1926

 

JAN 1 Engine production records, Ford Archives
Engine 13,000,000 built.

 

JAN 7 Letter to dealers from Fargo, ND, branch)

"Ford wire wheels as shown in colored folder on Ford National Show Week, retail for $50 per set of five. Bumpers retail at $15 per pair.

"We give you this information to answer inquiries that may arise during Show Week.

"Bumpers and wire wheels will be available THRU SERVICE STOCK ONLY on or about February 1.

"Automatic windshield wipers for open and closed cars will be available within the next week or ten days at the following prices: T-3318R Automatic windshield wiper (open cars), $5.00. T-3320R (closed cars), $5.00. Less 40%."

 

JAN 8 Letter to dealers from Chicago branch

"To all Chicago Branch Dealers:

"We are mailing you under separate cover a personal letter signed by Mr. Edsel B. Ford, requesting you to paint on the roof of your place of business, the name of the City or Town in which you are located, and I wish that you would personally see to it that the letters of the name are carried out in accordance with Mr. Ford's letter.

"I would suggest that in painting these letters, wherever it is possible for you to make these larger than 12 inches high that you do so, owing to the fact that on a dark day it would be a difficult matter for a Pilot to see letters only 12 inches high.

"I sincerely hope that you will comply with Mr. Ford's request, making it possible for the writer to advise Mr. Ford that our dealers have responded 100%." Very Truly Yours,
Ford Motor Company
O. L. Arnold
Manager
(Presumably Edsel hoped that pilots would land to purchase a new Ford, and this marking would make it easier for them to find the dealer.)

 

JAN 20 Acc. 94, Fishleigh files, Ford Archives
Production of wire wheels begins.

 

JAN 28 Acc. 94, Fishleigh files, Ford Archives
Production of bumpers begins.

 

FEB 1 Box 169, Ford Archives
The front timing gear cover plate without the fan adjusting screw boss (T690D) was adopted this date.

 

FEB 4 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch
"8-leaf front spring standard on "Improved Fords."

 

FEB 4 Acc. 94, Fishleigh files, Ford Archives
Production of accessory stop light begins.

 

FEB 6 Box 169, Ford Archives
A communication to Mr. Scofield from Mr. Butler, dated Feb. 6, reports that the production of the old-style water outlet connection and fan bracket which used the bolt at the bottom to both rotate and clamp the eccentric T8719B ended on January 30, 1926. Production of the new style, T8917C began on January 29, 1926.

 

FEB 6 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch

"The subject of T-3312 Transmission Brake Drum Lug Shoe was covered in our General Letter #1362 of December 1st, also #1366 of December 7th.

"A checkup of several dealerís parts stocks shows that some dealers have some old Lug Shoes in stock and we must insist that all dealers remove this old style Lug Shoe from TT-3311B Brake Drum Assembly and return them to us together with the Lug Shoes furnished for service requirements.

"The flange on the new style T-3312 is 13/64" instead of 3/16" as formerly and the grain of the metal runs crosswise.

"This deserves your immediate attention as we do not want the old parts used in the repairing of Ford cars."

 

FEB 11 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch
Factory prices dropped to: Touring, $310. Runabout, $290. Fordor, $565. Tudor, $520. Coupe, $500.

 

FEB 11-13 Acc. 94, Box 168, Folder, Ford Archives
Chassis: The engineering department had been running some tests. It seems that the bodies on the Improved Fords were much heavier than those on the earlier models and they found that the frames with the standard thickness of steel tended to sag in the middle. The first plan was to put in a reinforcing plate in the side members, similar to that used on the very early 1909 models. By February 28 there was a note to the Midland Steel Products Parish and Bingham division to stop shipping frames until the rails could be made of "Type L" steel with a thickness of .180 to .200 inches. The Ford engineers suggested using the same gauge stock as was used on the ton-truck frames.

 

FEB 15 Letter from the Chicago branch

"The following are the suggested labor prices for installing Ford accessories: Bumpers, $2.00 per set. Snubbing units, $1.00 per set. Automatic windshield wiper, .75. Top boot & Gypsy Curtains, no charge. Windshield wings, no charge.

