I purchased a brass Anderson timer on ebay without the revolving portion. What is your opinion of the Anderson timer? Does it use the same type roller as the original roller type timer or a different revolving contact? Jim Patrick
I really like them, always had good service without constant maintenance.
No they have a flapper instead of a roller. I've not seen a brass one?
Here is a link to a previous Forum thread , that may be helpful. I have been running one on our Fordor for the last eight years, with excellent results.
Here is a nice display board that I photographed when we were at Speedy Bill Museum two weeks ago. Regards, John
I like the Anderson, or ANCO, or AD-VR-TI-ZR best of all timers available today.
If you send it to Tom and Hutch, they will realign the tabs and will sell you a new flapper.
I've never seen one made from brass. Pics?
: ^ )
I have a lot of old original steel anco timers and one pot metal Anco timer. Never see a brass one - please post a photo or two Jim.
Anco timers are reliable and need nothing except to clean the metal shavings out of the inside every 1000 miles or so. I don't care for the way they sometimes pull the spark lever to full advance when you shut off the engine though. That idiosyncrasy is what finally led me to stop using them.
I have a steel one on one of my Model T's and have had no problems with it.
I have the timer in the finish you describe. The finish is more annodized, the base metal is steel.
The NOS Anderson is a smoother runner than the current manufacture IMHO.
I had the flapper on one with about a thousand miles on it fall apart out on the road. Luckily I had a spare on board. These days I prefer running the old new day timers.
There had to be a reason that so many Montana 500 drivers use the "Anderson" In one race every single driver except one was using Anderson and the one driver that didn't have an Anderson had his roller timer break and he could not finish the race.
It's what I'm currently using on both of our's. It is the second one on the TT. First one lasted a couple of years but got to where it would auto advance the spark upon shut down or on engine roll back after a failed start attempt. I had placed a thin coating of grease on the flapper and contacts. First time it did it, I was able to do some creative grinding on the flapper and smooth out the place that was doing the auto-advancing. Made it last a bit longer. When it started doing it again, I replaced it with another one. This time, I packed it half full of grease. It's probably been on there two years now and still working fine.
Since then, I read on here where someone was using Andersons completely dry. Their theory was that there was no grease to hold abrasive metal shavings. So when the Touring had it's second roller timer wear the fiber 'track' beyond repair, even though it was packed with grease, I put a 'dry' Anderson on it. That's been six or eight months. So far, so good. I've not checked it to see what it looks like.
I have also had an original made of steel with a brass looking finish on it. These timers have worked very well for me and require little to no ongoing care. Some grease the contacts, some run them dry. Both ways work. I like a touch of dielectric grease or even vasaline. Very little needed. These seem to run longer and misbehave less than roller types. I have no experience with running "new day" type.
One thing to note.....Do not set these up with the gauge tool used for setting timer rods on Ford roller tymers.
As Keith said, "Tip - Top Tymer" in Spokane will rebuild your original to better than original condition/function.
In my view the Anderson style timer is OK, but prone to various problems.
Tony Wiltshire has recently offered to Model T parts suppliers an adaptation of the Ford roller timer which I feel is superior for several reasons.
Tony has several of his units currently in service for over six months and if current feedback is any indication this timer is a real winner for wear-ability, ease of timing consistency and overall long term performance if properly maintained.
Ron the Coilman
Lets see the inside please...
Lets get back on topic ?
Ron the Coilman
I will post 2 pictures tomorrow of both sides, if I remember to bring my camera home from work. It does appear to be a period original that is either brass or a brass looking plating that gives it the appearance of brass. It is stained and tarnished, but I wouldn't want to polish it in case it is plated, because it might polish off the plating, but it is very interesting and if I can find a flapper, I might use it on my '26 coupe one day.
PS. I'll try a magnet on it to determine if it is brass or plated steel and post the results with the pictures on this thread.
The reliability and lack of maintenance aspect is great which is why I've used nothing but an Anderson timer. However, using DC for the ignition supply did show up a potential problem in that the timing can vary cylinder to cylinder, and can change as the contacts wear. This should be checked if you're not using a magneto.
I like the brush modification for the roller timer - will try that if it becomes available.
