I started this post in the 2016 forum, as some questions are still unanswered.
Please check the 2015 forum post of Dan Treace of May 11th titled: Model T Jack Performance, search to the post of May 9th. Trent B. has some statements that are in the Benson Ford research Library that should convince you that the pressed steel ratchet jack was used for the improved model vehicles.
With regards to one of the manufacturers of the pressed steel ratchet jacks: Indy Pump & Tube Co. they changed their name to Noblitt-Sparks Industries on December 29, 1927. Therefore we are fortunate that all jacks made by that company, for the Model T, will have the Indy Pump & Tube designation. Probably jacks made for the Model A would have Nublitt-Sparks on them.
The Model A Judging guidelines state that a hole is in the flip top portion of the jack. Therefore the flip top jack without the hole in the flip top portion should be the Model T one.
I've never used one of these. Are they an improvement, like the improved car? The old screw jacks are very good. Are these better?
Arnie, As I stated in my post on the 2015 Forum, I have three (no hole) flip top jacks. One definitely has Indy Pump and Tube Co., stamped into it, and one of the other two has Noblitt-Sparks Industries, stamped into it; so regardless of when the company name change occurred; they still continued making the flip top jack (without the hole) after that date, even if they were making the Model A style jack at the same time. I can post pictures of all three jacks.
Steve, I certainly wouldn't call them an improvement, as I have never seen a screw type jack that wouldn't work if the threaded parts of the jack weren't severely rusted or stripped, but it is much more common for a stamped steel, ratchet type jack regardless of whether its Model T, Model A, flip top, or non-flip type to either have a rusted or broken ratchet spring, or be rusted to the point that it won't function.
I don't agree with the following logic:
"The Model A Judging guidelines state that a hole is in the flip top portion of the jack. Therefore the flip top jack without the hole in the flip top portion should be the Model T one."
Just because the Model A Ford Club judging guidelines show the correct jack has the hole in it does not automatically exclude those jacks as correct for late Model T Fords. The Model A guidelines have nothing to do with Model T Fords.
Model A jacks had a hole, accepted fact. Why does that mean that none of Model T jacks had the hole?
Also - the hole in and of itself probably serves a purpose. If that could be determined, then perhaps those jacks could be truly deemed as incorrect for Model Ts.
Yes Erik, one might argue that the jack that has a hole in the flip top portion does not necessarily mean that it was not used for the Model T Ford. Other information seen on the internet (not confirmed) tends to indicate that the hole was used only in the Model A jacks. However unless confirmed this is not necessarily true.
With regards to Indianapolis Pump and Tube Company producing two types of jacks, one with the hole in the flip top portion and one without, I would think that the manufacture would find it more economical to produce only the latest style since it could be used in place of the old style!
That is where this forum may come in handy. Perhaps a survey could be made of the flip top jacks that came with the Model T Fords. This however would be a slippery slop as jacks could easily be switched. Perhaps a better solution would be if someone is near the Benson Ford Research Library to look at the record of change for part #2343(factory number 3389) to try to determine when the hole was placed in the flip top portion and what was it purpose! I might add that one may have to look further, as #3389 is for both the jack and handle and each may have a different part number than the combination.
I think we all are trying to find out just what is correct with regards to jacks for the improved cars. This all started when an individual wanted to know what tools came with his vehicle when new and he wanted to purchase them to have a complete tool set. A guideline picture did not show the flip top jack and I cautioned the individual that the improved car is believed to have come with a flip top jack. Please see my first post of this string with the basis for this.
Steve Jeff, yes I agree with you also in that the "improved jack" may not be as useful as the old cast iron and screw type jack. However that jack may not fit under the front axle of the improved vehicle. I think the screw type jack in the down position was around 10 inches high from the ground. The first ratchet jack used in 1925 was about 8.5 inches from the ground in the full down position.
Steve, I would be interested in your comments about "Are they an improvement, like the improved car?".
Original Larry: Since the 1925 jack has a minimum height of about 8.5 inches I do not understand the statement I have heard a lot of times on this forum that the flip top jack was needed for the improved vehicles. The 1925 ratchet jack already was "low". Therefore was the flip top really needed to jack up the front axle on the improved car with wire wheels and 21" balloon tires to change a tire?
