1920 Ford Model T


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ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS: 3,659,972 to 4,698,419 calendar year. 3,277,852 to 4,233,351 fiscal year (August 1, 1919 to July 31, 1920).

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1919 to August 1920.

BODY TYPES: Touring, Runabout, Sedan, Coupe, Chassis and Truck.

MAJOR MODEL YEAR FEATURES: Continued in the styles of previous years with but minor changes. Wooden seat frames of the 1918-1919 cars were replaced with metal ones as used in 1915-1917. A new body was announced in June 1920, with parts specified for production, but apparently the new type was not standard until 1921. (See notes under 1921.)
Oil lamps discontinued on cars supplied with electrical equipment.
The frame was modified in mid-year and now used the channel type running board brackets, replacing the forged brackets and truss rod assembly used since 1909.
The oval gas tank became standard during the year, except in the closed cars.
New rear axle pinion bearing spool (forged, exposed bolts) was a running change in 1920.

COLORS: All cars were painted black, with black fenders.

UPHOLSTERY: Imitation leather in the open cars. The pattern was a stitched vertical pleat design on both seat bottoms and backs. Closed car upholstery was same as 1919.

FENDERS: Front: Curved and crowned as in 1919.

SPLASH APRON: Same as 1919.

RUNNING BOARDS: Same as 1919.

HOOD: Steel. Hold-down clamps had two ?ears? and were of forged steel. Handles were pressed steel but were now made in such a way that they can be fastened to the hood without a separate rivet. (A ?hole? appears where the rivet was.)

DASHBOARD (Firewall): Wood, fitted outside the front cowl, hidden by the metal cowl weather strip.

CHASSIS: Same as 1919. Painted black.

STEERING COLUMN ASSEMBLY: Pressed steel, black painted, quadrant, Zinc-plated spark and throttle levers, with flattened metal ends. Gear case was brass but zinc plated, one-piece assembly. Wheel was 16? outside diameter, made of ?Fordite? (synthetic material), and painted black. The wheel spider was now pressed steel and painted black. Horn button was on the left side of column but light switch was now on the instrument panel on starter cars. Non-starter cars used the combination horn/light switch used previously.

FRONT AXLE: Same as the 1919 cars.

REAR AXLE: Same as 1919.

DRIVESHAFT HOUSING: Pinion bearing spool was changed to the forged type with the exposed bolts. Integral front housing for universal joint assembly. Both the old and the new types were used until about June 1921.

REAR RADIUS AND BRAKE RODS: Brake rods now were split at the ends, eliminating the forged forks. Brake rod support brackets rattlers were of the type which go out and wrap down around the rods but were of the reinforced (stronger) design, which continued until the end of Model T production in 1927. Radius rods were of pressed steel with split ends.

WHEELS: Used 30 by 3 tires in front; 30 by 3-1/2 in the rear. Front wheels used taper-roller (Timken) bearings except in the non-starter, non-demountable open cars. Hub caps had ?Ford? in script letters. ?Made in USA? on all caps. Demountable-rim wheels were standard on closed cars, and optional on the open models; and used 30 by 3-1/2 tires all around.

SPRINGS: Non-tapered, front and rear. ?L? shaped shackles of the forged type. Oilers were pressed into the springs and none were used on the shackles.

RADIATOR: Same as 1919.

ENGINE: Same as 1919. Lighter rods and pistons were introduced during the year. Starter was still optional on the open cars. Front fan belt pulley was now larger.

ENGINE PAN: ?Three dip? with wider front ?snout? which will accommodate the larger fan pulley that finally appeared this year.

OIL FILLER CAP: The mushroom-shaped cap, made of steel, with three flutes.

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

ENGINE FAN: Driven by a leather belt from a pulley at the front of the engine. During the year the fan was changed; the hub was now aluminum with a welded blade assembly bolted to the hub. The pulley was larger to match the larger crank pulley, introduced at the same time. 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 as in the earlier design.

MANIFOLDS: Exhaust pipe flared at the manifold and is held in place with the brass nut but with no packing. Intake was cast iron.

CARBURETORS: Kingston Model L2 or Holley Model G on early cars, then Kingston L4, Holley Model NH, or Ford ?F?.

