Lost Power on Hills ???

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2005: Lost Power on Hills ???
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By shane on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 07:30 pm:

Just got my 1923 Coupe ( With a 1925 engine) out on the road and it runs great and starts off good. It will do around 35 to 40 MPH easy but when I start up the smallest hill I start to lose power. Is this normal? What can I do? Fab a modern carb onto it? Is high gear to high???
Thanks - Shane Ball


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 08:07 pm:

Shane,

You mean it starts to slow down or sputters and die out?

If it is stock, it makes 20 horsepower. At 40 mph with your "not so aerodynamic" coupe, you are consuming most of those 20 horses.

If it slows without sputtering, then you need to look into fitting a Z or other high compression head. Then you'll have 27 or so horses and it will "sprint" up those hills. LOL!

If it sputters going uphill but runs fine otherwise, your car likely has fuel starvation problems.

My guesses anyway. I hope this helps you. By the way, welcome to the affliction - life in the slow lane!

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 08:21 pm:

Shane,

It's not a turbo-charged Mustang, it's going to slow down on the hills. Depending on your definition of smallest hill, your engine may need rebuilding or you could swap in some different gears. Stock gearing 3.64:1 should go good on your small hills, 4:1 is for the mountain men, and 3:1 is for speedsters on Nebraska highways.

You should find another T in your area and go for a ride in it. See how yours compares and then you'll know if you have something to worry about, or if it's just the nature of the beast.

Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brian c lawrence on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 08:57 pm:

I was wondering the same thing about my 27 Fordor. My son and I just got the motor back in, we had to repair the mag ring. After some upgrades to the motor and tranny, and a functional magneto, we took it for a test run the other day. Prior to this, we just ran it onbattery. The mag is putting out 25 volts at about 3/4 throttle. It does run better, but the power difference isnt quite what I imagined. Could my coils be slowing her down? I set them up for 1.5 volts on a borrowed tester, and it does run good. Maybe I just had hoped for a bigger power difference.

Brian


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 08:58 pm:

Shane, If you know the proper way to do a compression check on the engine or better yet hook up a vacuum gauge the numbers could help determine if something needs attention. I have drilled and tapped a small fitting on my current Model T's intake maifold much like the fitting on some Model A's for the vacuum driven windshield wiper set up and it is great for diagnostics on the Model T engine...Michael Pawelek
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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By shane on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 09:26 pm:

Wow - thanks for all the info !! I do have a fitting on the intake so i`ll check the vacuum.
Seth - My car just slows down not stops.
Tim - I dont need more speed ( I only drive 35 + 40 MPH in my modern cars) I just want to enjoy my "T" with out holding up other cars. Looking for any learned ideas. Keep them coming! Thanks - Shane


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 09:45 pm:

Shane:

At slower speeds, you have to retard the spark a bit to get some power back to climb hills.

Brian: 1.5 amp draw on those coils ?? How did you set them ? Buzz Box, or hand cranked magneto coil tester?? Check for double sparking ??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 10:04 pm:

Shane,
Where do you live? How steep are the hills? Here in Alpine Ca the main highway is 6% grade for about 4 miles. there is a frontage road which was the old highway 80 before Interstate 8 was built. There is a downhill stretch and then we start up the steep hill. No matter how fast I go down the downhill, as soon as we come to the uphill it starts to slow down to about 22 MPH which it maintains all the way up the hill. I have Ruckstell so if I go up a steeper hill, I shift down. It will go up most in low range Ruckstell. Of course the car slows down to about 15 when in low ruckstell. I could go faster, but don't want to over rev the engine. With your car, you need to keep your gas tank topped off for going uphill or you might have to go in reverse. As the above posts indicate, the gearing is important for uphill performance as well as the weight. I can tell the difference when I am driving alone or with one Two or three passengers. My car is completely stock except for the Ruckstell.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - 10:40 pm:

quote: I just want to enjoy my "T" with out holding up other cars.

