I'm still looking for answers to why I have a loss of power when going up steep hills. I have cleaned the sediment bowl, changed the fuel line, adjusted the needle value, oiled & cleaned the timer, shorted out each plug (I have a good spark with each cylinder and engine speed decreases), gaped and changed all the plugs and now I find that after each drive the coils in the coil box are about 1/4" form the bottom. I'm wondering if that is what is causing the loss in power?
Happy motoring, Warren
Yep, sure could be. If you are not running with the top on the coil box or if the keepers on the top have been removed or if you have a wood repro coil box without any provision to keep your coils down, you'll have problems. Typically a noticeable miss develops.
If that's not the case with your situation, try changing timers. Roller timers typically don't last long. Let us know what you find out.
Could your engine be a little tired? Have you checked the compression?
Have you ruled out gravity?
All of the above. Is this a new problem or has it gradually come on or suddenly?
The Model T is notorious for moving slowly up hill. It usually has amazing low speed torque and will climb very well, but just at a slow speed.
If the problem has come on gradually, it could be caused by poor compression due to worn rings or valves. If it has suddenly come about it could be due to clogged fuel line, or just low fuel level in the tank. Most Model T's have the tank under the front seat, and as one goes up hill, the fuel flow slows down right when you need it most. So check the sedimemt bulb and fuel line for free flow, and fill your tank. Then try again. If the engine has a noticeable vibration and runs unevenly, it is usually the sign of an ignition problem. What you said above about the coils coming up in the coil box is the most likely thing I would check and fix first. Sometimes the coils can be wedged by using popsicle sticks or tongue depressers to push them against the contacts. Best thing is clean contacts and bend out the spring contacts a bit. The cover should also fit securely, and if you don't have a cover, get one. And be sure the latches work.
This is the order I would check things. If it runs rough like it is missing, short to ground each sparkplug. If you find one or more, that the short doesn't cause the engine to slow down, those are the ones to look at for coil or spark plug problems, or grounded or open wiring. Next in order would be the timer.
If the problem seems like fuel starvation, where you open the throttle, and it slows more, but when you close the throttle, it runs smoother, like it would if you are about to run out of gas, then check the fuel flow.
Next I would check compression, should be even on all 4 cylinders about 50 lbs. Actual compression varies with altitude, becoming less at higher altitudes.
Last time my hack did that it was a bad coil.
Where is your gas tank? Under the seat or under the bed? If under the bed, are you running a fuel pump? If so, rig up a temporary fuel supply higher than the carb and try it. I did and it ran like a scared rabbit. Currently looking at options on relocating the fuel supply.
A 1/4" in-line fuel filter will cause problems like you describe.
Have you considered a diet for the big "Old Dog" that sits in the front seat?
The timer not advancing to "full advance" will create an under-powered situation. A Model T will not climb a hill with the timing retarded. It will run good on the flat, but even the slightest hill will become a problem.
This could stem from: 1. simply bending the timer rod slightly at some time, 2. changing timers, 3. looseness of the spark lever arm on the steering column, 4. to internal problems behind the timing cover.
1, 2, & 3 are easy to check.
Next, check if #1 is firing just past top dead center on the compression stroke. If not, the timing could be slightly retarded causing a lack of power when the timing lever is in the advanced position.
Thanks to all who responded. I think it's either what Richard or John are talking about (although my friend Fred, "nice to have friends in a time of need", has a good idea) at least that is what I will concentrate on this week.
Happy motoring, Warren
"A Model T will not climb a hill with the timing retarded."
I gotta disagree with that one. While I certainly don't mean to run it at TDC, retarding the timing one 'node' upon climbing a hill will often times help, not hinder, the performance.
If your coils are rising in your coilbox, check your lid. I was having a similar problem and found that in the lid I was using the metal tab that is supposed to hold the coils down was too narrow and allowing the coils to rise. I could hold the lid upside down and drop a coil right past the tab. I checked some other lids and found one that had a "witness" mark only about 1/32" wide and another that was nearly 3/16" wide. Clearly there are several different lids.
Sorry, Hal, I was just trying to make a point.
There is a point where there will be a power loss if the timing is retarded too much on a hill. If the lever is all the way up, and the timing is already over-retarded, well the timing sweet spot may never be reached at full advance, therefore if the lever is backed off on a hill, then there may be a problem pulling it.
I know that you encounter some humdinger hills down there in South Georgia.
No major hills. And I'm sorry if I offended, but your post seemed to imply you can have good performance on the flat with a retarded spark, but somehow need a fully advanced spark to climb a hill. I just don't see how you can need more advance on a hill than you need on the flat.
I also have noticed that when pulling a steep hill, after going to low gear the car tends to surge. I does not back fire, but the engine speed and road speed will slow and then pick up!
Happy motoring(that's what I'm trying to get back to), Warren
PS: notice guard dog on duty.
Warren- the surging on a hill is starting to sound like fuel starvation rather than ignition. If the hill is steep enough it would probably go dead. What do you think?
Hal- you trying to start a fight?
Not at all. I guess I just don't understand what you are trying to say.
In answer to Hal and the others concerning the retard. Retarded is when the spark lever is up and advanced is when it is down,on a left hand drive vehicle. The best spark lever position depends on the speed of the engine rather than the speed of the car. So if you are pulling a hill in high gear with the engine going slowly, it runs better slightly retarded, not all the way up, but about half way. But, when you shift to a lower gear and the engine speeds up, it will pull better with it more advanced. If it slows down again after shifting to a lower gear, then slightly retarding, will pull better. It all depends on the engine speed.
Norm, I have never driven your car, but you are right, and I agree.
Each of my 4 cars drives a little different, therefore I drive mostly by feel. My cars with a Z head, advanced timing gear, and hot magneto feel different that the one car that is stock.
On most hills my cars climb best at full advance but if speed gets slower than around 27mph climbing is improved if retarded 2 to 3 notches.
But, if the lever is retarded 6 to 7 notches, hill climbing ability is greatly reduced and there is a severe underpowered "feel" and severe slow-down.
I am suggesting to Warren the possibility that he has some mechanical adjustment that is not allowing his timer to adjust to full advance, thus the feel of power loss. A timer rod that is not properly adjusted or a sloppy spark lever arm on the lower steering column will cause such a problem.
I've been there.