The Improved Jack was to me just a better mousetrap. The old screw drive had been around a while, the lever jack is much more rapid, the lift handle only has to be worked at about 30 degrees to lift. Pretty handy. Plus thinner and shorter.
Screw type left, '25 type middle, '26 on right, which has the flip top.
Could be too, the pressed steel jack did fit better for the low pressure tires, and the lower Improved car, when the tire is flat. It is significantly lower in down position than the screw jack.
When the flip is down, the front frame fits nice in the pressed steel jack platform depression.
For the rear axle, with flip up, the axle housing nests just great in that recess in the flip. Plus the action to raise the T is much improved, just a very short throw of that long jack handle arm, and the car is lifted with ease.
Terry: I reread your original post and I am incorrect in my thinking that Noblitt-Sparks Industries would only make one type jack! Since you have a flip top jack without a hole in the flip top portion, stamped with Noblitt-Sparks, they must have made the no hole flip top along with the hole flip top.
Another thought: Could the new company Noblitt-Sparks use up old inventory of flip tops and just stamp the new company name on the jacks assembled using the old inventory? (if indeed the hole in the flip top was the new design, and the flip top without the hole the old design--just speculation on my part at this time!) I mention this as the company changed names to Noblitt-Sparks on December 29, 1927.
Thanks for adding more knowledge to the topic. Never to old to learn!
I recommend a change in terminology. The older style jack used during most of Model T production is best described as the "screw type" jack. The later style used during the last few years of Model T production is best described as the "pressed steel", which can be divided into two varieties: regular and flip top.
There is an extensive file folder in the BFRC in Acc. 94: the Walter Fishleigh papers, on the press steel jacks. There was a discussion comparing the effectiveness of the pressed steel and screw type jacks when used to lift the rear axle of a loaded TT truck. It was acknowledged by the Ford engineers that owners would frequently loaded well over their 1 ton rating, often times as much as 2 tons of load.
Under a 2 ton load, a pressed steel jack jack would invariably fail, but a TT screw type jack would lift the axle. This suggests to me that the pressed steel jack was not an improvement over the screw type jack, merely cheaper.
I hope you did not mind me telling the person to look for the correct jack in his search for a complete set of tools for the improved car. I did not want him to use your photograph or the parts book to look for the proper jack! Both sources may have resulted in him purchasing the incorrect jack! On the other hand I do not know just how particular he was on obtaining the actual correct items.
Thanks for you post of the pictures in this new thread! Now one can see all three types of jacks in one picture.
I think one can see that the 1925 jack is about the same height as the flip top with the flip top down. Therefore, I do not believe the statement that the flip top was needed to jack up the front axle of improved vehicle with balloon tires and wire wheels. There must have been another reason for the flip top as Henry would not make a change unless it was needed.
Do you know when the hole in the flip top jack flip top portion came about? Was is used in both Model T and Model A Ford vehicles?
Posted are three pictures of my pressed steel jacks with the flip top, but without hole in it. As I said previously, one is not marked, so I didn't take a close up of it. the other two are shown in close ups as well as all three in a group.
For what it is worth. Here are two pages from the Model A Club's " Restoration Guidelines & Judging Standards."
Best regards, John Page, Australia
Interesting. Mine are Ajax, and Walker. The Ajax doesn't have the hole for the handle. They are both 10" which is what the screw jacks are. However, if you get a flat tire, and you have a car with 21" wheels the 10" jack won't fit.
Interesting. Mine are Ajax, and Walker. The Ajax doesn't have the hole for the handle. They are both 10" which is what the screw jacks are. However, if you get a flat tire, and you have a car with 21" wheels the 10" jack won't fit.
The info from the Model A club's guidelines are very interesting and, if verifiable, could set a standard for which improved Model T's could be restored and judged. Thanks for posting, John.
Could both your Ajax and Walker jacks be for a Model A Ford, or did they come with Model T's for sure?
I am just trying to determine if both those 10" pressed steel jacks were other variations of Model T issue jacks!
I have in my lap right now a 10 inch pressed steel jack, but I can not read a manufacturers name. What is different about this jack is that the base does not have the ends bent up on two sides. Instead the base has a hump down the middle of the long side of the base, if that makes any sense to you. I do not think that this is a Model T jack. It is just another variation of jacks available during that time frame.
