Atwater kent distributor

Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration
Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Atwater kent distributor
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By pete myers on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 01:28 am:

I have recently obtained the model t from my uncle, he is up in age and knew he wasn't going to be able to take on the project, since I have completely dismantled the truck and rebuilt a rolling chassis, on to the motor and my problem. I am having problems finding cap, rotor, points etc for the atwater dist. Any suggestions would be app. I hope to complete this project in time to take him for a drive in it!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David White on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 06:27 am:

I have 1 & 1/2 I am rebuilding into 1. I will have some parts left.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 06:45 am:

Pete,

You will pretty much need a 'friend' to round out and salvage an original AK distributor. You have to buy a gear set, or an origianal rotor, or cap and those that sell 'good' as part of their trade tend to see you coming and know the next guy will buy at their price.

If time is not on your side, you may want to consider buying one of the newer clip-on kits that are available. Out of the box and an hour or two and you should be good to go if your other stuff works. Then you can spend your time getting the AK back together later if you want.

My son has an AK on his '26 that is simply 'shot' and it went from great to goat in a 24 hour period, and we have spent ungodly amount of time and money gathering up bits and pieces and still have a way to go. In fact, he's bringing it over today on his vulture truck, we are going through it together for that and a bunch of other things, but he has already made the decision to order up a clip on this week as he's now tired of constantly watching his sit and needing to take out one of mine when he has his own. He's also made the decision to rebuild the AK completely over time and put it back on somewhere down the line.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 08:00 am:

Hi Pete,
Welcome aboard. An inexpensive and quick way to get going might be to put a timer on it with coils. There's several ways to get it operational. I have 2 T's with distributors, and the rest run on coils and timers. The one I drive the most has an Anderson timer, coils and a 12V battery (the magnets had been previously removed and replaced with aluminum oil slingers.) Some folks think if your magneto don't work, you have to switch to a distributor--not so! You have options--choose the one that works best for you and get it going. Good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 08:36 am:

There are two or three different Atwater Kent distributors.

You would have to know the model number to get the right cap.

Here is the CA Model that includes a different front plate.

AtwaterKent


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom VanMeeteren on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 08:49 am:

Contact me at 402=359-5762 I have lots of NOS ignition parts for this unit. also have lots of NOS ignition parts for other makes and models


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 08:53 am:

Pete

I gotta second Mike's opinion.

I don't want to sound like some who insist that everything on a T has to be factory original, but the sweet sound of coils buzzing away is a part of the T driving experience.

I considered a distributor when restoring my T but decided to fix up the coils and now I'm so glad I did. Always fun to hear the public ask "what's that buzzing noise I hear ?"

Also coils can actually be cheaper than outfitting with a distributor and, they are very reliable. I carry 2 spares under the back seat but have never had to use them.

They are not nearly as fussy as some would have you believe, especially running on battery.

Good luck with your project!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 09:12 am:

Pete,
You don't say whether the distributor components are missing or suspected unusable. I run several A-K model LA distributors. All components are very original, used and *worn*, but work perfectly fine. There is the notion that one needs to replace ignition components...when it isn't really necessary. Perhaps the capacitor, but it is easy to disconnect the original and replace with an external modern one. Don't give up. Good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 09:38 am:

Does your have the energy-saving snap action points?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom VanMeeteren on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 01:31 pm:

The energy-saving snap action points were in the H and K style AK distributors. I have parts for them too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 06:05 pm:

You're in Camino Califunny? There are a couple good clubs near you. One in Sacramento, one in Auburn. I know a few people that live near you. Lots of good advice (and probably help) is available close by. I am just a little ways further up highway 49 in Grass Valley. You can call me. I make no promises that my advice is any good. But sometimes I think I know what I am talking about.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 06:12 pm:

I am running a NOS Kent Atwater on one of my Ts and was told the parts for Kent Atwater are a bit hard to find.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 07:34 pm:

Does anybody have experience with the snap action points? How is starting, and high speed operation?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By pete myers on Thursday, July 04, 2013 - 10:01 pm:

Here is my setup,
Atwater kent type LA ford model
My phone will not allow me to choose the photo but it is seperate from the plate and held on by a bolt and plate spring.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 01:48 pm:

Pete, here is a photo.

AtwaterKentLA

The pot metal base is often cracked or broken with these distributors.

The small collar is often missing, if you find one at a flea market and that is required to give the drive gear the proper offset to engage the distributor gear.

The capacitor is normally attached to a small tab on the band that holds the coil and not placed as shown on this distributor.

The wire holding the collar and drive gear is actually going through the tab that would hold the spark advance rod.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 02:00 pm:

The Atwater Kent Type LA is very similar to the Bosch Distributor.

Bosch

The Bosch base is fixed in position and only the distributor turns to advance or retard the spark.

Note the similarity of the collar and drive gear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 06:27 am:

James Golden,
The capacitor you reference is a replacement. The original LA capacitor is internal to the distributor head and is not (easily) replaceable. Your photo indicates a repair/upgrade to a modern capacitor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 06:53 am:

FWIW, I did learn something about an LA this week.

Have been fighting ignition and overheating for a long time on a '26 when the only change done by someone was to change out the points. Found the LA to have maybe 25 degrees of play rotationly, the shaft goes up and down at will, the gears are shot, and the comm rod levers have big eggs in them...The quest began and the ultimate decision was that maybe a modern clip-on would be 'easier' than chasing this ghost. The owner (my son)trucked it over the other day, played with it some more because we were going to make up an order so might as well go gangbusters on lots of things, and it was tough to start....sounded good when started...but had absolutely zero guts...behaved as though the low band was missing or skipping!

So list made, time to put it back on the truck and I happened to mention, you know as near as I remember that carb has been on there for near 40 years. Before we go and turn the order in, why not get that spare NH out of my stash, it only had about 500 miles on it, and let's see what else changes, only 2-9/16 and about 10 minutes.

Deed done, fires right up, has b*lls to the wall even with the looseness in the distributor, and nothing could make it overheat! Go figure...

We'll still get it done right on a distributor because thats what he wants and what his grandfather always used, but sure fooled me...old carb sounded good but it was apparently the bigger part of the problem. The '26 lives again for another day...sometimes these really are hard to kill! :-):-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 06:29 pm:

John, You have a good point!

I have not removed that top section, but the original capacitor seems to be roughly rectangular, a little shorter than an original Model T Coil capacitor and still inside the top section.

I have a meter that measures capacitance and leakage, I will have to check.

I also have a little booklet here someplace that originally came with that distributor with installation and repair instructions.


Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.
Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration