I am new to the hobby. I just bought my first antique car last week - a 1926 Model TT. I have located the engine block number but I cant seem to find a number stamped on the frame. I have heard some cars have it stamped on the frame under the floorboards but I do not see it there. Could it be anywhere else? Or could it not have a number to begin with?
Welcome to the forum and the Model T hobby! There are many good Model T resources, one of which is Bruce McCalley's (R.I.P.) on line encyclopedia. It is part of this club's web site and the top page is located at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/intro.htm and the table of contents with links is at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/index.htm
The Short answer: If you Ton Truck (or a car for that matter) was assembled at a Ford USA plant before Dec 11, 1925 – they were not stamping the frame rail with the engine serial number.
More detailed answer:
Under the chronological notes at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm it has:
DEC 12, 1925 Acc. 94. Walter Fishleigh files, Ford Archives
"Motor number was first placed on frame side member R.H. on Dec. 12, 1925. Motor No. 12,861,044. Information obtained from Mr. Burns, Final Assy., Highland Park."
So for the 1926 model year cars and trucks made between around Aug to Dec 11, 1925 -- none of them were stamped from the factory with the engine serial number on top of the frame rail. While they started stamping the frames with the engine serial number at the main plant on Dec 11, 1925, there is an excellent chance that the branch plants may have started doing that a little later. Note the engines received their serial number at the engine assembly location (for most of them in 1926 that was the River Rouge Plant). So the engines were shipped to the assembly plant -- even the main Highland Park Plant in 1926. So on that Dec 12, 1925 date at the Highland Park Plant some cars could have been assembled the day before but have an serial number higher than the car that was assembled on Dec 12, 1925 but they would not have the frame stamped. And some could have been assembled later, had the engine number stamped onto the frame rail but have a lower (earlier) engine serial number than the 12,862,044. At some point shortly after Dec 11, 1925 all of the USA plants would have been stamping the serial number onto the right or some times left top of the frame rail. Oversea plants were not as tightly controlled so them may have started soon after or a little later.
We will post a photo of where to look if your TT is after Dec 11, 1925 truck. Remember also that many times the engines have been swapped out. And there is very little difference between a 1925 TT and a 1926 TT. The rectangular switch amp meter panel was used on the 1925 and earlier trucks and the round 1926-27 style was used on the 1926-27 style trucks. Additional the front spring was made heavier, had more springs, slightly larger yoke connecting the spring to the frame etc. But for most folks they would not notice the differences until they were pointed out.
Again welcome to the hobby and the forum!
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The photos below show the normal location you will find the engine serial number when it was stamped onto the top of the frame. They have been found on the top of either frame rail, but normally somewhere that you could see when you took out the front floor boards. Note at the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/8925.html RV Anderson commented that on his car the serial number was on the driver's rail near the rear cross member – which is not the common place to find it. And in that same thread Bruce McCalley commented, “Not all Model Ts had the engine number stamped on the frame rail in the 1926-27 era.” I wish Bruce was still here to clarify that comment – i.e. we know the ones manufactured Aug to early Dec 1925 were not stamped. But were there several Feb 1926 and later cars or trucks that were not stamped on the frame rail? If anyone has additional information on that please let us know.
The photos below I think were from the 2007 forum that was lost. But I suspect they are from Forrest Scott’s restoration of his 1926 touring. If any one know who originally posted them please let me know so I can say thanks in the future.
The photo below was provided by Dennis Hallpin (Thank you Dennis):
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If your frame has a number it may be easy to see, like this, or it may be buried under several decades of crud and require some cleaning to make it visible.
As you're new to the affliction, this is for you: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
In addition to publications, it's good to get into a local club. Fortunately you have one in your area: http://mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm#ut
Thank you guys for the welcome as well as the great resources and information. I took another close look but could not locate a frame number. Since Ford didn't start stamping frames until Dec 1925 and this truck was made in Feb 1926 perhaps it was made at a branch factory where they did not stamp the frames until later in that year. The second possibility is that number was there but was claimed by rust since the frame has a fair amount of it. If the number was rusted over I am guessing there not much I can do about that.
I would really like some proof that the frame I have is indeed a 1926. Hap Tucker brought up the point that although there are not many differences between the '25, '26 and '27 TTs, there are a few differences. I took some photos to post to see if anyone could give some insights that could confirm the year of the frame and body but I when I try to post them I get an error message that says the files can not be larger than 200 kilobytes. All of my photos are 2 to 3 Megabytes. Has anyone else had that problem? I do not know how to reduce the size of a photo file. Anyways, I suspect it is a 1926 but without a frame number I left with a certain level of uncertainty. Hopefully I can figure out how to post some photos soon.
Jason, the 26/27 TT frames do not have the horizontal bolt holes for the transmission ear mounting. The hole still exists in the Ear but not in the Frame. The first five months of the 26 models didn't have the serial number on the frame.
Here's resizing pictures on a Mac. If you're stuck with Windows, somebody else will have to explain that. Windows and I don't get along.
