Hi, Just curious why these armrest top mounts are different at the bases? My 1922-23 touring body has no top and may never have had one. How do I install these by the way? Carriage bolts? If so, what size?
The bases of the early ones were welded to the upper portion.
I use the term Front seat Body Iron for the part shown below – Ford used the term Iron (top) front seat. (Note photo from e-bay and I apologize for not having the link. I'm out of time and I will try to add the link later.)
Do the body irons in your picture have a hole at the bottom of the iron for a bolt to go through? “IF not” they probably have been modified or they were never mounted in the car as the bottom of that body iron was bolted to the seat frame to give it strength to hold the top irons/top.
For a 1923 model year body – you would NOT need those. A 1923 model year would have a one-man top and a slant windshield.
For a 1922 model year body – you would need part # 5145 BX as shown underlined in the Sep 1923 Price List of Body Parts page 9 below.
Unfortunately the number on the front seat body iron is just 5145 for either part -- you have to figure it out based on something else. Show below you can see part of the 5145 number:
And if you look at the part number 5145 AX just above it you will see that the AX part fits the 1915-1921 while the BX part fits the 1921-1923 cars. Ok – I thought we said the 1923 cars did NOT have that part. I don’t have time to explore that at the moment. The important thing to note is the 1915-21 part is different from the one used in later 1921-22 bodies.
I believe the key difference is the length from where the Front Seat Body Iron connects to the top of the body and where it connects to the seat frame. When the body was redesigned to use the 3 piece rear tub – that your car has – the front seat was lowered. But the doors 1915-1925 are the same – so the height of the body did not change. Since the seat frame was lowered, I believe the metal bar that extends down from the top of the arm rest and goes down and attaches to the seat frame was lengthened.
Would someone who has access to both an earlier 1915-1920 type front seat top iron support and a later 1921-22 front seat top iron support let us know the measurements on both? Or if you have one of the other if you could give us that measurement. From where to where? From the center of the bottom bolt hole to the initial bend in the part would work well enough.
Your car should have the metal seat frame and in that case the rod from the top rest is bolted to the body at the top of the seat and a hole in the seat frame has a bolt that goes into the lower end of the Front Seat Body Iron.
I will try to post photos tomorrow. I need to quit for now.
Some additional items -- not critical to solving your question:
From memory I thought I remembered seeing the car in your profile picture before. And a search turned up the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/699294.html?1481084019 where the conclusion was “if the windshield was original to the car it was a 1921-22 with the front seat body iron removed” or “if it never had the front seat body irons to support the two-man top, then it was a 1923 that had been fitted with an earlier mid 1917-1922 straight windshield.”
As I commented on that thread – it looks like it will be a lot of fun no matter what year the different parts are from.
You commented “My 1922-23 touring body has no top and may never have had one.” Just to clarify, while Ford USA did produce and sell some Model Ts from the factory without a top – that was only very very early. During the 1909 model year ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1909.htm says: “ TOP: (Open cars) Optional equipment.” And for 1910 the top is no longer listed as optional see: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1910.htm So for a USA open car manufactured after 1910, it would have had a top. (I picked “after 1910 as a very early 1910 that was manufactured in calendar year 1909 might have been produced without a top. For example, on page 483 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford” he has Touring serial number 5,625 listed as manufactured on Jun 25, 1909 and the comment “No Top.” That may or may not have been the last open car manufactured without a top, but clearly the bulk of the 1910 cars came with the top standard and after 1910 they all came with a top.
While you may not be sure what year body your car has or exactly what year the car is, when the body left the Ford USA factory or branch assembly factory it came with a top and all the body irons to support that top. If the car was a 1922 or earlier style touring it came with the two man top and the body would have come with the body irons on the front seat for the 2 many top irons to be connected. If it was a 1923 style touring it came from the factory with the slant windshield and one man top and would not have had the body irons on the front seat arm area for a two man top iron to be connected.
I personally lean more towards your car’s body being a 1923 body that has had the slant windshield replaced with the mid 1917-1922 straight windshield – probably when the top was replaced at some time in the past with a California style top. (Why? Because of the front body mount that is used that is metal and replaced the wooden sill at the front. Unfortunately I don’t know when that first started being used. And of course we don’t know if it was added to your body later or not.)
It sounds like you are planning to install a two man top on the car is that correct? To do that you will need to add the body irons that support the two-man top and attach the top irons to the front seat.
If you are trying to go back to the way it would have left the factory, I would suggest you do a little more research on the car and body. Ford did not produce a 1922 style touring with the straight windshield without including those top supports on the front seat arm rests.
Nor did they produce a 1923 style one man top with the straight windshield that is shown in your photo.
So either your car came with the slant windshield and one man top or it came with the straight windshield, two man top and the body irons for the top to mount to attached to the front seat structure.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thank you for the intriguing and detailed analysis. In answer to your questions: I have a new 2 man top made and 2 man top bows so I am pretty much committed to doing a 2 man top. The front body irons shown in the picture were given to me and do not have any numbers or markings. Not shown because they are in the vise are 2 holes at the bottom that had very old, very rusted carriage bolts in them that had to be cut off to be removed. See another picture below with the cut off carriage bolts. Will these work? If so, how do I mount them?
With enough effort many things can be made to fit and function OK.
In this case note that the brackets you have most likely went to a different make of car. You can trial fit them and see how well or how poorly they will fit, function, and look. And base your decision on that.
Note that the bottom part will need to be fitted based on how far to the seat frame that it will attach to. So it might fit like it is, but probably you will need to lengthen or shorten it.
Note also see the photos below (again this set is on e-bay for sale) and I believe it is for the 1917-1920 tourings and not the 1921-22 -- but that is a guess:
compared to the photo you posted:
Notice that the 1915-1920 Ford supplied irons for the metal seat frame (probably the same at the top for the 1915 - 16 wooden seat frame) have an offset. I.e. they bolt to the body and they have approximately a 1 inch or so (I haven't measured it) "L" were the iron goes away from the mounting flange and then down. Your irons have a much much smaller offset.
And I do NOT know how the later 1921-1922 Ford Irons have for an offset on that "L" at the top. The arm rest on the 3 panel rear touring bodies in narrower than the 1915-1920 arm rests. (Yes, some 1921 bodies had the narrow arm eests and 5 piece rear tub while would have had the 3 piece rear tub and narrow arm rest. There was some overlap.).
Note also the Ford ones are straight out and it appears yours are curved. I have seen some Ford ones that were curved, but I believe that was from being bent after it left the factory.
To make things much simpler to fit up and look correct, I would suggest obtaining a pair of the correct 1921-1922 style front seat body irons. If you have access to good free welding -- your irons could probably be made to work. But if you are paying someone to do the welding and bending, I would guess the Ford parts might be less expensive.
This is a busy week for me at work. So I will not be able to post more photos etc. until the weekend.
Below are the illustrations form the Ford Owner showing the measurements on a 1915-1920 body and top. The 1921-22 should be very close to those as the top irons and tops are interchangeable. (Earlier cars had the oval top irons and later cars had the rectangular irons).
And as requested earlier in the thread -- can someone give us the dimensions/length of either the 1915-1920 front seat body iron for a metal seat framed car or the 1921-22 with the lower front seat?
Oh ask for the world and some measurements to see what the difference is at the top of the iron also. Is it just the length that is different or is the spacing / amount of the "L" at the top also different?
Thank you for your help.
Hap l9l5 cut off
I don't think I have the capability to make my front body irons work. I wonder where I can get the correct 5145bx Ford ones?
An advertisement in the MTFCA classified section should generate some good leads or irons. And probably a few scams also -- so if it sounds to good to be true it usually is etc.
Those irons are some of the last things to rust away on a body, as the water does not tend to be trapped on them (they are on the top half of the body) and they are much thicker than the surrounding sheet metal and many other metal parts.
E-bay is another option and so are some of the parts places such as Mark's Model T Haven see: https://vintagecarsandparts.com/ would likely have a set. Note they charge retail as they are paying for the lights, rent, and their salary. Lang's and other vendors sometimes have used parts that they often don't mention as they have a very limited supply.
A swap meet such as http://www.chickashaautoswapmeet.com/ would likely have a pair.
One thing you need to do is get some measurements so you can tell the difference between the 1915-1921 Front seat Body Iron (Ford used the term Iron (top) front seat) and the 1921-1922 ones. They both probably have the same part number -- but they do NOT interchange. If it is just the length of the rectangular rod, then that would be relatively easy to make longer (weld in a piece) or shorter. If the top is also different then it might be a lot more involved.
We have asked a couple of time above -- if someone has the dimensions of either or both of those 1915-1921 or 1921-1922 Iron (top) front seat -- that would be a help to Ignacio and later to others as they could reference the same information. It might even be shown in the rewooding plans if they also include the distances that the brackets fill?
Hap l9l5 cut off.