My wife wont drive our model T saying that there's just too much to learn and remember for the few and short times she's likely to drive it.
But now, with this speedster project underway, I'd like to at least try to make this thing easier to drive, so she is inclined to use it.
I've already decided to install a foot throttle but I was wondering if there are any distributors available that have operating mechanical or vacuum advance, thereby negating the use of the quadrant?
I spoke to Ben Hardeman about the Texas T distributors, and learned that although they are Bosch 009 and have the centrifugal counterweights, they rotate in the opposite direction, negating mechanical advance.
So, are there any mechanical, centrifugal or vacuum advance distributors available to fit T's?
I welcome your suggestions on this and hope that its possible.
At least one model of Bosch 600 models from the era had built in centrifugal advance. As I recall reading here the vacuum advance type will not work with the T engine/carb. I think it was in part because of the low speed could not get enough vacuum to do anything or it was because of the type of carburetor the Model T uses.
The American Bosch is/was made in the 20's for T's with a mechanical advance, I just removed one to bring one of my T's back to original, you do see them on ebay sometimes.
Put on an Etimer. Start retarded, then as soon as it starts, pull the lever down to full advance. The Etimer then takes care of the timing from there. I have used one for a couple of years, including a drive from Nebraska to California and back with no problems. Also takes care of issues with coil points or capacitors.
I have an Atwater Kent LA that's been on my T for fifty years. It has a centrifical advance with one very light spring. I never move the advance lever. I marked the spot on the quadrant and that's where the lever stays. I should add the engine has always had a high compression head.
I think Steve has hit the nail on the head!!!
The advance curve for a modern distributor such as a VW 009 is not correct for a Model T. I always lock down the advance mechanism and set it at slightly retarded for starting with a light bulb to find the time the points open. If you use the set-up for a modern car your advance curve will be all wrong. You can wrap a tape around the lower pulley after removing the fan belt, and mark off the degrees. There is a chart on this web site and you can copy it and make a print to fasten to the pulley.
Then use a modern timing light with the clamp around #1 and see how much advance you have. The do it yourself distributor setting is much better than an unknown automatic advance curve. If you are running six volts, simply hook up the timing light to a 12 volt car pared next to your Model T and clamp the # one spark plug wire to complete the circuit. It will work like a champ and be very accurate.
I know it is correct to do it my way because I have only entered two hill climbs and have come in, in first place both times. They don't call me Fast Frank for nothing ;~) If you can do it, it ain't bragging.
Mark, Frank, Steve, Donald, Les & Frank,
Thanks for answering. Its much appreciated.