Monday - Friday
Contact us
Popular Research Topics
Ford Motor Company Parts Drawings (1903 -1957)

The Ford Motor Company engineering parts drawing collection consists of microfiche copies of the original blueprints. During the 1940s, Ford Motor Company copied all of their parts drawings onto microfiche and destroyed the blueprints. It is understood that this had been done for storage purposes, because microfilm takes up less physical space and has a longer lifespan than paper, and also as a guard against espionage during wartime production. This collection includes Ford/Lincoln/Mercury passenger vehicles and trucks, military vehicles, tractor, and Tri-Motor airplane parts drawings. Read on for details about the parts drawing collection and how to obtain copies.

THF24562 THF24563 THF24566
Ford Archives staff working with the parts drawings on microfiche, 1949 -1950

How many parts drawings are there? How are they stored?
Over 1 million parts drawings are available. The parts drawings are stored on 4x5” pieces of 70mm microfiche in manila envelopes.

What is the time period covered by the parts drawings?
The parts drawings cover 1903 to 1957.  The collection is comprehensive, but not complete.

Which Ford models have parts drawings available?
Parts drawings are available for Model T, Pre-Model T, TT, A, AA, Lincoln, Mercury, and Ford vehicles and trucks, as well as WWII military vehicles and Tri-Motor airplanes.

What types of parts drawings are there?
Since the parts drawings were used for various purposes, they have been broken down into the following categories which provide different types of information:

  • Assembly drawings show all components of each assembly and their individual parts, but show few, if any measurements. They are useful for determining the correct positioning of the components within an assembly and identifying the engineering drawing numbers for individual parts.
  • Individual parts drawings show the design, specifications, and notations of an individual component within an assembly.
  • Forging or Casting drawings show a part with measurements at different stages of the part development.
  • SK or Experimental drawings are sketches that were used to develop new parts or show specific information about how a part was assembled. They can also show a side view of a vehicle with measurements of a specific part such as the passenger compartment. These drawings include notes and instructions made by Ford Engineers for the benefit of the managers and foremen who were charged with assembling the vehicles.
  • Releases or Engineering Changes include textual information on production release dates for parts, including dates of parts design changes, descriptions of what was changed, reasons for the changes that were made, and on what models the parts were used.
  • Miscellaneous engineering records include charts, paint specifications, utility parts, engine cap sheets, engineering changes, engineering information, and materials specifications.

Microfiche of drawing SK-3520-A1
(Dated March 7, 1923)

What information is provided on the drawings?
Each drawing has a drawing number and the latest revision date noted in the corner. Some drawings provide measurements and some call-out sub assembly numbers to other part drawings. Revision dates vary, as some drawings were updated daily and others went many years without revision.

Envelope for drawing SK-3520-A1. Dated March 7, 1923

How does one find a part drawing?
The parts drawings are organized by factory/part numbers. You will need to know this number in order to access/search for part drawings. The parts drawings have prefixes that indicate the model (e.g. T for Model T) and suffixes (A, A1, B, etc.) that indicate the engineering level or changes that have been made to the part. The drawings are arranged in groupings (Pre-T, Model T, Model A, Post-Model A, Tractor, Military, Tri-Motor). Within each grouping they are arranged by chassis, body, standard, and utility parts.

Is there an index I can look at?
At this time, there are only indexes available for the Model A, Model T, and Tri-Motor drawings. Indexes do not exist for the other models. The Model A, T and Tri Motor indexes are currently available for viewing in the BFRC reading room. Only one of these indexes is available online, and that is the Model A Ford Parts Drawing Index that is accessible through the Model A Ford Foundation International (MAFFI) website: http://www.maffi.org/partsresearch/.

What is the procedure for ordering copies of drawings?
There are two services that are offered. The first one is for customers who can visit us onsite in the reading room. The second option is for offsite orders, for those who are unable to visit the reading room.

  • Onsite: You can print out your own copies of parts drawings by using a microfiche reader/printer. The fee is $5 per microfiche. (This service is not available for offsite researchers).
  • **Offsite: You must fill-out, sign, and return with payment, the following Parts Drawing Order Form: http://www.thehenryford.org/pdf/parts_form.pdf
    • Fees: The fee is $30 per drawing.
    • Payments can be made with a credit card or check. If paying by check, make the check out to "The Henry Ford".
    • Copies are delivered as high resolution digital scans on CD.

        Digital scan of drawing SK-3520-A1
        Dated March 7, 1923.

**You must provide the part(s) drawing(s) number(s). If you do not know the engineering or factory part number, we will research the numbers for you at an additional cost of $35 per hour. For a detailed description of our research services, please see our website: http://www.thehenryford.org/research/services/remote.aspx

Restrictions for Commercial Use
The Henry Ford is not part of the Ford Motor Company. We are a separate, nonprofit institution. We have the parts drawings in our collection, and we can supply copies, but we cannot confer the right to manufacture reproduction parts for sale – you would need to contact the Ford Motor Company for that. Their contact for restoration parts licensing is:

Dennis Mondrach
Ford Component Sales, Suite 1000
290 Town Center Drive, Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 390-0949

If you still have questions or need further assistance, please email the Benson Ford Research Center at research.center@thehenryford.org