Looking to finish my Dads Model T. I need to find a set of head lights and mounting brackets.
Any head light from 1915 to 1925 would work unless you are building a points car. The 1915 to about 1917 had the focus screw in a different place but all lamps are the same shape and style. All are mounted on their own stem.
That being said;
The VERY early 1915 lights are different. What is the build date of the car? It may or may not have had brass rims.
'15 headlights were the last year for brass rims. They were also the only year for the 90 degree socket I believe. Can't say for sure, but I would also think that from '20 on those would all be "electric" being on starter cars. The others would be magneto headlamps. Just sayin'
Jack -- as Mark said, from '15 through '25 all look pretty much the same. But the '15-'17 ones have the adjustment screw located above the socket, while the later ones have the screw to the left of the socket. The mounting brackets will be riveted to the bucket, so you will find them together as a unit. If you don't care about being correct for '15, you can use all the later components (with double-contact straight plugs and sockets) and they'll work fine.
If you want everything to be correct for 1915, you'll need brass trim rings and clear plate glass lenses. You can have the lenses made at any glass company. You'll also need the 90-degree wire plugs, which you can get from Lang's. The bulb sockets are different from the later ones as well, having the indexing pin slots 90 degrees from the later ones. The reproduction ones offered by the vendors will not work with the correct 90-degree plugs. Try Lang's or Bob's for used ones.
Here's a link to the 90-degree plugs:
The angle plug was used through 1917.
I appreciate all the input. This car will go again. I think I found the head lights ( no mounting brackets) will not know for sure till they get here. I did buy a set of Headlight Brass Rings that in excellent shape off e-bay so maybe piece by piece we will get there Again Thanks. If someone out there could shoot me a picture of a 1915 headlight mounting bracket on your car that would sure help me know what I am looking for.
The 1917 "Rip Van Winkle" car appears not to have the angled plugs.
The head light bucket is riveted to the mounting bracket. Even if you find a pair of head lights that mounted on the separate brackets does not mean the rims and other T parts will fit or work. What is the build date of the car?
Google "mtfca; 1915 head light"
Rich..per my previous post above I'm almost positive '15 was the only year the 90 degree socket was used. Thats why Rip doesn't have 'em.
Jack pics are are 16 let me know if you need any other pics
I wanted to add our 16 has a body tag date 12-15 and eng cast date of 11-16-15
Thank You for the pictures they are GREAT !! I am still digging for parts . Found a place in Kansas that may have the brackets they are checking. I really appreciate all the input.
What brackets are you looking for? Fender irons? Forked gas head light type?
People here are trying to point you in the correct direction and help. If you want to do it your own way or are trying to replicate what your Dad did, great.
Besides the differences in the headlight bucket, socket, plug, and rim, the "stalk" which is riveted to the bucket and the fender iron to which it mounts also are different from the later ones. The "stalk" (I don't know its correct name, maybe it's a post) is squared off on both sides at the bottom, whereas the later ones are angled. The fender irons have a squared L-shape where the stalk mounts. the later irons have a V-shaped notch there.
Jack -- I see from your profile that you're in Tulsa. Contact some of the Tulsa T club guys, and they'll be able to show you what the correct parts look like, so you'll know what you're hunting. Or if you happen to be coming to Fayetteville for some reason, contact me and i'll show you some. 479-790-4229
Correct. Those headlamp buckets with the square edge post require the frame mounted fender brackets with matching square receptacle. Later fender brackets won't fit well with the earlier headlamps.
Earlier style fender bracket for the headlamp post with square edge fitting.
Later style fender bracket for headlamp post with the taper fitting.
Just thinking out aloud, will a 90 degree plug go into a 1926/27 headlight back???
I have five headlight buckets with the square edge posts and the focus screw is at the side of the socket. They are all very nice buckets. I'm going to list them on the classifieds, but haven't gotten to it yet. I also have a fork mounted bucket that is a spitting image of the stem mounted buckets. The Ford lens ring fits perfectly, but I can't see any sign of a manufacture's mark. I know the word is that Ford never made those fork mounted electric headlights, but this one sure makes me wonder. That being said, it is very possible that an aftermarket supplier(or even one of Ford's suppliers) could have made these with no markings. Just food for thought. Dave
Russell -- Yes, it will fit into it, but the angled plug will stick out to the side rather than hanging down. You'll need to find the bulb sockets for '15-16 for them to look right.
David -- I know very little about Canadian cars, but I've read on here that they used fork-mounted headlights at some time. There also were lots of aftermarket fork-mounted electric headlights available to "update" pre-'15 cars.
The MTFCI Judging Guidelines say that the adjusting screw hole remained above the socket until the 1919 model year, when it was moved to the side. Also that the angled plugs were replaced with straight ones beginning with the '17 models. As for the square-shaped mounting post, those changed during the 1917 model year. So for a couple of years, there were headlights with the adjusting screw at the top, in combination with the V-shaped (tapered) fender brackets and mounting posts. There is no mention of the combination of features on the ones you have, so I don't know what you have there, unless they're aftermarket. Or maybe they were Ford replacement parts for cars with the square-shouldered fender brackets, made after Ford had switched to the screw hole located on the side.
(Message edited by coupelet on February 14, 2016)
My '17 has its original two contact angled plugs.
This car was built in June of 1917, and has the same 12 o'clock focus screw location as was used in 1915 and 1916 model years with the magneto powered headlamps.
Depending on which headlamp sockets are used the angled connectors may point down on later Model T's. Not sure how the reproduction stuff works, I only have originals to look at.
