Ford factory records show the 1916 model year from serial number 856,514 to 1,362,813. The 1916 model year began August 1, 1915.
The rear axle housing is later, with the lowered fill plug position. Axle housings like that appeared in 1919 model year.
Looks like a nice car, with some wood issues and the incorrect axle housing. My view is the price is high for a 1916 center door.
Low fill plug, un-ribbed backing plate rear axle housings go back to 15/16 year.
Do you want some Royce?
I have several in the shed. Even one of my 16's is an USA import with the same, so I don't think it's just a Canadian thing.
I have driven this car. Unquestionably the body is an aluminum one piece rear section. Also has the one piece rain gutter. I believe that those parts are unique to 1915 centerdoor production. Admittedly the block is 1916 production, but it is a nice car that is substantially correct. Pricey, but nice.
I have seen a very original '22 Center Door with the one piece rain gutter.
I have a '22 centerdoor and it also has the one piece rain gutter.
Not that it counts , my 21 coupe had a one piece gutter also.
Our '19 Centerdoor has the 1 pc. gutter also.
First year for the low fill plug is 1919 model year, about August 1918 perhaps. The rear axle housing is just wrong Frank. It should have smooth backing plates and the fill plug near 9:00.
Not sure about Canadian products, they could have been earlier or later.
From the encyclopedia:
New “standard” design adopted about March 1915. Tubular axle housings inserted into center section. Early 1915 brake backing plates did not have reinforcing ribs (added in October 1915). Oil filler hole just below centerline.
Part # Factory # Description
2501E 2835C Right
2502E 2836C Left
Part # Factory # Description
2501 2835C Right
2502 2836C Left
Same as 1916 except for part number change.
Similar to 1918 but now machined for a gasket between the two halves. Oil filler now 1-3/4” below the centerline. Driveshaft modified in 1920 to use new forged bearing sleeve. Outer oil seal cups larger in diameter due to machining change in the axle tubes. 4-1 gears became available in July 1919. At first these were a 48-tooth ring and a 12-tooth pinion but by January 1920 the 10-tooth pinion which could be used with the standard ring gear replaced the first type.
Part # Factory # Description
2501 7635 Right
2502 7636 Left
Part # Factory # Description
2501 7635C Right (Same as 1919)
2502 7636C Left
Part # Factory # Description
2501 7635D Right
2502 7636D Left
Yes Royce, Canada used the same part numbers for the same years, but for what ever reason the non-ribbed backing plate housings ran a lot longer than Oct15, to the end of 16 model, might even find some on the early 17 as well and the oil filler is 1-3/4" below the centreline as early as 15, including the un-tapped boss on the other half. Like I said, my US 16 is the same.
So my mission now is to check out and find any that have the oil filler at 9.00, could take a few months as the next big veteran run isn't until Nov.
I agree, the original rear axle on my '17 torpedo runabout - built near the end of June 1917 - had smooth backing plates and the high filler plug location.
The low filler plug came with the new reinforced housings in 1919.
If you go back to the photo's of this centre door and the 8th one shows that it's a no ribber and the second last photo shows low plug one as you have already picked up on.
As we know the ribbed backing plate was introduced in the 1917 model year. And, as you and Royce agree, the non-ribbed plates continued to be used during the 1917 model year.
I have seen at least a half a dozen 1917 Fords with known histories that have one of each. In these cases it has always been the driver's side non-ribbed and the passenger side ribbed. This includes my unrestored, May 1917 roadster that has a known history since new.
My father's July 1917 touring which he purchased unrestored in 1949 from the original owners has ribbed backing plates on both housings.
Regarding the location of the filler plug (passenger side) and boss (driver's side). When looking at a single housing not installed on a car, it is easy to get confused in determining the location of the plug or the boss. On the non-ribbed housings and the earlier style ribbed housing, the plug and boss line up with the bolt hole on the differential housing.
We agree that the passenger side housing on the sedan in the ebay listing has the low plug. If the backing plate is non-ribbed, my opinion is that the housing was assembled from parts from different years, either when the car was restored or earlier in its history when a repair was made. I would not consider it to be a factory issued housing.
Since Canadian production differed and may have been earlier than USA with the lower plug according to Frank, maybe it has a Canadian rear axle - or maybe the whole Centerdoor comes from Canada?
I need to correct my post above.
The second paragraph should read:
"I have seen at least a half a dozen 1917 Fords with known histories that have one of each. In these cases it has always been the driver's side ribbed and the passenger side non-ribbed. This includes my unrestored, May 1917 roadster that has a known history since new."
(I tried to edit my original post but I can't figure out how to do it.)
So, how hard would it have been to grind off the ribs on a later housing to back date it? Might have been the case, and whomever did it, hoped the low plug would not be noticed.
What I'm confused about is the seller's claim that the gas tank is under the rear seat. How could that be? Is this true?
Yes, it is true: the '15 centerdoor sedans DO have the fuel tank under the rear seat. I've seen it with my own eyes. Ford soon realized what a bad idea that location was after complaints regarding fuel starvation on any kind of an incline. Ford did offer a longer than normal intake manifold to lower the carburettor location in an effort to aid fuel flow.
Of course, they smartened up and moved the tank to be under the driver's seat.
And this car has the longer than normal intake manifold. The only one I have ever seen.
A good friend of mine years ago, had a 1916 Canadian Center-door sedan. It had Robertson (?) screws, forked electric headlamps, and the original gasoline tank under the rear seat. It had a later center-door front seat and gasoline tank changed into it by a previous owner because of fuel troubles with the original tank. But at least he left the original tank in place. The body was like the later USA style, not the aluminum and lower set early '15 style with fancy windshield.
His car was also the only center-door sedan I ever looked at (and I looked at dozens of them) that had a rear seat riser like my supposedly early '16 sedan had.
Both cars have long since been sold and lost track of. I really like the early center-door sedans. I wish I could afford to buy one. This one is not totally correct, but it is nice enough that you would have a difficult time finding another one for that money. I do think it is a bit over priced? You could get a pretty nice '12 touring for that. And although sedans are very rare on HCCA tours, and more comfortable? Personally, I would rather have a '12 touring.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
To avoid any confusion please judge for your self, this photo is a LHD USA 1916, to me it's no ribs and low boss.
This on is on my Canadian 16, same as the centre door photo.
One out of spares.
Lot of funny stuff going on in the first photo and the backing plate and radius rod just looks strange (perhaps due to the auxiliary brakes). Nothing that I see even indicates a 1916 Ford - demountable wheel, non-tapered rear spring.
The next two photos are like looking at a black cat at midnight - not enough contrast for me to see any detail.
Anyone who will pay 35K for this car will not give a crap if the rear housings are not correct. They will 1: Have more money than knowledge of correct parts and not care. 2: be knowledgeable about what they are buying and realize that correct 15 housings can be had for a song if you've got that kind of money. Other way, the rear end should be rebuilt for safety's sake and the correct housings installed at that time. I wouldn't want the thrust washers to give up and render me brakeless in that top heavy brute surrounded by plate glass. Nice car, worthy of preservation.
I'll stay out of the rear end discussion, but there are a few things which don't add up to my way of thinking. Seller says the engine number is mid-August of '15, which makes it a '16 model year car, as Royce pointed out. I have seen other early '16 model year Sedans with the '15-style body, so that's not surprising.
The car has been restored at some time, so we don't know what is original and what has been altered. There's the rub. The upholstery and paint obviously aren't 100 years old; they were redone at some point.
It looks to me as if whoever restored it 50 years or so ago took a little "artistic license" to make the car appear older than it is. Either that, or the engine is a '16 replacement in an early '15 Sedan. The larger headlights with the lower-mounted thimbles are ones which were used on very early '15 closed cars, but August of '15 is too late for those to have been supplied on it originally. Likewise, the lack of cowl lamps and presence of side-mounted "carriage lamps" appeared in P.R. photos of prototype '15 cars, but I've never seen any on production cars. Those first had the fat-rimmed cowl lamps, followed by the more common '15-style cowl lamps. And those carriage lamps with the car are similar to the P.R. pics, but they're not the same.
The face plate on the coil box is a reproduction, and the steering wheel is aftermarket. The wheel could have been put on the car when it was new, but the varnished rim smacks of a more recent restoration.
The lower half of the body appears to be Midnight Blue, which it may have been originally. (See the article "Any Color You Want" in the last issue of the Model T Times magazine.) It does not appear to be 100-year-old paint, but it may have been painted in the original color scheme.
Please don't think I'm being too critical of a very nice car. I'm just pointing out a few details which raise some questions about the car's history. It is for sure the '15-style body, whether it is a '15 or very early '16 model year car originally. I'm just saying that the car has been redone at some time, we don't know how accurate the restorer was in his work, and we don't know whether the engine is original to the car.
As pointed out above, there are a couple of different scenarios which could account for the anomalous details, and it probably doesn't really matter in the overall scheme of things. I just brought up these points for the sake of discussion. It's a great example of an early Ford Sedan, and I'm sure the new owner will be very proud to have it. I know I would.
Yes Erik, lot of funny stuff, this T has been turned into a commercial, those wheels on the rear are heavier spokes than the front, that spring is later and heavier as well and the brakes up graded, but at the end of the day, the housing is still a non-ribbed low plug one which according to the encyclopedia, shouldn't exist! my point is that many do.
Erik, you had me confused for a second or two. I can't vouch for Frank, but when you describe things as passenger side/ drivers side, that message is confusing, as these swap around from LHD to RHD. If you use right hand side and left hand side in descriptions, there is no confusion.
I need to check my parts pile, but I think I have more than one right hand housing with no reinforcing ribs and the lower filler hole. That may or may not be helpful, as they have long been removed from any vehicle.
Allan from down under, where the driver's side is the right side.
I do find the discussion of the rear end housings very interesting. Talk about minutia.
This car as a whole, and the detail changes of the rear end housings through those seven years, are clearly two different discussions.
Being somewhat trapped in my little corner of the world, has limited some of my access and exposure to some of the details scattered around the country, and beyond. I have heard of enough housings with smooth backing plates and low (or offset) fill hole embossments to know that they exist. I have been told by others that claimed to "know" that these were largely Canadian. I tend to believe that. They could also have been replacements or repairs of some kind. But I have personally never seen one like that myself.
I have seen many, and personally have several, housings with ribbed backing plates and high (or even) embossments. I have read or been told several opinions of when the USA change to ribbed backing plates took place. Many of those "opinions" claimed to "know". But since they often disagree, in a mutually exclusive way, they cannot all be correct. All I know for sure about that, is that somewhere between 1915 and 1918, USA production changed to the ribbed design. There was probably some serious crossover where both types were used on different cars, and probably even on some of the same cars. When that crossover time was? I could only guess.
Within the typical 1915 style housings, those with smooth (on the exposed side) backing plates, and high fill (even) embossments? There is yet another change in the backing plates. (Logic dictates probably) Earlier '15s had the same backing plate as the '13/'14 12 rivet housings. When I restored my mostly '13 speedster, one of the housings I had had a damaged outer end. I repaired it by cutting off and welding on an outer end from an (apparently) early '15 housing. I chose that replacement because the backing plate was a perfect match to the few '13/'14 housings I had. Also, I have a good matched pair of '15 housings that also have that same earlier style backing plate that matches the '13/'14 housings I have. Those are planned to wind up under my spring '15 runabout. I have another good set of '15 (supposedly) housings, they have backing plates that resemble later ones on the wheel side, but are smooth on the exposed side. All those housings have high fill (even) embossments.
As I previously stated, I have several housings with ribbed backing plates and high fill embossments. Those would seem to be a natural progression. Housings with low fill (offset) embossments and smooth backing plates are a puzzle to me. Canadian production made some sense. There were other things (like ribbed pedals) where Canadian production went on totally different timelines. Backing plates could likely have been one of those things.
Unfortunately, sorting it out a hundred years later is not always easy. Many bits and pieces have been changed over the years. And even written records are not always correct.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2