My keyword search is not working so I'll just ask... I'm curious about the 60 inch wide track.
1. Was it a kit, or direct from Ford plant when you placed your order.
2. Is it just the front axle that is 60" or was a rear (extended) axle supplied as well.
3. Was the steering (gearing) changed as well
4. Were the springs 'longer' or did they use same as 56"
Thanks in advance!
Parts books show that every thing was wider for the 60",front and rear, springs, axles, housings etc, even the fenders.
Robert, I imagine that a dealer special ordered wide track cars from Ford when requested by buyers. Even though they were primarily meant to be sold in the southern U.S. where horse drawn wagons having 60" tread, cut deep ruts in unimproved roads, I have seen them turn up in parts of the U.S., other than the deep south.
To answer your other question, all of the following parts were different on a wide track Ford: fenders, front axle, front tie rod, drag link, rear axle housings AND shafts, and rear spring. Front spring was standard Ford as the spring perches were placed in the front axle with the same spacing as a standard axle. In the 70's, I bought a unrestored 1913 wide track touring that had near perfect sheet metal, all original wood, original engine and transmission, original lamps and horn, but the wide track parts had been changed out for standard components. Against almost impossible odds, I found all of the needed parts within 75 miles of my home.
I think you missed parking brake rods Terry.
The link http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/GFM&CISOPT R=928&CISOBOX=1&REC=7 takes you to a photo of a wagon loaded with cotton bales. You can see why the wagons needed to have a 60 inch tread. There was not room to put the standard cotton bale between the rear wheels if you used 56 inches. And they had been using those 60 inch wagons for a long time. And they were not going to change the way they had been doing things just because of some new fangled fad called an automobile....
Below is from the May-Jun 1996 “Vintage Ford” page 26 (used by permission)
by Russ Furstnow
A distinctive and unique Model T, known as the
“wide track” or “Dixie tread,” was produced on a
limited basis by Ford from 1909-1916.
The car looked quite different from a “regular”
Model T because the wheels were placed 60 inches
apart rather than the standard 56 inches.
The wide track Ford was made to be driven in
the southern United States, including Florida,
Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, as these states
produced horse-drawn wagons with a 60” wide
track. Ford surmised that it would be easier to sell
his cars in the south if his cars would track in the
60” ruts produced by the wagons.
In the northern states, the 56 inch “standard”
tread worked fine, yet when the standard track
Ford went south, drivers had difficulty maintaining
control of their Fords while driving in the wider
ruts left by wagons.
The wide track Ford had numerous parts which
made it unique. Also, this option made the Model
T appear more massive and stable when driven on
a good paved highway-or at least, it was more
stable than the 56 inch standard tread car.
Early versions of the wide track Fords (1909-
12) had wider fenders, aprons and running board
brackets that were unique, yet the fender line was
smooth and appeared to “fit” together. (See Photos
1 & 2.)
In 1913, Ford began to utilize the “standard”
apron and running board brackets, necessitating
the use of very wide appearing fenders. (See Photo
3.) These fenders extended beyond the standard
width running board, making the car look somewhat
ungainly. These wider fenders were used
until 1916, when Ford discontinued this option.
The 60” tread Ford was identified in the sales
brochures as a special order option. It is assumed
that the cost of the standard and wide track models
were the same. This assumption is based on the fact
that Ford’s Price List of Parts did not add a premium
for the unique 60” tread parts over the standard
It is unknown how many wide track Fords were
produced, as no records have been found identifying
the production figures for these unique vehicles.
However, it is believed that a very small
percentage of Model Ts produced were ordered with
the wide track option.
The demise of the wide track was likely caused
by three factors: improvement in road conditions,
decreasing demand, and Ford’s need for stand-
ardization. The quality of roads in America were
improving and the mud and deeply rutted roads
were becoming the exception rather than the rule.
With improving roads, the demand for the wide
track option is believed to have declined.
Some previous wide track postings -- many repeat some of the information. Most have new photos:
1914 wide track: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/28721.html
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/80491.html a few shown about half way down.
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/42514.html has at least one wide track
Hap 1915 cut off
The wide track Fords first appeared in 1908. There was a wide track version of the 1908 S Roadster. The parts are listed in the 1908 Model N, R, S and S Roadster parts book.
I have seen one. It was an interesting S Roaster. It appeared to have had a transmission transplant. The original NRS transmission and transmission frame had been replaced with a stock Model T transmission, transmission cover, and a cut off Model T crankcase. The transmission cover was left hand drive, but through a series of levers it was possible to drive the car from the right hand side.
One of the most interesting features of this car was its front axle. 60 inch tread Model S Roadsters used a stock 1909 Model T front axle, spindles, and spring perches. All of these parts had factory part numbers that began with the letter "N", and the front axle parts on this car were clearly marked with their N numbers.
At the time I was looking to purchase my first NRS Ford. While I liked the Wide Track SR, I had no idea how to convert it back to a stock NRS transmission, nor did I know where to find the parts. So I moved on and found the 1907 Model N I have today.
Royce, You may be correct on the rear brake rods; also the rear radius rods because of the wider rear axle width.
Nothing better than getting home from the yearly gala event (Jackson memorial hospital in Miami), jumping on the computer, and seeing all the new responses to my question...
Now I can go to sleep in peace knowing I have learned something new...
Yes, brake rods and radius rods are longer. About 1 inch each. Dan.