........terms for the same material? In 1907?
The article below references "nickel chrome vanadium" steel, saying it (vanadium) allowed Ford to build the Model N.
"Hemming's Classic Car", June, 2005 by Jim Donnelly
Link to article:
"Wills's metallurgical training allowed him to first grasp the importance of lightweight, strong, nickel-chrome vanadium steel when building the mass-production car he and Ford both believed would break the huge railroad trusts' death grip on land transportation in the United States. Wills was tasked with determining how to produce the alloy in volume. He eventually persuaded a small mill in Canton, Ohio, to superheat its furnaces and produce it. The ready availability of vanadium allowed Ford to build his Model N in 1907. Ford would later take credit for developing the alloy."
I have a 1907 article listing steel used by Ford Motor Company, referring to it as "chrome-nickel steel". Would this be the same as "nickel-chrome vanadium" steel?
Thanks for any information or insights,
Here is a short blurb:
Chrome vanadium would usually have better wear resistance and tensile strength. Chrome nickel steels usually are used where a bit of elasticity is required, but it all depends on carbon content, heat treatments and other variables. Materials are quite complex due to these manufacturing treatments that they can be subjected to, which to some extent, depends on other factors such as the carbon content.
More on different alloying elements at:
So, it appears "nickel-chrome" steel is a step above "carbon steel"? And "nickel-chrome vanadium" steel probably a step above both?
I'm sure this is oversimplification, but I'm relatively simple
Yes, that's a bit of an oversimplification
When we talk about nickel-chrome steel or vanadium steel we're basically describing the small addition of various agents added to iron in the manufacturing process. But it's pretty difficult to generalize by saying that one alloy is superior to others without specifying what characteristic you want to improve. Some alloying agents improve strength, some improve fatigue strength, some improve corrosion resistance. Other alloying agents can improve high temperature strength, formability, weldability, machinability, response to heat treatment, notch sensitivity, etc. And of course there's always the issue of just how much of each alloying agent to include. More is not necessarily better.
If you add enough chrome and nickel to iron you get into the family of stainless steels, which are known for corrosion resistance. But stainless steels usually pay a price in terms of fatigue strength and outright strength. Not to mention cost.
So when we say that one alloy is better than another, we have to specify the intended use and the characteristics most desired in that product.
One last point I failed to make in the previous post is that adding an alloying agent to iron often improves one characteristic at the expense of another. The high carbon-high strength steels are wonderfully strong, but the are also very brittle and sensitive to machining and forming and plating processes.
But, overall, the vanadium steel as used by Ford was an excellent choice for it's intended use. Time and service experience have demonstrated that.
Thank you. I came across a car guide that specifies the types of steel used for different components of 1907 cars. I was trying to develop a general understanding the quality of each. The steels listed include: carbon steel, steel forging(?), deep forged steel, nickel steel, alloy steel and chrome nickel steel.
It appears the "upper end" cars used chrome steel and chrome nickel while the lower priced used primarily carbon steel. Do you (or anyone) think a conclusion can be drawn from this? In other words, are the parts made with chrome nickel steel costing more, and wearing better, than the same parts made from carbon steel?
Thanks again for the response,
And then - it took Ford 15 years or so to realise that for rear axles and crankshaft, a good steel alloy without vanadium was the right alloy for those two parts (marked EE).
I think you are trying to apply the term "quality" in the meaning of improved value, instead of the term "quality" with its alternative meaning of characteristics.
For certain parts of the car a steel with high nickel might be appropriate, but a steel with high chromium might be disastrous.
Ford certainly improved the quality of his cars by thoughtful use of alloy steel in certain components. It is misleading to take Ford's advertising use of Vanadium steel literally. The engineering of each part was specific to that part.
To make a blanket statement that upper end cars used chrome nickel while lower priced cars used carbon steel is simplistic and misleading. High carbon steel can be found in expensive cars, and high nickel steel can be found in cheap cars. The difference is knowing where each should be used. Building a high quality car involves the use of steel with appropriate metallurgical qualities in the appropriate parts.
