These two hub cap wrenches came with my '14 Touring. They both have the Ford script and the same part number, but one has the raised edges and the other is flat. Why? Is one older than the other?
Yes. I'd have to do some searching to refresh my memory on which came first. Ford tools vary not only according to when they were made, but also depending on which supplier made them
The top one was used from 1924 -26. The new wire wheel style was issued in 26-7. Some of them in the teens had nothing, and some had an 'H'. The bottom style appeared in mid '13, and even though some will disagree, the small hex is for the drain plug, NOT the rear axle nut!
History of the T1349 Wrench as found on John Regan's web site:
Are there more articles like that by John Regan that I can print and read?
Go to the fun projects home page under "services" and click on "document library".
Larry...newbie here - according to the drawings in John Regan's article, the hex is, indeed, for the rear axle. Perhaps I misunderstood it?
I betcha it works for both!
I prefer to use the style of wrench with the raised edge around the hub cap area - seems to grab better.
Me too, the '23 and earlier works best on hub caps.
And the last one, the '25 and later with the raised flange for the front wheel bearing cone, makes it easy to adjust the bearings.
The small hex does fit the drain plug as well as the rear axle nut. If you can loosen a rear axle nut torqued to 80-100 ft/lb with that hub cap wrench you are a far stronger man than I; and that is assuming that the wrench does not fracture.
That's why so many of these wrenches have a flattened edge from being whacked with a hammer to move them.
Look at the photo with the beat up hex. That is what happens when you try to take off an axle nut, AND, it gets worse if you have to beat it with a hammer!
The drain plug on the engine, like the rear axle filler, was a screw when that wrench was introduced in 1913. So the wrench could not have been used on the engine drain until the drain plug became a hex several years later.
In 1913 the tool for the drain plug looks like this:
According to the information in John Regan's article (see link above), in August 1924 the flange was added again to the large end (8/1/1924 to 9/22/1924). Has anyone seen an original wrench with the flange ONLY on the large end?
I believe I read somewhere that to remove or install the early, slotted c.c. drain & rear axle fill plug was to simply turn the hub cap wrench on it's side - the thickness of the multi-use wrench fits into the slot perfectly - no need for the screw driver which was way too small for that application.
I agree with Steve above. The thickness of the hubcap wrench fits the slot perfectly. I doubt if you used a Ford screw driver, you would have enough leverage to loosen the drain plug, without putting a wrench on the square part, and then look what it would do to the slot if you slipped! I've still got the one that came on my '13 back in 1961, and there isn't much of the slot left to do anything with!
Point is the hex on the early hubcap wrench is not for the oil drain plug.
Dan's photos may be a little misleading. According to my US parts book, effective Jan 1, 1913, part number 1349, the hub cap wrench, had only 3 holes. There is no hole for the drain plug/rear axle. Steve's assertion that the tool was to be used turned on its side to remove the drain plug makes sense.
This would also indicate that when the extra hole was later introduced, it was for the purpose of removing the two drain plugs, in the pan and differential. It is certainly bad practise to use such a flimsy tool on the rear axle nuts.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
It never made sense to me that that 15/16" hex hole in the wrench was intended for the rear axle nut. That nut is supposed to be tightened to approx. 100 ft-lbs of torque, and there's no way anyone could do that with such a short wrench. However, the battered condition of so many of them indicates that they often were used for that.
I will have to disagree with Royce for once. If the hex is not for the drain plug, what would it be used for? We've already established it can't possibly work for a rear axle nut, unless it is tightened hand tight. Ford data is not always correct. That has been proven many times. There is a Ford wrench that is made for the rear axle nut 5Z-206 that has a lot more leverage than that hubcap wrench. Go figure!
Larry, look and see that the multi-wrench was designed in 1911, a full 2 years prior to a hex drain plug. Royce is correct. The drain plug from 1913 and earlier was slotted. Thus the early multi-wrench design, (which carried forward) could not have been originally intended for the drain plug. It may be insufficient for the rear axle, but in the absence of a hex drain plug in 1911, it would not (could not) have been designed for draining anything.
I use mine to tighten the steering wheel nut
I don't car what any literature says I would never carry a flat hub cap wrench with out the two flanges that Dan Treace shows above. I want something I can adjust the front wheel bearings period. I have had many of the flat wrenches that I just get rid of as soon as they come in the shop in some box of tools. What is more important ease of adjusting the front bearings or what is supposed to be period correct.
As for the hex in the wrench, its for the rear axle nut, but could be used for the later oil drain plug.
However, these got rounded off on axle nuts for sure!
...and this one got a owner mod to the wheel bearing cone oval nut, with twin depressions to assist griping the those flat sides of the front wheel bearing.
So....... As I understand it, these two wrenches would be correct for '11-'19 model cars, with Ford script added in '20.
The top one has KW Co in the center, and the other has a big H. So I assume that either of these would be correct for my '15? So how come the MTFCI Judging Guidelines specifies the following for '15:
"Hubcap wrench: Stamped steel with two wrench hexes. Oval shape. Marked with Ford script and part number."
That doesn't match John Regan's research.
I agree with Mike. I believe the H stood for Hayes. I have a 1909 wrench that has the makers name on it, but can't remember who it was! I seriously doubt if any Ford tool had the Ford name on it, except the band wrench, until the late teens, or as Mike said, 1920.