Hi all, I have a 1914 that I have just put in new pistons and rings, bored, valves. I'm running an Anderson timer,(put in a roller, it dose the same thing). #2,3,and 4 All change engine performance when shorted out.#1 dose not.Champion X plugs set at .030. Timer set for Anderson, as per inst. All plugs fire good while laying on head.Good rebuilt coils.Valves set at.010 intake.012 ex. No intake leak.#1 plug gets black fuzzy soot on it after running. Any thoughts.Thank you, Howard
Swap around coils and plugs and see if the problem "travels" to another cylinder. If it does then it's a coil or plug. If not, it may be a coil box problem or perhaps a wiring issue.
If the only "problem" is the black fuzzy soot, but the engine runs well, I wouldn't be concerned over it.
Try Jerry's suggestions. The other simple thing to try is to adjust the air/fuel mixture both ways and see if it makes any difference. #1 runs a little colder and it does not always like to run on the same mixture and the other three cylinders. Sometimes you just have to find a happy medium where they all fire.
I had the same problem and switched to a new day timer and the problem went away. I think it was a problem with the centering of the the timing cover. The new day timer is not as sensitive. Number 1 was weak but still fired. When I checked the timing cover I found that the Anderson timer was loose in the timing cover while the new day fit snugly.
While it may not be your problem your test of laying the spark plugs on the head and seeing them all spark does NOT test the coils as they are when running since the spark gap of a plug with no compression around it is way easier to jump than when under compression. I would follow Jerry's advice since it does the best test using your available stuff.
If none of the above indicates your fault, double check the valve clearances for number one cylinder.
Look for an air leak at the intake front port. Dan
OK, Jerry, I swapped plugs and coils ,same problem. No intake leak. When I short out #1 plug there is no difference in engine performance. That is what I don't understand. I will try a new day timer,but have to get one. Are the new ones good? I remember a while back they were to soft and only lasted a little while.Did they improve them? Val, is yours a new one or was it N.O.S.?
Thanks again for your help,
You don't have a timer problem.
Dan might be right about an intake leak, or perhaps you have a blown head gasket, or a valve sticking. I would perform a compression test before purchasing any other parts.
To properly measure cold cranking pressure remove all 4 spark plugs. open the throttle all the way. Then install the compression tester in one of the spark plug holes. Pull the crank through 4 - 5 times or until the guage does not go any higher. Repeat until all cylinders have been measured the same way.
The cold cranking pressure measurements should vary less than 10% from best cylinder to worst. A typical stock Model T in good condition measures about 60 PSI. One with a poor valve job might make 50 PSI. A Z head makes 75 PSI.
My new day is an old one that I had on the shelf and tried when all else failed. Number one was firing and made a slight difference when shorting out the plug but much less than the other cylinders so I am not sure you have the same issue that I had but it's a quick easy swap so it's worth a try. I used the Anderson timer that I took off the car on another car and it worked fine so for me it was clearly not the timer. If the timer is loose in the cover or off center it will throw the timing off more than you think.
Howard :It looks to me that you have an over-rich mixture . try a little leaner .It is all written in : THE MODEL T FORD OWNER pag. 303 304 305 .
If it were my car, I would sell those eXpensive sparkplugs and buy a $20 thermostat.
When you drive the car, does it feel rough like it is actually missing on #1? Maybe your problem is only at idle? You get black fuzzy soot on #1 so it must be firing. It would be wet and no soot if it were not firing. Your description is perhaps burning oil or too rich fuel mixture. Try leaning the mixture first. If it is an oil problem, maybe it will improve as the rings seat. Another possible problem would be running cold on #1. You will notice that the most direct path for the coolant from the bottom of the radiator to the top is via the front of the engine. Warming up the engine by running a longer time might help as well as an air pipe from the manifold to the carburetor intake.
I had exactly the same problem except mine is an original engine with no overhaul. It just started missing on #1. Like you I could lay the plugs on the head and get spark, but it wouldn't fire while running. Everything else was ok - compression, working valves etc.
It drove me up the wall. It had a new wiring harness from the coil box to the timer, so I assumed there was no problem there. Guess what? That new harness was the problem. It has a bad #1 wire in it. It would make enough contact to give me spark by cranking but not when running. I put a jumper wire on and everything is fine - except the generator. That wire is also bad - sometimes.
I would check Valve clearance on #1 cylinder at TDC.
Ricks, You mean the 8 sparkplugs I got at Hershey about 10 years ago for $8.00 are expensive?
As Royce, and possibly others, have suggested, your next step is a compression test.
Howard, what are they going for on tbay?
Anthonie; You are right, I turned the carb a little leaner and it is now firing on all four.
Thanks for all your help, I don't post a lot, but I do look up stuff quite often. You guys are good! thanks again
Ricks; I haven't looked for any plugs on tbay.
I'll bet they are more than $1.00 now.
Great news Howard! Go have fun now!