CARBURETOR STOVE: Sheet metal type which rose vertically at the rear of the carburetor and mated with the exhaust manifold at the rear corner, being held by the rear manifold retaining stud/nut.

MUFFLER: A new pressed steel type with no tail pipe was introduced. It had a single mounting bracket on the rear head. This design continued until the end of Model T production.

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. The oval tank was introduced during the year and became the standard tank on all models except for the Coupe and Sedan (which continued the square tank under the driver?s seat). Some coupes used this new oval tank under the seat, apparently experimental, but most used the square tank in the turtle as in the previous year.

TRANSMISSION: Three pedal standard-design. Pedals were of the plain type. Transmission cover was cast iron, and modified to accept the starter. Tapered inspection door, held with six screws. The door was of pressed steel with an embossed pattern.

COIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Ford. Same as used in 1919. Starter cars no longer had the ignition switch on the box; it was moved to the instrument panel.

LAMPS: Magneto powered electric type on the non-starter cars, and six volt electric on the starter models. Black steel rims, with clear lens. Side and tail lamps were similar to 1917 on the non-starter cars. Starter cars had a small electric tail light and did not have side lights.

HORN: Magneto powered electric.

WINDSHIELD: Upright, with top section that folds to the rear. Frame was bolted to the brackets. Painted black. Starter cars no longer had the integral mount for the oil side lights.

TOP: (Open cars). Top color was black on all open cars. Same as that used since 1918.

SPEEDOMETER: No longer standard equipment.

TURTLE DECK (on Runabout): Similar in style to the 1919. Handles were pressed steel and painted black.


1920 Changes



Acc. 575, Box 12, #779, Ford Archives

T-701 flywheel. Experimental design with teeth cast or cut in wheel, was discontinued as unsatisfactory.



Acc. 575, Box 12, #779, Ford Archives

T-8779 priming knob changed from cold-rolled Bessemer to an aluminum die casting.


JAN 12

Acc. 575, Box 12, #780, Ford Archives

Pressed-steel running board brackets, T-336B.


JAN 22

Acc. 575, Box 12, #781, Ford Archives

Lower radiator support thimble, T-1114, drawn from "starfish" rather than solid blank.


JAN 24

Acc. 575, Box 12, #782, Ford Archives

Ten-tooth pinion to be used with T-12B ring gear. T-12 48-tooth ring gear obsoleted. Old T-16, 12-tooth pinion, obsoleted.


FEB 14

Acc. 575, Box 12, #785, Ford Archives

T-418C piston machined for lighter weight, using the same piston blank.


MAR 10

Acc. 235, Box 38, #697, Ford Archives

"We enclose herewith sheet #3 of our paint specifications for Coupe and Sedan bodies. This sheet gives you the information covering those portions of the paint operations performed at the branches.
"We call your attention in particular to Operation #16, wherein it is noted that all inside moldings, window jambs, windshield frames and door jambs be given one coat of Black Satin Finish F-192."



Acc. 575, Box 12, #792, Ford Archives

Transmission cover: Bendix cover holes moved back to position prior to change of December 17, 1919. Machining changes in the cover made.


APR 10

Acc. 575, Box 12, #793, Ford Archives

Bendix cover given slots instead of 17/64" holes to facilitate installation.


APR 23

Acc. 575, Box 12, #795, Ford Archives

Pressed-steel muffler, experimental design, 500 per day. P/N T-1200C.



Ford Archives

"Start large fans and pulleys for truck motors."


MAY 11

Ford Archives

Engine #4,000,000 built at 10:15 P.M.


MAY 11

Acc. 575, Box 12, #797, Ford Archives

Three types of commutators used. T-4481-A1, brass; T-4481-A2, aluminum die casting; T-4481-A3, pressed steel.


MAY 13

Ford Archives

Began using 24 disks in transmission.


MAY 20

Ford Archives

Began using 25 disks in transmission.


MAY 20

Acc. 575, Box 12, #798, Ford Archives

More experimental commutators. T-4481-A3, -A4; T-4446-B1, -B2.


MAY 20

Acc. 575, Box 14, #826, Ford Archives

Timer roller assembly made of bronze (T-672-A1). Roller is of steel.
Aluminum also used (T-672-A2).


