I bought my first model T and know very little about it.I know there is quite a controversy over distributor or timer and coils,water-pump or not. I'm not here to start a pissing match,just want to know what components I need to locate to change the T. The T I bought happens to have a distributor already. The 25 T runs well with the distributor,but I don't mind being open minded and testing both theories.
Thanks in advance for the help.
Have you checked the voltage output of the mag? If you have no mag or power from it and if your car is 6V, it may be good to stay with the distributor until the mag can be repaired. Coils will run on 6V battery but you will loose some performance over a 6V distributor or mag powered coils.
For rebuilt coils:
Ron Patterson or Brent Mize
For rebuilt mag coil rings:
Wally Suzmowski, "Total Recoil"
For coil box rebuild kits:
John Regan, "Fun Projects"
For new timers:
The Anderson style, available through the usual suppliers, e.g. Lang's, Snyder's, Bob's, etc.
There are other options for the above as well. I just reeled off some of the popular ones with no negative thoughts as to the others. Contact info for all of the above should be available through a Google search and by searching this forum.
Jerry is on target. One thing I would add is that for a timer, some prefer New Day if you can find one old enough. There are some reproductions from several years ago that have a poor reputation.
I would definitely test the mag first. Search the archives for how to do this with an analog meter and 1156 light bulb. A weak mag can be caused by weak magnets which can be recharged in the car. No output, may be as simple as a poor connection where the terminal touches the mag ring inside. Of course, it could also be as complicated as not even having magnets or a mag ring. Mag ring replacement will require the engine be pulled. Having a T that runs well on Mag is a very rewarding experience. It will run OK on 12 volts and coil, but you have to be careful not to let a coil buzz continuously on 12v for long or it will overheat, but it is an option if your mag is shot and don't want to pull the engine right away.
Thanks for the help. The T is on 12 volt already.
I have so far fought the starter Bendix spring issue. I think I have won that battle. I put a different drive on the starter. I will search on testing the Mag.I kinda want to pull the engine anyway to check the lower end. For now I'm just enjoying the putting around.
The Mag. business is definitely good advice as the distributor may have been a former owner's reason for installing it in the first place. As stated, you can run coils on a 6 or 12 volt battery anyway. The question is what still exists on the car. Wiring, is the coil box still there? In other words what will it cost to change just for the sake of change. Distributor T's are quite common. Common enough to be "acceptable". It's a good system and it works. It has it's maintenance bits just like the coil set-up. So you're roughly looking at buying a coil box, re-installing wiring, 4 re-built HCC'd coils and a timer (old style Ford roller or New Day, whatever). Probably a couple of hundred scheckels if you're lucky. The fact is Stan if you have a well maintained dist. system and go to a well maintained coil system you won't see an increase in performance. You might not notice any difference at all. You're new to T's and you have a good running car. Learn to drive it & enjoy it. Join a local club and possibly find out how to get what you need at better prices to change over later on if you still want to.
Make sure you are measuring the mag voltage correctly. You have to use an analog meter, a digital will not work.
Read this thread:
Including this link:
Once you do that you should have a very good idea if the mag is working or not.
I run coils and Tiger timers on both my T's. If I were a newbie with a good running Model T with a distributor, I would leave it be and drive it and enjoy it.
Stanley: Are you trying to out do the paycheck thread? Dan
Stanley, you don't need to pull the engine on a T to check the lower end. You can pull the pan cover without dropping the oil, as most of the oil stays in the tranny and little is in the dips. You can check the lower rod bushings and button her back up in an hour or two. I checked and took out .002 from several of mine the afternoon my son drove it to the Sr. Prom. If you have a 4 dip pan on your 25, you can even check the rear as well as the middle main bearings. I agree with the above, check the mag output before deciding to replace the distributor. You could even try an "in the car recharge" if it's dead and see if it comes back to life. Someone may have shorted it out in the past and demagnetized it. I don't think I'd pull the engine and open it up unless the car wasn't working right. If you are going to do it, however, now is better than in the summer touring season.
Stanley there's no way I'd keep a distributor on that model t. Those cars were made to run without waterpumps, distributors, on only 6 volts and Champion X plugs. You do not need a thermostat. It's illegal to put anything but antifreeze in the radiator. And it seems i'm forgetting something... Let me think. Oh hey, I've got it only and this is a biggie, only run 30 wt non-detergent oil. Oh, I just thought of something else, don't run jackrabbit clutches. Can anyone think of anything else? Well that should be enough for now. Ok, if everyone is ready, at the sound of the bell, let the good times roll.
