Changing from Tru-Fire to Ford Coils

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Changing from Tru-Fire to Ford Coils
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:25 am:

Hi All,

I am changing from Tru-Fire to Coils on a 23 Depot Hack. I have purchased a new timer, new wiring to timer, and 5 Coils from Fun. Anything more that I need to do? This is a 12volt Alternator w/Z head.

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Robison on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:32 am:

Make sure your Magneto works.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:37 am:

Even if your mag doesn't work you are set. I run two Ts and our Model N on battery (12V) and coils with no problems. I've run over 50 mph with our 13 on 12V and coils (both T mags were discharged and in car charge didn't do the trick).

Of course I would run on mag if it worked,
Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:59 am:

I think you should be good to go. I'm curious about how you're gonna fit that fifth coil in the coil box. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 01:05 pm:

Henry,

A shoehorn from Wally World.

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 08:54 am:

I also bought 5 coils from Fun Projects. all the old timers recommend a spare coil for just in case situation. The spare is seldom needed, except as a loaner, but they did provide a good control test for my StroboSpark, also from fun Projects and all 5 coils passed inspection, as did the StroboSpark.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 09:38 am:

Rob--how long can you run on battery before it needs re-charged? Just curious, and of course "just in case" I have a mag go bad early on in the season and don't wanna yank the engine until late fall.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Seager on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 11:52 am:

Cary is your trufire for sale?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 12:18 pm:

Michael,

Later this summer.

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 10:04 pm:

There is a strap of sheet metal which goes through the coil box between coil #2 and #3. You need to replace it so that the coils don't vibrate and lose their electrical connection. It should be easy to make one if you don't have the original.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 09:25 am:

Norman,
Is this the approx. 1/4" tall piece shaped like a T? Is this sold by the suppliers?

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 09:32 am:

I just got on Langs and found 5002STP. Am I correct?

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 09:35 am:

Yep


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 10:27 am:

Thank you Mark and Norman,

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 12:35 pm:

Tim, you can run a very long time on battery alone. I don't have a working generator on my old truck and run on battery only and it will last several months of short tour and around town driving.

I have run several "Holiday Motor Excursions" which consist of about 45 minutes of headlight use in the early morning, using the starter all day at several stops, brake light working, and over 100 miles of touring. Even after this tour, it will still turn the starter and I can use it on several more drives before it is discharged enough that the starter is laboring or not able to start it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 12:55 pm:

Jeff,
Just a note, even though your battery may work for a long time between charges, in the interest of battery longevity it is in your best interest to keep the battery fully charged. The hardest thing you can do to a battery is to let it set with anything other then a full charge. It will still work but the battery will not last very long and you will have to replace the battery more often.
Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 02:47 pm:

Jim, I understand it's best to keep a battery fully charged, but Tim's question was "How long can you run on a battery before it needs recharged?" I have seen on several threads where someone leaves the impression that you can't go far, which just isn't true. I wouldn't want to do too much night driving with the headlights on, but as I said, I have driven over a hundred miles and used the headlights some, and the brake light and starter a lot and still had good battery power at the end of the tour. Current battery is 3 years old.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 03:13 pm:

Day or night my lights are on. 30 to 35 mph in the Texas hill country is just not safe with no lights. When I lived in the flat valleys of California it was fine. Here I can be over the crest of a hill not seen by on coming modern cars. Many Farm to Market roads (2 lane) are 70 mph. I need to keep that battery up and bright lights on. I also run a blinking yellow light on the rear. With a gen. I would not run. I know that in the day T's ran with no lights but it is 2014 not 1914.

Just an old man's rambling. Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marty Bufalini on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 08:57 pm:

Because my mag doesn't work that well, I run my '14 touring on a 12v battery and have been on week long tours finding it necessary (more for peace of mind than anything else) to charge it once during a tour.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Monday, April 14, 2014 - 09:51 pm:

Dear Marty,

My system is magless and 6 volt. Currents (amps) are twice the 12 volt.