"The cost of installing wire wheels is included in the exchange price of the wire wheels in accordance with Supplement No. 1 to General Letter No. 496."

 

FEB 23 Letter #1430 to dealers from Fargo branch

"The fan eccentric has been redesigned by adding a flange on the outside edge toward the radiator and a lug on the inside edge. The cylinder head outlet connection has also been redesigned to correspond.

"To adjust the fan with this redesigned fan eccentric and outlet connection, it will be necessary to loosen the nut on the fanshaft bolt sufficient so the fan eccentric can be moved with a wrench on the lug.

"To tighten the fan belt, turn the lug up and to loosen the fan belt, turn the lug down.

"After securing the proper adjustment, tighten the nut on the fan shaft, which will draw up on the fan eccentric plate and hold the fan eccentric in place at all times.

"At the time of adopting the redesigned outlet connection and fan eccentric for regular production, it was deemed advisable to hold the above parts for service on all cars having this outlet connection assembled, but due to unsatisfactory results and several complaints, these parts will be considered obsolete as soon as sufficient stocks of redesigned parts are available for regular production. (Ed. note: this seems a bit confusing. I presume they are referring to the original "worm drive" eccentric as the one being unsatisfactory, not the ``new'' design indicated above.) "Please instruct all concerned to replace broken old-style outlet connections with the new style connection, fan eccentric, fan eccentric plate and fan shaft, returning all broken parts together with your stock of old style parts, for credit allowance."

 

FEB 28 Acc. 94, Box 168, Ford Archives
Note about heavier frame side rails. See February 11-13 above.

 

MAR 3 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch

"We have added a new accessory to our line which is the Combination Stop and Tail Lamp Assembly, and believe us, "ITíS A DANDY." A sample lamp is being forwarded for your inspection.

"Careful consideration has been given to the appearance and durability of this Lamp and the Bracket included in this assembly is constructed of a heavier material than the standard bracket in order to carry the increased weight.

"We want to draw your attention particularly to the type of switch used in conjunction with this Ford stop lamp. It is very simple in construction and very easily attached by clamping to the bendix cover and tightening one screw. A rod inserted in the switch is actuated by the lateral cam action of the brake pedal, this obviating the necessity of using clamps, pull wires, etc., which are a constant source of annoyance and trouble when used.

"The price of the assembly is $2.50, subject to the usual 40% discount."

 

MAR 11 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch)

"We have just received our first allotment of a limited supply of Ford wire wheels and are pleased to advise you that a set of five wheels complete was forwarded to you on the 10th.

"Production is very limited . . . .

"Extra charge for 5 wheels and 4 tires, $50. 5 wheels and 5 tires, $75."

 

MAR 15 General letter 1457 from Fargo branch
"We expect to be in a position to furnish Genuine Ford Bumpers within the next thirty days.

"You will be pleased with the appearance, the quality and price of this new product. These bumpers have been carefully designed and are made to attach to the frame — very rigidly and securely—the frame being drilled so that installation is a simple matter. Best quality spring steel is used in construction. The test employed to determine the steel best adapted to this use are very interesting, consisting of actual impact tests against obstacles at predetermined speeds.

"The price is $15.00 per pair list, subject to dealers' usual discount of 40%—this price, considering the high quality and appearance of the bumpers, should enable you to obtain a large volume of this class of business, providing the proper sales effort is applied by your organization.....

"Each bumper is packed individually in a carton and clearly marked with the name, T number and models to which bumper can be applied. Following are the T numbers and the cars fitted:
T-3101R—Front bumper assy. (all model T)
T-3119R—Rear bumper assy, (Fordor, Tudor, Touring)
T-3120R—Rear bumper assy, (Coupe, Runabout)

"Since bumpers are now classified as Ford products, we will expect all dealers to sell the Genuine article and are enclosing an order blank for your convenience....."

 

MAR 22 Letter 1463 from the Fargo branch
"We can now furnish khaki or black top boots, khaki gypsy curtains and windshield wings for the open models; automatic windshield wipers, open and closed types; and natural wood wheels in unlimited quantities and expect to be able to furnish bumpers, snubbing units and the combination stop and tail lamp assembly within a very short time, therefore, we ask that you make immediate necessary arrangements to line up your organization to properly merchandise the complete line of Ford accessories."

 

APR 19 Letter from the Chicago branch

"The Police Department has called to our attention the fact that our license brackets obscure the license place on all cars equipped with bumpers.

"In order that we may comply with the law, our headlamps are being changed so that when assembled to the car, they are fastened together with a tie rod which will make the lamps and fenders more rigid and will change the position of the license plate so that it will not be covered by the bumpers.

"This change will go into effect in the very near future. We are giving you this information in advance in order that you may take care of your stock order accordingly."

 

MAY 7 Letter from the Chicago branch

"We are now in a position to supply part 2511B-T221 washer, which should be used in conjunction with 2511-T198A rear axle oil retainer, to increase the efficiency and life of the retainer. This is accomplished by the pressure exerted by the lugs of the retainer washer, which hold the leather collar firmly against the axle shaft.

"As all production axles will shortly carry this improvement it will be necessary that this washer be included with all grease retainers supplied through your stock department or installed in your shop."

(The letter continues with the prices (25 cents for the new washer and leather, and 50 cents for the set of two. The leather retainer is 2511, and the washer is 2511B. The set is 2511C.

 

MAY 25 Engine production records, Ford Archives
Began using bolt instead of studs for manifolds.

 

JUN 1 Letter from the Chicago branch
"The Ruckstell Mfg. Company, manufacturers of the Ruckstell Axle advise that a price reduction of about 28% on both the truck and passenger axles has become effective. This reduction is as follows: Truck axle, from $112.00 to $79.80. Passenger axle, from $70.00 to $49.80."

 

JUN 19 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch
Prices: Chassis with starter, $300. Runabout with starter and balloon tires, $360. Touring with starter and balloon tires, $380. Coupe with balloon tires, $485. Tudor with balloon tires, $495. Fordor with balloon tires, $545. Truck with balloon front tires, no starter, $325. With starter, $375.

 

JUN 28 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch
Set of 5 wire wheels reduced to $40.

 

JUL 9 Letter from the Chicago branch
Announced that only balloon wheels could be taken in exchange for wire wheels since the high pressure (30x3-1/2) were no longer used in production. The factory allowed $11.50 for a set of the wood wheels, and apparently they were used in new production of cars.

 

JUL 19 Engine production records, Ford Archives
Holley Vaporizer on all production.

 

JUL 21 Engine production records, Ford Archives
Engine 14,000,000 built at 4:30 P.M.

 

JUL 24 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch

"After extensive tests we have adopted the Holley Vaporizer for Ford cars and trucks.

"This Vaporizer can be installed on any new motor without fear of trouble if the car is driven carefully for the first few hundred miles the same as is necessary for any new car. This is due to the fact that the piston rings in all engines since May 15, 1926 have been fitted with wider gaps, which permits better lubrication.

"Some dealers may have the impression that the Vaporizer is beneficial only in cold weather. As a matter of fact, test show that the intake temperature with the Vaporizer is no higher than with the standard carburetor."

 

JUL 27 Engine production records, Ford Archives
Started to paint motors with Pyroxylin. (Drake Green indicated in one note, but other documentation indicates "Faunskin.")

 

AUG 21 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch
The use of felt packing for the front end of the crankshaft has been discontinued on cars and trucks and we are now using a braided asbestos packing with a rubber core. This packing is much more durable since the heat of the engine will not break down or soften it."

 

SEP 8 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch)

"The Vaporizer now used on the Ford car is so designed that efficient operation is secured from the engine even though low grade fuels are used. Some of these low grade fuels have a tendency, however, to carbonize the hot plate, which condition is indicated by a lower warming up of the engine and the need for a richer mixture. When this is noticed, the hot plate should be taken out and the carbon removed.

"The formation of carbon on the hot plate depends entirely upon the grade of fuel used and where a good fuel is burned, it should seldom be necessary to clean the plate. Some low grade fuels result in a carbon formation within 2500 to 3000 miles and we suggest that the plate be cleaned after this period of service providing there is any indication of carbon.

"To remove the hot plate it is merely necessary to run out the four screws in the plate casting and back off the knurled nut at the top. This permits the plate casting to be moved back so that the thin plate can be drawn out.

"After scraping off the carbon, the plate should be placed in the same position as before removal, that is, with the raised corrugation extending inward, since the Vaporizer will not function properly if the plate is reversed.

"We also wish to direct your attention to the necessity for exercising care in adjusting the needle valve. Our experience has shown that practically every complaint of excessive gas consumption has resulted from the needle valve having been screwed too tightly against the seat. The groove thus cut in the needle renders it impossible to secure a good adjustment and there is no alternative but to install a new needle valve."

 

SEP 9 Letter from the Chicago branch)

"It is necessary that our dealers properly instruct new owners regarding the adjustment of the Holley Vaporizer, which is standard equipment on all Ford cars. Perfect satisfaction results from proper adjustment.

"Turn vaporizer adjusting rod clockwise to shut off fuel, and open from 5/8 to 7/8 of a turn for running. To start, pull out rod to choke vaporizer. If cold, open 1/2 turn more, but close down to regular running position within five minutes."

 

SEP 25 United States District Court, Eastern Judicial, Ford Archives
District of Missouri.
A judgment against the Ford Motor Company, in favor of Parks and Bohne, Inc., holders of original patents of transmission bands with removable ears, was made on this date. Just how Ford made restitution is not specified in the document.

 

OCT 2 Acc. 94, Box 169, Ford Archives
The one-piece valve chamber cover without the hole for the throttle rod was adopted on October 2, 1926. Notes in another file discussed the problem of dirt getting into the engine through the passageway for the throttle rod. Someone in the Norfolk, Virginia, plant made up a device for what was in effect two plates with a tube connecting them. The tube was for the carburetor rod and the two plates sealed either side of the block. Eventually, of course, the opening was sealed.

 

OCT 27 Letter from the Chicago branch

"For your information, we are listing below the new colors which will be furnished on all types of cars and trucks, as well as the change in the standard equipment of the Fordor, all of which are effective immediately:

OPEN CARS: Phoenix Brown (M604), or Gun Metal Blue (M601), both with Orange Stripe (M641).
CLOSED CARS: Highland Green (M603), or Fawn Gray (M605), both with Cream Stripe (M643), or Royal Maroon (M606) with Vermilion Stripe (M646).
RUNABOUT WITH PICK-UP BODY: Commercial Green (M608) with Cream Stripe (M643).
PICK-UP BODY AND ROADSTER DECK (Sold through service): Black Pyroxylin, no stripe.
ALL TRUCK BODY EQUIPMENT: Commercial Green (M608).
COMMERCIAL CHASSIS: Black enamel hood and shell.
TT CHASSIS: Commercial green hood, black enamel shell.
FORDORS: Wire wheels standard equipment."

 

OCT 28 Letter from the Chicago branch
"FORDORS: Black wire wheels are now standard equipment at no extra cost. Should your customer desire colored wire wheels instead of black, we recommend an extra charge of $10.00 be made for the change-over."

 

OCT 29 Ford letter to all dealers

"For your information and guidance we are listing below the standard colors for both open and closed cars:
OPEN CARS
Gun Metal Blue Pyroxylin (no stripe)
Phoenix Brown (no stripe)
CLOSED CARS
Highland Green Pyroxylin with cream stripe
Fawn Gray Pyroxylin with cream stripe
Royal Maroon Pyroxylin with vermilion stripe

"The Roadster will come through in Gun Metal Blue and Phoenix Brown Pyroxylin, however, when pick-up box is required on the Roadster the entire outfit will come through in Commercial Green Pyroxylin just the same as the truck with cab and body. Pick-up boxes sold through service will come through in black.

"Effective immediately black wire wheels are standard equipment on Fordor Sedans with no additional charge to the customer. However, should the customer desire colored wire wheels on the Fordor, we suggest an extra charge of $10.00 per car. This applies to the Fordor only."

 

NOV 1 Letter from the Chicago branch

A number of price and part number changes, plus the following:

"NOTE—All colored hoods will hereafter be carried under catalog number 4050E, and dealers should specify Channel Green, Drake Green, Highland Green, Windsor Maroon, Royal Maroon, Moleskin, Gunmetal Blue, Phoenix Brown, or Fawn Gray, when ordering. The list price of any of these colored hoods is $8.00 each."

 

NOV 12 Letter from the Chicago branch
The following is a list of paints sold through the Ford factory:
M-109 Emerald Green Pyroxylin striping (New No. M-642)
M-111 Black touch-up
M-118 Champagne Striping (New No. M-644)
M-123 Drake Green satin finish Pyroxylin New No. M-637)
M-125 Moleskin satin finish Pyroxylin (New No. M-630)
M-127 Black satin finish Pyroxylin (New No. M-632)
M-134 Straw enamel, to be replaced by M-627
M-136 Casino Red enamel, to be replaced with M-628
M-140 Emerald Green enamel, to be replaced with M-629
M-145 Pyroxylin thinner, to be replaced with M-647-S
M-165 Black enamel
M-193 Drake Green Pyroxylin touch-up, to be replaced with M-637
M-194 Moleskin Pyroxylin touch-up, to be replaced with M-630
M-210 Tractor gray
M-212 Tractor red
M-213 Tractor black
M-392 Channel green enamel
M-393 Windsor maroon enamel
M-401 Tack rag varnish
M-430 Spar varnish
M-626 Royal maroon Pyroxylin ground
M-627 Straw Pyroxylin for wire wheels
M-628 Casino red Pyroxylin for wire wheels
M-629 Emerald green Pyroxylin for wire wheels
M-630 Moleskin Pyroxylin (Old No. M-125)
M-631 Gunmetal blue Pyroxylin
M-632 Black Pyroxylin (Old No. M-127)
M-633 Highland green Pyroxylin
M-634 Phoenix brown Pyroxylin
M-635 Fawn gray Pyroxylin
M-636 Royal maroon Pyroxylin
M-637 Drake green Pyroxylin (Old No. M-123)
M-638 Pyroxylin Primer (Old No. M-701)
M-639 Pyroxylin Glaze (Old No. M-702)
M-640 Pyroxylin surfacer (Old No. M-703)
M-641 Orange Pyroxylin striping
M-642 Emerald Green Pyroxylin striping (Old No. M-109)
M-643 Cream Pyroxylin striping
M-644 Champagne Pyroxylin striping
M-646 Vermillion Pyroxylin striping
M-647-S Pyroxylin thinner (Replaces M-145 for service)
M-701 Pyroxylin Primer (New No. M-638)
M-702 Pyroxylin glaze (New No. M-639)
M-703 Pyroxylin surfacer (New No. M-640)
No other paints (except for use on Lincoln cars) are to be sold by branches without first obtaining permission from the Detroit office.

Dealers desiring to obtain a glossy finish on refinished cars, may desire to purchase M-623, Clear Pyroxylin. When receiving requests for M-623, you should advise the dealers that they may obtain the desired gloss finish by spraying with a double coat of Pyroxylin finish thinner which they can make up as follows:
M-647-S Pyroxylin thinner, 80%. Pyroxylin (desired color M-631, M-632, etc.), 20%.

 

NOV 16 Letter from the Chicago branch

"For the past two months all carburetors furnished, both the NH and Holley vaporizers, have been constructed with a heavier and more buoyant float, T-6333-B, in order to compensate for the pressure exerted by a full tank of fuel in Ford cars equipped with gasoline tanks under the cowl. The more buoyant float eliminates the tendency for the pressure exerted by the fuel tank, to cause the carburetor to leak when traveling over rough and heavily graveled roads.

"Leakage under these conditions naturally increases the gasoline consumption and reflects unfavorably on our product.

"It is therefore our intention to furnish, gratis to dealer, the new type float T-6333-B, as replacement of previous type float in cases where owners complain of unsatisfactory mileage. The old type float should be returned to this Branch, accompanied by our form 340 parts return sheet properly filled out, listing the motor number, etc., and reference should be made to this letter on same. We will then make return shipment to you of the new type float.

"It is understood that there is no necessity for replacing a float in any old style cars or in trucks or present type fordors which carry the gasoline tank under the driver's seat."

 

NOV 16 Letter from the Chicago branch

"Radiator carcass (3 tube type) T-8736-G and flat tube type T-8736-F are now obsolete and will no longer be furnished through production or service stock.

