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Old 05-26-2017, 11:49 AM   #1
Bob Bidonde
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Default How Was It Done?

An idle mind is not a good thing, so to keep mine busy at the moment I started to wonder how the various suppliers of Model "A" bodies got some things common to other Model "A" body styles. These questions should be wonderful food for conspiracy thinkers!

Gas Tank
A. Did Ford build the gas tanks and ship them to the various builders of Model "A" bodies such as Briggs, Murray, Budd, Baker Rowlang, etc.?
B. Or did the body builders get sets of Ford's tooling to make gas tanks?
C. Or did Ford have its gas tank supplier ship tanks to the various body builders?

Firewall
Keep in mind that the body builders used different fastener systems. For example, Briggs welded "D" nuts onto their body structures and Murray used cage nuts on its structures.
A. Did Ford stamp firewalls void of any captive fasteners and ship them to the various builders of Model "A" bodies such as Briggs, Murray, Budd, Baker Rowlang, etc.?
B. Or did the body builders get sets of Ford's tooling to make firewalls?
C. Or did Ford have a supplier ship firewall stampings to the various body builders?

Windshield Assemblies
A. Did Ford supply them with installation parts?
B. Or did the body builders get sets of Ford's tooling and glass to make windshield frames?
C. Or did Ford have a supplier ship completed windshield assemblies to the various body builders?

Paint Match
Briggs and Murray shipped completed bodies including paint and upholstery to Ford's branches to feed Ford's final assembly lines.
A. Did the body builders also supply painted hoods to Ford?
B. Or did Ford paint hoods to match the already painted bodies? If this is the case, then color match wold be a concern.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

About the fuel tanks..

denniskliesen has a '29 Tudor that was built in Denver apparently..his tank date is 1-21-29

I have a 29 ccpu that has no assembly plant mark but it too has a tank dated 1-21-29

The s/n stamped on my frame indicates a 1-29-29 assembly date..

Can I assume my ccpu was assembled in Denver? It spent most of it's life in Reno NV....
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

My AA was built in Michigan and live in Georgia most of its life. You never know.
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Old 05-26-2017, 03:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Interesting questions and the sign of an active mind. That's a good thing!
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Old 05-26-2017, 05:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

The logistics of the early Fords would be just about impossible today with the computers and communication systems let alone everyday meeting with everyone from board members to the janitors. To think it was all done under Henry's direction. He made money and provided jobs, what a concept.
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Gas Tank
A. Did Ford build the gas tanks and ship them to the various builders of Model "A" bodies such as Briggs, Murray, Budd, Baker Rowlang, etc.?
B. Or did the body builders get sets of Ford's tooling to make gas tanks?
C. Or did Ford have its gas tank supplier ship tanks to the various body builders?


Much research has gone into the study of Fords gastanks. I am perty sure that all tanks were assembled at The Rouge then shipped out to the varrious assembly plants. B and C I doubt very much unless there is something that I am unaware of.

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Old 05-26-2017, 09:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1955cj5 View Post
About the fuel tanks..

denniskliesen has a '29 Tudor that was built in Denver apparently..his tank date is 1-21-29

I have a 29 ccpu that has no assembly plant mark but it too has a tank dated 1-21-29

The s/n stamped on my frame indicates a 1-29-29 assembly date..

Can I assume my ccpu was assembled in Denver? It spent most of it's life in Reno NV....
I believe you are in error with you Tank date and assembly date. Here's why. The date on the tank is an inspection date. The tank then needed to go to assembly to be installed into a cab, and then to paint followed by trim, roof, assembly, etc. Also, you are assuming the Denver branch actually constructed tanks in-house. It is possible another branch ( -I.e.: Kansas City, or more likely Rouge) could have made the tank and then shipped them to the Denver so you would need to factor in transportation time. Also, the frame number really only signifies when the engine was manufactured in the Rouge plant. From there you would need to allow for transportation and warehouse handling time. I don't think 8 days is enough.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Well, the tank date is pretty clear.

The frame (engine) number is stamped on the frame.

I used this link to come up with the 1-29-29 assembly date.

http://www.modelahouse.com/cgi-bin/enumbers/numdate

Perhaps the link data base is in error.

The Denver assembly plant is only a guess, based on the 29 Tudor's tank date and assembly code. The code on the Tudor appears to have a date of 2-29 stamped along with the assembly number....

My ccpu has no assembly plant code

It's entirely possible that the truck was assembled in February 1929...but there is nothing to confirm that.
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Last edited by 1955cj5; 05-26-2017 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

I have always been under the impression that the date stamp on the 28-29 gas tanks were the date the tank was tested, passed, and sent to assembly.

The 27 and early28 had no date stamp on the tanks.

Gas tanks were also sent to Dealers to solve leaking problems; an example is a 1929 AA that one of my relatives purchased new in Stockton, CA; 2 months after he purchased the AA, the gas tank started leaking around the steering column clamp; he took the truck back to the dealer and the next day it was ready; the new tank did not contain a date stamp.

