My 1926 Tudor has the pictured coil on it. When you take that cap off there is a light bulb under it that I think is a double filament headlight bulb.
My question is, when the car is running should that light be bright or dim?
Recently my car suffered a significant loss in power which prompted this question.
The bulb maybe acting as a resister? If it failed it could possibly burn the points. Good luck. Steve
If the light bulb were acting as a resistor then if it failed the car would stop.
What does it say on the end of the cap?
Without seeing it, my assumption is the bulb is there to limit current in the primary winding if the ignition is left on without the engine turning.
Also, as the engine picks up speed, average current consumption would drop, increasing the voltage available to the coil primary. The bulb would get dimmer with increasing engine revs. It's really just a more elegant form of ballast resistor.
I have one the same that turned up in a box of T parts, someone told me once that it was off a early V8 Ford.
Here is a picture of the top of the coil.
Napa sells the Echlin brand. IC55 is still a part number for an ignition coil, however it is a modern coil. Here are a couple of posts from over at the H.A.M.B. forum
"I believe the bulb is #1000 which is the same bulb used in the 32-34 head light. The bulb acts as an ignition resistor, dropping the voltage to the coil. Mallory also used a coil in approximately the same time period, it too had a wire wound resistor attached. Because these coils have a resistor does NOT mean the Ford resistor has to be disconnected. I run 6V and have the Mallory coil with the resistor in addition to the Ford resistor using a 42-46 Ford style dual point distributor."
"Bear coils were a popular gimmick (due to the light bulb resistor) back in the day and the hot rodders knew they worked too. That aftermarket performance part of Echlin was spun off and became ACCEL many years ago. That is why you can't find them in the stock OEM replacement catalogs. You have to look for the Bear."
Here is a short history version from NAPA. http://www.napaechlin.com/Welcome+to...y/Content.aspx
It's a part of Standard Motor Products now according to this short history.
Sorry it was on the Ford Barn Forum, not the H.A.M.B.
Thanks Jeff... Could not get the link to work though.
You're right John, I can't get it to work either. I copied the quotes and the link from the ford barn site and it worked there. Now I can't even find the ford bard thread!
If you go to www.napaechlin.com you'll see that they still have the Bear logo. Click on "About Us" and then "History" and you'll see the story and a picture of your coil.
John - I haven't read this whole thread yet, but that photo you posted yesterday sure got my attention! Only because I distinctly remember seeing ads in magazines for that coil a long, long time ago. Not sure if it was Popular Mechanics, or Mechanics Illustrated, or maybe Hot Rod Magazine, but I remember that as a kid when I had my Model A, I used to think what an odd looking coil that was. You know, that thing just might be quite a "collector's item" by now, huh? Later,....harold
P.S. By the way, to show how long ago this was, I also remember that those Mechanics Illustrated magazines I used to read used to have printed on the cover,....."Still only 25 cents"