A Magneto Recharge and Mystery Problem

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2011: A Magneto Recharge and Mystery Problem
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 08:20 am:

Has anyone tried recharging the Magneto magnets while they were in the engine and found that the compass pointed North to the transmission case and pedals whenever placed near them, but refused to point north for aligning the magnets for charging?

Yesterday, I went to determine why a Model T would not run on Magneto. The transmission was recently rebuilt the engine assembled and reinstalled. All the Magnet Poles to Coil Ring tolerances were correct.

The engine ran better than most on Bat. The coils were repro and apparently made to run on Bat, only they used to work on Mag and the engine ran better on Mag. Only one coil tested normally on the Allen Hand Crank Coil Tester that I took with me. One coil was adjusted to work and two would not work at all on the HCCT. Those two bad coils still ran OK on Bat and tested OK in a Buzz Box Coil Tester. The two bad coils were replaced with two Coilman rebuilt coils (again HCCT tested) and the engine started on Bat. It still immediately died when Mag was selected.

The Mag output was checked (using a 1156 bulb for a load) with the engine running on Bat. The bulb glowed, but only rather dim, even with a fast engine speed. My Simpson 260 meter measured 2.4 volts at idle and only about 4.5 volts at the fast engine speed.

The wiring was checked and correct. The Ignition Switch was correctly wired and properly functional.

There were 3 large 12 volt batteries available for a Mag recharge attempt, which was tried several times, with out any success or improvement. The first problem noted was that the compass would never point North when held near the Mag output terminal and the engine cranked over by hand.

The compass would point directly North toward the Transmission case (hogshead) when held any place near the case or the pedals. We didn’t check the engine to see if the compass pointed South toward the engine.

One possible suggestion was that the magnets were charged in reverse of what they had been charged and the magnetism leaves in a short time when that is done. I do not know if that is a possibility or not or just an old tale.

This problem has only ever appeared once before and that car has a distributor now. The mystery is, “how could the whole Transmission Cover get magnetized and how can it be demagnetized?”

Are there any other thoughts or suggestions?

Magneto


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Anthonie Boer on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 10:48 am:

James : One time I had a problem to find the North with the compas. Then it was an engine with a starter,I took of the starter and turn a magnet opposit the UPPER coil which you see through the starter hole.Then took a pice of iron and compas and look or that magnet is a N or a Z . If it is a N you are OK, if it is a Z , just turn the flywheel for the next mag. Now it must be the N .Then the upper next is a Z,and the next upper is a N who is now direct opposit the coil on the left side of the magneto Post. I hope that you can read my Farmers Englich !!! Toon
771R
772R
774R


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Or on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 11:10 am:

Also point the car E/W will help find the North pole of the magnet. Two more things I found will help, put the car in neutral and take out the spark plugs. The first Zap will bring the flywheel in alignment with the coils.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Perigo - Linton, IN on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 11:15 am:

One thing that helps to orient the car east and west so as to not be affected by the Earth's magnetism.

Mike


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa in Poulsbo, WA on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 12:12 pm:

The "NORTH" indicating end of a compass needle is the magnetic North pole of the compass needle. It is attracted to the "SOUTH" magnetic pole of a magnet and the South magnetic pole of the earth (opposites attract).

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 02:32 pm:

Antonie, I had to read your post twice, but the photo cleared everything up. An excellent idea! Thanks!!!

Mark, I have used your method effectively in the past, but I suspected this engine might be a little too new to turn free enough to align, so it was not tried.

Bob, you are on the right track, but said it wrong. The South magnetic pole of the compass needle is Marked N and points to the North Pole.

I'm thinking that the old Coil Ring should not have been reused and may be shorting to Ground and not providing the full benefit of all the coils.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Brown on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 05:43 pm:

James:
I recently recharged my magnets in the car and had that same problem that you are having. The magnets were so weak that it was really difficult to determine when I really had a north point.One thing that really helped a lot was to jack up one rear wheel and put the transmission in high. the will allow you to turn the motor back and forth with the rear wheel. With the engine crank, you won't be able to back the motor up if you go by the N spot. I think it is easier this way and really helped us to find the right spot. We kept turning the engine till we could see that the compass was barely swinging back and forth as the magnets went by. With that in mind, we were able to get a weak point toward a N magnet. With the best indication of N that we could obtain, we took a chance and zapped it with 36 volts. Now, the compass was swinging more definitely toward N, so we zapped it again and turned the flywheel several times zapping it at least four locations around the flywheel, and it now runs great on magneto. Every time we zapped it with 36 volts the compass got more active. In fact, I drove it some today and marveled at how well it runs on mag when before it wouldn't run at all on mag.
Before I performed the recharge, I was doubtful that I would have much success so don't give up, you will be amazed what you will accomplish.
The best of luck to you.
Roger


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska - Denver Colorado on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 05:50 pm:

James,

When you installed your new motor and transmission did you also install a transmission oil screen with magnet?

Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 05:52 pm:

I documented my experience in charging my magnets in the car in September, 2010 and the results were successful beyond my wildest expectations. My car now easily starts on magneto. See www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/159978.html
Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 10:56 am:

Paul, there was no magnet in the transmission screen. The strange part is that if you cut a bar magnet in two, you do not have a magnet with just a north pole and another magnet with just a south pole. One end of each piece will still be opposite of the other end.

