Factory frame identification

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Chris Haynes
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Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:06 pm

I have run into a hard ass CHP Vehicle inspector. Although every part of my car, including the engine number, puts it as a 1921. Block cast 7-2-21 vin 5130623 puts it as July 1921. It has the pressed steel running board brackets instead of forged steel. The problem with him is how do I know that frame is a 1921? He wants to see some sort of factory information that will tell him my frame is 1921. Is there any available?
TIA
_______


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by FATMAN » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:58 pm

frame did not have a number till 1926 you should have the smaller rear crossmember than 26-7
running board brackets will have 2 holes instead of 3 where boards go
no front frame brackets
do a search there was a post on all the frames a few years ago, Bob


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Jim Sims » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:13 pm

If I remember correctly, many of the first 21 frames still had the holes for the early forged running board brackets.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Adam » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:22 pm

All kinds of parts were replaced on Model T’s back in the day. The frame was no exception. If the car was ever in an accident or overloaded that the frame got bent, then the frame may have been replaced. If this was done in 1925 and a new frame was installed, then it received a 1925 frame. The vehicle would still be exactly what it was titled as.

THE INDISPUTABLE FACT is that THE FRAME IS AN ORIGINAL MODEL T FORD FRAME WHICH CORRECTLY FITS THE VEHICLE IN EVERY RESPECT, regardless of the styling of a particular bracket.

Sounds like you need to pay an attorney $300 to get your car thru inspection.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by John kuehn » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:47 pm

If there is another inspection station around fairly close go to it. That’s going to far asking if that’s the correct T frame. The next thing could be if all the nuts and bolts were manufactured in 1921. That guy is the nut in this case.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:22 pm

Send a message to this Ebay seller explaining your need. He has 2 model T's (1916 homemade truck and a 1927all original coupe) and can make a very official and appropriate looking serial plate with your desired number to put on your frame. The tag number should match your title/registration number - parts etc everything else doesn't matter. https://www.ebay.com/itm/ENGRAVED-SERIA ... SwTA9X49Oh Part suppliers also have tags you can stamp but your numbers will be off center and questionable. I'm going to send him a message o see if he has a Model T looking plate - he makes them designs too

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:43 pm

Not sure what you meant by "it has the pressed steel running board brackets instead of forged steel" I read this a '21 should have pressed steel.
Print off the page and give him the link so he can look it up
From http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/C-D.htm under the heading CHASSIS not frame
Frame Manufacturers
Michigan Stamping Company (M.S.B. inside a pennant on the frame).
Parrish and Bingham (P&B inside a circle)
1909-1910
Short rear cross-member with forged brackets for body and fender support. Painted body color.
1910-1913
Same as 1909, painted body color until sometime in 1910, then painted black thereafter. (Date unknown.) After 1910 the rear body support was a separate forging and no longer a part of the rear fender iron.
1913-1920
Initially the same as the 1911 chassis. About January 1913 two additional rear body brackets were added for the Touring body, under the rear door ahead of the rear seat. These brackets were used only in 1913 and only on the Touring bodies.
Longer rear cross-member, beginning about 271,425 (May 1913), eliminating the forged body brackets. Early rear cross-members were relatively flat across the top surface; not raised as in the later versions. While using the same parts, holes were added for the new front body brackets in mid-1916, and for the battery bracket, starter switch, and battery cable support beginning in 1919. Beginning about March 19, 1919, the “Ford” logo began to be imprinted on the front cross member.
1921-1925
Same as earlier but pressed-steel running board brackets replaced the riveted-in-place forgings used earlier. The holes used for the forged brackets continued at least until 1923. Beginning in June 1920 the front cross-member was made of heavier steel. During 1925 the brake lever quadrant was modified. Instead of four rivets holding it to the frame, only two were now used. This new quadrant continued until the end of Model T production in 1927.
1926-1927
Rear cross-member much longer to accommodate new body and fenders. The rear cross-member was a simple pressed channel in early production, then was made with a stronger flanged design. In early calendar 1926 heavier steel was used for increased strength. A letter to chassis suppliers, dated February 28, 1926, specified the metal to be the same as the truck chassis (Type “L” steel, .180-.200 inches thick). The front cross-member had added brackets to support the fenders.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by cdromtom » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:32 pm

I know it costs money but in CA it is better to use a third party vehicle verifier who will understand what the car is. I did that and had no issues when I went to the DMV.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:13 pm

