TT Year Identification Help

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Grady Bruton
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TT Year Identification Help

Post by Grady Bruton » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:49 pm

New model TT owner here. Picked it up from someone who knew just as much as I did about it, which isn't much. It was advertised as a 1912 Ford T, but after reading here TT's weren't made until 1917 I'm unsure of what year it is. I verified it's a TT instead of a T by the longer wheel base and rear axle. The only serial numbers I can find on it are two on the engine block. First is 1784629, the second appears to have been stamped on top of the previous number, 3594772. Why the two serial numbers? Could the engine have been rebuilt and restamped with the previous blocks serial number?

Additionally, It has a license plate out of Iowa 1939. Would Iowa DMV have records that far back? I also discovered the day after I bought it, you can barely make out "WVFD" on the hood, as well as traces of red paint on fenders, engine parts, cab, etc. Being a volunteer firefighter myself this was a cool surprise. There is no bed, just a pair of fenders that came with the truck detached, which makes me wonder what the old bed may have looked like when it was used as a volunteer fire truck. Any help or words of advice appreciated!
00v0v_5NXfJiM2Cti_1200x900.jpg
FB_IMG_1583661505700.jpg
IMG_20200224_163602.jpg
Fenders
Fenders
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IMG_20200313_202357.jpg

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A Whiteman
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by A Whiteman » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:02 pm

Yes, that is certainly a TT :-)

Welcome to the TT Club ;-)

Only the engines have numbers (there were none used on the chassis frame at that stage). The cab may have a makers number somewhere too, but its harder to date that.

Usually there is only 1 number at a time on an engine, so your guess that a rebuilt engine was stamped the original number is plausible.

1784629 dates it as March 1917 while 3594772 is December 1919 (see this link: https://mtfca.com/encyclo/sernos.htm).

Lovely truck!
Last edited by A Whiteman on Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A Whiteman
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by A Whiteman » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:09 pm

Check out some TT pictures here too: app.php/gallery/album/77

And some fire TTs:
227829.jpg
228011.jpg
228011.jpg (57.05 KiB) Viewed 2336 times
253756.jpg

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StevenS
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by StevenS » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:21 pm

Grady,

I sent you an email.
Steven Sebaugh in Missouri
1924 Model T Touring
1924 Model TT Truck (1924 if you take the average year of the parts it has) :lol:
"It is great to be crazy ... It gives you a lot more options in life" :roll: ;)

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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:24 pm

1784629 = Wednesday, March 21, 1917
3594772 = Wednesday, December 3, 1919
The reason for two numbers is a mystery to me too.

Is the engine pre-starter, or post-starter? If you're not sure, post pictures of it from both sides.

Some states keep old vehicle registration records, but most do not. You can ask your DMV.

I could find no Iowa city with the initials WV, so my guess is that may be a fire district and not a city.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


Dallas Landers
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Dallas Landers » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:29 pm

Many cab makers from comercial to cabinet makers and carpenters. Has some Martin Parry features but a little different . Here is MP that is close. You can go to Martin Parry .com and look at dealer catologs to see if you can find a match.
KIC Document 28-A-1.jpg
I have a model 20-B I rebuilt. The metal panels on MP cabs have a bead in the metal. Not to say the panels were not changed. The arch top in the side window is a MP thing.


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Dallas Landers » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:39 pm

20190628_163459.jpg
Here is mine. Sorry for sideway post
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20190704_111358.jpg


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by John kuehn » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:41 pm

If the front fenders are the ones that came with it originally they are the ones that Ford used from 17- early 23. Later fenders had a lip just under the headlight from early 23-25.
Check to see if the engine has 1 or 2 chambers.
1 chamber is 17- early 23.
2 chambers is 23- 25.

It would be neat if you repainted the TT truck and could paint the lettering back as it was!
Looks pretty good and it’s been stored pretty well by the way it looks.
Use the encycleopedia for more information about dating your TT truck.
Could be you will find some things have been replaced from previous or later years.
Model T parts would pretty much interchange from 17- 25 since they would fit most of the time and after a 100 years it wouldn’t be surprising!


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by John kuehn » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:53 pm

Looks like it has an original radiator on it. Just letting you know that usually original radiators won’t cool well. Most that have T’s. have to get them recored or just buy a new one. Maybe you’ll be lucky but that’s what usually happens with old radiators. They lose their cooling capabilities after years and years of use.

Another sign you TT is pre 21 is the front engine to axle mount according to the encyclopedia.
I have a 21 Touring that has the same mount. The later mounts didn’t have the 2 ubolt mount like the earlier. They had only a 1 ubolt style mount.
Last edited by John kuehn on Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Grady Bruton
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Grady Bruton » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:07 pm

Thanks for the replies. I haven't found any makers numbers on the cab yet. The wood looks to be in good shape, no rotting anywhere. When I removed it from the firewall I found the original paint, black with gold strips. The engine does not have a starter, but it looks like there might be a cover plate to add one? I agree that the radiator is the original one, and I don't believe I'll be reusing it. There was no cap so mice got into the water passages and filled the radiator and engine to the brim with rats nest and various nuts and seeds!
IMG_20200313_214905.jpg
Cab between firewall
Cab between firewall
Radiator
Radiator


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:16 am

Steve Jelf wrote:

I could find no Iowa city with the initials WV, so my guess is that may be a fire district and not a city.

