A few nights ago I was searching the net looking for a way to remove the lens from a side light. After an hour I found a page that said I had to spin it off. Then I found a page of a Model T suppler that had the new lens's and the clips if you could not spin them off. Also they had the new side light doors in Black, Brass and Chrome. I thought I'd go back to that site and buy the Chrome to match the Chrome radiator on my 26. I lost that page and after days still have not found it. My question is do any of you know what suppler has the side light door in Chrome ?
Welcome to the forum
I'm not sure I understand what type of sidelight you have?
Very few '26 Fords had any side lights, only the non electrical open cars got oil side lamps that looked like this:
The outward appearance of the side lights were about the same 1916-26. The lens is crimped to the rim and not so easy to remove. The rim and lens is easy to remove as an assembly with a cotter pin holding it to the lamp body.
1915 side lights had a brass rim that may have been available as repros and chrome rims may have been done by someone that wanted to dress up his T?
Then there were thousands of accessories made for Fords back in the day by outside suppliers - maybe you have an electrical side light?
Thanks, The side light in your photo is exactly the one I have. Somewhere through the years my grille shell was chromed so I thought it would be nice to match it.
The radiator shell would have been steel and painted black or it was brass and nickel plated. Test it with a magnet. Chrome was not used anywhere on Model Ts. (For originality, if it matters to you)
Mac's still sells the lenses but I couldn't find any one of the big-3 still selling the doors with the lens. I know they were available for a while but I can't find them.
Who is selling the new rims, if it is Speedway make sure they fit we are making new ones and will have them soon, Bob
Your right it's nickel plated. I just thought it would be easer to find a chromed one than nickel.
The one they sell at Speedway is not even close to an original T one.
Maybe I should look for a nickel one.
we will have new correct ones in about 4 weeks in brass and steel, you can plate the brass to your liking, Bob
ours will come with the snap ring also
Robert, glad to hear you will have them.
Learn something new everyday. I was not aware that any 1926's of any style were ever equipped with sidelights, but I always thought they looked neat, so several years ago, I toyed with the idea of installing kerosene oil sidelights on my 1926 coupe. I purchased a pair of circa 1920's sidelights on ebay, as well as the mounting hardware and restored them to new condition, but when it came time to install them, I just could not bring myself to do it. It also helped that the curvature of the cowl was so steep that there was no way to install them with the hardware I had, so I gave up and sold them on ebay at double what I paid. Looking back on it, I'm so glad I was unable to go through with it. No more non original revisions to my T. Jim Patrick
Jim P. -- All '26-7 closed cars came with starter and generator standard equipment, so none of them would have come with cowl lamps originally. The lamps were only on non-starter open cars, which were few and far between by the time the Improved cars came out.
I have been told that those side lights were standard on Canadian Open cars.
This one has them installed.
I forgot to mention those lights are electric and were sold for several years as an accessory light.
There are two or more styles. One style has a clear glass lens and rim just like the headlight rim.
Another style is identical to the kerosene light shown above without the bowl and chimney to provide a bullet shape rear section, with a door just like the kerosene light.
Each style has one attached stud in the rear to bolt the light to an adapter mounted on the windshield post.
I guess I'm sceptical about the Canadian side light comment. In 40 years I've yet to see a '26 car with them. I will comment that the pictured car has the wrong front license plate holder for a '26-7 Canadian T
Here is a photo of the later style.
An Early Ad.
I believe the side lights on an Improved car are only correct for 1926 non starter tourings and roadsters. The non starter option was no longer available by 1927. There is a special Ford produced bracket to mount 16 to 25 side lights to the open car windshield posts. but there is no telling what the dealers did or individual owners did for themselves.
This picture shows the stock Ford Improved car bracket with out the windshield stanchion in place.
For those cowl lamps, what the Ford factory didn't supply could be found by the owner at the dealer or mail order!
Fancy or plain.
And, correct on the Improved Car side lamps, those special brackets to hold them on the cowl are hard to find today, few likely made.
Donnie, that small hole was for the electric side light and only there on the 1927 open cars, according to one person that knows a lot about those things.
He told me it is normally covered by the window post, but you could look on the inside and see it with a light and a mirror.
The larger hole is for the 3rd bolt of the windshield post.
I have not checked my 1926 yet.
That is the first time I have ever seen one.
Thanks for sharing!
I believe your original question “Where can you get an original style 1915-1926 oil cowl lamp front door in Chrome” to match your radiator. And it was commented correctly that Ford did not use chrome on the Model Ts but rather Nickel plating. And that very few open Model Ts were sold without a starter & generator by 1926 so only a very few would have come equipped with the oil side lamps. Robert Berstadt commented he will be supplying reproduction front oil lamp doors styled after the 1915 to early 1926 style that you can plate as you desire.
