126 Touring Car - Can't get her started, she has run before a couple of months ago... A couple months ago, I put in a new Anderson timer, re-wired the entire car, cleaned fuel system, rebuilt carb, etc. It started as soon as all of this was done. Fast forward to now. Had one bad coil, broke armature shaft, installed new one, starter works great but she just cranks and cranks but won't fire! Read the manual, read a bunch of threads on here and did the following: Drained fuel tank, removed sediment bowl, removed carb and cleaned it, flushed fuel through system, re-connected everything. I checked spark at each plug, all good, get fuel to carb, dropped a squirt of oil in each cylinder, squirted a dab or starting fluid in #1 and tried to start. Nothing, no spurting, snorting, etc. I have GAV set to about 1.5 turns. Any clues? Your comments will be appreciated! Thanks, Jeff
Flooded? Did you choke at all before starting to prime the system? Are the plugs wet after trying to start?
Broke which armature shaft? Starter?
You are positive the coils are buzzing? But more importantly WHEN they are supposed to?
Is the fuel valve turned on? Try opening the petcock at the bottom of the carburetor. Gas should run out.
Also check for top dead center #1 with valves closed piston coming up on compression. When the piston just passes top dead center, the spark should come for #1. If you have the ignition switch on battery the coil should buzz and the spark plug should fire at that point. Next in order are #2, #4 and #3 then #1 again in that order.
If you have both fuel and spark it should start.
Flapper 180 deg. off. Lots of cam shafts have the hole drilled all the way through, easy to put the assembly 180 off.
The fuel valve is open. Have fuel dribbling out of back of carb. Choked it as I was trying to start, may be flooding. Yes it was the starter armature shaft. Coils are buzzing. Need to check TDC. Not sure what the "flapper" is?
a flapper is to an Anderson as a roller is to a Ford, or a brush to a New Day. When I'm having significant starting problems on a T that should start, I get someone to pull me around the pasture-- easier on the starter or your arm! Sounds like it's flooded, or gas getting to carb, but, not to cylinders.
Just a note, if you can, have someone push you, once it starts up the T likes to sorta take off. Also, you can't bend the axle or anything if someone pushes instead of pulls. Don't ask how I know that.
What is the proper way to pull it so I don't mess something up? Low gear, throttle position, etc etc. Thanks!
Jeff, pull the number one plug, leave the wire attached and lay it down on the head to get a ground. With the key on, the spark retarded, turn the engine over by had and see it you have a spark at the number one plug.
Take off ALL the wires just in case something is fouled up.........
I don't recommend a push just yet. You have something very basic that's not right. I'm assuming compression is good. It ran after all the work you did so something changed. Pull your plugs and make sure their clean. I had one, in my early T days with the carb needle set too rich and carbon fouled the plugs so bad it wouldn't fire at all. Exactly like yours. Every things there but no-go. Took quite a while to wise up and check the plugs but sure enough that was it. It ran after you installed the timer so a reversed flapper is probably out.
If your battery isn't up to snuff, the starter will draw so much of it's juice that there isn't enough for the coils. Choke the equivalent Of two quarter pulls of the crank with the needle valve 3/4 to 1 turn open. All else being equal, it should start. Timing, starting a few degrees past top dead center on number one with the lever up,, is 1243. At least all that works for my 23, and has since 1945. (My $0.02 worth)
Had a friend with a Cletrac with a similar problem--gas dribbling-Not dripping --out of his newly rebuilt carb. I pulled it off and found the float needle installed backwards. Sounds dumb but things happen. If it is a rubber tipped needle, check if its spongy. A lot of stuff claimed to be Viton is not and subject to be affected by ethanol.
Wires to timer in correct order? I had my RHD with timer upside down and put #1 at bottom right (correct place if timer were right way up) . . at any rate, rotor still calls for #1 firing at top left of timer. I had exhaust, not firing , off 180 degrees. You might have wires out of order sb 1243.
Just don't trust Lizzie.When we went for ice cream tonight Lizzie gave me a no touch free start after 8 days! After we ate our ice cream about 15 min i had to crank! Go figgure? Bud.
Thanks to all for the ideas! Is taking a long screwdriver and grounding it to the head and checking for spark at each plug the same as pulling a plug and laying on the head as suggested? I can't understand how the timer could be installed upside down? I understand it not being wired properly. I will dig back into it next weekend. Hopefully I will get it figured out soon!! Jeff
Jeff, the screwdriver shows the spark getting TO the plug--not through it! Pull them out, leave them hooked to the wires, lay them on the head. If flooded, you should see wet plugs and/or smell gas from the holes. With switch off hold your fingers over #1 hole while someone pulls up on the crank until you're sure you're on the compression stroke for #1. Turn the switch on and pull up on the crank a little and see which plug is firing and continue cranking to check if you have the correct firing order and see that all plugs are working. When pulling car--very little spark and gas in high gear till it fires.
Jeff. You can't install the timer upside down and hook it up to the rod.
I don't think it's a firing order problem but if You really want to do a positive check, pull all the plugs and lay them on the head at their proper location. Then with the switch on battery, turn the engine over with your hand crank. When the handle is straight up, one plug will fire, either 1 or 4, or 2 or 3. Four turns will fire all the plugs, and and you can verify your firing order. To check on the possibility you are 180 out, a vac hose applied to the spark plug hole with the crank plus or minus 10 degrees of straight up will tell you the valves are closed that plug should fire
Newbie trying to learn, i think Jeff has a right hand drive car. A couple of weeks ago someone posted that a timer on ebay was for a right hand drive car. Are the timer's different? wired different? thanks
Unless we look at your profile we would not know that you have a right had drive 27 which would put your timer upside down to us. It would still be wired the same way LHD or RHD.
Charlie, the only difference between a LHD and RHD timer is the position of the arm. On a RHD timer the pull arm is on the bottom, which means the oiler is opposite the arm rather than on the same side as on the LHD timers. The wiring is the same on both.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I always like to be helpful, so here's what a flapper looks like.
By the way, it should be easy to get her started.
I think the motor's already running.....
O' you kid!
I'm curious as to why the starter shaft broke - did the engine backfire once? Then the shaft broke at some later point in time and you've since replaced the starter? Some timers are tolerant of a backfire and some aren't. Take the timer off and see if anything is bent/broken inside the timer and check the rotating flapper or contact for damage. Some use a spring for tensioning - is the spring there?
You mentioned you had fuel at the carb so let's just assume (rightly or wrongly) for now that the carburetor is fine.
If everything looks fine with the timer the next step would be to crank the engine over with the plugs laying on the head with the sparkplug wires connected and crank the engine over by hand with the ignition ON. As long as the head is bare metal, the plugs should ground okay and they will fire as required. This will show you if the plugs are firing at all, and if they are - what order they are firing in ... should be 1-2-4-3 with the front cylinder being #1. If there's no firing at all then you have a problem with the timer, the wiring to the coilbox, or the coilbox and/or coils. Since you rewired the car I'm guessing you have a correct diagram so follow and test each wire with an ohmmeter if you have to and check it off your diagram or list as you go along. It's a good idea to remove the ignition coils so you don't get any false readings. You could also use a voltmeter to see if you are getting the ground signal at the coilbox on the four timer wires. Connect the positive side of the meter to 6 volts and check the four timer wires with the negative meter lead, again as you crank the engine over by hand.
If your coils are not firing at all, and your wiring appears good, crank the engine over by hand with the timer removed and see if the flapper is rotating - it could be that you have a timing gear problem.
It's all quite logical but you do have to view certain events in combination to get all the facts.
Good luck Jeff,
Thanks for your input! Yes, I am a newbie! I apologize for not saying it earlier, but my car is a 1926 RHD Touring car. So here is the question on my timer. My timer is setup as follows. Starting at 12 o'clock is #4, 3 o'clock is #2, 6 o'clock is #1 and 9 o'clock is #3. Is this correct? I know that this set up is different than the great diagram that Steve Jelf provided in a different thread. Thanks, Jeff
It looks like it is wrong I am new to. but I think it should be 1243 the way you have it it is 1342. wait till someone with experiance pipes in though.
Isn't the wiring for the RHD drive timer exactly the same as the LHD, since the camshaft is still in the same position in either engine? I refer to my timer as 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock.
10:00 is #1
8:00 is #2
4:00 is #4
2:00 is #3
Right order, wrong positions. Your timing is kaput. Move 'em. Follow the diagram.
who are you speaking to?
If fuel is running out the back of the carburetor the float is stuck. Tapping the carburetor with a hammer will unstick it. Its not likely to start if the float is stuck. The Anderson times differently in position from a roller or new day timer. Pull out the spark plugs and crank it until you feel No. 1 cylinder coming up on compression, then with a light or a stick pull the piston up to top dead center. Adjust your timer until No.1 fires, then set you spark rod at full retard. That should fix your ignition timing and you should be good to go.
Will, we were typing at the same time. That was for Jeff. It looks to me like he's 90º off. It won't hurt to move them and try it.
If we understand that the car RAN when he was done with the wiring and now doesn't, then we must assume that the wiring from the timer to the coils is done right, though upside down relative to typical LHD timer wiring. A flapper 180 out on the cam would negate this effect, being a CCW rotation, starting at "1". Additionally, the description given by Jeff would yield the correct 1243 firing order.
Jeff - can you speak with certainty that you have NOT altered your wiring since the last successful start?
This is "slightly" OT, but not too much! I have finally learned to do things on a Model "T" one at a time. That way, if I screwed something up, I have a better chance of figuring out what I screwed up. As is often said on this forum,....."don't ask me how I learned this",.......harold
Thanks again to all! Scott, If I understand you correctly, you say that my current wire arrangement is correct. I have not altered the wiring since the last start. I am thinking now it must be a fuel thing. Ted I will check the float tonight. I will need to check the compression at TDC. Ted are saying that once I know cylinder #1 is at TDC, I then adjust the arm on the timer so that at the fully retarded position, #1 fires? Sorry for all the questions, I am learning!! Jeff
Make sure it looks like this.
Photo credit to Steve Jelf:
Also, an observation. You have too many kind people giving you advice, all at the same time, and sometimes contradictory.
leaking intake manifold is a possibility if the plugs don't get wet
It will go. Over the past month I spent 4 phone calls to New York with a (newbie)person helping him get his 26 coupe running ( each call more than an hour). First trouble was bad Carb., second incorrect timing wiring, third was not on TDC#1 forth call I said it's time to start it and I could see his smile when it started. Just hang in there and we'll see your smile on here as well.
Thanks. Jerry, I have Steve's diagram, it is great. However, I think I understand it to be true for LHD cars only? Mine is a RHD. Bob, thanks for the words of encouragement! I never give up so I will smile soon!
Jerry, you just won the drawing contest!
An easy way to determine if the problem is gas or spark related is to remove two spark plugs and pour in a shot glass full of gas in each hole. Replace the plugs, turn on the key and hit the starter button. If the engine starts, but fails to continue running, you need more gas.
Some ignition switches are wired backwards, and not all engines will start on Mag.
If the coils are not buzzing, the engine will not start!
Do you know Steve Coniff in Colorado Springs, He is a T man and might be able to help.
He dose beautiful work on T's.
Jerry, seems like the Pull Rod Bracket for the Spark Rod Connection is between #1 and #2 for a RHD engine.
Move that part and your drawing will still be good.
I just purchased a starter armature from him last week. I am going to call him this week.
This is not a giant problem. Sleep on it overnight, then start fresh tomorrow. You need gas, spark and compression together with the proper timing. Take it a step at a time. Slow down and think things through.
If I understand according to this thread, the timer is upside down compared to a LHD but the wires go in exactly the same places as if it were right side up.
Whether it's RHD or LHD, the engine still turns the same way (clockwise). So does the timer (counter-clockwise). Just be sure it's wired to fire #1 at TDC, followed by #2, #4, and #3.
That's exactly what I said before: The camshaft turns the same direction regardless if it's RH or LH drive.
Thought 1 - Troubleshooting exercise:
Pull your plugs, hook them up to the plug wires, put a thin **long** dowel down your #1 (front) Plug hole... turn the key on to bat. Slowly crank your motor by hand (easy as there'sno compression) When it gets near and goes across Top Dead Center (dowel protruding furthest, AKA TDC)either your 1 or 3 plug should be sparking. If not... you have a timing issue. If it does spark at about the right time, slowly crank the motor 1/2 turn - the next plug you your firing order should come alive at 180 from the previous one (remember, 2 follows 1, 4 follows 3!!) This is a Q&D check to see if your timing is close to right, and in the right order!