"I think you are trying to apply the term "quality" in the meaning of improved value, instead of the term "quality" with its alternative meaning of characteristics"
While you have no idea what I'm working on, I'll throw this question out:
If Cadillac (or Thomas, Buick, Ford or name the brand) made several models, and the lower priced model(s) were fitted with (let's say) carbon steel rods, but their $4,000 model was fitted with chrome nickel rods (and this happened with some automakers), does this tell us (now you can "imply") the higher end model had better parts? Would they wear better? Would this different steel be worth what I assume were higher production costs? At the least the auto maker would have to handle more materials by offering different grades of steel for different parts on each model?
I don't pretend to know anything. I simply gave informed comments on your question, and will continue to do so.
Ford had a better grasp of when and where to use different alloys. Some manufacturers spent money unnecessarily and used inappropriate metals that cost more to get poorer results.
Specialty metals might cost more and yield superior results if the material selection was appropriate for the task. Metallurgy was in general quite crude in the Edwardian era. Not everyone spent their money wisely.
Ford built the Model T using metallurgy that was in some cases successful, in other cases less so, but overall it was quite adequate, and for the time, fantastic. The Model T was not designed to last more than perhaps 5 years. The crankshaft problems we have today were not a problem 100 years ago.
Some of Ford's competitors did have quality issues directly related to poor engineering. You can make an argument about material selection, but the material selection might have been adequate if the same component had been designed differently.
Everything is relative; you can't say that carbon steel is inferior to nickel steel in all cases, because there are applications for each material where one is more appropriate and the other less appropriate. The cost is also relative, not the over riding factor used in material selection. If something fails it fails because the engineering is faulty. Material selection and cost are only two criteria in an overall design that might have hundreds of bullet points that need to be considered for that design to be successful.
"Ford had a better grasp of when and where to use different alloys. Some manufacturers spent money unnecessarily and used inappropriate metals that cost more to get poorer results.
Specialty metals might cost more and yield superior results if the material selection was appropriate for the task. Metallurgy was in general quite crude in the Edwardian era. Not everyone spent their money wisely. "
My question is, if an automaker used chrome-nickel steel on, in the example I gave above, the $4,000 car (for the sake of the argument) on the front axle, while their $1500 model has a carbon steel front axle, is the automaker giving preference to the $4,000 car in terms of quality and durability. Same component (front axle in this hypothetical), two different grades of steel, with the carbon steel going to the lower priced model (Cadillac is a prime example where many models range in price from under $1000 to over $4000).
I have several automakers I'm comparing, and this appears to be the case. When Ford Motor Company made the switch to vanadium steel (I think this transition began in mid 1907?), I believe all models, K, N, R and later S were made with the same quality steel (vanadium on many parts) with no differentiation based on model.
It appears that you are seeing some correlation between the price of a car and the use of chrome-nickel steel vs. carbon steel. I can think of several reasons for the use of one metal versus the other, not directly tied to simple quality and cost.
1. Maybe the more expensive car was heavier and simply needed a stronger part to withstand the greater loads applied.
2. Maybe the more expensive car was lower production and the maker couldn't afford the engineering analysis or testing to determine the suitability of a given design. So they "overbuilt" some parts just to be sure they would not fail in service. Remember, engineering and testing are expensive and need to be amortized over a larger number of units sold. On high production, more engineering makes sense. But on low production, expensive materials can save the cost of better engineering.
3. Maybe the maker of the higher priced car just "thought" that higher cost materials made for a higher quality product.
4. Or, maybe the maker of the higher priced car thought the advertising value of the more expensive materials would sell more cars.
5. Lastly, maybe the manufacturer wanted to use a part that was already in production for some other make or model (to save of tooling costs for a brand new part). But analysis showed that the existing part wasn't quite strong enough in its current form. In that case, sometimes it's cheaper to simply substitute a stronger alloy rather than invest in a new forging die or casting mold.
As a design engineer, I have made material selections for these and many other reasons. Without actually being present when the decision is made, I would have a hard time guessing why some other designer chose a particular material for a specific application.
I sent these in a PM. Evidently, these automakers felt using "chrome-nickel steel" was important enough (PR or reality) to include in their advertising. Of course, we see Ford do the same later with the use of vanadium added to steel.
Again, its just advertising Rob. Are the makers of the Pope Toledo saying that the engine block was made from chrome nickel steel? Would they have used chrome nickel steel to make the balls for the wheel bearings? Or would they have used high carbon steel?
Chrome nickel steel, in the right application, is great stuff. Ditto high carbon steel, and mild steel. I can tell you for sure every piece of steel on a Pope Toledo was not the same alloy. It's just advertising, intended to capture the imagination. It isn't true or literal.
