Does anybody know when the mounting holes for the horn switch became standard on the '15 steering column? How late into the year could one expect to see the '14 style column with the riveted case and brass quadrant?
The reason that I'm asking, is that the '15 Roadster project that I inherited from my father has an engine block cast date of 2/17/15 and an early March assembly date. This would make it a pretty early '15, since the '14 style open cars continued into this time frame. The car originally could've come with either a bulb or mag horn. The nicest '15 steering column that I have, has the holes for the horn button. Would it be correct to use this column, even if I opt to build the car with a bulb horn?
The encyclopedia gives some date lines, stating that the wire tube started in 1-29-15 and all production with it was 10-8-1915, so, your choice, use either. My Canadian 16 has the 2 holes for the button but no tube, it took me several years to even notice that they were there.
The horn button was not standard until November 1915. I would weld up the hole and grind smooth.
NOV 15 Acc. 78, Box 1, Letter, Ford Archives
All steering assemblies being shipped with horn button and wiring
Yes Royce, I could do that. But, I hate to modify early parts, if they're correct as is. It is my guess that in the time frame that I'm looking at, only the 10,000 cars fitted with mag horns had the holes for the horn button. I also suppose that there were still plenty of the '14 style steering columns being used up at the branches in this same time frame. I'd like to know if or how much of an overlap there was when steering columns were being drilled for horn buttons and bulb horns were still being supplied.
The reason that I'm asking now, is that I hope to find a Brasco mag horn or a '15 bulb horn while I'm at Chickasha. I don't care which. I can make a solid argument for either as original for the time frame that this car was assembled.
Your question asked if a column with holes would be correct in conjunction with a bulb horn. It would not be correct is my opinion.
There were Model T's built in 1916 model year that have no sign of any horn ever being installed, and no holes in the steering column, with no tube on the steering column. In fact the fossil evidence is on the side of the bulb horn being predominant through fall of 1915. 1915 - 16 Brassco horns are very rare, 1915 - 16 bulb horns are by comparison easy to find.
Over priced 1915 - 16 bulb horn on eBay:
One of my favorite 1916 pictures - Henry and Frank Kulick testing the a-Ford-ability of a 1916 T.
Or you could make it like most 1915's and put a mechanical horn on it.
A 15 style bulb horn without the elbow (Langs has that part) just sold on ebay for $69 plus shipping. So deals are out there.
The Canadian 15 I have is considered early because it has the forked headlights and aluminum hogshead and it had the column drilled for a horn. It didn't appear that there ever was a horn button on it. So to err on the side of caution I have a bulb and mag horn and as backup a hand Claxton but I don't want to drill any holes in the door, however I do have a spare door with the holes in it and they look like factory holes???.The only other ident. was a barley discernible number stamped on the wood seat frame. Sometimes it is hard to know what is or was original.
The bulb for the horn on Canadian cars mounted to the steering column originally.