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 02:06 am:

Cary, not all coil boxes used that strap, the earlier ones didn't. Make sure that your coil box has the slots for it. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 08:24 am:

Cary, Be sure to get the wiring correct when you change back to the Ford system. It's been years since I have looked at the TF directions but I believe there is a extra ground wire that needs to be moved.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cary Abate on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 08:47 am:

Folks,
Does anyone have a copy of that set of instructions for the tru-fire?

Cary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 09:08 am:

Cary, it's a .pdf file, too big to attach here, I emailed it to you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 04:13 pm:

Jim Thode - Your post yesterday prompts a question, for you, or Ron Patterson or John Regan, or anybody else for that matter. If I recall correctly, you choose to run your "T" without a generator Jim, and just run on battery all the time, which of course eliminates the possibility of any generator, cutout, voltage regulator, etc, etc, type problems. As you stated yesterday, the best way to take good care of a battery is to keep it fully charged at all times and that the hardest thing on a battery is to let it set for any length of time with anything other than a full charge, so,.....my question is this:

As long as you intend to always run without a generator, wouldn't it make sense to use a deep-cycle type battery instead of the normal type starting battery? Starting batteries are designed to be kept fully (or nearly fully) charged at all times (with generator or alternator) whereas the deep-cycle battery is designed to be completely (or nearly completely) discharged and then recharged many times, over and over, as this will not hurt a deep-cycle battery. And that is pretty much what you're doing with your Model T, right? I realize that with some sort of modern "battery tender" type charger, it is easy to keep your "starting type battery" fairly well charged up between runs/tours most of the time, but with a deep-cycle battery, you actually COULD run the battery way down and then charge it up again with no harm, over and over if you wanted to, whereas this would be harmful to a normal "starting type battery". Just wondering your thoughts on this,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 04:19 pm:

I should have added that I've always thought that running without a generator and starter and just using a smaller and lighter deep-cycle battery would be an excellent "weight-saving" design for a speedster in my opinion, which is sorta' what prompts my question above,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 04:31 pm:

Like Cary, my 1923 touring/pickup conversion is missing its magneto and is running a Trufire. My car has a 6V negative ground system. Instead of a dedicated 12V battery to power the coils, is there a 6VDC to 12VDC converter device or circuit with enough current capacity to fire standard Ford coils well? That way I could continue to run the starter and lights on 6V, only running 12V to the coils.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 05:01 pm:

Some have wired a 12 volt battery to the magneto terminal of the coil box such that the normal BATTERY position of the switch gives 6v and the normal MAGNETO position of the switch gives 12 volts for better running.

I've seen some say they run just fine on 6 volts. Makes me wonder if they just don't know what they are missing. When we first got my wife's Touring (Hand crank only), it had a 12 volt lawn and garden battery for starting but the magneto worked. I could tell little to no difference in performance between the two. However, on my my TT, I have 6 volts and mag. There is a WORLD of difference in the two of them. The Touring now has a 6 volt dry cell for starting (Although I normally just crank on mag). I see the same WORLD of difference in performance on it as well. I really don't see how anyone can claim good performance on 6 volts coil operation. Again, I wonder if they just don't know what they are missing. Kinda like the ones who get their coils built by a professional and come on here saying they never dreamed it could run so good.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 05:26 pm:

I am responding to Harold S. with regard to "deep cycle" versus standard battery. I think there is a misconception that a so-called deep cycle battery is radically different than a standard battery and thus able to be deeply discharged regularly with no consequence. That is simply not the case. The application of a deep cycle type battery to a T that does not have a charging system is certainly the correct battery to select but all lead acid batteries have more similarities than they have differences. What I am saying is that you will have less harm to a deep cycle battery if you deeply discharge it but for maximum life you don't want to do that if you don't have to. For any lead acid battery the life will be shortened a bunch if you routinely discharge the thing and leave it that way. The way to view it is that the life of lead acid battery is like the sum total of the time it spends in less than a fully charged state. The more time it spends with only a partial charge - the shorter the total life even though one might expect a deep cycle battery to give a longer life than a standard battery when used this way. You won't find anyone other than the battery salesman who will tell you that it is not going to hurt your deep cycle battery to delay charging it when it is "low". For maximum battery life you should try to keep all lead acid rechargeable batteries full charged when you can and as soon as you can. The larger a battery is the more shallow the discharge when you use it and the longer it likely will last if you then top it off quickly after its use.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 08:52 pm:

