When did the Wooden firewall end?
I take it that it ended about November(ish) 1914?
The big square one might have ended then, but there was a wooden fire wall much later than that. It followed the shape of the hood. The hood rested on it at the rear of the engine. This one was replaced by the stamped steel one that went on later.
Im on about these firewalls :
I think wooden firewalls went into 1919.
Wooden fire walls were used through about February of 1923. The first metal firewalls appeared then and were of the "low" type but very soon replaced by the metal "high" type that was typical of 1924 and later. In early 1915 the wood firewall changed thickness from 3/4" to 11/16 but it didn't go away for a number of years and it was a source of constant issues of warping and swelling as Ford changed the method of making it from Horizontal core to Vertical core to laminated core with the veneers running horizontal and then a 3 ply design was used for a time. The final solution was the metal firewall but at first that had issues too with the steering column flopping around due to the lack of stiffness of the new metal dashes. That was solved by the addition of a bracket to tie the column to the dash panel. Then as now when designs change hopefully for the better to solve some issue - there are unforeseen pitfalls that then must be addressed. A lot like politics ha ha.
The exposed wooden square type firewall ended with the 1914 style bodies. But Ford did not end the 1914 style bodies and begin the production of the 1915 style bodies on a single day. In this case there was a large overlap when brand new Model T cars were produced in both the 1914 style with the exposed wooden day and the 1915 style with the metal cowl hiding the wooden dash. In Sep 1914 Ford began production of the 1915 style closed car sedan (Centerdoor) and in Oct 1914 Ford began the 1915 style Coupelet. But the touring and roadsters continued in the 1914 style with the exposed wooden dash. In Jan 1915 Highland Park the main Ford USA factory began production of the 1915 style open cars but the Branch Assembly Plants continued to produce the exposed wooden dash 1914 style cars until about April 1915.
For the Ford USA produced Model T Ford touring and roadster – the 1914 style exposed dash went away around April 1915. (Well actually Ford Motor Company produced a few T-100s that were 1914 style with the exposed dash for the 2003 Centenial -- but those probably aren’t what you want).
But we do not have an easy reference for when Ford of Canada switched over to the 1915 metal cowl and more importantly when the Ford of Canada branches stopped producing the 1914 style touring and roadsters with the exposed dash.
The same could be said for the English produced Model T Fords as well as the other Ford assembly plants around the world. We do not know when they received their last shipment of the 1914 style bodies and dashes and when they assembled their last 1914 style car. We do have several comments to the effect that both Ford USA and Ford Canada tended to ship the older parts overseas rather than use them all up at home and send the new parts overseas while the older style parts were used up at home.
So if your question really is, if I have a USA produced Model T with a Mar 1915 engine serial number could it have come from the Ford factory with a 1914 style body, the answer is yes. It would NOT have been assembled at the Highland Park plant, but rather one of the many other Branch Assembly Plants. Of course you could also restore an Jan – Mar 1915 engine with a 1915 style body and be authentic also.
(Ref: Bruce McCalley’s book and encyclopedia – http://mtfca.com/encyclo/1915-16H.htm )
And if anyone has some dates for when Ford of Canada or Ford of England switched to the new 1915 cars (sedans, tourings, etc.) and when they quit producing the 1914 style – please let us know.
Hap Tucker l9l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Hap -- I know that Bruce's book says '15 Sedans began production in Sept. of '14 and Coupelets in Oct. But information has surfaced which seems to indicate that neither were actually built until December of '14. Here is an excerpt from a message sent to me by Dr. Trent Boggess:
"I found the information on the 1915 coupes you were asking about. The information was found in Accession 125 Finance – Model T Cost Books 1913-1927. Beginning in December 1913, FMC began keeping detailed cost accounting records for everything they made. It is an early form of a managerial accounting cost determination and the cost of each part of a Model T, and I mean each and every part, was broken down into three categories: materials, labor and overhead. Frequently costs were calculated out to 5 decimal places, which seems like overkill until you realize that they were making these parts in the millions. A 5 decimal place cost measure multiplied by a 7 figure number turns out to be real money.
At the front of the monthly books is a page that lists the total cost of a Model T by body style and is usually expressed as the sum of the cost of a chassis plus the cost of the body. The following table shows the month and year, the number of sedans and coupelets produced and the cost of a complete car.
Month/Year -- Sedans -- Sedan Cost -- Coupelets -- Coupelet Cost
Dec. 1914 -- 331 -- $577.927 -- 801 -- $373.95
Jan. 1915 -- 441 -- $612.215 -- 211 -- $408.918
Feb. 1915 -- 204 -- $601.066 -- 160 -- $398.826
Totals -- 976 -- 1172"
The production information is set in columns in the original message, but the Forum format messes up the columns. At any rate, this info from Ford's cost books doesn't mention any '15 Sedans or Coupelets before December of '14. It's a minor point, but I think it's a good idea to present accurate info as it becomes available. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Boggess and others who spend countless hours digging through Ford's archives, we are learning more all the time. I believe the above message has been added to Bruce's Encyclopedia CD's.
I have a wooden firewal on a 1918. Didn;t realize it until I began the cleaning process.