Today I received a set of spark & throttle rods from Dave at Chaffin. I found when doing a 1926 Hudson a few years ago that stainless made a pretty good substitution for nickel plated parts. Ford originally plated the top ends of these rods and so the polished stainless seemed very attractive.
The rods were set along side of a spare steering column to see how they compared with an original pair. The ends are pretty close but not identical. They should be close enough for a driver. The other difference is in the bend. They are not shaped the same way and I do not know if this might cause problems during installation or in use. They appear to be very well made and polished.
Here are a few pics of the rods:
These are in stock at Chaffin's Garage.
That new ss one is good I guess, got a pair about 10 years ago and they are just a bit more fat, in width, not just like the original, but clearly better than my 2011 set.
Got this about 2003.
This one is 2011. Too narrow, but all I could find.
Was told by the vendor, that the maker couldn't stop the stainless rod stock from cracking when spanking the section, so that is why it is more narrow and certainly not as circular in shape at the end as the original.
Doesn't make too much sense to me since the 2003 part seemed rather ok.
But, oh well, at least repros can be had again. The angles are a bit off, but don't seem to make any huge difference.
Would be nice to have repro made to the Ford print, angles and finished ends.
Finding originals that aren't pitted or bent or rusted, or have been cut off to remove from the frame bracket is very hard to do. I have only been able to re-nickle just one set before, where the rods were in very nice shape. The plating shop did the ends only, about 7" or so down the shaft, those turned out real nice, but costly.
Original, on my barn T, not much plating left
Neither the stainless ones or the brass repro's are exactly like the original ones. But they are available, and they work well. If you don't like the bend in yours, bend them to suit.
Bend them cold. Most stainless steel is hot short and will break if bending is done hot.
Say Mike who sells the brass ones? I know Snyder's sells stainless but they didn't seem to have brass in stock. Thanks.
Typical reproductions! It is better to restore the originals. I wouldn't have those rods for a gift!
Mike C. -- I've gotten the brass ones from Lang's. The taper on them is a little longer than the originals, much like it is on the stainless ones. Otherwise, they're very nice. Here's a pic: