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Old 03-05-2018, 02:16 AM   #1
700rpm
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Default How were the engines numbered?

With assembly plants scattered all over the country, and cars coming off the assembly lines at prodigious rates but not in equal quantities from plant to plant, how did Ford keep sequential numbers on the engines and frames? How did Long Beach, for example, know what numbers Seattle was using on, say, July 17, 1929? And who kept the master records? And how were they communicated?
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

All the engines came from the Rouge and got numbered as soon as they passed the "run in test".
The overseas engines were assigned a block of numbers to use by the Detroit plant.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

So my car, assembled in Portland, might have an engine number that for example is only one digit after a car assembled in Omaha, and three digits before one assembled in New Orleans, all on the same day? Interesting. Thanks Tom!

The guys at the numbering stations must have been pretty busy. Two stars and up to seven numbers, changing the last digit with every block that came down the line. And the same procedure when the frame was stamped. It’s hard to imagine.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

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Originally Posted by 700rpm View Post
So my car, assembled in Portland, might have an engine number that for example is only one digit after a car assembled in Omaha, and three digits before one assembled in New Orleans, all on the same day? Interesting. Thanks Tom!

The guys at the numbering stations must have been pretty busy. Two stars and up to seven numbers, changing the last digit with every block that came down the line. And the same procedure when the frame was stamped. Itís hard to imagine.
What you are saying is surely possible but not probable. It is not probable that the engines would have come out of testing in order then somehow scattered about and sent to different places in some random order.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

Yes, Ray, the engines that had their numbers stamped into them at the Rouge before and after your engine could have been used at any of the various assembly plants around the country. The numbers were stamped on the blocks, as said above, as the block passed the run in test. There numbers WERE sequential. Then they were stacked up in a store room for shipment out.

On the assembly line, as an engine was dropped into a frame, the engine number was stamped into the top of the left frame rail. Those numbers were not sequential. They were whatever number came down the line next. So the engine number after your car was not necessarily installed into a frame at a plant somewhere on the same day as your car.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

Question - how were the engines shipped to the assembly plants? Via train or truck, I would imagine? Were they shipped along with other parts? Basic bodies, fenders, bumpers, ect? To me, 'Assembly Plant' implies no stamping of parts.....


Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

I've only seen them shipped on end, and in rail cars. Trucks wouldn't be as economical.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

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Originally Posted by Chuck Dempsey View Post
Question - how were the engines shipped to the assembly plants? Via train or truck, I would imagine? Were they shipped along with other parts? Basic bodies, fenders, bumpers, ect? To me, 'Assembly Plant' implies no stamping of parts.....


Thanks!
I believe the bodies, fenders, bumpers, etc, were made at various other factories and shipped independent of each other to the assembly plants.

Does anyone know where the transmissions were made?

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Old 03-05-2018, 09:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

Bodies were shipped from the Rouge to assembly plants 'knocked down'. Some assembly plants,like Long Beach,had a stamping plant,others didn't. Ford did not use FIFO with engines,first in first out from warehousing.Besides owning his own railway (DT&I) and hundreds of railcars Ford managed their rail movement of parts to the letter,they used rail as a warehouse,parts were continuously loaded and trains made and moved like clockwork.

All chassis related components except for wheels and radiators were made at the Rouge.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

The stamping of engines at the Rouge wasn't just "stamping" them then patting them on the ass and sending them on their way...there was a major process the Ford Motor Company went thru that is quite interesting.

It is to long to print it here so I am going to give you the location and ACC Numbers to get these documents if you wish.

The Benson Ford Research Center and Archives...Acc. 479, Box 1, Vol. 1, and Vol 3.

It is titled "Ford "A" and "AA" Motor Control" and "Automobile Motor Records".

These are dated April 25, 1929, May 14, 1929, October 14, 1930, and March 16, 1931.

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Old 03-06-2018, 12:29 AM   #11
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

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Originally Posted by Chuck Dempsey View Post
Question - how were the engines shipped to the assembly plants? Via train and by boat or truck, I would imagine? Were they shipped along with other parts? Yes Basic bodies, fenders, bumpers, ect? Yes To me, 'Assembly Plant' implies no stamping of parts.....


Thanks!
See above...
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Last edited by Steve Plucker; 03-06-2018 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

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Originally Posted by 700rpm View Post
With assembly plants scattered all over the country, and cars coming off the assembly lines at prodigious rates but not in equal quantities from plant to plant, how did Ford keep sequential numbers on the engines and frames? How did Long Beach, for example, know what numbers Seattle was using on, say, July 17, 1929? And who kept the master records? And how were they communicated?
Ray,

I was informed that all those records that may tell you what you want to know were destroyed in the Ford Rutunda fire back in the 60's.

Pluck
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

Not so. See plucks info above...
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

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Ray,

I was informed that all those records that may tell you what you want to know were destroyed in the Ford Rutunda fire back in the 60's.

Pluck
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

It's sad that an empire run by a man keen on history would lose its archives in a fire.Everything was documented at the Rouge,from rail time tables to heats in the blast furnace, records were kept.Every process was constantly scrutinized for time management and efficiency.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

Seams to me that I read somewhere that the numbers series are not completely full.. meaning that if engine #26 failed testing, it went into the hot soup and there was no #26.
That true.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

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Seams to me that I read somewhere that the numbers series are not completely full.. meaning that if engine #26 failed testing, it went into the hot soup and there was no #26.
That true.
The engines were numbered AFTER passing break in. They were sequential.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: How were the engines numbered?

I read you. Someone has copies of the hand documented engine numbers with #missing?
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