Assembly Date Stamped in Output Shaft?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Assembly Date Stamped in Output Shaft?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary M. Wheeler on Friday, April 04, 2014 - 04:46 pm:

My 1914 Touring engine # 471984 was cast March 5, 1914.
I was told it was assembled on March 13, eight days later.

Here's the question: I have the original block at J&M now getting a full rebuild, and John removed the output shaft Tuesday morning (April 1, 2014) only to find "4 1 14" stamped into the output shaft! He was quite surprised to be doing the rebuild exactly 100 years to the date, but does this negate the earlier "build date" of March 13, 1914?

Any thoughts here?

1914 T Output Shaft


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Friday, April 04, 2014 - 07:40 pm:

I think there is a better chance that either your engine

1- has been overhauled somewhere in the past with somebody else's output shaft going back in?

Or,

2-it swallowed its' tranny when new in use and it was overhauled then?

Just thoughts...

The book is fairly specific on what engines were assembled on April 1, 1914. #487,283 - 488182... 900 motors. Yes according to the same ledger on the same basis your engine was built on March 13, 1914. 15,000 difference is actually a pretty big spread...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 06:38 pm:

George,

I think another possible explanation could be that the engine serial number was shipped to a Branch Assembly plant and stamped onto and engine that was assembled at a Ford Branch. Ford sent a list of engine numbers to some Branch Assembly plants that were stamped onto the engines that the branch assembled from parts supplied from the main Ford plant. That could have easily been assembled a few weeks later than the date the engine number was part of and with a transmission input shaft dated 4-1-14.


Additional details and questions:

From Bruce’s on-line encyclopedia at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/sernos.htm he has:

“Engines were numbered when they were completed, and for the most part went into a chassis within a day or so. However, some engines were assembled and numbered at branch assembly plants. Highland Park would ship a block of engine-number records to an assembly plant and these engines might be made weeks or months afterwards.”

And he has a more detailed description on page 501 of his book “Model T Ford.” He commented that he used the daily log books of the engine assembly department of the Ford Motor Company. But that those books were only complete 1915 to the end of production. Engine logs prior to 1915 apparently were lost. He notes that the daily production figures for engines in 1913 and 1914 do exist. And he used those to produce the listing 1913 and 1914 working backwards from the 1915 ledgers that are still available.

He further comments on that same page 501:

“During the Model T era, great numbers of engines were assembled at the Ford branches. Apparently Ford printed engine number job sheets which were numbered in advance, and these were attached to engines being assembled. These job sheet numbers were stamped in to the cylinder block when the job was completed. Groups of these engine number records (not engines) were also shipped out, and these numbers were then stamped on the engines when they were completed at some Ford branch. Some of these record number shipments were noted, but most were not. As a result, while the Highland Park (or, later, the Rouge Plant) assembled engines on the days indicated, other blocks of engines might have been assembled days or weeks later.”

Some information I am missing and perhaps someone else can help us with.

Question: When did Ford start assembling engines at one or more of the Branch Plants? Clearly the shipping of serial numbers to the branches did not start until they were assembling the engines and stamping them at the branch. But approximately when did that start?

The 1909 booklet “The Story of the Race as well as the pamphlet’ the “Ford Motor Cars 1911” as well as the Jan 1, 1911 Price List of Parts only list the Branches and they do NOT say anything about manufacturing or assembling Plants.

But the Dec 1911 souvenir brochure in addition to the Branch Houses also listed the “Western Assembling Plant – Kansas City, Mo.”

The Jan 1912 pamphlet “Ford the Universal car” as well as the Nov 1912 same pamphlet now showing the 1913 bodies – continued to list the Ford Branches as well as the “Western Assembling Plant – Kansas City, Mo.

The Price List of Parts dated Jan 1, 1913 in addition to the Branches also has Assembling Plants listed two additional Assembling Plants and the list was now: Long Island City, NY; Cambridge, Mass,; and Kansas City, Mo.

The Oct 1913 Price List of parts in addition to the Branches also had “Ford Assembling Plants are located in the following Cities: Buffalo, Cambridge, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Long Island City, Los Angeles, Memphis, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis


The Apr 1, 1914 Price List of Parts in addition to the Branches also had the same “Ford Assembling Plants” as listed in the Oct 1, 1913 Price List of Parts.

The 1915 closed car brochure in addition to the listing the many Branches, listed Ford Branch Factories shown below added Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit (was this the main plant or another assembly plant?), Fargo, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, and Omaha.

My theory is that sometime after Dec 1911 when the “Western Assembling Plant – Kansas City, Mo.” began to be listed, that engines were assemble at one or more of the USA Assembling Plants, Branch Assembly Plants, or Ford Assembling Plants. But when?

