Self Starters on Open T's

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2005: Self Starters on Open T's
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Otto Baron on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 01:03 pm:

I understood that Ford first offered the self starter in 1919. I've read that they were not avilablr till 1920 on the open cars, I've been told they were available in 1919 on all T's. Any ideas on which is corrct? Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 01:58 pm:

What you've heard is probably true, but I'm sure if you had a new 1919 Touring or Roadster and wanted a starter put on it, a Ford dealer would have been happy to do it. (only my opinion).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 01:58 pm:

Otto, My September 26,1919 Touring has electric starter and generator....Michael Pawelek


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 02:02 pm:

Otto
I have the Ford Record of Change cards for the Model T Starter and they indicate the following:
First entry dated "1/18/19 Liberty starter for use on Sedan and Coupe 1919. (Galamb)"
Later on an entry dated "7/25/19 Specified for use on Chassis instead of Sedan and Coupe only. (Howard)"
From this I think one can conclude that the starter first appeared on cars in January 1919 for use on Sedan and Coupes only and by August 1919 a chassis could have had a starter if the starting and lighting option was purchased.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 02:07 pm:

Michael
That certainly tracks wtih what the manufacturing drawings indicate.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 02:16 pm:

Michael,

Model T production for the 1920 model year began August 1, 1919 with engine serial number 3,277,852. Ford brochures for the 1920 model year state that a starter and electrical system were optional on open cars. Your starter equipped touring is actually considered a 1920 Model T.

Royce


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 03:38 pm:

Otto,

Bottom line up front: You can document that Ford did produce a few starter equipped open cars by May 1919. They would have been the exception rather than the norm, but there would have been a few. See the May 19, 1919 entry below.

Additional details:

1. Unless you are trying to win a national judging event – it doesn’t matter. I plan to retrofit a starter, starter transmission cover etc. to my 1915 when I get older to make it easier to go for a ride etc. I don’t plan to add a generator just the starter. To go back original will be easy for the next owner as I plan to keep the original aluminum transmission cover with the car etc. And if you wanted to do National judging with the car – if it was in the range to have a starter/generator block, you could wire it for non-starter/non-generator and just have an add on kit to put the starter, battery, solenoid (easier to install / remove than original foot switch) when you were not doing the judging. A lot of work – but less work than swapping the transmission cover and less expensive than owning one car for national judging and a second car for driving. Although many T folks have more than one T anyway. This could be the excuse you have been looking for.

2. If you go to Bruce McCalley’s on line encyclopedia at http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc19.htm or in his book “The Model T Ford” on page 559-560 or his Comprehensive Encyclopedia CD http://mtfca.com/encyclo/mccalley.htm you will find several notes from the Benson Ford Archives related to the starter and its use on the cars. Below are the ones that I believe you would be interested in reading:

FEB 21, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #724, Ford Archives
T-701C starter-type flywheel used on all cars.
[Hap’s note: NOT all cars equipped with a starter but they did all have the starter flywheel. Of course engines assembled at the branch plants would have used up the old stock of non-starter flywheels. For Canada – I’m not sure when they introduced the starters, but it may be available in some of the articles we have. The same principle would be true for the other notes below – they don’t mean all the cars had the starter, but rather that the parts were now installed to support the starter.]

MAR 15, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #726, Ford Archives
Starter-type transmission cover used on all cars.

APR 18, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #729, Ford Archives
T-400D (starter type) cylinder [block] specified for all cars.


MAY 7, 1919 Acc. 78, #413, Ford Archives
Demountable rims supplied on some open cars.

MAY 19, 1919 Acc. 78, #420, Ford Archives
Starters on some open cars (appeared prior to this date). New windshield brackets on electric cars; the old type with the integral lamp brackets to be continued on the non-electric cars. (Oil lamps were not supplied on the starter-equipped open or closed cars.)

3. Thrown in for free – I thought it was interesting:
DEC 17, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 12, #776, Ford Archives
T-826E transmission cover. Holes for mounting Bendix cover rotated 30 degrees for ease in assembly. (On April 6, 1920, the holes were changed back to the original position.)
That design was only used about 3 months and then changed back. So if someone has a late Dec 1919 to Apr or so 1920 starter transmission cover – it should have the holes 30 degrees different from the standard location.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 04:08 pm:

Royce, Try explaining that to the insurance companies and the department of Motor Vehicles. Once they saw the motor number in Bruce McCalley’s book there is no way to convince that it's not a 1919! :-)....Michael Pawelek


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 04:46 pm:

At that same time at the DMV the computer would not allow the input of a "3 door car" so according to them it is now a four door touring!....Michael Pawelek


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken - SAT on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 05:07 pm:

DMV allows a 3-door designation! Maybe you just have to tell them it's a Hatchback.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 05:20 pm:

When I registered my Martin Parry express truck, they wouldn't call it a pickup because of the canopy roof over the bed, even though it is just a pickup with a roof. It is now a van, even though there are no sides or back panels, and more closely resembles a pickup over a van. Go figure!

