THE FORDS FOR 1908, MODELS K, N, AND S|
The 1908 line continued from the 1907 with but minor changes. The Model S,
introduced about August 1907, replaced the Model R. Added to the line was a roadster version
of the Model K, called the "6-40 Gentleman's Roadster."
Ford 4-cylinder 15-18 H.P. Runabout---Model "N"
Ford Model "N"
It is a little over two years since the Ford four-cylinder, 15 horse-power
runabout (Model "N") was first announced. We have made automobile history rapidly since.
Then, a mere conjecture in the minds of many-now, the most potent influence in the industry.
Then, a promise---now, the most notable fulfillment of all Ford promises, every one of which
has been fulfilled to the letter. Then, a butt for jest or ridicule by competitors-now, the
one car to duplicate, or copy, or to compete with which other makers are most concerned.
We had learned no less from the mistakes we had seen others make than from the
uniform success of all former Ford models, that the most delusive thing in the building of
motor cars is the seeming cheapness of cheap materials. A car made from such shows a big
gross profit. But the replacement of defective parts, the repairs that must be made gratis
if the maker would have customers recommend his car, cuts the big gross down to a small
net---or a deficit by the end of the year.
"Eliminate the guess; let certainty, accuracy, take the place of perhaps. See
that the quality of work and materials are such that there shall be no culls---no seconds---no
loss of materials or time in assembling the complete car." These were Mr. Ford's axioms in
working out his plans. The result is a system, an organization, and a car of such quality
and ability---such powers of performance and endurance---as has commanded the admiration
of our strongest competitors. And, now that nearly 10,000 of this model are on the road---we
can say there have been less troubles, less repairs and less replacements of defective parts
for these 10,000 cars than for any 500 cars ever built before. In other words, Mr. Ford has
attained his ambition and if this Ford model is "more hated by competitors than any other
car ever built," it is also true that it is more prized by its owners than any other of
Model "N"---four-cylinder, vertical; located longitudinally under hood at the
front. Cylinders cast in pairs. Bore, 3-3/4 inch; stroke, 3-3/8 inch; rated horse power at
normal speed, 15. (Under series of tests connected with and driving dynamo develops
18.4 h. p.) Aluminum crank base. Crank shaft bearings, highest grade babbitt metal;
exceptionally long. Cam shaft bearings, bronze.
FORCE FEED OILER---A faultless lubrication system is afforded by a
force feed oiler with sight feeds for regulating the flow. One tube serves to maintain a
uniform level in the engine base and the other leads to the ball housing which encloses the
universal joint in the cardon shaft. All engine parts---crank shaft and connecting-rod
bearings, piston pins, cylinders, cams, and valve lifters, are lubricated by the "splash"
system. Owing to the fact that the stroke in this engine is shorter than the bore and that
the pistons project into the base at the end of each stroke the splash system of lubrication
leaves nothing to be desired. It is certain and simple. The oil begins to flow when the
engine starts and while it is running the supply is in direct proportion to speed of the
motor---in other words, to exactly meet its requirements. When the motor stops the oil
ceases to run so that once the feed is regulated a constant level can be maintained in the
engine base regardless of variation of speeds. A partition mid-way between front and rear
of the engine base prevents the oil flooding the rear cylinders when climbing steep grades
and keeps the two pairs equally lubricated. Oil cups are provided at every bearing point
throughout the car---even at the spring connections. Provision is made both in the
transmission gear and in the differential and bevel gear housing of the rear axle, to pack
these parts with heavy grease, one supply of which will last for several weeks.
Perfect cooling under all conditions is afforded by a most efficient vertical tube radiator which forms the front of the hood and in which the centrifugal pump is incorporated. The circulation system has been carefully worked out so that the water is constantly in motion and it is impossible for the engine to overheat no matter bow hot the weather or how long it may run idle or on the low gear.
The transmission is of the Ford spur-planetary type, nearly ten thousand of which are now in use and which have proven so wonderfully efficient and durable. Low speed and reverse clutches are of the fiber-lined, steel band type, which take hold smoothly and which spring away from the drums when disengaged so as to prevent "dragging" and the consequent waste of power. The high-speed clutch is of the multiple disc type with fiber discs interposed between smooth cast iron discs. A transmission gear is almost unnecessary o n this Model "N" car as the excessive power of the engine enables the car to climb almost any hill or negotiate the muddiest or sandiest roads on the high gear---and at a slow speed if the driver so desires. The low gear is seldom or never used except for the first twenty or thirty feet when starting from a stand-still. It will be seen, therefore, that this transmission should outwear almost any other part of the car.