Just for your information the Model A Ford restoration guidelines and judging standards picture of A-17080 should have another rivet in the flip top portion and have a line to show the very top part pivots about one of the rivets (that rivet is shown in the picture)!
Look at Terry Woods picture of the three jacks for conformation.
Having said that, I think the Model A Ford club does an excellent job with their book. However perhaps better documentation was available for the Model A Ford, and perhaps more people were alive and remembered the differences when documentation started to take place!
Trent, yes I will try to call the pressed steel jacks as flip type top and non flip top. I agree we should try to call something with the same name to clarify things as much as we can.
I have most always gone by the pictures in the Ford parts book for information. The 25-27 parts books don't show a flip top jack. I realize this is ball park information, but as suggested above it would be nice if someone that lives near Dearborn could do a study on this subject. What I have done in the past for this type of information is to use a pair of dividers, and measure the jack in the book against a known part of equal size. The only drawback on this theory is were all the pictures taken at the same time?
What we need here is proof of what Ford really used. If the Model A boys can do it, we should be able to too!
I just looked at my January 1927 parts book, and the jack pictured has no hole for the handle, but the jack handle does. The jack base does have a curled up lip. I believe I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a NOS tool bag from the 24-27 period, which accommodates the long jack handle. The one I use is a reproduction, but is the same. They are currently available in Langs catalog for $23.25.
Did the "T" handle wire wheel socket wrench fit inside the tool bag, and if so how? I ask this as you mention the long jack handle fits inside! The part number I am talking about is part number 2891 or factory number 2839.
All others who care to respond:
With regards to the hole in the jack handle, what was its purpose for the 1925 jack? 1925 jacks did not appear to have a hole in the area where the jack handle was installed as far as I can tell.
Since the 1925 pressed steel non flip jack appears to have about the same minimum height as the flip top jack with the flip top "down", that would imply that the new flip top jack was not needed to jack up the front end of the wire wheel 1926 vehicles. Therefore the question still remains, why was the flip top needed in the pressed steel jacks for 1926/1927? Could it have anything to do with jacking up the rear?
I can understand the hole in the jack handle for the flip top type which has a corresponding hole in the jack, such that one could put a round object in the jack to hold the handle to the jack. What I do not understand is why Henry would put a hole in the handle for the 1925 non flip pressed steel jack? Any ideas?
Perhaps that jack in your January 1927 parts book is not a "flip top type" pressed steel jack.
Please look at the picture and if it is not a flip top, it may be a 1925 non flip top pressed steel jack pictured in the parts book(trying to use Trents' suggestion for jack id). Remember, perhaps Ford did not update his parts books with the current picture of the item in all cases!
Larry, I think the "A" boys say they have a hole in the flip top portion. But does that mean the "T" boys jack did not have the hole? I would think that to be the case, but have not seen anything that said definitely the "T" jack did not have the hole in the flip top portion!
Based on your correspondence I think you to are questioning the purpose of the hole in the jack handle for a jack (1925) that does not have a matching hole in the same location. Perhaps one day someone will come up with a logical explanation!
I conclude that my policy of staying well away from concours and judging is right for me.
But on the topic of the T jack, I acknowledge that the screw type is the more robust, but the pressed steel type is a great ingenious piece of industrial design. It works really well, is quick, and was made from simple stampings. It pleases me. (I have no idea whether it has a hole at the top)
I have never seen any FORD documentation that a flip top jack was ever used for a Model T. As I just mentioned I'm looking at a real Jan 1927 parts book, and the jack that is pictured in there is NOT a flip top. The tools I have I've bought at swap meets, including the jack handle and have no proof they came from a Ford automobile. I mentioned before I have used calipers to measure the jack in the parts book against a known tool on the same page, and that is how I arrived at the size. However, were all the tools pictured taken at the same time? Probably not!
Why do you not accept the fact that there are written reports in Walter Fishleigh papers (Acc 94) at the BFRC that say the screw jack was obsolete 9/13/24? On 8/4/25 a hinged two inch extension was added to the jack etc.
This research was done by non other that Trent Boggess and we should thank him for this!
Chris, it is not only about concours and judging, but it is also interesting the many changes that took place (and some not even documented, like clips to hold the running boards in place) in the 1926/1927 vehicles, especially since Ford was coming out with an entirely new vehicle in 1928!
