Had my 1915 starting easily and running well. Went to take it out of the barn today and while backing it out I killed it. Car made a sound like something broke.
Got spark at #1 plug, gas in the carb and compression but it won't even fart now.
Checked the Mag post even though I have spark but no obvious issues there (it's new).
Do you have compression ? How did you kill it ? Sudden load on the engine ? Good luck. Many folks will help to diagnose it This will be an educational thread to read
Is there a fuse in your wiring system?
No.1 ,check timer.
Actually since you have spark and fuel and it was running is it any easier to crank over? I think you might know where I'm going with this.
Did you remember to turn on the gas at the tank? That is the usual reason why the engine kills soon after starting!
I bet Jack turns out to be the winner!
I hope so,cause it is cheaper to fix.
I haven't checked anything yet (beyond my original post) but yes the gas is on and I can get it to "puddle" out of the carb.
No fuse in the wiring system... running mag. Does not hand crank any easier (I was thinking crank to).
I'll check the timer tomorrow first thing.
(Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...)
I had this problem not too long ago...turned out the coil boxes migrated up and off their contacts. Be sure to seat them : )
Remove the timer and crank over - watch the timer roller/brush/wiper to verify it going round & round like the bus wheels, if not, the teeth most likely "came from together" on the fiber cam gear ??????
My bet is on Steve's suggestion of a fiber timing gear that's gone amuck.
I'm glad for that John. I stalled out hard once when pulling onto a trailer ramp. It was OK & re-started but the visions I had run through my head weren't pretty. You have further checking to do. Before pulling things apart willy-nilly hand crank it slowly with the batt. on and listen for the coils buzzing. This will eliminate the ignition system as it's at least working. You apparently have fuel. The next item is to determine is if spark is occurring at the proper time as in a blown timing gear. Put a long screw driver in the #1 plug hole and hand crank slowly to compression. (batt. on, spark retarded). If spark occurs at a really wrong position it could indicate a blown gear also. A radical change in compression, if you knew what it was before hand, could also indicate a gear as the valve timing would be off. Check, check, check before pulling any thing apart.
Checked the coil migration last night and they were ok.
Sorry, forgot to mention it.
Pulled the timer and looked it over. It was quite clean but I wiped it out anyway and hit it with some new dielectric grease.
Turned her over a couple of times and the crank and flapper worked as advertised. Ya don't think... ?
Couple of primer pulls, turned the key and and set the throttle and timer rod and BOOM! She took right off! Shut her off and started her a couple more times with no issues.
Loaded the dogs and wife (NOT one and the same) and went out for a short run.
Came home, drove her in the barn and shut her down.
Yep... you guessed it. Won't start or even fart, just like yesterday.
The common denominator seems to me to be... now that she is warmed up she will not start.
What the h--l? Ideas?
Now,check timing. I'd guess it is off a tad.
Wouldn't it at least try to start, pop, cough, backfire, do something?
Or the timing is WAY off? I usually need to bring the timer rod down about 3-4 notches when starting it. I tried that and several other settings to no avail.
Carburetor, compression and timing seldom quit suddenly then run OK.
But electrical will! Bet that's where the problem is.
Can you switch to battery, even temporarily?
Just a WAG but maybe.
John: the next time you get her going attach a volt meter to the mag post and see if the voltage is steady or does the voltage decrease as the engine warms up?
I checked for vapor lock and the intake manifold was warm but not hot. Before I put the hot air pipe on the carb would ice up.
Is there another way to check for vapor lock? The exhaust manifold was hot but certainly not cherry red or anywhere near it.
I can put a battery on there and will do so tomorrow. A little sore right now but I'll bet she starts once she has gone cold. If she does I'll warm her up and try to duplicate the problem.
Bud may just be right. You may be dealing with an electrical Gremlin. Did you wiggle switch? I know flapper timers can also do strange and wonderful things.
This doesn't seem that complicated firstly when you turn it over with the key on do the coils buzz? It doesn't matter where the spark control lever is the coils will still buzz. When you tried to restart was there any coil action? If there is no coil action try a separate battery connected to the bat terminal on the coil box, a small dry cell will do. If you get positive action then investigate the switch assembly. If you have strong positive ignition and it dies then there is a fuel issue. You have to confirm and separate the two issues there is almost nothing else. Dave
Check to see how close the fuel line might be to the exhaust pipe. Also fuel level. Could the fuel line or exhaust pipe have shifted and got to close?
I might be wrong but what is different when she's warmed up??
I agree with David check the electric also and rule one or the other out, ignition or fuel.
Last time mine decided to just quit, it turned out to be my poor soldering job on the wires inside the coil box.
