I have disassembled six '09-'12 steering columns and have found traces of brass plating for the full length on all of the spark and throttle rods. Did Ford paint over the brass on the lower section of the rods? It seems like a lot of wasted plating if these areas were intended to be painted.
Ford did not paint the lower steering shaft or rods at all. The portion of the rods forward of the firewall and the steering shaft would have been unpainted.
I had my levers gold plated. Never tarnishes and really didn't cost anymore
I read some place that Ford did not paint the shaft for a short time in the mid teens. If I remember correctly, it was to show off the quality of the steel. The article made it sound like the shaft was painted for the rest of production, but I have yet to see a shaft with original paint on it. What about the springs, collars, levers and the guide? I would guess those small parts would have been dipped in paint?
There was no paint on the shaft originally, ever.
Here's the original steering shaft on my '17 torpedo. The spark and gas rods have traces of their original nickel plating. The shaft is still bare metal.
I put a good coating of paste wax on them, and touch them up every now and then. I've had good luck so far. I agree with Royce, they were never painted, ever.
I am wondering how Royce documented that the stering,timing and commutator rods were not painted?
Has anybody tried solid brass rods?
I restored mine using solid brass. Vendors used to sell them. They're relatively inexpensive and easy to make yourself. McMaster Carr sells the 5/16 rod stock.
My dad bought the car from the original owner. It was all original, even original tires. It still has less than 5000 original miles on it. Many parts of the car are still as new.
our 1912 is original and we have a spare 12 and a 10 coluum and none of the rods are painted and none of the rods are brass plated maybe this is a Canadian thing do any of the Ozzie cars have brass plated rods?
My 12 touring came with steel but when inspected further you can see the spots of brass. I am replacing them with all brass rods.
I would rather replate my originals than replace them with the reproduction solid brass rods. The reproductions aren't too bad, they are reasonably priced but the bends aren't quite right and of course they are nonmagnetic. If my rods were total junk I would buy the reproductions, but I prefer to salvage as much of Henrys parts as I can. Of course I could get some 5/16" cold rolled steel and make some exact copies and have them brass plated, but that would be too much work.
Good for you Randy. The repop rods look terrible, and can you imagine that soft brass rubbing against the quadrant? It would wear a notch in it in no time. HOWEVER, the early gear cases were not made the same way the later ones are, and to remove them, if you have a riveted gearcase would be an impossible task, so I would cut a slot in the ends of the tangs that support the rods, just like the later ones, so you can remove the rods. Be very careful that you don't break them off.
My 1909 spark and throttle rods have traces of brass plating on them. Who would be a good to do the brass plating on them and my hand crank, cowl lamp brackets, hand brake lever, and top iron brackets?
A good non automotive plating shop should be able to do it. The spark and throttle levers are only plated about 3 inches down.
My understanding is that it is quite difficult to plate brass as it won't build up a thick plating coat and hence withstand polishing . Certainly that was what I was told when I wanted to brass plate a copper spotlight -Karl
Brass plating can be built-up just like any other plating. It can be polished. I've even power buffed it. The part is normally copper/nickel plated first then brass plated. The copper is a filler and the nickel acts as a sealer and a bright layer just like used for triple-chrome. Some places will just put a flash layer of brass over the nickel. (Just like chrome too.) Others will use a zinc-cadmium process that resembles brass. Talk to the plater and tell them you want a high build brass layer. Just don't expect it to be cheap.
Yesterday I bought some cold rolled steel and I will make my own rods. I also discovered a clue as to how the steering columns were painted. I am currently working on a '10 and an '11 column. They both have black paint inside the tube and the lower part of the sector that extends into the tube is covered in shiny black paint. The only possible way for that to happen is the column was dipped. The rods would have to be installed at the time or the upper half of the sector would have had to been riveted on after the dipping, which I doubt was the case. I believe the tube, complete with quadrant, sector, rods, springs and collars was dipped to the bottom of the quadrant. They may have wiped the paint off the rods at that time, but I doubt if they would have spent the time. After the paint dried, the unpainted shaft was installed and lower bracket and levers were attached.
For control rods, why not just get a solid brass rod and bend it yourself?
There is a 1925 steering column for sale on tbay right now and the seller claims it is NOS. The spark and throttle rods are not painted and are fully nickel plated. The shaft is painted. It's a good buy for some body, the fully knurled top cover indicate 5:1 gears inside. 1925 would have been the only year with the round mounting flange and optional 5:1 gears.
I'd like to hear from anyone who has a column with the reproduction BRASS spark and throttle rods, or solid brass rods that you have made yourself. How well have they have held up, in regard to wear on the rods against the brass quadrant? How many miles have you driven it and how much apparent wear? Does it wear a notch in the rods like some have suggested?
If I were to make my own, I'd swage a small ball bearing at the contact point. Invisible to all but the most anal and a functional wear point.
That is a very interesting idea. Have you ever done that or know anyone that has? I think you might have invented a new Model T Accessory.
I made my own from .32 brass rod. If you're worried about wear against the quadrant, make them in steel and brass plate the tops. Mine have very few miles so I can't comment on wear. The quadrant is not precision concentric so gear teeth are not wearing against the same locations on the rods.