Tried to charge the magnets on my T. Engine is out of the car and the hogs head is off. Engine is in an east west direction. Found north on the mag using a compass. Aligned north magnet with a south magnet on the coil. Have three batteries connected in series measuring 36 volts. Placed positive jumper cable on terminal of coil ring. Touch negative to ground. Coil ring and magnets moved towards each other. Saw visible sparks. Zapped four or five times in each of four quadrants. No difference in magnets- did not charge. Coil ring has continuity. Help_why no difference?
How did you measure the magnets?
Did the magnets contact the coil ring during the charge? Maybe you have a crankshaft end play problem.
What is the min and max gap between the magnets and coil ring?
Where did you see the sparks?
You should get better results Richard. No doubt you have done lots of reading here but just refresh yourself and make sure you have the correct pair of magnets to the left of the magneto post when applying the positive side of yer battery bank to the magneto post.
According to the literature a charged magnet should hold a two pound weight. My magnets won't hold a socket. I don't know if the coil ring and magnets touched but I saw movement. Gap is about 15 to 25 thousandths.. Sparks visible when negative cable touched ground.
I just got home from buying wire to make a charger, so I've been looking at the MTFCA Electrical System book. With the flywheel uncovered, you should be aiming your electromagnet at the pairs of magnet ends.
"The electromagnet is positioned with its north pole in contact with a south pole on the magneto. Now energize the electromagnet...four or five times, of about one second duration. The recharging effect is accomplished when the connection is made and when it's turned off, so keeping the high current flowing is unnecessary and will cause the coil to overheat."
If you don't have the MTFCA books, they're a good investment.
Richard, I have a meter to measure the magnetic strength and a magnet that just holds a two pound weight is at the minimum charge for operation.
The critical dimension is the distance between the magnet pole piece and the coil pickup piece. If you can see the crankshaft move, it is probably excessive. It produced a much higher charge in the magnets by using this device and placing it on each pole and then hitting the button for three zaps. This charge can be done with the engine in the car and the transmission cover removed.
The device is made with 100 turns of #12 solid wire and is attached to a 6 volt battery for power. It will draw about 35 amps from a good battery.
You do not even need a compass. Just hold the charging pole (either one) between two poles of the same magnet and hit the switch. The magnet charger will jump on the right pole. Center it up on the magnet end and give it three more zaps. move to the adjacent magnet and repeat the zaps. Turn the device over and move to the other leg of the magnet you just zapped and give it three zaps. continue on around the flywheel.
Richard, the 2 lb weight is if the magnets are removed from the flywheel and charged individually. I have never had one hold that weight when put back on the flywheel. KB
I have charged them in the method shown above and charged them by placing the same device on the magnet poe pieces. The green tape identified north poles. This was my first test, but I soon noticed the tape was not required as the poles align correctly when the button is pressed.
Doing individual measurements on the magnet ends with a new Gaussmeter showed a lot higher charge was obtained by placing the the charger as shown above, which leads me to believe the in car charging is not possibly very effective, especially with no actual contact.
Charging the magnets individually with a full contact of the magnet end also produces a much higher charge.
The book also suggests that after you charge all the magnets around the flywheel, repeat the process a couple more times. I don't know how much it helps, but it sounds like a good idea.
That might help a lot, if the spacing between the magnet poles and the coil poles are not equally distant all the way around. I always ignored that step.
As they say on the late-night TV ads -- BUT WAIT!!!
You say you saw sparks when you touched things together. FROM WHERE???
Could something be shorting out in the coils? Like broken windings.
I don't have the green (price copper wire if you don't have it) to make a unit like above so I recharge the magnets when out and on the flywheel using the mag coil ring which is in contact with the magnets. The transmission rebuild book shows it being done this way. Has worked for me so far.
James, that's a very nice looking mag recharger, is there a chance i could get you to explane it's construction a little more, and possibly a material list.
James I would be keen as well for plans. Regards simon
Peter, I talked with Rich on the phone last night, as we share a mutual friend. I asked him about the sparks.
The sparks were observed when he touched the - cable to the engine frame, which is normal for the current drawn by the Mag coil assembly. The + terminal was firmly attached to the Mag post.
I had a situation a few years ago where the + cable slipped off the Mag post and made a lot of sparks on the transmission cover, while drawing a lot of current. The - cable was clamped solid near the starter. When I tried to align the flywheel again, the compass would point directly toward the cover as a north pole anyplace on the transmission cover, even on the pedals. Later, after removing the cover and checking it all over again, a small area was found near the starter attachment area where the compass would point to the cover indicating a south pole.
That has only happened twice, but it is best to ensure a good attachment at the Mag post to avoid turning the whole transmission cover into a magnet.
