Back to Reference Guide

Model T: 1909

ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS:1 to 309, calendar year 1908; 310 to 14,161, calendar year 1909.

MODEL YEAR DATES: October 1908 to July 31, 1909. (Ford called the cars built after July 31 “1910 models.”)

BODY TYPES: Touring, Tourabout,** Runabout, Coupe, Town Car and Laundaulet. Bodies supplied by several manufacturers. Most bodies were all wood but a good number of Beaudett bodies were built with aluminum panels over a wood frame.

 

EARLY 1909

(First 2500 cars)

COLORS: Touring: Red or Green. Runabout: Gray. Town Car, Landaulet, and Coupe: Green. Fenders, aprons, frame and running gear were painted body color.

UPHOLSTERY: Full leather in the open cars, in a diamond tufted pattern. Closed cars used black leather seats with imitation leather trim on the door panels. The front seats in the Landaulet and Town Car were also leather.

FENDERS: Front: Uniform width top surface, with formed splash apron area. No bill on front. Rear: Similar in style to the front. Support irons were of the “butterfly” style that came out and up under the side of the fender splash apron, not through holes in the apron as in the regular production. These irons were integral with the rear body support.

SPLASH APRON: Fairly uniform from front to rear. Cut back in a concave curve at the rear to clear the brake and radius rods.

RUNNING BOARDS: Black ribbed rubber covered (the same as on the Model R and S) wood with brass trim.

HOOD: Steel, with no louvers. Hinges were integral with the panels. Hold-down clamps had one “ear” and were made of forged steel.

DASHBOARD (Firewall): Wood, with brass edge trim which did not overlap the wood. Added extension piece of several designs used when a windshield was supplied.

CHASSIS: Reinforcing plates riveted inside the side rails, unique to the early 1909 chassis. Rear body support integral with the rear fender iron forging. Painted body color.

STEERING COLUMN ASSEMBLY: Brass quadrant, brass-plated spark and throttle levers, with hard rubber knobs. Gear case was brass, riveted assembly. Wheel was 14-1/4” outside diameter, wood, and painted black. The wheel spider was brass and believed to have not been painted.

FRONT AXLE: “One piece” spindles. Tie rod ran above the radius rod, had integral yoke/ball fitting on right end, and adjustable yoke, with the locking bolt in a horizontal plane (parallel to the road). Drag link threaded 20 t.p.i. at the column end. No oilers on most fittings. Radius rod fastened to the engine with studs and nuts.

REAR AXLE: “No rivet” style. Inner axle and pinion bearings were babbitt bushings. No reinforcing plate in the driveshaft area. Very thin center flange with no reinforcing washers or plates. Axle shafts were non-tapered, with the hubs being secured with a key and a pin. Brake backing plates were relatively thin, with no reinforcing ribs on either side.

DRIVESHAFT HOUSING: No pinion bearing spool. Separate front housing for universal joint assembly.

REAR RADIUS AND BRAKE RODS: Had forged ends. Brake rod support brackets were unique in that the brake rods passed through a hole in them, instead of the “wrap-around” types used later on.

WHEELS: Used 30 by 3 tires in front; 30 by 3-1/2 in the rear. Original tires were an off-white color, with no tread. Hub flanges were 5-1/2 inches in diameter. Front wheels used ball bearings. Hub caps had “Ford” in block letters. Spokes were quite thin and somewhat oval in cross-section. Rear hub was quite long, looking much like the front hub.

SPRINGS: Tapered-leaf, front and rear. “Mae West” style shackles.

RADIATOR: Supplied by Briscoe, Paris, and perhaps McCord. Construction varied, some having separate shells; others being integral assemblies. All used the “winged script” Ford on the top tank, and generally had a “Ford” brass name plate attached to the core near the center and in a horizontal manner (not on a bias as is often seen today).

ENGINE: Open valve type with integral water pump and gear-driven fan assembly. Cylinder head was quite flat, with water outlet on the top surface. Oil filler pipe was on the left-front side of the crankcase.

ENGINE PAN: One-piece type (no inspection door). Front bearing (support) was quite long, with rear rivet inside the engine area. Oil dam behind fourth cylinder area. No reinforcement at the rear flange.

OIL FILLER CAP: Long thin brass tube with a cup at the upper end, on left front side of the engine. Top of filler pipe was cup-shaped funnel with a screen covering. A small cap was used as a cover for the center tube, inside the top funnel.

ENGINE CRANK: Hard rubber handle. Crank was held “up” when not in use by a ratchet arrangement.

