26-27 Roadster Body Questions

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Scott C.
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26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Tue May 14, 2019 1:40 am

Are there any differences between a 26 and a 27 roadster body? Should there be any numbers, or data tags any where to identify them? Or, to match them to the chassis and or engine number?

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Tue May 14, 2019 8:01 am

Haven’t seen any marking to indicate year or assembly plant on these. Many differences.

Early ‘26 easy to tell with overhang notch at the door jam at cowl, ‘27 have smooth junction, most ‘27 have 4 holes at the stanchion mount, only 3 are used. Lower body joint at tub and subframe rail are located in different length spots, ‘26 doors have zinc escutcheons in the side curtain holes, ‘27 have formed metal there, doors also are paneled different on the inside with access holes, many other little details as the bodies were made to the end of production.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by TMiller6 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:26 pm

Many ‘26 bodies also have the fourth hole as a drain on the windshield stanchion mounts as it was added in later production. The 26 body has a separate steel rocker panel under the doors with a zinc plate screwed on top of it. In ‘27 the rockers had the Ford script added to the steel stamping.

Canadian cars also have some differences such as two upsets in the body cross sill near the starter switch. Since Canada built the right hand drive models too, this was a necessary add. Canadian bodies also have a plant code and serial number on the firewall underneath the radiator support rod.

I have also discovered differences where the trapezoid shaped wood blocks mount either side of the tank. Early bodies have a sheet metal tab riveted to the stamping whereas later bodies have a turned out tab integral to the stamping.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Wed May 15, 2019 1:45 am

I have been looking at some picture and I have not been able to see what you mean by " Early ‘26 easy to tell with overhang notch at the door jam at cowl, ‘27 have smooth junction".

I have seen " '26 doors have zinc escutcheons in the side curtain holes, ‘27 have formed metal there, doors also are paneled different on the inside with access holes ".

I have not seen a fourth hole at the windshield stanchions. Is the fourth hole visible from the out side?

I think I have seen " The 26 body has a separate steel rocker panel under the doors with a zinc plate screwed on top of it. In ‘27 the rockers had the Ford script added to the steel stamping."

Can any one post some pictures of these differences?

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Mark Nunn » Wed May 15, 2019 8:30 am

May I add a question? What is the function of the trapezoid wood blocks? Mine are missing and I'm not sure what to make or how they fit.

I apologize for hijacking this thread.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Wed May 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Photos of some '26-'27 runabout body details

'26 with 3 holes for stanchion, and note the tiny hole in upper left of cowl, there are 4 of these rivet holes, spaced pair ea. to rivet the gas tank webbing anti-squeak inside the cowl. The '27 does not have tiny holes in the cowl, as a cardboard piece molded to fit inside the cowl is used on the later car.


1926.
DCP_1087.JPG


1927 Four holes at the stanchion, the metal stanchion covers all the holes.
picjup bosy.jpg

1927 with smooth junction of the door to the jam at the top of the cowl, no bump out.
$897.jpg
1927 style door with formed metal around the curtain rod hole, earlier door was just a hole, needing the zinc trim piece.
IMG_4129 (600x450).jpg
IMG_4129 (600x450).jpg (119.96 KiB) Viewed 3420 times
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by TMiller6 » Wed May 15, 2019 9:14 pm

Dan,

Your ‘27 door photos highlight another difference. I have yet to find earlier doors drilled for curtain fasteners. I do see it often on ‘27 doors and they also are on the 15 Millionth as it came off the line.

I am out of town right now and will try to post some trapezoidal block photos and the four holes on my ‘26 cowl upon my return.

Since the riveted straps holding my wood blocks were never bent, I would not be surprised if they never were installed on the car.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Thu May 16, 2019 2:08 am

So, is the "bump out" on the door and not the cowl? I think I see it in that picture?