Mike, thanks for the information. Out of the five buckets I have, two have Ford script on the brackets, one has what I think is the Brown logo (I can't read it until I can clean it up a bit) around the socket hole, and I can't find any markings on the other two, although sometimes they aren't stamped very deep and don't show up until they are sandblasted. Dave
All this talk about headlights made me go look at all mine.The ones I'm using on my Autowa have the flat sides, not tapered on the bottom of the post but have the adjustment screw to the left of the socket.I also have an odd one that has flat sides on the stem,adjustment screw on top and stamped-J.W.A or R.Co COL J J.S.A. No.52C PAT APR 11-14 1414. Also all my rings are stamped FORD except one also has Brown stamped under Ford.Any thoughts?
Thanks Mike & Royce for your comments.
I will take a 2nd look at what I have since I like the idea of the cable point down it kind of looks more natural than the straight out effect of the 26/27 look.
Russell R. and Mike Walker:
The vendors sell an angled plug for the later headlights that have the adjustment screw at the 9:00 position.
The description is confusing in the catalog is a little confusing, however. It is a "fantasy" part.
Well........... Isn't that interesting? I was not aware that those are being made.
Nice, thanks Erik, you have a good for detail, not many would have discovered that...
Here is a picture of the back of one of my odd headlights.Is it OEM or aftermarket or?
We could tell Jack there is a set for sale in the classifieds.
Not ignoring the question if it's Ford markings, not sure but might be.
(Message edited by redmodelt on February 16, 2016)
(Message edited by redmodelt on February 16, 2016)
They are made by the J. W Brown Co.
: ^ )
A flat spot on the back where the socket is is one variation on the earlier lights.
These might be the ones Mark G. alluded to above. They look like '15-16's to me, but the pic is a bit fuzzy. Might ask the seller whether the screw hole is above the socket, just to be sure.
There are so many minor variations of the early electric ('15) headlamps. Some early versions only showed up on the so-called closed cars, which included early couplets, center-door sedans, and town cars. Gas lamps continued on the '14 style touring and runabout well into the '15 model year. By the time regular production of the '15 style touring and runabout was up and running, the semi-regular electric headlamp was being made. Until July of 1915, the most noticeable characteristic of the '15 lamp from more than a few feet away is of course the brass rim. That rim, of course, may be missing or have been changed over the past hundred years. So the question follows to how different is the bucket itself.
Here, it gets tricky. Frankly, I don't know for certain myself. I have read, and heard from people claiming to "KNOW", many different things. I have been asking on this forum myself for years and not gotten what I will accept as solid answers. This is why I hesitate to answer on a thread like this myself.
What I know, or at least think I know. The '15/'16/early'17 had the adjusting screw above the socket, which was mostly (at least) back center of the bucket. I have heard and been told that some MAY have had the socket below back center, with wires to the bulb socket inside. I have doubts of that. I have not seen "reliable" photographic evidence of it. And I have seen enough early photos (even factory photos) clearly showing the back center position, with the 90 degree plug.
It has become my opinion that the center back position was the norm for 1915 and '16. I "BELIEVE" the lower back socket was used for about a year or a bit more between late '17 model year and 1918 model year. I do NOT claim to know this as accurate. I would appreciate a solid answer to this matter. I would even like to hear educated opinions from others that have studied this. I have seen enough of the lamps to know that a lot of them were made, probably a couple million. I have seen them on cars, restored and unrestored. I have seen a fair number of them on '15s, claimed as '15s. But when I think back upon those, I suspect most if not all were not reliable examples, and most likely later lamps dressed up to look like '15s, and incorrect ones at that.
Back to the proper '15 bucket.
There are several minor variations. Nearly all, maybe ALL, '15s did not have a flat spot where the socket is. They were rounded all around the back and around the socket. Some '15s, and I suspect mostly the earlier '15s (but maybe not the early ones), were slightly more bulbous around the curve of the bucket. It is not much different, only slightly larger (fatter not flatter?) in the curve of the bucket.
Unless you have a really sharp eye, and a near photographic memory, you may need to see early and late buckets side by side to see the difference. You may even need to cut cardboard to follow the curve to really see the variation. Some years ago, I did that to show others the difference at a club meeting.
To confuse this issue even more. The late'17/'18/early'19maybe(?) buckets with the socket down lower on the back also appear to be more more bulbous and round at the very back. So the buckets did vary somewhat. Exactly when they had the more bulbous curve with the center back socket? I am not certain. It may even have been a manufacturer variation, and both curves may have been used at the same time.
Another variation, perhaps to the point of an oddity. Some early electric headlamps had a manufacturer's stamping on the bucket. I have seen a small script "Brown" stamped near the socket or around where the rim goes on. And I have seen what James A Smith posted a photo of around the socket. I have also seen, and only a few of them, a similar to Jame's picture, in a full circle and about that size, about halfway between the socket and the top/rim. Usually, this stamping is very shallow, and may not even be legible. Sometimes it only shows up if the bucket is in really nice condition (NO rust) and sanded smooth. SOMETIMES it shows up as an odd wrinkle in the bucket (not legible). When I restored my early '16 brass center-door sedan, I used a pair that had the circle midway up the bucket. When painted, one showed the wrinkle made by the circle, one did not.
The link Mike W posted to the ad by Bob Peterson looks to me to be what I believe are '15/'16 headlamps. My hesitation is I cannot see well enough the curve around the socket, or the bulge shape of the bucket. I think it appears to have the adjusting screw above the socket. And I think it appears to be not flat at the back. If they are as they appear to me in the photos, they should be somewhere in the '15 and '16 spectrum.
I hope from answers above, and my ridiculous diatribe, you can find something you will be satisfied with.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks Wayne.This brings a little more visibility to the fog.Since their has been an exhausted thread on oil cans and pliers,maybe we should have one on headlights,with pictures of course.I have enjoyed learning and expect others would to.