Ron

Another interesting bit of information regarding the body on the 1929AA:

The truck was ordered in late 1928, it was suppose to have a Closed Cab body; after receiving notification from the Ford Dealership in Stockton that his truck was ready for delivery, he found, when he arrived that the AA had a Open Cab body not the Closed Cab he had ordered, he was very upset. The dealer said no problem, we have a new 29 1/2 Ton pickup with a Closed Cab body, come back tomorrow and you AA will have the Closed Cab body. When he arrived the next day, the Closed Body was on his AA and the Open Cab body was on the 1/2 Ton Pickup.

I do not know who ended up with the AA, but the person probable thinks he has a AA that is like it came from the Factory. This AA had the "Ford" script bed and
all the original stakes, original stock engine but no date on the gas tank.

Last edited by Ron in Quincy; 05-27-2017 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Additional Information about the 1929AA
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

The only reason I brought this up to begin with is that I thought it interesting that the Denver assembled 29 Tudor happened to have the same tank date as my 29 ccpu with an unknown assembly location.

The OP offered some observations on the origin of the tanks and I thought having two tanks with matching dates may be meaningful...
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Yes, interesting questions indeed.

Let's see what conclusions come of this.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

With regards to the painting process on bodies assembled and painted prior to shipment, the Ford paint specification sheets indicate the hoods were already at the assembly plant. At the assembly plant,the body was sprayed with a final coat of paint and the hood was painted at the same time so they would match. You can see this on many low mileage unrestored Town Sedans where the original paint is invariably worn through on the hood but the body paint is often nearly intact. Clearly the body got more paint than the hood under this process.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in Quincy View Post
I have always been under the impression that the date stamp on the 28-29 gas tanks were the date the tank was tested, passed, and sent to assembly. I believe that you are corect Me. Rude on that "impression"!

The 27 and early28 had no date stamp on the tanks. You are correct!

Gas tanks were also sent to Dealers to solve leaking problems; an example is a 1929 AA that one of my relatives purchased new in Stockton, CA; 2 months after he purchased the AA, the gas tank started leaking around the steering column clamp; he took the truck back to the dealer and the next day it was ready; the new tank did not contain a date stamp.

Ron
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Clayton View Post
With regards to the painting process on bodies assembled and painted prior to shipment, the Ford paint specification sheets indicate the hoods were already at the assembly plant. At the assembly plant,the body was sprayed with a final coat of paint and the hood was painted at the same time so they would match. You can see this on many low mileage unrestored Town Sedans where the original paint is invariably worn through on the hood but the body paint is often nearly intact. Clearly the body got more paint than the hood under this process.
Could this have been from the amount of heat generated by the engine to have had an effect on hood paint. More questions ...
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Will Mr. Ford please step forward and give us some answers to our questions please.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

I added some additional information to my post above that you may find interesting.

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Old 05-27-2017, 07:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Bob, there must be something wrong with me.

I have an idle mind too, but I think of things like " gee did Pamala Anderson on Baywatch really run on the beach in slow motion, or was that trick photography"?
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1955cj5 View Post
Well, the tank date is pretty clear.

The frame (engine) number is stamped on the frame.

I used this link to come up with the 1-29-29 assembly date.

http://www.modelahouse.com/cgi-bin/enumbers/numdate

Perhaps the link data base is in error.

The Denver assembly plant is only a guess, based on the 29 Tudor's tank date and assembly code. The code on the Tudor appears to have a date of 2-29 stamped along with the assembly number....

My ccpu has no assembly plant code

It's entirely possible that the truck was assembled in February 1929...but there is nothing to confirm that.

What I was trying to explain is the number on the frame does not directly correlate to the date the vehicle was assembled, ...but instead it is the date the engine assembly passed inspection at the Rouge plant.

In reality with those two dates, I would be surprised if your truck was even assembled in February if it was assembled in Denver. Again, the warehousing logistics at the Rouge, the transportation time from Rouge to Denver (-not just a direct route), and the logistics of warehousing and prepping for assembly in Denver all affect the length of time.

To further explain this, unlike manufacturing today that is called 'just in time' delivery, items were warehoused for a short period prior to shipping. Since Ford handled most of their shipping in-house which consisted mostly of trains, in all likelihood, not all engines were shipped sequentially. The same can be said about engines being installed sequentially too. So in theory, your engine could have been warehoused in Michigan for as little as a couple of days, -or a couple of weeks before it would be loaded on a train car. Let's split the difference and use one week as the average. Now we need to know what route the train is going, and what stops will be made along the way. During this trip they would be stopping at multiple branches and depots along the way, both dropping off and picking-up parts either manufactured at branches or at various vendors such as Autolite, Sparks Worthington, Stewart Warner, Briggs, etc., etc. Also factor in the type of locomotive and the speeds back then, and it is very believable for your engine to have a one to two week journey before arriving in Denver. Now the train car is unloaded and the engines are placed in a holding area. Based on pictures I have seen of these holding areas, it is again highly probable that engines were not installed sequentially. Because Ford was a stickler for detail, it is unlikely that a branch let their inventory of key items such as an engine get down to a day or two of inventory. Therefore if there were a week's supply of engines in the warehouse ahead of your engines, in all likelihood they would have been installed first. Now I agree there are, and likely were exceptions to this, but the intent was to work thru inventory in a first-in/first-out basis. So I trust you can see how a week in MI warehousing, a couple of weeks in transportation to and stocking in Denver, and a possible week of working its way onto the Assy Line puts a probable possibility of it being installed in March instead.