A friend has a '19 touring, and even has personalized plates with 19T, or something like that. He let the registration lapse while it was out of commission for a while, and when he went to reregister it, they wanted to inspect it. They got out the books, and since the motor number fell within the fall of 1918, they changed it to a 1918, and no amount of arguing could change their minds. He has since been stopped by a cop who wanted to know why he has a '19 plate on an '18 car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 08:14 pm:

Royce
I am certainly no expert in this area (no electricity involved), but I always understood that a new model (T) year commenced with production starting on October 1 of that year.
If that is the case wouldn't Michael Pawalek's touring technically be a 1919?
Help me out here?
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 09:01 pm:

Ron,

Bottom line up front: Bruce shares 1919 Model year was Jan 1919 to Aug 1919 see reference below.

You are correct that the 1909 Model year did start in Oct 1908. But after that it varies a lot. Aug to Aug shows up often but the 1915 model year has 3 different start dates and the Highland Park Plant was producing the 1915 style open cars while the branches continued to produce the 1914 Model year cars – so there was a clean break that year. Most of the other years the branches lagged the transition some – as they used up the previously shipped parts. I would love to know what the Canadian model years were if anyone has a good source on that one.

By the dates that Bruce shares Mike’s Sep 1919 touring would be considered a 1920 model year. But the difference between a Aug 1919 produce touring and a Sep 1919 produced touring would probably be the serial numbers would be different (and the body number – if anyone could find it).

Additional details from Bruce’s on line encyclopedia:

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1909.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: October 1908 to July 31, 1909. (Ford called the cars built after July 31 “1910 models.”)

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1910.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1, 1909 to November 1910, approximately.
Note: Ford referred to the cars built after August 1, 1909 as “1910” cars but common usage today is to call the cars built within calendar year 1909 “1909” models.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1911.htm
MODEL YEAR DATES: November 1910 through December 1911 approx.
http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1912.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: January 1912 to September 1912 approx.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1913.htm
MODEL YEAR DATES: September 1912 to August 1913 approx.
http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1914.htm
MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1913 to January 1915 approx.
http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1915.htm
MODEL YEAR DATES: September 1914 (Sedan), October (Coupelet) and January 1915 (open cars) to August 1915.
http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1916.htm
MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1, 1915 to July 31, 1916.
http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1917.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1916 to August 1917

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1918.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1917 to January 1919 approx.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1919.htm
MODEL YEAR DATES: January 1919 to August 1919.
http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1920.htm
MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1919 to August 1920.
http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1921.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1920 to August 1921.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1922.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1921 to September 1922.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1923.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: September 1922 to July 1923.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1924.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1923 to August 1924.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1925.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1924 to August 1925.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1926.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1925 to August 1926.

http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1927.htm

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1926 to May 26, 1927.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend, Gresham, Orygun on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 12:59 am:

My April 1919 touring was one of the last blocks that was made that did not have provision for a generator. It has a non-starter flywheel.

So, in answer of the question: No. Electrical equipment was not offered as an option on all 1919 cars.

And FWIW, Bruce's book not only clearly states the "production" dates and serial numbers of all cars, it also gives "Model Year Dates."

I would argue with any state employee that if the DMV office uses Bruce's book as a resource, they should fully use it as a resource, which would include the model year dates.
-Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 09:00 am:

In the archives there seems to be ample evidence that during at least the 1911 era that the model year change "officially" began on October 1. The July 31 dating of model year changeover is consistant with new drawings beginning on to appear for the next year model to come but new drawings do NOT indicate ON THE CAR changes yet till those parts are produced and in production. For 1913 Ford was to first officially offer a jack and top boot and in a letter to dealers the dealers were emphatically informed that they could make requisition on the factory for jack and top boot for any car shipped on or after October 1, of 1912. In that letter they stated the dealer could NOT get the free jack and boot for cars shipped before that date since they were NOT 1913 cars. I have not researched this but Trent probably can tell you for sure but I think Ford used October 1 as the beginning of the model year for the early period of time and then moved it during the later years. There is no physical difference between cars likely produced the week before or week after the model change date since all changes were running changes for the most part but the model year was defined by a date on the calendar set by Ford. It was most likely a fiscal date more than anything.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 03:06 pm:

In 1919 my grandfather bought a Model T Touring car. When he took delivery there were block-off plates over the starter and generator mounts. Several months, possibly even a year, latter he received a letter from the Ford dealer, (which we still have), stating that starters and generators were now available for his car and that he could schedule a visit to have them installed. (Don't recall if a price was quoted or if it would have been covered under the original purchase price.) He figured that crank starting wasn't so hard so he never bothered to get the starter & generator.


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