As mentioned yesterday I took the 1919 out of mothballs and it was skipping some on #4. It would pick it up at times then lose it again. When I ground out the plug there's a nice blue spark coming off the end of the screwdriver on the head. Now just a little history, George King rebuilt the engine last year and I didn't really get a chance to do a lot of driving so I'm wondering if maybe being a tight engine maybe it's got a sticking valve. I had generously fogged the engine before putting it to bed last fall. I thought maybe a nice long ride might free it up but no go. Is there a way to reach the valves with a screwdriver and tap it down? Id like to try that before removing the valve covers. Quick FTI, Took it on a 30 mile drive today and like Bob J mentioned driving it and the clutch stopped slipping. Now if I can just get the engine to smooth out. Got to get the winter gremlins to move out. Hopefully I'll be in Florida this fall and end that winter hibernation stuff.
i've done that many times. as you say, go thru the plug hole, spray some lube on it, work it a few times with the crank, and it should loosen up. if stuck hard, dont get too violent or you could hurt the valve, let it soak some oil.
I had the same problem with mine last year, It would run great for a while then miss sporadically where cyl #1 sparked only occasionally. Ended up being a broken wire from the timer to the coil. It made good ground sometimes, then when I would hit a bump the wire would shift. Took me forever to find the problem.
Try some Lucas fuel treatment. Just might be enough top lube to get things moving. It is available at most auto parts stores.
Clean the timer.
Skipping or missing on one cylinder many times is the timer or wiring or coil for #4 not seated well in the box.
Rule out ignition prior to going after the valves.
How about a compression test to prove the sticking valve theory?
If so crank the engine till one valve is open and spray under the valve with penetrating oil, let sit. Crank again until the other valve is open and again spray under valve.
Any penetrating oil with a long "straw" should do it.
bud is right, you should be able to figure that out just putting your thumb over the hole. if its got compression, go after the ignition as others have said
Add a pint of Marvel Mystery Oil to the crankcase & go for the same ride...may save you from using a wrench.
Today Im going to do the screwdriver trick. If nothing else it will tell me if the valves are going up and down. I did have a though last night. Im going to try a peek down the hole with a mirror and see if by chance something moved in over the winter. Wouldn't be the first time I've have a mouse stuck in the valve seat. Bob, I put a can of Seafoam in the gas before the trip, Today I'm going to install a new timer and change #4 coil. I bought that new TW Components Inc timer with the carbon brush. The old Anderson has some wear but far from bad. Lets see if that makes any difference.
Do one change at a time, so you will discover the cause of your problem.
Swap spark plugs with another cylinder and then check to determine if #4 is still skipping, or if the other cylinder is skipping. If the skip went with the spark plug, change to a different sparkplug. If it is still #4, swap coils with another cylinder and do same check. If the skip moved with the coil, replace the coil. If it is still #4, check coil box, timer and wiring. If you still can't find the cause, check compression of #4. A valve is the last place to check because it takes the most work to fix. Eventually you will find the cause. Good luck,
Any update on your #4 cylinder miss ?
Many of the new timers are poorly made. If you have an original Ford or other period timer they are much better quality than most of the reproductions. Timers are normally not replaced, they are cleaned and lubricated when necessary. Don't throw away a good timer in favor of one that might not last very long.
I've heard good things about Tony Wiltshire's new timers, if I was going to use a new one it would likely be one of his. Click here:
Possibility may have found the problem, I pulled the timer cover off today and found the modern cam seal had come out and was just laying on the cam. I have to wonder if maybe it was shorting the timer. I didnt have time to fix it today but tomorrow I will get on it again. My soon to be daughter in law wants a ride so I got to get her going.
Even with the seal out and if it did come in contact with one of the segments on the timer you would have more then No 4 miss firing. Check the bolt between the crank case and front plate under the timer. It should be pointing down, head up on top. The segment on the timer is (for simplicity) the + side and the engine/cam/rotor is the - side. when they come in contact it closes the circuit.