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Old 05-11-2019, 06:33 AM   #21
ericr
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

we talk a lot here about body fitment issues and given the way these cars were cranked out, with rare assembly line rejects, it amazes me what quality control they must have had in fabricating metal body parts. the '30-'31 models had improved body design learned from the earlier models so they obviously studied body construction constantly and carefully.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:57 AM   #22
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

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The Dearborn engineering lab building was built after World War I so that is where all the "New Car" engineering was happening. Ford built all the Tudor sedans in house with all the steel, huge presses, and assembly jigs that they needed already set up in the Rouge.


Again, I don't believe that is an accurate statement. It is known that Budd was the engineering force behind design-work on several bodies such as Tudors, Phaetons, Roadsters, Commercial vehicles, etc., -and they are the ones that produced prototypes and such so that Ford could take their design work and go in to production. FWIW, on quite a few occasions, I have been to Antique Auto Sheetmetal (Brookville) and I have been privileged to look at their dies up close. Dies are very complex and it has been explained to me that it takes stamping many pieces before you see certain areas that wear prematurely that must be corrected. It is believable that Budd produced many panels and when they had perfected the process, they shipped the master die for each component to a location such as the Rouge where it could be duplicated for the other branches to stamp with.


I also believe I can prove some of that by looking at factory prints that will have their drawing dates and EI notes that would be following the dates seen on Budd's photographs. I will be going back to Bensen in the next few weeks and will look at some of that if time allows.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:30 AM   #23
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

They were buying the land and planning the layout in that time frame but they only had enough built by 1917 to manufacture the Ford & Son Tractors. He first had to buy out the share holders in order to get enough control to build the rest of the project which included getting the government to dredge the Rouge river so that the ships could come in and dock for iron, coal, & limestone they needed to work the two blast furnaces they were building. The Government took care of the dredging so they could get the Eagle boats that Ford was building into the water for the WWI contract on them.

The Dodge brothers brought the lawsuit against Ford Motors for suspending the dividends and asking for an injunction to stop the Rouge project. The courts were favorable to Ford on the injunction since WWI made the Rouge a necessity for the war effort. Due to all this, the Rouge project was only set up well enough to perform limited manufacturing until the lawsuit was settled by the Michigan State Supreme Court in February of 1919. This allowed Ford to present the share holders with the buyout after paying the back dividends to them. Ford was the largest share holder by then so he didn't have to pay himself. Ford told the shareholders that he was going to build cars under the Ford & Son name if they didn't want to sell their shares. The buy out was offered and agreed upon by all parties and the money was paid for $105M. Jim Couzens was the largest share holder so he got the lions share of $29.3M but he knew Henry well enough to get the best price. Not bad for an original investment of $2,500. The Dodge Brothers got $25M for their original $10K investment. Ford paid for it all by selling off overstock inventory of product and outdated equipment surplus to their needs. This quickly paid off a note he had arranged for $60M of the buy out amount.

The Rouge plant set up really started to get going in 1920 and by 1923 the blast furnaces were in full operation. It just kept building up as time and needs allowed after that. Design testing and tooling up for the model A took 9 months from model T shut down to start up of the A. Edsel and Henry only knocked heads on changes like the transmission and the brakes which isn't bad considering the way the father and son got along. They muddled through and got it into production. The next major change was tooling up for the V8 in 1931 & 32 and so it went on.

Ford had Keller machines to make the dies from the patterns made at the engineering labs. They also had some new presses that would do all but the largest of bodies. If you compare the Lincoln car designs to the model A designs, you can see some resemblance. Edsel Ford and his team were responsible for all the design work with final approval from Dad. Budd Co had the machines to be able to do the long van bodies and they were a subcontractor so Ford used them but the design patterns came from Ford and they always did when dealing with outside contractors. Budd told them what would work and what would not so they had final say about what they could press out in their shops.

Budd co was always a busy company so it didn't need Ford as much other contractors did. This site details what they did for Ford in the model A era as well as all the other multitude of manufacturers. http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/b/budd/budd.htm

Last edited by rotorwrench; 05-11-2019 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:44 AM   #24
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

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Ford had Keller machines to make the dies from the patterns made at the engineering labs. They also had some new presses that would do all but the largest of bodies. If you compare the Lincoln car designs to the model A designs, you can see some resemblance. Edsel Ford and his team were responsible for all the design work with final approval from Dad. Budd Co had the machines to be able to do the long van bodies and they were a subcontractor so Ford used them but the design patterns came from Ford and they always did when dealing with outside contractors. Budd told them what would work and what would not so they had final say about what they could press out in their shops.

