Recently bought a 21 runabout. Has an engine code which is from Jan of 1920, but the title # places it at July of 21. The title # has a 'D' and lists it as a 1921.
Your forum has been a help in explaining the title problems regarding number mis-match. I do have a couple of questions though:
1) Are there any tell-tale ways to tell an early 20 runabout from a mid 21?
2) Has anyone heard of an engine number with a 'D' at the end?
3) I have no keys - am i doomed?
Presuming your car is not a "put-together": if the serial number of the title matches the serial number on the block, then your title has an error regarding the model year.
Note that a January 1920 runabout would not be considered an "early 1920" as the 1920 model year was August 1919 through July 1920.
keys are easy, there is a number on the face of the switch, all the vendors sell keys. i will let the experts answer your other questions. have fun with your new car
Look closely on the side of switch where key would insert.There will be a number there. That is unless it is coil box mounted and then it is a different key.
I re-read your original post and realize I didn't give you a very good answer.
There would not be a "D" in a factory stamped serial number on the block.
There could be a number of reasons why the serial number on your title does not match serial number on your title such as:
1) the title in hand is not the actual title for the car
2) the number on the title is merely a DMV assigned VIN
3) the block has been changed on the car
Henry, I don't know a lot of differences between '20 and '21 cars. One thing to look at is the clamp or clamps that hold the front suspension leaf springs to the crossmember. '19 and earlier cars have a pair of vertical clamps. This also includes early '20 cars but I don't know how early. The same rules apply to running board truss rods, early were forged rods and later were stamped U channels. Same goes for gas tanks. Early were round and later were oval. Could you please check these things and let us know. Thanks.
I have a 24 Coupe. Its a late 24 and pretty much identical to a 25. Over the years its been called both on the inspection tickets. I have them from 1946 thru 54 and the inspection stations would get confused when filling in the information.
I also have a 1919 runabout and its pretty much identical to a 20 and 21. when I restored it it didn't have an engine. I found a 1919 block, rebuilt it and called the car a 1919 when I got a title for it.
My car has a starter on it and the cars in that 19-21 range with starters are hard to tell the difference. And no telling who did what to it over the years.
If you have a good clear title I wouldn't worry about it.
Dating a T can be confusing as to what year or time of year built it was built.
John, can you also tell me how your '19 is equipped regarding the three items I listed above?
If the car has a dash switch, there should be a key number like this on it.
Lesson: don't buy a Model T unless the VIN on the block matches the VIN on the title.
Henry Hocker or John Kuehn. Any info from your cars yet?
Below are some photos of the particulars.
Dave my car has the U channel truss running board brackets. It also has the 2 u-bolt front spring bracket. The gas tank is round.
I believe the pic that Henry posted of his front spring bracket has both the earlier and later spring brackets mounted at the same time.
What's missing on the earlier bracket is the part the nose of the engine pan nestles into.
The earlier u-clamps are added to each side to make it more stable. The engine nose nestles into the later spring bracket. Sort of a triple bracket set up. It makes it stable for sure.
Dave another detail on my car is while my car has the u-channel running board brackets it also has the holes that the forged earlier brackets would have been bolted to the frame.
Over the years of being around Model T's dating one can sometimes be confusing because Ford would use parts or practices up in the next years run of cars that were used on the year before models.
Maybe if you have a car that was built in mid year that would make it more correct for the year? I would say my 3 T's are around 95% correct. That's close enough for me.
My Sept 21 has "ALL" the holes including the ones for forged dash brackets. I think frames were made a number of years after 21 with all the holes so they could be back dated to older cars. The running board brace shown in the one photo is way too deep, it should only come down a few inches.
when you say the one brace is way too deep, what do you mean? Is it not a stock-looking installation?
Henry I think Mark may mean the left top pic you posted. It does seem that the rear brace that goes from one side to the other seems to be lower than the front brace that is shown in the top right pic.
Maybe the braces should be both the same height and configuration.
The later U-channel braces are. Just seems to me that they should be the same also. I don't have a T that has the earlier brackets to be sure.
They should look something like this;
John. I would say your car might be a '19 or early '20. The round tank rules out anything later. It could be that the running board brackets were changed. Henry, does your car have a round or oval tank. The tank is the best place to start when dealing with a '19 or '20. I don't yet know exactly when the change occurred.
If that tie rod has a larger drop than it should, than what is it? A different year?, or something else entirely. And it sounds like the retainer for the front leaf spring has both the old clamp AND the new clamp. Dave, John, Mark, and all - this is great help, but i'm still confused about what year all of these details points to.
Henry, you still haven't told us whether your gas tank is round or oval. Let's start there.
Ummm, that spring on the crank should be pushed down and around the bend of the crank, to help push the crank back away from the crankshaft pall when it's running.
Dave, sorry for not answering on the tank. It appears to be oval. Below is a photo of the tank, and a better shot of that rear tie rod. And thanks martin for the tip on the crank spring.
Ok Henry, the tank certainly is oval which rules out 1919. The one piece spring clamp is likely the original one and is a 1920 feature. It still has the 1919 to early 1920? forged running board brackets and truss rods. I would call it a fairly early 1920. The Jan 1920 engine date sounds spot on.
I don't understand what is wrong with the placement of that crank handle spring, mine is just like this, can someone explain?
The spring on the crank is just where it need to be. Leave it be. It does not go down around the bend.
The rear cross brace is way off. Look at the link I put in my reply. It only needs to drop a few inches. Yours will work but does not really brace the running boards side to side. It looks like it would be great at taking the tops off gopher mounds or flatting the crown between ruts!
The spring fits into a hole in the crank like this. Sometimes the hole is hard to find because it's filled with paint or dirt.
Sorry I was looking at the wrong picture.
Steve, forgive my ignorance, but I'M still confused..is Henry's spring, like mine not placed right?
If it's like the one in Henry's fourth picture it's wildly out of place. It should be positioned like the one in my picture, with the little bend at the end of the spring stuck into the little hole in the crank. The purpose of the spring is to keep the crank from sliding in when you're going uphill and shoving the ratchet against the crank pulley pin. On many cranks you find a broken spring or none at all. Then it's time to spend 75¢ and get a new spring.
(Message edited by steve_jelf_parkerfield_ks on January 03, 2015)
Thanks Steve, never even noticed that little hole you pictured. Will have to check to see if mine is like that, or just floating around...thanks again.
Seems i too was looking at the wrong picture comparing it to mine..sorry about that.
thanks so much. on more question - on a 20 or 21 runabout, what does the attachment for the rear foot board bracket to the chassis look like? Are there extra holes in the frame?
And, how is the rear fender mounted to the turtle deck? I have what seems to be a kluged up rod holding it up.
The rear fender is held up by a single iron. See those three bolts on the side? That's where the fender iron is attached to the body.
Post some photos of the entire car.
You have a 1923 through 1925 model year trunk.
Sounds like your car is a collage.
the correct deck for your car is shown on the other thread titled "what year"
Unless he posts a photo of the whole car so we can see what he is dealing with, it's hard to give advice about correct vs incorrect trunks.
I'm not so sure the 1923 through 1925 trunk will properly fit on a 1922 and earlier roadster deck so his car may have a 1923 or a 1924/25 body.
below is the full monty. any ideas on what i am dealing with as far as model year is appreciated. or do i own franken-t?
And to all who have chimed in - you are a great group - thanks
Well Henry, now that I can see the whole car, you can certainly forget what I said about it being a 1920 model. Looks to be in the mid '23 to '25 range now.
If the two holes are on the drivers side they would be for the battery box. The hole in the floor boards would be for access to the battery. Normally they are just angle iron along the side of the main body sill for the rear floor boards to rest on.
if this works here is a photo of the rear irons;
The rear irons come as a left and right. There is some differences between pre 24 and after. Mounting the rear fenders that way might be ok (maybe) for the short term. The weight of the fenders bouncing will eventually pull the T-deck apart or break out the mounting hole unless it is well braced inside.
If your really want to know what is correct your year I suggest getting the body and parts book that covers the time period your car is.
Is the title in your name and does the engine number match? If so, then go have fun with it and learn as you go.
(Message edited by redmodelt on January 03, 2015)
It's a 1924 or 1925 model year.
Forget about 1923 model year. 1923 Fords have low radiators, low hoods and low cowls.
Be careful. That manifold appears to be red hot !
Here are a couple of pictures showing some of the differences between the 1923 model year "low" radiator setup and 1924/25 model year "high" radiator setup:
Erik's collage comment is on the mark. After almost a century, many of these cars have a mixture of parts from different years, as this one does. For example, the transmission has a 26-27 brake pedal and a pre-26 low pedal. The raked-back windshield says 1923 or later. Some people can tell just by looking at a picture whether a car has a high radiator or a low one. I don't have that good an eye, especially when the view is at an angle. Mark's picture above will solve that for you. If it's a high radiator, you have 24-25 car with an earlier engine.
The frame would date from about 1919 to about 1921 as it is. I don't think someone would take the time to rivet on the running board irons to a newer frame. But then again they might have.
the metal floorboard risers and lack of wood in the cowl area should put it in the '25 year range, I would think. Interesting that the front spring mount has been supplemented with two spring clamps like the earlier mount had.
Also the rear axle spring has accessory Hassler springs on it, but something is Hinkey with the spring base--it may just be too far "down" on the spring (needs to be moved towards the center of the car, and then the holes on the side need bolts through them to keep them in place on the spring--I wouldn't drive around with them they way they are now.
Oh, that's right, you don't have the key--yep, your SOL, I'll come and take it off your hands, no charge. . . Honest, no charge!! Hello?? Hello?? hmm hung up on me. . . .
Yes, there is a lot of "monkeying around" with things on the car. I can't figure out why anyone would do that rear fender mount modification--now you have two extra holes in what looks like a nice turtle deck. Well, I say that, then think about the rear fender brace rod. . . . Better change that out before it hangs up on something!
'25 body - look at the door hinge - equal distance away from the body - top & bottom - I have one also - '24 and earlier has the bottom leg of the hinge quite longer.
steve; good call, how'd I miss that one????
So, this is a '25 body on an earlier (21-23?) chassis?
Looks like a Frankenstein. '24/'25 body (probably '25) on a '19/'21 frame (forged running board brackets, holes for battery box), wrong rear fender brackets, along with a few other odd things.
The good news is? Frankenstein Ts are fun! It looks like you could be driving around, in a few weeks, going on tours, getting to know the local model T crowd.
I have always said that the perfect antique car is one that is nice enough to look good from a few feet away, that can be parked at a meet next to a show car, and not be ashamed of it as you walk to and from it. Yet it should be rough enough, with minor dings and scratches, having been touched up a bit with a black spray can, to not have to worry every time you drive it. To put a picnic basket on the running board without worrying is nice.
My '24 coupe is like that. It was restored by a long previous owner about 40 years ago.
Drive carefully, and enjoy that Runabout! W2
Good one Steve Tomaso. I didn't know about that hinge detail. Another thing learned. I would say then we have a '25 body on an early '20 frame. Forged running board brackets were gone early in '20 and don't forget that the engine is reported to have a Jan '20 date.
Did anybody mention it has the earlier black era front fenders? 23-25 had the lip under the headlight. The earlier years 17-22 didn't.
A lot of T's have mismatched front fenders in the black era. You can see them on this forum from time to time.
You guys form an amazing group. Thanks for the collective wisdom and good advice.
Henry I don't know what your intentions are for your T Runabout but it wouldn't take much to get your car more correct.
Money wise it would be pretty inexpensive and give your car more overall value.
I wouldn't worry about the title since you already have it. That's not uncommon about differing dates.
It looks like the runabout body is no later than 25. Make it a 25 since the engine has the single valve chamber by "looking" at the pics. A 2 valve chamber engine is the earlier engine about 21 back.
(1) Replacing the front fenders would wind up being about an even swap. Remember those front fenders are in pretty good shape and worth as much as the later 24-25 fenders with the lip.
(2) Change the rear fender irons to original and fix the holes in the turtle deck.
(3) Take off the 2 U-bolts from the front axle.
And if you want to you could lift the body off the frame and replace the running board brackets with the U-channel later type. That would make it that much more correct.
A good thing about Runabout bodies is they are the easiest to lift off the chassis.
There may be a few other things but what I can see the things I mentioned are whats noticeable to T guys.
Whatever you do its your car to have fun with and remember there are a lot of T's out there that have been put back together to be more correct. I have 2 of them.
Found these parts in the t's trunk and are wondering whether the jack is a ford part? or the handle-looking piece? And what is that body part with the hole in the center?
I don't want to take much time, so I'll just tell the first two and somebody else can ID the others. The jack is Ford if the logo is on the handle. This screw jack was issued until the last couple of years when they went with a pressed steel one. This one's better. There are a jillion of these around, some Ford and some not. Except for the name, they're identical.
The sheet metal piece is a radiator apron used 1924-1925. The hand crank goes though the hole. Google 1924 or 1925 Ford for pictures showing it on a car.
I'll try to get that apron fitted back on
Likely someone who fixed up the car long ago had access to the remains of two cars and picked the best parts. Actually I think the hogshead with one improved style pedal can be genuine Ford production from the last weeks of July 1925. From July 27 all engine production was improved style, but we've seen a 25 style fordor pictured on the forum made earlier in july that had the wide pedals but no other improved features. The even hinges on the body also suggests late 25 style production.
The earlier frame has the firewall mounting brackets located to accommodate the thicker wooden firewall. This car has spacers (looks like wooden strips) to compensate. Probably should change the spacers to something more original...or move the brackets on the frame. There has been discussion on this previously. The spacers shown in the attached photo may be correct, but there is some question.
Firewall with spacers to mounting bracket
John -- There was a discussion of those spacers here a few months ago. Ford used them for a while as a transitional solution, so they are correct and authentic.
I noticed on one of the pictures of the engine that the plug wires are crossed on 3 and 4. Probably run better if that was corrected.
I made introductions between Lang's and my credit card. New plugs and wires are going in, and i will be checking over all the wiring to the diagram on this site. Thanks for the heads up.
A Google search is likely to find several versions of the wiring diagram as corrections or additions were made. I think this is the latest version.
Thanks for the diagram. I am wringing out the wiring to make sure all is hooked correctly. I have a couple questions, though. 1) The timer loom in the car is all the same color wiring. So in trying to check them out without unhooking everything, i am checking continuity from each of the 4 timer posts to verify they are hooked to the correct pin on the coil box. One of the timer posts has continuity to 2 different coil box pins. Other than a short in the loom, is there any reason for this type of continuity to exist?
2) in the new timer looms for sale (lang's, etc), they show as having 7 wires. I understand 4 to the coil box, 1 to the generator. What is the 7th?
1 If the wires are disconnected at both ends, the answer is no.
2 I believe those would be timer (4), generator (1), dim light (1), and bright light (1).
Henry, I see at least three things that no one else has mentioned so far. 1) generator has no cut-out on it you will probably need to address that before running 2) bendix cover missing on hogs head if you start the engine with this missing get out the oil dry your gonna need it 3) it looks as if you might have a after-market locking steering wheel adapter with your rim missing I believe it should be black Fordite I think that's the name anyhow.I'm assuming It should be 15" for that year. Jim
Henry, I see at least three things that no one else has mentioned so far. 1) generator has no cut-out on it you will probably need to address that before running 2) bendix cover missing on hogs head if you start the engine with this missing get out the oil dry your gonna need it 3) it looks as if you might have a after-market locking steering wheel adapter3a)with your rim missing I believe it should be black Fordite I think that's the name anyhow.I'm assuming It should be 15" for that year. Jim
Sorry about the double post, tried to edit did not work. Jim
Looks to be an early NH straight-thru carburetor mounted up to it.
Steve, James, Peter,
Thanks regarding the wiring and the bendix cover. The intention is to go over all the electrics 1st, then move to the oil system /radiator, etc. before thinking about a start-up. But that missing cover will cause quite the mess, no?
Thanks again. As things progress, will post photos.
Still a little confused about the wiring of the headlights. I have the wiring diagram, but in looking at the 2 looms from langs (5031 & 5041) - 5031 has 7 wires - 4 timer, 1 generator, and 1 each headlight bright and dim. But the 5041 lighting loom from langs has 5 wires as well?. How exactly do the 2 wires come from the factory-type looms to the 1st headlight, and then jump over to the other headlight - and do the looms normally come with the connectors for the headlights.?
Some of the wiring looks like it needs to be redone, and i might just go ahead and buy the replacement looms, but i am trying to get a better idea of how they run to make sure i get what i need.
The 5 wire loom is headlight bright/headlight dim/magneto/power supply to terminal strip/tail light wire.
Henry, I have a pictoral wiring diagram that I put together showing wires IN looms and what the color coding should be...I made a mistake and it is too big a file and if I reduce it, the native clarity is lost. Send me a private message by clicking on my name and following the instructions and that will give me your e-mail...I can then email you back the file. It makes it lots easier to understand when you see it in full color...
Installed a Lang's battery carrier to replace that which is not there. Lining the carriers mounting holes up to the original frame holes puts the carrier about 5" forward of where it should be to center in the existing turtle deck cutout. That cutout appears to be about as far forward as it can be, so that is not seeming to be the problem. Drilling new frame holes is not a problem, but what would cause the mismatch?
The splash apron that Henry posted is pretty rare. It is for a '25 with a nickel radiator shell. Too bad the hole for the crank is messed up.
Henry's car does not have a horn in the photos. If it is indeed a 1920 or 1921 model, it should have a magneto horn. Then the wiring diagram that Steve shows is not correct. Ron corrected the wiring diagrams on a posting that started on Dec. 15, 2014, on a tread titled "Ammeter Reading?".
Those are the latest wiring diagrams.
Oops- thread (not tread) titled "Ammeter Reading?"
The interesting and sometimes frustrating events I had with my recent rewire was with some of the schematics and then the various looms . A new ,but older made Switch to Terminal Block had two unmarked black wires for the lights. I had to color code with tape for bright/dim. Some tail light wires are green and some come just black, had to look at numerous schematics to figure it out. Finally got it together.
Forgot to note On Ron's 2014 schematic Headlight wires are all black. My current loom has black with green and red tracers. you can see them at 5 and 6 terminal position. Found one schematic that had 1 thru 6 reversed.