Took my 1923 out for my first drive today..
I got a bunch of work completed on 1923 touring and with weather hitting 40 today I took her out for a ride... Couple of questions and one issue.
1) Power (Low Gear) - I have a 6v system with bad mag (next big project to get fixed).. So running purely on battery. When I take off from a full stop the car seems to struggle a bit to get up to any speed. Almost a crawl then once it gets going its ok. I'm new to driving car and have found that hand lever may have not been in true neutral (any tips there)... any other thoughts?
2) Starter Issue - During the drive and working between Low and High I stalled out the car. When I tried to restart the starter would make noise but more of a "humming" noise vs. normal. No sound of it turning over. I ended up hand cranking and started with one pull. I checked connections and all seems ok. As of now Hand crank is only way I can start her... thoughts?
Again.. I'm a total Newbie. Thanks for help.
Regarding #1 - getting used to where neutral is takes a little practice, with the car shut off and in the garage, practice moving the brake lever back and forth so that you can "feel" the high clutch bolt come up on the lever cam.
Regarding #1 - I only ask this because I've done it myself, but was the car still in gear when you pressed the starter button? It's easy to forget to pull the emergency brake lever all the way back before you try to restart it after it stalls.
Along the same lines, was the timing lever fully up when you tried to restart it using the starter?
If/When I stall the car in traffic, I find it best to take a deep breath, then go through the mental checklist to make sure everything is set before I press the starter button. It may seem like it would take more time, but it's better than fumbling around in a panic trying to get the thing restarted with a line of cars behind you.
Just get more practice and have fun!
Oops - I realized that I didn't really address #1. You may want to try a different position for the spark advance while in low gear.
On my car, what works best for me is to have the lever about 1/4 down when starting to move from a dead stop, then once I'm firmly in low gear and the car is moving, advance the spark to about 3/4 down. At a fixed throttle setting in low, I can really feel the car pick up power as I advance the spark.
Thanks Mark. Good Tips.
- There is possibility I forgot and it was in gear and lever was fully down vs correct position. Is there possibility I damned the starter? As it just doesn't seem like its engaging as it did before.
Once car is started I've been leaving spark all the way down and not touching it. I'll have to play with that.
#2 sounds like the bendix is just spinning and not engaging. I would pull the bendix cover to see. You may have lost a bolt on the head of the bendix drive and if so you don't want it to migrate into the crankcase.
Most T's are limited in speed when running on 6v with coils, though it's the high end that suffers, not when starting and going slow. Until the magneto can be fixed, you can try a 12v battery hooked up to the mag switch (mag wire from the engine disconnected!) You'll get better performance from the coils on 12v, but you don't have to change the whole system and hurt the bendix spring - a 12v battery for a small car under the rear seat will keep you running for day long trips, should it be drained while away, then just switch back to 6v and be able to get home to your battery charger in a slower pace
1. I'd check the condition of the battery and generator output in addition to what Mark suggests. Also, you could buy a large lantern 6 volt dry cell battery at the hardware store, disconnect the mag and battery terminals from the coil box an using alligator clips and some wire hook up the dry cell then run it. If this corrects the problem you'll know its a power problem. If it doesn't then you'll know you need to look elsewhere.
2. Since you were able to start it easily with the crank I doubt the be Bendix is hung up. Could just be the starter needs to be rebuilt.
T. Thompson - First of all, welcome to the world of Model T Fords, and welcome to the forum. You'll find that this is a great place to get lots of help and useful information.
At this point, let me reassure you that it's just fine to run your Model "T" on "battery" as many "T" guys have driven their Model "T's on 6-volt battery for years and years, with absolutely no problem. Performance only suffers at top speed and at approx. 35 mph or less, neither you nor your "T" engine will know the difference, and it won't hurt a thing to run that way. And in the meantime, you'll be getting the feel of driving, and maintaining your car, and learning more and more, including what it may take to get your magneto working properly again. Lots of guys with a bad magneto just run on 6 volt "bat" until such time as they feel the need to do a complete engine overhaul or rebuild.
Again, welcome to the "world of Model "T" Fords and the forum,.......harold
Thanks again Guys. I can't wait for summer!!
Forgot to mention. Is the clutch pedal suppose to pop-up right after being released? I find when pressing down for low gear it tends to stick/stay down for a bit?
I'll be sticking with the 6v and repair the Mag sometime in the future.
Too bad, I wish I had ID'd a possible starter issue when it was being worked on. Oh well I guess I'll be hand cranking until I can repair it.
