Does anybody know what years used the staggered bolt holes to mount the steering column to the firewall? I believe 12 and 13 did but what about 11 or earlier? I have a column that is 56 inches long, has round holes and the holes are equally spaced at about 3 1/8 inches apart. Is this an 11 or earlier?
The staggered hole pattern arrived with the one piece firewall about January 1912, along with different dash brackets. The staggered hole pattern continued until the summer of 1913. All of the lower column brackets from 1909 - 1913 were cast iron, regardless of hole patteern.
Note that town car body styles used the symetrical hole pattern for some time afterwards, the staggered pattern being used for the touring, coupe, torpedo, open roadster and bare chassis.
From 1909 - about January 1912 - there would be overlap of one piece firewall cars and two piece for a couple months as parts were used up - look like this with symetrical hole pattern and button head slotted brass 5/16 X 18 screws:
I recall during my archival research that for awhile that bracket had a wider boss area so as to allow it to be drilled for EITHER pattern as needed during the production overlap period. Can't recall the exact detail. The likely reason that the town car continued to use the earlier column was that the town car front seat is really cramped and it would have needed the higher mounting angle of the earlier column. The offset hole is because they lowered the column angle for 1912 but wanted to retain the same firewall brackets. Chuck Hutchenson (R.I.P.) was a local resident of Elgin who for years drove his 1911 town car from the middle of the seat since he was unable to get behind the wheel of it.
More pictures are here:
Yes, that is correct. I have the fabrication drawings for the steering column tube assembly from Benson Ford for the two types being discussed, and what you are saying is exactly the case. The drawing number is T-949-B.
Note also that the single piece dash column housing with the offset hole pattern is 2 inches longer than than those used in the earlier 2 piece dash. This earlier column was standard for 1911 and early 12 non Town Car models and was used in the Town car from mid 1911 until the last wooden bodied Town Car rolled out in late calender 1912. If you measure these housings at the axis centerlines, the earlier is 25 inches and the later is 27 inches in length.
What are the end points of your measure, Scott?
From a side elevation view of the housing, measure from the top surface of the quandrant deck down to the dash surface where the steering shaft center axis enters the dash.
Thanks everybody for the information.
Royce, I have an 11 Canadian Tourabout with the 2 piece firewall but the column has the staggered holes. I'm wondering if it is a 12 column that was put in sometime over the years.
John, I have another column with staggered holes in my extra parts collection and it does have 2 extra wide bosses on the back which means it could have been drilled either way.
Scott, was the shorter column you mention the same as used in 09 and 10?
I've also got a column that is about 5 inches shorter again than the shortest you mention. I have no idea what it fits. It looks like its factory and doesn't appear to have ever been cut. I'll dig it out and post a picture with measurements in the next couple of days
The Canadian body styles of the period were used later than similar American body styles. I wonder if your "11 Canadian Tourabout" might have been built in 1912? How are you dating the car as a 1911? What is the engine casting date and serial number?
After 98 years anything is possible.
My engine # is 52012. I've checked it out and it shows as being an engine exported form detroit on May 5 1911. All the running gear is 1911, 6 rivet rear end, early rectangular hole hogshead with no reinforcing bosses, 2 pcs driveshaft. I'm convinced it is 1911 not newer. The steering column is about the only thing that might be newer. With Canadian cars it seems changes could have happened before or after the US production. I doubt if we will ever know for sure.
No the 09/10 column is definitely not the same animal as the 11-early 12.
Do you still have that B/A drawing of a 09/10 column? I recall that these housings were similar in length and mounted angle with the 11-early 12. I also recall seeing one of the early columns that had the 4 mounting holes countersunk.
Bruce's Black Book shows the Town Car column in 09 and 10 being 5 inches shorter than standard...it's possible this could be the part you have. If so, this could be a usable part to someone builing a Town Car or Landalet project. Note that this earlier column would also have been used up into mid 11 in the Town Cars, due to left-over bodies that apparently weren't exhausted until sometime there about.
Early columns (1909 - January 1912) have button head screws retaining the column to the two piece dashboard. The first picture I posted is of Brian Ostergren's early 1910 touring, a completely original and unrestored car. It has button head screws.
The pictures at the linked post on this same subject show Phil Mino's August 1911 car with the exact same stuation, again a very original unrestored car. My car is shown in that linked post with the same scenario, button head screws and non - countersunk holes on a December 1911 produced car.
The referenced blueprint - I cannot post it due to my agreement with the Henry Ford Museum / Benson Ford Archives - does not show countersunk holes.
The 50" column tube for my '10 car (early June, 1910) has countersunk mounting holes on the flange.
