I got all excited, today was suppose to be the first start up. I rebuilt the coil box myself. That could be a clue. I attached pix. I think I wired it correctly. I switched to mag and bat in case I got it backwards.
I slowly cranked it just to get the buzz, but no sound. What might be missing?
I plan on putting the rad on today, gas her up and hopefully start her up.
Thank you in advance for suggestions. Bob
Commutator: green: bottom right
Blue: upper right
Red: bottom l;eft
Black: upper left.
The black wire is tied off, not attched to anything.
I don't see anything attached to the battery terminal of the coil box.
Oh yea, coils have been rebuilt by a friend and fine tuned by the Coil Doctor at Hershey. I did drop one the other day. May it is jarred?
But if there is no battery, where does it attach?
No battery, no buzz. You could just get a large 6 volt battery at the hardware store. Use 2 wires with alligator clips. Connect the negative battery terminal to the chassis and the positive battery terminal to the battery connection on the coil box. Then, with the key in the Batt position it should give you the buzz you're looking for.
I did not know that. Then to start the car without a battery, all that needs to be done is crank it on mag?
With the buzz, I knew when to crank. How do you know when the pistons are in the correct position to receive the starting crank?
Yes, if things are OK in the magneto you should be able to start it on the mag. There will be no buzz, so just crank it. When you're ready to start it I'd leave the key off, give it a couple of full turns with the crank and at full choke, then turn the key on and give it another pull.
A thought: When I started mine for the first time after a long rest, I spent the $5 or so on a 6 Volt dry cell lantern battery. I hooked it up as described above and she started right up. I did that because I didn't know if the magneto was OK or not. Once I got it started then I could switch to magneto and verify it was in working condition. I didn't want to crank it and crank it not knowing what was wrong if it didn't start. Using a battery just eliminates one of the more common possibilities.
You will have to advance the spark a few notches to start on mag. KB
Notice there is no steering column or spark rod installed.
Knowing where to set the spark to start on Mag might be learned the hard way with a broken wrist or arm.
That engine will start and run on Mag and I have seen it happen after it was rebuilt.
The engine has been sitting for several months and it might take a lot of cranking to see it happen.
Often it is hard for me to tell what the experience level is of a forum member. When I looked at your forum profile and it says 1915 and you are working on a 1912, I sort of assumed that you had already had the 1915 for a while and you were already quite familiar with the Ts. But a couple of comments you made on this thread lead me to believe you may have two Model Ts but you are not that familiar with working on them. IF I have that wrong, I apologize. Feel free to skip the rest of my posting as you will not need any of it.
If you have someone experienced help you start the car it will be a lot easier and they won’t forget to type something that you should have read. And if you have an experienced T driver – pulling the car in a clear open area can make starting easier. When I was younger I don’t remember thinking pulling with a car was easier – but now days – it sounds better and better each year. Especially if the engine is tight from a rebuild.
Below is a photo that Robb Wolf posted back in 2006 that is very easy for me to read and follow:
Something I learned about Model Ts is I do not want to go up to an “unknown” Model T and try to just start it with the hand crank it. Sort of like I don’t go up and pet a dog I do not know something about. I routinely hand crank my Ts and I’m not concerned. But with someone else’s T or the first time I crank my own T after installing the engine etc. I want to make sure “IF” something is wrong– I won’t be holding the handle when it back fires -- so to speak.
