Rough Engine

Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration
Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Rough Engine
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 08:28 pm:

I've posted a similar question before, but continue to try suggestions and hopefully narrow the possibilities of what the problem could be. My 1924 T Touring was running great a few weeks ago. Suddenly it started running rough and cutting off in high gear. Then it started the same in low gear. After it sits awhile, it will run again for a while. We drained the carburetor and found sediment that appeared to be at lease partially rust. We cleaned the carburetor, and it ran great for a few minutes. I did not try to move it, and when I started it up again, it runs very rough with some popping as maybe a bit of backfiring. When it is running rough like this, retarding or advancing the spark does not seem to make any difference in the way the motor sounds. Any more suggestions?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 08:35 pm:

Sounds like fuel starvation. Check the sediment bowl filter and the passage from the gas tank into the sediment bowl. Don't forget to check the fuel line as well to make sure it is clear. Fairly common to find rust chunks in the bottom of the tank that have migrated into the fuel system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Russell Prideaux Margaret River West Oz on Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 08:47 pm:

Check the bowl again? If it is making sediment have you checked your tank? Condensation and rust can play havoc in cars that don't get used often


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 09:39 am:

It isn't necessarily a fuel problem. _Whenever I've had a rough engine, the culprit was always the timer. _If you haven't cleaned it already, it might be a good idea to try that.

While you're in there, check to see how loosely the roller fits (assuming a roller-type timer). _If it's wobbly, you may need to replace it.

My engine had the same symptoms as yours just last year and in an effort to chase down the problem, I wound up taking the entire ignition system apart, overhauling the coils, etc., before finally finding the timer guilty (Just diagnosing the very rough engine cost me half the driving season)._A replacement timer fixed the problem. _If it turns out you need a replacement, I've heard good things about the TW timer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 11:24 am:

The proof that it IS a fuel problem is that it starts again after being stopped for a while. A timer problem would continue until you repaired the timer.

It is very common to have rust and particles in the tank, especially in a car which has been parked for a long time. It would be even more common in a humid climate than in a dry one. Moisture enters the tank through the vent hole as the barometric pressure changes. The moisture condenses in the tank and eventually forms rust. For the earlier cars replacement tanks are available from the vendors. For 26-27 cars there are no replacement tanks, so they must be boiled out and sealed with an epoxy sealer which is not soluble by modern fuels.

Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 11:28 am:

I thought of another possible problem. If your car has a distributor with a single ignition coil.

Some ignition coils have an intermittent open or short which is heat sensitive. The car will start and run fine until it warms up and then stop. It won't start until the coil cools off.

The ignition coil problem would only affect cars with a single coil and is a rare problem.

Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 12:40 pm:

How much gas is there in the tank?
In some under the seat tanks one or two inches of gas isn't enough to give proper flow. If it's low, fill a couple of gallons more and check the flow by opening the drain under the carb. It should be able to keep a good flow for a while like half a minute. (save the gas that runs out in a can)

If gas flow isn't a problem and if it still won't run right, then come back here again - there are more tests to do like checking if the spark plugs fires as they should..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 07:48 pm:

Roger, the tank is 3/4 full, so that shouldn't be the problem. It also has new spark plugs.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 07:56 pm:

Going with the possibility of fuel starvation since that seem simple to work on. Ordered a filter for the sediment bowl to start. Thanks all


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson College Place, WA on Monday, May 11, 2015 - 10:10 pm:

The fuel filter just gives one more place to get plugged up. If you have crud in the fuel system, the only cure is to clean out the source. Minimum would be to install a raised tube at the outflow to keep the crud from following gravity to a downstream place where it can collect an obstruct.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Todd, ............Red Deer, Alberta on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:21 am:

With the fuel valve shut off, disconnect the fuel line at the carburetor, put a catch container underneath the open end of the line and then open the fuel valve .
If all is good you should get a good steady stream of fuel coming out the end of the line. If a poor flow then look for the obstruction


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:43 am:

I see from her profile that Annette lives in Quincy, Florida, is there a club member nearby that can give her a hand? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Myers_____Pittsburgh, PA on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 05:14 pm:

I had a similar problem with my dad's 1924 T tractor. After several attempts to get it running - I think the final fix was removing the float and polishing the needle valve, which was hanging up and not letting fuel into the bowl.

What type of carb are you running? Have you checked for manifold leaks?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 10:37 pm:

Problem solved. I had to take it to a mechanic but he found that there was a spring broken on the timer. Also the timer had been working great, he suggested a newer modern timer. It is important to keep the T as much original as possible?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 10:55 pm:

Annett, everyone here has their own opinion about originality. My opinion is to use the best modern technology some of our great Model T venders have come up with, especially if it is hidden like the inside of a timer is. I really like the TW timer, it works great for me, but like i said...opinions on this subject vary. Good luck, and I'm glad you got your problem solved.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Sunday, May 31, 2015 - 10:21 am:

Annette -- In general, keeping your car original is a very good idea. But as John N. says, there are some areas where you can exchange an original part for one which works better. If it's something as easy to change as a timer, it would be very easy to change back to the original one whenever you want to. You don't need to modify anything else on the car in order to change timers, and the original ignition system still works in the way it was designed. If your car has the original-type timer, I'd suggest putting it on a shelf for safekeeping and installing an aftermarket one for driving.

