Curious as to preferences between a roller type timer and a "flapper" type timer.
I am running a flapper type and there is obvious wear on the flapper that I would think you would not find on the roller type.
What do you run/prefer?
I personally run a Crystal Timer. I mostly got one because it looks really cool, but I found out that it's an excellent timer, and with the contact surface consisting of glass and tool steel, it should last a long, long time!
John, The timer question is almost as touchy as what oil, water pumps, E- Timers, and what bands. I prefer an original New Day. some prefer the Andersons flapper type, then there is the Montana 500 version of it with a strong spring if you are running high speeds, a roller is great as long as you keep it oiled and serviced (make sure the spring is good), As stated above the Crystal timers are great also. Its just a matter of personal choice.
I assist Model T owners with getting their ignition systems working properly every week; coils, timers and coil box issues.
There is no reproduction roller timer I can currently recommend due to quality and long term reliability issues. I am not fan of the flapper timer for several reasons.
I can tell you there is a currently available option (similar to the original Ford plunger timer design) you should seriously consider.
The fellow who developed this timer implementation has done an excellent job with the design, beta tests, field trials and the users I have recommended it to are having excellent results.
I strongly recommend this product.
Ron the Coilman
I'd have to second Ron Patterson's view. The TW timer costs a little more, but it is very well engineered and produced. No short cuts there! Minimal annual maintenance. And with the modification Tony made to the brush and holder, installation and removing/replacing the cover really is a snap. Best of all: my Touring car runs great. When I get my Tudor done it will have one as well.
I too love the TW timer. Looks good, runs great and is now easy to install. I switched all of my cars over to the brush style.
I have a TW timer but when i needed to remove the timer for some other maintenance issue, the carbon brush flew out and was never seen again, i was on a tour, so i put in a Anderson style and all is good, it runs fine, i will get a new brush one of these days,just watch out when you remove the cover.
On the TW website, the timer looks good. Is it better than an original New Day? If so, how? I may want to try it.
I want to thank everyone for their input. I anticipated differing opinions which is what I was looking for.
I think what I have now is an Anderson as it is as flapper type but I do not know if there is only one flapper type made.
Anderson may be the only one now, but there have been others. Some folks have large collections of many different brands of Model T timers. There have been dozens, scores, maybe hundreds. They include all the types that are available now, and probably some that aren't.
So far my experience is;
New Day (original) like
Anderson (USED ORIGINAL NOT NEW ONE) didn't like (worked but see below)
Roller (old original) needed the surface cleaned up but ok for lower speeds (too much roller bounce at higher speeds), new roller did to seem to wear out quick.
Re the Anderson; every time the engine would roll back on compression hand or starter cranking, the spark lever would get pulled down and I would have to walk around or remember to push it back up (which happened more often that I would like and unsafe).
It has been reported that the contacts in the Anderson need to be equal all the way around and the timer cover centered to the cam shaft or the inter cylinder firing gets messed up. Gut feeling is the roller or brush type is less fussy.
Someday I will try the TW unit.
The mechanical reliability of the two Anderson timers I've used has been unbeatable, but as they wear, the cylinder to cylinder timing changes.
I'm now testing a TW which avoids this problem, and so far I'm very impressed with it.
The roller type with its constant maintenance requirement and contact bounce is my least desirable choice.
TW's seem to be winning the vote so far...
I have an Anderson and the car runs perfectly but, I also have had it pull the spark lever down (unsafe) or I have been unable to raise the lever all the way until I rotated the engine slightly. I thought I would wait a while to see if the praise of the TW timer was just hype but, it is now becoming evident that the TW is the best and I will be switching to it in the near future.
I suspect you've never tried a Ford roller timer. A pity. They are awesome, and maintenance is an annual event if you drive 1000 miles a year, so there is not much maintenance for the average Model T owner who drives perhaps a couple hundred miles a year.
There is no such thing as "contact bounce" with a roller timer that is in good condition. If it is worn out due to improper / lack of maintenance then sure, you can ruin anything that way.
Please note that I am endorsing original Ford, Bulldog, or Tiger Timers. I have not seen a decent reproduction since Howard Cascia quit making them.
Rick, Steve...I have one TW timer and has been doing very well. I believe I was probably one of the very early purchasers of it when Tony first brought it out. In a few minutes in fact, I'm going to order another one from Snyders!
This is my favorite timer =)
Mine even makes it's own spark!
I have no doubt that the TW is excellent. I've seen nothing but praise for it from people who should know. My question is whether it's better than an original New Day, and if so, how.
Steve, It's better than an original New Day since it's available to buy - good original New Days hasn't been produced for decades.
The other plus with the TW timer is the carbon brush - it'll cause less wear in the housing than the copper brush in original New Days. You can of course modify a New Day with a carbon brush from some generator if you're lucky enough to have one.
I'm with Seth in the high tension magneto crowd until I get the next engine together - it'll have flywheel magnets and I think I'll use a TW timer when I run out of good used original Ford timers.
I have an Anderson in my 24 Coupe and New Days in my other 2 T's. They all run fine. And I still cant figure out why no one is reproducing the New Days with all the advancement in materials. They could be made just as good or better than the originals in the same configuration as the originals.
And on we go.
The brush used in an period original (not reproduction) New Day and the TW timer is not the soft black carbon brush like you find in a Model T generator.
I do not know the exact composition of the material used in either of these timer brushes. The material used in the TW timer brush appears to be similar to, but not exactly like, the material used in a starter brush.
Ok, thanks for the update on the materials, Ron
I really love the TW timer. My RPU never ran better. I was running a New Day before and I liked it also but the TW is better. That said I have had some troubles with my TW, I do not believe it was the timers fault, again I am not blaming the timer at all. I have had some serious arcing problems with mine, to the point the Bakelite insulators are being eaten away. I have also noticed the metal shoe is showing spitting .
I believe the problem is from a leaking cam seal. My car started popping and backfiring and when I checked it out two coils were buzzing at the same time, I took the timer off and cleaned out a bunch of oil mixed with the dust from the brush, the bottom two posts of the timer were pretty much covered in this oil mix. Put it all back together and ran fine for 50 or so miles and started again, got it home and decided to remove all the posts and insulators and thoroughly clean it that is when I found the arcing problem. Maybe I should have removed the timer and cleaned it out , but it ran so smooth I never thought there was a problem. Maybe drill a small hole in the TW case like the New days have.
I have posted the photos of what I found.
Again let me say, I love this timer and as soon as I replace the cam seal and get it dry, I will buy another TW timer, it runs super great on my car. I replaced the TW for now with a new roller type from Snyder's, it seems to do fine. I may be able to just replace the small insulators and get by with the old timer when I get my oil leak fixed.
I could be wrong, but I believe I know what caused the problem you cited in the photos above. There are three distinct interrelated clues; two coils buzzing at the same time, excessive pitting on the leading edge of the timer contact and the arching between the specific timer bolt and the case.
If not addressed I believe this will happen again and do not believe it is the fault of the timer or an oil leak, although excessive oil may have contributed.
Please contact me and give me a number so I can call you and we can discuss.
Ron the Coilman