If the magneto doesn't work, it really isn't a problem. I have run our '14 Touring with Model T coils and no magneto for 15 years now. I pulled all the magnets and put flippers on to move the oil. It only has a 6V sealed battery for ignition. It will run probably a couple days worth of touring without a need for a charge. The batteries are so cheap (about $25 ea and last for several years) that we have two. One is charged while the other is in service. That way, no worry about a "low battery". We completed many miles with this set-up and no problems what-so-ever. Three major tours this past summer. Here's a picture of the battery & charger.
Stanley, im doing the same thing your looking at. Enjoy the car and collect all the parts while your at it. the original ignition is facinating and as efficient as a distributor or other modern ignitions if set up properly.
like others have said,
Timer (pick your poison)
Wiring (very inexpensive for a kit)
also a magneto output post if you dont have one.
The Magneto is the most difficult part, and its a pretty involved job setting one up. But all the info is available and if you need magnets they show up all over the place.
One thing I didn't see mentioned above. You will will need to change the front cover. The distributor cover and timer covers are different. http://www.modeltford.com/item/3009CU.aspx
assuming he has that type of distributor which is much less common.
Yet a further expense if needed. I assumed, wrongly I guess, that the dist. just mounted to existing covers.
Love that Archer Universal AC Adaptor!!
Hey, what's a "HANDHELD COMPUTER" ?
"Yet a further expense if needed. I assumed, wrongly I guess, that the dist. just mounted to existing covers."
You're not wrong. Most distributors fit on the existing covers. It's the few Bosch and Atwater Kent front plate styles that use a special front plate. Those probably account for less than 10 percent of distributors in use. Count yourself lucky if you have one these in good shape, they sell for $250 - $350.
If I were you Stan I would keep it like it is and agree with Ted Dumas
If it were mine, I would pull the hogs head and examine the magneto and transmission to be sure no loose parts are there. While there also examine the oil line to be sure it is clear. If you don't find anything which could cause transmission or engine trouble, go ahead and drive it with the distributor. If you are planning to pull the engine/transmission for other work, that would be the best time to restore the magneto and convert to coils.
Verne , is the charger on all the time the battery is out ,is it automatic ,so no overcharge?
We have several battery outlets here in town. They specialize in all kinds of batteries. They will even open up and rebuild your obsolete battery powered drill batteries. I go on their recommendation which is to charge them for about 24 hours when they are low. So, after a day or two's touring, I charge the battery for 24 hours. If it is not used for a long period of time, it probably wouldn't hurt to charge them once in a while (once every couple of months for 24 hours). In my opinion, these batteries take a lot of abuse and keep on going. Mine last for like 5 years or so. For around $25/battery, that's pretty cheap in my book! They don't leak and can be placed in any position (but I try to always keep mine upright). I run my 2-cyl Buick on one of them also. They will run an ignition system just fine. Now, lights or a starter...no, those require too much amperage.
Good to see you want to change you T back to original! A T just isn't a T without coils!
Verne - For a good running engine with a defective magneto, I think your system is great! 999 people out of 1,000 would love your touring car and couldn't care less what made the spark plugs fire! Only thing I wonder about is, because a "T" will run even better at higher rpm's with 12 volts than 6 volts, would your system be even better with a 12 volt battery? Just wondering your thoughts on this,.....harold
I have run the car on 12V and could see no increase in performance. Since it does fine on 6V, I couldn't see putting extra stress on the system by running 12V.
Every so often I will forget to charge the battery. Such was the case a while back on a parade in Burrton, KS. We made the parade OK and had a nice dinner, then took off for home. The car began to lose power about 15 miles from home. My daughter, having experienced this problem before, says, "did you charge the battery?" "Well, actually...no...I forgot." It was getting dark. The car was running but getting weaker. I figured I might be able to make it and planned a route which had the least amount of traffic stops. I turned off all non-essential electrical equipment...wait a minute, the only electrical equipment I have is the ignition!!! We kept going. As we got closer, it began to pop a little more until we finally made it to the driveway and it died. We made it! I looked over to my daughter and said confidently, "I knew all along we would make it." And, I couldn't resist the opportunity to put in a plug for Engineers everywhere when I told her, "I really knew exactly when the battery was going to quit, I was just testing my theory!"
Vern, that is pure gold and should be included in the next "Men's Book of Confident Communication" that we all seem to live by.
Stanley, FWIW I also feel a T is best with coils as that is one of the bits that makes it what it is. I still would rather be out driving it though, so if it took a disturbutor to do that, so be it. I say enjoy it and keep gathering the parts and info you need until you are ready to make the change back to stock. You will surely increase your smiles per gallon.