Good evening everyone. I hope everyone is managing ok with the weather this year. Best thing about a rough winter is that it makes Spring and Summer Sooooo much more anticipated and enjoyed! I have a question for the keepers of the knowledge. I just purchased a coil box to refurbish for a spare. When I received it I noticed it has a thin flat stock support running from the front to the back of the box midway from left to right. I have been told that this was a means of maintaining a tight fit for the coils. My question is, would this have been an option on a 1916 Touring? While my coil box is in relatively good condition, I am having to shim the coil box to keep the coils in their proper place. I am considering replacing the current box with the one I just purchased but am concerned that it would not be period correct. I want to thank everyone for the advice given in prior threads. I am a newbie with a ton of questions. Hopefully I will become skilled/knowledgeable enough to one day to provide answers as well. :-)
This is a '26-'27 box that mounts on the engine, has the brace you describe.
A '16 would be like this
Coil boxes with the integral ignition switch generally do not have the stiffening bar running from front to back. (Ford had a certain name and a part number for that thing; both escape me at this moment.) Later boxes have the bar.
Good luck with your project, Bill
Your 16 would have a switch on the front of the box, so, if you have one with the small piece of steel running from front to back, it wasn't made for a switch. Your spare coilbox may not work on your car. I'd rebuild a correct coilbox with a Fun Projects kit and make sure you have a correct fitting lid, and you'll never need a spare!
Here is one on eBay from Model T Haven, needs rebuild kit from Fun Projects, but is correct for your 1916.
The brace between front and back was added about 1917 so yes you could have a coil box with a switch.
Having a cover on goes a long way at keeping the coils tight and held down in place.
This coil box with a 1919-22 switch has the reinforcing metal strip.
Once you have the correct box, the Fun Projects rebuild kit with the gray plastic really is the best way to go. I was using shims, wooden nickels, etc to get my coils to fit, and the lid didn't fit well. The kit is very precisely made, and when it's installed it puts the box in the correct dimensions. It's also short circuit proof. I've used it in a 15 and a 14 box with excellent results.
I don't remember exactly when the bar your speaking of came out but I do know what it is, and am sure it's later than 16.
Here's a coil box with switch in a 1915. I'm not sure the plate is right, but I think the low cut front which allows coil removal under the cowl is correct for 1915-1916.
This shows the fun Projects kit installed in that box. No center brace.
Here's the FP kit installed in the coil box for my 1923 touring. The switch is on the dash, not the box, and there's a center brace.
Thanks for all the great answers and advice! As always, it amazes me how quickly members of this forum respond to posts! I have already rebuilt the original coil box with the suggested waterproof replacement (bought from Langs)but the coils are still loose enough to jump around "slightly" when driving. From Rich's picture, it is clear to me that the box I purchased is a later model than 1916 as it is identical. I have not yet tried the lid (which is not a mate for the coil box purchased) on my original coil box. Hopefully it will help take up the slack. Thanks again everyone!
Got a laugh out of Rich's pic of the key hole. Sherlock Holmes said you could tell a drunkard's pocket watch by the scratches around the winding key hole. That must have been some bender.