The short time I have been reading the MTFCA forum there has been much archived on the servicing and operating of the coils, communicator, battery, and magneto for the Ford ignition as it came from factory. Touring various collections I have noted that other automobile companies up to a certain point used similar ignition system. (Coil, commutator, vibrator coils)
This question may be answered by those that have been working on vintage cars for a few years. Do owners of period cars of the same era as the Model T using a commutator and coils have the same concerns with their ignition system? (double sparking, cushion spring, testing with a buzz coil box, crank coil tester, and related issues)
Those cars don't use a built in low tension magneto (actually a variable frequency, variable voltage alternator) like the Model T. The Model T ignition system operating on MAG is different from the way any other brand of car ignition system operates. It is a superbly simple, elegant solution that requires very little maintenance once it is set up properly.
You will note that most of the discussion about coils involve the 1914 up type coils and very little, if any, chatter about the early coils. While I sure will not call myself an expert or even amateur when it comes to coil lore, except for Ford I do not think there many if any cars using a tremble vibrating coil/battery ignition system past the early teens. The pre 1914 coils used by Ford and others were a whole different ball game.
A lot of information used today was relearning what and why from the later T era.
Buzz coils became obsolete in about 1908 with the invention of the Atwater-Kent Uni-sparker. I believe it was the first distributor.
Motor Supply Catalog, 1911
RD,Someone should have told Henry before he had at least 60,000 000 produced! How many uni-sparkers are in service today? Bud.
coils don't buzz .
have power from battery through switch, through coil box , through coil and to timer using a test light . nothing coming from timer back .
does coils need to buzz ? ing. switch turned to left for batt . what would happen if i turned switch to right and use mag ?
Turn the crank?? Bud.
I've been rebuilding Model T coils for about ten years now. Not, big time, but I do a hundred or so each year. Over the years, I've done a few dozen coils for people using Model T coils in other applications. One guy even had me rebuild the Model T coil that he used for igniting his grain dryer. I set them up just like I do for Model Ts, knowing that they will give one consistent, hot spark when called upon.
Many of the early cars used dry cell batteries to power buzz coils for ignition. Many of those cars have now been updated to run KW style Model T coils. My 1908 Maxwell was originally equipped with a commutator, dry cell battery and Splitdorf coils. The coils have been replaced with Model T coils and I run a small 12v hobby battery, but the rest is stock. In '09, Maxwell added a top mounted, engine driven mag (low tension, I believe) which replaced the commutator and dry cell, but retained the Splitdorf coil, much like a Model T. The mag powered the coil and provided timing, but the coil sent the spark to the plug. I believe they used this system through '12. The Maxwell stuff is still pretty new to me. Someone else may have better info.
I am new to T's, but I don't think you should have power to the timer. It is the ground for the coil circuit, grounding each coil in turn as it rotates on the end of the camshaft. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Sorry. This came up in the wrong topic.