"The new type radiator (4 tube type) T-8736-H, is now being used entirely. This item is carried under the old service number, namely, 3925-E."

 

NOV 18 Engine production records, Ford Archives
"Motor numbers ground off and replacement numbers: 10,000,000 to 14,548,000; 12,000,000 to 14,546,000; and 13,000,000 to 14,549,000."

 

NOV 29 Letter from the Chicago branch
32x6 eight-ply tires offered as optional equipment on the trucks, at an extra charge of $35 per set of two tires. These tires used the same wheel and rim as the standard 30x5 tires.

 

DEC 15 Letter from the Chicago branch

"In case you or your salesmen feel hesitant about forcefully denying all rumors of a "new car" caused by unauthorized and unfounded newspaper, magazine and trade paper articles as well as through any kind of propaganda, we call your attention to the emphatic statement recently made my Mr. Edsel Ford, as follows:

"There will be no new model and no new Ford car is going to be introduced. Nor are we planning on any six or eight cylinder car."

"What stronger denial can be made? What further statement is needed? What better answer can you give the prospect who calls your attention to such propaganda or rumors?

"Don't let such unfounded information interfere with your placing the best Ford car ever built in the hands of prospective buyers in your community.

"And we say "best Ford car" because of the complimentary letters received and appreciative comments made on all sides by individual owners as well as commercial users as to the more efficient and more flexible motor with its greatly improved operation resulting in more power, quicker getaway and increased gasoline mileage. And who are very much impressed with the improved appearance of our car generally—durability of the new Pyroxylin finish in various colors—high quality of upholstering—and the increased riding comfort of our all-steel bodies and balloon tires.

"The Ford Car today stands supreme in offering the greatest automobile value and its popularity is ever increasing as indicated by sales totaling over A MILLION AND A HALF so far this year."

 

DEC 15 Letter from the Chicago branch

This letter noted that there were a number of complaints about the poor quality of the carbon brushes supplied for use in the Model T generator. The letter explained that the so-called defective brushes which were returned to the factory were all checked and met the manufacturer's specifications.

In this letter they say: "Ford generators were designed to charge 12 amperes when cold and 9 amperes when hot. Therefore, when this charging rate is exceeded the bond of the brush is being dried out and deposited on the commutator causing the coating or blackened condition."

 

DEC 31 Letter from the Chicago branch
"Effective January 3rd, 1927, the Tudor Sedan will be equipped with black wire wheels as standard equipment at no extra cost."

 

PROBLEMS WITH THE "IMPROVED" FORDS

Trent Boggess and Ken Jones spent a good deal of time going through a number of boxes of the Walter T. Fishleigh files at the Ford Archives during the month of June, 1997. Several items regarding the 1926 models came out. Trent had this to say:

"First, there were lots of complaints—from everybody. Branches complained about the poor quality of the parts and materials shipped to them for assembly into cars. Dealers complained about the flaws in new cars that they had to fix (one dealer received a new car in which one axle shaft and differential gear had seized in the differential case).

"Customer's complained about the flaws in new cars for which they paid good, hard earned money. Interesting stuff from the days before Lemon Laws.

"One of the most common and significant complaints regarded the new three tube design radiator used in 1926. Ford replaced the older five tube and flat tube designs with the three tube. The tubes were offset to allow each tube access to cool air. The Ford engineers claimed that it did a better job of cooling than the older designs, but it must also be pointed out that they also undertook some cost cutting when they created the new design.

"Anyway, the complaints about this radiator were legion. Branches, dealers and customers all complained of overheating and an increase in the number of accessory water pumps sold. Miles per gallon began to refer to water rather than gas consumption The lighter, lower cost design of the radiator which lacked a crossbar through the core at the point where the mounting brackets are, was unable to withstand the stresses put on the radiator by bad roads, and had a tendency to pull the tubes out of the headers.

"The Ford engineers first response to the problem was to introduce the longer fan hub to bring the fan closer to the radiator. They also changed the angle of the fan blades. Finally, they went to a four tube core."

 

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© Bruce W. McCalley. Rev. February 21, 2007