Budd co was always a busy company so it didn't need Ford as much other contractors did. This site details what they did for Ford in the model A era as well as all the other multitude of manufacturers. http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/b/budd/budd.htm


I wondered if that is where you were getting your info, as that site has been known to provide content from other sources/sites/books that are/were incorrect. Much like siting an old RG&JS book from 1980s vs. using the latest revision. Much info has been found since that time period that contradicts what the old resources stated. The info on the coachbuilt site is erroneous.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:55 AM   #25
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

Interesting history tidbit about tudor sedan bodies,over 1000 bodies were rejected and scrapped at assembly during the line startup in 27/28.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:58 AM   #26
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

They also had a problem with the front brakes during development.Ford and Farkas both worked the issue.This could be the reason the front brake wedge blueprint is a thing of beauty..
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:38 PM   #27
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

There are some interesting era photos on Vince Falters 'Ford Garage 'site taken at Budd which show '28'29 Tudor & Sedan Delivery stamped panels, also '30 roadster & phaeton body panels. Cheers Tom.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:35 PM   #28
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

Most of my info came from either Charlie Sorensen's book or the book "The Model A As Henry Built It". Budd Co was a contractor to Ford but the way I've always read it, they only built the truck cabs and various delivery bodies as complete bodies in the model A era. They may have made a lot of bare stampings for Ford but I haven't read anything other than the big van stuff and truck stuff as completed body units. When a company is cranking out cars from 35 different assembly plants with different tooling levels at more than a million vehicles a year then it takes a lot of materials and contractors to do all that. There is no doubt that Ford couldn't do it all in those years. I also don't know where all the stuff assembled in Canada was made. Some was coming from the US but I have no idea how much or from what companies.

Budd Co did a lot more work for Chrysler than they ever did for Ford but they were also doing it at plants in Europe as well and some of the European Ford companies were independent from Ford USA. Budd was also building the rail cars as well. Ford knew their capabilities came at a price so there may have been limitations about how much they let Budd do for them. Briggs and Murray were a lot more hungry than Budd and I don't know what all they made in house either. They may have subcontracted stuff as long as it didn't throw a wrench in there dealings with Ford Motors. They made their profit on quantity and they didn't pay as well as Ford did. Ford could keep them on a leash but Budd Co, not so much. Ford did a lot in house after they cranked up the Rouge or they never would have been able to offer the cars as low a price as they did. All the engines for US production and some foreign production were made at the rouge. They were shipped as engine & transmission assemblies by the rail car loads and so were frames and running gear. Contractors allowed Ford to keep up with manufacturing and sales of the model As or there would be a lot less of them around for certain.

If you look at Vince Falters site. Most of the information about Budd Co is listed as body panels developed by Budd and not body built by Budd as they do with Briggs and Murray. This was why I mentioned previously that Budd had to approve that they could make a panel in their presses. Since the presses were theirs, they were the only ones who could tell a manufacturer whether they could make a proper part for them. Pressing steel is tricky so when they had to do the work, they had to make sure that they could do it with minimal blemishes to the panels. There wasn't any company that had more experience in the business than they did. If the manufacturer's idea for a panel didn't work then further development had to be done to get it to work and I'm sure they were involved back and forth with the Ford Engineering Lab on that stuff. As far as the design, I'd be certain that it was kept to the Ford Motors basic design for each vehicle body they wanted to produce.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 05-11-2019 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:24 PM   #29
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

Correction Guys - Mis step - Ford Motor Company was and is not known as Ford Motors...
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:28 PM   #30
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

Interesting stuff ! Can anyone offer more on the development of the scripted Ford logo/trademark ?
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:03 AM   #31
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

I am interested in knowing more of what Ford Canada was doing in the A era. They did import from US some built up bodies , mostly the low volume coach built types but what of the high volume Tudor, Coupe, Phaeton etc? It seems probable that some body stamping was done given that most of the chassis & running gear, with some exceptions, was manufactured wholly in Canada by Canadian subsidiaries. I have read that fenders were done there, by Dominion Forge, but have found no other reference. Body stampings comprised such a small component of a complete car that it may not have been necessary except the body to be assembled & finished in Canada. Does anyone know more on this?


Re the Ford logo, it was designed in about 1907 & the oval surround came in 1928 with the Model A. Cheers- Tom in NZ.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:21 AM   #32
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

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Interesting stuff ! Can anyone offer more on the development of the scripted Ford logo/trademark ?

I had read somewhere that it was simply taken off of one of those diagrams that used to hang in schoolrooms (maybe they still do) displaying the cursive alphabet....that it was a casual choice, not something terribly thought out, kinda like the Chevrolet bowtie.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:25 AM   #33
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Default Re: how much assembly did Assembly Plants do?