Royce, how is it when an advertisement, news article someone (other than yourself) presents, as you say above "isn't true or literal"? Yet, your resources, no matter how vague or limited, are always spot on? A person can't have it both ways. Other sources of information can't always be lying, untrue, or mis informed, and your examples always correct. It doesn't work that way.
If you read it, the Columbia ad above says "Chrome Nickel Steel Crank Shaft." The Pope advertisement mentions the large order of Chrome Nickel Steel purchased for their cars. This is very similar to advertising Ford Motor Company will use when vanadium is added to their steel.
If Ford claimed to be using Chrome Nickel Steel, would a person believe that, or would they be deceiving too?
I thought this interesting that makers were advertising the benefits of different steel, prior to Ford's use, and advertisement, of vanadium.
Thank you for the well thought out and clearly presented facts. I also have experience similar to yours and agree completely with you.
Again, you are trying to make something evil out of my constructive comments.
Are you trying to say that if an auto manufacturer didn't advertise that he used large quantities of Vanadium steel that there was none in that brand of car? Or that a manufacturer who advertises the use of chrome steel didn't use vanadium at all?
Do you need to parse words and try to make some sort of imaginary advantage for the Model K out of every newspaper snippet? Why can't we just enjoy them for what they are? Advertising fluff that is.
I hope I conveyed my appreciation to Dick in my pm too. Do you (or anyone else) think the example above, where a manufacturer says they are using chrome nickel steel for their crankshaft made a difference, as to the quality/durabiltiy of that crankshaft, compared with automakers who did not?
Always a pleasure. Of course your right. Have a good day.
As Michael pointed out, eventually Ford learned that they could make a steel using molybdenum instead of vanadium (the EE crankshaft for instance) with potentially superior properties for a crankshaft.
We need to remember that only small quantities of these alloys are typically added to achieve significant benefit.
Back in the olden days before everyone had a freezer people had fish when the [run was on],or what could be had from a fish mkt if you had access to one.The Little Salt River split our 90 acre farm and in the spring we would net Suckers.My Dad used to tell of one night in the 30's they netted 1,000 fish and they loaded them in a Model T truck and took them to Lansing Mi to sell.Sold the fish but they broke a crankshaft and all the fish money went to fix the Ford.This story is either about fish or a broken model T crankshaft. Take your pick.Bud.
So,...where is "George" when we need him???
Rob, metallurgy was the new black in the early 1900 so that's why it is used in the ads. It signals that the manufacturer are on the bleeding edge.
Of course there must be some parts made of alloy steel - nickel-chromium in this case - but far from every piece of steel and it may actually turn out at the end of the day NOT to be an improvement in the specific design. The case with the Model T crankshaft and rearaxles showed that.
Royce, are you sure they did not get issues with the crankshafts back then? If not - why start changing the formula in the 1920's?
Thanks for the information. I have a guide that specifies the type of steel used on several car parts (by make and model. It's the best guide I've seen (lists body color, radiator and carb maker, etc) and I was trying to determine if one alloy was considered better than another. Even Ford is listed, and different models use different alloys. For example, Model N connecting rods are carbon steel, while the Model K uses chrome-nickel steel. The number of makers using chrome nickel steel were limited.
I'll post a thread with the guide, and anyone interested may draw their own conclusions. When I saw the variations in steel used by different makers, I then noticed some car makers included the fact they used alloy steels in their advertising.
Sorry Harold, sleeping at the switch
If I understand your question correctly...your synopsis/conclusion would generally be correct...but...don't get the cart ahead of the horse.
The 'steel' industry as such was still infantile at the turn of the 20th century and to 'the people' of the time such 'hawking' would have been exactly the same as you going in for your hip and having the doctor say..."Well Rob, we have a model here that is "Super-blued", another that is Chrome-Nickled (implying stainless perhaps, because chrome-nickel taken to the extreme as to alloying percentage IS stainless)...we have Vanadium and another model here that is Titanium! Which might you be interested in?" The next question from the patient would probably be "Which is better and lasts longer?" Sort of the way that it went as far as marketing then.
