I have a variety of alignment issues due to a sagging frame and other misc bent items. I took a couple pictures of my running board brackets, driver side, then passenger side. Looks to me as if the passenger side brackets have been mis-installed rear to front. Am I correct?
The passenger side running board sits quite low where it saw much use from people getting in and out of the car. Perhaps a bracket problem here further exacerbates the problem. What say the experts..
Sierra Vista, AZ
I am no expert.I almost hesitate to chime in because the knowledge other people that contribute have makes me feel like a white mouse compared to them.There is no front or back to these.You have two different styles of brackets.And, if your car was built around the time the style of the bracket changed,this absolutely could have come from the factory this way. I have owned several cars with these pre '21 brackets and have several frames and extra sets of these around here.There are several variations.I have never known which were early,late,etc for sure but I do hnow I am about to finally find out.Certainly someone that knows the diffence has aready posted whlle I hunt and peck.JIM
Ward I am no expert, but I'll still chime in. I think both fronts and rears were the same. No difference from the factory. In the first photo, the front curve looks funny, like someone bent the angle. When I restored my 12 chassis, I spent a good deal of time heating and bending the four RB brackets so the fenders and running boards lined up correctly. Only remedy I know.
Whatever is going on, these brackets were riveted in place like this. It does not appear that they have ever been removed. The similarity in shape of the right front and left rear brackets had me thinking that the brackets may have differed front to rear. The way it is now the bracket support rods from side to side make an X, they are not parallel, and it things are definitely catywumpus.
Not long ago I sold a set of four of these.There are differences in these.Taking ito account around 90 years of existence,the probability of being bent/twisted/sprung/pitted/etc.I finally got four together that were dimensionally the same from frame rail to running board holes.But that is the only way they were the same.Different bend,some shallow,some sharp.The man that bought them did not care they did not match.They have since been put on a frame and fenders and running boards install with only minor cussing,so the were not bent.What ones are from what years or span of years??
Ward,you have a fabulous piece of history in your '11.I must be blind,but in the pictures the truss rods look like they run side-to side.Not crossed.What am I missing?Keep in mind this car would have had alignment issues and a sprung sagging frame by the time it was a few years old,if that long.If this is just not going to be a show car,the cure foe these problems is worse than the disease.As long as nothing is a safety issue,that is.IMO.I would love to have an early car like it.
Yes the truss rods run side to side. What I was trying to explain is that they are not parallel to the ground or to each other. the front truss rod is higher on the driver side and the rear truss rod is higher on the passenger side, so when viewed from a front or rear vantage point they look crossed, like an X.
My little piece of history may look unmolested in pictures, but it is easy to see all of the new zinc plated harware store items here in person, and that is what I am trying to correct, along with some function issues.
Ward, Like you say the front and back brackets on your car are shaped differently and one side or the other should have been switched front to back to make things parrallel. Does this look like a factory boo boo?
I don't know enough about the details on the earlier T's, but IF, there were different brackets for front and rear, it sure looks like they were riveted differently on each side. I guess I need someone with an 11 to confirm if the brackets should be the same front and back or different.
I remember an article on John Barr's 1910 touring car in one of the magazines a few years ago. He won the Stynoski trophy with that car I believe. Any way he stated that he had hunted for quite some time for the correct early runningboard brackets for that car. So there must be a difference. Perhaps someone knows how to look that up. It was probably within the last five years.
They are the same.
I just located my parts book, and only one running board bracket is listed. Wow, they sure take a lot of abuse!
The area where the splash apron meets the inner edge of the runningboard was changed after the 1909-10 models, and the runningboard irons were changed to accommodate the new design.
Phil – thanks for posting the excellent pictures. I always wind up saving those for future use.
One of the nice things about Model T’s is none of us have to be an expert in order to help someone else. I love the illustration that a 4 year old kid can teach a 3 year old kid a lot of things. And that is true with our Ts also. All of us have some knowledge and experience that can be helpful to someone who hasn’t discovered that trick, that pitfall, or that piece of information yet. And none of us could ever hope to know everything about all 15,000,000 plus T’s produced in so many different assembly plants all over the world. A lot of us enjoy reading the forum and other sources so we can learn more about the cars. I’ll probably never have a 1911 (the garage is already too full and what would I be willing to part with?). But I still enjoy learning about them.
According to Bruce’s “Price List of Parts” CD [ http://mtfca.com/encyclo/mccalley.htm ] the 1909-1921 forged running board brackets are all interchangeable. The part number was changed from 2946 to 4818 but the Factory Number remained 336 the entire time. That would indicate that any changes to the part were not considered major enough to warrant adding a suffix to the part.
Gail Rodda’s “Model T Ford Parts Identification Guide vol 2” page 27 & 28 shows several different styles. The 1909-10 is similar looking to the one in your picture. And the 1911-1921 style has the same curve as shown in your picture. In general the thickness of the area where the running board truss rod goes through and the outside bolt on the running board became lighter and lighter (thinner and thinner) between the 1909-1910, the 1911-1912, the 1913, 1914-16, and then 1916-1921 (ref Rodda page 27 & 28).
I believe Jim was correct. If the factory had both styles of brackets on the assembly line they would not worry about the slight differences in looks. Either would function fine.
If you are interested in those types of details, you will really enjoy Gail Rodda’s pamphlets (vol 1 & 2). The have a lot of great details especially for the 1909-1914 cars and they have information that goes past 1914 but they have even more details for the earlier cars. Such as 3 pages each for the 1909-1910; 1911-1912; and 1913-1914 Nuts and Bolts.
Good luck with your car and keep posting those pictures. We all enjoy looking at the Ts.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Phil - Your pictures really helped ID what I have. I definitely have the brackets you show as correct for 1911. Two of them match the contour perfectly, two are obviously bent, but they all match in other respects. I took a quick pic of the outer running board mounting boss. They look like the thicker style on your 1910 bracket, but dimensions can be deceiving in pictures. These are 5/8" thick.
I don't know if you come back to read follow-ups to your postings, but THANKS.
Hap - I am going to look into getting some T reference materials. The Model T Identification Guides seem like a good start. I have Bruce's book and the Judging Guidelines. A problem I have with the Judging Guidelines are the pictures are too indistinct for me to compare what I have with the pictures.
I think you guys need to go look at a few cars in your garages. There are definitely different brackets front to rear. I don't care what the parts book says.
I removed re - riveted the brackets on my '13 framew and there were definitely two fronts and two rears. Just looked at the frames on my '12 and both my '15s and all have a relatively straight front bracket and a decidedly arched rear bracket.
Ward, I think you had it right the first time. The front and rear are swapped on the driver side.
Looks like a warranty problem.
I have 3 all original running gears here that were made in calendar year 1911. I have one all original running gear made in late 1912. All 4 of them have matching brackets at all 4 locations. The drawing that is on my web site of the frame for the Model T is NOT a drawing that I made by measuring some frame. It is a CAD drawing with dimensions taken from a Factory drawing that I have here on file. It shows the same factory number called out for each of the 4 brackets and the dimensions for the brackets final locations and shape make the front and rear bracket dimensions identically installed on the frame. Why then would Ford make front and rear ones and not tell anybody about it. The fact is that these cars are now almost 100 years old and the running board brackets that I have seen are ALWAYS bent every which way from heavy loads on running boards and front part of running board likely subjected to 10 times more on and off loading as people got into front seat way more often then people getting into the front and back. Running board truss rods underneath catch on branches and stumps and rarely are original and straight and you can easily imagine what happens to the running board brackets when one or both of those rods underneath catch on something and then is re-straightened. In the picture it looks like one of the outboard nuts on one of the running board truss rods has a castle nut on it while the others are different. None of these rods are drilled for a cotter pin so they never had castle nuts used there. My point is that these have been off the car most likely 5 or 6 times during the life of this car. As Ward has discovered - the brackets are all made the same but just bent funky. That is totally normal and similar to every early car I have been involved with during restoration. I have researched 1911 year rather extensively and have several file cabinets full of drawings and info on just 1911. Any of you folks who would like to stop by and see the info for yourself is more than welcome. Just give me a call. Now decide for yourself if they had front and rear brackets and the factory info is incorrect but know that for myself I have YET to see a difference on what the factory drawings say was put on a car and what I have then found on actual UNRESTORED original cars. They are amazingly exactly what Ford documentation said they would be. This really is not a surprise since it would be impossible to build 15 million cars without really careful and accurate documentation at all levels. Ford himself was anal to the max and I am told that at Fairlane they found he had kept total receipts for every tiny expense down to smallest detailed heating bills...etc. Ultimately each has to decide for themselves but once you visit the Benson Research center and see all of the drawings and record of changes and the amount and level of detail in record keeping, you will likely come away as I did with a realization that it was NOT a haphazard affair - it was totally controlled and well documented.
Hope this helps.
Thanks so much for your posting and even more for what you do through reproducing very accurate and functional parts for our Ts. It is amazing what is on file at the Benson Ford Archives [for those who have not been able to visit see Trent’s page: “A Visit to the Stacks”: http://oz.plymouth.edu/~trentb/HFMGVStacks/Stacks.html ] And thank you for offering the very logical reason on why the running board brackets could look differently yet be the same etc. Most of us want to make sense out of what we see on our cars. Was it that way from the factory? Replaced sometime in the past? Dealer installed? Or something else [I keep ruling out the alien installed.]
But I also don’t want discourage folks from looking at the fossil record they find. And yes, cars like the Rip Van Winkle Ford are the best types of fossil record but so are old pictures (especially if taken when the car was relatively new), and even “junk piles.” Sometimes the best photo to illustrate something comes from Phil Mino’s “junk pile.” The part is too far gone to make it practical to repair – but it clearly shows something – such as the riveted front cowl piece that came on some 1915 Fords. In his junk pile is what appears to be an original very rusted part that indicates it may have been continued well into the black radiator period.
So reviewing what is known from the Archives and what is seen in the fossil record is also a worthwhile effort. Such as the case of your Son’s “pointy leaf front spring” on his 1916. Lots of folks tossed those “odd looking” springs until he ran across the “Ford Script” on one of the leaves. That led you to check in the archives and locate the information directing their use in production. And now it too is documented. [ref http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/43281.html?1198287177 ] And that also supports your observation “I have YET to see a difference on what the factory drawings say was put on a car and what I have then found on actual UNRESTORED original cars.” They never were in conflict, we just didn’t know what the archives contained on that subject. And unfortunately there are several areas where the archive records are incomplete (or perhaps misfiled – I think you found some “Model N Ford parts drawings while looking through the early Ford V8 microfilms and told Trent about them. If not – someone did – and that added to the drawings on the Model N, R, S).
In the case of the running board brackets, I agree with you that current information clearly indicates they were the same part front and back. And I suspect if one looked at the Factory Drawings the minor changes over time are probably reflected there in notes etc. Again they did not add a suffix so the change was minor. And while I think the fast majority of the Fords would have been assembled with all brackets of the same type, I would not be surprised if on the day they were using up the last shipments of one style and introducing shipments of the new style that several chassis might have been fitted with a mixture. I believe some 1915 Fords came with mixed lettered pedals and ribbed transmission pedals – although when I just looked for a reference for that I didn’t see it so I may have remembered that incorrectly. From what I understand (and I could be wrong) if the part functioned the same/well Henry was not opposed to using up the old parts.
Again, thank you for all your support to our hobby and for putting up with folks like me that a little too wordy and are still trying to gather different pieces of information so we can better understand how Ford most likely produced the cars.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
John / Hap,
I agree with you that Ford documented every action they took very well. The problem being that we don't necessarily always have every scrap of documentation. I keep finding things that don't agree with the accepted Model T wisdom, and maybe this is one of those times I am wrong. Or maybe not.
Last year my visit to the Benson Ford archives showed that Model T cars with serial number ranges around 90,000 were shipped in the beginning of December 1911. This disagreed with conventional wisdom - and Bruce's encyclopedia - and would have brought a similar poo - pooing had I brought the subject up on this forum a year ago. But it is hard to argue with now that I have the documentation.
If the brackets are as Hap described from Gail Roddas book (I have a copy too, and it is not without mistakes....) with the straighter ones being 1909 / 1910 and the more arced shaped ones being 1911 - 21 then I have a lot of 1909 - 10 parts here. I find it hard to believe that it is coincidence. Possibly Ford was using up a big pile of the early brackets in 1911 - 15? I can't believe someone performing a repair would rivet a replacement running board bracket in place, what with bolts being so much easier to install.
Again, I am discussing this on an academic basis, and am not opposed to being wrong, but am opposed to the idea that any issue on the Model T is beyond reasonable discussion.
Gail is a very good friend of mine and his book has been a great help to many but it was assembled BEFORE the George DiAngelus (sp?) collection of stored microfiche documents were discovered and at that time we had little to go on. The MTFCI judging guidelines likewise have errors that most of us who play with early cars know about and have told them about but it takes time and volunteers to update printed info while it is easier to simply post that info here. The serial numbers that you mentioned are the 1912 era and Bruce pointed out many years ago that those serial numbers were the LEAST documented and were arrived at by interpolation of starting and ending serial numbers for that period which is all he had to go on. Most of us are now aware of the "ledger" info with regard to serial number info during that 1912 era and I too have sought out that info. That is NOT a case of contradiction as much as it is a case of "filling in the blanks". What is really needed is a lot of research into those ledgers to try and organize and make sense of all of those but alas they are not in exact order of any kind and we all have day jobs. There is no right and wrong to research, there simply is a presentation of the facts and then each can draw their own conclusions. I feel the case for "front and back" running board brackets is unfounded and there seems ample evidence that survives and the whole story seems to obey common sense observations but that is only MY experience. Others may have different ideas and everybodies ideas are welcome. I think it is very important for folks to make at least one visit to THE HENRY FORD and to go to the Benson Research Center and have a looksee. Once you witness the volumes and volumes of detailed documentation it is hard then to believe that all of this detail was not factual and not used and that they were all people with nothing better to do than to detail stuff that they were not doing. As a design engineer during my career I saw the exact same type of documentation being done on every product that I personally designed and every system that I was involved in designing. I cannot visualize how it could be done differently. We just knew better than to EVER make a change that was not documented totally. My employers then were not huge companies but they were large enough (Rockwell Wescom, Bell Laboratories) that I simply would not have done it differently than what was accepted company practice. Even at Fun Projects, Inc. I advance the ISS/REV numbers when I make changes to things and fully note which models in the field might have different versions of things. I honestly believe the info in the Ford archives can be relied upon as factual evidence of what was being done. Your mileage could vary.
For those who may read this thread in the future -- for the answer to how the running board brackets on Ward's 1911 turned out please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/79513.html?1232471374
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout.
I have found two distinct types of those brackets; bent and really bent!
There is a third type; Overpriced on ebay.
True. I could use a set right now,but not for those prices.It's amazing how many gold -plated parts are out there.
I may be putting a big target on my head for continuing this thread, but I'm going to side with Royce. I've been looking at these running board bracket sets at swap meets for more than 30 years and have riveted several to frames. The sets I have seen always have a different shape for the back, unless it is a mixed up set. I don't know about the 1911, but all of the later 1913-19 cars I have seen are that way. I always assumed that the rear bracket had more of a bend for the brake rod clearance. I would like to see some photos from some original cars of the 1911-19 period to see what they look like, rather that just quoting the books on what it is supposed to be. I'm from Missouri--You have to show me.
Here is one set that is on ebay right now. It does not prove anything. It has 3 that have a lesser bend and 1 with the greater bend. But I really don't think those are 1909 brackets.
Trying to look at this semi-logically: with relation to the frame, would there ever have been a reason to place the aft end of the runningboard wider or narrower or higher or lower than the front one? If not, then all brackets should be the same.
Trying to look at this semi-logically: with relation to the frame, would there ever have been a reason to place the aft end of the runningboard wider or narrower or higher or lower than its front end? If not, then all brackets should be the same.