Just wondering why old Model T wood coils have value. I see they are often offered for sale on ebay and usually bring pretty good prices even if not working. Being new to Model T's I was just wondering what buyers of these old coils do with them? Are the rebuildable?
They are easily rebuildable if the coil windings are not open or shorted. Moreso if the wood boxes are reasonably intact.
Ask Brent Mize or Ron Patterson, they rebuild them.
I love old coils that are rebuildable, however, some of the prices asked for and paid at times on E-bay are REDICULOUS. I buy old coils for $5.00. If the price is higher, I pass on them.
Some sellers think these are filled with gold I guess.
I love the ones who claim they are very rare. Henry built 15 million+ engines, and each engine runs 4 coils, so there have been at least 60 million coils just from the assembly line. I'm sure there were a good number on parts shelves for awhile too.
If I can't buy them for less than 10 dollars, I'm not interested. And even then they have to be in working or at least repairable condition.
Jared, Don't forget all the buzz coils that were made for everything else that used them like hit and miss engines. I think I might raise the amount made some. It would be interesting to know just how many were made back in the day.
I am the guy who then buys what you guys don't want. I buy coils that need only to have one thing good about them namely the windings. Never toss a coil with a good winding even if parts of the box are split or missing. I want them but I do NOT take windings out of good box coils since I know they are rebuildable. I save those and trade them for coils that have falling apart boxes. Since I pay very little for them, I don't typically pay to have them then shipped to me unless the source has many of them. I do however arrange to pick them up at Chicasha and Hershey so that it allows you guys to bring them there and be sure they will all be sold and eventually in use again. Removing the coil windings safely and then testing them correctly to cull out the ones likely to fail takes a lot of time and not recommended if your marriage is not strong since Renee' really uses her 10 foot pole to keep me away on the days I am working on coils. Tar migrates every place stinks up the clothes I have on so I have devoted one room for all tar activities but it still is a problem when it gets on clothes and things.
Please drop me an email if you have some old coils that are beyond rebuilding as far as the wood box is concerned. I will also buy good box coils if you want to get rid of the whole pile but I buy them only to trade for junk boxed coils and there are tons of those that you have seen. Many of them are still priced at $20 each and I too just walk past them. I offered a fair price for some junk coils to a guy who had them at $20 one year. He got mad. Next year I offered the same price to the same guy. He said no. The third year I offered the same price to the same guy and he had dropped the price to $10 and he said no. The next year I bought the whole box for the price I was still offering. He had the additional years to prove his price was correct - it wasn't. Take along some means to test the windings before you consummate the deal or you may buy some paperweights. Antique stores don't seem to care if the coil works or not so if the coil box looks decent you might be able to get something for them there.
T coils are not that common abroad like here in Europe/Scandinavia.
I have a stack of coils Iv collected over the years stacked up against my wall in my garage that must be 5 feet high in between the wall studs. Everytime I see one cheap enough at a flea market ($5.00 or less) I buy it and put it on the stack. I bought a whole box full once and only got three that were usable. But it seems like I only paid $10.00 for the box full.
Will, I wish you were my neighbor...........
John, I'll keep that in mind. How do you test the windings?
I've got about 100 coils laying around, and I've been holding out for $10 each, and they have good cases.....No takers.
$5 to $6 or I haul. Now I'm just picking them up to complete spare sets. Usually to re-build & sell. If I was buying to get a set specifically for a car I might go slightly more. (But that hasn't happened yet).
There are other things that will render a coil unusable and not rebuildable but you can check the resistance of the windings with an ohm meter. As in:
Thanks Jim. What else would make a coil not rebuild-able? Looks to me like everything else could easily be replaced during a rebuild, but I'm nowhere near a coil expert. I'm very interested in learning more about coil operation, adjustment, and rebuilding. Is there a book somewhere out there anybody would recommend?
Just to clarify, the coil image I posted is not mine and was prepared by Ron Patterson. I believe it was posted on a past thread on this forum.
A coil can have a internal short or path to ground on the high voltage outlet that will not show up with a normal resistance check but may be found with a megohmmeter check or in actual HCCT testing.
There is some very good information to be found on the operation and rebuilding of coils.
You can find a three part discussion of coils at:
By Trent Boggess and Ronald Patterson
(look in the technical documents box)
And on the same page is a very good explanation of the total ignition system by By Ron Patterson & Steve Coniff
Also a DVD set is available from vendors on rebuilding coils. As:
Also, you can find videos on youtube on rebuilding coils.
It's funny to see what some people call them on ebay. I often see them referred to as "rare wood car battery."