1925/26 Drop Frame or not

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: 1925/26 Drop Frame or not
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 03:00 am:

On a T Ford rolling off the Danish assemblyline
in late 1925 into 1926 it appears to be commonplace:
1: that the front axle is different from the standard ones.
2: that the wishbone is placed on top of the front axle.
3: that some elements in the frame components differ from the standard 1926 frame.
In the Danish issue of the parts list all these differing parts have the same numbers as the standard ones, but are distinguished by the addition of the letters "DF", which I suppose is the abbreviation for "Drop Frame".
I am in the market to acquire a 1926 frame. Can anyone tell how I could instantly identify it as being a Drop Frame, when looking at it?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Page on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 03:56 am:

Niels,

Here is a cropped picture from the Copenhagen Assembly Plant.

This picture was taken before the improved T was introduced. Reference from the book " The English Model T " chapter 7 page 154 ( Deliveries of drop frame cars started at the beginning of 1924 and continued until October 1925.)
You will note that the chassis has all the drop frame features.



The following pictures are from an article " British Fords " by Bruce Lilleker that was in the Vintage Ford March - April 1985, and are used here for the research. The lowering of the car was accomplished by the Rear Crossmember and the Front Axle and Spindles.
Regards, John Page




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 05:19 am:

Niels,

Please clarify if you are looking for the 1924-1925 drop frame or if you are looking for a 1926-1927 non-drop frame. As John Page posted above the drop frame was used in the UK beginning of 1924 and continued until October 1925. Other Branch Assembly Plants such as the Danish Branch that were supplied by the UK plant, may have changed at a slightly different time. But the DF parts were NOT used on the 1926-1927 model year cars.

The easiest way to tell the DF frame is the rear cross member which has the higher “hump” or “crown” than any of the 1909-1927 frames. If the front fender brackets are still on the frame they have an obvious extra height added to them so the fenders will not rub on the front wheels when traveling rough roads. The photo below is also from the Mar – Apr 1985 “Vintage Ford” and is used by permission to promote our hobby and club. The DF front fender iron is the one on top.




If you are planning to build a speedster without fenders etc, you can easily mix and match the DF and 1926-27 chassis parts. But if you want to put fenders and an original body on the chassis, it is more important to have the same 1924-25 regular, 1924-25 DF, or 1926-27 improved parts or you will have to do some major adjustments to get things to work. For example if you mounted the standard 1915-25 open car touring body on a DF frame, the rear doors would be blocked by the rear fenders and the doors would not open. That would not be a problem with a roadster body.

It is still early and I do not have time to check it out – but the Mar – Apr 1985 “Vintage Ford” article indicates that both the DF and regular chassis were produced during the 1924-25 era. The English Ford Book probably clarifies that.

For any chassis parts, frames, etc. I would recommend you contact Tuckett Brothers at: http://www.modeltford.co.uk/ They have a wealth of knowledge and a great supply of parts as well as cars.

Again, recommend you clarify if you are looking for a 1924-25 DF or a 1926-27 frame or if it does not matter and you would like either for your project.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 07:45 am:

.Many thanks for your insights. - Very helpful -
Much appreciated. - Project background is as follows: In 1962 I acquired A running 1926 tudor in very original but rather shabby condition. I had it registered on Henry's 100 year birthday in
1963, and it served as family transport for some years, until my wife did'nt find it fun any longer, and it went into storage.- some years ago, when I realized, that I no longer needed a modern car - I took it out of storage in order to have it registered again, but realized that the body needed extensive restoration, but at the same time I came across a very nice and sound 26 touring body, which I bought, and had the car registered with that body.(I run it daily all year around).
In the meantime I have had the Tudor body renovated. My plan was to interchange the bodies summer/winter.- I have now altered strategy and want to assemble a complete chassis under the
tudor body . I have engine and rear axle, but most importantly need frame and front axle, and
want to make sure, that the parts I buy fit together. My existing chassis no.13517137 (stamped in the frame below the right front door, same no. as the engine) have the 2691DF front axle and 2733DF wishbone, but seem to have the standard 26/27 2694C spindles.- Niels


