After 25 years of restoring Model A's I just bought my first Model T. It's a 1926 with the coil box located on the left side of the engine. I know the T has been running within the last year but when I got it home there were wires running everywhere. After studying the wiring diagram I've pretty much figured it out with one huge exception. The coil box only has the 8 terminals coming out of the side. 4 to the plugs and 4 to the timer. Problem is, there is a very small wire, like something that would be used in a telephone or doorbell, coming out of the bottom. There has to be some other way current gets from the ignition to the coil box. All other T's I've seen in pictures have a 9th terminal. Any ideas as to what's going on? I see no other way the bottom strip gets a charge! Thanks FK Augusta, GA.
The little wire out the bottom of the box is what supplies +6 volts to the coils. Only one coil is turned at a time, of course.
You're now in a different world, transitioning from a Model A to a Model T. enjoy it!
If that coil box is correct, it will have one terminal on the bottom like the one in the picture posted by James. That wire goes to the ignition switch. The switch has two inputs. One is for battery and the other is for magneto. If you turn the switch counter clockwise you will be running on battery, and if you turn it clockwise you will be on magneto. The engine will usually start easier on battery, and run better on magneto, so you turn it to battery to start and after it is running, then switch to magneto. This switch must be done quickly so you do not kill the motor. Also do it when the engine is idling. If you do it while driving you risk blowing off the muffler! If you are driving along and remember that you did not switch to magneto, put the throttle up and the clutch in neutral to make the switch and then continue by advancing the throttle and letting out the clutch.
The entire coil box when the engine is running only draws about .65 Amps so that main power wire at the bottom of the coil box doesn't have to be heavy duty. In a Model A the single coil powers all 4 cylinders and needs to draw way more current when the engine runs and of course there is no magneto so that current is being drawn whenever the engine is running. With a T, once you switch to magneto there is no battery power used to run the motor. The battery then only powers the starter and lights.
If that doorbell wire isn't stranded its gonna break.
So Troop what your saying is if the wire isn't stranded...it will leave you stranded.
Thanks guys! Great info! I made some progress today by by-passing the ignition switch and running a hot wire to the thin wire I mentioned. After playing around with it I finally got the first coil to "buzz". I then placed the others in that position in the box and all "buzzed" so I think I have 4 serviceable coils, obviously not adjusted but at least working. I have decided the former owner made his own coil box rebuild using 1/4" plywood. My plan is to drill a small hole in the bottom contact strip and insert a small brass bolt then connecting a heavier wire and forget the small wire for now.
One question I do have...when the bottom strip is "hot" should all of the coils buzz, or just the first one? At present, I'm not planning on using the magneto. I just want to get it started on battery then take one step at a time. I know I'll have to start the engine with the crank since the starter bendix is obviously not working properly.
Thanks again for all the replies. Very much appreciated! Model T Novice here! But I'm liking it more each day! Frank .
Be very careful if you pull the starter since if you simply take out is 4 bolts and attempt to remove it - it will not come out and you will for sure damage the magneto ring which might very likely be good before that. To answer you question the bottom strip is hot for all 4 coils all the time the ignition switch is "on" to bat or mag position. It is either connected to BATTERY (6V) or MAGNETO. Regardless of which one the entire strip is hot and all 4 coils get connected to it at the same time. What makes each coil then fire when its turn comes up is the timer. The timer will select a coil to fire by completing the circuit to ground by grounding the top side connection to a coil. It only grounds one of them at a time to fire one cylinder at a time. You have the timer sitting on number 1 but if the engine rotates then the timer will move off that contact and none of them might be connected until you move the engine still further until another cylinder is then grounded. The order that this happens is 1243. Every half turn of the motor you will then have another cylinder firing. 95% of fixing anything is knowing how it is supposed to work.
Thanks John! That answers my question exactly and I agree with your 95% statement. You guys have helped me greatly so far. Now, on to the fuel system next week. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. Thanks again! Frank
Also instead of using the plywood in the coil box, get the fun projects rebuild kit. You won't regret getting rid of wood for a non conductive material. http://www.funprojects.com/products/5001BRK.cfm and if you need them the contact set, but since you have coil buzz your contact are probably good.
