From now on, I'll have a potato on my coilbox.
Here in Idaho we do that all the time. ;@,
Maybe we need to see if Ron and the other coil doctors will use potatoes, as frugal as most T owners are, it should save us a few pennies.
In the late 1950's we had a 1957 Ford Country Sedan (station wagon). While driving home from a hunting trip, it suddenly quit running. My dads friend who was with us looked things over and discovered the spring on the points had broken. He removed them, put a rubber band around the assembly, and put it back. We drove over 100 miles home that way. Ran just fine.
Put the wired potato in your manifold cooker. When the car stops running well, lunch is ready.
"when I was a kid it was so cold and we were so poor we had to use a hot potato as a condenser to get to school..."
An old mechanic I used to work with told me the story about breaking the rotor in his old chev. He put a straight pin through a rubber dist wire cap and installed it on the distributor shaft. After adjusting the length of the pin to give the proper clearance from the cap terminals, the car ran great and took him home and he continued to drive it for a couple of weeks until he got a new rotor
I saw two license plates, separated by a sheet of newspaper, taped together and hung from the radiator brace rod (on a late '30s car), wired into the distributor. I did not hear it run, but was told it ran well that way. My dad also told me that was a trick often used by the desert dwellers where he grew up.
Just one of those things to be filed under "if I need to in the future".
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Ok, so what is the theory behind why the potato thing works as a condenser or for that matter, why the two license plates separated by a newspaper sheet works as a condenser?? Thanks Joe
HI, Can someone please draw it out for the rest of us? Thanks, Scott
And to add to this topic of "make do" and "limping home";
If the tension spring on the roller in your timer should break, you can remove the spring from a ball point pen and it can be fashioned into an acceptable replacement. It is not the correct length or strength, but it can get you home.
Joseph, a condenser ( actually should be called a capacitor) is two plates separated by an insulating medium. When charged by a voltage, a electrostatic field is established, this can be done relatively slowly, and then discharged quickly, releasing all the energy relatively quickly. If you think about how the distributor ignition system works, the capacitor charges when the points are closed then when the points open the coil and the capacitor release energy which shows up as a high voltage spark on the secondary of the coil.
The idea of two license plates insulated by newspaper sounds almost true, nothing like the value of a real capacitor, but if Wayne said it works, who am I to argue.
does the ignition system really need a capacitor to work?
Mark, had to look it up in my ''Souping the stock engine," by Roger Huntington, 1950 edition for my [gasp, choke] Chebbie truck, but the principles the same.
From the book: "When the breaker points open, the idea is for the current to stop instantly and the magnetic field to collapse past the the secondary coil as quickly as possible. However, since since electric current has 'momentum'just like a fluid, it wants to keep moving after the points open and break the circuit. The condenser acts to absorb the momentum and stop the flow very quickly by means of it's own 'back pressure.' If it weren't for the condenser, the primary current flow would not jump the gap at the breaker, burning the points out quickly, but the magnetic field would not collapse fast enough to get a spark in the cylinder. So we see that the fluid characteristics of electric current cause a lot of unexpected difficulties in the ignition system.'"
Hope this helps ya.