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 03:09 pm:

The chassis your touring body is on is likely the original chassis for you Tudor. Why not build up a chassis for the touring, and put the Tudor body back on its original chassis. Probably easier to build the 26/27 chassis anyways!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 03:51 pm:

Why not see a picture of Niels' car?
(and mine):


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 08:12 pm:

Niels, almost all the '26/'27 T's I see here in Sweden has the drop frame front axle and wishbone - but usually the standard US 26/27 spindles.
In the swedish 1926 part list they specify the drop frame spindles to be used on 1926 european made cars also, but maybe they dropped ( :-) ) that idea early on since 26/27 spindles are so common here?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, July 22, 2013 - 08:23 pm:

The rear frame crossmember is deeper on the european made 26/27:s too compared to US made frames + the european cars had special fenders so the wheels wouldn't scratch the inside of the fenders. Here's a post where I compare an european 26/27 coupe/roadster fender with a US coupe/roadster fender:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/305414.html?1344781023


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 04:53 am:

After having digested all the information you wonderful contributors have rendered me, and after a closer look at my frame, my conclusion is, that it is not a drop frame I want, but a 26 frame with a deeper rear cross member - as described by Roger - to go together with a 2691-DF front axle and 2733-DF wishbone with the corresponding spring perches and everything else standard 26/27 parts. - that is what I shall be looking for. - Any comments?
To David Dewey: That's probably what it will end up with.
That leaves us with this conundrum: Why on earth was it allowed from the highest places in Detroit to mess around with such fundamental elements in the improved T Ford Program. - Are there any documents in the archives explaining this?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 04:55 am:

Roger Karlson. - If you place a standard US made 1926 rear frame cross member on the floor besides what you characterize as a European made 1926 one, could you tell the difference in mm in height (deepness) from floor to top of the crown? -Regards Niels


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 04:59 am:

Rodger Karlsson: - Sorry for spelling your surname wrongly!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 05:06 am:

Rodger: P.S.: Or rather what each of them would measure form floor to top of crown?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 06:18 am:

Aww, I'm at vacation now and haven't got access to my stuff, but even that won't be enough since my roadster is a bit of a mongrel, built on a 25 DF frame, and my other project has a US type '24/'25 frame. Had a drop frame 26/27 rear crossmember earlier, but sold it to a friend.

I looked at what I think was a 1926 european frame this monday but didn't buy it - it had been cut just in front of the battery bracket and was bolted together again with some crude looking reinforcement irons. Guess it can be properly repaired without too much work. Wasn't very expensive either and only about 160 km from Copenhagen, so it might be something for you? I can give you a telephone # if you like :-)
The seller Torsten Ludvigsson has some other Model T parts you might have use for - I scored some finds :-)
T-finds

Theoretically I think it's possible to get an idea of the height on the rear crossmember on the european 26/27 frames compared to the typical US 26/27 like this: Here's an ad describing the new low '25 as 3.5" lower than the US '24-'25: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/289192.html
The US 26/27 is described as 1.5" lowered compared to earlier chassis, but the rear spring is the same. I think the 26/27 european rear crossmember has the same lowering as the low '25 = 3.5" lower than the US 09-25 chassis, thus the european '26/'27 crossmember would have a 2" deeper crown than a US 26/27. But I'm not sure, will measure parts when I get an oppurturnity :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 07:42 am:

o.k. Rodger - I am spoiling your vacation - sorry for that - please contact me when you get back - my email address is ballot@jubii.dk - in the meantime I will go on the hunt. - Niels


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Barker, Somerset, England on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 08:04 am:

Here is a drawing comparing the drop frame with the normal T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Barker, Somerset, England on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 09:41 am:

I should have added that the drawing above is in 'The English Model T Ford', together with other details of the drop frame models. It's available form the Model T Ford Register of GB.
I'm the club archivist.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 12:35 pm:

No problem Niels, Ill e-mail you :-)
The idea behind the drop frame design was to increase sales in Britain and other european markets where all the competitor cars were getting a lower chassis and styling and the Ford began to look antiquated. Roads were generally better in Britain and continental europe than in rural US so the high ground clearance wasn't as needed any more.

