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Model T: 1915

ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS: 656,064 to 1,028,313 calendar year. 670,000 to 856,513 approx. model year.

MODEL YEAR DATES: September 1914 (Sedan), October (Coupelet) and January 1915 (open cars) to August 1915.

BODY TYPES: Touring, Runabout, Sedan, Town Car, Coupelet, and Chassis.

MAJOR MODEL YEAR FEATURES: Similar to 1914 but now had metal cowl section that tapered down to the hood.
    Early in production the front seat frame was modified, and a bolt head (or “rivet”) appeared in the side panel just ahead of the rear door on the touring. Windshield was now upright and folded to the rear at the center. Hood was aluminum, but had louvers on the side panels. Rear fenders were curved to follow the wheel outline; had no crown.
    Headlamps were now electric, made of steel with brass rims. The brass rims were replaced with black-painted steel late in calendar 1915. Oil side and tail lamps were steel with brass trim, until late in the year, and were of a new, interchangeable from side to side, design.
    The bulb horn, now mounted under the hood, was replaced with a magneto powered electric type beginning in January 1915 on some cars, and in all production by October. (There is no evidence of a klaxon horn ever being supplied on a Model T Ford as factory equipment.)
    The transmission foot pedals were changed from the “C-R-B” markings to a vertical-ribbed pattern. This in turn gave way to the plain pedals during calendar 1915 (before September).
    Rear axle housings redesigned, taking on the final major exterior change in appearance.
    New this year was the sedan and the coupelet. The sedan had an aluminum-paneled body and had the gasoline tank under the rear seat. The coupelet had a folding top. Its turtle deck door was located on the rear panel, rather than on the top surface as in the runabout.

UPHOLSTERY: Imitation leather in the open cars. The pattern was a stitched diamond on the seat bottoms, and vertical pleats on the seat backs. Sedan upholstery was gray* with an ornate pattern, and trimmed with an ornate tapestry-like material as well. The Coupelet had leather seats. The top was leather and trimmed with the same fabric as the Sedan. Trim was imitation leather.
* The parts books show “blue” but existing samples look gray.

FENDERS: Front: Continued the style of the later 1914 cars. The fender-iron bracket was now secured with three rivets instead of four. Rear: Similar in style to the front but now curved to follow the wheel outline, but have no crown as on the later fenders. Support irons were attached to the body framing, extending out the side of the body, through a hole in the apron of the fender, and were clamped to a single plate under the fender.

SPLASH APRON Same as in 1914. Fenders and aprons were painted black.

RUNNING BOARDS: Pressed steel with embossed diamond pattern. The Ford script ran across the board. “Made in USA” appeared on all boards.

HOOD: Aluminum, with louvers for the first time. Hinges were separate from the panels, and riveted in place. Hold-down clamps had two “ears” and were of forged steel. Handles were forged steel.

DASHBOARD (Firewall): Wood, fitted inside the front cowl, hidden by the metal hood former.

CHASSIS: Same as 1914 with the longer rear cross member. Painted black.

STEERING COLUMN ASSEMBLY: Some early production apparently used the “1913” type column with the riveted gear box. Early in the year the new one-piece, brass, gear box with the iron quadrant appeared. There was apparently some overlap in production where both the old and the new types were used. Brass-plated spark and throttle levers, with broad flattened metal ends. Wheel was 15” outside diameter, wood, and painted black. The wheel spider was malleable iron and painted black.

FRONT AXLE: Same as the 1914 cars. The right-hand steering arm no longer had the hole for the speedometer swivel, since speedometers were no longer standard equipment. Brass oilers are gradually replaced with pressed steel ones in many locations.

REAR AXLE: Cast center section, same as 1914, and with the axle tubes flared and riveted to it. This axle was replaced with a new design in early 1915. The new type had a cast center section and the axle tubes were inserted into the housing extensions on each side, and riveted in place. This design became the final type except for minor modifications over the years.

DRIVESHAFT HOUSING: Pinion bearing spool was a casting and was held by studs and nuts, the studs being enclosed (not visible) in the housing. Integral front housing for universal joint assembly.

REAR RADIUS AND BRAKE RODS: Brake rods had forged ends. Brake rod support brackets were of the type which go out and wrap down around the rods. Radius rods were of pressed steel with split ends (no forged rear fork).