But I would like to comment on James’ posting where he shared, “I have been told that those side lights [electrical ones he posted photos of above and illustrations of above] were standard on Canadian Open cars.” If that is true – we would love to better document when that was actually done. But I suspect it is not totally true. First below is a photo of the Ford of Canada 1926 touring that was the first car to be driven across Canada by an all Canadian route [earlier cars made the trip but had dropped down to the USA when the roads disappeared. And in this case they actually outfitted the car with flanged wheels so they could use the railroad tracks in Canada when there were no roads available. It was one of the first 1926 models produced by Ford of Canada. On Sep 8, 1925 it backed up and placed its rear wheels in the Atlantic and approximately 40 days later it put its wheels in the Pacific. But notice it does NOT have any cowl lamps.
Below is Ford of Canada Archives of a new 1926-27 style touring. The photo is cropped and is from the MTFCI Digital Library which is available from the vendors such as Langs as well as the MTFCI store (the link did not come up or I would have posted it). Notice there are NOT any electric cowl lamps on the car.
However, often times there is a little bit of truth to many things we hear. I.e. “There is a Duesenberg stuck in a parking garage” [there was one – but Jay Leno removed it – see: http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/news/hobby-news/leno_lands_last_original-owner_duesenberg ]. And in this case below is a Ford of Canada accessory brochure from 1926-27 (Thank you to Steve Lang for sharing the scans with us.)
Which advertised a side lamp for the 1926-27 Canadian Ts.
Note the electric side lamps in your photos and illustrations appear to me to be after market and not supplied by Ford of Canada or Ford of Canada dealers from Ford. Note, technically the Ruckstell Axle was supplied by Ford as an Accessory towards the end of the Model Ts. But it was not manufactured by Ford, just as the accessory vacuum windshield wiper was not produced by Ford. But they were authorized accessories – authorized by Ford.
If anyone has additional information on possible documentation on Ford of Canada authorized accessory electric side lamps please let us know.
And James, thank you for all your contributions to our hobby. While the information I have provided above leads me to believe that the electric cowl lamps you have displayed are outside vendor accessories and not authorized accessories from Ford, that doesn’t mean that evidence will never be found to modify that belief. We still have so much more to re-learn and document.
Note Russ Furstnow the MTFCI Chief Judge is working to compile a supplement to the MTFCI Judging Guidelines to address the unique differences between Canadian produced and USA produced Model T Fords. If any of you have details about the Canadian Ts, please drop him an e-mail at:
(that is an image so it will have to be retyped)
Hap l9l5 cut off
There had to be some no generator improved cars. I think we've all seen the ignition lock backing plate with the ammeter position blanked out.
Correct, Ford kept the open cars with low cost option of delete on the electric starter, generator, and battery. Or even demountable rims, they came with plain clincher wheels to the end. Those were the Plain Jane T's of the last years of the Ford.
Here is one in its day, pride and joy of the owner, who didn't shell out much $$ to ride in Ford style
But, can't see side lamps, only the oil tail lamp, maybe the guy took them off to make his Improved Car more modern.
Dave, Yes there were "no generator" Improved cars. If the car was a non starter Improved car, you would have no starter or generator. There would be block off plates covering the holes. There still was a ring gear on the flywheel if starter or non starter. Then the switch panel had a blocked off amp gauge hole. There was a resistance dimmer behind the blocked off amp gauge hole for the headlights. The non starter Improved cars also had the kerosene side lights on the special bracket shown above and also a special tail light bracket to have a kerosene Ford-O tail light. The Improved model Ford-O bracket mounts to one of the rear spring U-bolts and makes the taillight sit closer to the center of the car than other models. I have only seen two of the Improved model Ford-O brackets and one photo. James, the small hole you pointed out in my photo above, being for electric side lights is something new to me. I have not heard that before. I have always thought it was a water drain hole. But I have been wrong before. Does anyone have anything to add to the purpose of the hole. The body shown in my photo above is a 1927 model. It has the late style steel step plates that form the outside of the rocker panel.
The extra hole under the windshield stantions on the 1927 open cars may have been for the routing of a vacuum hose for an accessory windshield wider?
Roger, note the extra hole is on the passenger side of a left hand drive car.
I bought those 2 mounting brackets shown above to mount my side lights, but they are both factory part number T 451 60 and I have never found the other T 451 59 mounting bracket, so my lights are still on the shelf.
James, They reproduce those brackets. Langs has them in their catalog. They are part number 3655BS on page 87 of the 2015 catalog and cost 55.00 a pair. Dan, nice photo. It clearly shows the Ford-O tail light bracket and how the license is "past center" of the car. It also shows the top saddle iron, hole plug. I also see the 30 X 3-1/2 inch non demountable steel felloe wheels that usually came on the non starter cars. Since the demountable 30 X 3-1/2 inch wheels and the 21 inch wood spoke wheels were available, they could have been installed on non-starter Improved cars. Since wire wheels came later and non-starter option was not offered in 1927 I do not believe that wire wheels were ever available for a non-starter Improved car. Now it could be possible that a dealer installed a set of wire wheels on his hard to sell stripped down, plain Jane, non starter car, that he was having trouble getting rid of, in order to be able to sell it. I also forgot to mention that the holes for the electric tail light mounted to the fender, will be there and un-used if the car had the Ford-O tail light and bracket. Ford did not try to "hide them" he just left them un-used. Roger, The vacuum hose for the accessory wipers was ran on the outside of the windshield post and across the top and held in place with hose clips. I have a original set of instructions showing how to mount the hose and where to drill the hole in the firewall for its installation. Donnie Brown ...
Did the non-starter cars come with battery boxes? My early '26 came with 30x3 1/2 demountables but had a starter, ammeter, generator and the battery box (with a battery-of course!). Also no hole under the windshield stanchions. It did have side lights which were an afterthought - I think they were from a Model A.
Will, If it was non starter from the factory, there would have been no battery box. But the holes for it would be in the frame for it. There also would be no starter switch or battery cables and cable support. But the holes would be there for them also. Im not sure if there was a special wiring harness for non starter Improved cars, or if the extra wires were just not used. I have never seen anything about a special harness, but I do not think Ford would have ran a wire all the way to the back for an electric taillight if the car was using a Ford-O kerosene tail light. I believe on very early 26 models the 30 X 3-1/2 inch non demountable wheels were "Standard" and the 30 X 3-1/2 inch demountables and 21 inch wood were optional. Notice I said "very early", and probably very few, if any, starter cars were equipped with them. Then the 30 X 3-1/2 inch demountables became "Standard" with the 21 inch wood wheels optional. I believe later (no good date of change yet) the 21 inch wood wheel became "Standard" (possibly about the time the wire wheel came out) and the wire wheel and 30 X 3-1/2 inch demountables and also non demountables were options. Then in late 1927 the wire wheels were supposed to be "Standard" everything else was optional. I have seen no date of change or concrete evidence yet about the wire wheels being "Standard" in late 27 but there is a lot of belief they were. So it is very likely that your 30 X 3-1/2 inch demountable wheels with a starter is the way it could have come from the factory. The wheels could have been considered "Standard" or "Optional" depending on how early your 26 is ... I am still learning about all the dates of change and how all the various parts of the Improved models fit the early/mid/late time descriptions, so if I am wrong in my descriptions, or if you just disagree with me, please let me know (Im a big boy, with thick skin, and do not get my feelings hurt easily). Together we may be able to figure out some of the mysteries. Donnie Brown ...
I don't disagree at all. So therefore my car, a November 1925, is consistent with your research having a starter, generator and 30 x 3 1/2" demountable tires as it came from the factory. My thought is that the larger tires were more desirable in rural areas where greater clearance was desirable and available but "balloon" tires were also available as standard from the get-go. I have no evidence to support this except Ford was advertising the "Improved" car with balloon tires at the time of its introduction.
While we are on this subject, would non starter Runabouts for example from any year 1919 or newer have the hole in the floor below the trunk to install the battery or would it just be plain a plain wood deck like earlier years?
As to wiring for the non-starter Improved Cars, there was specific wiring harnesses. P/N5043C Switch Wire, 5041D Lighting Wire, and 5030B Commutator Wire.
The standard Improved Car equipped Ford runabout price in 1925 introduction was $260 with cord tires. $85 extra for starter and demountable. $25 extra for 21" balloon tire wood wheels.
So the lowest cost Ford runabout came with clincher non demountable wood wheels. When the starter was added, the demountable clincher wood wheels were standard. BTW, TT's with starter required demountable wheels too. And then the greatest upgrade was for 21" balloon tires as noted in this Oct. 1925 invoice for an Improved Car. This one equipped with SD (split demountable 21" wheels) with balloon Tires.
According to cost and profit data obtained from the Benson Ford Research Center from the fall of 1925, roadsters and tourings were each available in 6 different combinations of wheels and starting equipment. The combinations listed were:
Clincher wheels, no starter.
Clincher wheels, with starter.
Demountable wheels, no starter.
Demountable wheels, with starter.
Balloon wheels, no starter.
Balloon wheels with starter.
This source of information also showed that Ford took a net loss on every roadster and touring equipped with clincher wheels and no starter. When cars were equipped with a starter, even with clincher wheels, Ford made a profit on each car sold. The data also shows that relatively few cars with clincher wheels and no starter were sold.
One more interesting point came out of this data: Ford made as much profit off of parts sales as they did the sale of new cars.