Hi: I just want to re-inforce the above statement above about removing the starter. Be very carefull removing it. You "must" remove the bendix before removing the starter or you "will" destroy the mag ring. Also be very carefull about "hot wiring" Make sure that there is no way to send the 6 volt (or 12 volt) back to the mag post on top of the hogs head/trans cover. If you do by accident it will demagnitize the magnets in the mag. The best thing to do is unhook the mag wire at the mag post till you are ready to use it. Another thing to be aware of is the coils will fire using DC or AC current. The battery supplies DC current when the key is in "bat" position on the switch and the mag supplies AC current when in the "Mag" position on the switch. It will run on 6 volt, 12 volt, the mag AC voltage, or even 110 volt AC household current if your brave or foolish enough to use it. The coils do not care what is used. But sometimes they do seem to run a little better on mag Just take your time to absorb the learning curve that is ahead of you. Model As and Model Ts are totally different animals. Welcome to the world of Model Ts. Donnie...
I'm curious which 5% you don't agree with?
Do not just be satisfied with it running on battery. Follow all the above advice regarding taking care of the magneto as this is the power for the ignition the Ford ignition system is ment to work with. Battery is just for starting and redundancy.
When you get it driving you may experience just that as the 6V supply is simply insufficient when it goes faster.
The magneto works with 16 magnets attatched to the flyweel that pass by 16 coils on a ring and hence producing an AC from just a few volts (at crancking speed) to 30 - 36V at top speed (2200+ rpm). Apart from delivering a higher voltage ensuring a proper buildup og magnet field in the ignition coils the AC also comes with ignition points at certain but stable positions of the crankshaft, so the ignition is more precise running on magneto than it is on battery.
The output from the magneto is the terminal om top of the gearbox (the "hogshead") and take that wire off while you play with hot wires to the ignition coils.
Welcome to the exciting world og high tech of the first decade of last century! :-)
If your timer is working correctly, the coils should buzz on battery in firing order as you turn the crankshaft. Two coils will buzz per revolution of the crankshaft in this order 1,2. The next revolution of the crankshaft will be 4,3. So with two complete revolutions of the crankshaft you will have 1,2,4,3. Where the sequence starts will depend on the position of the crankshaft when you begin to spin. That is it could be 3,1,2,4 or 4,3,1,2 or 2,4,3,1. When you spin the starting crank, always engage the crank at the 8:00 position and pull up with the left hand to the 12:00 position and immediately let go the crank and pull your arm up out of the way in case it should kick. Always retard the spark by pushing the spark lever up all the way for cranking and then after it starts run around and pull the lever down about 3/4 way down.
I believe you are correct that pulling the crank from the 8:00 to 12:00 position is the way to go. However, that only works all the time if the crank ratchet is improved and modified like this:
Once again, thanks guys for the "overload" of info. Keep it coming! First of all, Doug Money's question". The other 5% would be dissembling any A or T part and only being able to reassemble it if you took it apart yourself in the first place! Give me a bucket of parts and I would be lost unless I was familiar as to how it works or had previous experience with the reassembly.
Today I got lucky. removed the bendix cap, removed the bendix assembly off and the starter turns strong with just the shaft exposed. I noticed neither of the bendix screws were even tight. I also noticed the spring did not look usable so I ordered a new one.I also ordered a part that was missing and I'm not sure what it does. Bendix collar pin and spring set. I assume it's inserted in the end of the starter shaft and held in place when the bendix cover is attached. Probably just to keep the starter shaft from moving absorbing the 1/4" lag? Not sure exactly where is goes in the assembly!
My plan is to only run and drive my T on battery. I'll deal with the magneto later. So far, I have by-passed the original ignition switch and installed another switch between the hot wire coming off the battery at the starter switch and connected it to the coil box. I assume that will work but only as long as the battery keeps a charge. I can live with that for now but was just wondering if I could somehow integrate the generator and cut-out into my direct system. If not, no problem, I'll just recharge the battery after use.
