25 years before I retired I had purchased a lot of old cars as an investment. I am now retired and I brought my cars to Texas and I need some honest opinions on timers. My 27 roadster pickup has a timer and my 10 roadster has a distributor system. I would like to purchase a spare timer for road trips and need to get your opinions as to what I should purchase.
Thanks from an old newbie.
Cary, this thread will go on for several days as everyone that has a T knows what they prefer is the best. I'll start it with my preference, a brush timer or New Day. Others will prefer a flapper but I don't think too many prefer the roller.
New Days are OK if it is the older original ones. The new repo ones are crap and need to be avoided. I had two and both went the same way causing no end of problems and nearly a tow home on one occasion. I am currently using a flapper type and have found it to be reliable and easy to maintain... so far so good!!!
I recommend the Anderson Flapper Timer! Get it here:
Mark C. Hutchinson
2225 N Dollar Rd
Spokane Valley, WA 99212
: ^ )
Which ever you choose, you might consider having the same timer as a back up. That way, the timing won't be affected if you make the swap. Not all timers will have the same initial timing setting. You wouldn't want to swap one out and then break your arm when you tried to start it back up.
As for recommending one, I am currently running Anderson's on both of our T's right now, but the next one is going to be the brush type that Ron Patterson posted pics of a few months ago.
Cary-even though I'm two-years new-might as well throw in my two cents. I have an Anderson on the '12 and it seems to run great, have a miss once in a while so not sure as yet where. Haven't had time to dive into it. The '20 has True-Fire, despised by most, but wow does it run smooth. OK-now for the 2 cents....I recently bought a "new design" if you will Carbon Brush Timer from TW Components Inc. after reading about it in an earlier posting. Put it on my '15 and while I only ran it a very few times for very short while due to engine problems, (it's out of the car being rebuilt!)..it ran great. Installed easily, no need to lubricate ( I like that) so you might want to consider that. Tony's phone is 317-431-1589 He's in Tennessee. Looks like a New Day wannabee.
Whatever timer you choose, be sure your fan belt is adjusted properly
I've had good luck with an old New Day.
I just have three recommendations based off of my personal experience.
If you want something that works like a champ and is easy to get a hold of, get yourself a new Anderson Timer, and you won't be sorry. I've run several of them and they are fantastic performers. They'll go hundreds, if not thousands of miles with no maintenance whatsoever.
NOS New Day Timers are also fantastic, but they can be hard to find sometimes. However, you must make sure that you have an original one, not one of the later repros or it just won't hold up well. They too are very low maintenance.
However, if you want something exotic that works as well, if not better than an original New Day Timer get yourself a Crystal Timer, and buy a new aluminum ring for it. I run one on my '24 Touring, and it is just a great timer, and it looks really cool to boot. Personally, I wouldn't run anything else on my car. Almost no maintenance is required for this one.
I really like the new radial angular brush type that is recently available
Couple of items to consider;
1.Brush type timers should be run with NO lubrication so you need to instal a modern seal at the front of the camshaft
2.All others need lubrication
3. Anderson; if you ever get a "backfire" (reverse rotation of the engine) it will destroy the timer
4.ALL timers should have the front cover accurately centered to the camshaft
5.NO timer will rectify poorly tuned coils
4. I have a old BEST brush type timer that I have remachined a couple times (still going strong)
I'm with Hal on this one. Also as you can see, there are plenty opinions on timers, just make the one on the car, and the spare the same brand/make so you won't need to make a timing adjustment when you changed timers.
Thank you all for your input. You have helped me come to a decision. From the many views come the logical decision for my situation. Thank you very very much.
I don't know about the original Anderson timers, but the new ones will not be destroyed if the engine backfires. I ran a little test setup with the Anderson in reverse just to make sure, and it handles it just fine. Those contacts that look to "one way" will allow for rotation in either direction. No worries there.