Yes, the pedal should come out immediately. Your low gear band is more than likely too loose which would also explain why you can't get any kind of speed in low because the band is slipping. Adjust the screw on the outside of the transmission in just enough that the pedal stops solidly about 1 inch over the floor boards.
Thanks. Do you have a picture of exactly where screw is located?
Just remove the floor boards. You'll find the screw on the right side next to the exhaust pipe. Before careful not to over do it.
That should be "Be careful not to over do it."
you don't need a pic. You can crawl under, or easier to remove floorboards, and look for the only threaded object sticking out of the right side of the hogshead. Its bigger around than your thumb and sticks out of the hogshead a couple of inches and has a jam nut on it and the end is machined to be turned with an open end wrench. I highly recommend you purchase the Model T Ford Service Manual, available through all the vendors--it has great pics, and is a must for all T owners.
Provided the ignition system is all good and set up right, 6V operation is perfectly legitimate. My 26 tourer easily does 75km/h on 6V.
If you end up having to pull the starter, be sure to remove the Bendix first.
You really should not have to remove the starter. It sounds like your bendix assembly is at fault.
Got it. I have ID'd bolt/screw. I'll have to work on it once weather warms up again
Here's a photo of my daughter's 1914 T cruising on a measly 6V battery, Model T coils, and a stock roller timer. Using GPS speedometer...44 MPH. No noticeable difference on 12V so I went back to 6V. Magnets were removed about 1998.
The washers with tabs are critical to holding the bolts in place.
You asked about free neutral adjustment - here's a good instruction on how to adjust,
..Maybe it's from Murray Fahnestock's writings in Ford Times? The highlights has been reprinted in a book available from the vendors: https://www.modeltford.com/item/P9.aspx
(but there are a few other books that are more important to buy first as a newbie, like https://www.modeltford.com/item/T1.aspx and some of the club's handbooks: http://modeltstore.myshopify.com/products/service-manuals )
I wish you lived closer, so I could look at your car and ride along with you to experience what you are. I just got back from a tour of Joshua Tree National Park, where the weather was short sleeve. There are some pretty good grades and one time I started out and forgot to turn the ignition from batt to mag. I was pulling one of the steep hills and it ran along just fine. Then I noticed it was on batt. When I came to a more level place where I could put into neutral, I switched to mag and it ran along even better. My battery is 6 volts, but I only notice a small improvement in mag. If your coils are well tuned, it will run OK on 6 volts.
Anyway, when you pull the parking brake all the way back, and push the spark all the way up. The starter should turn the engine. If it just spins without the engine, you have something wrong with the bendix. Usually either a bolt out or a broken spring. If you forget and try to start with the brake on, you will hear it hit the flywheel but not turn the engine. That is one of the things which will lead to a broken bendix.
I might also tell you about one of the cars on our tour. He was overheating and backfiring all the way the first day. Very slow pulling hills. The next morning he told me about it and when he had started the engine I said let me adjust the fuel mixture. I got it in the best smoothest position. Then went around to the driver side and said "where do you set the spark when you are driving?" He showed me. Then I pulled the lever down almost all the way, and the engine roared. I found the "sweet spot". That day, I followed him and could hardly keep up with him. He didn't overheat at all and the car ran great.
I said all the above to indicate to you, that each car is a little different, and where one car might run best with the spark lever down half way, another one will run better about 3/4 way. If you are running on battery, you will find that you need to advance the spark a little farther than when you run on magneto. As you advance the spark it will change with every notch the lever is moved, but with magneto, you will move a few notches with no change, then the next notch it will speed up, then no change for a few more notches, and then it will speed up. The reason is that it depends on the position of the timer and also the peak of the sine wave generated by the magneto have to coincide to find the best spot with a magneto, but the battery current is constant and so the advance is only dependent on the timer position. So do some experimenting with your spark lever to find the best place to run your car.
Good luck, Norm
Makes sense. I was def in high and I think I pulled lever to N instead to Park when I tried to start. I guess, I learned the hard way by most likely damaging the Bendix.
I'll have to play with mixture. I have not touched it at since I got it back. Is there a trick or more a feel/sound thing?
Adjusting the mixture is easy: After the engine has warmed up when driving on a level road at constant speed first turn the mixture screw out until the engine misses, then turn it in until it misses - then back out to the mid position in between
You may have to open up the mixture a quarter turn for easier starting when the engine is cold. Then you can turn it back to the sweet spot after a minute or two.