That's pretty funny. But I do have what you need. Look on my website and find the green thunderbolt engine on there. Let me know when you can come pick it up. You'll need it if you really want to stay up with traffic.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jon crane on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 12:03 am:

Michael
Any chance of getting a nice clean copy of the vacuum chart? Maybe even a short article in the magazine. jon crane


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brian c lawrence on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 07:33 am:

Bob

I set my coils on a borrowed (i think homemade) tester that you slide the Ford coil into, it has a ammeter and a place where you can see a spark between two probes. I tapped on the end of the coil with a hammer until the guage read right around 1.5. I also cleaned the points with emery cloth, and set the gap. How can a person tell if they are double sparking?! Its amazing those things even work!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Mortensen on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 09:01 am:

Brian, that's what we call a "buzz box". Some run off a battery, some use house current with a transformer. They work okay for initial testing but to make sure you're internal capacitor is working properly and that the points are truly adjusted the coil has to be tested on a hand cranked coil tester which uses the actual T magneto. A good alternative is to buy the Fun Project Strobospark unit or send your coils out for a rebuild.

As far as hill climbing, most Model Ts will let you know when you're on any kind of upward slope. As stated earlier you sort of have to learn a little about spark advance and realize that most Ts will hit their stride at around 20 MPH on most uphill grades. The heavier cars mentioned in this string (Coupe and Fordor) are more prone to slowing down sooner than the lighter body styles although the coupe shouldn't be all that different.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 11:27 am:

That Buzz Box will tell you for sure when a coil is no good, but it can't tell you when a coil is good. Only a Hand Crank Coil Tester or the StroboSpark can tell you when the coil is good.

I have two coils that are what you might call excellent bad examples of Buzz Box operation.

One coil draws exactly 1.3 amps and makes no sparks at all. The other coil draws exactly 1.3 amps and normally makes 6 to 10 of the required 16 sparks.

The random misfires cause a great power loss in a Model T engine and that loss is especially noticable on a hill.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brian c lawrence on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 11:51 am:

James,

Thats why I started to wonder, how in the world can a guy count the number of sparks while testing them? Im more inclined to fix the original ignition than to install different systems, I guess Ill have to send my coils out? How expensive is this per coil?

Brian


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick - (2) '26's - Bartow, FL on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 12:17 pm:

Does it do the same thing when you back up the hill in reverse? Remember the gas is gravity fed and if the incline is enough to cause the gas to move away from the engine, it will run out of gas, especially if the gas in the under seat tank is low. Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 12:29 pm:

Brian, ask Coilman the price, he does the most of them. Seems like it was about $30 a coil the last time I sent any out for repair.

You have a few people closer than him that you may just be able to take them in to check. Then too, you probably don't have any one any better than Coilman.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joseph Wayne Rudzik on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 03:17 pm:

You could be running rich and need to lean your carburetor out as the engine wams up. Start rich turn to lean. You should pull steady, not fast, up a hill.
Run the car for several miles and look to your gas. Had to drain some water from the "26 today from the high quality, high cost gas I bought.

Joe R.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel Denis Chicoine, MD on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 04:49 pm:

Joseph,
That water in the gas, at $3.20 a gallon, is almost as expensive as bottled water by the pint!
Noel


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brian c lawrence on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 07:46 pm:

Joe,

Thats not a bad idea, Ive only owned this car 6 months, and its my first T. Ill try to adjust the carb after it warms up. Ive always left it at about 1 turn out. Thanks!!


Brian


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brian c lawrence on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 08:03 pm:

Joe,

Thats not a bad idea, Ive only owned this car 6 months, and its my first T. Ill try to adjust the carb after it warms up. Ive always left it at about 1 turn out. Thanks!!


Brian


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joseph Wayne Rudzik on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 09:23 pm:

Brian,
Your T will tell you when you hit the sweet spot. Sam, and our other T's do.
Also, if you run E-85 as I do, you will have to enrichen the car up. When you put gas in you have to lean it.
Sam told me this in no uncertain terms.
Hope this helps ya and have safe trips.

Joe R.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim ( www.ModelTengine.com ) on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 09:26 pm:

Brian, find a an "old timer" in a T club. Buy him a cup of coffee and ask him to take you for a ride in your car (or his). He'll show you how to properly operate it. Looks like you might need a couple tips.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, March 09, 2008 - 01:11 pm:

Brian & Shane: How did you solve your problems ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brian c lawrence on Sunday, March 09, 2008 - 09:14 pm:

Bob

Im still waiting for some good weather to drive my T some more. Like I said, it runs really good, even on mag, which is why I pulled the motor. Now Ive got new bands, oil dippers, new timing gears, all kinds of updates too. The coils though are really mysterious to me, Im also gonna drive someone elses T so I have an idea of just how "fast" a T is supposed to be!?!

Brian


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