Hard starting T

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Hard starting T
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike dixon on Monday, January 13, 2014 - 10:42 pm:

I am tired of my coupe being hard to start, want to change it to a distributor, can any one help with imfo?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:04 pm:

Mike, Texas T Parts 1-800-337-6977sells a bolt on distributor. I am sure it would be a good one because they are very good mechanics. Another Vender is Chaffin's Garage 951-735-4791. Chaffin's sell Bosch distributors which is good because you can go into Napa and buy parts for it. glen Chaffin is also very knowledgeable about Ts also.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:12 pm:

Mike,
Changing to a distributor will not necessarily make your car start easier. Just depends on what is causing the problem. You need four things for the engine to start and run and spark is only one of those. You need; 1. spark at about the right time, 2 & 3. fuel and air at about the correct mixture and 4. compression. Any one of those things can make a car hard to start.

Most T's with original ignitions start very well.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:13 pm:

Why not just fix what's wrong with it? A properly maintained and adjusted T (with magneto and coils) should start easily.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCWnmPrxKo0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21k8N9rR0GU


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By A. Gustaf Bryngelson on Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:17 pm:

I would echo what the others have said, switching to a distributor will not make it easier to start unless you fix the problem, and if that problems is a bad timer or bad coils, it would be easier to fix those.
Best
Gsu


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 07:10 am:

I start any of my cars with two or three upward pulls on the crank. Spending $400 on a distributor won't change anything except the amount of money in your wallet, and the car will be less reliable because it can't run on MAG any more.

More likely a problem with starting is either tune up or technique.

If you are not already a member of a local T club I suggest that is the best way to find out how to start your car. Your profile and your screen name make no mention of where you are Mike. Let us know so maybe one of us can give you a hand.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 08:08 am:

Mike:

Where are you and your T located ? There maybe someone with a HCCT with the knowledge to properly use that tool to check & calibrate your coils..... and rebuild if necessary.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 08:25 am:

Like Royce, both of ours usually start on 1st or 2nd pull after one priming pull and that is on Mag. I really can't see how a distributor could improve upon that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 09:22 am:

The stock T ignition is best you can have but it has to be adjusted and operated correctly. A distributor will ruin the car and it will probably run worse. My car starts on a quarter turn of the hand crank. I don't even bother using the starter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:08 am:

Mike you're stating the exact reason why so many T's have distributors. The owner doesn't understand the stock ignition system and a salesman sells him an add-on that will "cure the problem". Learn the system you have, make any repairs necessary and eliminate it as your starting problem. While it could be ignition it also could be fuel. You don't know what the cause is right now and throwing $ at it isn't a sure cure.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:26 am:

Mike -- I'll chime in here too. The stock ignition system is the heart of a Model T, and it works very well when it's in good condition. A distributor isn't better, it's just easier for some folks to understand. That's no excuse for tearing the heart out of your car. A well-tuned Model T should start on one or two pulls of the crank. If yours doesn't do that, it takes the fun out of driving it, but a distributor won't fix it. Get some help from more experienced local Model T'ers, and get your car into shape so you can enjoy it for what it is.

It might just need to have the coils rebuilt. Borrow some rebuilt ones from a friend and see whether that helps. Your car's electrical and fuel systems are 85-100 years old. They need maintenance from time to time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:45 am:

I should add that two friends of mine bought Ts that didn't run so good. I put my coils in their coil boxes and both cars ran great. Neither of the owners had enough knowledge to rebuild their coils like I did so they threw money at the problem. That's ok though because they did so the right way. They each bought a set of professionally tuned coils from Fun Projects. Even if that doesn't solve the problem, it is one big variable out of the way so you can focus on other causes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 11:01 am:

I have a newbie question - how long do a set of professionally refurbished and set-up coils last before they need to be refurbished again?