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Old 05-27-2017, 07:38 AM   #19
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Lightbulb Re: How Was It Done?

Brent's timeline is quite reasonable.

Take it a step further: the engines followed that route. So did the gas tanks, all made at the Rouge Plant. So a gas tank stamped in January and an engine stamped in January (the date of the number stamped on the block is the day it passed run in testing) could end up in an assembly plant 2 months later because the transportation logistics introduced about the same delay between manufacture and assembly.

And, as Brent mentioned, Ford stockpiled parts. This was common manufacturing practice. They knew that the parts would all be used eventually, so why not? Once you built the plant and hired the workers to make them, you got the maximum value out of them both by running them "flat out", cranking out their respective parts. They did not consider having money tied up in inventory as a bad thing, like we do today; they viewed it as assets, like "money in the bank". Lack of a key part can shut down an entire line , which has huge opportunity costs; better to be sure you never run out.

This is one reason that the Restoration Guidelines allow for the carry over of older features or parts or other items for up to TWO MONTHS after the Guidelines say it was replaced with a newer version on a passenger vehicle, for SIX MONTHS for parts on a AA commercial vehicle, and THREE MONTHS on engines (see "Judging the Model A", Restoration Guidelines & Judging Standards, pages 7 and 8). Note, it does not say you can install that new part on a car up to 2 months BEFORE the date it was introduced; no time machines in 1930!

Thinking about the logistics that were carried out at the time (without computers, etc.) amazes me. Lots of clerks tracking lots of shipments of lots of parts all over the world. Lots of paper! Not a lot of phone calls; lot's of telegrams, wires, telex's between offices and branches, suppliers and shippers.

Wow. This is fun stuff. Not only was the Model A an amazing machine, the organizational machine that Ford built to build it was amazing.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

This is where it is real cool to review and study the Assembly Plant Bill of Sales (APBOS) to dealers or even personal customers. I have never seen one of these from Denver but I am sure they are out there somewhere.

However, I have seen a lot more from other branches and the data is quite interesting if one takes the time to compile and study it.

For instance Omaha, Nebraska, which is in the middle of the USA (more or less), started production of assembled Model A/AA Fords May 7, 1928 according to newspaper reports. However, I have 4 APBOS showing vehicles being sold starting in February 1928 from this plant. These may have been "assembled cars for its (Omaha) territory from branches at St. Louis (March 15-April 15, 1928 (anyone with a more precise opening date?) and Kansas City (January 27, 1928)".

In 1928 the AVERAGE days to sale of a Model A/AA Ford was 13 days from the time the engine was stamped at Dearborn to the time it was sold to a dealer within the sales area of the Omaha plant. The least amount of time was 8 days and the most amount of time was 22 days. Over 18 vehicles recorded.

In 1929 the average was about 7 days. The least amount of time was 2 days, the most amount of time was 15 days over 105 vehicles recorded. An interesting note here is that the last 3 recorded in 1929 (which were not in the 105 above) show an average of 52 days. This could of been due to several factors in that the plant probably closed down for awhile to gear up for the 1930 models...who knows for sure?

Just the average of January thru March 1929 over 24 vehicles was 8 days.

In 1930 and 1931, the time increased (Havent computed those times yet).

SO...if anyone has a stack of these Assembly Plant Bill of Sales for which you could send me for recording purposes, please contact me at pif@bmi.net. I know they are out there...anyone?

All of this information about the assembly plants will be in my upcoming books: Part 1...Those passenger Model A Fords; Part 2: Those commercial Model A Fords; and Part 3...Those Model AA Ford Trucks showing the production numbers of each vehicle/assembly plant according to Ford's YEARLY and MONTHLY Assembly Record Type documents.

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Last edited by Steve Plucker; 05-27-2017 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:12 AM   #21
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Default Re: How Was It Done?

My '29 Woody(150A) has a tank date of June 7 1929, and the matching frame/engine number indicates a June 11 1929 built date. I have no other records, receipts, or info on this car other than it is rumored to have been sold when new in the Bow NH area.

Quote:
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Will Mr. Ford please step forward and give us some answers to our questions please.
My neighbor across the road is a "professional" medium (don't get me started...), and conducts seances occasionally. I'll have him "ring up" Henry, and we'll get to the bottom of this!
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:43 PM   #22
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photos in De Angeles/Henry The Ford Model A book of hood hung with body as it went thru paint line along with masking operations for multiple colors.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:30 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Bob, there must be something wrong with me.

I have an idle mind too, but I think of things like " gee did Pamala Anderson on Baywatch really run on the beach in slow motion, or was that trick photography"?
I am more like you with my questions, but regardless if it was slow motion or trick photography, the results were terriffic.
The orginal questions are also great food for thought. My brain is tired, think I will google Pamala Anderson.
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