I tried setting the Anderson timer with the little Ford tool and found that the motor acted like it had too much retard & not enough advance. It needs some advance to start at all and wants all the advance the lever can give it at a fast idle.
OK, I got out the instructions, read them over and followed along. All the plugs out, plastic tube with yellow straw in No. 1 and spin it over until the No. 1 plug starts to spark and the straw was at maximum height. Then the crank was nudged just a bit further so the straw could begin its decent. This should be the point to set the timer to.
Well, maybe and maybe not. The plug sparked at a wide variety of timer settings including as far toward the anti-clockwise (retard) side as it would go. There is NO POSITION in the available travel that would make the spark stop.
I'm not sure what to do now so I didn't do anything. I left it as it was and moved on to other jobs. Any ideas?
Vintage Paul with well scratched head . . .
Careful about that! If you don't watch out you will go bald.
I don't know how to explain it. I just do it. However, you are close. Once I am where you are at (starts and will run, but retarded (better be careful how I phrase that)), if I can, I just tweak the bend on the push/pull rod to advance the timing until it is where I think it is good. If bending won't quite do it, or becomes too round-about, I make a new rod at what this one tells me is the appropriate length.
About half of my restorations have been speedsters. They always throw a little extra trouble because of changes in the steering column position, or the radiator is moved slightly, or any one of several things making the "standard" spark rod not fit. Some rods go over the lower radiator hose, while others have gone under, for instance.
You'll get it. And maybe even have some hair left on your head.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
You need to find out why you always have sparking Paul - that's not how it should be. You don't have one of those silly timer shields inside the timer do you? Throw it in the garbage if you do. If there's no shield found to be causing the problem then check out the inside of the timer to see if there's metallic grease causing a coil(s) to ground out (and spark). If there's nothing there then check your wiring to the coilbox for any bare wire that's touching metal somewhere.
With the engine just past top dead center and the timer disconnected from the rod (and being fully retarded) there should be no spark. Slowly rotate the timer until the spark begins and then turn off the key (to prevent damaging to coil from overworking itself). Now you bend the timer rod to fit into the timer. You need to have a good, solid fit between the spark advance rod, the timer rod, and the timer itself - any slop will lead to an improper setup.
Anderson timers are NOT set with the little Ford tool. That is only for Ford-made timers.
Put your # 1 piston just past TDC on compression, and without the timer rod connected, rotate the Anderson timer counter clock-wise (towards the passenger side of the car) until it just starts to buzz. STOP THERE and bend the timer rod at the curved section only to fit into the timer with spark rod all the way up.
You might also need to experiment with the placement of the timer wire contacts to make sure they are not touching any metal when you rotate the timer, or you will get a false ground and buzz. I did mine once, and got a continuous buzz from number 1 to number 4.
Never use the Ford tool on a non-Ford timer.
Do exactly as William Vanderburg says. If you can't find a place where it stops buzzing, you might have a ground on the wire leading from the timer to the coil box. Most common place is the bolt through the crankcase under the timer. That bolt should be placed with the head up and the nut down. Any other place the wire is grounded will produce the same result.
Another source of problem is sloppy linkage in the timer rod or the lever at the end of the steering column pin loose. That would cause the timer lever to move without corresponding move in the timer. Tighten up everything.
I time without the control rod in place, then use a Sharpie to make a temporary reference point so it doesn't go anywhere while I'm fiddling with the rod shaping. So far so good, that part comes with the Anderson instructions. (I add the Sharpie').
Then I tape the spark lever UP. Now it is rod fitting time and there needs to be some order to how the rod gets bent to fit and still miss interference with things. Get too loopy with the rod and the timer doesn't follow for full travel. You are only 'on' at that just before buzz, and when done you should still have full quadrant travel on the spark lever without feeling real resistance at the bottom end. If the 'hole' is too big on the column link...you lose travel, you lose advance.
