The soldered contact points on my coil boxes will burn or pit, like it has been arcing there. It happens on all three contact points and all 4 coils. The car starts to miss, and all I do is scrape the contacts clean and install. I have original spring contacts in the coil box, John Reagans plastic upgrade. Ron Patterson's rebuild coils, cleaned and bent the contacts numerous times, shimmed the coils in tight with cardboard or sheets of sandpaper, and it will still happen in about 70-100 miles on tour. Any ideas?
The older reproduction contacts were very poor. If you are using them, find some old original contacts or it seems that there are some good replacements now available.
Are you on mag or batt? Just asking. This is a new one to me any way. I have a feeling it may not be the coil contacts at all especially since you say their orig and not those wonky replacements. Plus I'm doubting Paterson's coils are drawing too much so I'm down to possibly poor grounding through the timer? Batt voltage is set and mag vairies but still never heard of that (over voltage) causing what you have.
Michael - I believe that Fun Projects is making the proper bronze-phosphor coil box contacts. The metal chemistry and temper are exactly the same as originally supplied by Ford and the parts are carefully formed to the correct shape per Ford drawings to insure proper electrical contact. These contacts will not fatigue and become intermittent.
Are you running a cover on the coil box? If you don't have the cover, the coils will ride up and any loose connection will cause an arc.
I believe Jim and Mike are on the right track. The cheap copper plated steel coil box contacts cause this problem. As indicated install a set of FunProjects Phosphor Bronze contacts and solder them to the bolts heads and the problem will go away.
This is an another example of.......Oh well, I will keep quiet.
Ron the Coilman
You say that you're using original contacts. Are you certain that they're original equipment Ford contacts or could a past "restorer" have installed the inferior ones, mentioned above, before you owned the car?
All that being said, even old ones can wear out over time. Maybe they need to be replaced?
My dad bought the car in 1961, from an old gentleman that could have been the original owner, but we have no proof. It was driven for one day in 1961 and then stored in a barn until 2005. I then restored the car, and used the contacts that came with the car, so I assume are original. Tony Vershore of Chicago rebuilt the engine and transmission. I start the car on battery and run on mag. The coils are shimmed with cardboard in the box, so I don't think they can move, but I will check that out.
Tell me more about "poor grounding through the timer"? Thanks for all your ideas! This problem has had me stumped for 7 years...
".....Oh well, I will keep quiet. "
You didn't say what year the car is. There is a brace that goes between the front panel and back panel and that brace is very important. There is something wrong if you are using cardboard to push the coils back. Look at the contacts and they should be split down the middle such that there are in fact 2 separate halves of the spring contact that touch the coil side. If you have a camera, take a picture of what it looks like down into your coil box with coils removed. The contact should look exactly like the pictures at this link since these contacts at made exactly like Ford parts. There are 2 styles of contacts namely '13-'25 and then '26-'27. You need the correct contacts for the box you have.
compare the pictures with what you have. Ditch the cardboard and get the metal brace which I suspect is missing or perhaps you have the soft repro contacts that others are talking about. Those are notorious for doing what you are seeing.
Contact me off line if needs be and I will help you since I don't have any picture size limitations with my email. We'll get you fixed up.
The car is a 1925. We are on tour in Florida this week, but I will check it all out tomorrow. Thanks for all your ideas!
Near the end of the thread below there is a picture of a coil box with the brace and the FP kit installed:
For me the first sentence of Michael's original post gave it away. I have trouble shot this problem many times and EVERY TIME the black burning and pitting was present was a result of a set of a set of the copper plated steel contacts developed and made by you know who,....yes, the same yahoo who has reproduced many incorrectly made reproduction parts for the hobby that are not worth a rats........oh well I will keep quiet. The black color is a result of arching between dissimilar metals and the steel has no "spring" like Phosphor Bronze. They were copper plated to fool you and they are cheaper.
Yes, of course John Regan is correct that you should NOT have to shim the coilbox to have the coil and box contacts make proper contact.
Here is a photo of a coilbox I recently restored with FunProjects wood replacement kit and contacts and a properly installed coil box support. The coils fit like a glove inside the box and the cover holds them properly.
When it comes to coilbox rebuilding parts you get what you pay for.
Ron the Coilman
Yes.....uncharacteristic for me?
Nothing in this hobby make me angrier than Model T parts suppliers incorrectly reproducing poor quality parts, offering to an unsuspecting hobby and cheap members buying them based on price without regard to the fitness for purpose.
These buyers are not doing the hobby any favors when normally good quality parts should drive poor quality parts out of the market.
If you're buying a reproduction Model T part ask a knowledgeable person first.
Ron the Coilman