Hello Forum! I am new to this Forum and very much a novice when it comes to T's. I have a 1919 that belonged to my wife's grandfather and we bought it from his estate after he passed about 14 years ago. It ran pretty well for us for a good 9 years. I put it into storage for the last 5 and am now trying to get her going again. She's turning over nice with a new battery, but I'm not getting anything to fire. Plugs look decent. Gas is flowing (although I didn't remove carb to clean it out). Drained gas, added fresh gas and sediment bowl cleaned. I sprayed some starter fluid under the plugs then replaced to see if it would at least burn that...and it did not. Looking for tips on how to get this beauty going again. Where do you suggest I tinker next? Thanks in advance. Brian
Pics of car and engine.
Do coils buzz when you turn it over? Did you clean timer?
Seems the next reasonable step would be to see if you are getting spark. Are your coils buzzing when you turn it to battery?..And do you get a spark when pulling out the plugs and laying them on the head while cranking?
I'll check for spark this weekend. Thx. I'll also look into cleaning the timer (I have a manual that hopefully shows me the way). As for coils buzzing, I honestly wouldn't know what that would sound like if it was happening. Can you give me some tips on what or where to listen for? Please pretend I am the proverbial 3 year old. :-) I hope to be an expert some day!
Hey Brian, you will have to post some pictures and the guys here will figure it out in no time. Do you have a battery in the car, and is it fully charged? Coils won't Buzz if there's no battery. Take some pics of the engine, might just be a wire loose somewhere if it ran before. JD
Brian, i am a newbie as well to T's, so don't feel bad you dont know the ins and outs of a car over a 100 years old. When you turn the key to batt you should hear a buzzing noise coming from the box on your inner firewall, but it wont be constant it will only buzz when the timer is in the right position to buzz, so try this. Turn batt to on and slowly turn the crank handle a few rotations, if you hear nothing than you know you have a problem with either the coils or the electrical leading up to the coils.
Hi Jim. Brand new battery with a full charge. The engine turns over and over and over without issue. Just not getting anything to fire. In the past it would at least give me some life when I sprayed engine starter under the plugs. I posted one general pic of engine earlier but will take a bunch of close ups and post those this weekend. I'm excited to have this forum on my side! Brian
Thanks, John. I'll try that with the crank. I've only ever used the starter/battery to turn it over...so using the hand crank will be a new experience.
Please learn how to properly hand crank your engine. It looks simple but if the coils decide to start working you could be in for either a painful or pleasant surprise.
Pull up only open part of hand to center of car and keep thumb on same side as fingers.
BTW if you want to hear what coils sound like when their buzzing, go to my newbie vid i just posted a few days ago.
Bill is right, safety first.
Brian, I had a problem when I first built my 1916 T. It ran fine and then nothing could get it to start or coil buzz. It turned out that the coil box wiring needed to be replaced. Check that coil box for old wires. I would also check the back of the key switch for old frayed wires too. Hope this helps. Happy motoring, Kevin
Brian, pull the plugs and lay them on the head [grounded] and crank it over, no spark? Trace from the plugs backwards. That's a great car. JD
Bill, John, Kevin, Jim. All excellent input. Thank you. I wish I had a vacation day Friday to get out in the garage!
It might be something simple. The car may be okay but your starting procedure may be incorrect or you've forgotten something. Read the owners manual - it was written for an audience that had little or no experience operating a Model T. Paragraphs 1 through 8 should be especially helpful.
This is a good read for new T people;
Before you do anything to the timer, try this. Turn the ignition switch to batt and ground each of the wires connected to the timer one by one. You should hear a coil buzz each time you ground one of the wires. If you do hear the buzz, be sure to put the spark lever all the way up to retard the spark. Then slowly turn the crank by hand and for each revolution of the crank you should hear two buzzes. If you don't hear it, your problem is in the timer.
If, however, when you first grounded each wire, you did not hear a buzz, your problem is between the battery and the coil box, or in the coils themselves. First thing to do is remove the coils from the coil box, and with the ignition switch to battery, use a voltmeter or a light bulb to see if you have 6 volts (or 12 if you are using a 12 volt battery) on the bottom contact which goes across the entire bottom of the coil box. If you don't have voltage there, your coils will not buzz. Problem could be either in the wiring or in the ignition switch. Whatever you do, be careful not to connect the magneto directly to the battery or you could damage the magneto. If you get battery to the contact at the bottom of the coil box, next thing is to check continuity of the wires between the coil box and the timer. If not, replace those wires.
Cleaning the timer, depends upon what kind of timer is on the car. It is possible that some corrosion could have ocurred to the contacts inside the timer during the time the car was stored.
If the problem is in the coils,which I don't think it is, because it wouldn't likely affect all the coils, you need to get someone familiar with coils to help you. It's too involved to explain in the forum. I would recommend Ron Patterson if you need the coils tuned up.
It would be much easier to go over this with you in person than to describe to you on the forum. Try to find someone in you area familiar with Model T's. Most of them will be more than glad to help you.
It hasn't been said and it seems so obvious to us experts, but when you say "turn the key to battery", you turn it CCW to the left, not CW to the right which would be for the magneto. I have seen many a coil box mounted switch with no bat/mag notation. This setup would be totally foreign to a person of the younger generation.
Brian, watch John P Noonan video and about 4 minutes in is what you should here when one of your coils is firing, you my have to turn the engine slowly with the crank to make them fire.