As I am slowly getting the body work done, in preparation to have the car repainted, I am looking at the possibility of having several pieces nickel-plated where the original plating had worn off. The pieces I can think of are the headlight rims, radiator shell, door handles, door locks, windshield knobs, spark advance and throttle levers, hub caps, and the instrument panel. Anything I missed?
Steering gear housing and cover.
Bumper bars if fitted. Radiator filler and cap.Our Canadian sourced cars also had plated prop nuts to hold the top to the body brackets.
Allan from down under.
Windscreen opening struts.
Radiator lower trim strip (across the bottom, above the crank handle)
Radiator mounting trims and top-hat washers (above the springs)
Some late 26s and 27s had a little more sparkle in the engine compartment. The engines would have been painted Moleskin instead of black during this same period.
Nickel Plate used on:
Cylinder Head Cap Screws
Spark Plug caps and Thumb Nuts
Spark Plug Wire Terminals
Coil Box Terminal Bolts and Nuts
Water Connection Cap Screws
Manifold Cap Screws
The door-lock knobs on closed cars were polished aluminum, and not nickel plated.
Also nickel plated were the screws that held the valve cover, the identical screws (not studs with nuts) that held the manifolds on, the water inlet/outlet screws, spark-plug tops, dash-light shade on closed cars, and the end terminals on the spark wires.
The Ford logo plate on the vacuum windshield wiper for open cars was nickel plated. On the closed cars, the logo plate was polished brass.
Lug nuts for wire wheels were cadmium plated.
I forgot the rim on the stop light!
I'd like a judge from the MTFCA or MTFCI to chime in on this subject. While I agree with most of what has been said, I disagree with some, but don't want to state which ones and start an argument. If I'm wrong, I'll learn something that will help me with my 26 and 27. If I'm right; others will.
I like this forum, because there is among the members a great deal of knowledge willingly shared. When a member is wrong ( not very much0
they willingly admit it.
Accolades seem to be passed out pretty freely, like a mutual admiration society, BUT that is not the case, it is the sharing and the thank you.
Perhaps more Americans should have a T in their vehicle inventory or at least an A.
I heard some more basic improved Ts had no nickel. A friend of mine has a nice and stock appearing '26 Runabout. The only major piece that is nickeled is the trim below the rad. The rad shell and headlight trim is black. We are still uncertain how correct this is.
You correctly called out the paint color on the block for a 26/27: moleskin. That's one of the details toward authenticity that I have yet to address. I wrote Lang and suggested that he sell this in a rattle can as engine paint, but I got no response. Perhaps he needs more encouragement from customers. Nickel-plated sparkplug tops with the original-sized, plated thumb-screws and plated wire terminals would also be nice to find, and they are not difficult to make for sale. (I was able to modify my spark equipment using a beaker, a bottle of nickel-plating solution, and a 2-volt power supply.)
Does anyone sell this moleskin paint as engine paint?
Dave, To my understanding and knowledge, the radiator shells on 26-27 roadsters and tourings were made of steel and painted black, unless they were Sport Tourings and Roadsters which Ford offered in 1926 and 1927.(information from the late Bruce McCalley's books). The nickel plated shells used on the Sport open models and all enclosed models were nickel plated brass. I can't say anything with authority, but my belief over the last forty years of my life was that all headlight rims were nickel plated. Even a factory photo of an early 26 standard touring in Bruce's books had black radiator shell and nickel plated headlight rims.
Ok Terry, that makes some sense. Perhaps someone painted the headlight trim on my friend's Runabout because the nickel went bad. Thanks.
The problem with selling spray cans of Moleskin Motor Pryroxlin is that nobody knows exactly what it looks like. Some years ago ago we had a very active discussion on this forum about just what color Moles came in, mostly at my expense. We also need to keep in mind that nickel plating of the head, manifold clamp, water outlet/inlet, generator mounting bracket, and the front motor mount cap screw bolt heads did not really start up until the late summer of 1926, and are therefore more characteristic of the 1927 model year motors.
My candidate for Moleskin Motor Pyroxlin can be found on the 1927 cutaway motor that can be found in the Mack Avenue factory display in Greenfield village. Unfortunately, #15,000,000's motor has been repainted, along with everything else, sometime in that car's life, so it cannot be used as a reference. Also keep in mind that a number of the engine components on the 1927 model year motors were designated to be painted black.
Best regards, John Page , Australia
While there has been much debate on paint in general, I would/could support choosing a color close to what you propose as 'the' definitive engine color for the later cars.
The color of the engine at HF is a little too yellow when compared to the lab work that I had done several years ago where I had all of the oxides stripped out of an original Ditzler color chip. But...the slightly yellower also actually makes sense without a compromise as 'earth-tone' pigments when oxidized in time and light bring out hidden yellows!
Reality also says that someone will/would probably make rattle cans or quarts if the group would actually agree on what they want as a 'color'.
I believe that original Pyroxlyn had a natural gloss shine finish, but also believe that it would have gone to matte quickly.
If anyone wants the CMYK equivalent, or RGB equivalent, or CIE equivalent, or HEX equivalent (color guys can never agree between the systems as being 'equal'!) for a natural daylight reflectance of Moleskin...PM me. It is actually near identical to the cylinder wall shown for #1 and 2 cylinder above
Wow! I didn't realize so many parts were nickel-plated. nothing in the engine compartment is nickel plated now. A lot of stuff must have been replaced over the years. Was there anything peculiar to Canadians sedans?
When was your sedan made, Jim? Maybe it was produced before all 1927 characteristics were in place? (I see you have wood wheels in your profile photo)
Don't know how we drifted to paint but the Pyroxlyn used on bodies was a horribly dull paint when compared to the previously used flow varnish. You can see this in old factory photos. It looked semi-gloss at best. Light reflections looked "foggy" and there were no details mirrored in it. It looked like unbuffed lacquer paint. I wouldn't expect the engine Pyroxlyn to be any different.
Original Pyroxlyn paint.
Unfortunately the fifteen millionth car has been repainted at least once sometime in the past - maybe because it looked a bit dull for a museum exhibit?
Ford printed a service method to make the Pyroxylin finish shiny when the cars were new:
""NOTE- The body thus finished has a matt surface which can be made glossy as follows:"
"(a) Water sand Pyroxylin with 400 oxide sandpaper...to see whether or not all orange peel effect, dirt, etc are eliminated."
" (b) Spray M145 (reducer)on entire surface with a wet coat to level out and leaving same smooth and glossy."
(originally posted by Dan Treace)
Here is an earlier discussion where Tom Miller describes the 15M T: "If you look closely at the car, you can see the ghosting from the original lettering."
Roger, my car was manufactured in February of 1927 in Canada. Both the engine number and the frame number match. the earliest owner that I can trace goes back to 1992 and, according to him, the car had wood wheels on it then. I have been told by various sources on the forum that the Canadian cars had an option of wire wheels, but came standard with wood wheels even as late as 1927.
The 15 millionth Model T has definitely been re-"painted at least once. This is evident when you look at the car from behind. You can see raised portions of the current paint job over the original letters stating this was the 15 Millionth Ford. When the car was re-lettered after re-painting, the 15 Millionth Ford was placed several inches above where the original lettering was locate.
As I recall, the fenders and hood have also been repainted, and as I indicated above the engine has also been repainted in a lighter shade of green. However, the frame and axles do not appear to have been repainted and are in their original black. The upholstery also appears to be original.
While the floorboards were out, we checked: the fame and engine number do match.
Jim, I wouldn't take everything that has been posted on this thread as "the gospel truth", because some things that have been posted, I have never seen plated, even on judged vehicles.
These technical detail questions, like "What was nickel plated?", are advantageous because they make me think about every single part in the car. It's a good exercise.
Some nickel-plated parts I missed initially: The brass vacuum-throttle on the Ford automatic windshield wiper, and the wiper-arm/blade on the same unit. The three clips that hold the vacuum line on the A-pilar and the windshield header.
The windshield thread reminded me of another. The brass channel for the glass was also nickel plated.
Where can a guy get the Ford automatic windshield wiper?
Jim, If your lucky, you might find a used one at a swap meet. They are very rare as opposed to 26-27 drum stoplights, windwings, or bumpers. If you are lucky enough to win the largest Powerball in history, you just might be lucky enough to find an NOS one! Bear in mind there were two different wipers, one for open cars and one for closed cars. (different shaft lengths) It has been dicussed here on the Forum, before.
Kelsey (maker of wire wheels?),
The Ford automatic wipers are exceedingly rare, as are 26/27 Ford shock absorbers. Either item can be found on eBay by monitoring for about 2 years. You can buy one by making an outrageously high snipe on eBay. Using eBay, I've managed to equip my tudor with Ford parts and accessories that in the Old Days I could only see in books, including shocks, the wiper, a Kingston B-1, stop light, Stewart 490 speedo (NOS), the Stewart silent drive, and the zinc door sills that were so rare I never even found a picture of them. For dolling up a Ford with authentic pieces, there's nothing like eBay.
The wiper (and shocks) are rare because they had a short life in the field. The wiper is very fragile, which is uncharacteristic of a Ford component. I have seen new, in-the-box Ford wipers that would require extensive restoration because of the aging problems with the pot-metal chassis and bottom cover. Just sitting in a box, the vacuum chamber warps and pieces will flake off the exterior. To operate correctly, the inside of the semicircular chamber must be re-machined and polished. When fully restored, the wiper works enthusiastically, and it's a great addition to the 26/27 car.
Many old wiper assemblies will claim to be made for the Model T on eBay. Almost all are not. I've seen everything from Model A wipers to Dodge truck wipers claim to be Model T wipers. The authentic T wiper was made by TRICO, but it has FORD on the circular logo plate, and a manual lever is right in the center of the plate. There were hundreds of different TRICO vacuum wiper designs, but only the Model T wiper had a unique, circular valve assembly with the Ford logo plate.
TRICO also sold the same wiper off-line for Ford owners as the "TRICO Junior." I've recently acquired a right-hand-drive version of the wiper (vacuum intake position is reversed), and it's the only example I've ever seen. It may have been intended for a two-wiper system, but I have yet to find evidence that supports this proposition. It was built for an open car (short shaft).
Another nickel-plate item I forgot: The manual wiper handle on the automatic wiper is nickel-plated brass.