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by KeithG » Thu May 16, 2019 1:01 pm

Hi Scott, The bump out on the early '26 Roadsters was on the cowl. If you have Bruce McCalley's book, "Model T Ford, The Car that Changed the World", there are very good close up pictures side by side on page 393 that show cowls both with and without the bump out, with an explanation given by Bruce.

If you don't have Bruce's book, I recommend that you get it as it's a wealth of information on all Model T years. It's often referred to as the "Bible" because it has so much Model T information in it together with lots of very good pictures.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Thu May 16, 2019 2:28 pm

That bump out is rather subtle, best to go look at different runabouts and pick the owner's brain over these features. Looking at the parts first hand is the best way to identify.

If you look (click on photo to enlarge) at that cowl feature at the top of the door hinge post, just above the screw hole that secures the dash panel, you can spy the bump out. Also this body used the earlier windshield stanchion too, that has small inside flange.

DCP_1079 (2).jpg
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Kevin Pharis » Thu May 16, 2019 5:55 pm

Let’s not forget that the trunk floor became attached to the trunk in ‘27, rather than the flat panel and crossmember hump as seen in Dan’s pic. Also the quarter panel extension that covers the sub rail in front of the rear fender is shorter with a raised bead in ‘27, whereas the ‘26 extends far enough to be covered by the rear fender. And also the removal of the upholstery wood around the door latch pillar, replaced by the formed sheet metal upholstery retaining piece.

Of course I cannot produce pics of these details as I sent the ol girl down the road several years ago... :(

374EBD3E-0A0C-4892-B365-73F2DA4848E2.jpeg

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by dlmyers » Thu May 16, 2019 7:34 pm

Early roadster cowl
roadster door 1.JPG
roadster door 2.JPG
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 2:12 am

I am trying to figure out if this roadster pickup is a 26 or 27? The engine number is 27. The bed has is earlier with the stake pockets at the front. I don't have very many pictures to go by. But, I might be able to get some taken and sent to me.
IMG_0478[2925].jpg
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IMG_0567.jpg


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 2:31 am

IMG_0476[2919].jpg
IMG_0436[2903].jpg
IMG_0415[2906].jpg


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 2:34 am

IMG_0414[2908].jpg
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IMG_0562.jpg
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 2:39 am

It was setting in shed for a long time then moved to this storage container when the owner passed away. The family kept it and now are selling it because of age and health issues. It does not have a title, but they are working on it.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Fri May 17, 2019 10:34 am

Scott

Thanks, good enough photos, expanded some, and saw mostly '27 features. The cowl engine side didn't have rivets for webbing so may have the cardboard gas tank insulator against the dash. The headlamps mounted on bar is '27. The door jam at cowl is '27.

Engine has '27 features, the head bolts have been changed out, but the dome head bolts to hold the manifolds, instead of studs, is '27, those dome head would be nickel plated. The body has mounting holes for turtle deck, so may have been a runabout originally.

This one is certainly after Dec 1925, so you will find a frame number stamped on the top frame rail near the front running board bracket on the passenger side. That will tell if engine matches frame.

Appears top irons may be in the bed.

It's a nice unmolested T! Good find!.

IMO, the early bed was added, as that mounting bolt with nut on top on the subframe isn't how factory did it, that bolt head would be on top of the bed frame rail, nut below.


Frame rail stamping.
frame number.jpg
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 11:42 am

I have asked them to look and they can not see any numbers on the passenger side frame rail? I had him to look right above the hand brake rod. He says that there are no top bows. But, I agree that it looks like there might be some in the bed.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 11:49 am

What do you think that is on the floor to right of the brake pedal?