I forgot to mention to you that you are correct, that it probably does not make much difference if the flip top portion has a hole through it or not. Also why did the jack handle have a hole without a corresponding hole in some of the jacks themselves? It was an extra operation, and I am curious as to why it is actually there. It is something I cannot explain which makes me want to search for an answer!
Who knows; it might have been just to save steel, or perhaps there was a reason, and if so perhaps someone knows and can explain it to us.
Then again curiosity killed the cat so perhaps I should be careful!
You probably too have moved jacks under the T, like me many times. The attached handle on the screw jack makes it easy to place and withdraw.
IMO the hole in the separate jack handle for the pressed steel ratchet jack, which has a corresponding hole in the receiver arm is for that purpose.
When you place a bolt or rivet shank in the assembled jack and handle, one can easily pull the jack from under the T with the long handle, instead of crawling under to grab the jack.
The jack will follow along as you pull on the handle
I found another flip top pressed steel jack today (without the hole in the flip top). It is a Walker brand.
Just in case I ever need a non flip top pressed steel jack, I've got my self covered, too. From left to right, jack 1 is 7" tall to bottom of saddle; jack 2 is 8 1/4"; jack 3 is 8 7/8"; and jack 4 is 9". Jack 4 seems to have a cast saddle. The other three have a pressed steel saddle attached to the top of the jack. Also, the saddles appear to be different widths. Jack 1 saddle is 1 1/4" wide; jack 2 saddle is 1 5/16" wide; jack 3 saddle is 1 3/8" wide; jack 4 is only 3/4" wide. Jacks 1,2,and 3 have bases that turn up on the sides. Jack 4 does not. Its base is flat.
That jack #4, if it is like mine has the saddle cast with the ratchet post down the center. I could not find a manufacturers name on mine. Also it is interesting to note that where the jack handle goes in, the rivets are on the bottom. All the other jacks shown, the rivets are on the top. Do you know who made this jack?
Arnie, Jack number 4 does have the saddle cast with the ratchet post. As I said, its base is flat with no turned up edges or ends. If I remember correctly, someone stated that all T jacks had turned up edges on the base, so I don't know if the flat base is an A or T jack. For the record, my #4 jack is an AJAX. The name is not stamped on the pressed steel body, but rather cast into the ratchet post.
Why not add the notations by Fishleigh to the forum so we can all see them? Next I am aware that the screw jack was discontinued in late 1924 as you mentioned, and I did too in my article on '25s sometime ago. So what jack did they use between late '24 and late '25 when the flip top jack was introduced? I have tried a 10" jack beneath a T front axle with balloon tires and it will not fit when the tire is flat. A flip top jack would work nicely in that situation, and that maybe the reason they came out with it.
Yes, my jack says Ajax no 6! Never thought of looking on the ratchet post. Thanks!
We have included this jack in the discussion but I do not believe this tall (10.25" collapsed) Ajax jack was included in any Model T Ford tools supplied with the car. Like Larry says a 10" jack will not fit below the front axle with a balloon tire that is flat.
I agree with you about the flip top jack fitting under the front axle. But Ford did not need to come out with it for that reason as the non flip top jack shown in the parts book will indeed fit under the front axle of a flat tire improved car! Please look a the picture by Dan Treace posted on January 3rd 2016 in this thread. That is assuming one is working on a vehicle that is parked on a flat surface!
So, who is going to give us the reason for the flip top jack?
Arnie: I think you are assuming non flip top jacks are the same height. They are not. The one I am referring to is a 10", the same height as a standard screw jack.
Please look at the first post in this thread. It lists were you can find information about the documentation of the flip top jacks. The information was researched by Trent, and Dan posted it in the 2015 forum. Please look at the first message in the thread to see where to look in the 2015 forum for this information. Larry, I too at first did not think the flip top jack was standard issue with Model T Fords, because I could not find it listed in the parts book. Now, I believe you cannot use just the parts books for the whole story! That applies to many parts, not just jacks.
With regard to flip top jacks and non flip type jacks and height. Please look at Dans January 3rd posting in this thread. There you will see both a non flip top and flip top pressed steel jack. The height of both the non flip top and the flip top (with the flip top down) are about the same. My unanswered question is why does the jack handle have a hole and the non flip top jack not have a corresponding hole where the handle goes in the non flip type jack?