ENGINE FAN: Gear-driven from the water pump. Steel blades were riveted to the driving shaft flange.

MANIFOLDS: Exhaust was cast iron; pipe fitted inside the threaded end and was packed with asbestos and held with a brass nut. Intake was aluminum, “dog legged” style.

 

CARBURETORS: Kingston “five-ball” or Buffalo. Neither used a choke or a heating arrangement at the air intake.

CARBURETOR STOVE ASSEMBLY: None used.

MUFFLER: Cast iron ends, mounted with pressed metal brackets. Short, straight rear exhaust pipe extension. Wrapped with asbestos, secured with three steel straps.

FUEL TANK: Cylindrical, under the front seat. Mounting brackets were riveted to the tank. The outlet was at the right end, outside the frame rail, and was riveted in place.

TRANSMISSION: The first 750 (approximately) cars used the two pedal, two lever system. One of the levers was the rear brake; the other operated the neutral and reverse gear. At about number 750 the three pedal system began to be used and  three pedals became standard. Pedals were marked with “C,” “R,” and “B.” The transmission cover was pressed steel in earliest production, then cast aluminum, with both types apparently being used at the same time during early production. (All two-pedal cars are believed have had the pressed-steel cover.) The inspection door was held with a single “bolt” that operated a latching lever on the underside.

COIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Kingston 4200 apparently used on all production according to factory blueprint data.. (The Heinze, with high tension (spark plug) terminals on the underside, a continuation of the type used in the N-R-S Fords, was used on car number 220 when it was first found. Whether this had been changed during 220’s life, or if it came from the factory, is unknown.)

LAMPS: Side and tail lamps were standard, made by either Edmond and Jones (E&J) or Atwood-Castle. Headlamps were optional, and supplied by the same firms. Prestolite tanks were often installed at the factory instead of the carbide generators.

HORN: Bulb type, double twist, all brass. Standard equipment on most cars.

WINDSHIELD: Optional equipment on open cars, but when supplied by the factory, most were either Rands or Mezger (Automatic). Other makes were also used in very limited quantities.

TOP: (Open cars) Optional equipment. More than one supplier. Some had wool linings, generally in a dark red color. Top color was black on the Touring, and either black or gray on the Runabout. Top sockets were oval in cross-section and fastened to a forged railing on the body. Top sockets curved outward from the body.

 

SPEEDOMETER: Optional. Stewart Models 11 and 12, National, and Jones were used by the factory.

1909
(After first 2500 cars)

BODY TYPES: Touring, Tourabout (after about June 1909), Runabout, Landaulet (very few, if any), Town Car, Coupe. Generally a continuation of the bodies used on the first 2500 cars. The Beaudett (“Pontiac”) body with the aluminum panels was discontinued in September 1909.

COLORS: Touring: Red, Green, and a few Gray. Runabout: Gray. Town Car and Landaulet: Green. Coupe: Green. All cars were Brewster Green after June 1909. Fenders, aprons, running board, chassis and running gear were painted body color.

UPHOLSTERY: Full leather in the open cars, in a diamond tufted pattern. Closed cars used a cloth material with an ornate pattern. The front seats in the Landaulet and Town Car were leather.

FENDERS: Front: Uniform width top surface, with formed splash apron area. Bill added on front. Rear: Similar in style to the front. Support irons were of the “butterfly” style and now passed through holes in the fender apron instead of under the apron.

SPLASH APRON: Fairly uniform from front to rear. Cut back in a concave curve at the rear to clear the brake and radius rods. (Later models may have had a straight cut at the rear.)

RUNNING BOARDS: Pressed steel with embossed ribs running the length of the board.

HOOD: Steel, with no louvers. During the year the hood was changed to aluminum and the hinges were now separate from the panels, and riveted in place. Hold-down clamps had one “ear” and were of forged steel. The steel hood former still had the “notch” on both sides which was necessary to clear the earlier hood hinges.

DASHBOARD (Firewall): Wood, with brass edge trim that did not overlap the wood. Added extension piece of several designs used when a windshield was supplied.

CHASSIS: Rear body support integral with the rear fender iron forging. The riveted-in-place reinforcement inside the side rails was discontinued.

STEERING COLUMN ASSEMBLY: Brass quadrant, brass-plated spark and throttle levers, with hard-rubber knobs. Gear case was brass, riveted assembly. Wheel was 14-1/4” outside diameter, wood, and painted black. The wheel spider was brass and believed to have not been painted.