My 1923 touring / pickup conversion came to me without a magneto and with a Truefire installed, but someday I'm going to want to convert it back to stock.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 11:11 am:

I don't know the answer to your question Mark, but I put rebuilt coils in my TT nearly 10 years ago and they're still working fine. Of course, it doesn't get many miles per year, so I imagine the answer is tied to how much the car is driven.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 11:19 am:

Mark asked .. "I have a newbie question - how long do a set of professionally refurbished and set-up coils last before they need to be refurbished again?"

As long as the condenser is replaced with the correct capacitor, internal wiring checked for proper values and wiring soldered , then repotted with tar, internals should last another few lifetimes.

The points do wear from use. Also I've seen cushion spring rivits wear into the cushion spring making the linmiting rivit useless... and the owner headaches with hard starting & poor engine speed.

Average ??? Depending on the above variables, about 10K miles.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 11:23 am:

I believe you get longer point life on AC/Mag than DC/Batt but I can't give you a hours/mileage #.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 11:23 am:

I have two T's, one with an old Robert Bosch distributor and the other with an original coil set up. They both start easy and run great. You might hook up with some T guys and find just what is wrong. As stated, a distributor might not fix your problem. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By wayne thompson on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 12:19 pm:

MY 25 WITH ORIGINAL IGNITION SYSTEM STARTS BETTER THAN ANYTHING I OWN. EVEN WHEN THE TEMPERATURE WAS 0 A FEW DAYS AGO MY T STARTED WITHIN 2 REVS. CHECK CARB.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 12:32 pm:

I am always against changing from coils to distributor because the unique nature of the buzzing coils, which gives the T its' voice, is one of the endearing features of the T. You should probably find out why it is so hard to start, because it will most likely still be hard to start with a distributor. Have you had the coils adjusted by Ron Patterson? That could make a world of difference.

I completely overhauled the engine in my '26 coupe in 2010 and it starts easily by starter on BATT and MAG. I am even able to start it on MAG with the crank if I pull up hard enough and fast enough. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 12:48 pm:

There are several things I would like to ask you:
1. How cold is where you are? And does the car start hard in warm weather?

2. How long has it been since the car has run?

3. How old is the gas in your tank?

4 . Are you using crank or starter?

5. After you finally get the car started, how does it run?

I could ask more questions than these, but the answer to these might help in diagnosing the problem. It would be a shame to spend so much money for a distributor and then find out it still won't start. The car should start easily with the Ford ignition system if it is in good condition. It is much easier to trouble shoot with coils than with distributor.

Please answer these questions.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 01:24 pm:

Mike Dixon:

Don't let any one tell you that a distributor will make your car run worse, like one post above.
If you problem is electrical it WILL RUN BETTER.

I don't see How any one thinks a distributor would ruins a T. If that is true there must have been a lot of ruined Ts back then because many, many had distributors. Sure my Ts with coils starts easily, however so do my Ts with distributors.

Last but not least if any would be expert that say a distributor will make your T run worse, I will be glad to run against them in the mountains.

5 Ts


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nathan Bright on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 01:44 pm:

just as a thought, my dad has found two used texas-t distributor set-ups for sale at hershey.... so if you can wait till then you might find a deal


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 04:23 pm:

I did not say a distributor would make the T run worse, however, unless the reason the car won't start is an ignition problem, it won't make it run better either. The usual reason for switching to a distributor is a non working magneto whether it died from old age or it was removed when the engine was overhauled. If the coils and magneto work correctly, and the car won't start, the reason is something else other then the ignition system. No need to spend the money to fix something which is not broken.

Has anyone in the club who is knowledgeable on Model T's looked at your T and said it needs a new ignition system? If not, you would be well advised to have a club member look at it first before you buy a distributor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 06:36 pm:

There are a lot of ruined Ts. What we are trying to do is prevent them all from being ruined.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 06:54 pm:

I wouldn't have used the word 'ruin', but I know what you're saying. To some, a T is the mechanical workings, the transmission, the ignition system, the lack of pumps... To others, its the appearance, the sheet metal, brass. I am of the first group. , but i realize not everyone is.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 06:58 pm:

I'll say one more thing, then I'll try to shut up.:-) There's not a single T in the world that is hard to start because it does not have a distributor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 07:37 pm:

Well put Hal. I tend to look at T ownership as a chance to enjoy the experience of owning, maintaining and driving an early car and the challenges that come with it. I just can't understand why anyone would want to turn their T into '40s or '50s car with a distributor or a '70s car with disk brakes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 07:45 pm:

period accessories are fun to collect and fun to use as they were in that era when new. thats not a ruined car. however, as most have stated here there is probably some other, or group of other issues making it hard to start and a distributor will not fix anythng, its just a different source for spark


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 08:02 pm:

A friend of mine was a tractor mechanic at a Ford garage. Carl said he would cringe when an 8N, 9N, 600, etc (take your pick) would come in and it had been converted to 12 volt. The reason for the conversion he heard most often was they wouldn't start on 6 volt. Carl told me they were often poorly maintained, wouldn't make but about 12 horse on the dyno have leaking valves etc. and the owner declared victory because it would now start (with the starter turning it at 400 rpm). Just the mention of a valve job and plenty of owners would balk. After all, they fixed it.

He would often ask if they wanted it to make power as it was designed or just move around the farm.

Many of these fixes to the T are masking the real issue. Often folks are told by others to fix it with this ad on or that one. The real question is why didn't the T need any of this when new?

Help is often available free within 50 miles for the asking.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 08:03 pm:

Changing a T to distributor is not new. As I stated above, the distributor on my TT is from the 20's. People were putting distributors and mags on the T right off the bat. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steven Thum on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 09:03 pm:

Mike, sent you a pm

Steven


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Money - Braidwood, IL on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:09 pm:

The only reason I see to put a distributor on a T is because the magneto doesn't work or the owner can't figure out how to make it run correctly. If they needed distributors, there would have been over 15 million distributors made.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl Gilchrist on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:25 am:

I had the hard starting problem when I brought my 1913 Would not start easily on magneto unless was hot. Seemed to start ok on battery and run ok when on magneto. I was told time and time again by other T owners just "ignore it and just start it on battery" and "fit a distributor". However I knew that in 1913 they all started on magneto and for me to have a 1913 that didn't start on magneto diminished (in my eyes) my car. Frustration grew as i worked my way through the ignition system step by step Plugs, Coils, commutator and finally found the problem in the coil box wiring and contacts-Very satisfying


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 08:33 am:

Karl,

My experience was similar. I learned to crank it on battery and was satisfied with that. But I kept hearing people (Like Royce :-))say theirs cranked on magneto, cold, one pull, every time...... I have to admit I was jealous and therefore bound and determined to make mine do the same thing. Turns out, there was nothing even wrong with mine. Just technique. Just had to learn what it wanted. Now mine will do the same.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 09:07 am:

Interesting. I used to be able to hand crank one pull on magneto. Lately, it won't start on mag even with the starter. It starts instantly on battery by hand or starter and once running, I have to wait a couple of seconds before I switch to mag or it might stall. It does run perfectly all day on batt or mag. I'm not sure what the problem is.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Wicker on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 09:30 am:

Hard to start...Have good power? How is the compression? If the compression is good,valve timing is right,Timer adj. right and you have fuel. Should Fire off right away! Also make sure each plug fires a Hot Spark.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 10:00 am:

If you mean my car Fred, all of those things are perfect.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:30 pm:

Dave

you almost certainly have a worn thrust surface on #3 main bearing. With car in neutral, the crank/flywheel are pulled back just enough to lower AC generation capability between magnets and coils at very low RPM (cranking).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 03:24 pm:

Ok thanks Scott. I'm just going to leave it as is because it's not a real problem at all. Someday something will go wrong with the engine and I will certainly have a look at it then. Could you tell me what the usual fix is for a worn thrust surface?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 03:51 pm:

Mike Dixon & Dave Wells
Have you ever correctly measured the magneto output?
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 04:05 pm:

Dave, If it is the end play in the crankshaft causing your problem, you need to carry a good battery with you whenever you drive your T because it will eventually wear to the point it won't run on magneto.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 06:56 pm:

Hi Ron, yes I did measure it but that was a while ago. I forget the exact output but it was totally normal, something like 7 to 30 volts AC. I will check it again when driving weather returns. Norm, I have no worries, new battery, perfect original generator,voltage regulator, new timer, new wiring throughout. The car always runs flawlessly on batt or mag. I don't really need to do anything ever. I will probably wait until I have to pull the engine for some other reason and then fix it. I just needed to know what the problem was so I can fix it when the time comes. Thanks for all the help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 07:10 pm:

Dave
Conduct the test in exactly this manner and report back.
Go to your local auto parts store and buy a #1156 bulb. This is commonly used as a back up light bulb in modern cars. This bulb will come close to simulating the load of a typical Model T coil. You may want to pick up a socket for it too and put some wires on it to make a regular test light out of it.
Connect the bulb across the magneto output and ground while you running the car on the battery with the emergency brake pulled all the way back and set. Using an analog voltmeter check the AC voltage across this bulb as a load.
Provide the following test results back to me via email:
AC Voltage reading at engine idle:
Lamp Brightness at engine idle:
AC Voltage reading at engine moderate speed:
Lamp Brightness at engine moderate speed:
AC Voltage reading at engine high speed:
Lamp Brightness at engine high speed:
A good magneto will produce at least 78 volts AC across this load at a brisk idle.
If your magneto output passes this test it has sufficient output to power properly adjusted coils.
You are welcome to contact me directly.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 07:23 pm:

Ok Ron. I will give it a go and get back to you. Thanks so much. Dave.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike dixon on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 10:02 pm:

sorry for delay, I have a 27 coupe, i think it has a rebuilt motor, nice car, but i have lost interest in it. I belong to the st louis club, good bunch of people, i guess they are all to busy. I have a great place to work on the cars, even suggested at the club we could have a monthly seminar at my place so young guys could learn. im 62, car is very hard to start, would like to learn more about them, Im not dumb, (heating and a/c business owner for 32 years) have never started my 2 cars with crank. thanks for all the advice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 10:03 pm:

Ron;
Can you do the same test with the car being run on magneto/coils using the coils as your load? Would the AC voltage readings be correct at the approx engine speeds you have listed?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 12:07 am:

Mike, you've got to appreciate Dave Huson's answering your question on the second post. You didn't actually bother reading the rest of this did you?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 01:08 am:

Mark:

I will answer your question since I am somewhat familiar with the magneto test using the 1156 bulb. The problem with using the coils as a load is that the coils might be part of the problem so they could mask the issue. The whole idea of using a bulb is to then be using a "standard" that others have used to take the voltage readings and thus you can have an accurate basis for the test. Testing the magneto with a load of unknown precision is not a test - it is just an exercise. If the coils are misadjusted then the reading may seem to indicate the magneto is OK or bad when perhaps it is the opposite. The purpose of any test is to isolate a problem by checking things against known standards. The best test of all is to find someone who has a St. Louis Magneto tester since those are absolutely accurate and will spot weak or intermittent problems in a moment. They are not too common but some T mechanics have one. The reading on those is totally independent of the RPM and simply tells you how strong the magneto is. Its reading doesn't vary with RPM unless the magneto output strength is varying with RPM too due to gap change or other malady.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl Gilchrist on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 01:42 am:

Dave I'm glad the Ron has chipped in
He patiently took me through my hard start on magneto process. He never gave up on me and as a Model T newbie this was invaluable help. He showed me the joys of knowing how it should work, Finding out why it didn't work, Fixing it so it did work and finally the joy of driving a car that functioned as it should. A lot of joy from one Model T !!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 08:59 am:

John is too humble. I Google'd the ST. Louis tester and lo and behold up comes a page from his site showing his re-pop. Nice looking unit I might add.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 11:22 am:

