....

Yes, quite likely I have a slightly sagging frame, but rough checks when I was doing the restoration showed less than 1/4-inch sag, but it was not a real precise measurement. I had no way of straightening the frame so was hopeful it was ok. The doors aligned fine before and even after I unbolted the body from the frame. I reattached the doors and the front was a bit high but closed and the rear was about an inch low. So I shimmed the front bolt on the cowl with up to 3 rubber washers and put one rubber shim under the pair of carriage bolts only to find the front door went up. I have been adding shims here and there and taking others away, but nothing seems to change much or else I amd getting totally confused. I am taking a two day break before I tackle this again!

My plan of attack now is to remove all the shims and let the body rest on the frame. I will then check the door alignment and the space between the wood body sill and the top of the frame. I will document everything in writting before so I don't loose track of where I am and what I need to do next. Then I will shim according to Marco's procedure and hope for the best.

I was just wondering if anyone else had such problems in alignment or is it just me! Suggestions and past experiences would be appreciated.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:49 AM   #2
Ronnie Lawson
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

29 Ford Guy,
I am at the same stage that you are with my 29 Town Sedan,
I will be putting my body on the frame next week.
Keep us informed of your issues.
Thanks
Ron Lawson
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
RTC1930
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Sorry I won't be much help but i'm also in about the same place as you with the body in primer and in process of block sanding but I had NOT planned to put the body on the frame for alignment before paint. I'm wondering why you had such adverse alginment issues. Did you replace wood or disassemble frame members? I set the body on saw horses and didn't touch the wood or hinges and kept main frame intact except for components. I know it will need some alignment when I drop it back on but figured I would do after paint because pulling it back off for paint would start me all over again right.

Based on your experience, maybe I underestimated this task.

Bob, NJ
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:01 PM   #4
29FordGuy
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Believe me, yours will probably go smoothly! I chose to do all the alignment and attaching the body to the frame before painting mainly because of the garage I am working in. I do not have the room or facilities to do a lot of this work. It is simpler for me to have it on wheels to paint. All it means is lots of masking. And then, no danger of damaging the paint job when fitting everything together. I always had a suspicion that I might have trouble at this stage. Maybe it will improve. I will keep updated, but after I ponder the problem a bit.....
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:20 PM   #5
john in illinois
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Marco has a great tutorial on body alignment. I followed it and did a good job even with a slight frame sag.

LINK http://www.abarnyard.com/workshop/door-1.htm
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:33 AM   #6
Bill Goddard
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

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29FordGuy, You have way too much sag. I know you can probably shim it but it will never be quite right. I have .145 (about frame material thickness) sag and I intend to straighten it. The consenses in my local club of those who have done frame up restorations is you will bless the day you straightened your frame. The components fit so much better. They straighten frames using Les Andrews' method in his manual. It should be a simple job. And take only a day at most. Good Luck Bill G
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:46 AM   #7
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Goddard View Post
29FordGuy, You have way too much sag. I know you can probably shim it but it will never be quite right. I have .145 (about frame material thickness) sag and I intend to straighten it. The consenses in my local club of those who have done frame up restorations is you will bless the day you straightened your frame. The components fit so much better. They straighten frames using Les Andrews' method in his manual. It should be a simple job. And take only a day at most. Good Luck Bill G
Bill, I'm new at this so please bear with me.
How does one measure the sag of the engine mounts, Especiallly to .001?
Does this mean there is a twist in the side rails of the frame? A straight edge accross the frame rails and the measure a gap?
Once the sag is determined, how do you restore it to the original position? (Not a big hammer I hope )
Does the torque of the engine cause assymetrical twisting/sagging?

Don't go away, I'll probably have more questions LOL
Terry
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:48 AM   #8
Bill Goddard
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

I measured the material thickness of the frame and the sag looked to be about the same hence .145. Using LA's method you would place the frame on a bottle jack at the lowest point, the bottle jack sits on a 6x6 beam of pressure treated or equivalent. Look up LA's method in the Mechanics Handbook vol 2.
When I asked our guys here about this they said "this is the time to do it.- when you've got the frame off the car. It will never be easier."

The weight of the engine against road bumps over 80 years causes the frame to yield (sag). Hardened steel springs yield over time so I think a soft steel frame would too.