FRONT AXLE: “One-piece” spindles. Tie rod ran above the radius rod, had integral yoke/ball fitting on right end, and an adjustable yoke, with the locking bolt in a horizontal plane (parallel to the road). Drag link threaded 20 t.p.i. at the column end. No oilers on most fittings. Radius rod fastened to the engine with cap screws.

REAR AXLE: “No rivet” style. Inner axle and pinion bearings were babbitt bushings. No reinforcing plate at the driveshaft area. Thin center flange with reinforcing washers added in later production. Axle shafts were non-tapered, with the hubs being secured with a key and a pin. The driveshaft with removable pinion gear began at about number 7000 (July). Babbitt inner axle bearings were changed to roller at about number 12,000 (October 1909).

DRIVESHAFT HOUSING: Redesigned with larger rear flange and held with larger bolts. No pinion bearing spool. Separate front housing for universal joint assembly.

REAR RADIUS AND BRAKE RODS: Had forged ends. Brake rod support brackets now folded down along the side of the clamp, then out and wrapped up and around the brake rods.

WHEELS: Same as used in the earlier 1909 cars.

SPRINGS: Tapered-leaf, front and rear. “Mae West” style shackles.

RADIATOR: Supplied by Detroit, Briscoe, McCord, and Ford (Ford beginning about October). All were integral assemblies. All are believed to have used the winged script “Ford” on the top tank (except, possibly, for the Ford-made radiators), and generally had a “Ford” brass name plate attached to the core near the center and in a horizontal manner (not on a bias as is often seen today).

ENGINE: Open-valve type, now with thermo-siphon cooling system. Water outlet was now on the front of the cylinder head. No babbitt in upper main bearing (cylinder) halves.

ENGINE PAN: One-piece type (no inspection door). Shorter front bearing, moving rear rivet outside the engine. No reinforcement at the rear flange. Had oil dam at rear of crank area.

OIL FILLER CAP: Thin brass tube with a screen at the upper end, on right side of the engine and part of the timing gear cover.

ENGINE CRANK: Hard-rubber handle. The ratchet arrangement used on the early cars was discontinued.

ENGINE FAN: Driven by a leather belt from a pulley at the front of the engine. The fan hub was brass (bronze), with the blades riveted in place. The fan blades had a much deeper embossed reinforcement than the 1911 and later types. Adjustment was by means of a spring between the fan arm and the engine front plate.

MANIFOLDS: Exhaust was cast iron; pipe fitted inside the threaded end and was packed with asbestos and held with a brass nut. Intake was aluminum, “dog legged” style.

CARBURETORS: Kingston “five ball” or Buffalo. Neither used a choke or a heating arrangement at the air intake.

CARBURETOR STOVE ASSEMBLY: None used.

MUFFLER: Cast iron ends, mounted with pressed metal brackets. Short, straight rear exhaust pipe extension was now integral with the rear cover plate. Wrapped with asbestos, secured with three steel straps.

FUEL TANK: Cylindrical, under the front seat. Mounting brackets were riveted to the tank. The outlet was at the right end, outside the frame rail, and was riveted in place.

TRANSMISSION: Three pedal standard-design. The brake lever now operated the clutch as well as the rear brakes. Pedals were marked with “C,” “R,” and “B.” Transmission cover was cast aluminum. The inspection door was held with four screws.

COIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Kingston, with high tension (spark plug) terminals on the back side, passing through the firewall.

LAMPS: Side and tail lamps were standard, made by either Edmond and Jones (E&J), Atwood-Castle, or Brown (after about 10,000). Headlamps were optional, and supplied by the same firms. Prestolite tanks used on some production instead of a carbide generator.

HORN: Bulb type, double twist, all brass. Standard equipment on most cars.

WINDSHIELD: Optional equipment, but when supplied by the factory, most were either Rands, Mezger (Automatic), or Troy (wood and brass frames). Other makes may have been used in very limited quantities.

TOP: (Open cars) Optional equipment. More than one supplier. Some had wool linings, generally in a dark red color. Top color was black on the Touring, and either black or gray on the Runabout, until about June when all tops were then supplied in black. Top irons attached to a forged railing on the body. Top sockets were oval cross-section and curved outwards from the body.

SPEEDOMETER: Optional. Stewart Models 11, 12, and 24, National, and Jones Models 20 and 21 were used by the factory.

 

1909 Changes

 

JAN 1

Ford Times

Windshield for Tourings announced.

 

JAN 11

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Transmission cover door gasket T1547 changed from 1/8 to 3/16" and from 3/16 to 1/4" at the flange end in thickness.

