Today we tried getting my 1915 started that hasn't run in over 40 years. Supposedly the engine was rebuilt and never started. We tried and could not get it to fire up. Popped the head off to inspect the internals and found the snake skin inside the waterjacket. The valves weren't seating because there was a thick hard gasket sealer that ran into the valve seats and they could not close all the way. Removed the valves, cleaned, lapped and adjusted them. Thought for sure that would solve the problem. Hand crank it and it won't even stumble. Not sure how the mag is so it is on a battery for now.
All new wires, plugs, coils off my other T, checked the timing. It has great spark, timer off my other car. Carb cleaned, adjusted and new gaskets. No matter what it won't do a thing, not even a backfire. Beginning to think the snakeskin is part of some voodoo curse on the engine.
No idea what to do next.
"the engine was rebuilt and never started"
Well, it was never started 40 years ago because it wouldn't start...
Timer timing; is it firing on wrong lobes?
It has gas. Pulled all 4 plugs and had them resting on the head where they thread in. When each one buzzed it lit the fuel in the cylinder.
Compression is good after cleaning the sealer off the valve seats.
Timer rod is set right, according to the book and compared it to my other engine.
Took the timers off both engines and put no # 1 on TDC and the roller pin that goes in the cam are in the same position.
Two of the guys helping have been working on T,s since the 40's.
The four of us are totally stumped.
While it could be several things, the one that came to my mind was: Have you checked to make sure the spark / timing of the spark plug firing matches the compression in number 1 cylinder. I.e. you have compression. You have checked and the cam shaft roller pin hole is in the same position as your other car that runs well. But have you confirmed that the compression is occurring at the correct time. If someone assembled the cam shaft gear 180 degrees out (it is amazing what can be done -- I've seen that on other four cylinder engines) and lines everything up after that by the book it will not run. But if you install the roller 180 degrees off, it will run fine. Just a thought -- and easy to check by putting your gauge or finer in #1 spark plug on compression and the confirming #1 plugs right after TDC.
Good luck and don't get frustrated. I'm sure you will figure it out.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Too much scale in the water jacket?
(Terrible joke, I know. Leaving now...)
Sounds like the timing is not set properly. You need to check the event timing for #1 cylinder with the timing fully retarded. It should first buzz the coil / make a spark at the plug when the piston has just passed top dead center and is just beginning to move downward.
I can do this by looking down the plug hole with the spark plug connected sitting on the head bolt adjacent to the #1 plug hole. If you are not as tall as me you might need an assistant to pull the crank slowly while you watch.
If the plugs are not wet after you have tried to start it, put several drops of gas in each plug hole, put plugs back in and try again. If it fires or pops it's not getting gas.
I was thinking snake oil!
Jim, if you have tried all of the above and still can't get it to start try a couple squirts of oil in each cylinder put the plugs back in and give it a try.
If it has an early cam shaft the timer indexing pin hole is drilled all the way through. Could you possibly have the timer brush 180 degrees out of phase with the piston timing? Get the #1 cylinder to TDC on compression and see where the timer brush is pointing.
Timer brushes can be 180 degrees out if the hole is drilled all the way through, but cam shafts cannot. The camshaft is 180 degrees 'out' every other revolution of the crank shaft. If you think your cam is out by 180 degrees, just rotate the engine through 360 degrees and it will be right again.
We kept going back to timing like everyone suggested here and it all looked good but Evan nailed it. Early cam drilled all the way through. Popped off the roller and but it back on 180'. Put it back together hooked up the battery and a coil buzzed, the motor spun, almost a free start. Next weekend we'll all get back together to get it running.
As always the forum saved the day.
That's good news, and also it's good you found the snake skin. It could have caused an overheating problem.