Does anyone have a picture of the seat back spring for a '14 runabout, preferably installed without the upholstery. My car just had foam padding in the seat back and I ordered the spring as part of a reupholstery project I am doing but the spring looks way too big and I can't figure out how the spring could be installed in a way that would leave room for the seat cushion to fit. Thanks.
Did a 14 have seat back springs? 13s and earlier did not.
'14 was the first year as far as I know. My '14 touring has a spring in the back of the front seat and it was restored from a complete correct car many, many years ago.
Val, My '14 runabout does not have back springs. It has cushion springs, though.
I hope this helps,
Russ, what are cushion springs? This is what I got when I ordered the seat back spring for my car.
Val, The cushion spring is what you sit on. I think back springs in a runabout were installed around 1916 or 1917, but I'm not positive on that date. Russ Furstnow
Photo (not the best) in Ford Shops 1915 has caption that notes 'back springs' put in the backs of the seats at the end of the painting line, when dropped to the floor for the upholstery and top install. So this shows back rest springs in 1915, perhaps earlier as some of the Ford Shops material was developed in fall of 1914. But photos does show a '15 body.
Thanks Dan that is a big help in confirming that a spring is appropriate for '14. I know there is a back rest spring in my '14 touring and it is a mid year car. I also think the '14 and '15 runabout seats are the same but am not positive about that.
Val, I'm pretty sure you are right on the 14 seat set up on runabout and touring being the same. The 13 runabout however has a wider seat than that of the touring.
Snyder's offers them as repros:
Roger that is what I ordered but I don't see how it can possibly work.
I've looked for some good photos but so far I have not located any 1914s that illustrate how the front seat back rest spring is put in.
I have two different 1915 bodies. One Beaudett and the other unknown but not Beaudett, not Wilson, not Fisher, not Monroe, and not the "H" company (there were two of those over the years). The Beaudett had a wooden front seat frame similar to the 1914 tourings. The unknown make has the metal seat frames but also has a body tag showing it was constructed May 1915. The use slightly different front seat back rest springs. Based on that I would not be surprised if there were not some variations in the back rest springs used on the 1914 cars. Depending on when the cars were assembled, if the body maker supplied the car with or with out the upholstery installed (from memory -- I believe I read that Ford was still ordering fully upholstered and painted bodies during the early 1914 model year -- I may have remembered that wrong - so if someone knows and/or has some documentation - please confirm or correct that). And when was the upholstery installed early, mid, or late 1914 production?
Please post some additional photos of the seat spring. From the side so we can better visualize them. Along with some measurements (include a yard stick etc.).
If possible sit the springs in the front seat of the car for comparison shot.
My current "guess" is the two parallel metal frame strips that appear to be about 5 inches apart would be nailed to the front seat back rest frame. Now the hard part Ė how far down from the top of the seat back would they be attached? Does your 1914 have the original wood so you can tell where the original seat springs had been?
Iím sure someone has the answer and will post it, but if not, Iím also sure the folks on the forum can figure it out.
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Hap, my car was rewooded at some point and it was certainly not done as original. I am trying to get it back as close as possible. There are no markings to identify the body builder and I have been using the front seat of my '14 touring with a Beaudett body as a guide. From the picture you can see that the seat back spring can only be put in one way and that way would seem to make installing the uphoslstery almost impossible. The spring in my '14 touring is much shorter and seems to extend from the top of the seat down to a point that is just above the seat cushion.
A search of the forum turned up two related 1914 seat back postings at:
There was some discussion that some 1914s did not have seat back springs for the front.
And one of the other threads I looked at discussed Steve Jelf's replacing the back rest spring on his 1915. Perhaps he has some photos of how he did that.
And looking at the wood in your seat back area -- I suspect that may be part of the problem.
Also how flexible is the top part of the back rest spring? Can it easily be bent over to attach to the back of the seat/the tack strip that runs around the seat? Or is it too stiff to easily do that?
We will keep looking and hopefully some others will be able to add some photos and comments that will help you.
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I am going to limit my answer to your question regarding 1914 runabout. You should not have a spring in the seat back. There was none originally. Adding a spring will tend to push your stomach into the steering wheel. It will be much better looking, more authentic, and more comfortable without one. You should have raw cotton batting and horsehair padding only.
The best source of vintage original 1914 Model T photos online is here:
Royce I am just about at the point where I am going to chuck the spring and do as you suggest but there is clearly a spring in the back of the front seat on my '14 touring and that seat is very comfortable for driving. Without tearing out the upholstery on that car I can only feel around to get a general idea of the size and shape of the spring and it is certainly a lot smaller than what they are selling as the correct spring for the back of the seat of a '14 runabout. At this point I don't know what is correct and there seems to be a bit of confusion or at the least conflicting information about it. I can't even find decent pictures of how the wood should be in my runabout seat so I am winging it at this point. I wish I could get my hands on the plans for the front seat wood so I had something to work with.