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by gcomo » Fri May 17, 2019 11:54 am

It looks like a foot throttle.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by KeithG » Fri May 17, 2019 11:56 am

Dan makes a good point in his post above about checking the for the frame number. I've found it on top of the frame right under where the passengers feet are. It may very likely have a lot of dirt and crud in that area and you might need to use a wire brush vigorously to find the number.
This number is the same as the original engine number for the car and with it you can find the day the engine was made.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Mark Nunn » Fri May 17, 2019 1:13 pm

This is a '26 windshield stanchion. It has the notched area on the rear side. Later versions look more like the front flange at the rear.
roadster%20door%202.JPG
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Fri May 17, 2019 1:24 pm

Takes some time to find that frame stamp of the engine number, as it was placed there to be a hidden identification of the car, matches the motor number which is the id. Not usually a casual quick look, lots of crud on frame after a generation as Keith posted.

Rare, but can happen, is the frame number is on the driver's side :( Look there too if all else fails to find one on the passenger side.

IMG_1297 (800x612) - Copy (500x378).jpg
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That foot feed accelerator on the floorboard is accessory, if you look at the photo of the steering column inside the engine compartment, remains of the device appear on the upper end of the throttle rod.



Typical type of foot feed.

IMG_0006.JPG
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 9:14 pm

Here is the engine number. When was it built?
IMG_0518[2928].jpg
Last edited by Scott C. on Fri May 17, 2019 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 9:16 pm

For some reason, I can not get the pictures to orient correctly?


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by KeithG » Fri May 17, 2019 9:46 pm

It looks like the number is 14, 455, 812, but the second #5 is hard to read and is just a guess. Based on that number, the engine was made on Oct. 27, 1926 which was a Wednesday, and there were 5,950 engines made that day.
Since the 1927 model year began on August 1, 1926, this car is definitely a '27.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 10:05 pm

Yes, it is 14455812.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 10:13 pm

I have a 26 roadster with frame and engine #13552942. When was it made? When did they make the change on that bump out on the cowl. It does not have the bump out, but does have the rivets for the gas tank mounts. The doors are the earlier style without the embossed hole for the side curtain.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by KeithG » Fri May 17, 2019 10:22 pm

#13,552,942 was made on Tuesday, April 20, 1926, one of 7,502 made that day.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri May 17, 2019 10:36 pm

So, are these build dates for the engines? Or, for the chassis?


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Ken Buhler » Sat May 18, 2019 2:11 am

I hope to shed some light on this subject as the 26/27 Roadster is my passion. I have a very unique '27 Roadster that I got in Alberta in 1978. Being an obsessed auto body man I wanted to gain access to all of the inner panels to be able to repair the skin properly so I drilled out ALL of the rivets that attached anything to the sub-frame to gain access there and used a very small Dremel burr to remove spot welds in the hip panels and trunk panels at the bottom. I didn't realize until a few years ago when I got at it in a serious way that it came to Canada pre-painted, in a box, assembled in one of Henry's satellite plants and then finish coated. I think this one may have been built in the Winnipeg Manitoba plant.

Most cowl skins are spot welded but my cowl skin was riveted to it's substructure, so it was easy to remove. I would highly recommend you do the same even if it is spot welded because it will change your perspective of how to build your car and change completely the finished product. You will be able to see how you are fitting the gas tank PROPERLY, the dash, and the steering column. The cowl is only attached at the firewall. It is bolted at the dash and wrapped under the sub-frame. Unwrap the skin carefully and after it is freed of it's fit, you can tilt it out easily. The game changes there.

I am reverse engineering this car and documenting accurate measurements for the benefit of anyone who cares. I have taken more than a hundred photos so far showing details of the frame, the sub-frame, the inner braces and substructures, the measurements of the roof bows and where they sit in relation to the rest of the car, the position of the windshield posts, windshield frames, body tub, and whatever..... I will be sending them to Martynn Vowell so that he can decide if there is value for the benefit of the club. Rather than go on now about the details, I will post photos as I can and as soon as possible but if any of you would like pictures of what I have, I would be happy to help.
BTW: The trunk panel rivets to the sub-frame.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Sat May 18, 2019 10:53 am

Scott C. wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:36 pm
So, are these build dates for the engines? Or, for the chassis?

