For a variety of reasons, I am questioning whether I have the correct splash apron for my 1915 runabout. The judging guidelines state: "Embossed curve at back end". Can anyone post a picture to illustrate what the embossed curve looks like?
I believe they may be referring to what some of us call the "bulge" where it flares out to the running board. Also, note the crease where the bulge begins.
1915's have no splash apron. What you are showing is a splash shield. What you have appears to be a reproduction, as I don't recall a '15 having that much of a crease.
Looks just like the one on our unmolested '15. The repros I've seen do not have any seam at all.
While I agree that the crease appears a bit extreme, most of the reproduction splash shields that I have seen (in fact, most of the '15s I have seen in the past thirty years) are straight with no "bulge" at all! When I restored the late '15/'16 I had many years ago, I looked at more than a hundred original photos clearly showing the "bulge". It should be interesting to note, that the "bulge" continued well into the 1917 model year. Many of the original factory photos taken of the "new" model for 1917 show the "bulge". Most of those photos were taken every year near the beginning of the model year for record keeping and advertising purposes. I have yet to see any record of just when the "bulge" was eliminated. But I know it went well into '17. However, none of the reproduction splash shields available at that time were anywhere near correct. Maybe someone made correct ones at some point?
For my project, I found a pair of originals, and the crease was as you say less distinctive. But they were otherwise very similar to the one shown by Erik J.
Wayne J, (Rarely do I get to address a comment to someone with the same given name?) I am wondering what your concerns are about yours? I try to make my cars as "correct" as I can, even though I do not have the time or money to make them as nice as I would like to. When I was restoring that car years ago, it annoyed me trying to get "correct" splash shields for it. Everyone else was so enamored with the reproduction shields that they wouldn't consider using even nice originals, nobody took them to swap meets to sell them, and dozens (literally) of people told me they had thrown their originals out as scrap simply because "everybody" used the reproductions whether they needed to or not.
So, if you are concerned because yours look too "fat" lengthwise and lack that "bulge"? You have lots of company in what you have. If, on the other hand, you are concerned that yours look different than everyone else's shields and yours do have that "bulge"? You can probably take solace from the fact that yours are more correct than everyone else's.
The photo I posted is not my 1915 Ford - it belongs to Royce Peterson.
My May 1917 roadster and my dad's July 1917 touring (last month of the model year) both have the bulge.
Sometimes the crease can look more pronounced due to the camera and how the photo was taken.
On the other hand, when these cars are restored, sometimes the body and paint man makes the crease less pronounced.
One other consideration. I think 1913/'14 splash shields are very similar to '15s (may be a slight change in the curve at the back end because of a change in the shape of the rear fenders), however, for originals at least, there is one other minor change. The splash shields for '13/'14 will have a hole punched near the middle for the acetylene tubing to go through. I have read much debate about the location of that hole, from near the running board, to about halfway up the side. I don't really claim to KNOW the answer? But I do have one that has what clearly LOOKS like an original (punched) hole near halfway up on the side as I recall.
I just went out and found it. The hole is centered 3.4 inches up from the bend in from the running board. It should also be noted, that this is on a right side splash shield. I have read/heard from several sources (mostly discussions previously on this forum) that the hole was on both sides, at least on many original splash shields. It has also been said that some early '15s had the holes in the splash shields as a leftover from production. Sort of a Ford standard practice.
Many reproduction splash shields for earlier Ts do not have the hole pre-punched or drilled, because many restorers do not want the hole as they are electrifying their headlamps
I've got those creases in my splash shields as well and my friend who likes to nitpick my bodywork always tells me I missed a dent. I show him it's the same dent on both sides.
Looks exactly like the splash aprons on my January 1916 Touring. Mine are not reproduction btw.
The gas line hole (U.S. July 1913 car) on the driver side splash shield is located in the center of the flat space adjacent to the running board and in line with the rear two carbide generator holes that are punched in the running boards. There is a smooth 1/8" rim (punched down) on the gas line hole in the left splash shield to avoid a sharp edge cutting the acetylene hose. The gas hose then runs up to the brass rear gas line that has one clamp to the frame.
Both running boards have the carbide generator holes. The right side splash shield has the speedometer cable hole in line vertically with the slot in the floor board and Stewart speedometer mounted on the firewall.
Ken in Texas
Thank you Ken P!
Just relaying what I see on my car. Kinda sounded like I considered myself an authority when I read my post again. My apology.
There are two things I noticed on my shields different than above photo of the 1915. My shields don't have the two holes with the clip to the rear fender and the other feature is the way the "bulge" is formed. It is a smooth reverse curve along the flat of the shield next to the running board that fades out as the bulge goes up the shield and to the rear fender. Just like the gas line hole, it would seem to have required a press/die to accomplish.
Ken in Texas
Ken, there is not need to apologize when you are correct!
The issue I have with my shields is that they don't seem to line up properly with the rear fenders. My car came with 17-23 front and rear fenders and shields. I bought new reproduction 1915 sheet metal. The original shipment had to wrong rear fenders, which the vendor exchanged for the correct fenders. Now I am wondering if the splash shields were also wrong for my car. Perhaps they are for 1913-1914? From the responses I have learned that the reproduction shields do not have the embossed curve / bulge that the originals have, so lack of this detail will not help me identify if my shields are correct.
Here is a photo of my shield:
My rear fender irons aligned perfectly with the 17-23 rear fenders, so it is puzzles me that they would need so much "adjusting" to work for the 1915 fenders. As they are now, the leading edge of the rear fender sits in front of the trailing edge of the splash apron (they over lap).
It appears to me that the angle of the rear end of the shield is too pronounced to fit my fender?
I just checked a '15 and a '19. I was surprised to see that the '19 had a little more back rake (angle) than the '15...something I was unaware of. You may indeed have an incorrect set of shields. Be aware, however, that you will never get the correct "bulge" for your car as I do not believe anyone is making a correct part for this range of years...it will look just like what you have now, but with a slightly more "vertical" edge to it. I'd contact the supplier and ask them to check the angle of their stock and see if there is a difference.
Ken P, Certainly no need to apologize! Discussion of the many minor variations on our cars is how we explore the empirical evidence of what was or was not done at the factories way back when. Then others that have the opportunity and desire go through the mountains of original records to see what Ford said they were doing (written records are not always correct, but critical to tying down the timelines and many details). As we compare those things along with photographic records, we build a picture of what most likely was really done.
I certainly do not consider myself to be an expert (Larry Smith is much more knowledgeable on model T details than I shall ever be, and he has been an inspiration to me for many years!). I am still trying to figure out these details and learn more. I try to answer questions when I think I can, and ask questions sometimes when they come to my mind. I do tend to get long winded and/or wordy, and into the details and minor variations. That is just the way my mind works sorting out those variations.
Model T splash shield and fender fit has always been shaky at best. It is not all the fault of the splash shield either. The original fit from Ford wasn't great. A hundred years of twisting, shaking and sagging hasn't helped. Add bumps bangs and bad body-work? It is a wonder we can get them to look good at all!
Remember. You pretty much cannot mix brass era shields from black era ones, as the fender curve requires the later shields to be a few inches longer than the brass era ones for flat fenders. (The later longer ones can be carefully cut back to fit earlier cars, I know because I have done it for one car when I couldn't find repairable early shields.)
I don't know about the back end of the splash shields, however. I would suspect that they should angle back a bit. From 1909 through 1914, most rear fenders went straight up (vertical) into a sharp curve and then straight back (horizontal). A fitting shield should be cut basically straight to match (this does make me wonder about the roadsters in '11 and '12 that had fully curved rear fenders?). For 1915 and '16, all (basically all) rear fenders began a gentle curve right from the running board that continued nearly halfway around the rear wheel. That would need a slight angle back to accompany that curve in a nice clean fit.
I know that I have seen '15s where the rear fender overlapped the shield by a bit (usually about 1/2 inch). I have also seen '15s that had about a half inch gap between the fender and the shield. Sometimes, careful examination of the bodywork and fit will show a reason for it (often too much or too little curve in half of the fender). Sometimes the reason is hidden much more deeply.
Mostly? Don't go nuts trying to make the fit perfect. It wasn't when the car was new to begin with. Usually, with a little effort, you can get one or two of the four fenders to fit beautifully! And at least one will look okay from twenty feet, but have big gaps that you just can't get rid of.