Hap, I have my engine number now

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2009: Hap, I have my engine number now
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Menomomonee Falls,WI on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 07:54 pm:

I removed the radiator and water pump, so now I know that my so called 1919 Touring has engine number 3,955,795. That tells me that this car might be a 1920, and not a 1919. Too bad there isn't a way to track it better.

The top radiator hose peeled apart when I went to remove it. It must have been pretty old. I also noticed that the commutator wires go into the loom as cloth covered, and they all come out green plastic covered. You think there might be a few splices hidden inside that loom? And the wires to the lights were caulked to the bottom of the engine pan. Not good. I think I need to do a little rewiring on this baby.

Good thing I know the engine is OK. It is just the stuff that feeds it that needs some improvement.

The best part is knowing that I can get so many good answers from all the friendly model T'ers out on this website. Thank you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 08:04 pm:

Dave,

It could still be a 1919 car with a Spring of 1920 engine in it. Lots can happen in 90 years, you know.

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By ken parker on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 10:28 pm:

The running board brackets may date the frame a little closer. Cast brackets = 1919, Pressed steel = 1920. Couple of threads going now about that. The oval tank is '20, but earlier '20's could have round tanks.

Like Seth says, lots can happen.

Ken in Houston


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By "Hap" (Harold) Tucker on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 10:36 pm:

Seth -- you are correct -- lots of Ts had their engines changed out over the years.

Dave,

Thank you so much for sharing the engine number 3,955,xxx which according to Bruce McCalley’s Engine Serial Numbers listed in his book and CDs the engine & transmission assembly would have been assemble on May 10, 1920 or that serial number would have been shipped along with a block of other serial numbers to one of the Branch Assembly plants on May 10, 1920 and used on an engine and transmission that was assembled at the branch. But either way the engine was probably assembled with a few weeks of May 10, 1920.

I would not be concerned about the year that is listed on the title for your Model T Ford. A 1919 and a 1920 look almost identical and as long as the engine number matches the title – that is the important part in my opinion. If it bothers you – you can have the year of the car corrected – but I don’t think it will change the value of the car any.

We discussed several items about your car at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/108678.html?1254937178 . Again the most important part – it looks like a nice Model T that will give you lots of fun and enjoyment. One of the key items for dating a car is when was the body produced and when was the engine produced and then other chassis and body details. We need to remember that not only could parts have been changed over the years – sometimes Ford used an older part at one location to use up the supplies while a new part was being used at the Highland Park plant. That is illustrated by the 1915 style tourings being introduced at the Highland Park plant in Jan 1915 while many of the Branch Assembly Plants continued to produce the 1914 style bodies tourings for several more months.

Note the body number you captured in the photo below:



One of the major reasons I wanted to know what the engine number was to be able to compare it to the “20” on the end of this body number.

On page 27 Nov – Dec 1975 “Vintage Ford” Bruce McCalley did an article on the engine Serial Number 3800xxx (February 1920) with body number B230881-19. I believe the “19” on the end of that Beaudett number represent 1919 and the “20” on the end of your Beaudett body number represents 1920. Ok – still a very small sample size – but my 1918 Beaudett ends in 18 and I’m 90% sure I have other Beaudett samples that support that “last two digits” are the year for 1918-1920 Beaudett bodies. If other folks would please take a look and see if they also have a number stamped into the right hand floor board riser we could increase the sample size.

Based on the engine number, the body number and the other items I have seen at the previous thread (same as above: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/108678.html?1254937178 ), I believe there is a good chance an early restorer took a nice May 1920 electric equipped touring and replaced the 1917-1922 windshield and brackets with the 1915-early 1917 style, plated numerous items with brass [i.e. the steel radiator shell, the entire headlamps and side lamps; the hood clamps, and added brass hub caps etc.], replaced the 1920 wheels (most likely demountables on an electric equipped car) to make the car appear to be an older looking Ford and/or because they liked the look of the brass. Of course the 1920 windshield may have been damaged back in the late 1920s and the original owner replaced it with the 1915-early 1917 style – we will probably never know. But I’m 99% sure that Ford Motor company did not produce the car with that combination of items and that it was probably produced in 1920.

