Here's a question for you folks who have pre-'24 TT's. Do the front fenders have the bead which runs underneath the splash shield like '24-5 ones do, or are they like the pre-'24 car fenders, with the bead outside the splash shield? There is a pic of how the bead runs on a '24-5 fender in the first post on this thread, if you don't know what I mean: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/3487/464786.html?1406762639#POST646974
1924 TT's and before had the front fenders that had the bead outside of the Apron style . The same as the Cars. 1925 was the new style for both the cars and the trucks with the bead under the splash apron. This style was used through the end of TT production.
So, yes, a '24 model year and back to 1917 would have a bead outside the splash apron. The front fender with bead under the apron was used in model year 1925 Only and used on all cars and trucks.
Good luck with your project, Bill
Fred types faster than I do.
My TT is an '18 as far as I can determine. I believe it should have the 1917-23 "commercial" fenders, no splash shield bead. Contrary to this belief my truck has 1917-23 "passenger" fenders, with the splash apron bead.
To the best of my knowledge the fenders are original to my truck. My personal opinion is that the TT's were specified with commercial fenders, but in reality the production line guys just bolted on whatever they had on hand. Frankly, I doubt if very many folks noticed in the day.
OK. So what were the "commercial" fenders (no splash apron bead) used on? I always thought they were used on T's and TT's sold as a running chassis, but it seems that idea is flawed.
I don't know how or just when this myth got started, but There Are NO "Commercial" Fenders.
Ford made one fender for the Ts and TTs, prior to model year 1926. They all received the SAME fenders.
Mr. Ford put the same engine and transmission in both, the same hood, same steering column and many other parts. Does anyone really think that penny pincher would spend the money for a special die to stamp out fenders for truck use only? (Plus the additional storage space for the inventory.) I can't see it.
My theory: The '25 model year fender being used in '26-'27 for truck use gave rise to it being called a "commercial" fender, as the Improved Cars had the "new" fenders. At some point in the "reproduction age" the '25 fender became the example of a Commercial or Truck fender and, as the '17-'24 "passenger car" fenders do not have the flair running to the radiator apron, it was decided to eliminate it for '17-'24 commercial fenders, a fender never made by the Ford Motor Company.
Has anyone ever seen factory drawings for "commercial" fenders at the Benson Ford? Has anyone ever seen commercial fenders listed in any '17 through '25 parts book?
My theory and I'm sticking to it until proven wrong.
I believe Bill is right, all the period documentation shows one fender style at a time, not a "Commercial" Fender. The point about the '25 fender being used on the TT after the introduction of the "improved car" fender may be where this myth started--I hadn't heard that before, but it sure seems to make sense.
Recently I had to argue with a gentleman with a '25 who thought his fenders were wrong, and he kept calling them "commercial" fenders. Fortunately I found a fellow T owner who also knew better and then I think he believed us. This Myth just keeps on going!!
Well, if there were pre-25 commercial fenders, what would they look like ??? ;-)
Here is a very good discussion on these fenders. Take particular notice of Dave Sosnoski's thread.
Regards, John Page, Australia.
It sounds like the archival data indicates there was no such thing as a 1917-23 "commercial" fender. That just leaves one question in my mind: If that's true, then why do the modern parts catalogs (I have a Lang's and a Mac's in hand) have both 1917-23 "passenger" and 1917-23 "commercial" fenders, the bead presence/absence being the difference?
It just does not make sense to me that there would be a whole line of repro parts that never existed in the first place.
I know somewhere deep within some old emails on my hotmail account I have a email from Bruce telling me there was NO SUCH THING as a commercial fender.
So uh, I guess there is not 1.
The problem comes in with the 1960's to 1980's plus time period. Conventional wisdom then held that there were car fenders and commercial fenders as the only plausible reason for two styles to exist. They were eventually proven wrong...but before that the self proclaimed purist police badgered EVERY owner of a car that had bead under, and every owner of a truck who had bead out. Bead under by default became referred to as 'Commercial' fenders.
'Badger' is being nice and I know first-hand that many caved and swapped to what the 'do-gooders' demanded at every outing. From mid 70's to mid-80's-ish many original cars were destroyed in these swap-outs/swap-overs and then it came out that 'they' were of course 'wrong'. Some of this still exists today as cars with the knee jerk reaction of a 'heathen' claim for purity had already changed them out and didn't change them back.
I do accept the Bruce write-up in the cyclopedia as being a satisfactory researched answer, but also need to remind that Bruce was the first one who would have added...until actual contrary evidence surfaces.
