There are a pair of 26 headlights listed here in the classified forum. A gentleman stated that they are "early" 26 lights. My 26 was built in March of 26 and have these lights. Is there an agreement of what is considered "early" in any given year? Just curious. Bob
Hi, When I advertise any 1926 or 1927 parts I advertise them as 1926-1927 because a lot of cars have been put together, repaired with different parts. If a person has grandpa's 1927 and it has 1926 headlights on it in the 1928 picture of it and he wants to make it look like grandpa's car, who cars. I try to avoid arguments. Bob.
Yes -- for the headlamps -- the 1926 style that are mounted to the fenders rather than on top of a light bar are generally referred to as early 1926 headlights.
For many things such as the 1926 headlights that are mounted to the fenders rather than are identical and mounted on top of the headlight bar and used mid 1926-to the end of production yes there is agreement on what is considered early.
In Bruce's book as well as the online encyclopedia you will find pictures of the evolution of 1926 headlamp mounting. The first (earliest) is on the left and the last is on the right. There were other variations in the earlier tie-rod design as well. See: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/hl23.htm
And the later 1926-1927 style that became the final design and were mounted on top of the tie bar are shown at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/hl23d.htm
So the lamps in the for sale site would not have been fitted to a 1927 USA produced car since they were the earliest style and were discontinued for normal production before the 1927 cars (or even the late 1926 cars) came out.
Note -- there is normally NOT a single point in time we can say that at midnight on day XX and year YY a part changed from the old to the new style part. Why? Because the main Ford plant normally changed over first to the new part and there was a time when both the new style part was used at the main plant and the old style part was still being used up at the branch plants.
Additionally because engines were sometimes stored for a month or more (see: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc24.htm scroll down to Mar 18, 1924 ). So it was possible for a car to be produced that had an engine that was assembled on Nov 2 etc. but that was installed and came off the production line on Jan 2. Then if you use the engine production number as a guide to dating the other parts, you would say the new part was introduced two months earlier than originally thought or the old part was discontinued two months later than originally thought.
And finally -- Ford tended to have overlap when both old and new style parts were used at the same time. Often that over lap was months such as the introduction of the one piece valve door cover when both style of engines were produced with 5 months of overlap.
But yes -- for the headlamps -- the 1926 style that are mounted to the fenders rather than on top of a light bar are generally referred to as early 1926 headlights.
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Ford began each model year typically in August then, just as it does today. An "early" 1926 T would be one built prior to the switch to later style headlamps.
Bob, I wasn't being critical about how you listed your items, I was just trying to understand what is meant by "early or "Late" when speaking about a given year of a model T. I would think that the first 6 months in production would be "early" and those produced in the second six months of production year would be considered late models.
Or is it anything up to Jan 1 is considered "early" and everything from Jan 1 through production year is "Late model year cars?
Bob, check you add and I reference the comment made by another gentleman. Bob
Thanks all for the insight. I guess my March 26 coupe would be considered an "Early model year 26. Bob
Because of the fender mounted lights which I believe to be original.
March is actually late in the model year which began in August 1925.
So I guess I'll just say I have an Early Late model year 1926 coupe.
March is actually late in the model year which began in August 1925.
So many parts. So many years. So many changes. Early and late are both relative terms. They cannot in themselves be defined to a specific month without specifying a particular change. While it may be easy to define the usual model year change as taking place in either August or September? Many years, many such changes usually identified with a specific year model actually took place in months earlier or later. Hence so much confusion over the 1914/'15/'16 cars as well as the 1922/'23/'24. Toss in that the states could not agree on licensing criteria and you get a real mess.
I often refer to my coupe as my "April '24 coupe", and my current restoration project as the "spring '15 runabout". The coupe engine number and minute changes agree to the time frame of April. The runabout does not possess its original engine number, but the body manufacturer's tag is dated February '15. I figure that "spring" is as close as I can estimate when it was done and assembled as a car.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Somewhere in the mix between early and late 26-7 cars there was another introduction in the mix. The fender mounted lights came first. A little later there was a headlight bar introduced, and this had pressed ends over which the headlight flange was bolted, sandwiching the bar between the light and the fender.
The last configuration was the headlight bar with the mounts for the headlight to bolt directly to the bar.
I have no idea of the timeline for these introductions.
Allan from down under.
I think their was one more addition related to the light bar. Wasn't the first light bar made with cast fender mounts?
