And were they factory installed or could people chose to add an electric starter later to a vehicle that did not originally have one?
Jason, according to Ford records the first TT's to use starters would be used late in 1921. The starter was an option after 1921 but since this added $20 to the final price most buyers bought the non-stater versions. Ford records show that before late 21 the TT block and the frame had no option for a Starter.
I thought Ford offered a starter in the open cars beginning in 1919
Yes, starters on cars began in 1919. That required a different block to accommodate the generator. So if starters weren't offered on the TT until 1921, did they keep making the old block just for the truck, or did they all come with block-off plates? I bet it was the latter.
Info shows after June 1920 the TT was equipped with the starter type block. The TT used up all the car blocks w/o starter features in 1919 and part of 1920.
The TT had to be optioned with the pneumatic rear tires when optioned with the starter, gen, and battery.
I am the 3rd owner of a 1919 TT Firetruck and my block serial number is stamped 3322677 and dated Aug 1919 and it has a starter. The non starter TT blocks must have been used up before that.
David. I realize you are the 3rd owner. But this always opens a question in my mind. Do you know absolutely, positively, for sure, that your engine was not changed at some point. I know that sometimes the history can be very well known. But I also ask the question, Do you know for sure that say in 1929 (for example) the original gave up and died. But (for example) there was a wrecked 1919 roadster with a good engine just down the road at a Farmer friends house. Now Farmer A knowing Farmer B real well, got the said roadster engine that afternoon and had it switched out by dark. They got the chores done had a good supper and the wife and kids hardly knew the problem happened. It has been almost 100 years for a lot of our Ts. No telling what has happened since then. Im in no way trying to add to or take away from your T. But I always feel like we need to be very carefull as to what is or is not correct.
David, the records for 1919 state the trucks are to get whatever non starter engines are left which makes it sound like there were not a whole lot left. That said, what Donnie says makes perfect sense. Again, by 1929, you could imagine how many drivers complained at the Ford dealer that they were tired of hand cranking their now less than perfect running Ts and TTs but couldn't afford an A or AA. I'm sure many a dealer came to the rescue with the now well known, starter upgrade for about $150.00. By now, your 1929 wiring harness would look very original.
The easiest way to date the early frames ,(if the dealer had not retrofitted the TT for a starter) were the absence of the holes for mounting the starter switch on the frame. The left step brackets also had no holes for the battery mount.. I have seen instructions that were sent to the Dealers telling how to convert the older trucks to Starters. I suppose that you might be able to tell if you have a dealer conversion by the awkward holes that were drilled in the frames.
Ford Service Bulletins gives the date of Nov 1st 1921 for the first Starter blocks and the frame changes in the TT's
Fred, have you or anyone else actually seen a 1919 or later, non starter car or truck frame that is missing the holes for the battery and starter switch bracket? What about the trap door in the wood above the battery? I ask because starting in 1919, Ford drilled the six holes in the rear of the frame for the spare tire carrier even if the car was built without demountables. Would it have been the same for the starting equipment?