When were the Wood Firewalls replaced with Steel

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: When were the Wood Firewalls replaced with Steel
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Miller, Sequim WA on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 07:20 pm:

Does any know about what month in 1923 did the Wood Firewalls get replaced with the Steel ones?

I would assume, (Bad Word) that this applied to the Trucks as well as the cars.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 07:54 pm:

According to Bruce's CD, this is the info I gleaned from his research:

The low metal firewall was first introduced in March or April of 1923, you can tell original early ‘23 bodies with metal firewall, as the dash does not have a steering column bracket on the dash.
The steering column bracket was added later in the spring, probably late April or May, and then in June 1923, the high metal firewall was then used.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Miller, Sequim WA on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 11:09 pm:

Thanks Dan. I looked through the Model T Ford book and didn't see this info. One of these days I'll have to get the CD's. There a little spendy for me right now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Saniewski Denville NJ on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 06:40 am:

I have a 1923 Canopy Express that dose not have a steering column bracket, I thought the prior owner had removed it. Is there any reason I should add a brace, or leave it as is? Thanks Ed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 02:21 pm:

Ford added the bracket to the '23 after the intro of the metal firewall. Seems the bracket was needed to re-enforce the steering column when the steel firewall was used. The wood firewall was more stable and solid for the column. The thin metal let the column wiggle.

If you have no wiggle, then you don't need one.

That said, lots of aftermarket accessory 'steering column to dash' brackets made there way onto the market, and repro's are still sold today :-)


Typical accessory bracket.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Justin H. - Western PA on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 03:56 pm:

Are the low steel firewalls very desirable? I have one that I got extra with my TT chassis (which is a high hood) that appears to be NOS with original paint.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 04:49 pm:

Mostly very desirable if attached to a nice low hood T :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Daron - Brownsburg IN on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 05:36 pm:

Oddly,there are far more low firewalls around than were used in a few months of production.They were IMHO used as replacement for rotten wooden firewalls. They are much better than a crappy plywood firewall.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By george house . . .caldwell county, TX on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 08:39 pm:

Fred,
No one seemed to answer the 2nd half of your question. Let me give it a go: Although trucks (TT) were introduced in 1917 they were only a chassis from the factory until Ford introduced the open cab (C Cab) in 1924. Then the closed cab in 1925. Both these cabs used the 5 rib (high radiator) firewalls. So, can we assume (your word) the TT chassis were sold with wood firewalls in '17, '18, '19, '20, '21, '22 and '23?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 08:44 pm:

Our unrestored '23 TT came with a wood firewall.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 09:04 pm:

Fred,

There was almost always some overlap when the old parts and new parts were used at the same time. Like other Model T parts, surely there was a period of overlap when cars at one plant were still using the wood firewall while cars at another plant were starting to use the metal firewall etc. Was that minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months of overlap? I don't know for firewalls. In the case of the change over from the two door valve cover engine to the single door valve cover engine we know the first normal production of the single door valve cover engine is documented as starting on Nov 1, 1921 at the Highland Park Plant. And there was overlap with the two door valve cover engines with the last two door valve cover engine produced at the Highland Ford Plant on Apr 3, 1922 (ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc21.htm see Nov 1, 1921 entry). Note a two valve cover engine may have been produced at one of the branch plants after Apr 3, 1922 but not at the main plant. So it was just over 5 months when both styles of engines were produced at the main USA plant. [Note Canadian and English production change over dates may have been different.]

At: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/C-D.htm#dash Bruce (R.I.P.) has: 1923
Steel, used with low hood for short time beginning about February 1923. Both the wood and the steel were used concurrently for a time. On April 7, 1923, a factory letter said that all production was then with the steel firewall.

And at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc23.htm also on page 564 the second entry is the same.

FEB 15, 1923 Acc. 572, Box 21, Ford Archives
Assembly and changes letter to the branches states that T-8761B dash (firewall) has been changed from wood to steel. Both types will be coming through in production for about sixty days.


APR 7, 1923 Acc. 78, Box 47-49, Ford Archives
Letter indicates that the steel firewall was now standard. This was the "low" steel firewall.



Ford often did running changes – i.e. not a model year but when he wanted to make the change. If anyone has some additional information on when the steering column bracket was attached to the metal dash that held the ignition switch, I would like to capture additional information about that. It is my very limited understanding that was on the 1924 model year cars – some of which were produced in 1923 but were the high cowl cars with the metal firewall. Are there some examples of low cowl original cars or early photos of low cowl original cars or record of changes that indicate they also did or did not use them on the late 1923 low cowl cars? Note the MTFCI 6th Edition Judging Guidelines mentions that the “steering column brace was introduced in 1923.” Any idea when in the 1923 low cowl production?

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By george house . . .caldwell county, TX on Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 05:17 pm:

The steering column brace on my '23 low radiator, metal '3 rib' firewall is cast iron. Have never seen another one. I've owned the car since mid 60s and it doesn't have the original engine. But I wonder how many other pre '24 dash equipped black Model Ts have cast iron steering column braces.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 09:16 pm:

George,

Is your steering column brace bolted or riveted to the dash? Note Ford riveted the 1924 - 25 steering column supports to the open car dashes but bolted them to the closed car dashes [ref item 381 in the MTFCI "Judging Guidelines 6th Edition for 1924 and 1925].

I would suspect your 1923 has an aftermarket accessory. Perchance does it have a Ford script anywhere? If you have a chance, please post a photo of it.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


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