I'm lead to believe that the 1913 Touring top heights are the same as that for a 1912 and late 1911, is that right ???
The top on my '13 and my '11 are totally different, and the top sockets for the '11-'12 are also totally different from my '13. If there was any comparison, the '13 top is similar to the 1915-16 top. Hope this helps,
Russ is correct, the 1913 top sockets are virtually identical to 1914 - 16. There are several styles of socket since Ford was using several body and top suppliers in 1913. Towards 1916 they are more similar as far as comparing one 1916 Model T to another 1916 Model T.
No interchangeability between the 1913 parts and earlier Model T top sockets or bows.
OK thank you for that, so when setting out the correct heights for a 13 Touring, we should use the top heights given on the 15 top drawing posted on another mtfca posting ???
The top supplied by the vendors for the '13-'14 will sit correct to that diagram except for the front bow of course. I did one in September. Also, you set the front bow in relation to the windshield in full upright position on your car and the back bow to the rear of the body.
The top deck is set/sewn for a 1-1/2" break between bow #2 and #3. If you want a "flat" look of the top (bows 2 and 3 the same height), that diagram will not give it. I prefer the slight break profile but others seem to like the flat look.
I believe you will have problems getting the flat look out of the Cartouche kit. The bottom edge of the top needs to line up parallel with the mounts and the curtain extensions intersect the bottom edge of the top at bow 4.
Ken in Texas
Hi David, the top irons or hood as we call it is lower on the 1913 to the 1911 as I had a set of 11 irons and bows and as my irons and bows were a bit to low for me so I cut the main or rear 11 iron down to a middle point between the 13 and the 11 and fitted that to the 1913 irons so I could lift the hood up a few inches to clear my head, as long as the line looks right and water runs off it really dose not matter if you raise or lower the bows. One of the old ford dealers here in Bathurst told me that the cars came in with no hood/top and they sat the buyer in the car and took a measurement from the top of his head and fitted the hood that suited him but this was the bush in the 1920's so any thing could be done, my ex father in law said he was a black smith in a small country town and they just cut the rear body's off and fitted a ute section... Ray
OK, that's tomorrows job, start filing away at my Amish steam bent bows to make them fit.
Ray.... that's a good one, sit the customer in and set the top height accordingly.
Thank you to everyone, l think l'm now pointed in the right direction.
PS - if you have any other details, post em, l'm sure l'm not the only one with a top sockets and bows or even a top ready for making fitting on a 13, 14, 15, or even a 16 touring.
That's the next thing, my wife wants to try her hand at making the top on her "Whiz Bang Sewing Thingy", its a bit to complicated for me !!!!
PHOTO'S OF ANY ORIGINAL T TOURING TOPS FOR 1913 showing as much detail as possible would be of valuable assistance too.
Hi David, the man I was talking to worked on the model T as a trainee in the early twenty's for his father and took over the dealer ship after the war, the reason he gave about the fitting to the owner sounded a reasonable answer, I should point out that he was in his early nineties, we were sitting in the main street while we were talking and he pointed out that men and women at the turn of the century and up to the war years were tall and of a strong frame so they sat higher in the cars with their hats on as every one wore a hat. Unlike now, what they had in height has now gone to width and circumference or what he called the tear drop shape, remember the saying "do you want fries with that or up grade for a dollar".
Just look at the way the young people have gone in recent years and today.
He did tell me how they made the hood and as he said, "we had a sand coloured canvas to use" which they purchased on rolls, the canvas was cut and sewed then laided out and well hosed till soaked. Then they painted the canvas with fabric paint or house paint (I am not sure which) and let it dry. The water would stop the paint going through and the seal the outer surface, now we use vinyl but I think the canvas would look better... Ray
Ray, I tried to reproduce the material on my door trims and had little to no success, but wetting down the material first, wow l didn't think of that, maybe that is the answer to leatherette being reproduced at home ???
The blue is a lot bluer in these pics due to the roof lights.
The Bows are ready to be trimmed down to fit the sockets, when l cut l have no going back........
Original 1913 tops:
This last one is a Canadian made '13, photo from New Zealand:
It is interesting to see the common sense fasteners and surrounds on the top's rear curtain. Larry Smith and I have discussed whether these items were brass or blackened, and it appears they are either blackened or really tarnished. Great photos of a later 1913!
Kim, isn't this your car?
Fantastic, that is a great collection of tops, Did you notice on the new car parked in the street, that the tail of the top, unlike those on the other cars, hangs a long way down , almost not finished !!!!! you can see the fasteners some 2" above the bottom fold of the top material.
Hi David, we need to talk to the old time mechanics and trimmers, not those who just restore cars or follow what some book or guy in the club said.
The men I talked to have now passed away but there are some left to ask or find pre war books at the swap meets and read them and throw the new books in the bin... Ray
Here's the top I installed on Constantine's 1913 touring. The stitching was done by Vince Iacconio. Vince always did a great job.
Notice how long the side curtains are, I think they could have been a couple inches shorter on the bottom and still worked fine.
