Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

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Stephen_heatherly
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Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:32 pm

I bought a 23 runabout in July last year and one of the issues the body has is the firewall needs to be replaced. I have the engine out right now and want to use this time to also replace the firewall. I see the vendors offered wooden firewalls, but the one that I believe is correct for my car is for 1919-1922 according to Lang's website. They probably made the cutoff 1922 since 23 was the first year for the metal firewall and this one will fit my car as well. Am I correct on this? Also, the firewalls that the vendors have are all plywood. I would assume that they are made of outdoor grade plywood, but I don't know for sure. Does anyone here know? Anybody have experience with the reproduction firewalls?

Thank you,
Stephen


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by KLTagert » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:34 pm

If it’s an early 23, it may be a wood firewall. My ‘23 Touring still has the wood firewall. I think most were converted in May/ June to metal.


Erik Johnson
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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Erik Johnson » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:24 am

Unless things have changed, the wood firewalls sold by the vendors are generic, for lack of a better term.

They work but they are not accurate reproductions of the originals in that they are lacking in a number of details.

Refer to the third paragraph of my 1:55 pm timestamped post in the thread below:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/17 ... 1294979916


John kuehn
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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by John kuehn » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:34 am

I guess it would depend if your a purist and want to be correct as much as possible for authenticity. Over time the steel firewalls were being used to replace the wood firewalls if they needed it. I would imagine dealers would replace the wood ones if the owner wanted an improvement which they were. Over time people would get the metal firewall out of wrecking yards to put in their low cowl cars. There are probably early 23 T’s that had the firewalls replaced that were restored without the owner knowing it may have had the wood firewall in it originally.


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by browning » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:55 am

I personally know the fellow that did the programming for the firewalls that Snyders sells. The dimensions were taken directly from Ford blueprints secured from the Benson library and are year specific, dimensionally correct, and cnc manufactured. The plywood is not certified exterior grade but is manufactured with waterproof glue in either birch or cherry veneer, depending on year.


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:07 pm

Thanks for your help. I have a new firewall on the way.

Stephen


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Altair » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:03 am

I read about wood firewalls mostly being wood/plywood, on my Canadian 1915 the firewall is wood that consists of 7 individual pieces tongue and grooved with a thickness of 21/32" then skinned with 1/16" cherry veneer to a total thickness of
3/4 +-. The tongue and groove design would all for movement where as solid plywood would be stiff with no movement. However with the cherry skin over the solid tongue and groove the movement causes the cherry skin to separate and soon all you have is bare tongue and groove wood, although it still allows for movement.
DSC04165.JPG
DSC04164.JPG


Erik Johnson
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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Erik Johnson » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:36 am

I looked at the wood Snyder's firewalls online.

The black radiator firewalls pictured on the website look different that what my dad purchased from Lang's approximately ten years ago. They are missing a number of details that were mentioned in the link that I posted earlier. For example, no notches for the hood hinges, no bevel for the horn, 1917 and early 1918 should have a hole for for the light switch, etc. I'm also betting that the top of the firewall is not beveled.

Also worth mentioning - the 1915/16 firewalls aren't drilled for the light switch.


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Altair » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:54 pm

I would say they were not drilled if headlights were not ordered because they were accessories. I dug my '15 out of a mud filled ditch in Saskatchewan about 40 years ago where it sat discarded for 40 years. All that was sticking out of the mud was the front fenders and the wood firewall.
It did have the headlight forks on it, therefore it was probably ordered with headlights and the hole was drilled for the headlight switch. If it came with headlights I don't know where the headlight switch would have gone if there was no hole.


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:39 pm

Altair, all T's produced after 1910 came with headlamps.

Stephen


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by John kuehn » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:32 pm

Does your 23 have the drip edge still on the wood firewall? My 21 Touring didn’t have one. It was missing and it took a while to find one. I found a decent used one and at the time nobody reproduced them.


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:16 pm

Yes, I have the drip rail and it's in nice condition. I don't think this car has ever been restored. Just the top and upholstery was replaced and the body was painted. Mechanically the car was badly worn out, but I'm making quick progress on it.

Stephen


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Erik Johnson » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:00 am

To clarify my previous post.

The 1915/16 "reproduction" firewalls sold by the vendors do not have hole drilled for the headlight switch when they SHOULD have those holes if the person reproducing them is going by the factory drawings. Same goes for the 1917 and early 1918 firewalls - they too SHOULD have holes for the light switch. However, they do not have those holes.

As others have said, from 1910 forward, U.S. manufactured Model T Fords where "fully equipped" from the factory. "Fully equipped" included headlamps as standard equipment.


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Altair » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:16 am

I have read material from reliable sources and it indicates 1915 was the transitional year for factory headlights. I have a 1915 parts book and headlights are not listed. It is conceivable that on some early 1915 models headlights were still optional?


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Erik Johnson » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:27 am

For U.S. assembled Fords:

1909 model year = headlamps were an option

1910 model year forward, with the exception of 1910-1912 (and 1913?) model year closed cars, headlamps were standard equipment. They were not an option.

1915 model = first model year for electric headlights on U.S. assembled cars.


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Re: Question: Wood firewall on 23 runabout

Post by Altair » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:25 pm

Some early 1915 models still had the carbide lamps hence no hole for a switch. The 1915 parts book does not list any lighting components.

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