My 1923 "T" Coupe has this set up and runs fine but was wondering if this might be some of my Uphill problems? Should I go back to the Buzz-coils? Just wondering! Thanks - Shane
If the timing is adjusted properly the distributor should not keep you from going up any hills. Have you checked the points to see if they are set properly and not worn or pitted?
My 1913 had an Atwater Kent distributor when I bought it. The distributor had no advance mechanism and was installed so that the timing was permanently fixed. This made for a very under powered Model T.
There must be some way of having the timing advance after the engine starts. Some distributors have built in centrifugal mechanical advance. These must be calibrated to give 20 or so degrees of advance when the engine is at top RPM.
Others are connected to the spark lever on the steering column and are adjusted for best power while driving. With these the timing is at zero degrees of spark advance with the lever all the way up for starting.
If you can describe what type of distributor you have and how it achieves advance then we may be able to help you with the problem.
Shane,i use a Bosch 009 with the Pertronix ignition and it works great,I have a 26 coupe and they are heavy cars compared to a touring or roadster,a Z or other high compression head will make all the difference in hills,i also have a Warford transmission but the Z head makes the difference a 10 tooth pinion will help some but i couldn't tell any difference over standard,the distributor shouldn't be a concern.
Shane, do a compression check to see how tired your engine is now. You might need more than more spark.
Up hill problems, please give us some more information. The distributor vs. coil issue will bring a lot of opinions to a discussion and both will function fine and not really be a cause of problems pulling a hill, if your engine runs fine on flat land while under a load. All Model tís are going to loose speed when going up hill. Some will be a lot more than others and that will be caused by other considerations. The weight of a car, roadster vs. Fordor, all things equal the roadster will pull better because it is lighter. Gear ratios of the car on hills will have impact. Standard 3.66 ratios would pull a steep grade better than 3.00 ratios while a 4.00 would pull better than a standard set up. This would be true if all the engines and cars were the same. Cams have a real impact of performance, the model t engine was designed for low rpm, the stock grind cams will make more power on the low end than most of the regrinds that are out there, again if all things are equal, gearing, engine set up, a worn cam or regrind will make a difference in pulling power. The head on the engine will impact the performances as well as carburetion. General condition of the engine, compression good or bad, valves and seats condition, a compression check can tell a lot. Not looking to start another thread of what is best, worst or individual preference but these are just a few things that will allow one T of the same body style to out pull another. I wonít go into how the transmission will rob power, but it will. So share more details of your problem, you will get good advice from a lot of posters and then you can decide what you want to do.
The Atwater Kents that I have seen have a boss with a hole under the point housing on the drivers side. The whole distributor rotates much the same as the orginal timer would.
Mine would have done that except the previous owner saw fit to simply make a stationary link from coat hanger wire from the hole on the distributor to the nearest oil pan bolt. There was nothing connected to the spark lever at all.
Well, he should have used bailing wire!
The Atwater Kent Model LA distributor is a sweet running unit. It has both centrifical and manual advance. The centrifical has attachment points for three springs, however, only a single spring is correct. Be sure to ground the distributor to the engine, else it will miss on hard pulls. Fred