1927 Fordor When I am 2 1/2" from timer to center of bolt on generator with the spark lever in the up right position . On #1 cylinder, when should I begin to hear my #1 coil start? Should spark occur before TDC or after TDC ? My engine will not start unless my spark lever is about all of the way down. Could I be one wire off on my timer wiring? Old rusted engine, just started it and it runs very smoothly, sometimes. Hard to start one time and then fires right up other times. New to Model T's,
It should start to buzz just AFTER TDC. If it can fire before TDC with the timer lever fully up, you risk breaking your arm or your Bendix.
You can check your wiring easily. When you turn the engine with No1 approaching and passing TDC (timer lever fully up), stop when a coil buzzes. Then touch the contacts on the tops of the coils and find the one that buzzes. It should be 1 or 4. Don't touch the spark plug lead terminals - the rest is safe.
I'll leave the settings to other's more knowledgeable Dan but the 2 1/2" business is, I believe, for the standard Ford roller timer. Other makes of timer's end up differently. Is there any way that you can confirm what make timer you have? It would be a good starting place.
What brand of timer do you have ?
Basically, to check timing,Ignition off, remove #1 spark plug, hand crank till # 1 piston comes up on compression. Use long metal rod thru spark plug hole to see piston movement come to top dead center as you very slowly hand crank, and just as the piston starts to move down, stop.
Attach spark plug wire to plug & lay on cylinder head. Disconnect timing pull rod at commutator. Turn ignition to battery position & turn commutator to where the plug just starts to spark. Turn ignition off, put timing lever at steering wheel all the way up, and shorten or lengthen rod at commutator to fit the new commutator position. Re-cotter pull rod at commutator, replace plug in head & enjoy your ride.
This method will work with any commutator brand.
I am using a new day Timer.. Is there a certain setting needed for the NEW DAY timer? Thanks for you help. Dan C Loveland, Co
Bob Thank you. Got your message while I was posting.
Follow what Bob says. It works fine for a New Day timer. You should turn the cap clockwise when facing the timer. The place where it just starts to buzz is the correct place. You shorten or lengthen the rod by bending it at the top where it goes over the timer.
To double check, with the ignition on battery, turn the crank very slowly with the timing rod on the steering column all the way up. The spark on any cylinder should come when the pin through the crankshaft is just past horizontal. That is the right side as you face the front of the car is slightly lower than the left side. The pin to which I refer is the one which the crank engages when you crank start the car.
The New Day timer is one of the most maintenance free timers manufactured. Especially the older ones with the reddish brown cover.
As Bob J said above. . . Remove # one spark plug. Put a thin rod in the spark plug hole and slowly crank engine 'till piston gets to the top then turn it just a bit more to get past t d c. Then remove timer rod from timer and turn on ignition to batt position and rotate the timer until the spark plug's coil buzzes. Then move the spark lever up to the top and bend the spark advance rod 'till it fits in the timer's hole and put the cotter pin in. Now you are timed. Do not attempt to measure a distance to time the engine that only worked when T's were new.
I like to set the spark lever a little lower and then you can realy idle it down rather slow when you move the lever up.
I would add one tiny change to what Bob posted. And this is it:
Attach spark plug wire to plug & lay on cylinder head. Put timing lever at steering wheel all the way up. Disconnect timing pull rod at commutator. Turn ignition to battery position & turn commutator to where the plug just starts to spark. Turn ignition off, and shorten or lengthen rod at commutator to fit the new commutator position. Re-cotter pull rod at commutator, replace plug in head & enjoy your ride.
Isn't Dave Huson close to Loveland?
That would be the fellow for Daniel to get in touch with.
Yep. Berthoud and Loveland are about seven miles apart.
I use a new day timer on my 1915 touring. I originally adjusted it to the 2 1/2" Ford spec. I later checked it by piston movement and it fired #1 exactly 1/16" past TDC which is about right.
It may not work exactly that way for you, but it only takes a minute to check it by piston movement and then you KNOW its right and can crank away with confidence.
If you want to set your initial timing as Ford recommended it should be 15.5 degrees ATDC which is about .090 down the hole past TDC.
Here is a link to an article that simply explains Model T spark timing and how it works on battery and the magneto.
The 15.5 degrees is important if you plan to hand crank start the car on magneto using the original Ford procedure.
The Model T ignition System and Spark timing
Ron the Coilman