Unfortunately the drop frame cars didn't help sales in Britain much - the main cause for slow sales in UK was the horsepower tax that was based on cylinder diameter. T's were very expensive to own due to their large cylinders compared to small British cars. Commercial cars had another rate so Ford vans and trucks sold much better. Ford GB tried a small displacement 28 hp Model A and later on special small european models like the Ford Junior to get their market share back in HP tax markets.

Thanks Chris. I've got that book - just didn't remember that drawing. So the drop frame cars were only 3" lowered, the Norwegian ad was exaggerating :-)

When I think of it, the 25 DF frame I have under my '26 roadster was modified by an earlier owner with a '26/27 DF crossmember - the original crossmember would have been too narrow for a 26/27 body. I'll measure it when I'm home by the end of the week.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 12:42 pm:

Thanks a lot Chris - I hope I shall be able to make the right purchase decisions on the basis of the information above + what I can get from Rodger, when he returns from vacation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 07:29 am:

Now I'm back at home & finally remembered to measure my 26/27 drop frame rear crossmember - it's about 5 1/8" or 130 mm high above the top of the frame = slightly less crowned than the 1925 drop frame crossmember in the drawing above.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Monday, August 19, 2013 - 04:17 am:

To wind up my contribution to this thread, please be informed, that my hunt was successful, as I acquired a frame(pluss much more), that has a rear cross member with the european characteristics described by Roger.
It has a number stamped in it (below the right front door) No. 15007600, which if genuine according to "Model T Ford" page 536 would imply, that it left an assembly line (probably Copenhagen, Denmark)on June second 1927.
Thus this must have been one of the last ones produced.
Thanks to everybody who have contributed to my knowledge in this matter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, August 19, 2013 - 07:10 am:

Niels,

Thank you so much for the update and for posting it with the original to keep the story together.

Note the engine numbers recorded on pages 502 to 536 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford” indicate the date the engine number was entered into the log. In most cases it was also the date the engine was actually assembled. In a fewer number of cases the numbers were sent to a branch plant to be stamped onto and engine that was assembled at the branch [Ref: page 501 Bruce McCalley top right hand column]. For example on page 535 Oct 14, 1926 there were 10,000 engine numbers sent Manchester, England to be stamped onto engines once the engines were assembled there. Engines were not stamped until assembled with the transmission. In some cases the engine assemblies were sent to the branch plants to be placed into a chassis/car that was assembled there. Note by 1925, it is my understanding based on the notes on page 532, that engine production had shifted from the Highland Park Plant to the River Rouge. But Model Ts were only assembled at the Highland Park location and not at the River Rouge. So even the Model Ts assembled at the main plan, had their engines shipped from the River Rouge to Highland Park before they were placed in a chassis. Thus when Ford began stamping the engine number onto the chassis rail on Dec 12, 1925, the engine number 12,861,044 is listed in the Dec 5, 1925 engine assembly log but it is documented as being installed in the chassis at the Highland Park Plant on Dec 12, which was 7 days later. [ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm see the Dec 12, 1925 entry ] Before the engine production was moved, it was possible for an engine to be produce at the Highland Park plant and installed at the Highland Park plant on the same day the engine was produced. But even then, much of the production was done at the branch plants from parts.

So if you see the engine number 15,007,600 stamped into the top rail of the Model T frame, and if it was originally stamped there during assembly, it would not indicate the actual date the car or chassis was assembled. In the case of being assembled in Copenhagen, Denmark, you would also have to factor in the shipping time from the River Rouge to Copenhagen and any storage time at Copenhagen. So yes, engine number 15,007,600 was most likely produced on Jun 2, 1927 [I believe but I do not have documentation to support that belief that by Jun 1927 – Ford was no longer sending blocks of engine numbers to other plants for them to assemble the engines there. Production was winding down. If anyone has additional details on that – please let us know.] Then it would have been shipped and then installed in a chassis at a location other than the main plant as it had already ceased automobile production.

Again – thank you for the update. Best of luck with your project.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap


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