I had mentioned Clarence Avery before but I was wrong about that. It was one of Ford's first employees C. Harold Wills that was the calligrapher who is credited with the cursive script. He went to work for Ford back when they were still setting up for the original model A production at the Mack road plant.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childe_Wills

There are several styles of cursive capital letters and he chose the one that was used for the capital F and the flowing design.

It's a lot harder to find information about Ford of Canada. It was set up as a licensed manufacturer of Canada and they had a lot of their own manufacturing to a large degree but not as much as Ford USA. Henry Ford had nothing to do with their operation other than keeping an eye on them in taking care with the Ford reputation. It is no coincidence that they made largely the same product as Ford USA.

Ford of France, Germany, and Russia did things on their own but using some licensed patterns from Ford USA and purchasing some of the products. Ford of UK, France, and Germany used their own styling in their cars. The UK factory at Dagenham was set up by Ford USA so they did have some control there but they also had to deal with UK trade and taxation laws. This made the UK product different than in the USA by necessity.

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Old 05-12-2019, 09:11 AM   #34
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Correction Guys - Mis step - Ford Motor Company was and is not known as Ford Motors...
I generally don't refer to it that way unless I am pressed on time. It's human nature to abbreviate but it is not correct. I refer to Ford of the Henry Ford II era as FoMoCo but I don't do that in the pre Henry Ford II era out of respect. Ford didn't start using the FoMoCo name till the 1950s.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:26 AM   #35
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In initial development the brake drum and wheel were incorporated as one unit by design and was tested.Charles Sorenson killed the idea with logic when it was presented to him for consideration of manufacturing.He felt the car owner changing a tire and wheel by the side of the road could damage the braking system. The idea was abandoned and brake drums were used.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:57 AM   #36
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I had mentioned Clarence Avery before but I was wrong about that. It was one of Ford's first employees C. Harold Wills that was the calligrapher who is credited with the cursive script. He went to work for Ford back when they were still setting up for the original model A production at the Mack road plant.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childe_Wills

There are several styles of cursive capital letters and he chose the one that was used for the capital F and the flowing design.

It's a lot harder to find information about Ford of Canada. It was set up as a licensed manufacturer of Canada and they had a lot of their own manufacturing to a large degree but not as much as Ford USA. Henry Ford had nothing to do with their operation other than keeping an eye on them in taking care with the Ford reputation. It is no coincidence that they made largely the same product as Ford USA.

Ford of France, Germany, and Russia did things on their own but using some licensed patterns from Ford USA and purchasing some of the products. Ford of UK, France, and Germany used their own styling in their cars. The UK factory at Dagenham was set up by Ford USA so they did have some control there but they also had to deal with UK trade and taxation laws. This made the UK product different than in the USA by necessity.

I think the early Model Ts had a more of a tail on the "F" and the "D" that was removed..


PS didn't European states impose some kind of regulation on cars such that it behooved companies to build longer stroke engines?
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:10 AM   #37
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C. Harold Wills that was the calligrapher who is credited with the cursive script.
From "Tin Lizzie": As a boy he had a little printing press, when a trademark was needed he found some of his old script type in his attic. He made an impression of the word "Ford" which was adopted by the company.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:36 AM   #38
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Its a well known story,when Harold Hicks, a trimotor engineer, was brought in to raise the A engine HP.He redesigned the cooling around the exhaust valves,designed that beautiful exhaust manifold and used a Zenith carburetor,got them 40 hp on the brake,an outstanding achievement,something that stumped Sheldrick and his staff...But what lesser known is at the same time he brought to Mr. Ford's attention the pronounced main bearing 'thump',and how he,and the rest of the engine engineering staff felt the crankshaft journals were too small..Mr Ford felt the heavy flywheel and crankshaft were fine,and took umbrage to Hick's temerity..from that point forward Hicks input was minimized,and he ultimately left Ford in '36.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:20 AM   #39
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This link has an interesting story about Harold Hicks' work on the model A engine. It's always interesting to read about someone else's perspective on an event in history and especially when it's from the man who was there doing it. There is always two sides to a story. It's a good read. Hicks went back to Ford Motor Co after most of the old timers were gone in 1946.
http://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/c...9coll2/id/6468

Europe was a group of separate countries in that time frame so they all had different regulations to abide by. The UK had different tax regulation on the size and horse power an engine could be. This led to some interesting ways of computing horse power. It was a lot different political environment in Europe than the USA was at the time and it's still different in a lot of ways.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:42 PM   #40
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The oral histories are a fascinating first hand perspective..hours of reading enjoyment..
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