A large coil of wire hooked to 115 VAC used to be used to demagnetize television picture tubes and could probably still be used to demagnetize a transmission cover, if one was available.
The coil ring draws sufficient current that smoke will appear in just a few seconds if the ring has a shorted coil.
Only 3 to 6 volts placed on the coil ring will identify a short with the transmission cover removed, if a compass is passed from one coil to the next. The compass will alternately point to north and south as it is moved around the ring. Only the top coils can be tested in this manner, but the bottom coils have to be OK to pass the test on both sides in the top area.
The white area in this photo is smoke caused by a shorted coil.
This thread has prompted me to try something that has been in the works for several months.
Today I made a Simple Magnet Charger to test the importance of just a few turns of wire.
I took a piece of 1 inch plastic sink drain pipe and cut it into two four inch sections.
Then I wound 26 turns of Solid #12 house wire on each tube. The important detail here is when the tubes are in a straight line with each other, the wire on the second tube continues to be wound in the same direction.
I attached quick disconnect splices to the end for use with my other energizer with the push button and ammeter.
I placed a 3/4th inch by 5 inch steel bar in each test coil and measured the value with current applied. That test pegged my 30 amp meter, so the actually current was between 65 and 75 amps best guess. The readings ended up the same when testing both coils. The steady value was 830 Gauss and the peak was 910 Gauss.
Then I randomly selected a V magnet and measured the strength. This magnet was removed from an old flywheel, sand blasted clean and painted to prevent rust. The North pole measured 231 Gauss and the South pole measured 275 Gauss for a 253 Gauss average reading. The magnet easily and firmly picked up a 1 5/8th pound weight and would pick up the 2.25 pound piston on occasion, if properly set on top.
I established which pole was north and then put the magnet in wrong anyway. I gave the magnet three short 1 second charges at about 70 amps, best guess. This resulted in charging the magnet in the other direction, so North became South and vice versa.
The charged magnet readings were North at 340 Gauss steady with a 342 Gauss peak and South at 326 Gauss steady and 335 Gauss peak. The magnet will now firmly pick up the piston from any angle or setting and donít seem to want to let go at all.
There has been a lot of discussion on whether the magnet will hold the charge long when charged in the wrong direction. I should know the answer to that question in a month or two and also know if a repeated charge procedure will increase the magnets strength.
This Simple Magnet charger will definitely charge the magnets well enough to produce a good magneto.
Another Question or Concern
Another question or concern was whether the charge would be higher, if the charging coil had a U shaped core installed. Not having one available, it was decided to substitute another magnet for the core and charge two at one time. Magnets #3 and #4 were placed together in the proper order to boost the original charge, if possible.
I established which pole was north and then put the magnet in the right way for this test. I gave the magnet three short 3 second charges at about 70 amps, best guess. The magnets were removed with some difficulty, as they did not want to separate this time.
The charged #3 magnet readings were North at 471 Gauss steady with a 472 Gauss peak and South at 428 Gauss steady and 431 Gauss peak. Again, this magnet will also firmly pick up the piston from any angle or setting and didnít seem to want to let go at all.
The charged #4 magnet readings were North at 394 Gauss steady with a 420 Gauss peak and South at 439 Gauss steady and 439 Gauss peak. Again, this magnet will also firmly pick up the piston from any angle or setting and didnít seem to want to let go at all.
While this method provided an increased charge, an additional charge in the single magnet configuration did not increase the charge, but according to the theories for magnetism, more turns of the coil wires would increase the magnetic charge considerably.
James, with 26 turns on each leg and 75 amps current, you're getting 3900 amper-turns on your magnet.
Consoliver* states that 5000 ampere-turns are required to recharge Ford magnets.
How much weight will one of your magnets recharged by this method pick up?
Any way that you can measure the actual current. I suspect that it may be higher than your guesstimate.
* Automotive Electricity by Earl L. Consoliver
(my copy is 1932)
Ken, I have a -60 - 0 - + 60 ammeter here someplace. That is about the highest I have available. I'm going to look for a higher reading one this week.
The weight a magnet will pick up appears to be directly related to the total contact area of the surface and the smoothness of the piston top.
250 Gauss will pick up the 2.25 pound piston I am using, but due to the angle of the magnets ends, there is very little actual surface
Consoliver may be a little off with his calculations. My repro HCCT magnets measure less than 200 Gauss average value and the coil ring pole to magnet pole gap is between .035 and .040.
That HCCT provides about 6.5 volts at a fast crank speed, which is still slower that would be available in a running engine. I suspect the mag would be weak and still functional in a car.
"The weight a magnet will pick up appears to be directly related to the total contact area of the surface and the smoothness of the piston top."
Try picking up a bunch of 1/4" nuts and/or small washers and/or some other small bits & pieces, see what you get picked up, then remove it and weigh it.