Found this pretty clean steering gear cover, but the locking set screw hole doesn't line up with the one in the lower case. I also noticed that the knurling is longer than the one that came with the '23. Should the holes line up and I just need to tighten the cover more? Or should I be looking to trade this cover for the earlier variant?
Too pretty not to use. I'm under the impression "full knurled" covers came later than the one on the left, but I don't know any dates. If it were me, I'd snug the cover down and re- drill for the lock screw.
Mark, I have found that the screws very seldom line up when using used parts. The steering shaft has worn a little deeper into the gear case, The pinion gear is worn a little on both ends, and the covers are worn a little. All that adds up to the cover screwing on a little further and the screw no longer lining up. I guess a person could add a shim washer or two to try and bring the screw back to where it should be. I just screw the cover down till everything feels good and then re-drill the new location into the gear case and run a tap into it to make new threads for the screw. The screw will no longer be centered, but that does not bother me. happy new years, have fun and be safe ....
The cover on my '13 has been re-set three times, three "notches" in the gear case. No harm done.
The old cover looks to have shim stock to take up wear. How does your stub shaft fit in the new one? If the fit is good I would do as suggested and use the better one.
There is also the question about the knurling. Itís less knurled on my original cover. My Ď23 left the factory July 1923.
I believe the full knurl was a '26 - '27 deal.
Anyone want this one in trade for a shallow knurled cover in similar condition?
The left cover is 1924 or earlier. The cover remained much the same over the years, but had different finishes at different times: brass, zinc, nickel. The cover on the right is 1924-1927. I gather those are calendar years, with the change sometime in 1924. I don't know if it coincided with the start of 1925 model year production. See pages 631-640 in Bruce's encyclopedia for a lot more about steering and steering parts. In the MTFCI Guidelines All the Same Huh? section there are photos of some other steering parts, but not the covers.
Seems like I read that the ones with wider knurling have 5-1 gears. That way the 5-1 columns were easy to identify for cars fitted with balloon tires.
I too, recall reading that about the 5-1 gear covers. You could just drill or tap the case where the screw hole lines up, I know, it's supposed to be at the top, but it doesn't HAVE to be.
With worn parts, that cover will have to be tighten past the cover screw hole.
With new repo gears and pinion using stock steering shaft and cluster, the cover normally fits fine.
If trying to use old parts, you can shim by removing the p/n3506B pinion washer, and replacing with a sourced thicker one. Then the cover will snug better. Note pinion on left with washer removed.
The full knurl cover is indeed for the later 5:1 cluster and 5:1 gear and pinion set. That full knurl cover goes with the wider slot cluster housing, for the over center long pinion post, as this improved steering arrangement came about with the fatter and bigger balloon tires, the 21 x 4.40.
5:1 cluster housing and cover on left.
The full knurl as mentioned above is supposed to be 5-1, but I have found that not to be true, however it is correct for a 1925, whether it is 5-1 or not. The screw should be on top, no matter what year, but with wear and such, they can wind up anywhere. The one on my '25, which I assembled from parts, is a 5-1 ratio. I probably should have had the cover welded up, and redrilled, but I didn't, so, the screw is at 8 o'clock.
The official 1930 Ford parts book only shows one steering gear cover for 1909 to 1927 Model Ts, with a 3504 part number.
The same is true for the 8-5-28 parts book. This is one of the reasons so many cars have parts that are "incorrect" for the year. I doubt that anybody in the Model T era ever thought or cared about trying to keep a Model T correct.
I agree with Steve and Larry. My findings from research indicates the full knurl was used only in the last three years, IMHO.
Factory "correctness" to the month and year is the holy grail for some restorers, and that's a good thing. For the more casual among us, Ford Motor Co. reckoned a lot of interchangeability from 1909-27, as usual, strictly from a functional point of view, and that's OK too. I'll do what works, but I like knowing what is "correct".