 

JAN 13

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T349BF, 342BF, 1712BF, and 1711BF rear fender irons to new design where irons go through the fender skirt rather than under it.
T1330 engine dust pan (right side) Changed to accommodate the Buffalo carburetor which needed additional clearance.

 

JAN 15

Ford Times

Model T Runabout pictured.

 

JAN 18

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T-746 low speed band spring, used on the first 750 cars only. This was changed to T-841, which had been used on the reverse and brake bands. Now all three bands used the same spring.
T-1415 and 1416 rear fenders now drilled for irons which pass through the skirt instead of under the skirt. T-342B, T-349B, T-1711B and 1712B irons also changed to accommodate.

 

JAN 19

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Design for thermo-syphon engine finalized. First 500 engines used 3/8" head bolts. 7/16" for the next 2000. (Water pump engines.)

 

JAN 26

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Early front radius rod ball caps were retained with studs and nuts. Changed to T810 cap screws which were drilled for wire.
T55 brake shoes changed from brass to iron after car number 2500.

 

JAN 29

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Front radius rod ball cap changed from 13 gauge to 11 gauge pressed steel.

 

FEB 1

Ford Times

Speedometers pictured. The National at $30, the Jones Model 21 at $30, and the Stewart Model 11 at $25. All have odometers that read to a maximum of 9999.9 miles.

 

FEB 3

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

The transmission cover plate on the first 750 cars has a riveted-in-place oil pocket.

 

FEB 9

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T535A magneto support used on first 2500 cars.

 

FEB 11

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T536A magnets used on first 2500. T536B later.

 

MAR 1

Ford Times

Ford Roadster at $975 in Canada, $825 U.S. described. No top, windshield, headlamps or speedometer, but with oil lamps and horn.

 

MAR 5

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T509C, 581B, 582B breather cap for first 2500. T585 is breather pipe gauze.

 

MAR 10

Acc.575, Ford Archives

T74A driveshaft tube on first 2500. T74B after.

 

MAR 11

Acc. 575

T56 rear hub felt cap changed from a brass stamping to a to steel stamping.

 

MAR 15

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T882B transmission door spring to be used after the first 750 cars, for 750 (more) cars only. The door is T1546(A) on the second 750. The second 750 transmission cover is T883B.br> Four T1564 Transmission cover door screws to be used after the first 1500. Then new door is T1546B. T826B (L/H) and T1805 (R/H) transmission covers modified to take the four screws.

 

MAR 19

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T1546B transmission cover door (aluminum) and T1546C (steel). Both new designs.

 

MAR 26

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T893B brake band fiber (ear end) and T846 brake band fiber (center). Rivet counterbore reduced from 5/16 to 9/32".

 

MAR 31

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Carburetor adjusting fork to now use just one cotter pin instead of the two used before.

 

APR 1

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Clutch finger with screw adjustment to be used after the first 2500. The new finger is T732B and the screw is T756.

 

APR 11

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T1109 hood clamp used on first 2500 only. T1109B is the new clamp.

 

APR 22

Shipping invoices

First thermo-syphon engine, number 2,448, built.

 

MAY 13

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

New commutator parts listed. No indication as to when the new commutator was used.

 

MAY 15

Ford Times

Thermo-syphon cooling described as used on all cars.

 

JUN 1

Ford Times

Aluminum transmission cover pictured.
An article titled "A Question of Color" describes how all cars will be Brewster Green with black trimming and a red stripe when the present stock of red Tourings and gray Roadsters have been shipped.
This article has been quoted in many sources as the "proof" that this was the beginning of the "green" era. Actually, green cars had been built much earlier; this article really indicated the discontinuance of the red and gray bodies, and the standardization of the green color on all cars.

 

JUL 1

Ford Times

Tourabout at $850 announced for August 1 delivery. The rear seat was the same shape as the front (scalloped design).

 

JUL 9

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

"Changes have been made in the following parts; T-1408, 1409, 1717, and 1718 running board shields, left and right, 56 and 60" treads: We have made the rear ends of the shields straight, instead of a 6" radius, as per your (C.H. Wills) instructions....."

 

JUL 18

Acc. 575, #107, Ford Archives

Parts for new roller bearing driveshaft listed. Used after the first 15,000 cars.

 

JUL 19

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

"Changes have been made in the following parts; T-1408, 1409, 1717, and 1718 running board shields, left and right, 56 and 60" treads: We have made the rear ends of the shields straight, instead of a 6" radius, as per your (C.H. Wills) instructions....."