We know that Ford of Canada began assembling the engines they used starting with serial number C1 in May 1913 using parts from the USA plant but assembling them in Walkerville (ref page 539-540 of Bruce’s book).

And the first “block of engine serial numbers I found noted in Bruce’s book are listed on 515 on the Jan 7, 1918 engine production. H noted that 200 serial numbers (not engines) were shipped to Long Island NY and then on Jan 16 those same serial numbers had been returned and were produced by the main plant at Highland Park. So while Jan 16, 1918 started with serial number 2,479,692 and ended with 2,481,941 they also produced serial numbers 2,461,201 to 2,461,400 using the numbers that were retuned from Long Island. I wish Bruce was still here for many more important reasons – but I also wonder if he included that comment to help explain why the variation in serial number rather than to highlight that engine were assembled at Long Island? Was that the first time engine serial numbers were sent to a Branch Assembly plant in the USA or was that one of many previous listings? As Bruce mentioned on page 501 and mentioned above, “Some of these record number shipments were noted, but most were not.”

My theory is that the engines were assembled at some of the branches and therefore the serial numbers were stamped at those branches sometime after Dec 1911 but long before the comment next to the Jan 1918 serial number listing. If anyone has additional information that would clarify, confirm, or correct that guess – please let us know.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 08:14 pm:

Hap,

B-I-N-G-O. I must have been a tad off y'day :-) I like your answer better.

But you do realize my friend that you are talking forum heresy and delving into what folks have never wished to hear before? :-) :-) :-)

(Taking a deep breath....)

Ford had already decided that it did NOT want to assemble cars at Highland Park almost from the day Highland went into service because as big as it actually was they found it was essentially too small by the time that it opened. (There are some scholars who refute that HP was made for T in the first place in spite of overwhelming party line from FoMoCo). The timeline for HP says that all HP design decisions were made long before they even had a T model and were basking in N-R-S success.

Kansas City on Winchester Avenue actually started assembling cars from parts in 1911. Long Island City at Jackson and Honeywell started direct assembly in 1912 having been approved in 1910 to do so and L-I-C then needed to quadruple 1912 assembly space by 1914!

Couzens informed the Board in May 1912 that he had decided to open branches in and bought land at Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Exactly when the decision concept to assemble all over the USA was made is still open to debate, but scholars believe it was even BEFORE the Selden appeal, because the apparent cash reserve taken on the 'just in case' basis was from a moratorium on capital improvements and almost near to the day the appeal favorable ruling was issued the Board moved to give Couzen's and Hawkins unlimited power in establishing branch locations for assembly with an amazing budget of 15% of net sales for capital expansion and NOT having to seek Board approval first!

From that day forward...the bulk of all asset capitalization/ capital improvement went into branch operations with the bread-crumbs being spent on Highland Park improvements for the remainder of HP existance.

Why Couzens was so branch and anti-Detroit as central build also has implications. Most folks don't know it, but nobody bought cars in September- February! It was like selling snow-balls to the Eskimos. They were open cars for the most part...it got cold in over 2/3 of the country and he couldn't establish a lean-mean-manufacturing machine at HP or any single place...so...he established what is sort of like todays allocation system...then took those annual numbers by district (read branches) and divided by 11 or so and set HP to establish logistics planning that has never been equaled by anyone since. If HP said that a given branch got 650 'kits' or piles of pieces in October...it just went into a rail car and was shipped. How and when put together was up to the branches, even if months later!

I have shared before how I had the chance to do a facilities review at former Louisville circa 1978, and how it could have been extremely easy for something to get lost for a long, long, time (first in / last out)with the way the receiving stalls and in plant rail siding were arranged...but I got tossed then because I was just a kid and still get tossed (because now I'm just a cranky old man) when I say that HP wasn't lord of the realm who gave bread-crumbs to the branches.

It's not me inventing things guys...all you have to do is start reading what's already published by the so-called non-company influenced men and researching based on what some of 'them' say and find out they don't have any axe to grind...they are/were in fact correct! (Follow the money...it always works...and never lies or slants the truth...lol)

Hap, I do believe that your final conclusion as to theory is correct...absolutely correct, but it does fight conventional wisdom as to what folks want to believe. You know my own feelings about Nevin research and why it belongs in the fiction department...but delve deep into Lacy/Knudsen (yes, that Knudsen)/Beasley/Klingensmith (Couzens replacement as Treasurer but not VP/GM)/Doss/and what I say above pops right out with no need for deduction. Nevins 'bought' the FoMoCo before he even started writing, scrape the icing away and the facts are still there and not lost.

