I have a magneto drive with a high tension magneto (gonna use a scintilla mag), will this really be a huge improvement over the stock T low tension mag? and when I do this how do I hook up the headlights for my car? My car has a 1916 engine so no generator just mag lights. Can I somehow keep the headlights hooked to the low tension mag?
by adding the high tension mag, you wont be disabling the ford magneto, so you should be able to just keep using it as is.
as far as improvement goes? thats a can of worms, for racing and all out performance the high tension mag will perform better. but a well set up stock system will perform very well.
is it a bendix scintilla PA-4? beautiful mags, although make sure you get one that has adjustable advance.
I believe the mag I have is a type AM-4, its all aluminum, really cool looking mag. But as for the low tension mag, I would still have to hook up a coil somewhere to run the lights off of as well right?
nope, the coils are just for ignition, the mag puts out around 30-35 volts AC. not sure exactly how the lights are hooked up to it, but wiring diagrams are available,
one thing ive heard is that when traveling at higher speeds mag lights burn out quickly, and that "regulators" are available to lower the output and extend bulb life. I think the Tru-Fire (aka Bittner engineering) makes them.
The problem with HT magnetos like your Scintilla is they don't put out a very hot spark when starting. That is why cars that came equipped with them back in the day had a battery / buzz coil ignition to start with. After the car was started you switched over to "MAG".
Scintilla magnetos are high quality parts made for racing. If you want to simulate the way they were originally used you can install rear nerf bars and have another automobile push start you every time before each race.
I read your other post about how fast you could go with a Roof 16 and 3.25:1 gears. From the sound of it here, you're still looking for speed. If I were wanting to really fly in my T, I would get rid of the magnets all together. In my thinking, the danger of throwing off a broken magnet at high speed would be more than I'd want to chance. I know the Montana guys do it all the time, but that's my take on it. Yours may vary. Since you only want the power for lights, I would guess there would be some other way.
I wonder if there is a suitable high tension magneto similar to the Scintilla that Alex plans to use, that is equipped with an "impulse" for starting which would resolve the problem that Royce described? Anybody,....???
I used magneto on a lot of cars : if it was reconditioned carefully with the good precautions you don't have problem to start the car.
But I don't have experiment on Ford T...
More than likely the mag already has an impulse on it. the only problem with an impulse is the gears on the mag drives are a little on the small side, and the shelf the magneto sits on isnt long enough to support a mag with an impulse.
atleast thats the case with the cross drive types that ive seen, you might be able to pull it off with the type that hangs the mag where the generator is.
although a magneto doesnt need to be turned much to create a startable spark i cant vouch for yours, but you can make one spark just rotating it by hand fairly slowly.
i agree with jerry though, the montana 500 guys run +2000rpm with magnets, but those are precisely setup and fully balanced.
I have a couple of Bosch and scintilla switches that have "A" coils on them for starting. they are not easy to come by nor are they inexpensive
I believe it is Fun Projects that sells a 12 volt battery charger that runs off the Ford mag. One of the cars I work on has a charger like this. The car has an Optima 12 volt battery to run the lights and the battery is kept charged by the charger run from the mag. On this car, the battery also runs a distributor system. The battery is hidden under the front seat and the charger is hidden down in the frame.