JUN 14

Acc. 575, Box 13, #801, Ford Archives

1921 Touring bodies shown in letter this date.


JUN 18

Acc. 235, Box 38, Ford Archives

Commutator head T-4446B1 (pressed steel), T-4446B2 (die casting) and T-4483A4 (die casting) listed. Apparently there were at least three types being used.


JUN 20

Acc. 235, Box 38, Ford Archives

"Please discontinue furnishing T-6881, Top Dust Hood for Touring Car, T-6939 Top Dust Hood for Torpedo, and T-1923 Tool Box, as regular equipment on new cars as soon as your available stock is exhausted.
"Top hoods may be carried as extra parts in your service stock and supplied at regular catalog priced hereafter."


JUN 22

Acc. 575, Box 13, #802, Ford Archives

Parts listed for new Touring body of June 14 letter. Now listed for production. (Touring body only.)


JUN 26

Acc. 575, Box 14, #815, Ford Archives

Thickness of metal in front cross-member increased. Required the moving of several mounting holes in the frame.


JUN 30

Acc. 575, Box 13, #804, Ford Archives

16" steering wheel OK'd for production. (Removed from "experimental.")



Acc. 575, Box 13, #808, Ford Archives

New license plate brackets, T-491, at front.


JUL 17

Acc. 235, Box 38, Ford Archives

"Supplementing our General Letter No. 793 under date of June 18th, wherein we mention the fact that Sedan side curtains T-10300A1, A2, A3 and T-10300B are to be held for repairs only. This means that side curtains will not be included in the standard sedan equipment in the future." (These are the side window curtains.)


JUL 19

Acc. 235, Box 38, Ford Archives

"We wish to call your attention to the new style pressed steel running board brackets which has gone into production and as shipments have been made to some of the branches we ask that you kindly note the changes which will go into effect through the adoption of this new bracket." (A list of parts followed.)


JUL 20

Acc. 575, Box 13, #807, Ford Archives

Hood and hood handle redesigned to eliminate rivets at the handle, for production.


JUL 26

Acc. 575, Box 13, #807, Ford Archives

1921 Runabout and Touring bodies and parts specified.


AUG 13

Acc. 575, Box 13, #810, Ford Archives

Pressed-steel muffler ends to be made of two pieces of scrap fender stock instead of one, for use on the 1921 models.



Acc. 575, Box 14, #813, Ford Archives

Forged brake rods, T-891B, T-1513B obsoleted and replaced with T-804 for 1921 production.


SEP 13

Acc. 575, Box 14, #814, Ford Archives

Front motor mount T-320B (experimental) indicated. Minor modifications made in construction and dimensions of T-191C driveshaft bearing housing, also experimental.


SEP 20

Acc. 575, Box 14, #814, 815, Ford Archives

Coupe bodies began to use the elliptical gas tank as the supply permitted. Specified Coupe bodies with leather lining. Coupe bodies with cloth trim use the square tank.


OCT 11

Acc. 575, Box 14, #819, Ford Archives

T-1201E, T-1202D, T-1200C muffler assembly adopted as standard for 1921 cars.


OCT 12

Acc. 575, Box 14, #819, Ford Archives

T-1903 pliers for tool kit had handle shaped for use as a screwdriver, eliminating the need for a separate screwdriver in the tool kit supplied with the cars.
T-1303B (oval) gas tank specified for all chassis except for the Coupe and Sedan.
T-690C timing gear cover modified to allow more clearance for the bottom generator mounting bolt.


OCT 18

Acc. 575, Box 14, #819, Ford Archives

Pressed-steel commutator case adopted as standard, eliminating the cast-iron, aluminum and bronze types they had experimented with. Apparently experiments continued on the cast case (noted in a letter #835, April 19, 1921).


OCT 22

Acc. 575, Box 14, #820, Ford Archives

New front and rear spring hanger adopted. (This is the forged "L" shaped, one-piece per half, type.)


DEC 30

Acc. 575, Box 14, #831, Ford Archives

Green-visor headlamp lens adopted, P/N T-6576B. These were discontinued by June of 1921 (replaced with "H" lens).