To my knowledge there has never been proof that Ford used a bar with the single lights but many types of accessory bars were used and exist today. The original design obviously was flawed. One more example of evolution. IMHO, MG
Bruce's 'Model T Ford' big book on page 387 comments on the fender bars for the new Improved Car, in 1925-early '26 prior to the revised headlamp bucket that mounted on the new matching Ford fender bar, which became feature on the later cars.
In the book Bruce states "During 1926 several types of tie rods were used between the fenders, three of which are shown here...Whether these are accessory or genuine Ford is not known."
Many of these styles of aftermarket fender supports were offered by various manufactures, and were shown in Bruce's book, but none are Ford.
Never have seen a Ford Parts/Price book for Improved Car to have part numbers for fender braces that fit to the underside or to the post of the '26 Ford fender mounted post headlamps.
Bruce used Ford references for research and actual owner's cars too, but guess he didn't research the journals, advertisements, and accessory catalogs to glean more info.
Real clear to me that these bars are all aftermarket accessory.
Only Ford genuine part is the #6517X, Rod (headlamp tie) and bracket assembly 1926-27, that was required to mount the #6511MX headlamp bucket without a post, 1926-27 to the rod with the #6504X Bolt (headlamp bracket swivel) 1926-27.
Unknown actual date when the new lamps and fender tie rod were factory installed, but the new adjustment method without using a 'bending bar' is described in the July 1926 Service Bulletin, so these lamps were likely installed a few weeks or months earlier
Interesting! I'll be bringing a headlight bar that looks like the "Marquette" bar posted above and a pair of '26 lights to Chickasha.
That Marquette bar is rather nice too, the fancy model has the rod and lock nuts nickel plated!
Used one when restoring my '26 runabout pickup.
Those period advertisements are fascinating The only bar I have seen like those was made differently. The centre piece was rolled steel like electrical conduit. The end pieces were pressed steel and were welded to the cross bar. It was non adjustable. The fact that there were so many different ones available would indicate that there was no Factory item available.
I wonder whether the introduction of the factory bar on later cars lead to the marketing of these, or did the factory jump on their bandwagon? I suspect it was a response to the factory item on later cars,an update item for your earlier car.
Allan from down under.
What likely happened was Ford introduced bumpers earlier, in February of 1926. The front Ford bumper masked the front license plate, for those states that required a front plate, which at the time was many.
So Ford made the new headlamps and the fender tie bar, partly for better light (less shaking of the fender mounted lamps) and for stiffer fenders.... did that around June/July 1926.
The addition of license plate clamps, mounted to the new fender bar was a big plus.....happy owners with bumpers and license plate up high for the sheriff to see.
Factory line, look close and you can see license plate clamps on the fender tie bar.
Dan, could you share some pics of your 26 truck roadsters. I would like to see it if possible. That is my other mod t project that runs. Thanks tim
Dan, very nice ads showing the accessory bars. I believe the adding of the bars by Ford to the style with the headlights on the bar was one of the very early running changes to correct problems. My very early 1926 touring has the very early style fenders without the reinforcements under the fender where they meet the splash aprons, and also are made of a very thin sheet metal. They were probably prone to crack almost from day one. Probably the reason for the success of the aftermarket bars to go under the stem mount headlights. Here are the fenders on my very early 26. It shows the fenders cracked to pieces, and "Farmer Brown" rivets and plates added to fix them ... I added the accessory bar under the headlights in the second photo. The previous owner had a 27 style bar with the stem mounted headlights mounted to it. Its shown in the first photo how it was when I got the car. It is amazing what "Farmer Browns" did to keep their cars going ... have fun and be safe .... Donnie Brown ...
We are all learning more and more about the cars every day. In the case of the 1926 stalk mounted headlights that bolt to the fenders I am more and more convinced that you are most likely correct. You believe (and with the current evidence we have available I agree it is highly likely) that Ford USA never offered or used a bar to tie the stalk mounted 1926 head lights that bolted to the fenders. You have provided some great support for that belief above. And you have slowly been working to help me “see the light” (; since your 2008 posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/77613.html?1231294771 . But I missed it the first couple of years that I read it. (Note to self: caution don’t type answers in the morning before the first cup of caffeine.) In addition to showing the accessory tie bars – that look identical or very close to the ones Bruce shows in his photos, you also point out that so far no one has located and shared any Ford part numbers or factory numbers so someone could order a replacement tie bar if their tie bar was damaged.
Below are some comments that Bruce made about the tie bars connected to the 1926 stalk mounted headlamps that were mounted on the fenders. Dan shared the first one earlier in the thread.
