What advantage does a E-Timer have over a True- fire? As far as I can tell from the discussions there are no advantages. The only time that I had trouble with my True-Fire was of my own making. The people that I know with first hand experience of True-Fire ignitions are very happy with them. The reason that I ask this is because the last remaining car I had with a magneto went dead and after all of the standard checks I have to pull the hogs head or engine to find out what the trouble is. I am tired of doing that.
George & All:
E-Timer is a electrical mini-processor in a standard Ford commutator. Appears standard Ford issue from the outside. Uses your standard Ford coils. The coil point terminals are hard wired, so point condition or adjustment plays no part in ignition performance like the standard coils. Capacitor replacement, I believe, will be beneficial, as in standard system. The whole system can be changed back to standard in a few minutes if you so desire. It works on battery power, 6 --8--12 VDC, your choice, on straight battery loss for stem winders or with battery/generator engines. No doubt you have read the earlier posts on the venture, takes little effort to search E-Timer related posts on the Forum.
Your magneto problems could be from 3rd main thrust clearance wear, magneto post problem, weak magnet strength, or a foreign item circulating in the oil physically breaking magneto post contact with field ring button...... been thru that before.
My post about the E-Timer is not a pat brochure answer , but is based on actual use. I am a beta-tester along with several in our "T-Crank-Yankers Chapter". We are very fortunate to be a small part in this venture.
I cannot speak of the other system you mention since I have no first hand experience, only from what I've seen from their website. I'm sure it will please some, & some won't. That's life.
Yes, I do appreciate the standard Ford ignition system & it's workings. Our '26 Runabout hand cranked started on magneto on cold mornings as well as electric start.
I am the "T-Crank-Yanker's Coilman" . I have been rebuilding coils for 10 years with lots of satisfied customers, and some not so satisfied... trusting their own coil understandings, not the HCCT calibrations.... here again such is life.
Today I will be going for a 30 mile ride with the top up. The '26 has been outside since yesterday in clear 25 degree cold. I expect the E-Timer ignition to fire up just as easily & reliably as in warmer weather..... and if not, hey, it's part of the beta-testing & the problem will be corrected..... more later !
From what I understand, the two main 'advantages' over the True-Fire or the original system is that there is automatic spark advance so that you don't have to worry with the spark lever after an initial simple calibration procedure each time you start the engine. The other is that the performance of the engine is enhanced. I've yet to have anyone explain to me why. It is my assumption that the computer program in the E-timer is better able to make the decision and therefore adjustment to the timing than the average T owner. And as Seth has pointed out before, it eliminates the 22.5 degree steps in timing of the original system running on MAG.
What I would like to know: Say my T runs on 12v battery, so the coil ramp up time is similar to MAG operation, but I have infinite adjustment of the advance within its range. Say my timer is perfectly centered on the camshaft. Say I have the extrordinary ability to detect minor changes in the engine's need for spark adjustment and the reflexes quick enough to make the necessary adjsutments. Will I get the same performance as an E-Timer? If not, why not?
I don't know for sure but I could see that an E-timer may have an advantage over the 12V or mag operation. With the 12V and mag operation the ramp up time is controlled spring on the coil points and is not adjustable out side of a certain range. The ramp up time on an E timer is controlled by the E timer and is longer on the first firing that ignites to fuel. So depending on what the optimum ramp up time required to get the max spark, the E timer could have an advantage because is can be designed to have a longer ramp up time then possable with the points.
Hal, Jim, George & All:
Just got back from my 30 mile ride.......... very un-eventful. No breakdowns, no ignition problems,.... only event was to fill tank ( started out with 3 gallons )so I wouldn't have to use the cell phone for help.
The gas station kid saw his first Model T today & had to take a cell phone picture... ( youth is wasted on the young ). Set the spark & throttle, turned the key to battery & hand cranked to show-off... gave a slow quarter turn & engine lit off, all to the kid's amazement.
The automatic advance feature gives dead on spark at a walking pace or at any speed.
I stand corrected about the coil capacitors, leaking or not the coils will still perform as new with the E-Timer. I swapped an flea market set of coils, by-passed the points, & engine ran just as good as before with my re-built coils.
My fun time is limited today, will have the weekend for more.
Merry Christmas to all & to All a good "E-Timer" !!!
Yay for you, Bob!