The 1909 – 1910 Model T Ford Part 3

A 1909 Model T in the rare Landaulet ( taximeter cab) body style. It is possible to build 90% of a 1909 Model T using nothing but reproduction parts. Buyer beware.

This particular car has exquisite detailing yet many things are not authentic or are improperly finished. Before spending big bucks on anything, educate yourself or bring an expert to inspect the goods in person.

The earliest 1909 Model T used a unique rear axle assembly. The drive shaft has Babbitt bearings front and rear. The front of the drive shaft housing is of the “two piece” design but is entirely different than those used from 1911 – 1914. The rear axle housings are made from drawn / stamped steel in several complex stamping operations. The rear axle housings have Babbitt bearings inboard on either side of the differential, with Hyatt roller bearings on the outer ends of each axle. Brake backing plates are smooth inside and outside. The axle shafts are machined the entire length. The ring gear is narrower than later ring gears and is riveted to the differential carrier housing.

The 1909 “No rivet” rear axle housing.

Brake shoes and the rear axle felt retainer were made from brass. This basic design continued for the first 15,000 cars, well into the 1910 model year.

Beginning in the late summer of 1909 some improvements were incorporated in the rear axle assembly. Brake shoes began to be made of cast iron. The felt seal caps on the axle ends were made from steel sheet. The pinion Babbitt bearing was eliminated, the drive shaft tube shortened, and a new separate pinion bearing housing with a Hyatt roller bearing was used. The ring gear was now bolted to the differential case.

Beginning at car serial number 15,000 ( and probably somewhat earlier) six rivets appeared on the axle housing on the sides of the center section. This signaled the end of using Babbitt inner axle bearings, with Hyatt bearings now on both ends of the axle shaft.

Smooth brake backing plate typical of 1909 – 1910

1910 “Six Rivet” rear axle housing on Bryan Ostergan’s lovely unrestored car.

Block style Ford script was used on 1909 – 1910 hub caps.

The rear wheels are retained by a pin on the 1909 – early 1911 Model T. Unscrewing a rear hub cap allows the pin to be driven out with a hammer and punch, allowing removal of the wheel. Note the shape of the early rear hub mimics the shape of the front hub, all look the same when the hub caps are in place.

1909 – mid 1910 hub on the left, 1911 – 27 hub on the right for comparison.

The rear axle shafts used from 1909 through mid 1911 model year have a square section drive keyway to accept the wheel drive key. There is a hole drilled thru the shaft for the wheel retaining pin.

The coupe bodies for 1910 retained the same basic shape as 1909, but were made wider for more passenger comfort. Owner: Don Snyder.

The photo above shows a rare Troy windshield on a 1909 Model T owned at the time by Dr. Art Burrichter. The windshield is not supposed to be leaning to the rear, apparently the locating rods have been misadjusted intentionally. The Troy windshield has a wood and brass frame. It was only used in 1909 model year.

Another fairly uncommon optional windshield was the Mezger Automatic. This windshield has two positions, either erected or folded to the rear. Two large latches are located at the center hinge, and two brass plated springs keep the windshield from rattling when it is folded to the rear against rubber stops molded into cups in the lower frame assembly.


Another view of the Mezger windshield mounted to a lovely 1909 Touring owned by the Wurdemann family currently on display at the Ford Piquette plant, Detroit Michigan.

Name plate at the center of the front side says “Mezger Automatic”. Note the two filled holes in the wood just above the hood former in the firewall.

It was also possible to order your Model T without a windshield in 1909 – 1910. In that case the top is equipped with a roll down clear acetate window. The window assembly attaches to the firewall with Murphy fasteners when in use.

Serial number 220 above, seen at the Ford Piquette Plant in Detroit Michigan.

Above, when not in use the acetate windshield is rolled up and strapped to the underside of the top. Shown is an original top in 1910 touring S/N 21904 owned by Bryan Ostergren.

Another view showing the roll up acetate windshield was supplied even on cars with an optional windshield, in this case one of many Rands variations.

The most common windshield brand used by Ford in 1909 was the Rands. The Rands windshield came in many variations, some with equal halves and some with the lower half being taller than the top half. Filler boards were supplied with the windshields and would vary in height in order that the windshield, when erected, would close the gap at the top for a semi – weather tight seal against the rolled up acetate windshield.

A 1910 Tourabout with a good looking dog “driver” is equipped with the complex and interesting Mezger Automatic Windshield.


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