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Old 02-26-2024, 07:44 PM   #1
james1savage
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Default Tail light Wiring

I'm working on running a wiring harness to the back of the roadster for tail lights, and have a couple questions on the part the is at the bottom of the steering column.

First is I can't find any information or pictures online that match the existing part the basket and new wires are to connect to. Looks like there are 4 points of connection while all I see online are three points.

I also don't see the standard "ears" on each side of the column that the wire holder rotates on.

Can anyone shed any light on whats up with the bottom of my column?
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Old 02-26-2024, 07:52 PM   #2
lrf
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

Can you tell us the year of this "A"? The oil dip stick suggests an earlier '28? Maybe you have that rare E-28 switch, I don't know, I own '30s. LRF
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Old 02-26-2024, 07:56 PM   #3
Y-Blockhead
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

What year is your car. Your light switch looks early. Are you trying to mate early and later parts?
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Old 02-26-2024, 08:07 PM   #4
james1savage
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

The car is supposed to be a '29 however I do know it was re-pieced back together out of a number of barns and a field in a remote cattle ranch. So I'm guessing it's a combination of a coupe of years. I have no idea on the originality of the engine to the frame/car.

It is very possible the column is out of an earlier car than what I know.
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Old 02-26-2024, 08:35 PM   #5
Bob C
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

That looks like the first design switch used from the beginning of production through February 1928.
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Old 02-27-2024, 12:19 AM   #6
lrf
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

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Find the engine number and look for the stamped date that is on the left side of the fire wall under the hood. I think it's stamped on the upper part of the two piece fire wall. LRF
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Old 02-27-2024, 07:35 AM   #7
nkaminar
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

Is it possible for James to change out the early light switch for a later one? Or would a new steering box have to be installed?
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Old 02-27-2024, 09:07 PM   #8
brito36
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

The column does not match the light switch. You appear to have an Early '28 piece at the end of the column. An Early '28 has an open end bail like seen on your picture.
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Old 02-28-2024, 01:16 AM   #9
james1savage
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

I wonder if it would be easier and cheaper to source a new early 28 wiring harness for the lights etc. as opposed to sourcing a new column.
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

Switch plate on the repo harness is for the later switch. You need to find an early plate/puck and solder it in place of the new one.
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

I am not an expert on very early cars, but I would be tempted to buy/find a later bail and light switch and try to use that. There may be someone out there who is desperately trying to find those early parts and will pay dearly for them. See https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/p...6263&cat=41801 and https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/p...7902&cat=41748

You would still need to get the parts that are on the bottom of the switch rod to turn the light switch. There is a spring, a C clip and a "spider." You may also need a new rod. See https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/p...7951&cat=41750 and https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/p...7953&cat=41750 and https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/p...7950&cat=41750

Replace the grease fitting on the steering box with a plug. These have caused lots of confusion and grease being used instead of oil in the box. The Ford mechanics used a pump to fill the box with oil through the grease fitting.
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Last edited by nkaminar; 02-28-2024 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 03-05-2024, 11:40 AM   #12
james1savage
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

I've chatted with the fellows at Strong's Garage here in Alberta. We may be able to do a trade for a later column, they may have a guy looking for an early '28 column.

Thanks for everyone's input! I appreciate the sharing of your knowledge.
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Old 03-05-2024, 12:08 PM   #13
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

It is an early 7-tooth column & box assembly. It likely has the splined steering wheel coupling as well. 7- tooth and 2- tooth columns were both used in 1929 but the Gemmer 2-tooth is the more desirable one. Google the MAFCA wiring pdf for good light switch info with photos. They illustrate the different styles of switches. The 7-tooth gearbox is repairable and parts are available for restoration. The later type switch can be retrofitted if need be. Most of the 1929 model As have a keyed type steering shaft and steering wheel but a splined type would be fine for an early 1929 for authenticity.
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Old 03-05-2024, 12:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
It is an early 7-tooth column & box assembly. It likely has the splined steering wheel coupling as well. 7- tooth and 2- tooth columns were both used in 1929 but the Gemmer 2-tooth is the more desirable one. Google the MAFCA wiring pdf for good light switch info with photos. They illustrate the different styles of switches. The 7-tooth gearbox is repairable and parts are available for restoration. The later type switch can be retrofitted if need be. Most of the 1929 model As have a keyed type steering shaft and steering wheel but a splined type would be fine for an early 1929 for authenticity.
So is the two tooth and more desirable.
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Old 03-07-2024, 12:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tail light Wiring

The 2-tooth in it's short version is also getting harder to source for a good price even though parts have always been available for them. If all he can get is a 7-tooth then it's still usable. The more common long version of the 2-tooth Gemmer is more abundant but it has to be shortened to be correct for a 1929. I've shortened one and it works great but it's not a real easy job and it cost me more to change the steering wheel, replace the light switch/horn rod, and purchase a reproduction short steering shaft and worm. Shortening the column jacket and spark/throttle levers was also a challenge.
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