The Ford triangular drive system is patented in every country in the world. It is the only system in which all driving shafts, universal joints, gears and other moving parts are enclosed in a dust proof and oil tight housing from transmission gear to the hub caps of the wheels. The drive is direct to the center of the chassis regardless of whether the car is running straight or turning corners; and only one universal joint is necessary. A ball-and-socket connection between the tubular torsion member of the transmission frame allows the axle to oscillate in any direction and thereby relieves the passengers of all strains and shocks due to unevenness of the road. It also permits of the use of full elliptic springs, flexibly connected to the frame brackets instead of the rigid connection necessary when the driving strain must be transmitted through the medium of the springs. This system is broadly covered by letters patent in all countries. The universal joint comprises four members---the two drop-forged steel sections and the halves of the split bronze retaining ring. It is, at the same time, the simplest, most efficient and most durable universal joint ever devised, and as it is automatically lubricated at all times, the owner "never knows it is in the car." The drive shaft bearings are of babbitt, carefully reamed and fitted and the oil from the universal joint flows constantly down through these bearings and into the differential housing.
The rear axle proper is the well known Ford design, the driving members being enclosed in a tubular steel housing, press-fitted and riveted to the cast steel sections of the differential case. Hyatt roller bearings of the indestructible type are fitted at both ends of the live members. The differential gear is of the three driving pinion and main bevel gear are drop-forged from Ford special Vanadium steel, teeth accurately planed and case hardened. The axle may be taken apart in a few minutes, differential gear and other parts removed and examined.
The front axle of the Model "N" is a marvel of the drop-forging art. The entire axle is drop forged in one piece from Vanadium-chrome steel and is specially treated after forging. It is in "I"-beam section-the form which gives the maximum of strength with the minimum of weight. The worst that can happen to this axle, even in a collision with a telegraph pole, is to bend it; and even if bent double, it can be heated in a blacksmith's forge and straightened or straightened cold without having suffered any actual injury. Steering knuckles and spindles, are drop-forged from special steel, in one piece. Front wheels are carried on large ball-bearings-balls being more suitable for supporting the end-thrusts occasioned by steering.
The Ford Reduction-Gear is the only really new thing has been developed in several years. Like the rear axle, it is being patented in all countries and we believe it is the most satisfactory solution of the steering problem that has yet appeared. It is just sufficiently irreversible to relieve the driver of all road worries and at the same time yields enough to irregularity of the ruts to save the car from the many shocks and twists from which it would otherwise suffer. The gears, instead of being located below the frame where they become clogged with mud and cut by grit and dust, are placed at the top of the post and just within the hub of the steering wheel. Ball joints connect the steering arm with the transverse steering rod.
Full elliptic springs are the only satisfactory type for rough American roads
and the imperfect block pavements of our cities---and Ford cars are built for hard service
over such roads.
While we are on the subject, it might be well to note that the "three-point suspension" idea has been carried to what might be termed, its "logical conclusion" in this car. The driving forces are transmitted through tubular radius members from the outer ends of the rear axle, at a point just below the spring blocks, to a common center at the ball joint previously described; then, from a point almost directly below this ball joint is another from which diagonal tubular radius members convey the driving forces again to the ends of the front axle; the engine and transmission are supported at three points; and the frame also has a three-point suspension on the two rear springs and the single transverse front spring as previously outlined. The wonderment which everyone after his first ride in a Ford runabout expresses, is induced by the constructional factors above outlined.
The frame is of the approved steel type, in channel section, and is made from the highest grade of material procurable. It is cold-pressed and tapered toward the front and rear. The frame has a factor of safety many times the load which it will ever be called upon to sustain. This is also true of the axles and every other part.
The neatly designed Model "N" runabout is such a familiar sight on the streets of every city in America---and even in Europe now---it seems almost unnecessary to describe it. Briefly, then: two semi-individual seats, standard width and height, handsomely upholstered in dark green M. B. Leather and curled hair. "Torpedo-back" for carrying tools, rain coats, rugs and extra tires. Highly finished, neatly striped and trimmed.
