Could someone explain to me the differences between the starter and non-starter cars (i.e. lights and whatnot)? I have evidence that my '24 Touring started life as a non-starter. The battery bracket is bolted in and it has non-demountable 30x3 fronts and 30x3 1/2 rears with square felloes.
If the battery bracket or box got eaten away and a new one was bolted in....
I thought non demountable wheels were standard on all cars but an option on all.
I have a '26 touring that supposedly came with clinchers.
They were standard on non starter cars but still could have had a starter.
I changed it to 21 inch tires.
The battery box was also bolted in.
How can we tell if the cars started life with or without battery?
Anyone could use original or reproduction parts and make a 1919-1926 look correct as a non-starter or a starter car. But you probably want to know if your car started out as a non-starter car.
A non-stater 1924 car would have a switch plate that had a block off plate where the amp meter on the starter car was located. On the back of that amp meter would be a headlight resister to help keep the magneto from burning out the headlamps when the engine was revving. Below is a photo of that block off plate on a 1925 "loss leader" non-starter touring. From the article in the Mar-Apr 1998 "Vintage Ford" page 26, used by permission. (And yes the non-starter still had the pull rod so you could choke the engine from the front seat....)
The T would have come with a magneto rather than a battery horn as shown on page 27 of the same article.
The non-starter would have come with the oil side and tail lamps. And the headlamps would have been run off the magneto.
Those are a couple of items that come to mind. I would need to check to see if every frame came with the battery carrier or if only the non-starter cars came with the battery carrier -- from memory -- I do not know. I do know that the engines were already equipped with the starter ring gear, and the coil ring that allowed a starter to be fitted, and the transmission housing that allowed the starter to be fitted. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc19.htm
FEB 21, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #724, Ford Archives
T-701C starter-type flywheel used on all cars.
MAR 15, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #726, Ford Archives
Starter-type transmission cover used on all cars.
APR 18, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #729, Ford Archives
T-400D (starter type) cylinder specified for all cars.
Others will have additional information to add.
And of course the wheels could have been swapped out sometime in the past.
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I don’t know about the 1924 cars, but the 1926 “loss-leader” runabout that was owned by Gordon & Marcia Koll was a very well done restoration. So much so that it won the MTFCI Stynoski award for 2009. On page 4 of the Sep-Oct 2009 “Model T Times” the article states, “The frame has no battery box or carrier but the floor of the trunk has the typical access cover (picture 9).” So based on that – it appears that for the 1926 no-starter car the battery carrier was not installed on the frame.
Does anyone have any documentation on any other 1920-1926 no-starter cars?
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Some of the difference of non starters will vary by year. a 1924 and earlier could have had non demountable wheels 30x3 front and 30x3-1/2 rears or came with optional demountable wheels. Most non starters probably had the non demountable wheel but a buyer could have added the optional wheels. Now in 1925 the non demountable wheel was still probably the wheel that came with a non starter car, but the non demountable wheel for 1925 was a steel felloe non demountable clincher. and was more than likely 30x3 in front and 30x3-1/2 in rear. But there could be some overlap where the wood felloe and the steel felloe were both being used. Then in 1926 the non starter wheel was a steel felloe non demountable clincher 30x3-1/2 inch front and rear. The non starter option was no longer available in 1927. The above steel felloe information is from years of studying the steel felloe non demountable wheels. But I offer a disclaimer as to it being 100 percent correct. About the time I think I finally have it figured out, something else surfaces. But at this time I am fairly confident. Other items to look for are lack of starter switch and battery box. But the holes were drilled in the frame for the battery box and starter switch even if not used. There will be no starter or generator and the holes are covered with block off plates. The engine came with a ring gear so starters could be added later if wanted. There will be a block off plate at the switch panel. There is a oval style for the 26 non starters and also the rectangular style for the earlier cars. Both styles have a headlight resister behind the block off plate. All the non starter cars came with kerosene lights. They were either mounted on the windshield brackets made for the side lights on the earlier straight post stanchions or on special brackets attached to the windshield stanchion mounting bolts for the sloping one man style or the 26 style windshield posts. The tail light on the 24 and earlier car was a standard Ford kerosene taillight. Then for 1925 and 1926 the taillight was the Ford_O taillight mounted to a special bracket. The 1925 Ford-O bracket is different than the 1926 Ford-O bracket. The 1926 bracket is extremely hard to find. All non starter cars will have a magneto horn and magneto headlight bulbs. I believe the non starter option was offered from 1919 till 1926. There is also a different wiring harness associated with the non starters, but I do not have all that figured out yet.