The truth is there is and always has been a lot of alchemy in the steel making process. GENERALLY...as the carbon rises as a percentage so does hardness and durability...until about 0.5% carbon and then it tends to become too brittle to use unless you 'play' with it post-process. The nickel/chrome/manganese/vanadium contents tend to force the grains/veins into a known condition which yields predicted results. From these predicted results, engineers can make selections with confidence, or at least that is how it is supposed to work.
However, because of the alchemy possibilities involved, and what is possible in post heat treating...a guy like me can make a piece of 1020 low carbon steel 'behave' like a super steel 'for a while' anyway...and I could also do 'something' to a piece of super-steel to make it have faster wear than a mild steel. This alchemy fascination IS in fact what Childs Wills and Wandersee did. Most want to tell me bah-humbug over that sort of statement because 'books' and 'history' say that Wills was a trained metalurgist! Bah Humbug to that, as the science of the day was moreso a Cliffs Notes version of what might be possible...sort of like organic chemistry and the rest was 'learned' over the pits and sometimes by mistake! [In Carnegie case, their ore source had too much nickel and chrome in it naturally by Mother Nature and after spending gobs of work trying to pull out these 'impuurities' to make 'steel', they simply found that if they left them in at some 'level' which was probably an economic decision...they had something that 'behaved' better than plain old open hearth carbon steel]
You would find that to the surprise of many...some of the Ford actual drawings simply specify a steel having a tensile rating of 'X' PSI...and left the choice of material to be used up to Wills and Wandersee.
Back to your request...the GENERALLY holds true...at the primary/simple level. HOW it is drawn out and HOW it is post processed can allow the alchemy to make the 'logic' invert. That is the problem in explaining what you are trying to explain, I think. I can say that evidence suggests that EVERY material used by Ford in that era WAS post processed...so that alloy chart that floats around is only PART of the solution because it only says chemistry and in most cases not process! Not an enigma...fact.
As an example...look up specialty super-steel Type A-649. Someone, even an engineer might look at it and say that it is a 4140 Alloy Steel that is a little over the limits and could be called 5150 based on carbon content. But read the process that goes along with it on how to make it and draw it and it is way different than 4140! A-649 was designed to have an endurance limit of infinity...used in applications where the product will naturally deflect 1/32" per rev at billion of cycles of life...still be qualified to contain steam as an inner core heater and be 'safe' after a billion++ revs...and also have a grain structure that is bordering on crystalline and drawn back to allow a surface hardness of Rc 58 that goes full 3/8" deep before transition zone. Yup...perfect for a crank...of course...but people can't afford it! It goes about 10x more than plain 4140 per pound, because demand is not there to set up a permanent process to make it 'economical'! Who invented A-649? I 'see' him every day He drives and works on my T's He even looks back at me in the mirror as I shave
Thank you for the explanation. I have an interesting car guide/review I'll post, with different component metal compositions listed, for such parts as axles, crankshafts, connecting rods and frames. Of course it doesn't give the specific percentages or compositions, and if it did I suspect that would have been "too much information" anyway.
The guide also lists carburetor, radiator, bearing and other information by make and model. Unfortunately, not every car is listed. Fortunately (for my purposes) both the Model K and N are. I'll post them once I "shrink" them to a size that will upload and still be readable (fine print). I hope anyone with reasonable observations will weigh in.
Les hit the nail on the head. The alloy content was miniscule.
A look in the '38 SAE Handbook does not show "Ford" steels, but does list Chromium Vanadium Steel (the 6000 series).
The highest Vanadium content was 0.15 to 0.18 %
The highest Chromium content was 0.80 to 1.10 %
I.E., great for ad copy, but a minor impact on material cost - especially to a high volume user.
And just as importantly to me, what is the "bottom line"? In other words, is the steel significantly stronger and lighter, when these alloys are used? If so, why were some manufacturers using nickel steel and chrome nickel steel, say for frames, crankshafts and front axles, while others continue to use carbon steel?
Why did Ford use chrome nickel steel for their crankshaft on the Model K, and nickel steel on the Model N. The K had seven mains, as opposed to three with the Model N, so I don't think there was more of a need for strength with the K compared with the N (or would be there be another reason to use different alloys on the same part)? And chrome nickel was used with the Model K frame while carbon steel for the Model N?
Thanks for all the good information,
Forget the alchemy part for a moment...forget games that are sometimes possible in post heat treatment and what you then have is a baseline that is all dependent on something called tensile strength or alternatively "Ultimate Strength".
