Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

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CDHing
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First Name: Dennis
Last Name: Chan
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Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by CDHing » Sat May 18, 2019 7:09 pm

Hello all,
I'm building a 1921 Roadster and need information on the mounting of the Oval Fuel Tank.

It's my understanding that when the oval tank was introduced in 1920 in preparation for the lower seat position that was to come in 1923/4 a temporary spacer may have been used to raise the oval tank to match the position of the top of the round fuel tank because the sheet metal during 1917 to 1922 which supported the seat on the roadster did not change and so did not lower to match the lower profile of the oval tank during the switch from round tank to oval tank during production. There is a picture of the tank position in the Harold Lloyd movie "Get Out and Get Under" about 11 minutes into the film where Lloyd checks his fuel level on a 1920 Roadster. The picture shows the top of the tank almost even with sheetmetal cover panel. When I temporarily assemble my oval tank and seat sheet metal I measure about a 2-1/2 inch gap between the top of my tank to the bottom of my sheetmetal cover panel.

Would someone who owns a 1920 through1922 equipped with an oval tank please share a photo of their stock fuel tank installation showing how the fuel tank brackets bolt up to the chassis. Is there a special high profile tank bracket or is an adapter used to raise the standard oval tank brackets? Thank you.


Jim Sims
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Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by Jim Sims » Sat May 18, 2019 7:40 pm

If your tank is that much lower than the tin cover You must use the round tank. Never was a spacer used to raise the tank.


Topic author
CDHing
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:20 am
First Name: Dennis
Last Name: Chan
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MTFCA Number: 50211

Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by CDHing » Sun May 19, 2019 4:01 am

Thank you Jim for responding to my question. Is the 1920 Roadster listed on your profile equipped with an oval tank? If so, may I ask what the height is on your sheet metal seat heel panel?

The vendors do not show different heel panels for roadsters from 1915 through1921 (part number S122 in Langs catalog page 231. I don't have my Macs catalog on hand). I know that the reproduction heel panel is a simplified representation of the original but the repro I have measures out the same as original sheet metal. The original heel panels I have measure out to 9 inches from the floor to the ledge that supports the sheet metal tank cover door. The partial roadster body sample I have which I believe was built for an oval tank appears to have the same seat height as the round tank supporting wood pattern Mel Miller specifies on his roadster re-wooding drawings for 1915-1922. The reason I believe my original partial body was built for the oval tank is that the seat wood is different from Mel Miller's drawing. The part he shows as the roadster's "Seat Frame Support" (drawing plates number 1 and 4) is wide enough to include all three bolts of the body bracket that secures the wood framing (frame support and sill wood) to the chassis. My original wood Seat frame Support sample is narrower (only covering the rear two bolts of the body bracket) to accommodate the longer length (front to back not side to side) of the oval tank. Likewise the storage tray is shifted back more than the Mel Miller storage tray. These two different seat frame supports, however, are the same height. So if a roadster was fitted with an oval tank at the factory and the seat framing hadn't changed in height then how would the tank have been attached? Would the factory have just left the 2-1/2 inch gap from tank top to sheet metal cover?


Jim Sims
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:38 pm
First Name: Jim
Last Name: Sims
Location: Reed City,Mi.
MTFCI Number: 13377

Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by Jim Sims » Sun May 19, 2019 12:01 pm

See if this helps. the 20 heel panel is 9 inch tall. the tin cover is 1/2 above the tank top. My 25 roadster heel panel is 8 inch tall. about the same distance from tank top to tin cover. If your car has the correct tool compartment behind the tank.it is to close to the heel panel to use the oval tank.

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun May 19, 2019 12:48 pm

The lid, seat frame work and outer edge is how the seat would have been supported. I am not aware that the gas tank was meant to support the seat. There are no extra parts listed in the 1921 parts book. In fact it shows the oval tank as replacement for back to 1909. If there is some information on using blocks to raise the tank from Ford would be interested where it would be found.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1925 Cut down pickup
1920 Dodge touring
1948 Ford F2 pickup


Erik Johnson
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Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by Erik Johnson » Sun May 19, 2019 12:56 pm

According to Bruce McCalley, only the touring body seats (risers) were lowed when the body was revised from five panels to three panels which was announced in June 1920 but didn't occur until sometime in the 1921 model year. He indicates that the roadster body remained the same through the 1922 model year which I presume means the riser remained at the same height as you are finding out.

Frankly, the oval tank merely means that you have to reach down a little further when you put the nozzle into the tank when re-fueling.

I concur with Mark Gregush. I don't believe the gas tank was ever designed to support the lid or the seat (however, over time the metal lid can sag and touch the gas tank or straps on cars equipped with oval tanks).


J Sundstrom
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Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by J Sundstrom » Sun May 19, 2019 4:40 pm

Steve, Don't know if it helps. Here are some pictures of my 1920 Touring (August) tank when I was disassembling for restoration. John
Attachments
1920 T 26.jpg
1920 T 83.jpg
1920 T 27.jpg


J Sundstrom
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Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by J Sundstrom » Sun May 19, 2019 4:47 pm

Sorry, meant to reply to Dennis.


Topic author
CDHing
Posts: 12
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First Name: Dennis
Last Name: Chan
Location: SF Bay Area
MTFCA Number: 50211

Re: Request for 1920 Roadster Oval Tank details.

Post by CDHing » Sat May 25, 2019 5:12 am

Sorry for the delay in getting back to this thread. I've been occupied with doing the wood work needed to change my Mel Miller based (round tank) roadster framing to the oval tank type roadster framing as well as swapping out my round tank to an oval tank.

Thanks for the Pictures John. Also thanks to the others for the responses. Eric, Are you referring to page 421 in Bruce McCalley's book or his discussion on page 315? He discusses the November 1919 Ford factory letter concerning future changes to the Touring and Torpedo bodies which were in progress. Page 421 comments on the runabout continuing in the same style of 1920 until late 1922 but no specific reference to the seat riser. Page 317 the rear quarter panel changes and the lowering of the seat frames for the touring are also commented on.

So then for a 1921 Runabout it appears the additional gap between the metal lid and the lower oval tank is considered normal. If any one's got an original 1921 roadster with oval tank to share photo of, I'd be interested in seeing them.

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