If for some reason you wanted to make all of the car typical for one particular time frame – I would recommend picking 1920 as it appears that is the date for the body and engine. Changing out the windshield brackets and windshield hinges and replacing (I would not paint over the brass plating) the brass items with black painted items would be recommendations. Along with changing the round felloe wheels to either square felloe non-demountable or my recommendation would be demountable clincher wheels – they are a lot easier to change if you have a flat. But unless you desire to make it “typical” as originally produced – it is great looking the way it is.

And then just to help my curiosity out – please let us know if it has the cast iron running board brackets with the truss rods or the stamped running board brackets. I think a Model T produced in the spring of 1920 could have come either way – but I’m just wondering what your car has.

Disclaimer -- we will gladly revise any conclusions if we can gather additional data to show there are other possibilities or better answers (note how I tactfully tried to avoid saying “if I goofed” – ok or if I goofed).

Again – great looking car and it will be a tremendous amount of fun. If we can be of any other help – just let us know. And – if you ever post a question and don’t get a response – feel free to send an e-mail – sometimes I miss the obvious.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 19l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Menomomonee Falls,WI on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 11:17 pm:

excuse my ignorance. What are cast iron running board brackets vs stamped brackets?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Menomomonee Falls,WI on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 11:47 pm:

I can say that the brackets are riveted to the frame with 3 rivets. The front truss rod looks like it may have been replaced since it looks like a straight pipe. The rear truss is an extended V shape, so it may be original.

I like the brass and have no wish to change it. I assume a previous owner just bought brass parts and applied them to the car. Sure makes it look pretty, and everyone admires it.

I am not a rivet counter, and like the car the way it is. I only want to replace the worn out parts, and keep it as authentic as I can. About all I will add is the RM brakes.

Thanks again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By "Hap" (Harold) Tucker on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 12:36 am:

Dave,

That sounds great. Have fun with the T that is what it does best. You asked about the running board brackets. The 1909-to sometime in 1920 had the cast iron brackets similar to the ones below. They are riveted to the frame and have a truss rod running between them (borrowed from e-bay).



The ones shown below are the 1926-27 pressed steel type – but they look very very similar to the later 1920 – 1925 ones and they do not need a truss rod (also borrowed from e-bay).



Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 19l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Menomomonee Falls,WI on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 04:33 pm:

Then I definitely have the cast iron brackets, and they have a truss rod between them. Almost looks like the bottom of a railroad car.
Nothing looks like the pressed steel type.

Hope that helps.

dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By "Hap" (Harold) Tucker on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 04:43 pm:

Thanks Dave! Yes it helps with me better understand the body number in realtionship to the other changes.

And have fun driving that T!

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 19l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls,WI on Sunday, December 06, 2009 - 02:13 am:

Just another note to add. The casting date on the engine is 4/17/20. I don't know if the State of Minnesota can track this car's title. It would be interesting if this is really a 1919 or a 1920.

Thanks again to Hap for all his research on my car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Sunday, December 06, 2009 - 02:43 am:

Dave:

If your car has a Minnesota Pioneer license plate below number approx. 2200, I can look it up for you and tell you who owned the car at the time the plate was issued.

In the world of antique automobiles, unless a car was continuously registered in the same state from the day it left the dealer until the present, you cannot always rely on the information provided on the title. Occasionally, antique automobile owners misrepresented the model year of their car when applying for Minnesota Pioneer license plates. The reasons vary from plain laziness or ignorance to intentionally misrepresenting the year of the car.

Early automobile registration records for Minnesota are in in the possession of the Minnesota State Historical Society. They are in the form of handwritten journals. However, they cover only the very early years starting in 1909. I am not sure if the 1920 records exist (I would have to ask my dad, an early Minnesota license plate collector who is very knowledgeable about early Minnesota license automobile registration).

Do you know the provenance/history of your car? What information did you obtain from the seller? Where did he/she obtain the car? Was a name of any previous owners provided by the seller? Did you try contacting any previous owners to obtain more information on the car? There is plenty of old fashioned detective work that can be done.

Erik Johnson
Minneapolis, MN


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