(Sorry, this sounds like a rant! Maybe it is...maybe someone young needs to take up the banner and start with a fresh view that hasn't been beat up over and over and write history correct as it does all still exist here and there. :-) :-) :-))


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 08:32 pm:

Very common on the early cars. To me, that is either the date the transmission shaft was made, or the date the transmission was assembled.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 09:07 pm:

Very common on the early cars. To me, that is either the date the transmission shaft was made, or the date the transmission was assembled.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 09:57 pm:

For George,

Thank you for the additional information. Bruce on page 463 of “The Model T Ford” began sharing the Model T Production by calendar year, where the Ts were assembled, and what type of body etc.. Prior to 1921 the numbers had the type of T but not where it was assembled. For calendar year 1921 Highland Park assembled 88,173 which included TT and car chassis. The total USA production for calendar year 1921 (including Highland Park) was 928,750. So that is just about 9.5% of the total USA production was done at Highland Park for calendar year 1921. Only the Kearny Branch Plant assembled more Ts than Highland Park that year with 93,409 assembled. The next highest Branch was Philadelphia with 56,329 assembled.

From my limited reading, one of the major driving factors for the branch plants was the cost of shipping assembled cars verses the lower overall cost of shipping parts and assembling the parts into cars closer to the point of sale. I believe Highland Park could have produced many additional cars per year, but that it was primarily supplying the branches with parts for them to assemble into cars. On the map from the 1926 “Ford Industries” below, some of the locations had manufacturing capabilities and were designated as such with a star. Some of the branches had both assembly and manufacturing capabilities and were designated as such with a star with an “A” inside it. And other Branches only assembled but did not manufacture any actual parts and are designated with a circle with an “A” inside it.







You shared you had the chance to do a facilities review at the former Louisville plant circa 1978. If you have some links that would provide some additional background on what you observed etc. please let me know. As I often say, there are so many good postings and I seldom have time to read many of them (slow reader, day job, honey-do-list, etc.). Loren Sorensen has some great information in his book “The Ford Factories.” From memory it included many photos from the Louisville Branch Plant. It is one of many books I would still like to one day obtain but that is currently on my “unfunded list.”

For Larry,

I agree with you that many of the earlier cars had a date stamped into the transmission input shaft. I thought that was discussed one time and they told us when it was stamped, but I don't remember for sure. If anyone has a better reference on when the date on the transmission shaft was stamped -- date transmission was assembled? date shaft was produced? other? please let us know and if possible let us know the reference also.

Thank you to everyone for helping us find out more about the history of our cars and how they likely were produced.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 09:57 pm:

For George,

Thank you for the additional information. Bruce on page 463 of “The Model T Ford” began sharing the Model T Production by calendar year, where the Ts were assembled, and what type of body etc.. Prior to 1921 the numbers had the type of T but not where it was assembled. For calendar year 1921 Highland Park assembled 88,173 which included TT and car chassis. The total USA production for calendar year 1921 (including Highland Park) was 928,750. So that is just about 9.5% of the total USA production was done at Highland Park for calendar year 1921. Only the Kearny Branch Plant assembled more Ts than Highland Park that year with 93,409 assembled. The next highest Branch was Philadelphia with 56,329 assembled.

From my limited reading, one of the major driving factors for the branch plants was the cost of shipping assembled cars verses the lower overall cost of shipping parts and assembling the parts into cars closer to the point of sale. I believe Highland Park could have produced many additional cars per year, but that it was primarily supplying the branches with parts for them to assemble into cars. On the map from the 1926 “Ford Industries” below, some of the locations had manufacturing capabilities and were designated as such with a star. Some of the branches had both assembly and manufacturing capabilities and were designated as such with a star with an “A” inside it. And other Branches only assembled but did not manufacture any actual parts and are designated with a circle with an “A” inside it.







You shared you had the chance to do a facilities review at the former Louisville plant circa 1978. If you have some links that would provide some additional background on what you observed etc. please let me know. As I often say, there are so many good postings and I seldom have time to read many of them (slow reader, day job, honey-do-list, etc.). Loren Sorensen has some great information in his book “The Ford Factories.” From memory it included many photos from the Louisville Branch Plant. It is one of many books I would still like to one day obtain but that is currently on my “unfunded list.”

For Larry,

I agree with you that many of the earlier cars had a date stamped into the transmission input shaft. I thought that was discussed one time and they told us when it was stamped, but I don't remember for sure. If anyone has a better reference on when the date on the transmission shaft was stamped -- date transmission was assembled? date shaft was produced? other? please let us know and if possible let us know the reference also.

Thank you to everyone for helping us find out more about the history of our cars and how they likely were produced.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 09:59 pm:

Oops -- sorry for the double posting.

Hap l9l5 cut off


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