What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

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Sarikatime
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What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Sarikatime » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:50 am

I had to pull the motor for repair on my 21 touring and kind of messed up the wood firewall. It is a 21 body with a 15 style hood former and a wood firewall and a brass radiator. Could I trade out the wood firewall for a metal one and do I need to use a different firewall bracket that holds everything to the frame? What would a metal firewall cost me? Frank

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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by CudaMan » Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:31 pm

Metal firewalls weren't OEM until 1923, so all 1921s would have come with wood firewalls.

If you don't care about originality, I suppose a 1923 low metal firewall might fit.
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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:33 pm

It is a 21 body with a 15 style hood former and a wood firewall and a brass radiator.
No, the metal firewall will not fit the 15/16 hood former the outside edge is different along with different mounts at the bottom.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by George Hand » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:11 pm

Frank, Just purchase a new reproduction firewall for a '19-22 with electric starter, most of the vendors have them in their catalogs (I gather your car has a starter), you may have to drill a few holes for the hood former screws (which you would have had to do anyways when you first put on the hood former), & forgive others you may not need. A new firewall should stabilize the steering column, most original firewalls have issues anyways. George

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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:36 pm

You have to get the firewall for the 1915-1916 hood former. You can't (without a lot of rework) just stuff a 1917 to 1922 wood firewall in. The firewall/dash for the 1915-1916 IS DIFFERENT ANROUND THE EDGE.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by david_dewey » Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:33 pm

Mark how do you know got a 15/16 type hood radiator He doesn’t mention that anywhere. Just that it’s a 21 — which would have a wood firewall. Mostly curious, as maybe you know the car.
T'ake care,
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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Hap_Tucker » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:38 pm

by Sarikatime » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:50 am

I had to pull the motor for repair on my 21 touring and kind of messed up the wood firewall. It is a 21 body with a 15 style hood former and a wood firewall and a brass radiator.
David -- it is easy to miss something -- but from above he said 21 body with a 15 style hood former and a wood firewall and a brass radiator.

And I agree with Mark, that if he has the 1915-16 hood former it would be easier to get the 1915-16 replacement wood firewall and add extra holes to the firewall rather than beveling the 1917-22ish one fit the 1915-16 hood former. Somewhere I saved a posting about the 1915-16 firewall and how it is beveled to fit the hood former, but I cannot locate it at the moment.

And I forgot how to have the forum highlight the quote for me.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Sarikatime » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:23 pm

Thank you guys! Yes I do have a starter on the motor. The frame and runningear is a 14 with a ruckstell and disc brakes and for several years I could not find a 14 body so I bought a 21 touring body to put on but I wanted a brass car and had all the brass lights brass radiator and hood and hoodformer to put on it already and that is why the car is a Johnny Cash special. It is a driver with all led lights for safety and will be fun again as soon as I get the motor back in it.
Thank you all for the informative the advice. Frank


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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by George Hand » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:36 am

Frank, So now for the 64 cent question, what firewall was used when this was put together? The one that came with the '21 body or a '15-6 style? George


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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Original Smith » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:52 am

The best thing for you to do is to convert it back to a 1921!


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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by 23ford » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:17 am

Yes it will fit a low metal firewall...........have 2 that way

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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Mark Gregush » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:55 am

How would you install a 1923 steel firewall with drip rail inside the 1915-1916 hood former. Of course a steel low fire wall would work IF you were working with the low hood/radiator, but he is NOT. By the way, if I had the parts I would do the same thing with my 21, just because it would look cool. :D There are more then a few fake 1915's out there with later bodies.
Original Smith wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:52 am
The best thing for you to do is to convert it back to a 1921!
Except the running gear is 1914 per his post.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by jsaylor » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:08 pm

Why not just use the old firewall as a pattern, buy some plywood and make your own.

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Re: What is the difference between wood and metal firewall for a 21

Post by Hap_Tucker » Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:50 pm

John's suggestions of use the old firewall for a pattern and make a new one sounds like a good idea. I.e. if the hood, hood former, hood sills, firewall to firewall brackets and body all fit together well -- that is the pattern to use.

Note, many of the original firewalls were made up of different vertical boards glued together and that had a veneer over them. Over the years the wood glue tended to let go and the veneer tended to bubble up. But if the wood boards are solid but are nolonger glued together, they can be cleaned up and re-glued. Jim Cook did it on his 1916 cut off that had been in the family since new. He left the veneer off and re-glued the boards.

If the boards are rotten -- then using them for a pattern could still be an option.

For John --
by 23ford » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:17 am

Yes it will fit a low metal firewall...........have 2 that way
John -- what, if any, changes did you have to make? I would guess that you needed to use the bracket that was designed for the metal firewall. Or that you needed to add some spacers to the bracket if you used the 1917-1923ish firewall bracket that was used with the wooden firewalls. I would guess spacers would be needed if you used the earlier 1911-1916 firewall brackets (some say 1913is-1916) if you were installing a 1923 low cowl metal firewall in place of the wooden one?

At an earlier posting by John Regan (see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/17 ... 1306805874 ) comments:
By John F. Regan on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 10:47 pm:
The hardest part of getting a 15/16 dash to fit the former is the complicated angle and inner and outer radius' that Ford put on the edge of these dashes so that they would fit correctly inside the hood former used for the 15/16. When I make dashes for show cars these are the hardest dashes to make until I broke down and had a custom router bit made to put the correct edge on the outer perimeter of the 15/16 dash. They are still a tight fit on the hood former and there is no easy way to take the former back off once you place the former over the dash so make sure you have the dash painted and done before you put the hood former on since it is kind of a "one way - one time" kind of fit when things are new.
And earlier in that same posting John shared:
Later [the common 1915 to 1916 dash] they simply made the whole dash 11/16" thick (actually .677/.697).
And from the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/11 ... 1288738126 John Regan commented:
BTW:

As someone mentioned - the edge of the 1915/1916 dash is complicated to match the inside shape of the hood former. The basic angle is 17 degree bevel but there are radius' on the top edge and bottom edge that are each different. I broke down and bought a custom router bit to cut the edge of the dash to give it the correct profile since you can't even buy a 17 degree bit to start the edge with. I am not sure what the typical repro dash has for an edge but unless it is shaped correctly you will have a battle trying to get it to fit right inside the hood former.

There is always more to learn about what fits and how much if any modification is required for a part to fit. I never knew that the 1928-31 Model A Ford front hubs could be adapted to fit the Model T front spindles until I saw a pair on 1926-27 roadster pickup in the Fort Walton Beach, Fl area last century. The owner had turned down the brake drums -- removed them -- and used the 5 1/2 bolt pattern Model A Wheels.

If you can share what you did to have the 1923 low cowl dash fit the 1915-16 hood former and how well it worked that would be appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,

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