After responding to Arnie Johansen's question about the floorboard hold down clips (http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/446798.html?1400684109) I began to look into the exact build date of my 1927 Runabout and found it to be 24 September 1926 according to Bruce McAlley's book Model T Ford, the car that changed the world.
Model T lore tells us that engine blocks could be cast weeks or even months before being machined and placed in a car. My car's frame number and engine number match and the numbers are the exact same size and style which would indicate they were both done at the factory. Does this necessarily mean that the engine is the original?
Could the replacement engines have been supplied with the numbering boss blank and the workshop would stamp the frame number on it with Ford supplied dies? Does anyone know if this was common practice?
My engine does not have a vaporizer carburetor on it. The accelerator rod passes through the one piece valve cover and block.
If the numbers match, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It means the block matches but that doesn't necessarily mean the engine is original. A lot can happen in 88 years. People change parts. In the US, the car would have been supplied with a Vaporizer carburetor.
Changes were gradual. The hole in the one piece valve cover wasn't removed until October 2, 1926 so your engine may well be original. Many had problems with the Holley Vaporizers and someone may have changed to a regular NH carb and manifolds at any time from the autumn of 1926 until you first saw the car. Do you have nickeled bolts for the cover, the manifolds and the head?
"OCT 2 Acc. 94, Box 169, Ford Archives
The one-piece valve chamber cover without the hole for the throttle rod was adopted on October 2, 1926."
The hoe in the engine block betweens cylinder 2 & 3 wasn't removed until even later, I think.
The only dome headed bolts (not much nickel left) are on water inlet and outlet. If I'm not mistaken there are a total of 13 dome headed bolts (not counting the head bolts) so the valve cover, timer retainer spring, front crankcase bearing and manifold bolts have been replaced over the years.
The manifold studs are 2 5/8". I bought new ones but they're 3 1/4" long. I think I'll pop for the stainless dome headed bolts. Will they be the right length for non-vaporizer separate manifolds?
Ken, this is a USA car. I brought it over to Spain but it comes from Kansas City, at least from 1965 onward. I don't have any of its history previous to that date.
I believe replacement blocks were supplied without numbers, but assembled engines were numbered. As long as the engine is correct for the date of your frame, does it matter which it is?
My 26 coupe has an engine number on the last production day in 25 and a frame number for the first day of production in 26, it has probably had an engine change but i always found it interesting to be that close.
Rick - Frame numbers weren't used on first production 26s so it was probably stamped by someone later for what ever reason.
Any automobile without a frame number MAY have been assigned a number by a government agency
The 26 style engine with numbers stating 1925 production I have has all dome head bolts. Intake manifold and exhaust manifold were missing. The crank has a large Ford logo with Ford printed all the way out.
Ken, I think Rick is talking about calendar year production, not model year, then it's correct with a frame # from Ford. They started stamping frames with the engine # by december 12, 1925 at Highland Park. http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm
My frame is Jan 5, 1926, my daughters birthday only not 26. Calendar year not model year.
Thanks so much for the info guys. The MTFCA encyclopedia really holds a wealth of information.
A large part of the fun I have during the restoration process is trying to understand when and why certain parts were replaced. Did they fail? Did a previous owner feel the need to "customize" for some reason? How many miles might the car have covered?
If the engine is correct for the model year I suppose it doesn't really matter if it was replaced at some time. It's more of a sentimental matter if the engine is the factory original or not. I work in the quality control area of the automotive world and the changing out of the factory original engine is a big deal to me, kind of an occupational hazard I guess. ;-)