Yes. Since no records exist for later Model T’s of shipping invoices all we have is the engine number to date the completed vehicle. Only finished engines destined to go in a chassis were numbered. The car was Likely assembled within a week or so of the engine build date. If you find a matching frame number to the motor installed you have dated your T
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Ken Buhler » Sat May 18, 2019 3:53 pm

I wanted to edit my post but was timed out. I apologize if I sounded "oh so knowledgeable" about fitting the gas tank or that what I am doing is what others should do. I also should have said my trunk panel was riveted to my sub frame. In the case of a rusted or damaged body I would remove the cowl skin and hip panel skin because the access gained exceeds the work to re-rivet the parts.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by TMiller6 » Sun May 19, 2019 8:41 pm

This '26 is a project I've had for several years. I rescued it from a previous owner who was attempting to graft it to a shortened Model A chassis. Paint is temporarily on hold until my wife takes a separate vacation.

One of these days I will research the change notices and try to figure out when the car was built. I believe it to be early production.

Here is the upset on the hinge pillar. The cowl has the four stamped holes on the cowl for the windshield stanchion. One thing I hope to research is if the stanchion change occurred around the same time they added the drain hole to the cowl.
bump.JPG
bump.JPG (39.45 KiB) Viewed 2980 times


Here is the 1926 steel rocker. A separate zinc panel with the Ford script is fastened over this. In '27 it became one piece. The previous owner had sand blasted this car and when I replaced this panel, I found damp sand packed in here reaching partially into the cowl.
sill.JPG
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:48 am

I am still waiting for the seller to get a title. They did move it out of the storage container and sent me a couple more pictures.
IMG_0607.jpg
IMG_0606.jpg

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:58 am

Real nice project in great shape!

You’ll have fun with that pickup.

The first photo when clicked on to enlarge shows image horizontal and nice original detail on the stanchion mounting fasteners.

Note original factory side curtain clip under that round headed single-slot machine screw.
That screw is correct, many use just carriage bolts at the stanchion.

Missing the lower windshield frame, but it may be in the bed. ;)
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by John Codman » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:23 pm

It is not my intent to hijack the thread, but does anyone know where I can get a couple of those curtain hole covers? Both of the plugs depicted in Dan's door photo are missing on my car.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:38 pm

Don't know of any reproductions.

Originals were made of cast zinc alloy. But you could try to form from alum tubing? Haven't tried as usually lucky finding these gems in the bottom of parts boxes of body parts at swap meets. The formed curve is likely the hard part to fab a few up, esp, that rolled top edge.

IMG_4721 (575x680).jpg
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:57 am

Here is a picture of the right frame rail. I do not see any serial number.
IMG_0653[3160].jpg


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Scott C.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:13 pm

Got some more pictures. They rinsed some of the dirt off.
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Scott C.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:16 pm

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Scott C.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:19 pm

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DanTreace
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:36 pm

Scott

Nice pics, when clicked on to expand, the photos got vertical and could zoom with the Mac to see details.

The bed got changed to plywood, and the rear backrest wood is from an earlier T. The runabout would have vertical wood slats and backrest spring hung from the narrow wood tack strip that should be around the top of the body tub. The rear fenders are well worn1. Those knobby tires a bit flat!

But a great project.

Zoomed in on the frame rail, and believe I can see numerals of the serial number under the green spray paint section. Just not clear to see, you could with a visual inspection.
roadster pickup.jpg
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:47 am

I that think I can see some numbers there. Not sure if that is green paint, or just some glare? Maybe I can get them to get a better picture?

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:12 am

If you can’t visit to see your self, the owners will need to lightly sandpaper the area to allow the faint stamping to show in a good close up picture. These frame stamps are 93 years old now and the frame rail can have surface rust that hides the numerals. Original stamping are hand done and vary on clarity.