 

E. G. Liebold Reminisces, Vol. 10, Page 814, (Ford Archives) said:

"I don't know why they changed from red to black but I presume it was because carriages and buggies in the early days were largely black or what was known as a Brewster Green. I think that the Model T's after the red ones WERE a Brewster Green. That was so dark that it could almost be termed black."

 

JUL 21

Acc. 575

T-1562 Transmission brake band lining (new design.)
T-846 and 893B superseded by above. T-838B is the brake band assembly incorporating these changes.

 

JUL 23

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T87 now T87A driveshaft on first 7,000. T87B used after 7,000. (Removable pinion instead of riveted type.) (Dated July 15.)

 

AUG 1

Ford Times

1910 cars announced. "Substantially the same as 1909. The Model T Ford cars as now being shipped on all orders is the 1910 car."

 

AUG 2

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T58B driveshaft bearing to be used on 12,500 after 25,000. T165 rear axle sleeve and T48 axle used on 9,000 after first 6,000.

 

AUG 7

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T1562 transmission bands supersede T846, T893B (the pre-woven type). The new band assembly is T838B.

 

AUG 8

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T170 and T161 "Remove First used on first 15,000 cars."

 

AUG 9

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Woven transmission band lining changed from 1-1/8" wide to 1-1/16" wide.

 

AUG 15

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T562B magneto assembly after first 15,000.

 

AUG 16

Acc. 575

T165, T9C, T1C, T2C and T171C rear axle parts obsoleted.

 

AUG 18

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T16A driveshaft pinion used on first 15,000. T87A driveshaft on first 15,000, T87B after 15,000. T16B, T74C, T87C, T183to T194, and T57B are used on new driveshaft used after 15,000. (Roller bearing pinion.)

 

SEP 1

Ford Times

New Coupe has a larger body. No gas lamps. Announced for October delivery. A rear deck with a metal rail for Roadsters and Tourabouts is shown at $9.00. This is a flat wooden panel with a pipe-like metal railing, open at the front.

 

SEP 22

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T4B rear axle coupling ring (new design) and T169 rivet for same noted. T4 now called T4A and obsoleted. T4B used on T1D and T2D.
T-1D and T-2D rear axle housings (male and female).
"Drawings up to date showing T-4B, the new rear axle housing coupling ring, in place." Other notes indicate this change was made after the first 13,000 cars.

 

OCT

Acc. 509, July 14, 1913, Ford Archives

Babbitt bearing rear axle used on first 12,000 cars. (October)

 

OCT 1

Ford Times

Gas lamps, top, windshield and speedometer now standard equipment on the Touring, Tourabout and Runabout. Closed cars still supplied less the gas lamps. "Unequipped" open cars available on special order.

 

OCT 6

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T189 rear axle assembly with roller pinion and axle bearings noted as "Special Assembly."
T1526C crankcase has T899B transmission case flange replacing T899(A).

 

OCT 27

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Cylinder front cover commutator boss diameter changed from 2-7/8 to 3-1/16" for new commutator.

 

OCT 28

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

"We hand you herewith blue print of T-404C Commutator Assembly incorporating the latest parts, to be used after the first fifteen thousand cars. We also hand you blue print of T-1410C new style Running Board, to be used after the first fifteen thousand cars....."

 

NOV 1

Ford Times

Coupe dimensions: door opening, 21-7/8". Front of cushion to dash, 24-3/8" Front of cushion to rear, 19". Width of seat, 39-1/2". Height, top of seat cushion to roof, 39-1/2". Floor to roof, 54".

 

NOV

Shipping invoices

First listings of "Roller bearing rear axle."

 

NOV 23

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Notes new design for brake rod supports, T-1367C and 1398C. "Above parts take immediate effect."

 

NOV 29

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T-202 and T-202F, front axle. "Remove steering spindle clearance notches in yokes at points marked "A"."

 

DEC 2

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T1367A and T1367B (R/H) and T1398A and T1398B (L?H) brake rod supports used on first 17,500 cars. Replaced with T1367C and T 1398C.

 

DEC 7

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T4B rear axle reinforcing ring changed from steel casting to a drop forging.

 

DEC 20

Notes on modifications to the 56" rear axle housings. "Same changes on 48" and 60" treads." This is the first note regarding 48" treads this author has noted. The 48" tread is believed to be for the in-factory Model-T-based tractors.
"T-920B steering column tube, new design. Used after the first 32,500 cars" They must have used the same tube on the N-R-S Fords since they hadn’t made that many Model T’s by this date. The actual figure probably was 12,500