I've just started restoration on a nice solid, straight, complete "barn fresh" 1925 Fordor. I'm curious about the electronic ignition (6 volt) being offered by Bittner Engineering. Anyone have experience with the installation of one of these units and/or knowledge of how well they perform?
Bill: If you have such a nice solid, straight, complete barn fresh Fordor, why not keep it as such with a set of re-built Ford coils & and Anderson style timer..... a combination that is period correct & will give trouble free miles ??
In my estimation, all these new offerings for the Model T are exactly the first things to go wrong.
Keeping the standard Ford ignition system is good for this reason and works very well. If you are on tour and a problem develops, there is always someone with extra coils and timer parts. Put an extra coil and timer in your car and go have fun. As stated if you have the coils rebuilt and use the Anderson timer you will have many miles of trouble free service. I know of Terís that use the electronic systems and like them but again any thing can fail and who has a spare unit.
Bill: I see you're a new member to the Forum.... welcome aboard !!
Not knowing your experiences with old cars, mine has been to stay with worn or close to new original parts. The quality of re-pro parts isn't worth the postage from overseas.
Now I understand the item you asked is made here in the U.S.A., and is being used by some T'ers. Some have praised, some have had problems. Just like anything else, you have to weigh your agenda. Balance the cost of a set of 4 re-built coils and a Anderson style timer against the electronic ignition to decide if to stay original or not. True, once installed the electronics are undetectable I'm told, but you wil not have the extra boost of power of original magneto ignition.
In past years I tried some of the "new" offerings, got bit hard, now I tend towards staying original.
Your "new" old Model T made it this far on original parts. why not continue.
Just my $ 0.02
Bill. Put in true fire in the search. This had been debated lots. I have the true fire and it has been maintenance free and works excellent. To prevent a flame war if you email me your address i will give you my experiences. Mike
I have True Fires in all 3 of my cars and they have performed flawlessly. If you want to know any details let me know.
I have nothing against the standard Ford coil setup, just had various reasons for going this way and I like it.
Bill, I have a True-Fire in my 26 Fordor and it works very well. I keep the old coils for emergency but have never need them. It is a easy change over.
Here we go again, Ron, where are you.... True Fire works fine, I've put in a few for customers. The only problem I had was from the coilbox that held it. If the wood is loose or bent, the contacts may not be where they need to be to make it work. Only happened once here, replaced the box and it worked fine. Great idea for those without a working mag.
I installed a true fire in my '23 and it has preformed very well. Engine runs smooth and the gas burns cleaner. Really made a big difference for me. I'll keep my coils and timer around just in case.
Everybody will have an opinion on this one. We have a couple of guys using them in our club with only minor complaints. The Truefire is a good product.
I choose to stick with stock coils which I run on mag. I must admit that I'm one of several coil rebuilders who post here so, I have a vested interest in promoting the continued use of Ford's original ignition system.
There are two features of stock coils that the Turefire can't match. First, the stock coils clicking away while the engine is running, play a melody that is sweet music to the ears of any driver who enjoys the romantic naure of the Model T experience. Second, there's the free starts. When the model T engine stops in just the right position, with a fuel charge under compression in the proper cylinder, it will fire and start as soon as the igntion switch is turned to the battery position and the coil begins to buzz. The Truefire unit has an electronic buzzer to mimic the song of the T coils. But, it's just not the same.
Thanks guys for all the responses thus far. Yes, Bob J., I'm new to the Forum and I think it is great My late Model T experience consists of the restoration of a '26 Roadster P.U. basket case which I owned & drove for 15 years (Antique Auto in Spokane re-built the engine & tranny - great job) As a point of reference, due to my doddering old age, I decided to sell off my modest car collection in 2006 because I didn't want my lovely bride to be stuck with selling my eclectic mess of old vehicles after my one way tour to the great garage in the sky. (My wife is an artist not a gearhead. Somewhat analgous to being a lover, not a fighter). She supports my hobby and enjoys touring fortunatly. After all the collector cars were sold, the only one I missed was the T. What can I say? Just the most fun for the least money.
Bob & Mike, I understand and agree with the desirability of all original type parts, particularly when touring and try to stay as close to original as possible in appearance but I also like the unseen improvements such as a balanced crank, aluminum pistons etc. Not fussy, it's just that Arthur Itus doesn't want me to constantly be tinkering.
Tom & Mike, I appreciate your thoughts on True Fire & will check. I don't need to make a decision until late summer so I expect to talk to many folks at the Richmond Centennial on this subject and others. Thanks all for the input