Also check for crap in the bottom of your fuel tank and sediment bowl, and tight bends in your fuel line. And check the float level of your carburetor.
The next time it won't start open the drain for the carb and make sure you've got gas there. I've had 2 similar problems; one was the float level on my '15; it would stall after a certain distance because the bowl wasn't filling enough, fast enough. The other was on my '11; the valve for the shutoff at the bottom of the tank was a bit lose, and it would vibrate and shut off part way and starve the car. I know these are not your exact scenarios, I'm just trying to show some examples from fuel flow issues. If you have crap in the sediment bowl it can be an intermittent problem.
Do you crank or have a starter? Both of mine are crank only, and temperamental when warm. Start great and easy when cold but once they are warm it's not as easy.
Another thought; is the car wet when you have trouble? I had an issue that only appeared a little while after washing the car, then persisted a day or so. The problem was water would leak between the cowl and hood former and get to the wood on the back of the coil box. There was a carbon trace in the wood that would short to ground when wet. I found it when the one coil that was getting shorted happened to buzz and I touched the coil box..... but it made it so it only had 3 cylinders firing correctly and was a bear to start. The coil rebuild box that John Reagan (Fun Projects) sells took care of that; it's plastic, not wood.... you don't see it when the car is assembled and it fits perfect. Probably the best bang for the buck of any retrofit I've done on the '15.
Fuel tank is mounted in the bed of the truck so good head pressure. I do have an in-line fuel filter due to the increased head pressure. I'll check the proximity of fuel lone to exhaust as I know that is a vapor lock waiting to happen. It WAS ok.
Car is bone dry. Actually in the sun shine here in rainy western Washington.
Crank start only... no starter. Starts easily when temp is below freezing for weeks in a row. Will check the bowl after I run it for awhile tomorrow (assuming it starts). Just doesn't seem to want to start after it is warmed up!
I had vapor lock issues with 1/4" line, changed to 5/16" years ago and never had trouble after that. Hardest part is you have to adapt the output of the sediment bulb. Not hard, but I don't remember if I tapped for an adapter or exactly what I did. But I only had the vapor lock problem when the car was very warm on hot days. It may be something to put on your 'to do list'.
I don't run a fuel filter, but if you have a sediment bowl at the bottom of your tank it's before the filter, and crap in that bulb can cause you trouble at the very start of your fuel system and you won't see it in the filter. You have to drain the tank to check it, but it's not a bad idea to open the petcock and let any crap ( and possible water) come out into a coffee can. That's easy to do and you don't have to drain the tank, just let some run out while you work a wire in it. If you do drain the tank completely you can take the front off the sediment bulb and see if there is crap in the screen. It's not difficult, just gotta drain the gas and it's a little messy, but not hard.
Been fighting a head/chest cold so not too energetic the last several days.
Went out today and she cranked right up same as usual. Used an analog multi-meter (Simpson 260) and measured voltage.
I could rev the engine and get the voltage almost to 30 but it would drop back down when revved and move around some (up and down)never going below about 15. Took her back to idle and it ran 10-13 volts at idle both cold and warmed up. In fact, readings were consistent regardless of engine temp. Never did it go below 10 volts.
Took a 12V battery (bad one/low voltage) and was able to excite all 4 coils with the hand crank.
Fuel line is no where near the exhaust pipe (can't say the same thing for one spot on my wrist which has now blistered). There is gas in the carb bowl and no... it will not start. I did not try to start it with the battery connected as I got pretty cold and fairly tired so called it a day.
You've got to be losing something and it seems to be ignition. Get some body out there with you to listen to the coils when it won't run. The mag readings seem OK. I'm assuming the variations in the readings when revving up & down are from crank end play. Just a guess. But some thing goes away after you shut it off hot.
I agree Charlie. "Electrical Gremlins" can be frustrating to me.
Think I'll try starting it with the battery next time as well.
Something is expanding when hot and keeping it from starting and is contracted when cold and making contact.
I wanted to know what I is when figured out.
IGNITION SWITCH ????
Interesting thought Bob.
I turned the ignition to BATT when I connected the battery but then that really doesn't mean anything.
I've had my morning coffee, and saw the "shouting" post from last night..... my apologies, not intended.
The "mag" position on your switch may not be making proper contact. ... depends on where the key position is to make contact, from the off position to full turn to mag....somewhere in there contact may be made.
Due to age, corrosion, wear, terminal "dimple" recessed in fibre.. all factors in a bad switch.
