OK, here is the scenario...
The oldest son inherited a '26 from his grandfather. It is and has been equipped forever with an LH1 dizzy. For all intents and purposes, the distributor is basically worn everywhere. I have tried tinkering with it time and again, but as simple as it is supposed to be just about everything is s-h-o-t. Gathering up original good piece parts here and there has been tough on the wallet and making no progress, just too much total slop.
I've offered to turn it back to buzz-coils and timer for him as thats what my 3 run on and he is quite familiar with how to keep them running and there is enough around here that the cost would be '0'...but the mag is dead and has been dead since like forever even before I met his grandfather all those years ago. I offered to do it for him with an e-timer...but...he is firmly of the extremely strong opinion that he needs to keep it a dizzy out of respect for his late grandfather and the fact that his grandpop kept it that way in spite of 'boo-birds' and being a T mechanic from the era and he managed to go nearly 40 years without a tune-up other than replacing a coil once. The T 'knows' as the first day it decided to act up was when called on for funeral duty and has refused to settle since.
I've about had it with the LH-1, do NOT want to change the front cover and am looking for a recommendation as to what and where clip-on kit to buy.
Be gentle It's his car and he wants a dizzy...
Just fix it...it can't be that difficult. Besides, it isn't a dizzy, it is a distributor.
Shoot the messenger.
george, i have been using the Texas T Parts clip on distributor for many years with no problems.
Are you talking about a front plate distributor you can use just about any 4 cylinder distributor, you just need to insert a longer shaft. I have a Bosch head with the longer shaft that would fit a front plate. I have never heard of a LHI Dizzy ? What is that ?
There are many good choices.
One would be to go with a 12 volt battery, coils, and timer.
Another would be a tru-fire with timer.
Or you could put on an e-timer.
Or look for another distributor.
Maybe a good machinist could re-bush the existing distributor.
I suspect that his grandfather put on the distributor because the magneto didn't work, not because he was in love with distributors, but because he wanted a quick fix to keep the T going. If he were here to speak to his grandson, he would likely be happy with whatever he did to keep the T running.
A good temporary fix would be 12 volt battery, coils, and timer. It is very easily reversible if in the future he can fix the distributor.
Just an opinion ........
Sounds like your son really wants to keep it like grampa had it. If the gear is good, perhaps a good machinist can rebush it and save it ?
Another LH1 is bound to turn up sooner or later. Perhaps going to the coils you have in stock would be a cheap stopgap fix until you can find a LH1 ? (He might find he likes the coils while your looking ;o) )
If none of that works for him I've heard good things about the Texas T distributor (no experience here though, like you I'm running coils, with a 12 V lawn tractor battery)
I admire your son for wanting to keep it just like granddad had it!
I adapted a VW disturbutor drive shaft (with eccentric drive) to the Atwater-Kent front plate, so R&R of the disturbutor is just like on a modren.
Opps, me bad guys.
Atwater Kent LA distributor...typos seem to be my specialty.
Thanks for advice so far. Yes, I'm looking for a stock clip-on kit, mostly to get him running before he decides to just push it to the back of his garage and decide to mellow for a decade or two on it.
I'd fully intend to get the best of that existing distributor in time, already have a new(er) rotor and cap and drive gear set, tightened up all the linkages, but for some reason it starts well and I just can't seem to get enough advance out of it in running even though it appears to twist enough degrees on the outside. Not a whole lot of pep then gets maybe a mile or two into a run and becomes 'Old Faithful'. I have been over it at least a dozen times with the same results. I know radiator is good, know the firing order is correct, know where #1 is firing on timing, but always the same. This was a car that was real easy for all those years...start it up, pull the stick full down and go and it would go for 50 miles in either direction without an issue! The brother-in-law swears the only thing he did was adjust points and clean some green off of the rotor and cap so that it could go to the funeral but I'll be d*mned if I can get it back to where it was.
George, is it a front plate, or a clipon?
Did it have the snap action points that saved battery power?
Are you sure the old man had it hooked up to pull down for advance on the spark lever?
George - Most "T" guys have forgotten more than I know about anything electrical, however, I do have a thought that MIGHT be worth considering:
Not sure if a Pertronix can be installed in an Atwater Kent, however, if that's possible, I think a Pertronix is a lot more forgiving in regard to sloppy and worn distributor bushings,....just a thought,.....harold
There is a discussion and photos of the LA in this 2007 thread.
Atwater Type LA distributors do not twist - the whole body moves/swings side to side - left to right depending how you set the spark rod. They are a good distributor,if that is the choice you made. There was one on my Gramps' TT C-Cab when my Dad purchased it from the estate and the story was that because it rains a bit up here in the Seattle area and it was too tall to fit in my Gramps' garage, it sat outside most of it's life and beings my Gramps made grocery deliveries with it year round, the Atwater was more reliable than a wet coilbox !