I started my '26 T today. It always seems to crank harder than all the youtube videos I see. It does not start on Mag. I usually have spark up (TDC) and gas down 1/2" or so. I usually pull choke wire and lift four times. Then turn switch to battery and then lift again without choke pulled. This usually doesn't work. More lifts, more choke and soon it starts.
Today I looked at all the plugs - found them all brownish. To me that meant on the lean side. I have the mix set by leaning it out till the idle changes and than back it off. Maybe that's too lean. I tried a 1/2 turn richer today.
See any things I'm overlooking? BTW bendix is out of the car to be worked on.
Open the throttle all the way when you crank to prime and open the adjustment for the carburetor 1/2 turn. Then, choke pulling the crank through six times and see if that doesn't work. I find that each of my cars is different but the foregoing seems to work best on my '27. If that doesn't work, keep playing with the mixture and number of pulls with the choke on until you get the combination that works. It takes time and with 7 cars I now keep a card in each car to remind me of what each car likes best for cold starting
I have 3 T's and each starts a little different. My latest rebuild is a 21 Touring and it takes a different type of choking to start it when cold.
2-3 quick pulls will do it every time. Same goes for the sweet spot when driving. Not complaining about running rough or anything like that. Its just a little different in finding the so called sweet spot.
If you have your spark all the way retarded the timer might not be in the right position when the ac mag current is present!! This only applies to mag starting. Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Larry has your car got a vapouriser carb? if it does I bet this is the cause!
My 27 does and I try to crank it every time, which is several times a day, and its very stubborn often I give up. I've tried heaps of different ways, I intend to change the carby system.
To elaborate on what Bud said, first and foremost, make sure your timing is set properly (IE with the spark fully retarded, it just begins to fire ON BATTERY at 15 deg after top dead center). Then, when starting on MAG and ONLY when starting on MAG, advance the spark lever down 3-4 notches when trying to start. To get a feel for where this is, sometime when you are running on mag, fully retard the spark, then advance it until you hear the speed up that first time. Make note of the position of the spark lever. That is where you want to set it to start on mag. When starting on battery, of course retard it all the way.
A couple of other things. I actually set mine to fire just after TDC, not the whole 15 degrees. As long as it fires AFTER somewhat, I feel I am OK. The other thing is I have a lot slop in my timing linkage, so 3-4 notches advanced actually only takes up the slack. I have to go an additional 3-4 notches on mine after I take up the slack. And yeah, I know I could fix it, but it works very well as is so I just haven't.
I would say that a brownish spark plug is about right. However what you are reading on the plugs is the last time it was ran and was likely up to temperature. On mine I turn 1/4 richer for starting and it makes all the difference when cold starting. After it starts and warms up some I turn it back down the 1/4 turn.
Thank you fellows for all your advice. Tomorrow I'll see if I can make cold crank starts easier. Time to find out what this particular T wants.
When I get the bendix back in the car, I turn it over a few times with the ignition off and the choke on. Then switch to battery and turn over. No choke needed for this.