My ultimate objective in this project is to at least get this T running and driving. Once I learn more and more, and I have already learned a lot thanks to you guys! I will buy a much nicer T. Once again thanks for all the help! Frank
You could use the regular switch to operate the ignition on battery.
If it is a 26-7 coil box mounted on the engine, the connection is on the bottom of the box to hook up the power wire from the battery. It should be connected to the normal ignition switch. You can just run it on the battery position.
Turns out I didn't need to pull the starter. Only the bendix was the problem. Replaced spring and all is well. Thanks for all of the suggestions. Now I have a problem with the carburetor. Engine runs for a short period of time. I have used starter fluid spray once or twice but I know that's not good for any engine. I just needed to be sure the engine would run and it does! I do have one question...what does NH mean as it refers to carburetor? I plan to remove carb today but not sure what rebuild parts I'll need. NH is confusing! Thanks
NH is the name that Holley gave to their Ford carburetor. It was the most popular carburetor ever used on the Model T.
If the engine only runs for a short time, then it may be that your carburetor bowl is filling too slowly, which means that your fuel delivery system (gravity) is impaired. This is quite common for a 1926/27 Improved Car. Rust collects in the filter system.
You probably need to flush all the loose rust out of your gas tank and refurbish your sediment bowl/filter. They now make superb replacement sediment bowls for the 26/27. I recommend it.
When you order a replacement sediment bowl screen (A-9155-RK) for your cast iron sediment bowl/shut off valve on your 1926 cowl mounted gas tank from Snyders (www.snydersantiqueauto.com/modeltparts), order a carburetor rebuild kit (T-6200 NH) , which has all the gaskets and parts you need to rebuild your carburetor. Also, get a T-1 Model T Service Manual (BT-1) which gives you all the settings for the NH, including the setting for the float which is 15/64" to 1/4" from the flange to the bottom of the float. www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/210295.html. Jim Patrick
Thanks guys! Today I took another look and removed the carburetor for the second time. After learning more from your excellent answers, turns out I have a Simmons "after market" carburetor. This time I was able to almost completely disassemble it and clean everything removable. Gas flow appears to be as good as any I have seen on my Model A's. Bowl seems to fill nicely and the drain cock on the bowl flows freely as well. On another forum thread concerning Simmons carbs they mentioned a "floating butterfly". Mine also has that behind the choke. I'm wondering what purpose that serves? Do all T carbs have that as well and what is it's purpose? Is it activated by temperature at start-up? Is it truly needed or can I just leave it open and use the physically controlled choke? Sorry about all of the questions but I am just before buying a rebuilt carb made for the T. Thanks, Frank
Click on Keyword search either at the top or bottom of these pages Frank and type in the words; flapper carb
Set keyword option to AND and then click on search at the bottom. You'll get a good list of old messages to read ... and the first one says Simmons too !
Thanks Garnet! Will do!
I gotta warn you, Frank. Your Model A is in serious danger of sitting up for long periods and becoming a red headed step child. Mine gets neglected often. As do chores like cutting grass. T's are more fun than A's ever thought about being.
Interesting point Hal! So far you are correct! LOL
You should consider joining the South Carolina Model T Ford Club.
Are you coming to the T's to Olar Festival, October 18-19?
Hal I have written to the secretary for the complimentary newsletter. I do plan to join but need more info. Looks like the President lives here near me in Evans. Will contact him soon. I'm not familiar with the Olar Festival!
Also, I'm not having much luck with my question about the extra "floating" Flapper butterfly located behind the regular choke. Not sure what that does and/or if it is only on Simmons Carbs.?
Now this is a stupid question...LOL. I also have a 22 Coupe as well as my 26. Neither of my engines have the extra pully on the left side of the engine. Can you tell me what tha is and what it does? Only on certain T years? Check out the picture! Thanks guys!
