Clean stamped body number

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2012: Clean stamped body number
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 03:09 pm:

Can anyone suggest the best way to clean stamped body number. Frame has been painted and 3 numbers are somewhat visible, but none after that. I don't want to do anything that would scrape number completely off. Not sure if wire brush or Emory cloth would do more harm than good.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 05:53 pm:

Ray,

Are you are talking about the body numbers often found on the 1906-1920ish roadster and touring car bodies? They were often stamped directly into the wood frame of the seat on early 1915 and earlier cars. They were then stamped on the right front floor board riser of 1915 to some of the last low cowl 1923 open cars. I do not believe the open car bodies were stamped with a body number after that as the bodies were produced by Ford for Ford.

Note some also used a metal tag for the Body number instead of stamping the number into the wood.

If you are talking about those types of numbers I would recommend you consider the following two approaches. You could choose to hand sand the area using a block sander and fine sand paper. Check often to make sure you only sand down to the first contact with the wood and not beyond. I had a Dec 1917 engine numbered car that I knew where the body number should be but it was not visible due to multiple repaints. I hand sanded slowly with the fine sand paper on a sanding block and when the light colored wood began to appear I could easily see the dark paint still in the recesses of the number and letter. I also changed the sanding pattern near the end to only sand areas that still had the paint and avoided going over the ones that already had the bare wood exposed. Below is a photo of that number. Note the “F” for Fisher was poorly stamped from the beginning.



Once that is done you have a couple of choices on what to do next. You can coat the area with a clear coat so the numbers are easy to read. Not original but it will be covered by the floor mat. Another option would be to use some paint remover on the paint in the numbers and carefully clean out the paint (using a toothpick – wear goggles gloves etc. I would still clear coat it. This time the numbers should still show through with depressions. And now paint over it with the black you use on the rest of the wood sill. With light applications of spray paint the numbers should show as depressions. And if in the future it is covered over by multiple repaints when they sand down they only have to go to the clear coat and not all the way to the wood to read the numbers. Note I have not gotten to the repaint it stage yet.

Others may have equal, better methods to suggest. Or even some to avoid (those can be helpful to learn from others rather than discovering for ourselves).

For additional body number information please see: to the Forum posting “Home for the Holidays” at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html

If you are talking about a different number that is not stamped into the wood please let us know. Also please let us know what you discover for your body number.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 09:41 pm:

I would use a good chemical stripper. Any sanding is going to make the number less legible. Chemical strip, then blast with water and air.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 09:58 pm:

Picture
My father bought this T from a guy in GA and soon after passed away. He only received a GA Registration with the ID number of MVIN35701IND which I assume was an assigned number at some point in time. The metal frame rail under the seat has stamped number on it that only has three numbers barely visible looks like 148 and I can't find any numbers on the engine. The Bill of Sale identifies it as a 1926 and it is a roadster P/U. I sent away to GA for a title history and they said the car was only registered in GA and never titled. I would like to raise the identification number and title the car in FL.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 10:09 pm:

Do you mean muratic acid or is there something more specific I should buy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 10:13 pm:

No, paint stripper. Kleen strip brand has given good service for me.

I stripped the wheels on my 1915 about 15 years ago with Kleen Strip, pressure washed them at the car wash, let them dry for a few days and then refinished the wheels in Minwax polyurethane spar varnish. The finish is still perfect, no peeling, bubbling or cracking.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 10:19 pm:

Will try thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Friday, March 16, 2012 - 02:26 am:

.

Faint stamped numbers in metal that seems to be lost when sanding down to bare metal can be brought back! See this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/49673.html?1204987135
"Deputy Dog" wrote: "We used a battery charger clamped to a cotton ball, soaked in sulfuric acid to raze serial numbers on stolen guns and cars. The molecules were compressed by the original stamp, and the old number appears as dark impressions"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Monday, March 19, 2012 - 04:12 pm:

Finally able to raise VIN on frame under seat. It is 14823954. The previous owner said it was a 1926 Roadster p/u. I can't find any number on the engine. Can anyone tell from the number if year is correct?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, March 19, 2012 - 04:34 pm:

That serial number dates the car's original engine to Wednesday, March 23, 1927. This was in the last couple of months of T production, and they were making T engines only Monday through Thursday. I assume Friday and Saturday were devoted to preparing for the changeover to Model A production. The same number was used on the engine and the frame. The engine was made and numbered, then installed in a vehicle which received the same number. The engine currently in the car may be the original or a replacement. The serial number is stamped in the side of the block, above the water inlet and under the coil box. If a water pump has been added, it may be covering up part or all of the number. Some of them do.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Monday, March 19, 2012 - 09:52 pm:

Steve does that men it is a 1927? The engine does have a water pump so I can not see the engine number and it has also been painted numerous times so I will have to do some work to try and see the number. I will try to post some pictures to see if anyone can tell me how original it is.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, March 19, 2012 - 11:01 pm:

Yep, the serial number says 1927. I believe the 1927 model year began in August 1926. When we have some pictures of the car the guys who are more expert than I am can confirm it from the details. For example, the Holley vaporizer was introduced on July 19, 1926. By the end of July only 66,360 vehicles had been produced with the vaporizer. From August 1 to the last car the following June 1, they made 958,003 1927 models with the vaporizer. So about 70% of vaporizer T's are 1927 models. That doesn't rule out this car being a 1926, but I think the serial number does.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 09:02 pm:

OK finally able to get some pictures. Bill of Sale lists as 1926 but serial number on frame that I was able to find dates it to March 1927. So which is it? Any input is appreciated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 09:03 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 09:36 pm:

Ray,

Great looking pickup!

