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Early 12 front axle

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:38 pm
by Michael A
What’s are the correct markings on a early 1912 front axle. Here is what I got. Or is it what is pictured in the first photo. Thank you in advance.

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:52 am
by Philip Lawrence
The spindle and spindle bolt are 1917 or newer.

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:07 am
by lesvonnordheim
Does the axle have DB markings?

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:55 am
by Wayne Sheldon
The rusty axle, I do not see a maker's mark in the photo. The black one shows a mark, however, I do not recognize that one, although I know I have seen it before. In the beginning, Ts used almost all Dodge brothers front axles, by the introduction of the two-piece spindles in 1911, Ford was outsourcing from Transue and Williams (a "T" over a "W" maker's mark) and soon thereafter a couple others. I don't recall the names, but I think there were at least four suppliers by 1917.
The HCCA crowd does love their Dodge Brothers axles and other parts. Me? I cannot afford to be that particular. Transue and Williams was a supplier before 1912, and a Transue and Williams axle is good enough for me on my cars. There were minor differences in the stampings for earlier axles. I do try to find earlier TW forgings.

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:32 am
by Michael A
Cannot see any DB markings, would they be near to the numbers?

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:00 am
by Allan
Michael, the elongated D forge mark is common on later parts out of Canada. It would tie in with the later spindles on the axle. I believe that axle is at least late teens.

Allan from down under.

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:40 pm
by Trentb
Model T front axles were made by several metal forging companies in addition to the Ford Motor Company. Almost invariably, the forgings included the trademark of the forging company. The major metal forging companies who made front axles included Transue Williams, Cleveland Hardware, Herbrand, and Ford itself.

Transue Williams was one of the very first companies making front axles for Ford. They are frequently found on the first 2500 Model Ts, and their front axle forgings can be found throughout Model T production. Their trademark is a simple “TW”. Most trademarks can be found on the right front side of the axle, along with the front axel’s factory number, T-202. The size of the letters TW and T-202 tend to be larger during early Model T production, and generally a little smaller in size during later Model T production.

Cleveland Hardware was another drop forging supplier of axles to Ford. Their trademark is a capital C superimposed over a capital H. This trademark can be found on many forged Model T parts all over the car during the brass era. The few Cleveland Hardware front axles that I have observed have been on 1911 cars, in the middle of the axle I-beam. The few examples I have seen have are interesting in that the areas around the yoke and front spring perch boss are quite beefy in size, but he middle of these axles are noticeably smaller between the front spring perch bosses.

One of the favorite trademarks among Model T owners is Dodge Brothers. This trademark consists of the capital letters D and B surrounded by an oval. DB marked front axles are highly sought after by brass era enthusiasts, but they may not be original to very early brass era Model Ts. DB axles are most commonly found on cars built from 1912 to the end of the summer of 1914.

Ford and the Dodges had contracts which specified which Model T parts were to be supplied by the Dodges and the prices that were to be paid for these parts. In 1913 there were some disagreements between the Dodges and Ford over the prices the Dodges could charge the Ford Motor Company for the parts the Dodges provided. As an aside, these included steering column assemblies, various transmission parts, and even crank shafts. In June of 1913, the Dodges decided that they no longer wanted to be a parts supplier to Ford, and notified Ford that they would cease production of parts after June 30, 1914. DB front axles are commonly found on cars built through the summer of 1914, but end by the fall of 1914.

Next, another very commonly found front axle manufactured during the late teens and throughout the 1920’s was Herbrand. Their trademark is a capital H enclosed in a horizontal diamond. In the 20’s many Herband axles appear to have dates embossed in the middle of the I-beam section of the axle. This date most likely refers to the date that the forging dies were resunk. As forging dies are used, they wear and must be “resunk” to stay within Ford specifications.

There is a significant date that distinguishes earlier from later manufactured Model T parts. For the first 10 years of Model T production, very few parts were marked with the name “Ford” in script. The radiator, hubcaps, and some coil box switches come to mind as examples. This changed on March 19, 1919. On that date the Ford design engineers specified that the name “Ford” in script would henceforth appear on almost all genuine Ford parts. The front axle received this marking at the same time. If an axle is marked Ford in script, then it was manufactured after March 19, 1919. If the axle does not carry the name “Ford” in script on it, then it was most likely produced before March 19, 1919.

Ford made some of it’s own front axle forgings. Ford’s trademark consisted of an “F” enclosed in a triangle.

Forging company trademarks can be found throughout Model Ts. One place they can be found is on connecting rods. Ford use to publish genuine Ford recognized forging company trademarks in its service bulletins so consumers, agents and dealers could distinguish between genuine Ford connecting rods and those of spurious manufacturers.

One final remark: the 1927 front axles are distinguishably different from earlier front axles. The improved cars lowered the frame and body by changing the front spindles and spring. Initially the same front axle was used, but the flatter front spring allowed the lower part of the front motor mount to strike the top of the front axle when the front wheels went over a bump. Ford’s solution was to put a bend (or a swoop) in the middle of the front axle to allow the front motor mount to clear the top of the front axle when crossing bumps in the road.

Respectfully submitted,

Trent Boggess

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:22 pm
by Corey Walker
Here are a couple TW axles

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:31 pm
by Wayne Sheldon
Thank you Trent B for the excellent reply! I always look forward to any and all comments you may have, and especially on the details of manufacturing and part's changes. Your reports are usually concise and filled with important details. I often try to "wing it" from memory to answer questions from others as best I can. I was working on indexing a lot of this for myself until a computer crash wiped out most of it.

Again Trent B, Thank You !

Corey W sneaked in (I type slow). And thank you for the good photos!
Those are likely later (probably '20s I am guessing?) with the smaller "T/W". The couple I am using have "T/W" about two to three times that size.

Re: Early 12 front axle

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:56 pm
by Michael A
Thanks again all for your reply