In case anyone is interested in this. I am troubleshooting a T engine that has been converted from 6 volt to 12 volt, coils/mag to distributor and Model A intake system added. The engine refuses to start.
1. Adjusted the distributor body for a closer rotor to firing post inside dist. cap timing.
2. Checked for amount of fire at the plugs. All good fire.
3. Backed off bands to greatly reduce engine drag for cranking and possible firing. Rod and Main bearings are tight but not overly tight. No real concern here.
4. Checked for leaks at the intake and carb. No leaks.
5. Increased normal richness and choke for an A setting to compensate for added amount of air coming in. Not flooding spark plugs.
1. Make a compression check for stuck values from sitting.
2. Going to pull start it if all checks out inside engine.
NOTE, this problem has exsisted since the "FIRST" distributor was installed. A "second" distributor was installed and even then the points, condencer, etc. have been changed. The engine is 12 volt starter with I believe a 6 volt bendix. There some issues there for a later date. When the engine was changed over to the distributor, it was also fitted with a downdraft carb.
Will report back Tuesday as to findings if any.
Open the drain on the carburetor and see if you have gas in the bowl. You might be out of gas or have a plugged gas line. Assuming you have the engine timed correctly and have spark, then you might squirt a little gas in each cylinder, turn it over a time or two, put the plugs back in and it should start.
Check the plugs after it has been cranked on the starter with the chock closed. If they are wet, then clearly there is gas, if they are dry then further check the carb. When checking for gas in the carb, make sure the amount draining is a good flow, not just draining the carb and only a drip coming thru the feed pipe. I had that on a CDO, the pipe had a partial blockage....
The technique of putting a little gas in the cylinder is great but make absolutely sure the timing is ATDC.
chock should be choke, sorry
If you put the spark plugs on top of the head connected to the ignition cables and hand crank the engine, does the plugs fire in the right order at about the right time considering the position of the crank? (Is that what you say in your point #2? )
Does the distributor arm point at the position for #1 ignition cable in the cap when the #1 piston is close to TDC at the compression stroke? (is that what you say in point # 1?)
If you try starting it while you spray starting fluid in the intake, does it try to ignite at all?
Where are you setting the points to open? Unlike other cars that use a slot to drive the distributor you need to find the place where the points are about to open at or just past top dead center which means taking the distributor off and turning it's shaft till you find the place where the teeth mesh and the points are about to open. This could mean taking the distributor off and on several times. The contact on the cap the rotor points to becomes your number one cylinder. That means it could change each time you take the distributor off if the motor is cranked with if off. Clip on or front plate distributors are not a plug and play setup, you need to time the distributor to the engine. Murray Fahnestock's book "The Model T Ford Owner" has a good chapter on installing distributors.
could be out of time
Another thing to add, if the compression is too low it may not have enough suction to overcome the larger volume of the A intake. While a T would run with the smaller T intake with say 35 pounds compression, using the A intake maybe not so well. Using the A intake without using larger intake valves may be over kill and unless properly jetted could just be wasting gas. If using a downdraft carb, how are you getting the fuel to the carb? Even a 26/27 may not have enough head pressure to feed it from the tank.
I would go back and make sure that it's firing at top dead center on the compression stroke not the exhaust stroke of No 1 cylinder and re-time as needed.
All of the above sounds like good advice.
I have had some similar problems over the years and I have found that putting 3 or 4 squirts of oil at each piston in each cylinder can make a huge difference. It will greatly reduce the drag of the pistons and rings and will greatly increase the compression, both of these will significantly increase your chance of success in starting. Probably roll it over a bit with the plugs out to spread the oil around. Sure it will smoke like hell when it starts, but keep the revs up a bit and you will not likely foul the plugs. This "trick" has helped me out more than once. Often times the cylinders have been gasoline "washed" from all the choking and start attempts.
That's a great tip.....never heard of that trick used for starting before.
Thx, it has saved me a LOT of grief!!
1. the distributor was installed one tooth in advanced, thus way out of time based on #1 post on the cap.
2. Poured a bit of oil into each cylinder to lube the dry rings and cranked a few rotations.
3. Poured (lighty) in a bit of an oil/gas mix into each cylinder to prime the engine.
4. Manually chocking carb and adjusting the distributor, cranked the engine with starter and after a few trys it fires and run.
5. The engine runs good except believe it has a stuck open valve. No problem to fix that. Owner was so pleased to here the ol T run again.