The other thing is to make sure the timer sits IN the cover spotface, not on top of it. One brand of newer timer does this out of the box and needs a little fitting help, but the Anderson fits out of the box, usually fits a tad snug...thats OK I just rotate it back and forth a bit once the clip is just snug enough to make sure it doesn't stick at a point in it's travel. My Sunday morning mind is trying to think of approximate degrees for full...but too groggy...and too early to go look. You should try to be in that full travel range for best on the go running and many make a mistake, especially with the 26-27 as it let's you make a big 'S', but the final shape of the 'S' is too loopy and somehow gets lost in geometry of '4 bar linkage' needs and you get much less travel than you should.
Fitting the rod can drive you nuts as it is a balance where a little extra twist can cause you to lose a bit of motion...but when all done with the stick 'up' and your Sharpie mark on target you want to untape that spark lever, get full travel without binding, and assure yourself the timer rotated as much as it could.
DO pay attention to where the wires in the loom are supposed to 'over' and 'under' the spring clip that holds the timer. Depending on where the loom is clipped to the shelf, wiring an 'under' as 'over' is known to cause that permanent short and constant buzz, or prohibit you from full travel.
Before you even turn the fuel on when done, just set the key to 'batt' and with that #1 cylinder in the same place you should get a buzz at full retard or just a nudge down. (It's just me, once I do it the above way, I keep fiddling with the rod in place so I get no buzz at full up, but one click brings it in) It should then start in that location easily on BATT, and a few clicks down if trying MAG (since you won't hear a static buzz on mag)
"If you can't find a place where it stops buzzing, you might have a ground on the wire leading from the timer to the coil box. Most common place is the bolt through the crankcase under the timer. That bolt should be placed with the head up and the nut down. Any other place the wire is grounded will produce the same result."
Thanks guys, I just went out and had a look. Sure enough, the castle nut is up and was hitting the terminal of the timer limiting its travel. I'll fix that right now and see if I can't get this thing timed better.
I think William has his instructions backwards. The timer is running in the opposite direction to the crankshaft - so it is running counter-clockwise. You need to make sure that you are setting the timing at the beginning of the contact in the timer case. Therefore, position the engine just past TDC, then turn the timer CLOCKWISE until it just starts to buzz. Then bend the timer rod so it fits into the hole with the timer lever all the way up.
If you set it to the point where the coil starts to buzz when you turn it counter-clockwise, then you will be at the back end of the contact and your timing will be way off.
Hope this makes sense. Hope I got the direction right!
Happily that is the way I did it.
I bent the rod up plenty and made it worse each time. The best compromise I could find was a 1/4" on the timer housing too much advance. I have pretzeled two of these rods trying to miss everything and still get it where it needs to be. Where do you bend them to lengthen them without making them hit something someplace?
Paul: The best thing you can do for yourself is to purchase the Model T Manual, details owner repairs so that a farmer's wife could understand.
Can be purchased thru any of the major vendors.
Please consider sending the generator back to the vendor to be properly reviewed. There are two major faults that should not be in a properly re-built unit.
You bend it at the timer end of the rod. You shouldn't have to make it fit around things - you might have an improperly installed lower radiator hose if that's where the problem is. John Regan has mentioned correct routing numerous times on the Forum.
By John F. Regan on Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 09:28 am:
Timer rod routing should be such that the rod passes under the steel radiator tube and then on to the timer. If your rod passes under the lower hose that is connected to that tube then that hose is too long and you need to trim it back and re-clamp. The lower hoses are typically supplied as the same length as the upper hose and that can cause issues with the timer rod. There is plenty of hose between the 2 hoses if properly positioned after the lower hose is trimmed. If you elect to bend the rod rather than trim back the hose then you are off and running in the wrong direction. Unfortunately someone before you may have already bent the rod there and if that is the case you may be better off to start with a new rod. If made correctly to factory bends then to set the timing you should only bend the rod by opening or closing the "upper arc" portion of the rod in that large arc that is above the timer and on the timer end of the rod. If you bend it someplace else you will have issues with it hitting things during its travel.