(Ford_T 1925 with engine 1926)
I want to change from 6Volt to 12Volt. Now I know the most points I have to replace.
But I don't understand about my special Ignition:
They said, it's from a Willy's jeep 1958.
There is now one 6Volt coil, which goes to the ignition.
Question 1: When I change everything to 12 Volt and install a new 12Volt coil, do I have to change something on my ignition ? I will add some pictures.
Finally, when this prblem is solved, I have a final question: How can I make the setup for this ignition ?
Change the coil to one rated for 12 volts, add a ballast resistor in series with the battery side of the coil. You can get a 12 volt coil with the ballast resistance built in. Change the condenser to a 12 volt one. John
If he is to use a ballast he could use a ford starter relay that incorporates a resistor bypass. For that matter he could pull it off his starter switch if that is what I'm seeing.
I would run a wire from the starter switch (starter side) to the coil.
Yes, he could use the ballast bypass feature on the ford starter relay. I have not found that necessary on my T's. They start just fine with the resistor in the circuit. John
When I was running a distributor I rewired my ignition switch. I ran the battery to the "ign" terminal. The "battery" terminal was connected to the coil and a ballast resistor. The "mag" terminal was connected to the other end of the ballast. When I started, I switched to the "BAT" position. After the engine was running, I switched to the "MAG" position.
If you connected the coil to the starter motor to bypass the ballast resistor would that put current into the starter all the time the engine was running? The wire might get hot and the starter might not like that low power very much.
Kep, Most of the old starter solenoids have an internal path to a terminal that is designed to bypass the resistor during starting. If you look at Willi's second photo down by the starter you will see the solenoid and the unused terminal that is most likely the bypass. - John
Kep, you put it on the starter side. Distributor coils are typically 9v. If the starter breaks down the battery voltage to say 9.5 to 10V while turning over the engine that will be what is in front of the ballast without it's added drop. If you bypass you'll hit the coil typically at 10v+ and you get a great spark to start a cold engine. I agree with John but on the other hand lots of variables. Particularly if the battery is weak due to various reasons (turning over a car that doesn't want to start for example). If after laboring the starter the battery breakdown voltage drops to 8V or less the coil will not give as much, and don't forget it still has the ballast resistor to contend with.
The hotter the better.
Just mt two cents worth.
Change the coil. One for a 12V VW Beetle works works fine on my car. You might be able to make the VW condenser work too.
The reason my car has a VW coil is because I 'baked' the one in the picture. (Obviously, mounting the coil on the manifold studs was a bad idea but it 3 years to finally 'cook it').
thanks for this interesting discussion, but can you please make it more simple, because I don't understand everything you explain ?
1. I will change everything from 6Volt to 12 Volt, also the ignition coil.
2. I will use the same wiring: 1 cable from the terminal to the coil, then the cable from the coil to the distributor.
3. Like you explained, I will change the condenser to another for 12Volt (will a Harley Davidson condenser be OK?)
4. the rest I don't understand: Why do I need a ballast somewhere ? Where ?
Thanks fro teaching me
OK, Here's what I 'think' they are trying to say.
On the early 12V cars, now I'm talking about late 50's, 60's cars with points & condenser, the coil ran on something like 9V. That was accomplished by having a resistor in line with the coil. I believe it was there so the coil ran ran a little 'cooler'. But, here's the rub. They also had a key operated starter with an electric starter solenoid.
When you turned the key from 'on' to 'start', it allowed a current path that bypassed the resistor and applied 12V directly to the coil for a hotter spark for cold weather starting.
You're modifying a car that probably still has a mechanical starter button on the floor. That 12V start circuit doesn't exist. You can make that circuit by simply running a 12 or 14 gauge wire from the output side of your mechanical solenoid on the floor, (the big heavy wire that goes to the starter), to the 'hot' side of the coil and installing the 'ballast resistor' in line with the wire that comes from the 'on' side ignition switch to the coil.
BUT... They make 'honest to goodness' 12V coils that don't need that 'ballast resistor' in series with them. Late VW 'Beetles" come to mind and you don't have to mess with any of this 'ballast resistor' stuff.
If you look at the picture of my distributor above, you'll see that it's very similar to yours in looks and design. It's patterned after the VW model 049 distributor.
Make life easy on yourself, just go down to AutoZone or someplace like that and get a coil for a late, 12V VW 'Beetle'. If the box or the coil says "Must be used with an external resistor" on it, that's not the one you're looking for. It should have "12V" printed right on it. As for the condenser? get the VW condenser that matches that coil. It should slide right in the bracket that's holding the condenser on the distributor you have pictured, above.
I wish I could have 'condensed' this explanation a little better but that's the best I can do.
I just noticed something in the picture of your coil above. You see where your coil has "6V" printed in white, right on it? The coil you're looking for will have "12V" printed on it, just like that.
Yes, I ordered also a 12V coil, but it will some weeks until I get all the 12V stuff.