WHEELS: Used 30 by 3 tires in front; 30 by 3-1/2 in the rear. Original tires have tread on the rear tires. Hub flanges are 6 inches in diameter. Front wheels used ball bearings. Hub caps have “Ford” in script letters. “Made in USA” on all caps.

SPRINGS: Tapered-leaf, front and rear. “Figure eight” style shackles.

RADIATOR: Supplied by Ford with the standard Ford script. “Made in USA” on all radiators, under the Ford script.

ENGINE: No major changes from 1914.

ENGINE PAN: Typical “three dip” with narrow front “snout.”

OIL FILLER CAP: The mushroom-shaped cap, now made of steel, with six flutes and with the Ford script as used in 1914. The cap was redesigned early in the year and now had just three flutes. The “Ford” and the “Made in USA” continued on the new design but did not appear on all steel caps.

ENGINE CRANK: The plain steel sleeve type as used in 1914.

 

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. Adjustment was by means of a bolt/nut arrangement located on the right side of the front plate and bearing against a boss on the mounting end of the fan bracket.

MANIFOLDS: Exhaust pipe flared at the manifold and was held in place with the brass nut but with no packing. Intake was cast iron in the standard-design used until the introduction of the Vaporizer carburetor in 1925-27.

CARBURETORS: Kingston Model L and L2, or Holley Model G.

CARBURETOR STOVE: Several designs, all of which rose vertically at the rear of the carburetor and mated with the exhaust manifold at the rear area.

MUFFLER: Cast iron ends, mounted with brackets integral with the end castings. Exhaust pipe extension integral with the rear cover plate and no longer tapered or bent. Wrapped with asbestos, secured with three steel straps. The asbestos was not dyed black.

FUEL TANK: Cylindrical, under the front seat. Mounting brackets clamped to the tank. Outlet was between the center and the right side, between the frame rails. Tank in the Sedan was under the rear seat. The standard round tank was under the seat on the Coupe.

TRANSMISSION: Three pedal standard-design. Pedals were marked with “C,” “R,” and “B” initially but gave way to pedals with a vertical rib pattern until about mid-1915, then to the plain type used thereafter. Transmission cover was cast aluminum, but now had reinforcements around the bolt holes at the widest part, a feature which appeared perhaps as early as 1913. Tapered inspection door, held with six screws. The door was a plain metal plate with no script.

OIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Ford. The Ford box used the standard-size coils. The box now had a tapered top to enable the coils to be changed in the limited space created by the new cowl. The box lid was a one-piece stamping.

LAMPS: Magneto powered electric type. Brass rims, with clear lens. Side and tail lamps are of new design, also with brass rims. Side lamps were interchangeable from side to side. The brass trim was discontinued late in the year.

HORN: Bulb type, single twist. Black and brass style, mounted under the hood. Beginning in January 1915, the magneto powered electric horn began to be used on some production, and by October 1915, all cars had the electric horn.

WINDSHIELD: Upright, with top section that folded to the rear. Frame was riveted to the mounting brackets, and painted black.

TOP: (Open cars). Top color was black on all open cars. Similar in style to the 1914, with the front still supported by webbed straps to the windshield hinge.

SPEEDOMETER: No longer standard equipment. A number of “Ford Specials” appeared. Ford discontinued supplying speedometers in August 1915.

TURTLE DECK (on Runabout): Similar in style to the 1914. Handles are painted black.

 

1915 Changes

 

JAN 7

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Longer intake manifold now standard on sedans.

 

JAN 12

Factory Letter

 

Gas lamp tube no longer supplied on radiators as all cars now have electric lights. A tube, P/N T-4052X, was supplied for use on the earlier cars when the radiator was replaced.

 

JAN 23

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

Will use 10,000 electric horns. If satisfactory, these horns will be used to replace bulb horns in manufacturing. A note to reduce the stock of bulb horns.

 

JAN 25

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

"New" Runabouts announced for delivery in a week to ten days.

 

JAN 30

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

T-7915 horn wire. T-7916 horn switch wire. T-7917 horn switch wire. T-5018 electric horn mounting bolt. All for use in the 10,000 cars referred to in the letter of January 23. (According to another letter dated April 17, 1915, the bulb horns were still being used on some production at that date.)

 

FEB 6

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

New-style Touring and Runabout bodies shipped to branches for use as models, not for use in production.

 

FEB 8

Factory Letter

Branches asked to submit a list of inventory for 1914 parts left over after the change to the 1915-style cars.

 

FEB 10

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

New type (1915 style) Runabouts and Tourings now being shipped from the Highland Park plant.