Closeup of the mounting screw illustration from the January 1, 1911 price list of parts:
I stand corrected! Having not seen Bryan's car in person, maybe I am misinterpreting the photo of his car, which is earlier than yours. Have you noticed if the situation on your car is the same as Bryan's? (Formerly Kim Dobbins car also)
I haven't seen Bryan's car, either. Perhaps Bryan or Kim can comment on that.
Here is how this stuff appears to me after spending a little time looking at Bruce’s encyclopedia CD with its comprehensive parts list. I have no experience with either the Town Car column nor with the 60” column used on the Torpedo runabout.
The 1909-10 steering column flange screws are listed as part number 3513 (factory number 927), 5/16-18 x 1 5/16" brass. These are the only ones which specify brass as the material. As noted in a previous post, the parts book illustration shows these to be oval head screws to fit the countersunk holes in the steering column flange.
It should be borne in mind that the 1909-10 cars had shorter dash (firewall) brackets.
With the change to the 1911 design, the dash brackets are longer and the lower left hand steering column mounting flange screw goes through the upper hole in the dash bracket, necessitating a 1/4" longer screw at this location.
The parts lists show these as part numbers 3555 and 3556 for 1911-12. I believe these to be the round head screws instead of the oval head type, probably made of steel, and in two different lengths. 3555 (factory 954) is 5/16-18 x 1 9/16". This one is located at the lower left. 3556 (factory 956) is 5/16-18 x 1 5/16" in length. My guess is that these were carried over into 1913 for use on the column flange with the staggered holes. Note that the holes in the flange (this one, anyway) are round and not countersunk.
With the change to the pressed steel flange with square mounting holes, the numbers change. Part number 3556 becomes 3513C (factory 5018) and is shown as a carriage bolt, 5/16-18 x 1 5/16", 3 required. Part number 3555 becomes 3513B (factory 5019) and is shown as a carriage bolt, 5/16-18 x 1 9/16", 1 required.
It would be very interesting to see if brass screws were, indeed, used on any of the early 1911 cars.
Please contact me >>>>firstname.lastname@example.org
-Don Watson or (719)784-1915
--also how about posting some photos of your Canadian Tourabout! Thankyou
Here are a few pics of 3 different steering columns. The longest is 55 inches and has the staggered holes. The midlle one is 53 inches and has holes in a square pattern. note these are both right hand drive units. The flange holes are not countersunk. The short steering column has countersunk holes.
I think I have a 1912, a 1909 and ?? What do you think?
Here's a pic of my 11 Canadian Tourabout.
Phil, your observations re bolt hole patterns and size and material used for screws on 11-12 models are the same as mine. I own a Dec 1911 chassis that bears this out.
I now own a 10 and previously owned and mechanically restored what is being referred to as Bryan Ostergren's 1910. Neither car had the offset bolt pattern and both had brass beveled head screws.
Anybody have any thoughts on the years of these steering columns?
Based on what's been said the short one is 09 - 10, the middle one with symetrical hole pattern is 11 - January 1912, the one with the offset hole on the inboard lower is January 12 - mid 1913.
Bear in mind town cars with two piece firewall would use the 1911 - January 1912 style.
Thank you for posting pictures that clearly show the difference between the early steering columns. The Judging Guidelines incorrectly list the length of 1911 steering assemblies to be 56". I think the misinformation came from an early parts book.
That tourabout sure looks good. Seems like I've seen it somewhere before?
Seems to me this red tourabout is a might to modern for you!! Your red 09 sure looks good too.
The one on the left is from a July of 1909 Touring. The middle one from a 1911 torpedo. The one on the right is the 1913-14 style. I just want to show the relative length of the torpedo column.
What year is this from?
I wonder if you could give me a measurement on the 09 column. If you measure on the bottom side I want to know the distance from the bottom edge of the brass quadrant to the edge where the flange plugs into the tube. On my picture I show my shortest column measuring 19". Is yours the same?
Here are some pictures.
In the pictures of the brackets, the torpedo one is on the left.
I will check the measurements again, but I believe the length Ken wants is 28 inches.
Ken wants the 09 length and I gave one from the torpedo column.
Will measure the 09 column this evening.
The 09 column tube is 19 inches.
The torpedo column measures 58 1/2 inches from the end of the shaft threads to the flat edge of the brass cover.
Thanks Darel you've been a big help.
Re my 1909 American touring. What is the correct length of the steering gear tubing that goes from the dash to the underside of the quadrant. and how do you measure this distance.
Also what is the height from the bottom of the steering wheel to the floor.
What is the length of the steering shaft.
I have several different pieces from my inventory stash and want to make sure I put the right pieces together to be able to drive the car comfortably