If the new owners are getting title papers you want to be sure they get correct numerals off the block and/ or frame.

Once had the seller’s son write down the block numbers, they went to DMV, got papers for me. When I got home with the T, and was going about getting title in my name.....dang!, the numbers were wrong. Had to go thru a bunch of hoops to correct that miss by the son. Always check yourself is my motto now :)
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:24 am

He says that those are just scratch marks or lines and not numbers? It is too far away to look at it myself.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Allan » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:57 pm

Scott, I was interested to see in the first photo of the car on the trailer that the left front wheel has a Canadian split rim. These have the two holes either side of the split to accommodate a special tool used to collapse the rim when fitting tyres. The usual rim tool will work on them also, so it is of no real consequence.

Allan from down under.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:22 am

Got some good news tonight. The seller had pulled the spark plugs and put some Marvel Mystery Oil into the cylinders a couple weeks ago. Today he was able to turn the engine over!!

I noticed those holes on the rim too and wondered why they were there? The right rear is the same. I can not see the other two. Now you have me wondering if this might be a Canadian built? What should I look for in order to determine whether it is USA, or Canadian?

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:35 am

The runabout pickup isn’t Canadian, only that rim likely is.
Since both rear rims have north feature and both have ag.knobby tires, those rims and tires were acquired north at sometime to put on this USA T.

The T has no features of Canadian, no Robertson screws holding the dash panel, plus that wheel with north of the border rim has a USA hubcap. Other parts would be marked Made in Canada, like the radiator shell under the script, so you would have to have all those parts marked or in place.

This T is rather nicely preserved time capsule of many remaining original parts, including the engine to frame dust pans that are normally gone after a motor is pulled for first repair, that motor is likely un-touched!
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:47 am

Thanks, that is good news! I really did not want a Canadian built T. I prefer made in the USA.

He emailed me again saying that now it will not turn. I am thinking that maybe it has a valve that might be stuck closed? I asked him to try and turn it backwards. He did say that was the first time that he had ever seen the engine turned.

He also said that he is still waiting for the CHP to come do the VIN check so that he can get a title. He still has not found a number on the frame.

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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by DanTreace » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:05 pm

The hand crank ratchet will only turn one direction, so can’t use it that way. Likely just dry cyl. lock up, would need knowledge on how to pull spark plugs w/o damage, add top oil lube, be sure hand lever is set for ‘neutral’ to attempt to hand crank over several revolutions. Best to leave alone to prevent any motor injury.

Most times old oil holds the clutch plates pack firm anyway, preventing easy hand crank turnover as the driveline is then engaged, forcing rear wheels to try to turn, they are flat and really can’t be turned by crank now. Wait til you get the T and then dissassemble to get chassis in order.

Frame serial # stampings are difficult for inexperienced to find, usually hard enough to locate the block stamps! Hidden by rust and are only light 1/4” high numerals, and on some are found on driver’s side frame rail. For VIN, the engine block stamping numerals are sufficient, that is the car’s I.d. number.
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Scott C.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:17 am

He got it to turn again! The problem was that the hand lever was forward.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:36 am

It now has a valid CA title!! The title is to the engine number. It is paid for and now I am waiting to get it shipped from CA to IN.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:10 pm

It has been moved. It is still in CA, but is now in a good place.
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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Norman Kling » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:29 pm

The early 26 had headlights bolted directly to the front fenders. Then several types of cross bars were either added or were after market. Since the 26 and 27 could be bought with bumpers, the bumpers would block the view of the license plate so it was attached to the cross bar. The 27 had the lights bolted to the cross bar instead of directly to the fenders.
Norm


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott C. » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:34 pm

The head lights are bolted to the cross bar. I also noticed that the tail light is mounted to the frame and not the fender.


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Re: 26-27 Roadster Body Questions

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:35 pm

Norman

I was going to add this: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/hl23.htm and then scrolled down to your post...we think alike, apparently.
Scott Conger

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