Ok thank you, l'm underway with my bows in/on sockets, l have some rusty old ( only good for reference points )top sockets/irons, and while setting up the new sockets and bows found these two items, l'll assume the first is the tack which holds the top to the sockets and the other is the 1/2" flat head nail and hole that holds the bow in place in the socket.
Geof B, you were right, using the grinder and flap disc is much,much faster for shaping.
Do you (or anyone) have side by side photos to show the difference in the 12 and 15 top bow sockets? When I did my 1915 last year I used the newer rectangular sockets (because I had a good set)and put a 15 Cartouche top on them. When at Hershey this year I bought a set of oval bow sockets that were marked 1912, and a new set of steam bent bows. here's a pic. What do I have?
The 1913 - 1917 bows stow more compactly, and the relative locations of the nesting pins to the mounting lugs is also dimensionally different.
This better visibility to the rear when the top is folded on the later cars.
Thanks Royce, Looks like what I have will be good for my 15.
Is anyone aware of changes made to the top profile between early 1911 step side bodied cars and later 1912 slab sided cars? I'm wondering if the humped up third bow and reduced fourth bow overhang came on the late 1912s, or did that start with the 1913s?
Three of the 1913s pictured above look like the bows are more rounded than what I am used to looking at. The radius of the bends appears more sweeping and the top is arched, not flat. I wonder who the top manufacturers were in 1913?
would l be right in saying that when the front bow is in place on the socket, l have an overhang of about 6 1/2" either side of the windshield ( inside of bow to outer edge of windshield frame ) ???
That sounds about right.
I'm not sure about 1913, but on my 1911 the bows are about 57" wide. The windshield (or windscreen down under(?)) is 41-1/2" wide. That gives about 7-3/4" from the outside of the bow to the windshield. 1" less for the bow thickness gives me 6-3/4".
I won't argue over 1/4" when it comes to top alignment.
As per the 1912 dimension diagram, I have my front bow aligned so the lowest point of the front the bow is about 1/2" below the top of the windshield. That is, the bottom of the bow is about at the top of the glass. There is about 2" between the front of the glass and the inside of the bow.
Your windshield folds forward, so your clearances might be greater.
How does the top fit on your runabout?
Please keep us updated.
: ^ )
I thought this whole process was going to be hard, BUT really its not, its slow and steady progress between work.
I've tied it to its rough finished position and now l can see my whole car.
The phots of 13 tourings above gave me the angles, the skin and muscle is next l guess.
Thank you all very much. ( this part is fun ).
Runabout top has a broken front bow ( bloody Log truck coming to fast )and the top is all a bit saggy.
New bow to be fitted when l'm done with the Touring.
I don't have the top to socket "big head" thumb tacks to hold it, so they'll be going on too, that should stop the flapping at speed !!!! when l find the right size.
shaved, trimmed, fitted, removed and painted.....why is it that some jobs are more fun than others when bringing a car back to life ????
I hope that anyone following can see the process that l took in getting the top as correct as l could, I'd like to thank everyone who has assisted, this forum makes not just this job, but most Model T jobs a lot simpler and straight forward.
Top Webbing next - crossed or parallel ??? I don't know !!!
The original tops I have seen have the webbing crossed. This was done to align the bows from front to back. This alignment problem was largely eliminated when the rectangular sockets were introduced, because the bow was in three pieces, not steam bent like the bows used on the oval sockets. Steam bent bows are not always bent exactly the same, hence the need to align the bows/sockets.
Once you set the bows, look down the side of the car and see if one bow sticks out, and if one does, use the crossed webbing to pull it back into alignment. By doing this, your top will sit correctly.
I hope this helps.
Thank you Russ.
I can't say about 1913, but the material I have seen for the 1911 crossed straps is not woven strap material.
It is the same fabric as the top material that has a folded seam on each edge, with the shiny side up. The finished strap is 2" wide. The 1911 has a single centered strap from the front bow to the back bow and then an X between each bow for a total of three six sided crosses.
(Of course there are top pad that go from front to back on the curves of the bows, too.)
Does the 1913 have the center strap?
G'day Keith, l wasn't sure if the cross top applied to both the runabout and Touring, But as Russ advised for 1913 and l guess at least "14 as well, it does.
No centre strap, only in the top boot up thru and down under the rear seat as well as the two side straps( 3 in all ).
How are your bows coming along ???
Cotton drill, thick hessian, cotton wadding tacks and a trusty air stapler to gain tension and its done, my wife is working on the top at the moment, it's hot here at the moment, the garage is even hotter..... work has stopped..
One question - about the pad flaps top and bottom of the side pads.... are they supposed to be sewn together when filled and positioned ???
I hand stitch them with a long baseball stitch and a curved needle.
Hand stitch it is then, the temp in the garage dropped away a little last night, so in we went for more top fitting, today my wife will sew it all up . Hmmm good luck with that, l didn't realize how big they actually were when l began.
Pinning is a job l don't think l particularly like, but a chalk makes for a better line, pins cotton filled pads.