=================================

Steve, It may be that the "V" stands for "Volunteer", like in "Westfield Volunteer
Fire Department" ....
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Steve Jelf
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:47 am

... It may be that the "V" stands for "Volunteer"...

I didn't think of that. There are lots of W towns in Iowa. There's probably at least one with a volunteer FD.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


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Grady Bruton
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Grady Bruton » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:58 am

I might be able to narrow it down further by seeing what year those "W" towns started their fire departments. I know with the dept I'm on here in Paradise, TX it wasn't organized until 1959, even though the town was founded in 1876


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:37 am

Dallas Landers is probably drooling at those rear fenders you posted pictures of! His beautiful Martin-Parry restoration is missing them! Awhile back he said the last thing he has to finish on his TT is to replicate a pair of rear fenders for it. I tell you this so that although not particularly valuable, you understand they are something special and you protect and cherish them.

I zoomed in to the photos you showed. I can see the rear end has the "bead" on the ends of the center housings. That is an early feature, used for only a bit more than two years. Primarily 1918 and 1919 and maybe some or most of 1920. Those years also usually had solid rubber rear tires, so it is likely that a number of things have been changed over the years. The truck likely also had non-demountable front wheels and tires originally.

TT trucks were developed during 1917, but actual production did not begin until very late in '17 calendar year for the 1918 model year.

More details on your engine block would help with identification of it and your truck. There are a few things about that engine block that don't really hurt it, but could help clear up its past. It is clearly a replacement block of some sort. Just how much of one remains to be found out.
First thing, the embossment on the side of the block originally was of a single level between the serial number area and the water inlet. I can see that yours has been ground down over the serial number area, leaving the water inlet at probably the original height. It appears that was done to remove,or minimize the original number so that the new number would show better. It MAY be that the number has been changed more than once as the depth of the number stamping is usually NOT very deep, and yet the removed number still shows a bit much. The number style/font appears to be original, however, most Ford dealers and many garages had original style number stamping sets (they can be gotten even today, but expensive and hard to find). Another anomaly, The numbers (both series) appear to be higher than most blocks I have seen. That may or may not also indicate later stampings. It may be that the engine was an original era replacement block, stamped by the dealer. Then later changed to a different vehicle, and changed again.
Details about the block, style and location of casting dates if it has them, generator mounting bosses or not, and single or double valve chamber style and covers. Any or all could help date the block's era.

The 178#### serial number is too early for a production TT, and it is very unlikely you have stumbled onto one of the five or seven (depending upon source of research) pre-production prototypes (none of which are believed to survive). The December 1919 number would be a good fit for an early TT. The truck chassis probably never had a number anywhere but on the engine. The body looks to be an era professionally-built cab, there were quite a number of regional builders of such cabs. Martin-Parry was one of the better known, and more desirable ones, but there were dozens of others as well. Many, but not all, professionally built truck bodies did have a body number in addition to the engine number.

Nice truck! And one of the better preserved originals I have seen in a long time.

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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by A Whiteman » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:55 am

Probably an earlier engine - from a car likely - re numbered for replacement of the original. We may never ever know.

Clever things those mice! an 'armoured' storage site for nuts and seeds untouched by other 'raiders' :-)


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by HPetrino » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:10 am

As Wayne said it has the rear end clam shell beads, so that indicates an early Tt. Another supporting item is the short running boards.

A couple of other things that would support or contradict the idea of an early truck are:

1. The patent plate. You'll find it on the fire wall (inside the cab) near the steering column. Take a photo of it and post it here. We can probably narrow down the a little with that.

2. Does it have a wood or metal fire wall (the part the coil box is fastened to)?

3. How long is the rear chassis cross member and is there only one hole at each end or two?

4. At the tp of the steering column is the horn button fastened by a wrap-around piece or is it fastened to the top of the column by two screws threaded into the column? (The two screw fastening actually pre-dates TT's, but they were used on some early models to use up parts. Mine has it and I'm pretty sure it's original.)

Be prepared to never know what year it is for sure. Sometimes the best you can do is get a range of 2 or 3 years, and that's it. I'm pretty sure mine is an '18 mostly due to the patent plate, but I could never prove it.

Cool truck. Have FUN!!


