1923 Low Style Steel Firewall... Was it ever used in production?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: 1923 Low Style Steel Firewall... Was it ever used in production?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Adam Doleshal on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 11:35 am:

A topic of conversation that seems to occasionally come up is whether the low style steel firewall was used on cars from the factory or if it was only available as a "replacement part"...

While looking for some other information, I was browsing thru the DVD-ROM of the Model T Ford Encyclopedia by Bruce McCalley. I read thru the three page section about "myths" which was authored by Mr. McCalley. On page 568 (of the PDF) There is a paragraph about 1923 Models and the following information. "During early calendar 1923, the wooden firewall was replaced with a steel one but the lower radiator style continued until the change in June".

If this is true, then most all cars produced from "early calendar 1923" thru "the June 1923 change" would have been produced with low style steel firewalls...

Is there any actual evidence or research out there that proves otherwise?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 05:35 pm:

I was surprised by that theory. I have seen enough low steel ones to think they were more plentiful. A comment on the one for sale recently had me wondering. The early Fordor with wood one ('23) shown on another posting suggests that idea could be correct.
I have no answer but it is a good question.
Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 05:39 pm:

I was wondering the same... they're far too common for me to believe they weren't original equipment.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 05:58 pm:

I'm leaning toward them being used only through part of the model year, probably not for long. I have only seen the remains of the wood firewalls on a couple of weathered chassis. I think a lot, if not most, of the wood firewalls that were used were changed out over the years as they deteriorated. No proof, just a theory. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 06:19 pm:

I think that as time went by Ford would replace the older wood firewalls with the steel low firewalls when necessary. Probably during the 30's-40's people would find a steel low firewall and use them for replacements.
It would make sense as it would be an improvement anyway. Over the years I do have to say that I have seen more than a few. Maybe because I have 2 low cowl T's.
When I was collecting parts for my 1919 Runabout and 21 Touring I did notice they were fairly plentiful.

But I did use wood firewalls so they would be more 'original'!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 06:22 pm:

Think of the source. I'm willing to trust Bruce's research over speculation from anyone else.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 06:31 pm:

Keeping my last post in mind, my '23 Runabout, had a badly worn and cracked low steel firewall when I inherited the car. There was no evidence that it was a replacement. It was just as junky as the rest of the car. The poor thing barely survived being owned by farm kids during the depression.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 06:48 pm:

I did a quick walk through the shop and the back yard and counted 5 low and 9 high dashes. (none for sale.) The low dashes having 9 terminal block holes. That and the fact that the Ford parts book listed them 17-23 (low) is where I formed my previous opinion. I agree the replacement idea could be valid but a lot of them showed up in Idaho. If they really are rare I will take better care of them.
"Just sayin'" as they say.
Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Trent Boggess on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 06:49 pm:

Absolutely!!!

I found evidence of the use of the low steel dash in production while doing research in the engineering documents collection of the Benson Ford Research Center. The steel dash came out before the steel dash dash to frame brackets were available. There is about a half inch difference between where a wood dash attaches to the dash to frame brackets, and where a steel dash attaches to the dash to frame bracket. The later steel dash to frame bracket did not appear until about 6 weeks after the production began of the steel dash. In order to be able to use steel dashes when only the wood dash to frame brackets were available, the Ford engineers designed a round 7/16 inch spacer that wood go between the new steel dash and the mounting points on the earlier dash to frame brackets. Four were required per car.

Ford used these spacers as a temporary fix until the later style steel dash to frame brackets were available, then the spacers were discontinued. Anyone wanting to replace their wood dash with a steel one after that had to buy both the steel dash and the later dash to frame brackets.

I have seen these spacers in place on at least one 23 touring, and I believe a contributor to this forum may have posted pictures a few years ago.

Respectfully submitted,

Trent Boggess


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 07:26 pm:

I thought the spacers were the outer covers (caps) from the radiator mount which are approx 7/16 X 1 inch.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 07:40 pm:

Here is a photo of a firewall(dash) with the spacers installed. They look much like a radiator *thimble* but are thicker material.
firewall with spacers
Firewall with spacers between mounting bracket
thimble
Spacer


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 07:55 pm:

Link to the part for sale:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/3487/617964.html?1456242637


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 08:22 pm:

"During early calendar 1923,..." through June of '23 is up to 6 months, about half of a model year. The low steel firewalls (dashes) are not rare, they are quite plentiful for a part used for only 6 months.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 08:34 pm:

By comparison, the high dash was used for only 2 1/2 calendar years.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Sherman Tacoma WA on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 12:28 am:

Tell me more about the spacers. Or more pictures, or orientation.
Thank you


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 05:35 am:

Paul,
Would you be more specific, please. It seems the two photos above deal with orientation. Would you like specific dimensions? Photos of what?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Sherman Tacoma WA on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 10:43 am:

Dimensions (how thick)? I do not have them. If/when added should they move the firewall back, maybe 1/4" or so? Where are they available or should I make them from rubber grommets? What is the purpose of these spacers?
Thank you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 12:47 pm:

Paul,
The spacers were steel, needed to be solid. The firewall brackets fasten to the front of the firewall, when the steel ones came out, they are much thinner than the wood ones, so the spacers made up the difference to keep the back of the firewall in the same position. Soon after, the firewall mounting brackets were modified so the spacers were no longer needed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Chillingworth on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 12:56 pm:

The firewall brackets attach on the engine side of the firewall. However, the critical measurement is the position of the passenger side of the firewall because this is where the steering column is attached. When the thick wooden firewall was replaced by the thin steel firewall, the spacers were initially used to make up for difference in thicknesses. Soon after, the firewall brackets were changed so that it positioned the passenger side of the firewall in the correct place without the need of loose spacers.

Rich C.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Sherman Tacoma WA on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 02:15 pm:

Thank you


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Russell Nave on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 09:23 pm:

Bingo!! That explains why my hood opening is too short.... the 1919 was sold to me with a steel firewall and only the top of the hood (speedster style) and the radiator tilted forward. They must have built the car and drilled body to match the wood style brackets, then Oopsied the hood in. Anyone have any spacers for sale??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 01:03 am:

Russell,
You might try the radiator thimbles, or go to the hardware store and pick up some steel bushings, cut them to 7/16" long. You could even use some large nuts that are that tall. Of course, if you want them to be 100% correct, then you'll have to look around. Don't forget, you'll also need wood firewall length bolts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 04:32 am:

Russell, there are many of the correct brackets around, but spacers would be very easy to make, as David Dewey said. Dave


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