Note that Bruce in his CD as well as his book on page 387 has the following paragraph next to the photos that are also shown on the on-line encyclopedia at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/hl23.htm Those same photos are used several times in different locations and are seen with the paragraphs below:
At the time of the introduction of the “improved “ Fords, the
headlights were mounted on flanged posts which were bolted to
the fenders as shown in the upper left photo. During 1926 several
types of tie rods were used between the fenders, three of which are
shown here. Note the variations in design. The upper right has a
channel-type cross rod, the center left has a rolled-steel rod, and
the center right has a solid rod which is threaded into the castings
under the lamps and provides some adjustment. Whether these are
accessory or genuine Ford is not known. The final design, shown
in the lower photo, has the headlamps mounted on the tie rod.
The front license plate was mounted on the tie rod in front of the
radiator, after early 1926 production.
A key sentence in that paragraph is: Whether these are
accessory or genuine Ford is not known.
In other places he discusses the headlights but does NOT include the remark “Whether these are accessory or genuine Ford is not known.”
And under the “Lamps” section of his CD Encyclopedia he has:
6501AX and 6502AX (Right and Left)
6501CX and 6502CX (Right and Left)
6511NX magneto type, bar mount.
6511MX battery type, bar mount.
The 6501/6502 types were similar in shape to the
1925, but now mounted on posts that in turn mounted
on the fender. The right and left lamps differed
mainly in the positioning of the lens, and could be
interchanged. Later 1926 production lamps (6511
M,N) were mounted on the fender to fender tie rod.
Standard lamps were all black but nickel-plated rims
were optional. Nickel became standard during the
But that paragraph is followed by the same photos as before but now he doesn’t use the disclaimer about the head light bars that it is unknown if they are or are not accessory or genuine Ford parts. Instead the label says, “1926 Headlamp variation in the fender
tie rod” and “Another tie bar variety.”
And under the introduction to the 1926 cars Bruce has:
The tie bar evolved through several
modifications in 1926. Earlier designs were just
a connecting rod between the fender-mounted
headlamps. After a few modifications of the tiebar,
the headlamps were finally mounted on the
tie-bar itself, instead of on the fenders.
And still later under the description of the 1926 Bruce has:
Initially, the headlights were mounted on
flanged posts which bolted to the fender apron.
In later 1926 production, several types of tie bars
were added between the fenders which served two
purposes: (1) tying the fenders together made the
front assembly more rigid, and (2) The introduction
of front bumpers as optional equipment had created
a problem by obscuring the license plate. Law
enforcement agencies complained and the license
plate was moved up to this headlamp tie bar. Later
1926, and all 1927 production used a revised tie bar
on which the headlamps were mounted directly.
So in 1 out of 4 entries he clearly says “Whether these are
accessory or genuine Ford is not known.” But in 3 out 4 entries he doesn’t bring it up.
So where does that leave us? I believe it could still go either way. A factory drawing showing a tie bar attaching the stalk mounted headlamps with a date of use in late 1925 or early 1926 would swing the decision back towards Ford produced them or had them produced. Or finding one of the tie bars between the stalk mounted headlamps that had a Ford part number or a Ford script would do the same (no – Ford did not use felt tip markers back then). Or a note to the effect that 10,000 tie bars were to be tried on an experimental basis between the stalk mounted headlamps would fit the scenario (remember the 10,000 electric horns in 1915 – if not see http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm and check out the Jan 23 and Jan 30, 1915 notes).
Or if we could locate the cars that were used for the photos in Bruce’s book (and in the “Vintage Ford” article originally), it would be great to see what the tie bars really look like up close. Do they each match one of the accessory tie bars? It sure looks like the end does on one of them. If so then that would be another support for Dan’s conclusion.
Note I read the MTFCI Judging Guidelines 6th edition and I’m tired so I want to quit for the night. But I believe it can be read either way. I.e. a mid 1926 without any bar as well as a mid 1926 with a bar that connected the headlights would both be “Ok.” But I’ll let someone more familiar with the 1926 judging guidelines confirm if I read that correctly or not.
In the mean time I would recommend don’t add or subtract a tie bar until more information is found and shared. Several folks tossed out “pointy” front springs only to later find out they were used around the 1916 time frame.
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2014 similar discussion: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/459039.html?1404648267
2013 discussion: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/376847.html difference in drain hole locations and then some had two drain holes so they worked on either side.