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Grady Bruton » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:21 pm

Wow, wouldn't it be cool though if it was one of the five or seven!? Probably no way to confirm it, wishful thinking. Dallas Landers thanks for the info on the Martin Parry cabs. I've been looking through some of the catalogs but haven't found an exact match yet. I did find an interesting view of the side windows, so that's what those eye hooks in the ceiling were for! The firewall on this one is wood, and the patent plate is pretty rusty. Has anyone used Evapo-Rust, and would it be safe to use on the patent plate without harming the paint? I'll attach some more pictures of the engine. This last week I've been carefully taking it apart to check on its condition. Inside the crank case there was only minimal sludge build up at the bottom, and everything else inside was well preserved. Ford logo on the crank shaft and everything. Rear chassis cross member is 2ft 8in long, one hole on each side. The valve cover looks like a single style. Not sure what I'm looking for on the casting dates, but drivers side left of the water inlet has "30 M" and passenger side below the valve cover is "5L 4".

I also did a little digging on that Iowa license plate. I don't think I'll be able to run it without jumping thru major dmv hoops, but at the time of this license plate, 1939, Iowa used the first one or two digits before the dash as a county code. In my case, 78 decoding to Pottawattamie County Iowa. Looking for towns starting with "W" in that county there is a community of Weston (I couldn't find much info on), and the town of Walnut. The fire department in Walnut has been around since 1880, so it fits the time period. Could the "WVFD" on the hood have stood for "Walnut Volunteer Fire Department"?? I'll have to do some more digging, it's an interesting theory for now at least. Good thing a lot of fire departments keep decent records on their equipment (at least most of the time). All of this is riding on whether or not this plate is actually native to this truck and not added on by someone as decoration. It's pretty well indented to the contours of the truck, it's just as rusty, the wire holding it is well rusted too, and the bottom says "Iowa - Truck - 1939" so I don't have any evidence of it not belonging to this truck, yet...
KIC Document 35-A-2.jpg
My windows are a little different from the Martin Parry windows in the catalog, same shape but used a wood notch instead of hardware.
My windows are a little different from the Martin Parry windows in the catalog, same shape but used a wood notch instead of hardware.
Patent plate on firewall
Patent plate on firewall
Wood Firewall
Wood Firewall
Valve cover removed, one piece
Valve cover removed, one piece


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Grady Bruton
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Grady Bruton » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:36 pm

Additional pictures
Horn button
Horn button
Rear Chassis
Rear Chassis
Generator cover plate?
Generator cover plate?
Crankshaft looking towards front
Crankshaft looking towards front
Transmission bands
Transmission bands

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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:37 pm

So the mouse nest is a starter/generator type. That makes it 1919 or later. The original two-piece valves suggest it was never rebuilt before it went into retirement.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Dallas Landers » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:43 pm

My 8in1 bed on my TT came out of Iowa. The plate on the bed was Iowa 1935 trailer.


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:45 pm

Based on the single, long valve cover, the block is likely '22 or later. Drawing change from 2 covers to one cover occured 10/21, and production started in 11/21.

Have fun with your truck, and welcome to the hobby
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Grady Bruton
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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Grady Bruton » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:10 pm

So it's pretty safe to say, the majority of this truck is somewhere in the 1919 to mid 1920 range? And that the block may have been replaced sometime after 1922?

Dallas Landers that's cool! If you're curious about what county your plate is from I found the information on county codes in a Wikipedia article titled "Vehicle registration plates of Iowa". Being new here, is it against the rules to post external links to other web sites (such as Wikipedia)? I tried looking it up but the link I found to the rules was dead.


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by HPetrino » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:38 pm

Your truck reminds me a lot of my own. I think it's a 1918 for two specific reasons:

1. That's a 1917-18 Patent Plate.
2. The steering column is a 1916-17.

The patent plate really narrows it down to 1918. The steering column, being older than all TT's, suggests to me that it was surplus stock when Ford changed to the next version and rather than let them go to waste they were used up on early TT production.

Anyhow, my $0.02 worth.


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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:49 pm

metal rain shield on top of wood fire wall: 1919 or later upgrade, assuming body has authentic patent plate, and from its condition is reasonable to assume

It's an interesting and early TT, that's for sure.

Brake drum appears to show a 26-27 transmission. This thing was worked hard and maintained on the fly, for sure. I like it.
Scott Conger

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Re: TT Year Identification Help

Post by DanTreace » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:24 pm

Grady

Very nice TT project and welcome.

Most all ‘work’ trucks over the years had parts removed and replaced. Close examine of your pictures seems to show a ‘26-‘27 engine , seen in one photo is the support straps to the frame from the hogshead, later wide pedals later style NH carb with combo choke and carb adj. needle valve, and the crankshaft seems to be the later ‘EE’ steel.

Great looking TT to enjoy.

D4A8ADDD-9F40-42EC-8E32-5A2E648D16EA.jpeg
D4A8ADDD-9F40-42EC-8E32-5A2E648D16EA.jpeg (47.9 KiB) Viewed 2072 times
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