Larry yes, not all non flip top jacks are the same height, in fact I have one that is 10 inches high also, but that could not be used to jack up the front axle of the improved car with a flat tire. In fact this 10 inch jack was probably not issued by Ford during the Model T era.
The non flip top jack for purposes of this discussion is like the one shown in your parts book and Dans' picture!
Just a guess, but the Parts and Price Book illustrations are just that, drawn by an artist, they are not engineering isometric drawing or accurate photographs....and parts changed design and look on active basis, and parts book printing plates just didn't reflect changes to any sure degree.
So perhaps the jack handle with hole in the late Parts books was current design with hole for the flip top jack receiver, and the next to last style of pressed steel jack for '25 didn't have that design feature built in, so it has no hole to mate. IMO. Both parts shown correct in Parts book, but just different usage years.
Yes, that is a possibility! What I will need to do is check a 1925 parts book and see if it has a picture of the jack handle. Now, if that parts book has a picture of the jack handle with a hole, we know that handle hole came before the jack hole (now for sure the comments will fly)! Or one could argue the picture is incorrect, or Ford planned in advance etc!
Langs offers a 2344 handle for the late style stamped steel jack but no year is given. The picture shows a hole in the handle.
Another option would be to look at the BFRC for the history of part number 2344 or factory number 3391.
I will try the first option because the BFRC has distance and cost issues for me!
Thanks for giving me some additional homework Dan!
I looked in a Wholesale Price List of Parts dated 5/1/25. On page 39 it shows a non flip top jack without the "jack hole" but the handle shows a hole in it.
Since this is a May issue, would it have the improved car parts listed? I think most of the parts were for 1925 or earlier cars.
Arnie, Larry, Trent, or Dan. it would be interesting to see a picture or an engineering drawing of an original jack handle for a pressed steel jack. I have no originals. A few years ago, I purchased a repo from Lang's. This last December, I ordered two more from them. The last two must be made by a different supplier as the bend in them is almost undetectable, especially when compared to the handle purchased a few years ago. I can lay a recent one on the older one and post a picture to show what I mean.
May I add to the confusion?
I have never seen a pressed metal jack known to be T model jack here in Australia. Our jacks are usually cast screw types, from a variety of manufacturers. We do have cast screw jacks with flip tops! Is this another Canadian anomaly?
Allan from down under.
Now this is getting very interesting. I never thought of other countries having different types of jacks. Can you post a picture of the flip top screw jack?
Yes, I to would like to see some drawings of the pressed steel jacks and jack handle. However, please remember Ford bought most of the jacks from other manufacturers than Ford Motor Company.
It is my understanding that the later jack handle Langs is selling is made by a different person than the ones Langs sold many years ago. That may explain the difference in shape.
Perhaps someone can post pictures with dimensions of the handles they have. I do not have an original jack handle so cannot add to that topic. We could also use Original Larry's scaling technique to see if any jack handles correspond in proportion to the pictures of the jack handle in the parts books.
Arnie, photos as requested.
The jack on the right and the centre flip top one are both made by Auto Specialties. The standard one has much of the original black paint snd no wear in any components. The one on the left I bought at Chickasha in 2010. I was fascinated to find a T number for every component of the jack, from T 3390 for the main stand to T 3396 for the pawl.
There are sllght differences in the gear castings and the pawl, but essentially, they work the same way.
Allan from down under
What is the height when the jacks are all compressed (with the flip top down)? Does the flip top portion add about 2 inches or 50.8mm to the height?
Would all three jacks be used with the improved Model T Fords?
I do not know about the foreign made Model T Fords. Did the 1926/1927 models have dropped front spindles such that the front axle would be closer to the ground than earlier vehicles?
English made drop frame cars came in 1925 and were assembled/sold all over europe. The front axle is certainly closer to the ground on the '25:s (3"), less so on the '26/'27:s, but still lower than the US/Canadian cars, while the rear axle of course kept its distance to the ground, so there would have been a need for a low flip top jack, but I'm not sure what was supplied - don't know about any Rip Van Winkle '25-'27:s here.
I have found a regular up until '24 jack to bring with my pickup that has a 1925 DF front end. When I got a flat tire last summer I could use the regular screw jack by putting it under the front axle leaning at an angle and rocking the light car forward, getting it in place for further lifting
Thanks for the information. By looking at the screw jack pictures you supplied, perhaps none of them would allow you to jack up the 26/27. Is this true? That is why I asked for the full down height of the jacks.
