Ron Pope Motorsports                California Custom Roadsters               

Wood kit from TP


New Member
I'm starting the install the TP kit in my TP body. After recieving the kit, I think I might have wasted some money, but I plan on using it now that I have it. I'm wondering how flush the wood is supposed to be the the body. The peices of wood are obviously flat and the body is anything but flat. Do I need to shape each individual piece on the back side? I inteded to use TP's suggestions with the body filler for a bonding agent. I intend to use a TP interior for time savings. Any advice?
I made my own wood reinforcement pieces, so I'm not familiar with what TP has in their kit... Anyway, I used a radial arm saw to cut slits across the wood where needed so that it would bend to fit the body. The slits are cut pretty deep, leaving only about 1/8" uncut so it will bend. I used ordinary body filler to glue it in place (I've done this before and body filler is an excellent adhesive) and then put one layer of fiberglass mat & resin over it. You can see what I did here:
Another build thread? Yep, my track-style T - Page 30 - Club Hot Rod Forums

Hope this helps...:rolleyes:

Thanks meangreen! Your article is helpful. TP kits has you cut 48" strips into many smaller strips. IT the same idea, but not nearly as effective as slit cuts. I think I'll try combining the two ideas.
To bad you didn't get here sooner. You will have to do some shaping but the filler will make up for the voids. I do mine the same way Jim (Meangreen) did his. He had the roll bar to mess with and i would guess that's why he ended up with 3 pieces. I tape posted board all the way from the dash around to the dash on the other side. Then trace the outline of the body. Next lay the template on a piece of clear pine. After marking and cutting the outline on the wood, I make a second outline 1-1/2" down from the edge and cut that out. Now make the relief cuts Jim talked about. Be sure these cuts are at a 90 degree angle to the edge of the wood. Mix up a batch of filler ( i like to use Dur-a-glass or Kitty Hair for this) and apply it to the body. Clamp the wood over it and wait. Put wood scraps on the outside of the body under the clamps.

Tip for transferring a shape...When you are making the ribs for the side of the body, hold a piece of cardboard at 90 degrees to the inside of the body. Then using a 1/2" washer, put the point of the pencil in the hole and roll the washer along the body. trim the gardboard and you have a perfect copy of the contour.

I should add... Search the list at the bottom of the home page for more info onn this fun job.

Yup. When you 'glue' the wood in the body is going to feel warm to the touch. I wait till it cools (sets up) before I do the tabbing. I like to use two strips of glass mat for this. The first one will lap the body off the wood by 2" or so. The second strip by 4". You will find everyone has their own procedure for this task. This is just mine. If you are going to use the Total interior you will want to stick to the dimentions they suggest. You might want to rethink that though. Don has had some problems with the Total kit they installed in his sons T. Hopefully he will post his experiences here for you.

How thick do you make the wood? I think the lip on my Spirit body is way too wide but not sure how wide to make it
Mike in ep
Ron is right, we did have some issues with the TP kit, and it looks like they aren't over yet. Lately we are starting to see where the filler we used under the wood kit deformed the fiberglass body a little, making it wavy under the nice paint. It wasn't like that a couple of months ago, it is just rearing it's ugly head now.

I've voiced before that I am pretty unimpressed with the TP body in general. I think it is too thin of a layup, certainly much thinner than my body, which is a Speedway. I also do not like the way TP leaves the back flap of the body loose like that, or the way they instruct you to put their wood kit in. The kit itself is a real joke. Big money for some very rough firring strips, and some body filler. We scrapped half of it and bought some good wood to suppliment their "kit."

I have to tell you, if you are using their interior, PUT THE WOOD EXACTLY WHERE THEY TELL YOU IT HAS TO GO. If you don't, you won't be able to get the interior nailed or stapled in place. The interior kit is another big disappointment. We had to remove 3/4 of the padding in the back to get it to look decent, buy some matching vinyl to redo some of the panels, and generally spend 4 days (3 of us pulling our hair out) to get it to look reasonable. After all of that, it is starting to come apart at some seams, an it is only 8 months old.

What we are going to have to do eventually is pull the interior out, have a body shop redo the body to eliminate the waves caused by the filler heating and deforming the body, then pay an upholstery shop to put in a proper interior. The TP interior is going to go in the dumpster.

If I sound down on TP, I am. I always thought that they had a great reputation and built a good product. After putting this one together I don't feel that way any longer. Their body is the thinnest I have ever seen. I have a '27 and '23 from Speedway and those bodies have never warped or stresscracked, and the '27 was done by me 20 years ago. You can feel the weight difference between a TP body and a Speedway body, and see the thickness difference.

I also have a problem with those stupid "thread cutting" screws TP wants you to use to bolt down critical components like coil over mounts, engine mounts, and steering boxes. Those went into the garbage immediately, and we welded them on instead.

Sorry if I offend anyone that owns a TP car, but these are just my personal opinions and experiences. We will never buy another body or interior from them. I gave my Son the body and most of the suspension items as a Xmas gift a few years ago, and I really feel like I didn't do him any favor, and that I will need to do something to make it right for him down the road.

Thanks for the input! I thought I'd be saving myself headaches by buying the pre-fab interior, but it sounds to be the opposite. I can't agree with Don more about the wood kit from TP. I could have gone to my local hardware store and purchased the exact same thing for probably 1/4 of the cost (and I wouldn't have had to wait while the part was on backorder.) I'm concerened about your comment about the filler heating up the body. Any suggestions to prevent that? My body was made 30+ years ago so I'm hoping it's a little thicker, but I don't have anything to compare it to.
The filler doing that baffled me too. In the fiberglassing business they call that "shadowing" where the piece being bonded sucks in the fiberglass a little due to the heat generated by the filler or resin. I've never had it happen to me before this one. We didn't mix it too hot or anything, and it didn't show up for months after the car was done. But it is very visible now.

As for the interior, for the $ 900 my Son paid, plus another few hundred it cost us to buy additional vinyl and other supplies, he could have had a local trim shop do a proper interior. The vinyl is not a good grade in my opinion, and is showing signs of wear already, and my Son has probably driven the car a total of 10 times since it was finished. The carpet is very low grade and thin. We basically redid the whole thing just to get it to fit reasonably well.

Oh, the padded bed cover is another joke. If you install it like it comes it sticks out about 3 inches over the back of the bed like a wing. We unstapled the front edge and recut the plywood and made it fit better. When I talked to TP about that, they said "that's what you are supposed to do!"

I'm the first guy to come on and praise a company that does things well, as I have done with Speedway, Coker Tire, Sanderson Headers, etc. But to be fair I have to also say the truth when I find companies who do not do that they are supposed to do, or make products that are not good. I realize TP is just like every other company today who is caught between a rock and a hard place, trying to stay alive by buying and selling items that can make them a profit. But I wonder how much repeat business they get on things like their interiors and bodies? They won't be getting ours.

I use the clearest 1x8 pine board I can find. I once went through 2/3 of a bundle at the lumberyard to find the one board. This was after I asked for one at the desk. You should have seen the POS they tried to give me.

When you shape the wood, you want to get it as close to the same contour as the section of the body it's going on. You want to strive for a skim coat of filler on the back side of the wood. The more filler you use, the more heat it's going to generate.

I'll use 'C' clamps on the top rail with a 4' strip of 1/4" plywood on the outside of the body. That will spread the pressure from the clamps out over a larger area. You just need enough pressure to hold the wood in place. Don't over tighten the clamps. I do not use vise grips for this.

I also have a procedure for the process;
-Firewall backing
-Top rail
-Bottom rail
-Seat riser
-Left side
-Right side
-Door jam & door if there is one.
-Windshield backing
-Horizontal rib 6" or so down from the top rail from the dash around to the dash on the other side.

Let each section set up before you go to the next one. It's not uncommon for me to take 4 days to do a body.

When I pick up the wood, I also buy 5 or 6 1x2 furring strips. When 'gluing' the vertical wood to the sides with the filler, I wedge a length of furring strip between the bottom rail and the strip till the filler sets up. Again, just enough pressure to hold the wood in place. Don't clamp the center of this strip cause if you pull the body in to the wood, you are going to have a devil of a time getting that panel straight again.

Like I said before, this is the way I do this. That dosen't mean there aren't other ways to do it. To date I've done 16 bodies. The first 2 had issues. The last 14 have not. Don's thread on this is very good also. Take the time to read it before you start. Lots of good tips in it.


     Ron Pope Motorsports                Advertise with Us!