I haven’t tried to register/title a car in Florida for a long time. As you look over the car unless you find some indications that it is/was a 1926, I would recommend you contact the seller. See if the seller is willing to give you a second bill of sale for the vehicle with the year listed as 1927 and the serial number the one on the frame. Of course you may remove the water pump and discover that the engine is a 1926 serial number. It was not and still is not uncommon for folks to take the best parts from several piles of parts or cars and make one new car. Or for folks to trade out a tired engine for a better used or rebuilt engine. And the 1926-27 cars were very similar and are both referred to as “Improved Cars” in Fords literature. From the two photos that you posted I do not recognize any early 1926 features. Your car does not have the early 1926 headlamps without the cross bar. But see: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/I-O.htm#lamps scroll down to 1926 and look at the different options. The last one would also have been used on the 1927 models You car does NOT appear to have the weaker/less metal on the windshield stanchion where it bolts to the body, see: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/U-Z.htm#wshld and scroll down to 1926-27. If you open the front door and take a photo of the door jam near the top we could verify if the body has the “step” that the early 1926 models had or the later 1926-27 style that is smoother.

And not to worry – many Ts are registered as one or more years off. As long as the title matches the engine/frame number on the later cars or the engine number on the earlier cars – there usually is no problem in selling the car later. But if you can determine it is a 1927 – I would recommend trying to register it as a 1927. Be sure to ask the local old car folks there near you. Here in our town, one of the folks at the DMV is actively involved with old cars and has a clue about them. Many of the others have never dealt with them before.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 10:19 pm:

Ray,

Below is a photo of the early 1926 style windshield stanchion. Note it has a sort of cut out or less metal on the rear side of the bracket just above the rear most bolt compared to the later style bracket on your car (which could still be a 1926 but a later 1926). Photo from Mike’s 1926 pickup at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/278697.html?1332984871



Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Halpin on Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 06:09 am:

Ray, I'm going to take a stab at this and say that this car was built from the ground up on a late 27 frame and that's why it was registered with a 'specially constructed vehicle number' in Georgia.
Is there an ID plate on the car with that 'specially constructed vehicle number' on it? I went through some similar baloney with my car and the Florida DMV. My 27 Tudor was titled as a '28' Model T when I got it. All I wanted to do was to get the Florida DMV to correct the 'typo' on MY title. As we all know there's no such thing as a 28 Model T, but the DMV doesn't. I traced the car back to Georgia where it had been titled correctly as a 27 but I couldn't get the Florida DMV to admit that somebody had made a mistake on the title when it was titled in Florida a few owners ago. The only way it finally got resolved was when the Florida DMV figured out that when the 'typo' was made, the car belonged to the supervisor of the Sarasota County DMV then, they couldn't bend over backwards fast enough to straighten it out. If your engine number matches that frame number (which it probably doesn't) you might have a chance of using the frame number and registering the car as a 27, otherwise you might want to leave well enough alone and title it with the specially constructed vehicle number because you're going to open up a big can of worms with the Florida DMV, from my experience.
The engine number should be just above the lower hose outlet.

My frame number was was a little better shape than yours was.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray on Thursday, May 03, 2012 - 06:16 pm:

Finally able to pull off water pump and check for engine number. There is no number stamped on the engine so should I assume this is not the original engine?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Thursday, May 03, 2012 - 07:47 pm:

Ray,

That is correct -- Ford would have stamped the engine number onto the assembled engine and transmission before it left the engine shop.

And then when the engine was installed in the car, the frame would have been stamped with the same engine number starting Dec 12, 1925 at the main Highland Park plant and soon there after at other locations (ref: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm see Dec 12, 1925 entry).

So in the case of any engine without a serial number stamped on it, you can say the engine block was replaced at sometime during the life of the car. Of course the block could have been replaced in another car -- not stamped and then the entire engine and transmission replaced in another car. But either way an unstamped block was not the original one to come in the car from the factory. It also probably indicates that the swap was made by someone other than an Ford dealer as the Ford dealers were instructed to stamp the original engine serial number onto the replacement block to keep the identity of the car intact.

Based on the few photos you have shared so far, I believe they are pointing towards a 1927 year model car as opposed to a 1926 year model car. Value of the car does not change. And as long as the title matches some number on the car (originally it would have matched both the number stamped on the engine as well as the one stamped on the frame) you should be ok.

In your case since you only had a GA registration and not a title, I would recommend finding out what you need to do to title the car in FL where you live. If it is easy to do, I would title it as a 1927 roadster pickup using the serial number on the frame. You could also have the same number stamped onto your engine block -- but before you do that -- I would recommend that you verify it is a 1926-27 style block with the bolt holes for the transmission on the back of the block. If it is not -- I would leave it unstamped and just use the frame number.

Great looking T -- I'm sure you will have many miles of fun with it.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gavin Harris on Thursday, May 03, 2012 - 08:14 pm:

Further to Hap's advice to check for the bolt holes for the transmission; also check the casting date, no point in stamping on a serial number that was issued before the black was cast.


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