Carbon Steel runs out of umph at 60,000 PSI rating, 'some' nickel steels can go to 160,000 PSI. Sooooo....to the average guy, that 'comparison' would say that nickel steel is 2.5 times stronger, right?
Metallurgy is difficult to explain even on the basic level. As an example, CARNEGIE STEEL decided to prepare a booklet in the teens for their non-technical employees so they would understand what steel was all about...it ran 597 pages
If you want, I have the original Carnegie recipes AND the mechanical property requirements for their version of what they did in the era we are talking about...not as much but some on BETHLEHEM. They all didn'y make all grades, Carnegie specialized in 'some', Bethlehem in others, yet others in others. This is one of the reasons SAE and AISI came along...eventually...it allowed someone to make someone elses formula...but didn't change the game as it can take a week or so to change over from one grade to the next in the furnace room to assure purity, so...once set up you want to run day in-day out.
If you want a few examples or comparisons...throw some analogy/comparision up against the wall and I can give you 'numbers'.
A good, layman's discussion of steel can be found in Carroll Smith's book, "Engineer to Win".
According to Nevins and Sorensen, it seems that automotive metallurgists in general became enamored of fancy alloy steels like vanadium in the first decade of the 20th century, but gradually came to realize that applying more scientific heat treatment to older steels such as carbon manganese gave better results.
I sent the following article to one of the post responders and he suggested I post it to this thread. It's an article by Fred Dayton that appeared in the February 1906 issue of Motor magazine. The article tells of the methods and limitations for making crankshafts in 1906.
One of my questions was, are we able to make any determinations based on Ford's use of different steel alloy combinations on the Model N vs. the Model K? Was the crankshaft on the Model K chrome nickel while it was nickel steel for the Model N. the frames and connecting rods also had different steels listed.
Thanks for the good responses,
Again, Rob, the material selection needs to be appropriate for the design and use of the part. Ford could have made Model N frames out of the same grade of steel as the Dodge Brothers made the frame of the Model K. Would there have been a benefit? Would the more expensive material benefit the car, or just increase the cost?
Model N axles, frames and crankshafts were made with appropriate materials. The cars lasted a good while and had a great reputation for quality.
Consider material selection of the Model K frame. Was there a buyer who bought the Model K instead of a Franklin because of the advertised use of alloy steel in the Model K? Was it the superior strength and flexibility of Franklin's wood frame that sold more cars?
For those who don't know - the Model K used a rawhide timing gear originally. I wonder if that material was selected because of noise by CH Wills, or because it was cheaper to manufacture a gear from rawhide rather than to hob one from bronze for a low production car? How many Model K's were permanently out of commission when the timing gear stripped? Maybe that accounts for the low number of Model K's that exist today.
Look at Rob's material selection chart in his other post. There are no other auto engine designers who selected a Rawhide material for the timing gear. Does this mean rawhide was superior, and therefore the Model K was better than all the other cars? Or was this a serious design defect?
Royce, you wrote:
"Does this mean rawhide was superior, and therefore the Model K was better than all the other cars? Or was this a serious design defect"
Let me be the first to admit, I know nothing about "rawhide timing gears". And you, prior to seeing the data I researched, and posted, knew nothing about them either. If you had, you wouldn't have written something like this, not knowing, but ASSuming this was the only instance where rawhide was used for camshaft gears.
Unfortunately, you did not have the rest of the information. (Not that having knowledge of this subject was the point of your post)
Several automobiles are covered in addition to the ones I posted. I simply didn't have room to post all the data, and much of it was hit and miss, meaning several categories were left off of cars shown later in the guide. Following is an example of some of the cars with partial information:
As you can see (if one bothers to read the information), three cars listed also had "Rawhide Gears". They were American Mercedes, list price $7500, B.L.M., list price $3500, and Stoddard Dayton, $2500.
So, not only were "Rawhide Gears" used on other cars, in this instance, they were used on a moderately high priced car (Stoddard), upper (B.L.M.) and top level (American Mercedes) car. Furthermore, many of the upper level cars do not have the type of gears listed, so, we might (or not) suspect "Rawhide Gears" may have been used with other autos too.
I wish you did not feel the "need" to post on every thread I begin or contribute too (but you do). I enjoy researching this information, and also enjoy sharing it with anyone who might be interested. I also look forward to others views and additional information.