Its damn hot here, top's done and sewing completed, fitted perfectly, tacking tomorrow...thank you to my wife's great efforts and to those who forwarded pics for comparisons.
My wife is onto the rear roll up curtain now, again the edges have been strengthened with a hessian/jute insert.
The rear window is sewn in two passes, the first frames the opening, the second holds the plastic glass into the frame, as per the book, one stitch to hold the glass so replacement can be done easily.
Looking good David. Rose is a clever girl with that sewing machine! Looking forward to having the finished car up my way soon.
My '13 roadster has one center strap down the middle, and so does Kims '13 touring pictured above. Even though the material is different, I obtained a length of safety belt strap. It is 2" wide, and is almost identical in appearance to the original.
I'm looking at the original pads for my '13 roadster now, and the top access appears to have been glued, with a weak solution of watered down glue. When I did my '25, I hand sewed the two pieces together. Also, the stuffing was horsehair. It looks like the horsehair was installed to two sections, front and rear, with nothing over the center bow. Do you think it could have worked its' way off the center bow, or do you think it was made that way?
G'day Warwick and Larry, thank you, Rose just read this with a smile, l think you've made her day.... Larry, I have no idea, but if it was over the bow, with lifting and lowering over 100 years l would guess that it would have moved to either sides of the bows.
using the modern wadding ( supposed to have been designed to stay intact )hopefully we wont have that problem.
My 13 Runabout has a repro top on it and after just 7 years on the road again, it has certainly moved inside of the drill cover, that's my next job.....after September...
The rear side curtains ( gypsy curtains ) are cut and ready to be sewn up, this weekend l hope to have weather and time to tack and tighten.
Well l'm going to finish this top this weekend between work and our car club committee meeting and as long as my 9 year old son doesn't break any other part of his body - cracked ankle/ torn ligament - inter school sports day !!!! - long jump.
Any way, my wife has finished the rear corners, the roll up rear window straps and its temporarily fitted to make sure ( my ) measurements were good.... Ah yes wife sews well and l seem to measure well.
Hmmmm kids .......
Question :- anybody doing their own top, how did you make the front with the weather seal and make it look "not packed in ".
I currently have the front temporarily in place but cant get away from seeing with more it will look far to bulky.
I've gotta say that those small black tacks are a pain in the a** to install !!!!!!
Weather seal ready to go in, finally to the give it up stage, we've had a few PM's on these pics and top set out, and to everyone that has commented, thank you very much and l hope your tops go as smoothly as this one did.
My wife deserves all of the credit for her persistence even though she did not listen to my advise at all ( l think l can be sure that was probably the best idea yet ), so Rose..... " bloody Good Job ".
Now put your wife on a boat so she can come do mine!
: ^ )
she looked at the map and wooooosh, she's on her way.
PS - her only comment was, who's paying the airfare back ?????
It didn't blow off or come apart after the first drive, albeit at 25 - 30 mph, all still tight which surprises me a little, l'd have thought we'd see some loosening in the centre, but none, so that's another job finished.
The weather seal under the front bow/above the windshield frame, is tight, and bleeds only a little air compared to my runabout which bleeds a lot of cold air when travelling over 25 mph.
What would l do differently ....
I like the look of the photo's of the brand new 1913 touring in the street, if l had to do it all over, l think l'd get that rear bow curved more to give it that full/rounded look, like the back of an old pioneer wagon.
The rear curtain around the edges, as we used hessian/jute/probably many other names too, to add body and additional strength, its made the bottom fasteners ( the twin style ) hard to turn when installing, so l would probably "not" use it in that bottom section of the rear curtain only.
Tacks those pesky little black sharp things, l think a better result can be made with just staples, but for authenticity, the tacks are the way to go, and as staples are easier to remove after the tacks are in place a combination of both until the top is tight will work well, then pull the staples back out.
Since the top was finished 3 months ago, l have driven with it up and now down, the top will loosen over a period of time, but not much.
It has survived a trailer run at 55 mph still up, so l guess it'll be ok.
In another posting, it was mentioned that a detachable fastener should be used on the outer edge bow/top meeting points, that may be true, l have yet to see any pulling or tugging at those points... time will tell.
Good luck with your top/s, a brave move to do it your self, but when it works, very rewarding.
When I made the front wind flap for the top on my '13 roadster, I did it like a '22-'27. I mounted it on TOP of the front bow, as opposed to the bottom of the bow like most people. That way it doesn't hardly show, and won't let any wind through the top of the windshield. I don't have the top completed yet, so don't know how it's going to work, but I don't see how it can't!
You should put the top down and install a boot if you want to go 55 MPH. I found out the hard way that the constant pressure of wind at those speeds will systematically pull out the tacks securing the top to the top bows. When enough tacks come out the top starts flapping and tearing fabric.
Royce you are correct, the trip was a short one, down for a display BBQ, the top boot is next on the list to make, as well as having the car inspected for permit.....and drive..
Top up ( parachute open ) and top down... the speed difference is quite easy to feel.
Larry, l hope that detail assists.