Front Axle Year

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Front Axle Year
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Jull in Oakland on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 03:08 pm:

Can anyone tell me the year range that my front axle was made. It is marked DB in an ellipse as well as T202. I believe that Ford date stamped their axles that they made but don't know when Ford started to make them and Dodge Brothers stopped. The axle is not a real early one but is the one the came after that and was used up through 1925. The spindles are not original to this axle so don't use them for dating purposes.Front Axle


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerome Hoffman, Hays Kansas on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 03:16 pm:

If yo have a GABon the axle your right is the 1910 to 1914 after that as production skyrocket and Dodge Bros stopped stamping the axle. It will fit thrust 1927 but the improved Fords axle had a slight droup and as to the axles being dated only a very small number were. I have 3 or 4 and the oldest date is June of 21. I have not seen one older myself. I also have a 1922 1925 and a 1926. As if now I have not heard any prove the rhyme or reason as to why some vote a date. For her not matter even when it started.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 03:18 pm:

June of '14 is about the tail end of the DB axles. Ford stopped buying parts from them when they started making their own cars.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 03:34 pm:

The spindle with a separate arm was introduced January 31, 1911. If there isn't any hole for a speedometer drive in the RH side spindle arm, it may be a 1911 front axle, since that hole was introduced in august 1911 and kept until after DB axles were discontinued.

http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/F-H.htm#fr1


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Skille on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 04:06 pm:

I have a 1911 with the front axle and one spindle that has "TW' in a diamond on them. Is this correct for a 1911 and when and how long did they make the 'TW axle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Jull in Oakland on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 04:11 pm:

If 1914 is the tail end of the DB axles then shouldn't the axle look different where the spindles attach? See the photo below - the top axle is the early one. See how the axle is vertical between the two spindle attachment points. Mine in the photo above is angled.Axles


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin Morgan - Metamora, Indiana on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 04:17 pm:

Thomas, do you know the dates of production coresponding in the picture above?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 04:27 pm:

Hi Thomas,

The axle at the top of your pictures (the vertical difference) was used with the one piece spindles only. Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Jull in Oakland on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 04:35 pm:

Benjamin - Hap Tucker posted the photo in another thread on front axles. He stated that it came from Bruce's book which I don't have. I might have to get the CD since I can find the book. Hap wrote the following:


Approximate dates used top to bottom: 1909-early 1911 one piece spindle, then remainder of 1911 to 1920ish the 1920ish to 1925ish. For the 1926ish -27 one see Danís photo above. And the bottom one is the drop frame which was an English offering starting in early 1924 and discontinued for passenger car production Oct 1925 when the 1926 model year cars began production in England. (ref Page 154 "The English Model T Ford" book.)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 04:58 pm:

Dodge Brothers started making axles for Ford from very early, and continued until they went their separate ways in 1914. DB axles could show up on cars well into 1915 and maybe even slightly later. By 1912 Transue and Williams Forge along with a couple other companies were also making axles for Ford. For brass era folks, the DB axle is the most desirable and therefore the most valuable. For cheapskates like myself, an early TW axle is just as good.
As for the stamped in dates. I have never seen one before about 1920, but most are usually before 1923. Without keeping a running record of them, I would guess that less than 25 percent of '20s axles have a date. It is nice to have a dated axle that fits with the date of the car, the axle should be about a couple months earlier than the serial number date, or right around the engine casting date if it has one.

The sway of the axles is a curiosity thing. Most axles are very straight across between the perch holes. Some sway a little. Some sway a lot. Officially, somewhere during 1926 model year through the end of car production should have a swayed axle. But I have seen a lot of '26/'27 cars with very straight front axles. Maybe all of them got changed for some reason? I also see quite a few earlier '20s cars with slightly swayed axles. I do not know the answer.

The pictures posted by Thomas J shows three common axle types. The top picture (2701) is the early axle, used from 1908 into early 1911.
The next two (2691, are basically one and the same) are the very straight axle commonly used from 1911 through 1925.
The bottom (2691-DF) is the English version "Drop-Frame" axle, commonly seen in Europe and England, but rarely seen in the USA or Canada.
The '26/'27 swayed and sometimes earlier lesser swayed axles are not shown.
W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Jull in Oakland on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 06:26 pm:

Thanks everyone. Your information is always greatly appreciated. Sounds like the 24 Touring that I am putting together from a bunch of extra parts has just got a setback. Time to look through the extra axles for a more appropriate one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson College Place, WA on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 06:56 pm:

I wouldn't necessarily call it a setback, sell it and you can afford a later axle with all of the bushings, etc to have a restored axle ready to go!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Jull in Oakland on Sunday, May 01, 2016 - 08:18 pm:

Dale - Wayne did say that a DB axle is the most desirable and thus most valuable but are they really that valuable? What range are we talking here?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, May 02, 2016 - 01:13 am:

I do think I need to clarify one point. The most valuable axles are the early early ones (2701 in the picture above) that are used with the early one-piece spindles. From around 1911 onward, the ends of the axles and overall forgings changed only a little bit in minor details. The DB axles from 1911 through '14 are more desirable and more valuable to brass era hobbyists mostly because they are provably brass era and therefore more "cool". I don't recall all the common manufacturers from there onward. But a Transue/Williams from about 1913 or '14 is not much different than a Transue/Williams from 1922 or even maybe later.
Over the years, I have had a few (and seen many) apparently early front ends (1911 to 1918ish) that looked to be mostly original and mostly unmolested. Most of the ones that I have bothered to look closely at have been Transue/Williams. Some were Dodge Brothers, a few were some other logo that I don't know who it was. Several with over-axle wishbone perches and no oiler holes have been T/W. All the brass era Ts I have had or put together (I think?) had T/W front axles. Whereas a bare T/W axle in fairly good condition (one that you cannot say for certain what year it is likely from) could sell for around ten to twenty dollars these days? A good DB could probably get fifty to a hundred (also bare, without the perches or spindles).

I have yet to see anything definitive about the sway center axles. Who built them, or when. I have seen a few sway center axles on brass era cars, that were claimed to be unmolested mostly original cars. I have seen a couple of photos that would seem to indicate at least a few brass era axles may have been a bit swayed in the center. HOWEVER, most early axles were not swayed. Like I said, I have yet to see anything really definitive about them. I want to think that axles were always straight between the perches until 1926 when they were sway-centered slightly to clear the hand-crank on bad bumps (to compensate for a slightly lowered front spring). But I have seen too much evidence to the contrary. I have seen extremely original cars from the early '20s with swayed front axles. And I have seen a few dated forgings on swayed axles that were clearly dated 1921 or 1922. So it would seem that swayed axles were around earlier and later and would seem to have come and gone over those years.
Purely speculation. Hot steel forging is tricky business. Stresses form in the steel, and sometimes things warp when they cool. Could the sway center be a result of tweaking the ends back into spec? I would suspect the answer to that is no. But I don't have any better ideas?

In Thomas J's photo up top, I would speculate the the axle is early, based on the sharpness of the forging. However, I don't generally claim to be able to reliably identify axles that way. They did vary a lot over the years, but most early axles do seem to be a bit thinner and sharper in the forging. Thomas J also does clearly state that the spindles are not original to the axle. I would add, that although I cannot tell with certainty the age of the spindles from the angle of the photo, that clearly the tie rod IS a later one, basically 1919 to 1927.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


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