4 of these came with my new car. they look exactly like originals, but are dated 1965...i think, its kinda blury. same tar inside, same case, only tell tale sign is the staple holding the cover, and they look too new. i have not tested them yet, just wonder if folks here know whats up, thanks
Provided there are no internal problems,they can be rebuilt and function fine.
From the article by Trent Boggess and Ron Patterson titled, “Model T Ignition Coil” located at:
http://www.mtfca.com/coils/Coils.htm and most likely reprinted from one of the Vintage Ford magazines it says:
“The end of Model T production in 1927 marks the beginning of the end for the K-W Ignition Company. Apparently K-W did not did not engage in research and development of new products, and the end of the Model T left it with no new product to take the place of the vibrator ignition coil. K-W continued to supply new coils and replacement points to the retail trade, but this market continued to dwindle as the number of Model Ts used daily diminished during the 1930's. K-W did develop an alternative use for the vibrator ignition coil as a device to electrically charge farm fences, but again this market was small and extremely limited compared to the former demand for Model T coils. In 1940 the K-W Ignition Company went out of business. K-W's plant and equipment were purchased by the firm of Jack and Heintz, Inc. soon thereafter.20 Eventually Blackstone, a Chicago-based company, took over the manufacture and sale of repair parts. Blackstone continued to supply K-W marked coils and points to the retail market until the end of 1998.
In January 1999 Blackstone sold the designs and tooling for K-W coils and the rights to the K-W trademark to Bob’s Model T Parts of Rockford, IL. The machinery has been moved and installed at Bob’s Rockford facility and the production of K-W coils and points has resumed.”
So in the case of a 1965 coil it would have most likely been produced by the Blackstone using the original tooling. Note the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/210304.html discusses some of the later coils and if I understood it correctly they are fine at least through 1965 when they switched to a plastic box. I did not see any feed back on the plastic boxed later coils -- but I didn't look as yours are wood.
Note it appears the tooling may have possibly been sold again based on the forum entry at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/303729.html?1344209299
Have fun with your “new” coils – have them checked out and adjusted properly and you should be good to go.
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The trail in Cleveland goes cold after Jack and Heintz. But we do know Blackstone was a manufacturing subsidiary of Echlin Ignition Company.
Ron the Coilman
Some of the coils of this vintage that I have had (although not KW marked) contained capacitors other than what are considered "the right stuff" today and could benefit from replacement to get longer point life.
First of all the maker of the coil is stamped right on it. Second, the capacitors in them were not as good as the earlier ones, and if the coil doesn't test good, then get it replaced. Ron Patterson is the best around.
I have a set that came with my car, were stamped 1954 but showed also rebuilt sears and roebuck. Caps were different in each. KGB
thanks for the interesting history. i thought it was too good to be true, "new" good coils. i like the big orange caps from langs,so may rebuild them. i do see now that the contacts on the out side of the case look to be just a big blob of solder, no brass that i can see, and also the big main wire(?) comming out the top, under the points is made of a stack of steel strips instead of stranded wire like originals
Before you rebuild them, why don't you see if they work. My money says they will do just fine.
I agree with Ted the coils you have were very good when new. They could still be OK - but - They probably need to be checked and readjusted on a hand cranked coil tester or using one of John Regans Strobo Spark boxes.
My coils are identical with a 1962 date. They worked fine but then I replaced the points and capacitors with the new ones from Fun Projects. The coils now produce an awesome spark and the car runs perfectly. My coils did not have the glass divider inside. Instead, there was a thick wood divider running from top to bottom and another running across the middle so, you have to be careful not to chew up the wood as you dig out the tar to get at the capacitors which are located it the top left corner.
Note that both Ford and KW produced the coils with the "stack of steel strips instead of the stranded wire." Both styles were used and worked well. Ref the posting above at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/210304.html where the following came from:
From Ron Patterson’s post:
“Here is my take on this.
It is important to remember Mr Williams of KW (Kaple and Williams) Ignition Company designed the Model T coil that was used in all Model T production from early 1913 to the end of production in 1927. During these years both Ford and KW produced coils for Model T's.
After Model T production ended KW continued to make coils and from my experience you find three different variations.
