Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

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crimsoncranium
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Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by crimsoncranium » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:11 am

Good morning to all!

I am currently restoring a 1915 T touring. While attempting to acquire a restoreable set of headlights, I have noticed that most , if not all of them , seem to have a single deep gouge in the post. I am tempted to fill these gouges in with TIG weld, however, if they are the result of some sort of original factory adjusting tool, I'd like to leave them. Can anyone answer this question for me?


Henry K. Lee
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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by Henry K. Lee » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:58 am

Scott Best way of repair on those is brazing. MIG welding will cause crystallization fractures and in a short time will fatigue and be left on the side of the road.

Just my $0.03 worth,

Hank

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Steve Jelf
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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:05 am

I believe they very well could be from adjusting. Headlamps are adjusted by bending. See pages 48-49 in the service manual.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


John kuehn
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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by John kuehn » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:11 am

That’s probably correct about the head light adjusting causing the gouge. You might ought to wait and do the headlights last when your close to finishing the car. Install the headlights and adjust them before you paint or fill in any imperfections.
It wouldn’t be good to restore the lights only to find out you may have to deface them to line them up!


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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by wayne sheldon » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:44 am

For whatever it is worth. Restoring my '15 runabout, I had five original '15 to '17 era headlamp buckets to chose from and make a couple good pair from. Two of those had gouges, one was fairly deep. Three of the lamp buckets had no serious marks on the posts. So, the deep gouge I brazed and filed smooth. I figured that many if not most appeared to have left the factory with little if any such marks on them.


Original Smith
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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by Original Smith » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:47 am

Pictures would help.


Burger in Spokane
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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by Burger in Spokane » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:06 am

Doesn't this come down to a philosophical question of "What is restoration ?"

Those marks and dings appear on a number of old car parts, T's included. As
a normally occurring thing, why would you erase part of the historical narrative,
by "buffing those out", rather than consider preserving them as part of the
preservation/restoration ?

I ask this, because the first decades of my involvement in car restoration, I too
would clean up all the things I thought were imperfections. Then I had an epiphany
regarding over-restored cars, and now my target is not smooth, polished, and perfect.
Rather, it is preserving the "story" of the vehicle, warts and all. To me, this approach
better represents history, and the individual history of each vehicle, which has
philosophically become more important to me than "perfection", which I have actually
come to see as destroying something.

Just a thought ....
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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DanTreace
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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by DanTreace » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:01 pm

To me the earlier lamp posts are normally fairly free of heavy grooves, as the fenders are away from the lamp posts. Some may have bending marks if previous owner used pipe wrench to set the bends. Most are rather nice.
IMG_3742 (800x600).jpg
To say the Ford headlamp post had any factory defect wouldn't be proper IMO.

What you do see in the later style fenders, when the fender hole rides onto the post, that happens when the fender sags. The fender bracket bends and pulls the fender onto the post.

Add some vibration and wiggle that the fenders do on the T and.....presto...you'll have a deep groove in the lamp post :shock:
743445.jpg
Earlier lamp post without fender contact.
615242.jpg
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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by John kuehn » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:55 pm

Burger makes a good point about how far we go in restoring a Model T. In my mind the Model T is often being restored to the point of being better than Ford built them. To each his own on how much perfection he does his or her car I guess. But being authentic outweighs perfection in my mind.


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Re: Deep gouge on 1915 headlight posts

Post by wayne sheldon » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:59 pm

Brent B does make a very good point, and I agree with him! We all need to decide to what extent we want our antique automobiles restored to. The literal definition of "restore" is to return to a previous state or condition. That previous state of condition can be anything from absolutely new and just finished, or any general condition it attained before or since. But, let us NOT get into lengthy debates upon the definition of restoration. That horse has been beaten to death in the past without a consensus of opinion being reached.
Suffice to say, my '15 runabout will never be better than Ford ever built it. It was, and most of the parts used in its restoration were, in such poor condition before that basically nobody wanted to use them. Other than as a piece of rotting yard art, keeping it in a preservation state was not an option. But I had most of the correct era parts for it, and piece by piece have made most of them good and usable again. My goal, in keeping with the brass era desire, is to make the car close to what it would likely have been when it was less than a year old. Nothing better than Ford ever built, and some things showing wrinkles and use. I intend for it to be a car I can use and enjoy for the rest of my days.

Most of the deep cut/gouges I have seen on headlamp posts appear to have been made by pipe wrenches in efforts to adjust headlamps. Depending on the level of restoration desired, they can either be filled and filed, or left as a mark of its long past. The same can be said for the later lamps where the post was worn by the fender rubbing and vibrating for thousands of miles. Either fill and file, or leave as a mark of the car's many miles traveled!

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