Stock T or speedster? Seems to me I have read a number of postings about California wanting a number stamped on the frame even on pre 1926 frames. This might be part of the hold up if it does not have one. As posted above, the 21 frame with channel supports was in used in 1921 and as you will note in above posting, still would have all the holes for earlier type running board supports and cast firewall brackets till maybe sometime in 1923(?).
I would also suggest as above try a different avenue or inspector.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by John kuehn » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:51 pm

I have a 21 Touring and it has the 3 stamped holes in the frame just below the u channel running board brackets that were introduced in that era. Again I would to try another inspection station or a reputable old car identifier to verify what you have if it has to be that much detailed info for your T. I have always thought that it boils down to who the inspector is. I’m sorry for the unnecessary annoyance your going through.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by DanTreace » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:56 pm

Chris

Present the officer with this official Ford record. Ford Price List of Parts, Effec. August 5, 1928

Has record of change by part number. The pressed steel running board brackets are what you say, first done in the 1921 model year, as your T is late in the year of 1921, the pressed steel brackets are correct. The frame rails on those frames have holes for both type of brackets, forged or pressed, so your frame is correct with both sets of holes in place.

P/N 4818B.
HKrN7nx9QuavL9cGUm2kqw.jpg

fullsizeoutput_d7a.jpeg
Other fact. MTFCI Judging Guide Lines note the 1921 chassis frame rail used the pressed steel bracket in 1921, the frame was same as 1920 as both had the double holes in the side rail for either type bracket.
fullsizeoutput_d74.jpeg
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Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by mvweaver » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:08 pm

If you really want to make him do some work take a copy of Bruce McCalley’s book and let him read for himself. You can bookmark the pages for him and also point out the guidance on when frames began to be stamped with the motor numbers. To me, the guy sounds like he is being a royal pain in the back side. Luckily we don’t have that problem here in WV. - Matt


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Tiger Tim » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:59 pm

Without the whole story, I’m inclined to ask why he was asking. Was it to determine that it wasn’t a stock frame from some other year or was it to determine that you weren’t trying to sneak a hot rod through as an original car. I believe some major hot rod shops were pinched for that a number of years ago, it was Floyd Cotterpin and the like IIRC.

To that end, I would just pick a different nearby inspector and go to him. My speech to him would be little more than “Here’s the car, there’s the serial number, and here’s a list of when each serial was built to prove that this falls in the 1921 model year.” Beyond that just answer his questions concisely.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by critterpainter » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:16 am

If the officer is being a hard*** do NOT stamp any numbers in the frame!! It is against Federal Law to do so (yea I know many people do it on a T)
He might become unhinged and we don't want that.
14 Touring


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:35 am

cdromtom wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:32 pm
I know it costs money but in CA it is better to use a third party vehicle verifier who will understand what the car is. I did that and had no issues when I went to the DMV.
In CA this has to be done by the CHP. not a licensed verifier.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:37 am

TRDxB2 wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:43 pm
Not sure what you meant by "it has the pressed steel running board brackets instead of forged steel" I read this a '21 should have pressed steel.
It means that my frame is a 1921 because it has the pressed steel running board brackets and not forged steel.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:49 am

Tiger Tim wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:59 pm
Without the whole story, I’m inclined to ask why he was asking. Was it to determine that it wasn’t a stock frame from some other year or was it to determine that you weren’t trying to sneak a hot rod through as an original car. I believe some major hot rod shops were pinched for that a number of years ago, it was Floyd Cotterpin and the like IIRC.

To that end, I would just pick a different nearby inspector and go to him. My speech to him would be little more than “Here’s the car, there’s the serial number, and here’s a list of when each serial was built to prove that this falls in the 1921 model year.” Beyond that just answer his questions concisely.
He says it is common for engines to be replaced and just because I have a 1921 serial number on the engine doesn't mean that it is a 1921 frame. It is definitely not a Hot Rod. More like a Shot Rod. I have no choice on where to take it. The DMV directed me to this office of the CHP in writing.
https://i412.photobucket.com/albums/pp2 ... ljsuc6.jpg

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by kmatt » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:03 am

Chris; What type of title paper do you have on this car, a old Ca., or other state title, or just a bill of sale from the prior owner ? From the picture you posted of the car I remember prior posts on the car that the prior owner was going to make a street rod out of it but just let it sit outside. Maybe him being a known rodder by the DMV is part of the problem if you only have a bill of sale. Generally in Ca. it is better to pay a licensed Ca. vehicle verifier, and not go to the DMV to verify, as on old cars they are likely to send you to the CHP, as you found out. In a way you are lucky that the CHP didn't tell you to come back when the car is finished and that then the CHP would put a Ca. assigned VIN on it. Try taking to the CHP verifying officer a copy of Bruce McCalley's black book, or other information as others have posted, that show the frame has the 1921 type running board brackets. Good luck.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by wayne sheldon » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:44 am

The last time I regenerated a title for a model T I resurrected, it took more than two years to get the inspection done. The CHP ONLY does inspections on WEDNESDAY! NOT every WEDNESDAY, just the WEDNESDAYs they decide to do it. NO schedule. NO calendar. Just when they decide to. Every time I called, it was either "we did that last week", or "we are doing it two weeks from now, but we are all booked up and you will have to wait till we decide to do it again", whenever that is.
Anybody else remember when OUR government worked for US? Actually, when I DID eventually get in there, they were very nice about it.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by cdromtom » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am

In California the DMV states "This form (REG 31) is used only by authorized DMV and Auto Club employees, DMV licensed vehicle verifiers, California Highway Patrol (CHP) and other peace officers, when performing a physical inspection of a vehicle or trailer vehicle identification number (VIN) and other vehicle characteristics." You should use a Licensed Vehicle Verifier much easier to work with.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by John kuehn » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:20 am

It sounds like from the information provided you don’t have a Title for your T and that’s probably where the questioning about the car comes from.
Don’t know how it’s done in California but in Texas using a bonded title service eliminates a long hassle in getting a title for an old car when you don’t have one. Going thru the DMV isn’t easy when your in that situation.
I used a bonded title service that was knowledgable about antique cars and acquired a title in less than 5-6 weeks.
I had nothing but my word about the T that I had about where it came from and how I acquired it. Using the the title service really helped in finally getting a title.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Dom Denio » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:48 pm

John,

Here is a reference I found but do not remember the source. I hope this will help you.

Dom

Model T Ford Frame Pocket Guide

The square holes can be used to identify the differences in Model T Frames.
YEAR # □ HOLES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

1909 - 1913 0 short rear cross member with forged body bracket

Mid 1913 - early 1915 0 0 square holes

Early 1915 - 1916 2 2 square holes top of each rail

1917 - mid 1919 5 5 square holes top of each rail

Mid 1919 - late 1919 5 Dr - 4 Pass 5 square holes drivers side, 4 holes passenger side

Late 1919 - mid 1920 5 5 square holes each side

Mid 1920 - early 1923 4 4 square holes each side

Early 1923 - late 1925 3 3 square holes each side

Early 1926 - end 1927 3 long rear cross member - 3 square hole each side
All of the square holes are located on the top of the frame rails at the front end


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Dom Denio » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:55 pm

John,

The tabs separating the columns of information did not stay when I submitted the post. Sorry. .I have tried to attach a MS Word document with this information.

Dom
Model T Ford Frame Pocket Guide.docx
(222.08 KiB) Downloaded 32 times


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:07 am

kmatt wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:03 am
Chris; What type of title paper do you have on this car, a old Ca., or other state title, or just a bill of sale from the prior owner ?
No paper of any kind. that is not the problem. The problem is the Chippie making a simple number verification a federal case.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:08 am

cdromtom wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am
In California the DMV states "This form (REG 31) is used only by authorized DMV and Auto Club employees, DMV licensed vehicle verifiers, California Highway Patrol (CHP) and other peace officers, when performing a physical inspection of a vehicle or trailer vehicle identification number (VIN) and other vehicle characteristics." You should use a Licensed Vehicle Verifier much easier to work with.
Once again I say that the DMV ordered it to be inspected by the CHP.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by TRDxB2 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:02 am

To be fair - CHP said he needed "some sort of factory information" to verify the frame year. Be polite (there is no try) and ask him if the price list, part diagram, and spec about the numbering that you got from Ford are what he was looking for. If he says no, then ask why (be polite).
Here's what "Being Polite" gets you. Went to pick up luggage after the flight only to see a gaping hole, something white showing through, in garment bag. I knew that was my shirt which was under my suit jacket. Went to the baggage claim desk to file a claim. Before I said anything the guy behind the counter said "Ha, I've seen that happen before". I keep my cool and we kidded a bit - we talked and he gave me his card and said to call him with the replacement costs. I did that later and asked him if I need to send him receipts. he said "Hell no, I only ask for them from people who bitch, rant and rave about the damage". He approved the cost of the suit, shirt, luggage and all taxes without asking a single question.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by John kuehn » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:02 pm

Reading sort of between the lines as for as the DMV is concerned it could have ‘maybe’ been less hassle involved if at the onset if there would have been some sort of title, or at least a bill of sale used to begin with. Without any kind of verifying document at all they have to send the car to a CHP officer to start verifying what it is. And that’s where it can get really confusing and especially if the officer is a really detailed sort of guy.
The CHP officer may have not been so detailed about wanting verifying information about the car and let’s face it ‘suspicious’ if there would have been a verifying document such a title or bill of sale with it.
That’s a guess for sure but anytime you buy a car with no paperwork it’s a chance proposition. Just the way it is.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Susanne » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:59 pm

Take the car to a diferent CHP office to have it verified...