As mentioned earlier – be sure the connections to the timer and carburetor are installed and functioning correctly. Note – oil should be in the engine and water / coolant in the radiator. Don’t start in an enclosed area etc. Initially don’t have the gas running to the carb. Using a battery should allow you to quickly tell if the engine has a problem (incorrect timer rod length or installation; timing set wrong; short in the circuit some place; etc. ) . With the FUEL OFF, no gas in the carb, switch turned to battery, 6 volt battery (12 volt can be used and the car will run better on 12 volt DC than 6 volt DC at higher speeds – but I’ve heard you should not let the coils sing long if you have a 12 volt DC batter – it is hard on the coils, and the coils really like the magneto), SPARK RETARDED, wheels chocked, out of gear, emergency brake on, fire extinguisher ready [see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/399668.html?1384010644 ]. If you already hear one of the coils singing / buzzing that’s fine. If not – go move the spark lever until it does make a noise. There is a slim chance the engine stopped in a spot where none of the coils will make noise but usually on our cars if we move the lever we can normally hear one of the coils sing. If you do not get any noise – I suspect something may be wrong – but the next step will confirm that one way or the other. Next insert the crank at the six o’clock position pull up slowly as you push in until you feel the crank seat (normally around the 7ish area). Then pull up slowly on the crank. You should feel compression as you are slowly pulling up on the crank. You should NOT hear the coil singing change to the next coil until you are just over/past where you feel the compression. Just after you pass the top dead center the coil that should be firing that spark plug should start to sound. If you hear a new coil start singing as you are pulling up and still feeling the compression – then that indicates the spark plug is firing the cylinder before the piston reaches top dead center (TDC). When the engine is running you want the spark to occur a little before TDC as the engine produces more power. But for starting it can easily cause the engine to backfire and spin the crank backwards. Note jacking up one of the rear wheels (we jack up the driver’s side as it allows the driver to see when the wheel stops spinning when he applies the transmission brake etc.) often makes it easier to get the engine going. But be sure the car is chocked well so it cannot move. Also – at least one rear wheel was so far out of balance that it caused the car to fall off the jack when the throttle was not retarded quickly enough.
If it sounded like the coils were working correctly then I would turn off the ignition and turn the gas on. Be sure to open the needle valve on top of the carburetor 1 ¼ turns counter clockwise [that is my initial setting others may have a different preference]. Check to make sure gas is getting to the carb – i.e. open the carb drain and check for flow. Pull the throttle about 1/4 of the way down. Choke the carb and pull up four times on the crank [note in the Ford instructions below they say only two pulls on the crank – our 1918 likes 4 pulls]. Pulling from about 7 or so up to 11ish or so with quick steady pull. Left hand is recommended for cranking but it depends on how much risk you are willing to take. Do not wrap your thumb around the crank. Do NOT push down on the crank. [Note some people say that spinning the crank is a great way to start the car. That is not needed for a well tuned car. And if it backfires and someone is pushing down on the crank rather than pulling up on the crank they will most likely break their arm. Again – how much risk is someone willing to take?] This is where it is nice to have a second person helping you – let them crank… no I mean… As soon as the engine was cranked over 4 pulls with the choke on – the person cranking should release the crank handle and be ready to choke as needed to keep the car running if it starts. The person seated as the driver should turn the coil box switch to battery and the car should start or at least fire the cylinder. The longer you wait between when you stopped pulling up on the crank to when you turn the switch to battery the less likely the cylinder will fire. “IF” the engine runs backwards – you know the timing is off. If the cylinder fires advance the spark ¾ down to keep the engine running. Choke may or may not be needed. If it fires in the correct direction – I would feel comfortable cranking it while the ignition is on. BE SURE THE DRIVER RETARDS THE SPARK. I almost did my Dad in once when as a kid I forgot to retard it after it almost started and he forgot to double check me. Fortunately he was pulling up on the crank and not pushing down on it. [Note I’ve read that you can use WD-40 as a starting fluid – but I have not tried it myself.]
Below is the starting instructions for a Model N, R, S, & SR Ford – they are basically the same except once the T starts switching it to Magneto allows the engine to run better and saves your battery.
Good luck and be careful, Just like the horses the Ts replaced – they are faithful servants but they can kick if you run up behind the horse and the T can kick if something is wrong.
Hap l9l5 cut off
If your not sure of the car or yourself tow it to get it running at first.Once you get it running and the timeing is right if you are going to hand crank mag start you will need some inational advance mag start only.If the timeing is right with no advance[mag start] you might crank for years with no start on mag.Bud.
It would be a good idea to keep a battery in the car even if you start on magneto. Sometimes magnetos stop working with no advance notice. A battery could get you home if that happens.