See Bruce's post in the thread below from 2007:
My 24 tudor sedan has the bead under the splash apron and yes it is a real 24 with high radiator and squared off splash aprons. I am the third owner and have good evidence of things being pretty original. As I have said before ,I don't know many folks old enough to have seen many roll off the assembly line and with dealers doing the assembly in a lot of cases I think there is a lot more detective work needed on the 23 through 25 cars to be sure about any thing.TT and commercial body trucks are a whole nother study as about the time you think you know all about them, one comes along and throws a monkey wrench in the works. Just MHO, KGB
For what it is worth, and to add to Cherry Hill George's comments. Shortly after about 1970, a member of the Santa Clara club was restoring a nice, solid, original 1925 touring car. It had "commercial" fenders on it. Several articles had been read, and quite a few people pushed to have him change the fenders. I am happy to say, he resisted the idea. We had some good discussions about it at club meetings for about a year. Many people in the club backed him, and he said "It is going to be a tour car, not a show car. It will look good (and it did!). If it is wrong? I don't care". It is nice to find out that he did the right thing.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
i have two fenders one with bead and one without both are low style 17-22/23 without the front apron lip here are the pics
Okie Dokie then -- I'm glad I started this discussion, because it's apparent that not all the facts are in, and this seems like a good way to get some answers.
I always thought the fenders with the bead running under the splash shield (I won't call them "commercial" ) came about at the same time as the high radiator with the deeper splash apron. I had seen only "car-type" fenders without the flange at the front edge which meets up with the radiator apron, and the later ones on which the bead ran underneath the splash shield and which had the flange at the front edge. I thought that both of those features appeared at the same time, when the high-radiator cars appeared, which was the beginning of the '24 model year in mid-1923. That is what I thought to be true until I acquired this NOS fender which had the bead underneath the splash shield, but without the flange on the front.
Now we have differing opinions on what happened when. Differing opinions are fine by me, by the way, because comparing them is how we arrive at the facts (sometimes). In the 2007 link posted by Erik, Bruce says, "'Commercial' fenders were the only front fenders Ford made after late 1924 (1925 models). They were made with and without the front "skirts" which were used beginning with the 1924 (high radiator) models." But there is some contradiction here. The high radiator models began in mid-1923, not late 1924. Some of you here apparently have read Bruce's account or someone else's, because many of you say that '25 fenders had the front flange, or "skirt" which Bruce mentions, but that '24 model year vehicles did not. There are references above in this thread which refer to Dec. of '24 as the date of that change, but didn't it really occur at the same time as the high radiator and deeper splash apron appeared?
The phrase "with and without the front "skirts" is telling, and it lends credibility that there were some fenders which had the bead running under the splash shield, but without the flange on the front. Dan Treace says in the 2008 thread, with the link posted by John Page above, "And in both the 'lipped' and 'non-lipped' styles, where that 'lip' is the bent down front edge to mate to the high radiator apron. So the 'behind the apron' fenders were made for both the high radiator cars and the non-radiator aproned low radiator pre-'23 cars." Dan has seen both types, and he believes that the ones without the front flange were intended for use on low-radiator vehicles, and the ones with the lip were for use on high-radiator vehicles. I think that makes sense, and I tend to agree with that idea, at least so far.
So if the front fenders without the flange on the front were made in two types, those with the flange on the front and those without it, why would that be? Some have opined that Henry wouldn't make two different types of fenders for the low-radiator vehicles, yet they do exist. Would it be because one type were for cars and the other for Commercial Chassis? Some have said that the reason the bead was changed in '24 was because the splash shields' shape changed and the bead no longer followed the splash shield. Remember that the TT Chassis didn't have that earlier type of splash shield for the bead to follow either. So it seems plausible (to me, at least) that the "under-the-shield" type of fenders might have been intended for use on TT's from '23 and earlier, and the "around-the-shield" type were used on cars, which had the shields to match. Comments are welcome.
Anyway, here's what started all this discussion. This fender does have the stamped-in "washers."
It does have the "under the splash shield" bead:
And it does not have the flange at the front:
That last pic came out pretty dark, but you can take my word for it -- it doesn't have the flange. And I looked at it closely, and it was not altered.
Let the fun begin!!!
Why can't someone provide some decent pictures so we can all see what the discussion is about. As far as I am concerned any of the fenders will serve well on my TT.
Here's a decent (lightened) version of the last pic I posted:
All it shows is that this fender has no turned-down flange to mate with the radiator apron of the tall-radiator vehicles.
I just realized, while looking at my previous post, that the middle pic is of the underside of the fender. Funny, it looks a lot like the top side.
Here's the topside pic, showing the "under-the-shield bead pattern:
John -- If you look at the threads in the links posted above, you'll see that there are several pics of all the kinds of fenders we've been talking about here.
Hi guys I have one of these fenders with the bead under the apron that has no front lip. I searched and searched ford factory pictures and could never find this style. Now I feel this was probably make by another company besides Ford. There were many aftermarket body parts manufactures making Fenders, Hood, Radiator shells and such. So in my opinion I believe these type of fenders were not made by Ford. Knowing Henry Ford , he was too cheep to make only a limited run. It would have been very expensive, and not the ford way.
These fenders can be used in high or low radiators and would be a perfect update to dress up the earlier cars.
Mike, The fender you show is a replacement for the low radiator type. Note the dimples where the fender bolts to running board. This feature did away with four fender washers. I don't presently have a copy of the 25ish T1 service manual but these new fender are mentioned there identifying them by this production improvement. If you have one handy please look this up and let us know. I had a 25 that had both types on it. That was 30+ years ago when I looked into it.
I was planning on shooting some pix and well, I give up on the subject for now...haha
I went out and looked! My 19 has bead under and eyebrow front fenders...low radiator...but that can't be definitive for nothing! I'll sheepishly plead 'guilty' because if I go get a ladder and get into the loft I'll bet there is a set of unassigned/unreserved bead out without eyebrows just hanging on a hook and looking good! I'll also bet there is another set hanging on a hook that is bead under with lip left over from the '25 when the front clip was taken off of that.
That IS the problem when you have several of mixed years, you tend to have done a 'get-by' years ago with full intentions of returning to original later and somehow you forget 'later'...and with me all of my cars will eventually become 'definitive' barn finds for future generations as I never sell anything and my only grandson lives 850 miles away!
Here is a picture that shows the change in the Tourings from the low radiator to the high radiator in late 23. Notice the difference in the fenders and radiator lower apron. I would assume this to be true for all the models.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
This is a known. What we also know is that 25 fenders are different. If you could view this photo from above both would look the same. It is tough being a purist rather drive.
Thank you for that information and the lead on where to find it in the T-1 "Model T Ford Service" book. The book is available online at: http://mtfci2002.readyhosting.com/manuals/Model_T_Service_Manual/mtsm.html and the photo and text below are taken from there (Thank you MTFCI!).
I wanted to add that to the other information that has already been assembled here on the fenders used 1917-1925 model year on cars and 1918-1927 model year for Ton Trucks. (Yes, three Ton Truck chassis were documented as produced in 1917 but appear to have been a "pilot run" ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1917.htm )
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Great discussion. For some reason, none of us (or if we did I missed it again) looked at Bruce's CD where he shared:
In late 1924 (1925 models) the fenders were redesigned so
that now the inner top bead follows the inside edge of the
fender and now runs under the splash apron. This type was
also made without the lip at the front for use as a
replacement for the earlier style fenders. It continued in use
on the one ton trucks through 1927.
The photo above is from page 32 of the Jul-Aug 1985 "Vintage Ford" used by permission. The same photo is shown in Bruce's book and CD. The car on the right is an earlier low radiator but it clearly shows the change in the bead. And as mentioned above it was the replacement fender a Ford dealer would have given the owner if they needed one in 1926 etc. (No lip for the 1917-1923 and lip type for the 1924-25 car replacement fender).
Earlier Erick Johnson did point us to Bruce's comment on the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/26291.html?1174249134 which similar to Bruce's book on page 341 has a similar comment but does not include the part that the replacement fenders were made with the bead under the splash apron but without the lip on the front for replacement use on the earlier cars.
++++++++++Bruce's comment from the thread: ++++++++
By Bruce McCalley on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 08:43 am:
What are "commercial" fenders? If these are the ones where the inside bead runs under the splash apron they are standard Ford fenders that were used from late 1924 on all cars and trucks and on trucks after the "improved" Fords of 1926-7.
++++++++++ End Bruce's Comment +++++++++++
And John Page posted the link to Dave's S. posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/73572.html?1227816423
Which had the following excellent details I wanted to save with this thread. (Ok -- yes, I use the forum to keep track of things. Someday - I'm hoping to work with others to boil down some of the discussions to consolidate the great information that is posted here and there over the forum and else as well.)
++++++++++++ reposted ++++++++++++++
By Dave_Sosnoski on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 07:45 pm:
All that is necessary is to look at the change notice for the front fender (These are factory numbers).
T-7976B - Front Fender Assy RH
T-7977B - Front Fender Assy LH
These fenders were initially developed in June of 1923. On August 18, 1923 they removed the EXP (Experimental) from the part number and specified for use in 1924. This August date corresponds with the change in height of the radiator and cowls. On January 24, 1924 they reversed the fender brackets and on May 12, 1924 they added the flange reinforcement to the bracket.
On September 3, 1924 they brought them up to date with changes in the bodies - whatever that means.
The big change occurred on December 16, 1924.
"Changed height from 18-1/2 to 18-11/16.
Brought up to date with above change in aprons and ribbons as follows:"
It then lists a whole bunch of changes which I don't feel like typing in at the moment. They include changes to the apron, location of the reinforcement bracket, etc. These were the last changes made and they specified it for use for 1925. On December 1, 1925 they specified it for use for the TT chassis for 1926.
So the fender with the bead running outside the splash apron was used on all cars and trucks up until December of 1924 (that's when the change was approved so it was probably used somewhat later than that). That change would have been made during the 1925 model year. After that all cars and trucks used the fender used the one with the bead running under the splash apron. The 26 model year used a new fender for the cars, however this 1925 style fender continued to be used on the TT truck through the 26 and 27 model years.
The T-7976 fender was used from 1917 - 1923. This is the one for the low radiator cars without the apron on the front. It went to the T-7976A number when the B version came out.
Since the B version did not go to a C version with the change in the bead, the fender with the bead under the apron would have replaced the earlier fender. Thus, if an earlier fender had to be replaced in say 1926, the later style would have been installed. That is the most likely reason that the two front fenders do not match.
+++++++++++++ end reposting +++++++++++++++++++
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(If folks would prefer not to see my guess at a summary -- please let me know and I will not post that sort of thing but instead will just file it on my computer.)
"These fenders were initially developed in June of 1923."
Isn't that about the time the high-radiator cars came out?
I think the next part of the sentence is also helpful: "These fenders were initially developed in June of 1923. On August 18, 1923 they removed the EXP (Experimental) from the part number and specified for use in 1924."
That refers to the fenders with the lip on the front edge and NOT repeat NOT when the bead changed from running around the splash apron to under the splash apron.
And yes, that corresponds nicely to the introduction of the high cowl, high radiator 1924 model year cars that that had the radiator apron. The lip on the fenders matched the radiator apron to give a much more finished appearance. From: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rad Bruce has: “1924 (Introduced about July 1923) Higher radiator. Outer shell now had a skirt at the bottom, over engine mount area.” And he has the 1924 model year listed as Aug 1923 to Aug 1924.
Note there would always be some overlap when Highland Park began producing the new model and the Branch Plants would continue to use up the older parts and switch over a little later. I.e. using the parts that had already been shipped to them. Perhaps that is why Bruce used that term for model year of Aug 1923 to Aug 1924 – giving a month of wiggle room/overlap on both ends? And I would think, but I do NOT have evidence to support or correct my theory, that Ford would often ship the older parts to the branches for them to use up. Additionally Ford had a history of using older style parts on their trucks. For example in the USA the old style non-starter/generator blocks were relegated to the Ton Truck chassis until they were all used up. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc19.htm that says:
JUN 5, 1919 Acc. 78, #436, Ford Archives
All cars to have starter-type engines; trucks to get whatever non-starter engines are left.
Valve cover plates now to be held in place with a screw instead of a stud and nut.
And on a few rare occasions the Ton Truck got first place – for example the wishbone below the axle – at that same link above it has:
APR 14, 1919 Acc. 235, Box 39, #385, Ford Archives
"From this date two distinct designs of front radius rods, together with front spring perches, right and left, one on the Model T and the other on Model TT.
"The Model TT design will be assembled beneath the axle, instead of above the axle through the spring perch as heretofore.
"Although it would be possible to use the Model T design on the Model TT, we request this be resorted to only in case of a shortage serious enough to threaten loss of production."
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So Hap, I gather that you are saying that the flange on the front of the fender appeared before the change was made in the bead which made it run underneath the splash shield. I guess that's why I'm so confused about all this, because I have never seen a fender like that. Have you? Has anyone? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, i'm asking for information. I've learned several new things since this discussion began.
Mike, I saw a NOS fender like yours back (Low radiator style) in the 60s when I was trying to match fenders on my 1925 Touring. The reason that I ask you about the dimples was because I was not sure of what I had seen other than the apron was the 25 style. Your photos today reinforced my thinking that what I had seen was a replacement manufactured after the 25 fender was introduced.
As to mismatched 1925 auto fenders I found 1925 touring in a barn in rural South Alabama that was owned by the family since new and its fenders were mismatched like mine. Production not perfection drove FMC back in those days.
Yes, that is what I'm trying to say – the lip on the fender came out with the 1924 model year cars around Jul/Aug 1923 and the bead under the splash apron came out sometime after Dec 16, 1924. And then Ford produced replacement fenders with the bead going under the splash apron but without the lip as well as those with the lip.
That "lip first" and "bead moved second" is also what the MTFCI Sixth Edition Judging Guidelines say. (Great source of information and as you already know -- yes they will update it -- but they require documentation. Available from the MTFCI or the vendors.) For 1924 on page 1 of the 1924 section item 130 Fenders: "Bent flare at front fender apron matched the contour of the lower radiator valance." There was no mention of the fender bead running under the splash apron. And in the 1925 section, page 1 item 130 it has the same "Bent flare at front fender apron matched the contour of the lower radiator valance." But it adds the following: "Some front fenders had the bead go "under" the apron (sometimes called "commercial fenders"). [And for both 1924 and 1925 they had other comments about fenders -- but those are the ones that pertain to the flare (also called lip) and the location of the bead.]
By the way I think what you are experiencing is normal. You probably have thought the bent lip on the front of the fender and the bead under the apron always occurred together. And now that someone is saying "no, the lip came first with the introduction of the 1924 model year high radiator cars and then later the bead changed location "sometime after Dec 16, 1924 according to Dave S. posting from the Benson Ford Archives above. I had a similar problem understanding the loose lug Cleveland/Firestone/Ford rims a few years back. I had never seen one and they looked similar to the Kelsey loose lugs that I had seen. But after a few more question and a little more research it final sunk in that was another option Ford used. While not on the same scale as Galileo being told "say the earth is the center and the sun rotates around it or you will be killed" those people had resistance to changing what they believed also. The same for the earth is flat; the Wright Brothers did not fly; etc. It is difficult for us to "believe" new things especially if we have not seen it.
I’ll try to find and post some photos. (I wonder if I can convince my wonderful wife to let me purchase a 1924 so I can take photos? Nah…. She won’t fall for that one.)
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It appears that has not been at the top of the photo list for the last 30 or so years. I looked in the “Vintage Ford” and Bruce’s CD etc. There were lots of photos of the bead. There were lots of photos of the lip on the front of the fender but very few photos of the same car so you could say – this fender has the bead going around the splash apron and the lip on the front of the fender or not. In the “Vintage Ford” the closest I could find was 1924 Fordor on page 26 of the Nov – Dec 1973 issue. It is shown below. But I can’t really see the lip on the fenders – but it should be there as it has the apron below the radiator. Photos used by permission.
Note the above Fordor was engine number 7,891,xxx which would mean the engine was entered into the engine log on Jun 27, 1923. It was probably a very early 1924 model year car.
From memory Phil Mino has a nice original 1924 and it would be nice to know what month the serial number was entered in the engine log and what type of fenders it has. I looked but I didn’t find my notes on his car.
“The Model T Times” only had a few 1924 feature cars. Of those most of them it was easy to see the radiator splash apron but not the lip on the fenders. They all had the bead that stayed outside of the splash apron. But the black paint is really dark in a shadow so seeing the lip on the fenders was not nearly as easy. But the “Model T Times” did have one 1924 Runabout on page 7 of the Jul – Aug 1982 issue. On that same page they have both the bead running around the splash apron and they show the lip clearly on the same fender on one of the other photos on the same page. They also have a 1924 Coupe that won the Stynoski Trophy in the Sep-Oct 1976 “Model T Times.” On page 9 & 10 they show the fenders have the lip and the bead goes around the splash apron. I still have not sent them a note requesting permission to post photos from the magazine – but I will email them to you.
And if someone else runs across some photos showing the 1924 front fenders with the lip and with the bead still running around the splash apron, please let us know.
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Oops -- notice the license plates don't agree in the posting above. My bad.
The two Vintage Ford photo of the early 1924 model year Fordor are posted below: (1 out 2 that's not very good odds.)
Again those are from page 26 of the Nov-Dec 1973 Vintage Ford. And they show how hard it is to tell if the lip is on that fender or not. It should be -- but I cannot really tell for sure.
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Okie Dokie then -- I have learned a couple of new things as a result of this discussion, so I'm glad it occurred. You are correct that I always thought the lip and the change in the bead happened at the same time. Getting this replacement fender showed me that some had the later style bead but not the lip, and now I've been shown that some fenders had the early-style bead WITH the lip. That's a lot to digest all at once, but hopefully it's not too late to teach this old dog some new tricks.
Another thing that's a surprise to me is that the Fordor shown above has the rounded splash shield. I had thought that '24 model year Sedans all had the later-style "squared" splash shield, but apparently not as early as that car.
I guess another thing I've "re-learned" through all this is that we can never say, "Ford ALWAYS did such-and-such a particular way."