I just bought a very rough early 1926 Model T. I believe the car to be a non starter 1926. It is rough, so be gentle, she has had a rough life. The non starters are not known by all model T people, even Improved Car owners. Ill post pics of all the features I believe make this car a non starter. About the car. It is supposed to be an Arkansas car from Mena Arkansas. It belonged to a local doctor. When he was done with it he parked it in a shed for years, Then his kids drove it and used it as a play car. Then what was left went back in the shed. Years later the shed collapsed on it. Then it sat for more years till the shed almost rotted down around it. The man I got it from bought it from the family. I do not know how, but the car "runs" My plans are to fix it the best I can, to make it structurally solid. Make it a safe driver, and showcase all the non starter features. The poor old girl just cries out "help me" and Im a sucker for the underdog. I have every piece to make a "correct" non starter except 3 of the steel felloe non demountable wheels. They are fairly easy to find. Any comments as to "Im right" or "Im wrong" as to the features is appreciated. I have several photos to post so give me a minute.
As I bought it.
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Features of a non starter ??
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Donnie -- You're all wet. Non-starter cars didn't come with disc wheels on the front.
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These last pics are of parts missing on the car and are parts I have that will be going on it to complete the non starter package.
Non-demountable steel felloe
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I forgot the side curtain rod hole grommet that is on my car.
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OK I'm done with the pics. Did I miss anything for the non starters?? I know some of the features are features that will lap over into the starter car. I believe it takes all these features to be a non starter. But I am far from being an expert. One note on the headlight photo. It is the correct early headlight mounted to a later bar with a homemade bracket. The early cars should not have a headlight bar. Any comments will be appreciated.
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The 3 unlabeled pics above are , Special sidelight brackets for improved car to mount side lights on non starter car. Ford-O taillight for non starter cars with special bracket. And 30 X 3-1/2 non demountable steel felloe wheel.
Mike, the disc wheels probably were special racing wheels added by the kids, to improve traction in the curves of the corn field ...
Donnie I think the sidelite brkts actually attached to the w. shield post
John, They do attach to the post. I have them on my tractor conversion at this time. Ill remove them from the tractor conversion to put on the non starter touring.
Donnie -- I don't know a lot about the "improved" Fords, but the lack of an ammeter, along with the block-off plates for starter and generator are pretty convincing. Any of those could have been changed over the years, but since all 3 are there, my guess is that they are original to the car.
I think you have great start on a “loss leader” touring -- the one without the starter and with non-demountable wheels. Like most Ts it probably had a few parts replaced here and there over the years such as the wheels etc. And some of us enjoy trying to figure out what likely occurred in the past. Sometimes that is easier than other times. And sometimes we may never know for sure. But in the photo below it looks like it has a foot starter button. Would you please confirm that one way or the other?
The blank off plate for the amp meter would be a non-starter car but I believe the starter button would indicate it was the other way. And notice that the blank off plate on the generator appears to have been recently installed compared to the rusty/crusty area around it. Of course someone may have installed a starter at one time and someone else removed it.
It has many of the features of the early 1926 and you should be able to rebuild it authentically as a loss leader (no starter non-demountable wheels) or with demountables ( I like those if I have a flat) but without a starter, or with demountable but with out a starter or as the high priced touring with everything including the brake light.
I’m looking forward to what you discover and how you decide go with your new T. As the owner – its your car so there is not a “right” or “wrong” way to fix it up or to restore it etc.
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Hap: It has the starter switch and also a battery box. They are mounted with old square bolts and nuts, and probably were done by ???? in the past. Who knows what has went on in the last 70 plus years The man I got it from has done some work to get it running. Minor work but enough to run. The radiator has about 2 tubes of JB Weld holding it together. It also looks like he pulled the head and installed some gaskets .?? Im not trying to say it is a survivor, but it has everthing to be a correct non starter car. And also showcase the features for the people who are not aware of the Improved non starters. About the switch and battery box. The holes would have been there for them even on a non starter car. The one feature I have found that I think defines a non starter is the mount for the Ford-O tail light bracket. If the car was starter equipped, there will be no holes. Two of the holes are rivets that hold the rear crossmember brackets and the third hole is not drilled. If your car is missing the 2 rivets and has the third hole it was probably a non starter. Now someone could have drilled out the rivets and drilled the hole to mount the kerosene light but not likely. With the car on the trailer I can not get a photo of them, but they are there .. Thanks for the input ... and I hope to make this into a correct non starter for display and information purposes.
Hap I have a couple questions you may be able to answer for me. When was the non starter option no longer available. Im pretty sure it was not available on 1927 models, but again Im far from an expert. Second, Were very early 1926 open cars available with starters, or were the starters only available on closed cars at first, when the "Improved" models first came out. I have always been fascinated with the "loss leaders". I have read it was to get you into the showroom with a very cheap advertised car (sold at a loss), and then it was up to the dealer to "lead" you away and on to a better equipped (and higher priced) car. I always wondered why Henry went back to the non demountables and built a special taillight and sidelight bracket, for kerosene lights. It makes the car look cheap and antiquated, so its easier to steer you away to the more profitable cars. At least that's my opinion .... One third question What is the earliest engine # for a 26-27 Improved style block (with holes for top of hogs head. Mine is very very early, almost too early. Ill post its # tomorrow ... Thanks ...
Donnie, et al;
For us novices, perhaps you could explain what makes a non-starter car so special ? I am guessing this is what was later referred to as a "stripper" model ???
My touring was built in march of '26 and it has a starter and the holes in the block for the hogs head, as well as the aluminum door grommet
Enjoyed looking over all your pics!!
There is a very good article on a 1926 " Unequipped " Runabout in the September 2009 Model T Times. It is a very interesting car. It was the 2009 Stynoski recipient. It had the same switch plate with no provision for an Amp Meter.
Best regards, John Page, Australia.
Donnie, I was intrigued by the headlight you showed. The bucket is the early 26 type with the stalk mount, which usually mounted directly on the fender. Yours has been mounted on the last of the tie bars which takes the buckets with the pressed mounting which bolts through the hole in the bar. The bar is most likely a later addition.
Because the stalk type lights mounted on the fenders at an angle, the bucket was rivetted to the stalk with a different relationship to the slots for the headlight rim. The bucket, as fitted now will show the slots at 10.30, 1.30, 4.30 and 7.30, which means the fluted lens will not have the flutes vertical. If it is mounted with the foot of the stalk on an angle on the fender skirt, all should line up correctly.
What I am trying to say is you probably have the correct lights, but they are mounted wrongly on a later bar.
Allan from down under.
Fred Houston told me about a '27 model year car without the electrical equipment in Tulsa. It's the only one I've heard about, but apparently there were some. Maybe Mike Bender remembers it?
Allan, You are correct about the headlight, I mentioned it in one of the posts above, you must have missed it. I have one of the adjustable aftermarket bars Im planning on using, It will allow the flutes of the lens to be correct and give some support to the rickety fenders. Burger, There is really nothing extra special about the non starters. It is just one more of the variations of the Model T as Henry built it. The main thing Im trying to show is that they did exist. There are lots of Model T folks that would argue about side lights, oil taillight, or 30 X 3-1/2 inch non demountable tires and wheels on a Improved model being correct. I would venture to say that an Improved Non Starter car is one of the rarest Model Ts today, as very few have survived. They are not real desirable but they are rare. The terms "loss leader" and "stripper" are similar in their meanings. They are both bottom of the line stripped to bare minimum, plain Jane (plain Lizzie) cars. John, I have read the article you mention, It covers the non starter features of a Roadster very well. Tourings should have the same features. As to my car, It has all the early features of a very early 26 model and since it has the top delete plugs and the holes for the Ford-O tail light bracket, Im 90 percent sure it left the factory as a non starter, but there probably is no way to know 100 percent. The old car is very rough but I hate to part it out, So the best thing for her, in my opinion, is to return her to a correct non starter, for information and knowledge of a rare car. Then just drive it and have fun...
How much cheaper would a non-starter be in '26? Or were they even available? Donnie's car looks like it may have been converted back to crank start with that battery box & starter button still in place.
Charlie, Im not sure of the price, but they were quite a bit cheaper. I think it cost about 100.00 for the starter equipment to be added, but not sure. Yes... Non starters were available. The blocked off ammeter switch just being manufactured, is proof of that. It is obvious my starter switch and battery box has probably been added. The bolts are a mis matched set of old bolts found around the farm. Its not that my car may have been converted to hand crank, its more than likely my car was converted to starter at some point. The whole purpose of me posting and trying to save this car is to have an example to show the people who have never heard of them (non starter Improved Fords), and Yes, they do exist .....
Is there a starter ring on the flywheel?
If there is none then it would appear to be a rare find.
According to the Bruce's Encyclopedia there were none starter cars in 1926, but they were gradually eliminated and none in 1927.
According to the encyclopedia, 1926 non-starter touring cars cost $290.00 prior to February 11, 1926, while starter cars cost $375.00 prior to June 6, 1926. The encyclopedia notes that non-starter cars were only available by special order prior to the beginning of calendar year 1926.
Great find. Take the advice above and go find a copy of the T Times in 09 that had a feature article on the loss leader! It walks thru all of the uniqueness including photos.
That switch plate? The back of the blank will have/should have a stack of square stamping a piled up, tape wound, with wires hanging out. Even the improved car when economy built was still the even then ancient magneto circuit.
If one of the guys can tell you the issue number, you can contact the MTFCI CEO in No Carolina. He handles all of the admin stuff. Think they sell back issues for maybe 5 bucks or so each
As to quantity built I don't know but at any decent swap meet you can usually find a blank switch plate if you dig deep enough
Donnie, I had the pleasure of owning a 24 TT non-starter truck. Still have it, but a battery system was added by me.
My dad sat on the fuel tank to drive it home from the dealer in 1924. (I was not even a dream in my dad's mine at that time) It was very striped down with just the metal fire wall, fenders,hood and that short running board. No side lights and I do not remember a tail light when I first saw the truck.
Headlights were wired in series and there was a transformer in back of the ignition switch. (Transformer will work since the mag is AC) I am not sure what the transformer did, maybe step down the magneto voltage for the headlights.
Headlight were wired in series so if one bulb burned out, both lights went out.
When driving and you came to a turn and slowed the engine RPM, the lights got dim and at a high speed, they were bright.
Donnie, your picture showing the back of the headlight looks like it has only one wire in the connector. Series wiring had two wires to the connectors. Wiring starting at ground and went into one wire of the headlight connector, thru the bulb and out the other wire. Wires continued to other side and went into one wire and out the other and continued to the light switch. Switch connected it to the magneto. Magneto bulbs are getting hard to find.
Sorry if I got a little to detailed.
It was in the Model T Times Sept-Oct 2009, Issue # 363.
AFAIK, all engines had the starter ring gear after sometime in 1919. Cheaper to do that way than to keep track of which engines didn't have one, and one less variation to keep track of in manufacturing.
Tony, I believe all cars and trucks, starter or non starter, have the ring gear starting in 1919. Willie, This switch has the headlight dimmer behind the plate. Thanks for reminding me about the magneto wiring of the headlights. All that is required is to have the correct bulbs and thimbles for whatever style lights are used (battery or magneto). George and Charles, I have the Model T Times issue someplace. It is the issue that I read years ago that let me know that the non starter 26 and possibly early 27s even existed. Mark, Thanks for the link. More info to add to my info Im collecting. The 85.00 difference was a pretty good amount of money to consider when buying a car back in the day. I have been interested in the non starters for years. Now that I have one, Im wanting all the comments on it I can. Im just wanting to make sure Im not mistaken on some of the features. Im wanting it to be as correct as possible as to the features. Hap says there is no right or wrong way. I agree with him but in this case I "want" it to be the "right way" as to correct non starter.
In a picture i see a reference made to a top deleat plug so the car was sold with no top?? Bud.
My understanding is that the open cars came with tops and side curtains, but the top saddles and irons came separately, to be installed by the dealer if the customer wanted them. I don't know if the saddles and irons cost extra or not.
Donnie: I like what your doing for historical purposes The average farm income In 1940 was only $1000. per year. I am not sure what it was in 1926,$85. was a lot of money especially when a lot of strong arms around.
Years ago when I was a member of the Dallas T Club one of the members had a 27 Touring that was not equipped with a starter or generator and had factory kerosene side lights.
I'm thinking that at some period of the '26 -'27 "new improved" Model "T's, there was a period when the "economy" non-starter cars had wood spoke wheels instead of the then in production wire wheels, and, also had a painted radiator shell instead of nickel. I have a '26 touring with starter and wood spoke wheels and painted radiator shell. Anybody know for sure?
Mark, you may be right about the top being standard, and not having the rods and saddles. I know the roadster pickups were not always equipped with the rods and saddles, presumably because the top will cover the bed if folded down. ???? The no top and top delete plug question is still a grey area for me. Daniel, Your "strong arm comment" reminded me of something I read in an article years ago. A lot of companies that had "fleet vehicles" bought non starters. The belief was, You work for the company, you are paid by the company, your time belongs to the company, so you can hand crank the company vehicle. That saved a lot of money if buying a lot of vehicles.
Harold, The early non starters came with 30 X 3-1/2 steel felloe non demountables, then I believe they could be had with 30 X 3-1/2 demountables in late 26. ???. The starter cars standard wheel for awhile was 30 X 3-1/2 demountables. Then came wood spoke 21 inch balloon tires and wheels as standard then I believe 21 inch wires became standard in late 27. I believe it possible to have any of the four wheels on your "Improved" car depending on options. I can be corrected on the above, but I believe it is correct....
Harold: It is also possible that your car may have been a non starter from the factory and converted at a later date to a starter. It was even possible that the dealer may have converted it while it was new to be able to sell it. The only sign I believe to be non starter only is the holes for mounting the Ford-O tail light bracket. Look at your rear crossmember on the drivers side at the point it meets the side rails. The inside corner re-inforcing brackets are riveted on. If 2 of the rivets on the top side are missing, or have bolts in the holes and there should also be a third hole in the rear side of the crossmember near the rivets. If you have the holes your car was probably a non starter that was converted to a starter. The reason non starters are so rare is that most were converted. I would be interested in knowing what you find.
I think the early open cars had smaller holes in the inner door panels than later ones.
Perhaps early cars did not have the clips to hold the front floor boards in place. The clips held the seam where the pedals split the floorboards. If yours is early, it should not have the clips that pivot on rivets in the side metal slanted part of the metal that holds the sides of the front floor boards.
I have been told that the front fenders in the splash apron area have at least 3 revisions but have not been able to confirm that. Perhaps someone here can give us the scoop on the variations in the front fenders for 1926!
I believe the door latch mounting was changed from early to late 1926.
If you include pictures of the inside door re-inforcement perhaps others can comment.
It appears that the door inner panels are early on your vehicle. I believe their was also an opening near the door hinge on later model inner door panels.
Between the doors it appears to have body sockets which were used for mounting side curtains. I would think if these are original then perhaps your vehicle came with a top.
Perhaps it was not meant to come down without the saddles present.
I have a question for you! I noticed that your vehicle has a slotted screw head in the uppermost and to the rear position for the right windshield stanchion. I saw this in one other late 1927 vehicle and thought that to be someone other than Fords work! Now I am not so sure.
Please look on the left side and see if the slotted screw is in that position on the other side also. The late 1927 I saw had the slotted screw in both the left and right windshield stanchions in the same relative position.
Also, when you take it apart, please note if the shape of the fastener under the slotted screw head is square (like a carriage bolt) or not.
I hope you find it to be a square head under the slotted screw, for then it would make sense for Henry to use if for some reason!
I believe on some vehicles this position was used to hold a curtain in place. Does anyone know the reason for the slotted head type screw for this location if indeed Ford supplied the vehicle this way?
Ford could have done whatever he wanted -- it literally was his company. But he was always looking for ways to save money and using two different types of fasteners when the same one could be used does not seem to fit with his low cost production line methods. Why make the worker change tools? If I could figure out the part number I might be able to find additional information on what was used. Reviewing photos of the 1926-27 open cars -- I did not see any other photos showing slotted screws used for that application.
We try to be open to new discoveries, but I think this will be a case where someone in the past use what they had available and not what Ford did on the assembly line. Does anyone know what the part number was that held the windshield stanchions to the body?
And not to discourage folks from looking for new items – information -- etc. John Regan's son discovered a “Ford" scrip on a pointed leaf front spring. That led to an investigation that discovered the archives did in fact mention that the pointed spring leaves were used. Previously several folks had tossed those types of front springs thinking they were aftermarket items. (See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/43281.html?1198287177 for information about the 1916 pointed leaf front spring.)
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Have you looked to see if the frame has a serial number stamped on the top frame rail near the emergency brake cross shaft (it could be on either the driver's side or passenger side). As I looked at the photos again, I'm struck that the body fits very nicely with a non-starter car -- instrument block off plate, features found only in early 1926 etc. But the nuts on the starter and generator block off plates don't seem to match the rest of the body. The front cross member appears to have been replaced/repaired. (I think it also may have a 1926-27 Ton Truck part number 1164-B Crank Case front bearing and spring slip assembly 1926-27 that was a little larger than the one used on the cars that was part number 3075-C. Please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/208536.html and http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/72796.html for additional details.)
I am wondering if someone may have placed the early body & fenders etc on a different frame etc. I know I have swapped a few bodies over the years trying to get all the best parts on the car that would be driven.
Good luck with your goal of presenting a "loss leader" car as accurately as you can. It should bring a lot smiles to many folks.
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My 27 Touring came with a top and side curtains but had the plugs in the holes for the saddles. It was a one owner car when we purchased it in the early 60's and I am quite confident that this is the way it came. My understanding is that this was the way all open cars were equipped unless the buyer bought the saddles and straps.
Arnie, My floor board risers do not have any latches, my door panels have 4 small holes, The side curtain buttons between the doors do indicate a top, but I am still unsure of how the tops were offered. I am leaning toward top saddle delete instead of top delete. It is still a grey area for me. One of my rear door latches is missing. Where it would mount on my late 27 touring is a serrated grooved area, It has "teeth" for the latch to lock into and hold its adjustment. This early 26 body is smooth in that area with no "teeth". I also noticed the area of the cowl for the top edge of the top floorboard to sit on (or above) is shaped very different than my very late 27 touring. Its nice to have a late 27 and this early 27 to compare things. Ill post some pics tomorrow of the door panels and the other stuff. The slotted screw on my car is just an incorrect round head bolt with a standard nut. I do remember on my 27 touring, the oval head screws that bolt the dash to the cowl did use the square "plate nuts" you describe. They make it where you do not need a wrench for the back side. This early 26 also has the "plate nuts"
Hap, I agree there is a good chance that some (or a lot) has been changed. The "kids" may have had access to several old Ts to use whatever they needed to keep their "toy" running, back in the 30s or 40s .??. This is far from being a survivor, one owner car. But it is the closest I have seen with what appears to be, all the features needed to make a "correct" non starter, loss leader. It does appear to have had the gaskets replaced on the valve cover and block off plates, as well as the head gasket and intake and exhaust. It also has a brand new exhaust pipe and muffler. The carb appears to have been cleaned also. The plugs are ancient and one is broken, the wiring is either taped or bare, and the coil box and coils look pitiful, but some how it runs. I think the previous owner just fixed it enough to hear it run. I have never met the previous owner because he lives in New York, just talked to him on the phone. His friend handled the sale, so the history of the car is just talking to him on the phone. Neither his friend or the previous owner knows much about Ts.
Hap: I went out and looked very closely for the frame number. I sanded both sides and used every type of light I could think of. It appears to never had a number. There is some light pitting to the frame, but I sanded to bare metal. If there ever was a number, some of it should have shown up. Now for my big question. I think I know the answer but Im going to throw it out there anyway. My engine number is 10,852,955, that is Nov 21 1924 from River Rouge. That is a fairly early 1925 model year. My engine is an "Improved" engine. It has the bolt holes for the hogs head. My only hopes for a engine that early would be a "pre production" engine in a very early "pre production" prototype car. (my body does have some very early features) Since I have never heard of that, the second choice is a replacement engine, from a 1925 car moved to my car. If Im not mistaken, there was a thread in the last year or so where you or someone was wanting engine numbers for 1925 engines with Improved features.
Check the online encyclopedia, I believe the frame numbers weren't stamped until mid 1926.
(I'm on dial-up, it'd take me forever to look it up!)
David is correct, the early 1926 frames were NOT stamped with the engine serial number. Thank you for looking. That your frame does not have a serial number greatly increase the odds that it is the original frame for the body and that the starter & generator had been added to the original chassis rather than the chassis was swapped out. As you look at it closer, please let us know if there are any indications that the body had been swapped out. I.e.
From the online encyclopedia at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm it says:
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."
Note the branch plants would have started stamping the frames also, probably within a few days maybe a week or so (i.e. they had to be told to do it and where to stamp and probably obtain a few extra stamp sets). If it wasn't time critical -- a letter and not a telegram probably would have relayed the direction. If you look at the other entries on that same page you will see several letters were sent from Ford to the field.
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Bottom line up front: I believe it is most likely that the engine block in your car was a replacement block that was used to replace the damaged block in a 1925 Model T that had the serial number 10,852,955. How it got into your car with the 1926 style transmission – I’m not so sure. Later engine swap (please check the bolts near the U-joint – have them been replaced etc.?) or later block swap – i.e. they combined the transmission from your car with the better block?
I am assuming that you are looking at page 531 of Bruce McCalley’s book “Model T Ford” or a digital copy of his Engine Serial Numbers listing that was based on the Daily Engine Production Logs of Ford Motor Company USA. As you pointed out, the serial number on your engine 10,852,955, is in the serial number range of 10,852,654 to 10,855,388 of 2735 serial numbers assigned to the River Rouge foundry on Nov 21, 1924. [Note that engine production was being accomplished at both the River Rouge and the Highland Park engine shops from the end of Sep 1924 to the early part of Feb 1925 (ref page 531 & 532 of Bruce’s book.)]
You are correct, that I have asked several times about what is the earliest serial number on a 1926 style block that has the boss on the rear for the transmission cover to be bolted onto it. I had asked that because I had heard [not a very reliable way to document things – but a good source for leads to follow up on] but I do NOT have any evidence that the Canadian cars were equipped with the engine block with the boss but still used the earlier style hogs head and transmission late in 1925 production. So far I have not received (or I do not remember receiving) any thing to help support or refute that “hearsay.”
I’ll try to post some additional supporting information at a later date.
Please let us know what type of drain plug the rear axle has – the earlier style hex plug that was used for many many years or the later recessed square plug. See: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax1
2532 817 3/4” x 24 Hex head.
2532B 2824 1/2” Recessed square socket pipe plug.
(The change to the pipe-plug was noted in a release dated late 1925 but many of the large-drum ('26-27) housings have the 15/16” hex screw.)
Again, I believe you have a great car to build an example of a “loss leader” and it is looking more and more like it may have come from the factory as a “loss leader” but had an engine transplant.
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The low price entry Improved Car, non-demountable, no starter or battery.
Award winning restoration of a non-starter Improved runabout. Was cover car on Model T Times and feature car.
This Improved Car touring is also plain Jane, note the lack of spare carrier and non demountable clinchers, and has top and all side curtains, all Fords came with factory top and side curtains, not an option to delete. And the top prop rod plug in the body side is factory, all open car bodies have them. The prop rod is under the rear seat with the tool bag, factory supplied, not a delete option.
Bodies were shipped with the plug in the side as that prop rod, sticking out will hit you or cause shipping damage. So the plug was standard.
Another non-starter entry level low cost Ford Improved runabout!
Dan, Nice pics, Thanks for the top info. I learned something new. I was unaware of the top prop being installed after delivery. I can not see the Ford-O tail light or the side lights on the touring. It could be a starter car. ?? with the standard non demountable wheels .?? It is amazing all the combinations that "could be" for the improved models ...
You are probably right on the touring, just got the plain clinchers instead of demountable.
As for the prop rod not installed at the factory assembly lines, only special ones got the line guy to install them, note this fella lining up and twisting in the threaded top prop rod.
But...this exception was for Edsel and Henry
Another view of assembly line, the right front corner of this photo shows the back side of an Improved touring, the plug is seen in the top prop hole on the side of the body.
Top saddles removed for shipping is one thing. However, the rubber plugs would not have been required for shipping.
In my opinion, the rubber plugs have two purposes - practical and aesthetic.
Practical: when the top is up, they keep the water out of the holes if it's raining.
Aesthetic: just looks better with the plugs installed when the top is up.
The top saddles only need to be installed when the top is down. The original intention was probably that the top saddles should be removed and the plugs re-installed whenever the top was up. The first time the top was put down, most owners never followed this practice and discarded the plugs and kept the saddles permanently installed.
Cars with surviving plugs may never had the top lowered.
The reason the top saddles are being installed at the factory on 15,000,000 is Edsel drove it off the ramp with the top down.
See this video at 00:45.
I took a few more photos today. The black painted parts are from my restored late 27. I Found some more differences. The 2 photos of the inside of the cowl show a different lip around the bottom of the cowl, and my restored late 27 has the floor board latch and the rusty early 26 does not. It also shows the rear of my block being the Improved Ford style with the 2 bolts for the hogs head. The 2 photos of the backing plates show a difference, the early rusty one has 4 small rivets and a somewhat plain plate, the painted late 27 backing plate has large heads where the rivets are and a die stamped plate, The photo of the hex head drain plug is my early 26 rear axle with large 26-27 style backing plates The door photo shows the small holes, The photo of the latch area of the door jamb is not like I remember my late 27 door jamb. My 27 has "teeth" that engage "teeth" on the latch to help keep them in place. The early one is smooth. and the last one is of my early engine #
These are my thoughts so far. I have a very early 1926 touring that was probably a non starter from the factory. The body, and chassis appear to go together ( early, no serial number, frame) I am fairly sure I have all the non starter features and parts, (except 3 more non demountable wheels) My car is supposed to have a top and the plugs are correct. I need to replace the front spring clamp to the style with the screw for the lower radiator shroud. My front cross member is correct but has been replaced. I need to remove the starter switch and battery box that appears to have been added. and my engine is a correct style replacement, with a 1925 model year engine number. All of this added together, will give me as correct as possible a non starter Improved 1926 Touring. ???? Thoughts ..?? yay or nay .??? BUT.... (theres always a "BUT") I could have the earliest know Improved style engine number in the world, It was hand assembled by Henry and Edsel to put into this very early pre production prototype that was used in setting up all the new tooling for the new Improved Models when the factory was re-tooled. Somehow late at night the car was "slipped" out the back doors of the factory and transported by "secret" train shipment to a Doctor in the Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Arkansas. (that's my story and Im sticking to it )
I meant to say South Western Arkansas ( my story is already falling apart) dang the luck
Dan T. -- In your post above from 1:16 today, the Runabout pictured has a green body. I thought that open 26's were all black. Am I mistaken about that, or is that a '27?
Mike, I believe all 1926 open cars should be black, at least the early ones. I believe that is the Stynoski winner and I believe its blue. If that was from about 2009. Not that long ago to be that kind of mistake. ??? Ill have to find my issue of the story. I thought my issue was earlier but not sure...
On page 533 of Bruce's book it states: last old style engine was 12,218,728 at 5:51 PM. Began new style on 3rd shift!
Since your engine has an earlier number, is it possible that somewhere down the line someone bought a new style short block without a number stamped on it (numbers were stamped on only complete engines with transmissions attached)for a 1925 Ford and then stamped in the original 1925 number. I believe Ford at one time wanted replacement engines stamped with the original number and the old engine number defaced before junking the engine. I think states frowned on this as there was a chance to have two engines with the same number!
Then your vehicle got the "1925" replacement engine, because your original engine failed and the original 1925 was scrapped with a good engine?
I must point out the I am reaching for straws here, and it is just conjecture on my part without any reason for you to believe this!
I am just trying to come up with a logical reason that the engine in your improved vehicle would have a 1925 date!
Again this is only a WAG!
Donnie can you see if the slotted screw for the windshield stanchion is used in the same location on both side of your vehicle. I only ask this as the late 1927 I saw has the slotted screws on both sides in the same relative position.
Yes, I do not think that Henry would use only a slotted head for one of the Windshield stanchion mounting fasteners, but when I saw the same thing in a very late 1927 I did not want to discount it out of hand.
Arnie, There is only one of the slotted screws, the other side has three carriage bolts. I agree with the "replacement" engine. Its the only logical case for it. But it is the correct "Improved style" engine. Mike. I found my Sept-Oct 2009 Model T Times. It shows a blue or green car (I say blue wife says green). The main thing it is a "color" car. It sure changes my opinion of "Stynoski" judging..?? The use of "color" seems to be a very big mistake for as late as 2009. I also stumbled onto a July-Aug 2004 issue of the Model T Times with the same car shown after its first restoration. It says he got the car a few years before. It was only the body. The body had the "early" features, so he decided to build a non starter with it. The 2009 article was after they re-restored it for the Stynoski judging. Its a really nice car, but the use of "color" has really messed up my opinion of the judging ......
I know the owner of that non-starter car. Indeed it is painted Gunmetal Blue.
Now of course this hue was available in the later part of 1926, but exact date isn't known when the Pyroxylin paints began, the enamel colors were just few months after introduction of the Improved Car in August 1925.
So many 1926 could have color, enclosed cars: maroon, green, moleskin and gray. Open cars: blue, brown, gray, commercial green.
Differences in when has been stated by Bruce Mc as possibly due to the many mfg. branches, where some still painted with enamel and others with the new Pyroxylin, as assembly line painting was a branch activity too.
That means a 1926 model year open car could be color, especially if later 1926. By June or so of 1926 just prior to the 1927 model year, generally accepted is the engine paint color was then Drake green by mid 1926. And vaporizer carb was standard sometime after this period.
As for the T in my photo, the article in Issue 332, July-Aug 2004, Model T Times, notes the body and other features as early 1926, but how early don't know as the engine number isn't listed in the article.
Do know that the Gunmetal Blue is correct hue for a 1926 open car. Anyway, that non-starter Improved Car is unique and restoring one that way is nice, glad Donnie is undertaking that method, should be rather nice to see another!
Dan Thanks for the info. I have always believed that the early open cars "could" have color if later in the year. June is very late in the model year. Anything after Feb. I consider mid to late. Then after May I consider late. There were overlaps. As to his car being presented as a early non starter I would think it should have been black. If his car was presented as a later non starter, I would agree that blue could be correct. I would think very unlikely since it is a non starter. But it "Could have been". These are the things we will argue and debate, probably forever. His car is a very nice car, and I really do not want to put down the judges either, but I feel it was a mistake or oversight (in my opinion) for what is supposed to be the most prestigious award for Ts. If his engine number was mid year or later I would feel comfortable saying it could be correct. But then we would have to debate the early body features vs a late date engine .... Oh the vicious web we weave. Thanks for the input Dan I always value your comments and input.
Donnie, I forgot, YOU WILL HAVE TO HAND CRANK THAT CAR EVERY TIME. I do not know how old you are, but I hope it is less than 65. Sometime after 65 my desire to hand crank a T left me and I find myself mostly driving my starter cars only. I like the looks of the brass ones, but only one of them is started equipped and it does get run a good amount.
Lucky for me I put a battery system on my 24 TT truck that originally just had the block off plates for starter and generator. (That was about 1958)
I am 82 and I still hand crank my 1910. I have always found it fun to hand crank a model T Ford. Spin it once with the chock wire pulled out. Turn the switch on to battery and pull the crank handle up. It usually starts then. If I turn it to battery, it often gives me a free start. I use a 12 volt small size battery for starting.
My father bought new a 1925 non starter T. He put a 6 volt battery under the rear seat to provide voltage for easier start over mag. When the battery was low, he added some sulfuric acid to the battery to give it more power. He sold the T when he bought a new Whippet sedan in 1926 or 27.
I have a restored, late 1927 with a starter. I always hand crank it. I choke it 2 or 3 pulls of the crank (if cold). I turn the key on and usually it is a free start. If not, one slow pull of the crank and it starts. If it does not start, I am going to figure out why. "All" Ts new, old, or almost worn out, can be made to start very easy, It just is a matter of having everything just right and learn the particular engines habits.
My father always told us he had several model T Fords, but he bought two new ones the same day in '26.
One was a Sunday car, a four door sedan (fordor) and the other was his work car. It was a runabout with no starter.
My older cousin said he remembered my dad having a fordor with wire wheels, so they may have been late twenty sixes or a different sedan. Or '27s.
I also believe in '26, even on a non-starter car, you could get any wheels Ford made.
I believe my March '26 touring came black, no head light bar, no starter but with 21" demountable wood wheels.?
The spare tire bracket fits a 21" demountable rim.
there was a dash board hole for a speedo but no drive gear on the wheel so wheels could have been changed. Or the speedo drive sold with the speedo some time later.
The car was converted to starter, I believe, though it has the clips to hold the floor boards down. Maybe it did come with starter.?
It had rubber plugs where the top saddle mounts go, they were so dry and hard they broke getting them out.
the car had been rolled over to its right side early in life and never repaired.
The rt. windshield stanshon and rt. fenders were real bad, not repairable.
Here are pictures of three different types of 26-7 front fenders. This is from the underneath side where it curves around the splash apron.
Type one: no reinforcement.
Type two: short reinforcement.
Type three: long reinforcement.
Tom, Thanks for the photos of the fenders. This is the type of things I hoped to learn when I started this thread. My fenders are the type one with no reinforcement. I assume they are in order of use. It would make sense to be that way. Even though my fenders are very rough, there is no way I would replace them now. That is one more of the early parts I can use for "show and tell"
Thanks for taking the time and effort to post the pictures. I too, like Donnie am interested in the many changes that happened within 1926 and between 1926 & 1927 open vehicles.
I would never have thought Ford would make many changes knowing that he was going to shortly produce the new Model A Ford!
Thanks for letting me know that your vehicle only had one slotted screw on one side only for the windshield bracket mounting. Unless I see more vehicles with the slotted head fastener I will assume that it was not a fastener used at the factory.
The conversation continues at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/470125.html?1407888330
Respectfully linking threads,
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