But: I don't have the starter at the floor, I have a starter button near the steering wheel.
The battery cable from the positive goes directly to the main switch (my picture 2). Then from the main switch it goes to the Starter Solenoid - 12 Volt. (in the background on picture 2).
So you think, I also need a bypass from there to the new solenoid ?
No. Just be sure you have a 'real' 12V coil (and it doesn't say anything about having to be used with an external resistor) and don't worry about the rest.
I noticed the relay when I was looking at the coil but the post was already getting to be a 'novel'. That starter relay will have to be 12V as well. My car still has the original floor board starter switch. It was converted to 12V when I got the car and it's been working just fine for the 4 years I've owned it, that way.
Dennis, this is a funny comment "Just be sure you have a 'real' 12V coil (and it doesn't say anything about having to be used with an external resistor) and don't worry about the rest." All 12 volt point operated coils operate on a resistor. It is actually the points that need the resistor. Chrysler used the ballast resistor, GM used resistance wire and ford used the solenoid with resistance built-in. Just pointing out the irony in the statement.
Hi Dennis and Doug,
excuse me, but you are confusing me:
I will install the 12 Volt coil and also on the starter a new 12Volt Starter Solenoid.
So: Is this sufficient, when I change also the condenser in the ignition ?
I "think" what Doug is talking about is the arch-ing across the point surface. The transfer of material from one side of the points to the other as the points open and close.
The ideal of course, is none. I wish I could hook you up with a book that explains all of this, maybe Doug can.
I may have this backwards but I'm going to give it a try anyway. If you have a 'pit' on the moving side of the points and a little 'mountain' on the ground side of the points, (after several thousand miles of driving), you have too little resistance. If the 'pit' is on the ground side and the 'mountain' is on the moving side, you have too much resistance.
You're building this out of whole bunch of unrelated parts, there's no way of knowing what the 'proper' resistance across the points is going to be at this point. If after you drive it a while, you find you keep having to file the points flat to maintain the proper point gap, then you may have to 'adjust' the resistance of the voltage across the points.
Get it all back together, get it running again and drive it a little. In a worst case scenario, you'll know that you have drop the voltage (increase the resistance) across the points because the moving side of your points will turn blue because of the heat that would be absorbed by the ballast resistor. Too much resistance = weak spark. Too little resistance = fried points.
The distributor in my T is breaker-less electronic, so I can't give you any idea of what the ideal resistance might be. Maybe Doug can.
This is a 60's Chrysler ballast resistor with the two prongs not the 4 prongs and will work fine. If you want to hide the "resistor", you can use resistor wire that was used in the 60's for GM vehicles and splice it into the power lead for the coil. Either will work, but the GM is wire so it hides in the wiring loom. There are other models that use the same parts I described, but I know for a fact that if you use the 60's you are getting 12 volt parts and no electronic ignition parts. Hope this helps.
Actually Dennis, I was talking about burning the points from overvoltage. The pitting you referred to is caused by too much or too little capacitance.
This is not my field but I have to ask, coils are 9v and the coil we call 12v is so because the resistor is build in... I stated the rationale for this is an earlier post.
When a starter is working battery voltage breaks down, typically you'd like to see no less than 9.5V and 10V+ is better.
If a `12V coil makes say 40kv and you start a cold engine and the breakdown voltage during cranking drops to say 9V that 3V difference is a lot of KV's.
Hence the 9V coil.
Years ago points were made of different alloys to prevent pitting. I don't believe you see that today. I am also confused about changing the condenser to 12V. As I said not my field of expertise, assuming I have any at all. lol
Doug, we're both on the same page, I'm just confusing this poor guy, because I'm not explaining it right. Once again, you are correct about the capacitor in the distributor controlling the pitting on the points but the coil voltage and the capacitance are inter-related. 'Back in the day' you could buy (aftermarket) coils that were called '12V' and could be used in any application because like Mike just said, the proper 'resistance' was built in. I worked for NAPA and AutoZone for a number of years and that's why I suggested using the coil (and the matching capacitor) for the last series VW Super Beetle.
At this point in time, I'm just trying to get Willi's T running and back on the road with the 12V conversion. In the future, he may have to 'fine tune' this ignition system and the addition of a resistor like the one you have pictured above could very well be part of that 'fine tuning'. There's nothing difficult about adding that resistor in series with the coil and there's nothing difficult about adding the 12V 'hot start' circuit I was talking about earlier.
Willi, let me close by saying get the parts you ordered, get them installed, set your points and fire it up. You've probably ordered all you need to do just exactly that. This topic is getting far more complicated than the the job at hand. 'Tecnically', you could slap a 12V starter relay and a 12V coil on this thing, use the the existing points and condenser in your distributor right now, and it's probably going start right up. What we have been talking about here is 'how long' it's going to remain running with this configuration. Once you're running and on the road again, we can get into the capacitance and resistance issues to get your system working the best it can.