I own one and it came with this caution. Obviously I guess they have changed the design
Luckily the the sliced New Day had a "S" stamped on it.
Personally I use roller timers. I tried Anderson timers three times on various cars and each time had trouble with them shorting out on the case. Only tried a New Day once and wasn't impressed. If you rebuild the rollers with ball bearings, the rollers will outlast many cases. The races of the cases can be turned once to clean up the surfaces. They are plentiful and reliable. The down side is the cases don't last forever and you need to clean and oil them regularly. No big deal, takes me a couple minutes. The way I see it, if you don't like maintenance, don't buy a Model T. Its part of the experience.
While the repo New Day has gotten a bad rap I am going to try one but will replace the hard bush with a carbon one. It will be going in a low use car that currently has a worn out roller timer. The only problem I foresee is using too soft a carbon which rubs off on the housing and shorts the whole thing out. (The problem I am having with the brush I made for my washing machine)
I'm with Richard Gould on this one. When I bought my Tin Lizzy, it had a stock Ford roller-timer, and while that thing is no less cantankerous than all the other parts of the car, it works with at least as much precision as one might reasonably expect from a gadget that was developed at the same time as the light bulb. And like everything else on the car, it wants to be wiped and lubed more or less on schedule. The requirement for ceaseless tinkering is part of the warp and woof of Brass-Era automobiles and one might expect that the least expensive of them all might also be the least sophisticated (although in many ways, it wasnít) and thereby have greater need of maintenance.
I guess thereís a sort of philosophy that goes along with wanting to own one of these cars. Folks like you and I are just more likely to percolate coffee, write with fountain pens and think of todayís popular music as an abomination. So, when we step into the Waybach Machine with Sherman and Mr. Peabody and intentionally sojourn to the world of gas lights and kerosene lanterns, it might not be reasonable to complain about a lack of cell-phone coverage. If you want your Model T to benefit from 21st Century technology and accelerate with the kind of slick-smoothness only computerized sophistication can offer, hey, that stuff is readily available. Its undeniable that an E-Timer equipped Flivver will run much better and offer greatly enhanced reliabilityóif thatís what youíre after.
Unfortunately, there arenít very many organized Brass-Car tours in my neck of the woods and so, I donít venture very far from home. Iím not likely to find myself broken down somewhere in Timbuktu and my insurance policy (with Hagerty) provides flat-bed transport home within a 100-mile radius, so I donít really need an E-timer (though I think itís great for folks who drive long distances). Iíll eschew the microwaves and ball-points and happily plod along, however spurtively, in obsolescent splendor.
I use mainly roller timers, although if I had to pick second place I would choose the original New Day with brown case. I've got many many many trouble free miles using either of those, and the performance is excellent.
I don't disagree that maintenance is needed on the roller timers, but I tend to enjoy that part too.
Been lurking here a while lot of good info, some bull, have been trying to separate the two. Been fooling with T's for years. Currently running one of the S new days, I'll see how long it last and give a report. oscar
I have run many timers over the years. The one I am presently using is running and starting the best of all. What is it? It is a NOS Tiger that I picked up at Chickasha. It had been put away in my underwear drawer for several years and I just happened to use it. From the remarks above ,they seem to say that the old timers built back in the days of daily T use are the best.
There seem to be almost as many different opinions and experiences with timers as there are Model T's. I have 7 of them and have experimented with just about every type of timer and have to admit that the results are inconclusive. I have had good and bad experiences with all of them. For consistency I think the Anderson flapper is the easiest to use and most reliable but I like the original New Day timer best for performance. I keep original roller timers under the seat in all of my cars and find that they always get me home if I have a timer issue on the road. I am going to try one of those new timers from TW Components so I can compare their wiper style to the New Day.
I don't want to start another rant but there is a timer that does not need any service with no wearing parts.
By the way, the photo Steve Jelf posted is the one to stay away from!
I think Steve had the right idea with that one. That way, your timer can double as a fan belt tensioner!