However, it takes away all the enjoyment when these childish "tit for tat" games go on constantly around these posts. I assume the intent is to "win" and stop me from posting, or limit the scope of what I write.
Instead, my suggestion is that you post to the threads that truly interest you, and that we have a "non agression pact" where you stay off the threads I begin. I will gladly do the same regarding any threads you begin. This way, we could peacefully coexist on this forum with out the gamesmanship, and others wouldn't have to suffer through this.
Now, I'm off to Pep Boys for some Rawhide Gears, I hear they work quite well.....
Another 1907 car with rawhide gears:
Horseless Age, November 1910, maybe the Model K was ahead of it's time:
My Rob, you are touchy about any potential design defects in the Model K are you not? As we have found in the Motor article manufactures "resorted to" these weaker materials for the purpose of "deadening the ringing noise". Which was my suggestion of why CH Wills would have selected that fragile material for the Model K timing gear.
Bronze or steel helical cut gears would have been more durable. How much of a ringing noise is evident from you K's timing gear set?
The point of what I said was to show that alloy steel is not ideal for every situation. You missed that point entirely.
You could have taken this opportunity to say you were wrong, that you didn't realize (as you obviously did not) that other high end period car makers used rawhide gears to quiet cam noise. You could have taken the opportunity to admit you were mistaken, and furthermore, that this was not a "design flaw", but an accepted method in "the day".
Instead, you "double down", sticking with your original flawed post, to continue your rant against the Model K. Why is that?
Why do you find such a need to be on every thread I originate? Can you honestly say why that is?
Can you admit you did not know other car makers used this type of gear, for years to come?
What if we find that Pierce was one of the makers who also used hide or fibre gears? Then what, still flawed?
How about my request that we stay off each others threads? I don't know, do you begin threads? I've seen a very few you originate, however not many, and the last I noticed was a Model K thread in response to one of mine.
So, was it a Henry Ford/Model K "defect?" If so it was also a Mercedes, Winton, Stoddard Dayton and who knows how many other car maker defect too.
I post to your Model K propaganda threads because:
1. I find that your entire reason for being on the Model T forum is to distort the view of anything Model K related. Someone needs to balance that slanted view, and tell the rest of the story that you are carefully try to plaster over with omission.
2. Almost every post you start is slanted to a view that there was never any problem with the Model K, that the Model K was a huge success. This is interesting but tedious. Provide a reasonable view of the entire picture if you want to be taken seriously.
3. You seem to believe all written material on the Model K was somehow in error and all people who write anything Model K related are wrong unless Rob Heyen agrees. Again, people like Joe Galamb and Charles Sorensen are the best and most accurate sources we have for un biased information of what Henry himself thought on a private, personal level. You are providing a spotlight for yourself to bask in. It is tedious.
4. You disagree with facts written in the first person by people who knew Henry Ford and were there at the time, who witnessed the Model K's failure to meet Henry Ford's expectations. It is what happened historically regardless if you or your two or three pals on this forum agree.
The Model K was discontinued because it was completely at odds with Henry Ford's desires. If it posted some monetary profit it did not matter, it still sold a paltry amount of cars over a long period of time by Ford standards. If the Model K had been the product of Pope Waverly or Stoddard Dayton or Pierce it could have been considered a notable orphan make failure instead of a Ford failure.
Henry Ford did not want to build the Model K in the first place. Henry disposed of the near 1000 chassis that were ordered in January 1906 as fast as he could, it took until some time after January 1909. He worked his ass off to promote the cars, and had a grand time hanging around at race tracks and gabbing with reporters. Got it.
Pierce Arrow was the most glorious failed automotive enterprise before WWII. Pierce made a far higher quality product than the Model K over a much longer period of time. There were a few Pierce engineering defects. Very few.
The Model K was a glorious failure. I like the Model K a lot and would love to own one.
You at not the forum "gate keeper" nor "fact checker." You post wildly incorrect information to support your opinions and theories, disregarding facts that are referenced and often corroborated.
That is not your "job". I own Model Ts, drive Model Ts, and work on Model Ts. I am not infatuated with any other make or model of car, outside of Fords, although I enjoy and am impressed by the many marquees that existed during this period (1903-1927).
If you feel the need to stop my off topic threads (albeit Ford related) take it up with Chris and/or the MTFCA board.
