My 1919 is running around without her metal panels that go on each side of the engine pan over to the frame. I overhauled her a couple of years ago and left them off. Since I have no FOF..that's Factory Original Fetish...'cause it's a Speedster, and it's running great, I thought I'd check with you to see if they are important for any particular reason other than aesthetic.
My car still has its pans, but, I understand a great many were removed over the years and the cars appear to suffer no ill effects from not having them.
One thought was they helped air movement through the engine compartment.
I think the splash pans would also help keep the carburetor from inhaling dirt kicked up by the front tires. This would have been a bigger concern back then. Today most of our roads are paved.
I'm with the stopping junk from the mostly dirt roads from getting up there crowd.
I had them on for a while. I was having engine problems and she was over heating with them on, same problems before I put them on, just was not over heating with them off. When I pulled the engine to fix the clutch (fricasseed jack rabbet) left them off. One of these days I'll put them back on and see how she likes it.
Of course! They keep the dirt and rocks from flying up into the engine!
I shoulda thought of that...duh!
Thanks, gentlemen, you nailed it!
I didn't think about the possibility of dirt in carb when I took the pan off under the carb. I did this so I could get more air by the carb and fuel line during tours in 100 degree temps. This avoided vapor lock that I was having. I even re-routed the fuel line and still had vapor lock before I took the pan off.
They also catch your oil cap when it pops off or is forgotten. Don't ask how I know.
In the winter more heat will make its way to the inside of the car.
They keep water from drowning the ignition when you Ford a river. Also improve airflow through the radiator at all times.
Great photo, Royce !
Is that a '12? Neat picture, water's cold!
Looks like they may have stalled out. The gentleman on the front looks like he's about the crank the engine but doesn't want to stand in the water to do so.
Is there someone in the back seat? Lady with a fur coat maybe? Or just a trick of the light and the photo?
When I bought my '15 Touring, it came with a few cardboard boxes full of parts; things like fan belts, an extra wooden coil, a spark-plug wrench and a pair of very weathered splash pans. The pans were cracked and rust-crusty enough to look like the kind of thing amateur historians present as evidence of Amelia Earhart's safe arrival on some forsaken Pacific atoll, so I never did install them.
I'm sure the pans served a purpose back in the day when American roads were lousy and cars had to ford streams, but nowadays we don't do a whole lot of stream-fording on Jericho Turnpike. Though the engine compartment remained clean, I nevertheless installed one of the simple, foam-rubber air-cleaners that Lang's sells and that worked out just fine.
A set of new engine pans isn't particularly expensive as car parts go and I guess they'd be nice to have for the sake of historical accuracy, but as my car is a driver, I'm constantly tinkering on it, so the pans' absence does make for easier access around the engine.
They make a great place to lay wrenches and hardware when you are working on the engine.
BTW, you guys should venture down the dirt roads. Interesting things to see and at a speed you can see them.
I think there is more to what the pans were for then just keeping road dirt out. I think they were part of the heating /cooling system of the engine. They helped direct the air flow over the whole motor rather then just through the radiator and out the bottom.
Not saying they are good or bad. Remember the slits in the hood were added so you could hear the horn or so the story goes!
I keep mine on the shelf in the garage in case I want to ford a river after driving down a rocky dirt road. I have 7 sets of them there so far! Ran with them for years and then without them for even longer. Can't say I noticed any difference one way or the other! My only observation would be that I doubt Henry would have wasted the time and money involved in putting them on his cars if there wasn't a reason. I just haven't figured out what it is and until I do they will stay on the shelf!
It's part of the entire system. The pans restrict the flow of air under the hood allowing for a slight increase in pressure. The pressure increase forces more air into the carb which offsets the decrease in air density caused by the heat of the manifold while passing through the hot air pipe.
This complete paragraph of utter BS is my story and I'm sticking to it.
Thanks again guys,
If I ever plan a trip through rivers, streams, or even gutters, I'll slap them suckers back on!
Not too likely though in So. California.
If I'm on dirt roads, I guarantee you I'll not be going fast enough to kick-up dirt and rocks, I'll be going slowly to enjoy the views (Hal).
And I have no cooling problem, Mark, not since I repaired the radiator.
One thought; How about the elimination of a potential rattle or two by eliminating that tin?
Thanks for the third time,
I'm with the crowd that thinks the purpose was to shield the engine and electrical components from water, mud, or slush splashing up from the less than ideal roads we enjoy today.
Looks like a helluva way to crank start the engine! Sure hope his foot didn't slip off the hub cap.
The picture is a '14 touring with an accessory cowl / windshield. Here's another '14 with the same accessory.
Tim - Yeah, you're getting close to the thought I just had of someone suggesting that for safety, he should be hand cranking that "T" with his LEFT hand! How on earth he could crank it at all in THAT position is beyond me! Ha,ha,...harold
By the way, the above '14 is a very late one, with the curved rear body moulding and matching curved rear fenders. Sort of a transitional body style.
If the T (way up there) quit because of the water, It won't start until it's dry. He's got a lot of cranking ahead of him. Best to call AAA road service. I have not used "splash" pans since 1945, when I got my 23.