Jim, here is a flapper. http://www.modeltford.com/item/3221ANFL.aspx
The Wiltshire timer is available now.
The newly made Anderson is great. Royce is correct though that it's drawback is that it sometimes pulls the spark lever down...you need to be careful.
I had an Anderson on my 26 roadster for 16 years and was still on it when I sold it. I drove that car many many thousands of miles including 12 Montana 500 races. NOT ONCE did the Anderson timer ever pull the spark lever down.
NOS Anderson, box and instructions
The Anderson style timer is the only one that I'll use. I even had Frank Fenton update my Ford aluminum case with his contacts and flapper back before he sold his business.
Before I had a couple dozen originals rebuilt by Frank, I did have one original timer that displayed the spark lever problem mentioned above. Upon inspection, I noted that the flapper was completely worn out. There was some wear evident on the contacts and flapper, but the problem came from the wear on the heels of the flapper near the pivot point. The wear in this area allowed the flapper to rotate too far out. I discovered this when the wear became so bad that the spring fell out! I have not seen this problem on any restored or reproduction Anderson timer.
What causes it to pull down on the spark lever? Is it caused by the flapper making contact with the steel contacts in the timer? Jim Patrick
Jim, see Eric's post above yours.
My spark lever has come down on it's own several times but, I never knew the reason why until now. This however has trained me to always glance through the windshield to check the lever position before hand cranking. That combined with safe cranking methods means it's not an issue.
It could pull down if the crankshaft were to move backward. If it were to kick, it would move backward. If the timer is timed correctly and the lever is up, it should not kick.
If it were to 'kick' and catch the timer, it would destroy it, if it caught it very hard. What we are talking about is when the engine rolls back under compression after a shut down, or between quarter turns when starting, not an actual kick back due to not retarding the spark. Of course, the result could be a kick back if it does it and you don't notice it.
Practically all engines will rock back and forth after shut down or between cranking attempts. It is this rocking back that will advance your timer if it catches. Only a flapper type timer will do it and probably only one that is way off center, or else has this worn spot on the flapper.
I ran an original Anderson for a while. There was some wear on the flapper and it wanted to pull the spark lever down when there was any rock back from compression if I didn't pull the motor over on the compression stroke, which seemed to be just about every time I cranked and the car didn't start. Got to be a pain having to crank the motor past compression and reset the lever. Other then that it worked fine.
In my case using an original there could be several factors involved, the flapper not being real smooth, the contacts could be different then the new ones (ie, shorter contact surface different ramp angle), wrong flapper timer combination, needing it tuned up (the timer contacts set for correct inter cylinder firing).
If this is a correct flapper for the Anderson, I can't see where it would catch the contact and pull the lever down since the flapper is curved in both clock-wise (incorrect) and counter-clockwise (correct) directions. It might be better if the contacts themselves had a slight bend to them toward the outside of the timer case wall, at the open end, so that a worn flapper, going in the clockwise direction, would not catch the flat end of the contact, but instead would slide over the curved end. Jim Patrick
Found this hanging on the wall at a barn sale Sunday for one lousy BUCK. Pay close attention to the info on the rod connection point. When my worn out 85 year old original Ford timer gives up I may have to try it. The OEM roller still lights off at 1/4 turn and runs up to "too fast for comfort" speed without a miss, so I hope itll last another 85 years. I did wipe it clean and add 2-3 squirts of oil this year... ws
Jim -- When I first installed an Anderson timer about 10 years ago, it would sometimes move the timing lever if it didn't start on the first pull. After I timed it properly (according to the instructions, no less ) it never did that again. I've run Anco's exclusively ever since, thousands of miles per year, without a problem.
When I first got into Model T's in 1970, the most popular timer was the New Day. After hearing all the rave reviews on them recently, I'm thinking about trying one again.
An original Anco with brassy finish originally after cleaning and refinishing with cold blue...
Here are pictures of my unpolished, brass looking, Anderson Timer. I tried a magnet on it and it is steel. Not brass, but its' purty just the same. Jim Patrick
Jim, the contacts look to be in good shape. I would want to buy a flapper and run it.