 

FEB 13

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Ford advertising halted. Production listed as 40 to 50,000 behind schedule.

 

FEB 15

Factory Letter

 

Repeat of letter of Feb. 13. Ford unable to produce enough cars to fill orders, so why advertise. Noted that there were plenty of closed cars still available, however.

 

FEB 20

Letter to Houston branch

Letter concerning poor sales of closed cars; notes lack of salesmanship.

 

FEB 26

Letter to Branches

Carloads of new Tourings and Runabouts to be shipped to the branches and used as samples.

 

MAR 22

Acc. 1701. Model T Releases, Ford Archives

"Have removed the grooves from the surface of the foot (pedal) pads, making them smooth, with a fify-five degree bevel 1/16" deep around the edge. Also changed the thickness of pads at edges from 5/32 to 1/8", leaving then 5/32" thick at each side of arm where it joins pad. This change to take place when dies are resunk, all forgings which we have on hand at that time to be used up." (Joseph Galamb)

 

MAR 24

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Letter concerning leaks between the dash and the cowl. Noted that no felt or rubber was being used at the factory but that dealers should install same if customers complained about leaks at this point.

 

MAR 24

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Letter requesting opinions as to the desirability of discontinuing the left rear door on the Touring.

 

MAR 31

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Flanged rings with felt packing supplied for oil side and tail lamps to prevent their being blown out. The problem was noted in a letter of March 27, at which time the factory noted that they were shipping felts only for in-the-field modifications.

 

APR 1

Ford Times

First pictures of the new 1915 Touring and Roadster.

 

APR 3

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

"300,000 sales assured except for a `calamity or catastrophe'."

 

APR 7

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

"New (1915) style rear axle housings in short supply. Use 1914 type for repairs."

 

APR 13

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Early E&J T-6511X electric headlamps with 8-5/8-inch lenses discontinued as a replacement part. From this date on, the standard lamps would be supplied as replacements. Note: This is believed to be the lamp which mounted on the gas lamp forks. T-6511X was the number for all the magneto-powered lamps until 1917.

 

APR 29

Factory Letter

"On or after May 1, the use of body numbers will be discontinued (by Ford) and no records will be kept of same."

 

MAY 11

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

T-604. Lug on fan support arm finally eliminated. Note to change the drawing. (This may have occurred earlier.)

 

JUN 17

Factory Letter and engine production records

Welch plug used in tail shaft of the transmission brake drum to prevent oil leaks out through the universal joint.

 

JUN 19

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

Headlight door. Change from brass to black steel specified.

 

JUN 23

Acc. 1701. Model T Releases, Ford Archives

The two-piece tail light/license plate bracket was replaced with a one-piece design. The part number was T-7506 (l/h) and T-8516 (r/h).

 

JUN 26

Factory Letter

"Hereafter when ordering body panels for 1915 cars, please give both the car and body numbers. The body number will be found on the right sill just inside the front door. This number will be preceded by a letter which indicates by whom the body was made.
"The above information is necessary as panels for bodies made by our various suppliers vary somewhat."

 

JUL 17

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

List of chassis parts. Shows change to long rear cross-member was made after 114,000 1913 cars (May 1913).

 

JUL 17

Letter 547, Ford Archives

T-603 Fan Pulley. "Changed material from bronze to malleable iron. These changes to take immediate effect. All pulleys on hand to be used up."

 

OCT 5

Record of change, Ford Archives

Transmission cover material specified to be cast iron instead of aluminum. The actual production of iron covers apparently did not begin until early 1916.

 

OCT 7

Acc. 833, Photo 4847, Ford Archives

Picture of 1916 style Coupelet (port holes) with brass-trimmed lamps.

 

OCT 16

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

Electric horns specified for all 1916 cars. Notes that 10,000 electric horns were used in 1915 but the wording is such that there may have been more.

 

NOV 6

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

New gasoline tank specified for 1916 sedans (now under the driver's seat).

 

NOV 15

Acc. 78, Box 1, Letter, Ford Archives

All steering assemblies being shipped with horn button and wiring.

 

NOV 30

Acc. 575, Box 19, Ford Archives

New rear brake backing plates (with reinforcing ribs) specified.
T-6432 electric horn, made by K-W and others, specified.

 

DEC 10

Engine production records, Ford Archives

Engine number 1,000,000 assembled at 1:53-1/2 P.M.