Did the Model T come out with windshield wipers ?
I can't find any reference to them in the encyclopedia or "The car that changed the world".
My 27 Tudor has a wiper. It's manually operated from inside the car.
That'd be my wife...
My understanding is:
Open cars did not come with a wiper for all years.
Closed cars received a wiper starting in the 1924 model year (August 1923). Earlier closed cars had no factory installed wiper.
Dealers may have been all too happy to provide something and increase their profit margin. My two cents worth. Bill
Ford introduced an automatic windshield wiper, sold as an accessory for both open and closed cars in 1926. Price $3.50 plus .75 installation cost:
(picture from the Service Bulletins scanned by Dan Treace in this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/82668.html?1261004455 )
The vacuum wipers were made by Trico and wasn't very durable in those early years - few remain today.
Here's the original Ford (TRICO) automatic windshield wiper on my 1927 tudor. They're very fragile, and therefore they're not common. I wish it would rain more. Jim
Ford introduced hand wipers in 1925 for all models, open and closed. The Trico wiper above was introduced in '26. By the way, the hand wipers, and the rear view mirrors were also Trico.
That Trico looks like it would interfere with the top on an open car. At least the one on Karen's Touring comes down further than that. Maybe the front bow goes forward of the wiper and the wiper sticks up inside the bow?
When I get caught in the rain, I fold the windshield down and put on my goggles. If I have someone with me, we'll put up the 2-man top unless close to home (My car can't squeeze under the garage door with the top up).
The open-car automatic wiper is slightly different. The shaft is shorter, the bracket that keeps the motor from spinning fits on the top of the frame and not the bottom, and the name plate is nickeled instead of brass.
The wiper assembly fits in the original shaft-hole, which is part of what makes this motor different from any other TRICO. The shaft is very slender. There is zero interference with the soft top. A spacer on the shaft makes sure that it sits back, away from the frame, and, in the case of the open car, well in back of the front bow. In the closed car, the set-back allows the windshield to be folded out. The motor is actually smaller than it may appear in this photo. The whole thing fits in the palm of your hand. Jim
Thank you one and all.
Up to recently I have had aero screens on my speedster which deflected some wind but only up to about mouth level. I am now playing with a chopped and channeled T open car screen. The aero screens didn't need a wiper but the taller screen might. Looks like it will be a hand powered unit.
Does anybody know if Trico made any easier to find, and cheaper, wiper motors that will fit a T?
TRICO made millions of vacuum-powered windshield wiper motors. Just about any one of them will do the same job that the rare Ford model does, and only the sticklers could notice the difference. There is no problem finding a working example on eBay, with some of them even erroneously claiming to be Ford models.
The Ford TRICO (or the after-market "Junior" model) is unique in the shaft diameter. (The drum-shaped valve assembly and the rotary throttle were obsoleted in the middle of 1927, never to be used again.) It would not be difficult to mount any TRICO on an open-car windshield, providing you are willing drill out the wiper hole. The closed-car windshield frame is more complicated. The shaft-hole is actually a steel pipe, brazed into place in a surprisingly complicated frame.
I have a 26 coupe. Do you know of any models specifically that would work?
I don`t know anyone that worries about windshield wipers on Model Ts (or model As) when RAINEX does a better job. If you tour and hit a good rain, Rainex is all you need....it makes the wipers obsolete..... JMO Paul
Rainex works well during daylight, not so well after dark with on coming headlights.
Gavin, with all my experience of an open car with no top, I suggest that you put a wiper on the inside as well. I found that as soon as you get side on to the rain, it runs down the inside of the screen too. lol
Thank you for the correction regarding the open car wipers. Do you know if Ford used a bracket to attach the wiper to the frame or was the frame drilled to receive the wiper shaft? Bill
A lot of the later 1920's had holes drilled for wipers and some had wipers installed.
Those hand wipers are better than no wipers and Yes, those rubber wiper blades do need to be replaced just like on the modern cars.
I've only driven my 1926 coupe in the rain one time and it was when I was caught in a heavy down pour during rush hour in the center lane of heavy city traffic. One of the most harrowing experiences of my life that I was lucky to survive without mishap and which cured me of ever driving my Model T in the rain again. What with operating the foot and hand controls in the stop and go traffic, trying to keep the engine from stalling, while trying to see through the heavy rain pelting the windshield, hand cranking the wiper, while unsuccessfully attempting to wipe off the fog from the inside of the windshield, both side windows and the rear window with my hand, only succeeding in smudging the glass further, it is not something I would ever want to experience again. Not only that, but the rain filled up both doors and saturated the carpeting through the cowl vent. Miss Daisy has not been wet by rain since, instead, going on leisurely drives through the quiet neighborhood streets of Bartow, Florida, on nice, sunny days. Jim Patrick
Yup Jim, summer's coming time for our infamous afternoon rain storms. Especially up there in 'lightning alley' where you are.
The Mrs. and I were at a car show last summer. We usually leave when we see the big gray clouds coming in from your area. This time I wasn't paying attention. At least we can get in the Tudor and roll up the windows. The guy with the touring car next to me got a bath. I won't drive 'Lizzie' in the rain either, I'd rather just pull over and wait it out. In 20 minutes, it's going to be sunny again anyway. The hand wiper is virtually useless, even if you had 3 arms.