Perhaps you need a stamped steel flip top jack supplied with the United States vehicles so that you would not need to put the jack at an angle and rock the car forward. If you were on an uneven surface where the tire was on a lower surface than the jack, you would benefit from a U.S. stamped steel flip top jack!
Arnie, I plan to have an original jack with my car's tool kit just for authenticity. Someone on a previous Forum suggested they aren't as safe as a modern hydraulic bottle jack, so I plan on using one of those if I have to raise a wheel on the road.
What it the correct included angle between the legs of the jack handle? Also the width thickness and length of the flat steel would help identify the jack handle. Can someone post the correct angle from an original jack handle? That would help individuals looking at parts swaps to purchase the correct item.
I used "Original Larry's method" and measured the included angle in the parts book with a protractor! ]
An estimate of the included angle of the jack handle (#2344) is about 160 degrees. Is this close to what an original jack handle actually is?
This has all been very interesting, and it's good to have all the observations, illustrations, and information together for reference. While I have no Model T recent enough for a pressed jack to be correct for it, I think if I did I would stick with the old reliable screw jack. I have no problem with it being slower, and I agree with Trent's comment that it's probably more robust. I suppose if I were going for authenticity for show purposes, I'd have a pressed jack for show and a screw jack to actually use.
No, the wire wheel lug nut tool does not fit in the late style tool bag, but it won't fit in the earlier version either! If you look at the parts book, the tools that were included with the car have standard part numbers. I believe the lug nut tool is a Z tool. The earlier parts books state standard equipment for tool roll tools.
Larry, You are correct. The wire wheel lug nut wrench was a 'Z' tool. I had never thought about what Ford furnished to remove the wire wheels on each car so equipped. Interesting thought. I don't think any of the other wrenches Ford furnished, fit, and getting them off with the money wrench or pliers would be impossible: inconvenient to say the least.
The July 1st 1927 Model T Parts list on page eight has part number 2891 listed as Wire Wheel socket wrench. It also lists the Factory number as 2839. I so not know what is actually stamped on the T wrench, but used the numbers in the Fords parts book!
Anybody measure the included angle of an actual jack handle? I have been told that two different angle ones are out there and would like to know what is the correct jack handle for the improved jack!
There were 2 different "T" shaped lug wrenches for the 1926 and 1927 wire wheels. If you look in Bruce's big black book on page 594, part #2891. Originally in 1926, 5Z-161 was to be used. Later, in 1927, factory #2839 must have been designed, which has a shorter shaft. Both wrenches have a 10 inch crossbar. The first one is marked "Ford 5-Z-161", and has a shaft 11 inches long. The second one is marked "Ford T-2839-R", and has a shaft 8-1/2 inches long. I have both types, but use the later one. It is easier to fit under the seat. If I could figure out how to re-size the photos to post them here you would see the difference. I tried to do it once and lost the photos.
Jim, I've never resized anyone else's photos; only my own, but it you want to email the pictures to me, I'll try to resize them using "paint" on my computer and post them. PM me for my email address.
Thank you for adding to the information about the different wrenches. I think your fine description gives us the information on the differences.
I am surprised that no one has indicated the correct included angle between the sides of the jack handle yet. Perhaps the cold weather prevents people from going out and checking the jack handle of the ratchet pressed steel jack. Is my estimate of 160 degrees included angle sound about right?
These are the photos of the two different wire wheel lug nut wrenches for the 1926-27 Model T's.
(I hope this works.)
Here are the tools and pouch I received with my last two weeks of production '27 Tudor. I will get the lug wrench out, clean it and find the #'s.
Jeff - that hub cap wrench is not correct for a T equipped with wire wheels - the correct wrench has two opposing "raised" (for lack of a better term) flats at the opening which is utilized for adjusting the front outer wheel bearings as the bearing sits inboard farther on the wire wheel front hub than the wood wheel hub.
Unless they're located on the opposite side that's not showing !
Ya know Steve, I actually got three hubcap wrenches with the car, two with the raised edge and one flat. I took the pic with the flat one. Thanks for the clarification as to which one is correct. I also got a screw type jack which is discussed a lot in this thread.