Thought 1 1/3 - while the coil is buzzing merrily and the spark plug is sparking between the plug electrodes (and not down the side of the porcelain) make sure it's a fat blue spark, not a yellowish or orangish spark. If it's blue, then it will do... If it's yellow, then it's a weak coil (or battery), fellow!
Thought 1 2/3 - if the coils seem weak or yellow on 6v... Put a 12V battery in its place for the test. WARNING - do NOT run your starter on 12V, or do so at your own risk. This is to check your COILS ONLY!!! Regardless - if they're weak on 6V, they may need to be reset and retested on a Handcranked (or electronically-simulated handcranked) coil tester. Ask one of the coil gurus here about it.
OK... Thought 2 - If your timer is way off... like sparking at the midway points of the piston travel or worse... Didja pull the timer off and check to make sure the roller/flapper/etc. hadn't come loose? If it did, and threw your timing off, it could go advanced, causing a backfire, breaking the armature, etc...
Once you know the timing is approximately right, the timer is in one piece, etc... set your timing lever so that when it's all the way up, the buzzing/sparking doesn't start until you've gone past TDC as per the previous instructions. THis keeps you from breaking your armature (or arm as the case may be).
Thought 3 - What else changed since it ran? Oil in the cylinders (fouling the plugs)? Intermittent contacts in the coil box? Loose connectors on the back of your switch or on the terminal strip? Already old gas going bad and clogging your jets? Someone spun the mixture knob down (or up) messing up your mixture? If it ran before (and remember, these things run in AWFUL conditions!!) and suddenly doesn't, something caused it to stop running.
I have seen a few cams with the timer rotor locating pin hole drilled all the way through, making it possible to install it two ways, only one the right way. Something to check for.
Ted, thanks for the good advice1 I really do try to think things through to properly problem solve, but sleeping on things is a good thing. Susanne, thanks for the detailed advice. This is what I have done. I found TDC on the #1 cylinder, adjusted the timer accordingly and subsequently had to re-adjust the arm to have it in the proper position when the spark lever is fully retarded. I had to extend the arm approximately 3/4"- 1" so it was out of whack quite a bit. The new timer is an Anderson and the previous timer was an original Ford. Tonight, I will then check my work by putting plug on head and cranking to watch when it fires. Keep your fingers crossed! Thanks again.
I have attached a picture showing my current timer setup (Diagram 1,a rendition of Steve Jelf's great diagram (Diagram 2) and another diagram (Diagram 3). My question is this: For my 1926 RHD Model T, should my setup look like Diagram #3? Your help will be appreciated! Thank you, Jeff
I agree with Will. My only quibble with your diagram is that the arrow looks like it's going clockwise. The crankshaft turns that way, so the timer is opposite. That gives you the 1, 2, 4, 3 order.
Thank you William and Steve! Much appreciated!! You are exactly right Steve, my arrow is wrong, my mistake. I have corrected the arrow on my copy. I am going to make the wiring change tonight and I am hoping the darn thing starts. From what I have learned thus far, it simply won't start with my current configuration? I appreciate your expertise. Jeff
I changed the timer wires per the diagram and I had started for a few seconds!! Adjusted GAV to try and get it to stay started but no such luck yet! I will get it now!! Thanks to all who helped, it is much appreciated. Jeff
Finally got her started! Thanks for the advice. Thanks to Steve and Will for their timer advice for a RHD car. I now know that the wiring is a little different for a RHD car. Not really different, but counter intuitive! Thanks, Jeff
So how come the car started after he first rewired it, then didn't a couple of months later? The timer wiring must have been correct after he first did his rewiring. What changed? All he did was fix his starter and replace one bad coil, according to his first post. Please tell me then I'll shut up and go to bed.
Ray. Some things are not meant to be understood. Just go to bed and have sweet dreams
Cause I am new to this and learning Ray! It started because I finally figured out wiring, fuel mixture, starting procedures etc.
I can see your smile (grin)all the way out here, congrats and good job. When are you getting your next T ?? Grin.
You are right Bob! Thanks! Big smiles for me! I also have a fully restored 1930 Model A coupe, so it may be a bit for another "T". But I do want an older T maybe 13 or so! Jeff