Last edited by Bill Goddard; 07-08-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:41 AM   #9
Marco Tahtaras
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry, NJ View Post
Bill, I'm new at this so please bear with me.
How does one measure the sag of the engine mounts, Especiallly to .001?
Does this mean there is a twist in the side rails of the frame? A straight edge accross the frame rails and the measure a gap?
Once the sag is determined, how do you restore it to the original position? (Not a big hammer I hope )
Does the torque of the engine cause assymetrical twisting/sagging?

Don't go away, I'll probably have more questions LOL
Terry
Yes, there is often signs of sag from engine torque.

A straight edge is of little use unless it's eight+ feet long. I install large countersunk machine screws in frame holes near all four corners and string fishing line tightly fore/aft and crisscrossed. The tapered screw heads make the screws self center in the holes AND force the fishing line downward against the top of the frame surface at those points. Fishing line has next to no sag when drawn tight. The "X" created by the crisscrossed line provides a point to measure for symmetry.

When you straighten the frame it's VERY helpful to have a flywheel housing bolted in place with the rear engine mounts and your new rubber engine mount pads.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:18 AM   #10
Bill Goddard
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Marco, Following up on what you saying, why not wait till the engine/trans are installed before trying to straighten the frame?. Maybe you could straighten the frame any time before the body is in the way. Bill G
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:11 AM   #11
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Bill and Marco, Thanks for the replies. As Bill said, Why not assemble the frame components first and then apply pressure as needed to the sagging parts?

Is it advisable to to "overbend" slightly to compensate for the weight that's added later?
Just two of probably even more questions to come. T.I.A.

Terry



Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Tahtaras View Post
Yes, there is often signs of sag from engine torque.

A straight edge is of little use unless it's eight+ feet long. I install large countersunk machine screws in frame holes near all four corners and string fishing line tightly fore/aft and crisscrossed. The tapered screw heads make the screws self center in the holes AND force the fishing line downward against the top of the frame surface at those points. Fishing line has next to no sag when drawn tight. The "X" created by the crisscrossed line provides a point to measure for symmetry.

When you straighten the frame it's VERY helpful to have a flywheel housing bolted in place with the rear engine mounts and your new rubber engine mount pads.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:20 AM   #12
Bill Goddard
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Yes! Metal has memory. We overbend the frame about as much as it has sagged.
We will shoot for flat to some crown on the upside to allow for sagging when body is installed. Bill G

Last edited by Bill Goddard; 07-09-2010 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:57 PM   #13
29FordGuy
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Here is an update to my problem I was having. Sometimes I find it best to just get away from it and regroup with a clear mind. I worked on it Saturday afternoon and found that yes, I do have a sagging frame but it appears to be in the vicinity of the center post. I agree that the best would be to stop here and straighten the frame according to the book, but I just can not do it now. I need to get this project done (now 2-1/2 years)! I also found that the repro rear bumper braces I bought were holding up the rear of the body about 1/4-inch. Yes I do have the correct height - 3 inches. So I removed the flat piece they were attached to and the body dropped down to the frame. Don't figure! Now I just need to figure out how to attach the braces.

I then measured at each bolt location the distance of separation between sill and frame and calculated the number of shims it would take to fill. Then I added or subtracted shims to adjust the doors. Now the front doors fit good and the rear doors are now only 1/4-inch low. I think my door hinges may still be a bit wide as they were all sprung when I got the car. The door clearance on the hinge side is much greater than the latch side.

I am also fitting the hood and that is so far going well (cowl to shelf at right angle). Will do that after I get the body done. I will continue this week and see if I can get it all complete. Painting will come when it comes! No sense in rushing it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #14
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

I'm curious, 29fordguy, Did you get the frame straightened and how does it fit? What methods did you use? How did it turn out?
Terry
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:19 PM   #15
Jaybo
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Default Re: Town Sedan body and door alignment

Hello,

I'm at the same place in my restoration as you are (body just sitting on frame with doors out of alignment) the only difference is that I have taken the radiator out so I could clean it up. I know you suppose to start the body alignment with the radiator installed and then work your way towards the back of the car, it’s going to be a couple of days before I start my frame alignment. I’m hoping you have the chance to align your doors before I start to align mine and maybe I won’t be cussing at the car so much. The car I’m restoring is a 1930 Murray Town Sedan.

Cheers,
Jaybo
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