John developed the 1156 bulb/voltmeter magneto test several years ago when there was no other EASY way for the average hobbyist to check the health of a magneto. This test, if conducted properly, will provide a good understand of the magneto, but the results can fool you if you are not careful.
My plan for Dave and Mike, if Mike is interested, is to conduct the simple bulb/voltmeter test and evaluate the results. If questionable we will try a St Louis tester which never lies.
One of the occupational hazards of rebuilding coils is you must be ready to help with fixing all the other electrical problems when good coils do not correct poor running.
Dave and Mikes problems are classic and not uncommon to Model T's and you must FIRST determine the health of the magneto. If OK you take one path to correcting the problem, if it is not, you take and entirely different path.
If you work on Model T's much I suggest you invest in the FunProjects MT-1 St. Louis tester. It is a well built precision instrument and must be handled with care, but as far as I am concerned the "gold standard" in Model T magneto testing.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Barker - Dayton, OH on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 12:50 pm:

Dave Wells - I find it somewhat amusing that you denigrate those owners that choose to use a distributor in their ignition system and claim it will "ruin" the car, even though many of the distributors (like mine) are period correct, yet you use a voltage regulator, which is clearly not, with no compunction. Don't get me wrong - I love the voltage regulator as a replacement for the original cut-out. Just surprised that you do too, given your obvious disdain for distributors.

In 1927 my grandfather "ruined" a perfectly good 1919 roadster by turning it into a speedster with a Rajo head, Delco distributor (removed the magneto to reduce weight), Cadillac hand air pump (for fuel tank pressure), Simplex wheels, and a home built body - none which are original to the car, but all of which are from the mid-20s. What a shame. I wouldn't trade it for the world.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike dixon on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 01:10 pm:

to mike garrison, yes mike i did read all the posts, what would make you think I didnt? thanks to all for their responses. to steve, how do I open a private message, my cell is 618-401-5977 and to all, I am deciding what to do, the imfo sounds right about the distributor call me if you want


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 01:52 pm:

Good response Mike. I admit I did too. It never fails to amaze me how a simple question can result in so much information. These guys know what they're doing. Maybe not 100% as individuals but as a group the synergy of the overall population of model t owners creates a lot of intellectual ability. That's the fun of this forum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 02:03 pm:

I have to wonder about someone who denigrates those that install period correct items to their car. It is not right to tell someone else that they are going to RUIN their car by adding something to it. I would bet that I can find something on their cars that did not come from the factory.
Do these guys ever hear of Ruckstells, RockyMountain Brakes, Lined Rear Axle Brake Shoes, Klaxton Horns, Two outside rear view mirrors, Warford or other auxiliary transmissions, Extra shut off on the gas lines, Gates Fan Belts, Tire Flaps, Fat Man Steering Wheels, Brass Rear Axle Thrust Washers, Neopreme front wheel dust covers, Scat Crank Shafts, Stipe Camshafts, Aluminum Timing Gears, Adjustable Tappets, Out side Oil Limes, Anco or New day timers, Motor Meters and or dog bone caps, Wind Wings, Voltage Regulators, Aluminum Pistons, and what would really makes them yell would be Stop Lights and Signal Lights.
Again I will bet that every one who is complaining about distributors ruining a T or making them not run as well, has one or more of the above items and I don't think it is ruining their T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 02:03 pm:

I have to wonder about someone who denigrates those that install period correct items to their car. It is not right to tell someone else that they are going to RUIN their car by adding something to it. I would bet that I can find something on their cars that did not come from the factory.
Do these guys ever hear of Ruckstells, RockyMountain Brakes, Lined Rear Axle Brake Shoes, Klaxton Horns, Two outside rear view mirrors, Warford or other auxiliary transmissions, Extra shut off on the gas lines, Gates Fan Belts, Tire Flaps, Fat Man Steering Wheels, Brass Rear Axle Thrust Washers, Neopreme front wheel dust covers, Scat Crank Shafts, Stipe Camshafts, Aluminum Timing Gears, Adjustable Tappets, Out side Oil Limes, Anco or New day timers, Motor Meters and or dog bone caps, Wind Wings, Voltage Regulators, Aluminum Pistons, and what would really makes them yell would be Stop Lights and Signal Lights.
Again I will bet that every one who is complaining about distributors ruining a T or making them not run as well, has one or more of the above items and I don't think it is ruining their T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 02:12 pm:

Dave, Dave, take breath. Phew! You're right of course but that's some more of what makes this website so much fun. The guys that become emotionally invested in some of the threads do so legitimately. But life's too short for too much of a good thing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 02:43 pm:

He forgot water pumps. LOL. I believe that distributor systems are common enough to be OK. My opinion. However I do think they were installed for a few possible reasons. 1: To "modernize". 2: A blown mag. 3: It was sold to an owner to correct a problem. (a problem that existed because the mechanic didn't understand/couldn't fix the orig. system). It would have been an easy sell especially to an owner that didn't/couldn't work on his own car: "Only one set of points instead of four and less parts to go wrong too". I can hear it now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 02:54 pm:

I'm not attempting to fuel the disagreement about original vs. distributor, but I have a question: How does a distributor fix a failed magneto? The distributor distributes current, it does not create it. With a distributor or with coils but a non-working magneto you need a source of current (battery or generator or alternator). I don't get it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 03:42 pm:

It doesn't fix it at all but the sales pitch might have gone something like "a distributor system is made to run on DC while the coils are meant to run on AC". Of course both run on DC quite well. Sell, sell, sell.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 03:47 pm:

Mike Garrison:
I just don't think that telling some new person that as distributor is going to RUIN his T or make it run poorer is a good thing. That's even worse than the guy who wants everyone to scrape their spokes with a broken beer bottle. I see a speedometer on a 1919 Roadster in Well's profile. A 1919 Roadster did not come from the factory with a speedometer and you had to get one from the dealer or some place like Western Auto. I wonder if Well's thinks that it ruined his roadster to have that terrible thing in his car.

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 03:47 pm:

Mike Garrison:
I just don't think that telling some new person that as distributor is going to RUIN his T or make it run poorer is a good thing. That's even worse than the guy who wants everyone to scrape their spokes with a broken beer bottle. I see a speedometer on a 1919 Roadster in Well's profile. A 1919 Roadster did not come from the factory with a speedometer and you had to get one from the dealer or some place like Western Auto. I wonder if Well's thinks that it ruined his roadster to have that terrible thing in his car.

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 05:37 pm:

Yes my car has a speedometer because it was already there when I got the car. I wish it wasn't there and one day I might do something about it. It also had a '13 to '16 top so I changed it to a '19 style. Doing what I can you know. I don't think a speedometer looks as bad as a distributor but, if you think it does, then I respect your opinion and I can even agree. Certainly a voltage regulator and bronze thrust washers look correct while solving some important problems. My car is not perfect and never will be but I think it represents Ford's Model T pretty well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 05:57 pm:

A distributor isn't going to fix his starting problem. It's not a fix for anything, it is just a different ignition system.

His car runs, it already has an ignition system that works. It simply doesn't start easily, which is probably something really simple, unrelated to the ignitions system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl Gilchrist on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 07:35 pm:

Well Last night I introduced 4 new hens into the hen coop. Man you should have seen the 2 old hens lay into those new hens. So after eventually deciding that the old hens may have to go (to heaven) I came inside and logged onto this thread. Seems something similar is going down here. We all love T's can we agree to disagree and all play nicely in the same hen coop (before we to go to heaven) ??? Karl


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 08:26 pm:

Let me explain the difference between a distributor and a voltage regulator or bronze thrust washers. To me, there are three things that set a T apart from most other vehicles. The ignition system, the transmission, and the lack of pumps. I would never do anything to eliminate those three things. To me, they are what make a T, a T. To me, the voltage regulator is just a minor part of an ancillary system that charges a battery. It is not something that is the heart and soul of the car.....to me. Same for bronze thrust washers, etc.....to me. And others. I realize not everyone sees it this way, and for them, I suppose a distributor is just fine. Just trying to explain why some folks get upset about some things and not about others.


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