Henry Ford did want to build a six cylinder racer. Henry Ford was in complete control of Ford Motor Company by July 1906 (and in my opinion essentially in control before this date, my opinion), after which he chose to extensively upgrade the Model K. Henry Ford attended numerous Races and contests in which the Model K won or placed, including the world record 24 hour contest won by the Model K over several quality automakers, including a 60 hp Thomas Flyer. Henry Ford selected a Model K to lead the Ocean to Ocean tour participants from New York westward, in 1909.
I can go on and on. These are facts. You, nor anyone else can change these facts, no matter how distasteful you seem to find them.
Maybe a better question is, why is it so difficult to accept that Ford built a quality car to compete against the best cars of the day? Why is that so "revolting"? Just as Ford built the Model N to compete against the $1000 to $1500 car of the day, he built the Model K to compete against the $3500 to $5000 car of the period. And it did, selling in greater numbers than many of the cars it was built to compete against. Pure "Henry Ford".
While three or four have said I should not post these OT early Ford threads, several seem to enjoy the information I find and present. I always try to post photos and copies of information, to corroborate the fact that this information exists. Whether or not one chooses to believe the information is another thing, I post "proof" that someone felt, said, or otherwise did the things the thread suggests. I try not to paraphrase, but to present, through pictures, the information as it was relayed "in the day".
I think we would both be better off if we did not post to each others threads. And, look on the bright side, if you didn't post to every thread, they (the thread) would "sink" into anonymity that much sooner, not tainting the Ford legacy as you see it.
A little more "research". It appears there was a problem with pre Model T Fords and noisy cam gears.
"The Automobile" July 15, 1909:
Oh, the problem with noisy gears was on a Ford runabout. And "The Automobile" suggested fix is "try the use of a fiber or rawhide gear in place of one of the metal gears".
Guess we better check our two Model K engines and see what they have for cam gears. To answer a question from above, our Model K engine runs very quiet and smooth.
I owe you an apology. Not because I "approve" of this entire exchange, but because your comments have forced me to dig deeper than I otherwise would have..
This is what I've found (has nothing to do with our disagreements):
It appears rawhide gears were used somewhat frequently by higher end car makers (now we know including Ford's Model K). The cars I currently know used these gears, that we would now refer to as fibre, include American Mercedes (built to the same specifications as the German Mercedes), cost - $7,500. BL.M. and Moline, both $3,500 cars, and Winton and Stoddard Dayton, $2,500 cars. And I have no doubt many other high end automakers used this type of gear to reduce noise.
What you labelled a defect, in fact has turned out to be another feature the Model K had that the Model N did not. I know this may not seem important, but my opinion is that Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company would not have "gone the extra mile" to place parts and components on the Model K that were not included with the Model N, unless there was a concerted effort to build a superior car (compared with peer automobiles) for equal or less money than those peers.
While I don't expect most forum members to care one way or another, this forum gives me a chance to test these ideas, and bounce them (ideas) off serious Ford enthusiasts. It's also a chance to explore the cars and events that led to the Model T.
Again, thank you for leading me down this path. Although you didn't intend it, this has given me more ammo to demonstrate the Model K was indeed a special car, as were the other Ford models leading up to the Model T.
This is exactly the point I was trying to make. The rawhide gears are an engineering compromise. While hundreds of automakers chose a metal (either bronze, steel or iron) to make cam shaft gears from, Ford and a couple other companies chose a meat byproduct to make cam shaft gears from. CH Wills sacrificed one advantage - longevity - in order to achieve a more important goal - silence.
I don't blame Wills. The engineers work for the sales department. The sales guys in 1905 believed that a buyer of an expensive car was going to be impressed more by silence of operation than knowing that the car would last 100,000 miles. Who knows, maybe they were right? It is interesting in any case.
The selection of any material by an engineer for any purpose is a compromise. While Chromium alloy steel has advantages, it also has disadvantages, particularly in the context of being manufactured and designed during the Edwardian era. The use of the material doesn't make the car better or worse. The results after the design has been in service for a decade or hundreds of thousands of miles prove whether the engineering choice was sound or not.
We don't see a lot of cam gears being manufactured from meat byproducts these days.
You said that "crankshaft problems we are having today were not a problem 100 years ago".
My Dad who is 96, did repair work for a used car lot in San Diego when he was 14. He remembers pulling the engine and replacing a broken model T crankshaft way back then. Also, remembers replacing cracked transmission drums. Dad said the car lot provided all replacement parts (Used) except for new gaskets. He was paid $5.00 for pulling the engine and replacing any broken parts and returning the car in running condition.
He did not have a chain hoist. He made a wood work bench the same height as the frame and slide the engine forward....dragging it over the front cross member and on to the work bench. The engine was put back in doing it the same way but in reverse. He would only work on Model T's. It's no wonder I remember Dad complaining about having a sore back!
I still have my Dad and every day that I have him is a blessing.
Alchemists tried to turn other metals into gold. Steel processing today, and even 50 years ago, is scientific with published data that yield predictable results. Small amounts of alloying elements can make large variation in steel. A little boron can markedly increase the strength of carbon steel. Let sulfur and phosphorus get a little too high and ductility is markedly decreased. A little hydrogen in a higher carbon steel above a hardness of 3O Rockwell C can result in brittle failure.
Bill Dubats, used austempered ductile iron for his balanced crankshaft, that had fatigue properties the same as steel.
I don't feel there is much black magic in steel formulation these days.
That's great! My dad is going to be 97 in March. He started working in his dad's shop in 1930. They worked on any brand of car, but of course most cars were Model T's. I have asked dad many times about his experiences with broken cranks. He's never had a broken crank despite driving Model T's since Herbert Hoover was president.
From my own experience the early Dodge Brothers cranks are much more likely to break, and they can break almost anywhere. It is a classic example of inferior material compared to the later Ford made cranks.
The three of us are fortunate to have fathers who are nonagenarians (yes, I looked it up). My dad and his brothers first car was a mid twenties Ford pickup. His dad, my grandfather, was a big man, and would "wind up" the T when the boys couldn't start it (according to Dad) and one time, it "bit him". Dad says he had his arm in a sling for a month, tough for a farmer in the thirties. We still have a few pieces of that T pickup strewn about the farm, including half of the windshield, used as an upper window in an old brooder house.
It appears to me the Ford K was in pretty select company using chrome nickel steel for several parts along with rawhide to bronze gears for the cam shaft. Whether these alloys were stronger or not, there certainly seemed to be that perception, and many automakers included the feature (chrome nickel steel) prominently in their advertising.
This (chrome/nickel) was an addition, at least in advertising, for Ford in 1907, when the Model K was upgraded extensively, longer wheelbase, stronger frame, along with the claim of a 20% increase in power by increasing compression.
Below is the guide showing crankshaft and camshaft specifications. Unfortunately, many cars are not included, and several cars on the second page are missing data:
Advertising by some carmakers promoting the use of chrome nickel steel.
And, of course, my personal favorite:
While the use of a particular alloy may not tell us the "quality" of the particular part or car, it does seem to demonstrate that higher priced models promoted the fact alloys were used. By mid July 1907 we'll see the same advertising splurge by Ford promoting the use of vanadium (I was surprised to find a few cars using parts with vanadium while looking for these advertisements).
Point being, Ford chose to develop and advertise the use of chrome nickel and nickel steel alloys, and used what appear to be higher end steel on the Model K, while not choosing the same steel for the Model N. In my opinion (and this is my story, so I'm sticking with it) this shows a concerted effort by Ford Motor Company, in 1907, to upgrade and promote the Model K.
I think you will get a chuckle out of this true story.
Dad, at age of 14 was driving his mom (She Was On The Large Side) and sister who were riding in the back seat of a Model T touring somewhere in down town San Diego. He took a corner too fast and clipped a truck. The truck bed snagged the rear seat where the door opened and tore off the back seat section. His mom and sister went sliding down the street with their feet up still sitting in the rear seat. They were shook up but not hurt.
It's a good thing that Model T....21 or 22 had a body structure made out of wood vice vanadium steel or I may not have been here to share this story.
Looks as if Ford switched to vanadium steel in the Model K by June 1907. I guess all the Model K weren't built bu then.
I wonder if vanadium was also used for Model R and N at the same time?
I answered my own question. This May 26 1907 ad says Vanadium steel is used in all Ford construction:
Came across this while looking for something else. I forgot about the photo, and wasn't aware Ford began using vanadium this early:
Evidently United Steel thought this was good advertising material. This was a full page advertisement in "Motor World", October 1907: