Over the years there have been discussions here and elsewhere about the evolution of the Model T during its production years. Some of these discussions go so far as to suggest that the Model T was a brass era car, the years 1917-25 could arguably have been better described as the Model U, and the 1926-27 improved cars the Model V.
I was thinking about this and began to wonder. Not including nuts, bolts, screws, pins, and any other generic fasteners, etc., were there any Model T parts that were the same at the end of 1927 production as they started out in late 1908 (1909 production year)?
Of course a more interesting topic is why Henry Ford was so determined to stick to his T product when things around him were changing so very much.
No big deal here. I just find this aspect of the hobby interesting.
Not any of the major chassis parts were the same (identical) at the end of production, then those parts that began in 1908.
But by golly, a large number of them could be interchanged! Now that was quite a feat. And the wheelbase and tread didn't change. Plus the motor was still its little 4 cyl 22.5 hp
Think Henry was so successful in selling the T, internalizing and directing all the efforts in manufacturing all the T's he could at lower prices years after years, with rising profits, that he didn't have a concern until it was time for the T to be no longer a sales success.
Amazing when he did quit the T in July 1927, that the new Model A in Dec 1927, was done in such a short time, and was so successful on its own!
Your question regarding parts unchanged for the entire production may have been asked here before. whether on not it has I'm sure that the list is rather short. I'll take a try at it:
Crankcase drain plug Gasket
Crankcase, sediment bulb, and radiator Petcocks
Rear Axle Outer Hyatt Bearings, and felt and washer
Rear Hub Felt
Radiator Cap Gasket
Crankshaft Front Felt Seal
Camshaft Rear and Middle Bearings
Transmission Band Nut and Washer
Reverse and Brake Pedal Shafts
Transmission Ball Cap
Transmission Main Shaft
Transmission Clutch Hub
Triple Gear Pins
Low and Reverse Drums
Hand Crank Bushing
Hand Crank Return Spring
Front Hub Grease Seal
Spindle Nuts, left and right
Frame Front Cross Member
That's all that comes to mind right now. As I type real slow, it will be interesting for me to see how many of you answered before I hit "post".
Thanks for the question Henry. Bill
For starters, other than drilling a hole for oilers in the later ones, were the front and rear main spring leaves altered?
Allan from down under.
Bill, you must have bee typing while I was. Some things on your list did change, at least on our Canadian sourced cars.
The early pan and radiator petcocks had a machine screw and special washer to hold them together, rather than the spring and split pin.
The front crankshaft seal was made much thicker on the later cars.
The early transmission ball caps had a separate piece bronze welded to the top, which was threaded to take the grease cup, rather then the threaded upset in later ones.
The frame front cross member was flat across the top on early cars. Later it had a recess pressed into it, into which the front pan mount sat.
One of the trans drum bushings had a flange, which gave rise to different spacer washers.
These are detailed changes, and I suspect there were many others, especially with the early cars as the T evolved. As Dan said, it didn't mean they could not be interchanged.
None of this helps make the list any longer.
Allan from down under.
Allan from down under.
Thank you for jogging my memory. I have seen the early petcocks with the screw and washer. I have also seen the transmission "top hat" washer.
Thank you for the additional information. Bill
I can't imagine why anyone would call '17-'25 cars a "Model U" when that is when most of the Model Ts were built.
Another change in the front cross member is the Ford logo being stamped in the later ones.
Hyatt bearings in the rear axle were not used until 1911. The axle Hyatt bearings were narrower at first, a different width in 1911 - 12. They went unchanged from 1913 - 27 I believe.
Not sure about the pinion Hyatt bearings.
Bill - Not that it matters, but I was wondering why in your list, you specified "Rear Axle Outer Hyatt Bearings"? The inner and outer rear axle Hyatt Bearings are identical,.....???
Here's an older thread where I asked the same question in 2010: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/147115.html?1277388676
Considering the small differences the N,R,S models had 1906-08, it wouldn't have been odd to change model name several times along the Model T route, like after the first 2,500 were made. But Henry Ford wanted to give an impression to the customers that nothing had changed and nothing was about to change, thus no model name change. The continuity insured the possibility to find parts in the future, a great selling point.
Harold: At first the pinion bearing and the inner axle bearings were babbitt. Apparently they didn't hold up well, so they were soon replaced with Hyatts in 1909/10.
The 1908 Ford catalog describes the outer rear axle bearings in the Model N as Hyatts, thus it's likely the 1908-10 Model T rear axle bearings also were Hyatts. http://www.mtfca.com/books/1908.htm
It may have been at the same time that the Ford script was added: the frame front member was made heavier.
I've seen two types of Transmission Ball Caps. One had thicker babbitt than the other. The thinner one had to be tinned to get the babbitt to stick. The thicker one had holes drilled in the cylinder part to hold the babbitt. I always thought that the thinner babbitt might be later but not sure.
Oh, I forgot...good work Bill. Thanks for the list!
The first T's had outer hyatt roller bearings in the rear axle and the early cars had babbitt pinion bearings.