The coil on the left is the first style. Note the branded KW logo on the wood case. The second in the middle has the ink stamped KW logo. The third has the ink stamped KW logo, but now a date code ink stamped on the bottom of the side with the logo. I have seen date codes from 1942 to 1968. About 1968 is the time the forerunner KW company started making the plastic cased coils.
About the iron wire versus flat plate cores. Clearly KW used the later in production and you will even find Ford coils with this type core being used.
Operationally they are the same.
Ron the Coilman
For comparison, from the same thread, Mike Zahorik posted a photo of the wire type core shown below:
And a note for the owners of any 1926-27 or other engines (Fordson) with the coil box mounted on the engine.
The tar in the earlier coils supplied for the cars prior to Sep 1922 and tractors prior to 1919 had a lower melting point than the tar in the coils supplied for the Fordson Tractors from late 1919 or early 1920 and for the cars starting in late 1922. That means the tar may melt in an earlier coil if it is used in the coil box mounted on the engine of a 1926-27 style car. Ref http://www.mtfca.com/coils/Coils.htm for many additional details including when the tar melting temperature was changed and also that the 1922 and later coils had a different capacitor than the earlier car coils.
In the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/210304.html John Regan stated:
By John F. Regan on Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 04:12 pm:
To my mind both KW and Ford were interchangeable during the T era. On the inside, the coil windings of those coils with wire cores are virtually identical between Ford and KW. Through the years both Ford and KW changed a few details inside but the only change of real significance is the tar melting point. The reason that is significant today is that if you attempt to use an early coil in a 26/27 coil box, you may find tar all over the place since it easily melts out due to engine heat - same issue in the Fordson. At first Ford made a higher melting point tar as standard in the "tractor units" but later [Sep 1922 ]used this higher melting point tar in all cars but remember that at that point - there were millions of low melting point type coils in existence and if you use one of those in a 26/27 you may have issues with tar melting. The tar that I use in Fun Projects coils is higher yet than Ford high melting point stuff and is the same tar that Ron Patterson has posted about in past discussions. It is type III Steep Roof Asphalt - chief manufacturer is Trumbell.
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The only downside that I have noticed with the later KW coils that I note by having the flat steel stacked core is that they typically have too small of a capacitor at .15uF - .18uF or so and this causes early failure of the points due to excessive arcing but I don't use windings from these coils because they typically have a much finer wire in the secondary and as such are not as rugged. Their secondary resistance is sometimes more than double the usual 3200 ohms and sometimes as high as 10,000 ohms. If you find one of these coils and the secondary is OK then just be careful when changing the capacitor out to the more standard .47uF value and you will have a good coil so long as the box is not coming apart and you have not wounded the winding while removing tar to replace the capacitor. The solder "blob" contacts on the sides of some coils (even new repros) can really wreck the contacts on a good coil box. The solder is often built up by folks who apply the "more is better" faulty thinking to adding a large thicker coil contact surface. This is not a good idea. The soldering on the contact was often done because many T coils used a brass rivet through a brass washer as the contact and brass tarnishing over time can in fact cause the brass rivet in the very center of the contact to lose connection with the brass washer part of the coil contact. The soldering I suppose is to repair that. To avoid this issue I made Fun Projects contacts out of one solid piece of brass that is placed in the side and bottom contacts of the box and then roll crimped to the wood on the inside of the box. This is the style contact that was most successful on original coils. The wire is then soldered into the center of that contact so there is no chance of this problem happening. All contacts look the same but careful inspection will show you that the better coils are made of one solid piece of brass. Of course any ferrous (steel) contact material will cause galvonic corrosion inside the coil box at the contact surface. Never heat the side or bottom contacts of a wood coil unless you understand that you may in fact destroy the coil since the wires on the inside are very fine and can pull out of the contact when you heat it up and there is no way to repair that without doing further damage. Also - NEVER heat the tar up using a coffee can on the kitchen stove - marriages are hard to repair
Here is a CAT scan of the KW coil made in the 1950/96's. You can see the location of the capacitor John mentioned.
Ron the Coilman
The KW coils I bought in 1957 still work fine. I changed the points in 2012.
The set I use in a 1915 coil box date from about 1962 and are marked KW and are in a wood box. The points are those that came with the coils. The T I use them on starts right up after priming and I often get free starts.