The extra 'pulley' is an aftermarket water pump. They are a hotly debated item on this site. I fall into the 'If you need a water pump, your radiator is the real problem' camp. The other side is the 'Henry was just too cheap to put them on the T and every car since then has had one' camp.
Here's a link to an old ad for the T's to Olar Festival. It gives the story behind the festival, but of course, the dates are wrong. It's a small show, but no bigger than Olar SC is, that's a lot of Model T's in one place. I'd say there are usually 15-20 T's there. We'll be there with the TT. You should come. We always have a good time.
Hopefully someone else can answer your carb question. I'm not familiar with Simmons carbs, but it sounds like it may work like a Kingston. I'm more familiar with the Holley NH.
The MTFCA sells a book on T carbs. I'm pretty sure it covers some aftermarket carbs as well. It tells how to rebuild them as well as the chronology of them. The book is part of a series of books on different T systems. They are all very helpful. There is one for the Electrical System, Transmission, Engine, Axles, Carbs, and maybe another one or two. They are available from most any of the vendors.
Those Simmons / Western Auto carbs are great. A carburetor won't cause intermittent operation. More likely you have a fuel delivery problem. Perhaps dirt in the fuel strainer, or in the bottom of the tank.
Olar Festival this year is Friday Oct 18th and Saturday Oct 19th. Which day is best? Probably Saturday?
Royce, gas flow to carb is no problem. Fuel pours from petcock below the bowl. I think that mysterious "floating butterfly" behind the manual choke is closing and causing the problem. I managed to tighten the screw which holds it so it will stay open. I have a rebuilt Kingston on order, will try that. Might be a vacuum leak somewhere in the intake. I've just never seen two chokes on one carburetor.
The "flapper" in the Simmons carb is similar to those in Kingston carbs; otherwise the carb is very similar to a straight-thru NH. The flapper should be free to move by means of airflow through the carb. When there is no airflow, the flapper acts as an additional choke to richen the misture when starting the engine. When running, the airflow keeps it open. If your flapper is sticking, I'd suggest that you figure out why that's happening and free it up so it can do its job, rather than switching carbs. Those Simmons carbs are my favorite. BTW, if you get a rebuilt Kingston, you'll still have a flapper in there.
The Kingston has a "flapper valve" just upstream of the throttle plate, see pic below:
I have a Kingston L4 on my 1923 touring/pickup and it works fine, flapper and all.
Frank, I have never gone on Friday. Never wanted to use a vacation day. Sometimes, the cars do a short tour that day. Saturday is the parade and car show.
Mike, best answer so far.I can understand that theory. Mark, thanks for the diagram. Saved it, will probably need it down the road!
Hal, will you be bringing your T? If so, can you post a picture here?
Mark, once again thanks for the diagram! Here's a question for anyone familiar with T carbs!I ordered Lang's rebuilt Kingston L4 with swivel style adjusting needle. (Only one they had in stock) Works great. My 26 "Barn find" cranked and ran pretty well considering. Since I do not plan to keep the 26 I would like to keep the rebuilt carb and use it on my 22 which I do intend to keep. The 22 also has an original Kingston L4, however the Spray needle has a different attachment on top. It simply adjusts via a forked end on the choke rod that inserts into two holes. My question is are these interchangeable? Can I simply swap needle assemblies? I noticed Langs shows item 6213 which appears to be what's on my 22 however it says it's NH which I thought was for a Holley. I hate to sell the 26 with a rebuilt carb if there is any way I can swap them out and both run well. Any input will be appreciated! thanks Frank Knapp
I went to the T's of Olar in 2008. They let me park my motorhome and trailer on a street southwest of the open field where the T's were. I don't know where you'd have to go to get a motel. Then, everything in the town appeared closed except one convenience store, a garage and the fire station. It was like stepping back in time when the families loaded up in the pickup and came to town for the county fair. There wasn't a whole lot to it, but it was relaxing and fun. It's not often you can see a carshow with just T's. (I think there was one guy there with a Model A). If I had time and it was a little closer I'd go again....