Thank you so much John,.....you not only answered my question, but I've also learned a lot from you today about how to take better care of the two big and expensive "house batteries" in our motor home! The 12 volt starting battery in the M/H is kept charged much like a modern car battery, however, the two 6 volt "house batteries" in series are a different story. I knew that when the M/H is hooked up to utilities at an RV Park, the house batteries are being kept charged, but when "dry camping" without hook ups, and using the house batteries as our only source of electricity, we are actually shortening the life of those batteries. I certainly didn't realize that and from now on, I'll try to keep such use of them to a minumum and opt for an RV Park with full hook-ups as much as possible. Without hook-ups, and using the Onan generator for power, I'll feel better about burning the gasoline that the generator uses because it's also keeping my two big house batteries charged as well as having the use of all 110 volt equipment in the motor home. Thanks again for the great explanation John,......as you know, on a scale of 1 to 10 my "knowledge" of anything electric is just a bit short of "one"! ........harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 09:50 pm:

Harold,
Yes in my case with no starter and no generator I would guess that a deep cycle battery would be the ideal choice. However I bet that the deep cycle battery cost more them the 6V battery from the farm store. With my car the only normal use of the battery is when I'm too lazy to crank fast enough to start on the mag, to power the horn and stop light and lights if I were ever to get caught out after dark. The car runs well on the mag and I eliminated very common problems with the generator and starter. The battery sees very little use, I just keep it topped off with a charger whenever it gets below 6.3V.

To add to what John said about a battery only having so much life, my pickup demonstrates that. My 1989 Dodge Cummings pickup always starts on the first compression stroke so the batteries are used very little. I still have the original batteries in it. That is over 16 years and still working! And at the same time some "experts" recommend replacing vehicle batteries every 3 years, what a waste.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brass car guy on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 10:41 pm:

I run Tru-Fire systems on both of my 1912's.I use a riding lawn mower battery,(small and light) and fits under the seat easily.

I also use the Tru-Fire regulator/converter to charge the battery. I find that at nominal speeds the system puts out just at 14 volts, strong enough to keep the battery up.

I do not have a starter so not too concerned about needing a bunch of amperage to start the car.

I have found that with the installation of a Watts clutch, if I choke the carb for 4 1/2 cranks, I can turn the switch and the motor will start with out actually cranking.

This is due to the fact that the Tru-Fire system utilizes modern Ford 2 cylinder coils and you are firing 2 cylinders at the same time. So 1 and 4 fire together as does 2 and 3. So if the engine is on #1 and the coil is energized and there is fuel in the cylinder it will fire then as the motor rolls over it will fire 4, by then the motor is running.

The only issue you will have with this system is if you use a longer duration cam you will get popping back thru the carb due to the cam timing. I'm guessing you should only use a stock cam shaft with this ignition system.

just sayin,

brasscarguy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 12:39 pm:

Jim Thode

I agree with you on all points and for sure on there not being a need to replace a battery until it has failed since it is not uncommon for someone to replace a battery at 3 or 4 years as a precaution but only to replace a perfectly good battery with one that has had a long shelf life at the battery store and perhaps even a weaker battery than the item being replaced.

To others I think I should point out that a correctly functioning Ford coil box with properly adjusted coils will draw about .65 amps from the battery when the engine is running thus a standard car size battery is going to look pretty much like a deep cycle battery if used to power only the coil box and perhaps a stop light because the battery is just not going to be discharged very much even if out all day on a tour. Headlights are the main draw from the battery if you hand crank start the car.


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