Jim, when the magnets were charged it was done by laying a coil ring on them and applying the 36 volts directly to the poles. The coil ring had to be pried off after the power was removed.

We later learned that the Mag had stopped working and the engine had stopped while the vehicle was in motion. The engine started right up again on Bat and died when switched to Mag.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 11:50 am:

Ya learn sumpin every day on here. I never knew that you could use a rod like that to transfer the polarity. That's my smarter for the day. We are still trying to get the mag in John's 15 to work. This will help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 11:53 am:

Actually, both times we have tried to charge it in the car it worked for a half hour or so, then lost its magnetism to the point it would not run on mag. Anybody have any thoughts on that? Mike Vaughn showed me how he charges them out of the car with a field coil but I still haven't totally got the in-car charge figured out. John had all sorts of stuff he'd printed off the forum, we had 36 volts, it worked great but lost the charge. Maybe somebody smarter about this than me can tell us what to do next. I'm obviously not doing well on the project.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 12:48 pm:

Stan, there are a few posts that mention the magnet polarity can not be switched, as they will slowly return to the former low and original polarity. I'm not sure I'm ready to accept that opinion, but I am wondering if that is true.

I'm rebuilding an orignal Hand Crank Coil Tester and was surprised it still worked after sitting for over 30 years. The magnets still had magnetism, but none would pick up a 2 pound piston.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 01:41 pm:

I think if the magnets are not holding their charge either too little current (less than 36v) or too few zaps (less than 8 at each 90 degree position) were used.

As I said, I had tremendous success with a total of (32) brief 36 volt zaps (8 zaps at each 90 degree location). That was back in September of 2010 and I can still start 'er on MAG. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis - SE Georgia on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 02:03 pm:

Stan,

I will have to say that reversed polarity is what came to my mind as I read your post above, but like James said, it's just something I've always heard. I have no first hand experience with it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 03:02 pm:

We had two fully charged 12 volt deep cycle batteries out of a big RV, (1000 or more cold crank amps) and the battery in a new Chevy diesel pickup connected in series with big jumper cables and zapped the magnets 8 or 10 times at each quarter turn of the engine. We did it with the compass, tried a couple different compasses to make sure it was working and had the plugs out and in high gear so we could roll it to line the compass up. It worked great, started on a quarter pull of the crank but then quit working. We checked the mag post, made sure the battery wasn't connected, etc. I dunno. I was sure we had the polarity right according to all the printouts we had but maybe we were wrong. I guess we are going to tear the engine down this winter so we'll fix it then.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 03:37 pm:

Stan, when you have the hogshead off, that will be the perfect opportunity to locate a N magnet precisely behind a S coil. It is about the only foolproof way to do it. Make sure you have your car parked E-W so magnetic N won't mess you up. After you have successfully charged your magnets, be sure to mark your fan belt pulley at the four N points so there will be no problem finding the correct points in the future. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel D. Chicoine, MD on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 03:51 pm:

My 26 would run on magneto if at a fast idle or higher, then got worse and worse to where it wouldn't run at all on magneto. I tried an in the car recharge and it worked for a while, but quit once while I was fiddling with the ignition switch. I couldn't find N on the flywheel to recharge it. I had 2 problems. the first was a bad switch that I'm sure was leaking 12 volts down the mag wire. I had it replaced and magnetized the magnets on replacing the mag ring. I don't think the mag ring was at fault, but that the switch caused the problem. Since I had it apart, I put in one of Wally's coils.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 08:37 am:

Here is a followup report on the magneto problem. The engine was removed from the vehicle and the transmission cover was removed from the engine to expose the magnets and correctly set the north polarity for the charge.

With the cover away from the engine, a compass pointed to North when placed any place on the cover, including the pedals, except for a small area near where the starter mounts, which produced a South reading.

The individual magnets were checked with a device that actually measured the magnetic field strength and also with a compass to check the polarity of the magnets.

Previous testing determined that about 375 Gauss was required for the magnet to lift a 2 pound weight. The readings varied quite a bit, but most were between 100 and 250 Gauss. Non would hold a 2 pound weight.

Although all the magnets were originally installed as nn ss nn ss, two of the magnets were out of order and read nn sn ns ss.

When a 36 volt supply was added, after about 2 seconds, smoke was observed coming from the coil ring next to the coil ring attached to the Mag Post. Evidently the whole 36 volts was going through 1 coil and going to ground in the second or third coil ring. The next ring was the one next to the starter notch and showed a previous repair that was covered with spray on insulation.

The photo is not the best, due to reduced resolution, but the white area is the white smoke that was observed after 2 seconds.

Smoke

The affected coil rings have not been disconnected for individual testing yet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Mullin on Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 01:54 pm:

Jim,

You must not hold the current on steady for any length of time at all. Remember, the wire in your coil ring is really just a very long short to ground. All you need to recharge the magnet is a very brief touch - just zap and go. Anything longer will be counter productive.

Remember, when you let the smoke out of anything electric it is impossible to get the smoke back in.


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