The Model "N" car is splendidly equipped with brakes. For service use, there is a contracting fiber-lined band brake operating on a special drum on the transmission shaft. For emergency use there are a pair of internal expanding, bronze rings contained within dust proof, pressed steel drums attached to the rear hubs. Then the reverse clutch band, operated as it is by a foot lever, may be used as a brake if desired. The service and emergency brakes, being also operated by foot levers, there are three foot levers, any one of which will slide the wheels on any kind of road surface.
The Model "N" is equipped with 28x3 inch clincher tires. Owing to the fact that no one tire concern can supply us with our full requirements, it is impossible for us to give customers an option on make of tire---we must equip each day's output with whatever tires we have in stock. It is sufficient to say we buy the best there is and since the tire pool went to pieces, we have no difficulty in getting any brand we desire---in fact the scramble for the Ford tire business today is in sharp contrast to the attitude of some tire concerns a year ago when a concerted effort was made to prevent Ford carrying out his plans for a four-cylinder runabout at a reasonable price.
The gasoline tank is located under the seats and has a capacity of eight gallons. As this car averages about twenty-five miles per gallon of gasoline, this is sufficient for about two hundred miles of running over ordinary roads.
Consists of tools and tire repair kit only-lamps, tops, etc., extra. Catalogue and prices on request.
Operation and Control
We believe we are justified in saying no other car in the world is so simple to master and easy to control as are the Ford Runabouts, Models "N", "R" and" S". Hundreds of these cars are driven constantly by ladies and misses, not to mention the youths of fourteen to eighteen years of age who use them. So far as we know there has never been an accident which was in any way due to the inexperience of the driver or to any other cause, even remotely associated with the control of the machine. A single lever at the side operates the low speed and the high, the movement being the simple backward and forward one with neutral position midway. The reverse is operated by a foot lever as before indicated. Spark and throttle levers are located at the right and left side, respectively, of the steering post just below the wheel, so that both can be operated by the index fingers without removing the hands from the steering wheel or releasing the hold on it even for a second. Having excess of power to meet all conditions the car may be driven at any speed from four miles per hour to its maximum speed of about forty miles per hour by simple throttle and spark control alone. Even for driving in congested city streets it is seldom necessary to use the brake or to disengage the clutch. The spark lever may be "slowed down" to a point beyond center and the throttle to the last notch, at which position the car will travel at a very slow pace and yet with plenty of power so that the engine will not labor nor jerk. The motor is easy to start, so that a lady has no difficulty in this regard, whereas to start a single or even a two-cylinder motor of anything like the same horse power would be an almost impossible task for a woman.
Model "N"-$600 F.0.B. Detroit.
RUNABOUT "DE LUXE"
Mr. Ford's original aim in designing his now world-famous four-cylinder
runabout was to build a stock model two passenger car that should combine the qualities
of strength, lightness, power, speed and hill-climbing ability with those of endurance
and economy of up-keep, and to clothe it in a body that should be "neat but not gaudy" and
one which should meet as nearly as that is possible, the tastes of average buyers.
It seemed as if 2500 of these would be ample for this season's needs, but we
fell short of the mark. Every Model R has now left the factory and the only ones to be had
are those which may be found here and there in the hands of agents and branches. It is too
late to build more---we cannot make and finish bodies and wheels in time.
Model "S" Specifications
MOTOR---4 cylinder, vertical, 4 cycle.
For the past two years American motor cars have led the world in originality of
design, simplicity of construction and control; and Ford cars have always led the
So, while we used nickel alloys for want of something more adequate to our
special needs we were diligently searching for the ideal. At the same time we were widening
our market by means of prices that appealed to reasoning men. By thus enlarging our
market---increasing the demand for Ford cars---we made possible our plans for theretofore
undreamed-of quantity production of motor cars. Our steel consumption grew until now our
requirements amount to 280 tons per month. This placed us in a position to manufacture our
own steel and to make it from such formulae as will best meet the requirements in each
particular part---springs, axles, crank-shafts, gears, frames, etc.
1908 Ford Models
Model "N"---world famous four-cylinder runabout---$600
Model "N"---world famous four-cylinder runabout---$600