Does the same thing happen when on batt or on mag? If so, the problem is not likely to be in the switch. If you back out of the barn and it quits, you let the car sit for an hour or so and then try again, will it start outside the barn? I think you have some sort of obstruction in the fuel line. If the fuel is low, it could be that the place where it stopped the front of the car was higher than the back. This would cause the fuel to not flow to the carb. Or it could be dirt in the line. If dirt in the line, setting for a while some gas would get to the carburetor and after it ran a while it would use up all the gas in the carb and it would stop. Then after setting a while the carb would fill up and it would start and run for a while. Worth looking into.
Had the switch apart and made some minor repairs/cleaned it up. Doesn't look bad.
Checking the fuel supply closely. In part I have used rubber fuel line since the regular line isn't long enough. It did appear to have collapsed "slightly" when the engine was warm but there was gas in the bowl.
I think you need to replace that rubber fuel line with steel.
It's dangerous...doesn't like heat and some of it doesn't like alcohol.
Fussed with the fuel line some yesterday straightening it out a little. Not much. Bob I think you are right about replacing it with steel. Need to get me a long piece of brake line.
Took the switch face off today. "Pinched" the mag side a little although I could see no difference in it's appearance.
The car took right off this AM. Took a moto-meter off another T radiator to ensure it was warm and the mercury was up to the bottom of the circle. Got her good and warm and shut her down. With the switch face still removed, I started the car several times. Walked away thinking WTH?
Reassembled everything but this time I did not tighten the switch face down real tight like last time.
Started it several times so could not duplicate the issue of "won't start when warmed up." We'll check it again tomorrow.
Just an "oh by the way"... when I took it out the other day it was VERY gutless. Much more so than my other 3 T's.
Just one of those weird "mysteries" of Henry's Model "T"! Once in awhile, the silly things just "heal up"! I think it's just so we don't ever become "over-confident" in them! (.....and why we all carry spare parts, tools, a cell phone, and a copy of the club roster! And I agree with you in regard to frustrating 'lectrical gremlins! And them dang purists wonder why we so often resort to the more conventional distributor ignition systems! Well, at least that avoids most of the gremlins from residing deep within the engine, right? (Hope your cold is better John,....I've had a real "doozie" all last week, but think I've got it whipped,....I hope,....???)
The gutless thing is something not mentioned before. There's really no reason for the fuel line to collapse especially if it's really neoprene and not vacuum line. Lose it. It might have delaminated and the inside is staying partially blocked. It's trouble waiting to happen anyway. This could contribute to a low performance condition but not the no-start as you said there was fuel at the carb. There's a chance that cleaning the switch corrected it too.
Neither of those two "fixes" are heat related. I'm not yet convinced he has found his problem.
A few months ago I had "hard starting" problems with my Model A. Sometimes it would fire right up, other times I would have to crank and crank and crank before it would start. On a hunch I just sat and "played" with the ignition switch while closely watching the ammeter. Sure enough I noticed that sometimes the current draw was less than others. I found that if I jiggled the switch to where I got the highest current draw, the engine would start right up whereas when the current draw was least it took longer to start. Replaced the switch and the problem was fixed. Why did I check the current draw? Because my Dad had the same problem on his Willys Knight back in 1950 ! Is that Deja Vu ?
Reproduction ignition switches have had a questionable reliability.
Usually have chrome plated front plate on the "improved" Fords, black painted plates on the earlier switches, and all use the # 55 key.
Best to have an original switch rebuilt by Ben
1-770-938-3376, or get them from Mr. Danuser.
Ben is Ben Martin
Your getting a ton of suggestions, so I'm gonna toss in my 2 cents.
Nice sunny day, so took the 1921 TT around the block (4 miles). Started up easy and went the first 3 miles fine. Then it started to run rough and then started backfiring and died. Towed it home. Went through the items the boys have already recommended. I found the spring was missing off the roller timer. Broken and ground up in the timer. Got a new roller ordered but might try a "shade tree" fix in the morning. Good luck
You guys are great. I'll "test" the old girl (again) in the morning. Hope she makes a liar out of me!
John one other thought, if your 15' is still running the orginal carb, you may be having the cork float coming apart this or any other crud in your bowl of your carb. will give you this result. If not give me a call. I will try and help
It's a freshly rebuilt carb with steel float.
Could also be that old "Brillo pad phenom"at the potato bulb.
What happens is that over time the screen in the potato gathers gunk...works well until a while with flow...then starves...then at rest relaxes and lets you start again...until flow compresses it again!
Need to drain the fuel, and take the big diameter part of the sediment bulb off to see the filter. Not sayin' "is" but always a "might"
Check for water in the inline filter, if they get any water on them they will close up.
Brass float, John.
You're right Steve. Brain said brass but fingers typed steel.
It's a new screen in the bulb George but an old tank so certainly possible to be plugged.