Thanks for the info. I got my photos downsized and here are a few of them. Again, I am new to the Model T and before I get into this truck I want to know what I have exactly. I know the engine is 1926 but if anyone can use these pictures to definitively conclude a year of the frame it would be great.
There is a stamp nailed above the windshield inside the cab that states: "Stamp transferable with vehicle. Federal use tag on motor vehicles $5.00 June 30, 1946. Keep this stamp posted on vehicle. United States Internal Revenue". And there is a small picture of a man named D. Manning. That is interesting since I bought this truck from a guy who bought it at an IRS auction last year. I do not know if there is a connection between this truck being used by the IRS and its turning up at an IRS auction. It could have been an estate auction for all I know.
I understand that the early 1920s Ford trucks had their cabs built by cab building companies instead of Ford. Does anyone know how I can find out whether Ford or a cab building company built this cab? I would really like to track down the blue prints so I can repair a number of rotten boards in the cab.
I can post additional pictures of truck components if needed to ID the frame/cab year, just let me know what to shoot.
Thank you for any insights!
That's one cool truck Jason. You're correct, Ford did not offer any cabs or beds from the beginning of production until 1924, and even then Ford never offered a wood cab. So, you do not need to waste time looking in Ford archives for cab and bed information for this truck.
I hate to discourage you, but your chances of finding blue prints for it are probably pretty slim.I would imagine your only chance would be to find a name plate or similar marking in the cab and/or the bed that indicates the name of the company that made it. Then post that here and hope one of the guys on the forum can help, google it, and so on.
I think I'd use what there is for patterns and what's missing I'd just improvise. After all, there is no absolutely "correct" cab anyway. There were a zillion different ones made, all different.
I love all the curves in the body. That is unusual, and worth repairing. That truck, up and running , made safe and preserved so no more falls off will get more oohs and awes than a totally restored vehicle. (Lots cheaper, too)
The tax stamps were issued in the late 40s. I have a little steel and glass holder where they were mounted in a vehicle. Mine had several years stacked in the holder. An eBay search shows they aren't uncommon but still I thnk they are neat.
It is a TT, but NOT a 26 engine, as it should have two holes in back of the block to screw brackets to blk to the frame. Short running boards. Neat truck Don't BREAK THAT PURPLE HEADLIGHT LENS!!
Looks like a 26-27 engine/transmission to me. The right bolt is missing on the top of the hogs head but if you look close, the block appears to have the build up where the bolt goes.
I think John's right, Jason. Also, it looks like a wood firewall (hard to tell from the photos) that sure could be original. If it is, that would date the truck to 1923 or earlier, as do the running boards.
See if you can find the patent plate, which should be a small brass plate on the inside of the firewall near the steering column. If you can find it (if it's even still there) snap a picture and post it. that will assist in zeroing in on the actual year model of the truck. (It would be on the fire wall that's part of the factory truck, not on the aftermarket cab wood.)
Another thing you can do is measure the chassis rear cross member. The ones on the early trucks are about 32" long with only one hole on each side. Later trucks had a rear cross member that was about 2" longer (can't remember the exact length) and there were two holes on each side.
Looking in my Lindsay Bros. Commercial Bodies and Cab catalog #64 (1925) I find that none match, close but no match. All there bodies with doors open from the front.
Motor Vehicle Use revenue stamps were issued between February, 1942 and June, 1946. During World War II, there were shortages nationwide of all kinds of commodities, including gasoline. The government imposed a motor vehicle use tax during the war years to encourage people to use public transportation, and also help finance the war effort.
If you were able it see the back side of the stamp there should be a stamp number and make, model, engine number and state tag number of the vehicle.
my mistake it does have the body to blk straps, Yes it is a 26-7 engine, 600 x 20 in rear wheels, homemade cab by ??, still neat
Thanks for the information. Yes, the firewall is all wood slats with some kind of thin wood paneling material over the top of the slats. You can kind of see it in one of the photos I posted of the amp gauge. I do not see a brass plate anywhere though. Are there other places a cab manufacturing company might have placed their company mark or logo?
Also, were ALL cabs made by Ford or a cab making company or did some people literally build their own truck cabs from scratch? I wonder if this is a one-of-a-kind cab built by a farmer or somebody(?)
Lastly, just to double check, from the photos this does appear to be a 1 Ton model, correct?
Yes it's a 1 ton TT. Few prototypes (1?) were made in 1917, then TT:s were built from 1918 until after car production was stopped in 1927. The first years Ford built the chassis only and let customers order cabs and beds from outside suppliers - or build it themselves. From 1924 - 27 Ford built the C-cab body for TT:s and from 1925-27 the square closed cab was offered. Your TT was likely built before Ford made steel firewalls sometime in 1923 and since it was used up through the 40's, it may have needed a new engine some time, thus the engine was swapped to a 1926 engine at some time.
The exact year it was built may not be possible to pinpoint but we can likely get close within a couple of years.. the front axle assembly indicates later than 1919 and the front engine mount indicates 1921 and later. On a side note - Someone assembled the front spring in a weird way, the clamps should clamp over all the spring leaves.
The body looks too nice to be homebuilt, but since there were hundreds of companies building them it may be hard to find who made it without a tag somewhere.