What is the verdict on a phenolic timing gear?
If you mean the white one;
put one (7 1/2 advance) in a 26 that gets driven a lot so far so good.
If not do you have a link to the one you are asking about?
The "white" one is a modern plastic.
"Phenolic" gear is the older brown composition gear that has a bad rep for stripped gear teeth.
I would go with a good Ford timing gear that has minimal backlash with the crank gear, or use the "white" gear with the option of using the valve timing advance...... also have one in our '26, good runner.
There are 5 material types of model T Cam shaft timing gears currently available.
1)Original Steel - Strong, Noisy, usually worn
2)Aluminum - Strong, noisy, no backlash
3)Bronze - Strong, noisy, no backlash
4)Plastic - Strong, Quiet, have been known to loose teeth, typically very reliable when used with a generator
5)Fiber - works great on early cars without a generator, quiet, known to loose teeth when run against a generator.
I find that the aluminum gear is quiet after a couple hundred miles. Original steel gears are silent too once they are worn in. If they are worn out and especially if running a generator they are noisy.
Is there anybody making T timing gears made of steel these days? I don't recall anyone doing it at the present.
With all due respect to everyone, metal timing gears should not make noise if they are installed following some pretty basic guidelines. Some of those are running them at the proper center distance with the proper backlash, avoid running them against a worn out crank gear or generator gear, and making sure the cam gear runs true when mounted on the cam. One additional note- original Ford timing gears are NOT steel- early ones are cast iron and the later ones are similar to ductile iron. Dan