Some of the guys doing that have a chip on their shoulders, mainly because they're stuck in the office doing this boring stuff than being one of the guys out on patrol. The car is a complete car, right? So the issue is... um... it's not a modified motorcycle built of many parts (some od which may be hot), it's a complete car.

There is also a "nuclear option", but only if going to another CHP office doesn't pan out... contact his lieutenant or captain, tell them what you're doing and why, and ask why he's tearing into details like that on a complete, running car. Seriously, the car is a complete running car where the only ID # is stamped on the motor. IIRC this is even covered in their VIN verification book. It's not a motorcycle with a "frame number", nor is it a modern car - it's a vintage vehicle that is properly land legally marked as was done from the factory...

The officer has a uniform, a gun, and a badge... but he (or she) also has a supervisor. Call that person, make an appointment with THEM to have them do it, and get it done.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:11 am

John kuehn wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:02 pm
That’s a guess for sure but anytime you buy a car with no paperwork it’s a chance proposition. Just the way it is.
There was no paperwork as this car was abandoned on member of my family's land 75 years ago. He was going to fix it one day but eventually disappeared. I have titled many vehicles without titles in the past. It has never been a problem. Take the vehicle to the CHP, they look at the number and all is good. Until now. When I got the title for a 1948 Harley last year there was no discussion about if it was in a 1948 frame. They simply looked at the number. Made sure it was legitimate. And filled out the paper. It is far more likely that the H-D would have been in a different year frame that a Model T Ford. Especially this one.


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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Chris Haynes » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:15 am

Susanne wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:59 pm
Take the car to a diferent CHP office to have it verified...

Some of the guys doing that have a chip on their shoulders, mainly because they're stuck in the office doing this boring stuff than being one of the guys out on patrol. The car is a complete car, right? So the issue is... um... it's not a modified motorcycle built of many parts (some od which may be hot), it's a complete car.

There is also a "nuclear option", but only if going to another CHP office doesn't pan out... contact his lieutenant or captain, tell them what you're doing and why, and ask why he's tearing into details like that on a complete, running car. Seriously, the car is a complete running car where the only ID # is stamped on the motor. IIRC this is even covered in their VIN verification book. It's not a motorcycle with a "frame number", nor is it a modern car - it's a vintage vehicle that is properly land legally marked as was done from the factory...

The officer has a uniform, a gun, and a badge... but he (or she) also has a supervisor. Call that person, make an appointment with THEM to have them do it, and get it done.
A few years ago a friend had his 1948 Merc in for verification. It had Chevy running gear, Carson top, a real 1960's throwback. The female CHP officer was arguing that this car didn't look like a 1948 Mercury so it couldn't be one. While this was happening the commander of that CHP unit happened to walk by and commented "That is a beautiful '48 Merc". With that she signed it off.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Matt in California » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:55 am

cdromtom wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am
In California the DMV states "This form (REG 31) is used only by authorized DMV and Auto Club employees, DMV licensed vehicle verifiers, California Highway Patrol (CHP) and other peace officers, when performing a physical inspection of a vehicle or trailer vehicle identification number (VIN) and other vehicle characteristics." You should use a Licensed Vehicle Verifier much easier to work with.
A few years ago I was told by a licensed verifier that they were not allowed to go back that far and that they only had a few more years before they could do it at all.

Has anyone used a Auto Club before going to the DMV?

Thanks,

Matt

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by kmatt » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:40 am

Matt: The AAA auto club in Fresno doesn't like to, or won't do older car verification's, I don't know which it is. About four years ago I bought a 1966 El Camino that had a Tx title and current Tx registration. The AA would not verify it by the GM door plate VIN alone, said that they needed to see it in two places, which is not true. I called a retired CHP officer who owns a verification service and paid him to come out and verify the VIN, there was no problem with the GM door plate. I asked him about the two VIN location check and he said that was only if the GM plate looked tampered with.

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Re: Factory frame identification

Post by Matt in California » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:46 am

Thanks Kevin! That answers my question.

Matt

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