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Old 08-22-2019, 11:59 AM   #1
rfitzpatrick
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Default Indented Firewall

What was the purpose of the Indented Firewall? Was this in preparation for the V-8, or what? Think that was introduced May '31-
Thanks
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

It was just a revision to put the fuel valve on the outside of the firewall instead of in the interior.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:06 PM   #3
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

One or more of the states required that the gas cut off valve be removed from inside the cab . The indented firewall and mods to the gas tank made room to install the valve under the hood .
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

I've heard it was to conform with certain state fire safety laws, although I've never heard which states or what the laws said.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:13 PM   #5
SteveB31
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

Pensilvania
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

I will always yield to Steve!
But a long time ago I recall it was NY
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

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Originally Posted by SteveB31 View Post
Pensilvania
Pen(sah) or Pen(cil)?
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

A few things were done by 31 to lessen the fire danger.One was moving the steering column support to the dash rail from the tank,on front collisions the driver would be impaled by the steering wheel, often breaking the bracket at the tank.Some died in the resulting fire. Ford was in court a bunch over the cowl tank,even using the tactic of renaming the filler screen to imply it was a fire suppression device.
Its also one of the reasons why no one reproduced the tank..liability.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

If anyone is interested, I have a freshly tested and resealed tank for indented firewall.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

This article by Bob Bidonde argues that, as Railcarmover mentions above, the indented firewall change combined the relocation of the fuel cutoff with the relocation of the steering column support bracket to eliminate both of the potential ways for gasoline to leak into the cabin.

Per the article, "several cities would not license Model A Taxis because of the potential for gasoline leakage inside the car." So perhaps that's the truth behind the "state laws" claim.

http://www.ahooga.com/notebook/howto...t_firewall.pdf
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railcarmover View Post
A few things were done by 31 to lessen the fire danger.One was moving the steering column support to the dash rail from the tank,on front collisions the driver would be impaled by the steering wheel, often breaking the bracket at the tank.Some died in the resulting fire. Ford was in court a bunch over the cowl tank,even using the tactic of renaming the filler screen to imply it was a fire suppression device.
Its also one of the reasons why no one reproduced the tank..liability.
It was actually done to prevent a leak at the weld joint of the column support as drivers put weight on to the steering wheel when getting in.
Although much is made of fires with the Model A, these were never common. A trick done at Ford Dealers was to light a match over the tank with the gas cap off ; because of the arrester screen, nothing happened.
It is hard to make a car go up in flames because of fuel ; check out old Myth Busters on this. The new bracket was a fix for this & was promoted in the Service Bulletins to fit on earlier cars if the problem occurred. There was even one for RHD & they were available here in NZ.
Regarding being impaled on the steering, in the Model A era this was not worried about, only much later were auto makers forced to improve interior design to lessen injury, but certainly not in the '30's, '40's or '50's.
Cheers.
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Old 08-24-2019, 08:23 PM   #12
Jeff P. / MN
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

I owned a 1931 S/W 4dr with a “restamped” firewall. Apparently Ford was in a bit of a rush to get this change into production.
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tudortomnz View Post
It was actually done to prevent a leak at the weld joint of the column support as drivers put weight on to the steering wheel when getting in.
Although much is made of fires with the Model A, these were never common. A trick done at Ford Dealers was to light a match over the tank with the gas cap off ; because of the arrester screen, nothing happened.
It is hard to make a car go up in flames because of fuel ; check out old Myth Busters on this. The new bracket was a fix for this & was promoted in the Service Bulletins to fit on earlier cars if the problem occurred. There was even one for RHD & they were available here in NZ.
Regarding being impaled on the steering, in the Model A era this was not worried about, only much later were auto makers forced to improve interior design to lessen injury, but certainly not in the '30's, '40's or '50's.
Cheers.
Rigid steering column gets impacted by the driver in a front collision,breaking the mount at the tank,dousing the driver in fuel.You can play with gasoline,I prefer not to.The fix in the service bulletins was probably noted as 'a driver issue getting in and out of the vehicle',Ford,even back then avoided citing direct reasons why they instituted a change.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

There would have been a fire hazard in many of these cars continuously from their owners smoking. You don't need to damage the tank itself – if there's an accident, or if, as Ford claimed, someone had been pulling on the weld point repeatedly, and the gas starts leaking, and someone drops their cigarette (possibly because they've just been T-boned), there goes the ballgame.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:23 AM   #15
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

everybody smoked back then..
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railcarmover View Post
Rigid steering column gets impacted by the driver in a front collision,breaking the mount at the tank,dousing the driver in fuel.You can play with gasoline,I prefer not to.The fix in the service bulletins was probably noted as 'a driver issue getting in and out of the vehicle',Ford,even back then avoided citing direct reasons why they instituted a change.
Two issues in this thread ; indent firewall so as to have fuel cock outside body interior [ which Ford was probably forced to do by legislation] plus the new steering bracket which was a fix for the old welded bracket which could damage the tank by drivers pulling on the 'wheel when getting in or out. These can be sourced in Ford literature ; other reasons are conjecture.
Ironically, that collision pic. shown between the A & VW was actually in NZ where I am writing this! Cheers
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:17 PM   #17
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tudortomnz View Post
Two issues in this thread ; indent firewall so as to have fuel cock outside body interior [ which Ford was probably forced to do by legislation] plus the new steering bracket which was a fix for the old welded bracket which could damage the tank by drivers pulling on the 'wheel when getting in or out. These can be sourced in Ford literature ; other reasons are conjecture.
Ironically, that collision pic. shown between the A & VW was actually in NZ where I am writing this! Cheers
Too much proof of litigation to be conjecture,Ford was proven to play with words for their actions about the fire issues.The oral histories have multiple recollections of Fords problems with the fire issue.Was some of it a lawyer building his case by sensationalizing the issue? perhaps,but the point stands,Ford was involved in litigation when the changes in '31 were made..Look close at that picture,some kiwi had a sore gut from folding that steering wheel and bending the column..wonder if that 28/29 had a tank mounted bracket..

http://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/c...on/p15889coll2

the oral histories are a fascinating look into the actual lives of the folks who financed designed and built the Ford..
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:19 PM   #18
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff P. / MN View Post
I owned a 1931 S/W 4dr with a “restamped” firewall. Apparently Ford was in a bit of a rush to get this change into production.
Not so much a rush, as just using up all the stock, instead of throwing it away after the change was made. This was done for all changes, that’s why the judging standards will have a “ gray” time on when part changes were made to the cars.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff P. / MN View Post
I owned a 1931 S/W 4dr with a “restamped” firewall. Apparently Ford was in a bit of a rush to get this change into production.
That's neat I've never seen that before.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Indented Firewall

Anyone really interested in the development of the indent tank & the column bracket problems should read Steve Pluckers online articles, researched in his studies series on Model A.
His Évolution of 1930-31 tanks part 5 gives us the best knowledge of Fords tank changes & reasons behind them. [ nothing about impaled drivers!] Cheers
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