When I first got into Model T's in the early 70's, the New Day timer was the bee's knees. Lots of folks won't run anything else, even today. Then for many years, the repro Anco (Anderson) timer was all the rage. I've run those for many thousands of miles, and they are very dependable. The hot setup today is the TW timer, made by Tony Wiltshire. It is similar to the New Day but apparently more accurate in its timing. Several folks here (including me) have tried them and have nothing but good things to say about them.

(Message edited by coupelet on May 31, 2015)

(Message edited by coupelet on May 31, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, May 31, 2015 - 11:22 am:

Annette,
There have always been a variety of after market timers available for Model T's. Most of them look so similar to the original that only a purist can tell the difference. On all my cars I run timers which have low maintenance. You can always keep the original timer for a spare. Just keep under the seat with one or two spare coils, just in case.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, May 31, 2015 - 12:26 pm:

Annette, if you decide to switch to a different timer, be sure to adjust the length of the timer rod so that the timing is correctly retarded when the timing lever under the steering wheel is fully up.

Paraphrased from an earlier thread:

To check timing (engine cold):

1) Be sure ignition is switched off.

2) Check to make sure the timing lever under the steering wheel is fully up.

3) Remove wire from #1 spark plug, remove #1 plug from cylinder head, reattach wire, set plug on cylinder head near the #1 spark plug hole.

4) Slowly hand crank the engine until the #1 piston comes up on its compression stroke. Put your thumb over the #1 spark plug hole, when you feel cylinder pressure building, you are on the compression stroke.

5) Remove your thumb from the hole and slowly bring the #1 piston up to just past top dead center. You can watch the piston with a flashlight looking into the spark plug hole, or use a long metal rod thru spark plug hole as an indicator. Just as the piston starts to move back down (about 1/8 inch), stop turning the crank.

6) Remove the cotter pin and disconnect the timing pull rod at the timer. Turn the timer a little bit counter-clockwise (15 to 30 degrees) from its current position.

7) Turn the ignition switch to battery position & slowly turn the timer clockwise to where the #1 plug just starts to spark.

8) Turn ignition off. Without moving the timing lever or timer, shorten or lengthen the timing rod as required to fit the new timer position.

9) Install a new cotter pin onto the pull rod at commutator, replace spark plug in head and reattach spark plug wire.

10) Have a helper move the timing lever under the steering wheel over its full range while you watch the timing rod and timer move. Make sure that the rod moves freely (no binding) and stays clear of the four timer contacts over its full range of travel. If the rod touches a contact, it will create a short circuit and the coil for that contact will start firing when it shouldn't.

11) If all is well, start up the car and go for a well deserved test drive!

This method will work with any timer brand.

(Message edited by cudaman on May 31, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Monday, June 22, 2015 - 02:51 pm:

See message above re problems solved. Not so. There was a broken spring on the timer. Mechanic installed a new modern time, but I'm still having problems, and I can only pay a mechanic to work on them as I know nothing--this car is costing mega $$$$. The mechanic installed a new modern timer, and I'm still having the following problems.
(1) Car runs hot. I live in an area where there are lots of hills. I'm new at this, but I finally got up nerve to take my car off of the farm on on the road. I was told by mechanic that much of my problem was the driver (yes me). He told me to use low gear only for starting, and then to put it in high and leave it alone. There were a number of long (not steep) hills. I watched the motometer carefully, and car ran hot. Had to sit and cool it before taking it home--about 8 miles.
(2)Today I'm back to square one. Tried to move the car, and every time I advanced the spark after cranking, the car stalled. I drove it just a few yards, and when I turned it off, there was a very load backfire. I'm discouraged to say the least.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Monday, June 22, 2015 - 03:02 pm:

Sure sounds like the timing is wrong or has shifted, can a club member near Quincy, Florida contact Annette and help her out?

Maybe the pin that indexes the timer roller has come out or is sheared, throwing the timing off.

Getting the timing set correctly should fix your stalling problem and may also fix your overheating problem.

Annette, can you post a picture here of the timer on the front of your engine with the timing lever on the steering column all the way up?

Don't give up! The car starts and drives, so it sounds like once the timing is set correctly you'll be home free. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, June 22, 2015 - 03:09 pm:

Annette - can you find a T Club (or at least some other T people) near you? I'd imagine they'd be willing to help you gratis (or at least for for the price of a cold beverage). In addition to checking out your timing, they might be able to give you some tips on driving.

Anyone near Annette in Quincy, FL?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Monday, June 22, 2015 - 09:36 pm:

Annette, I'll throw in my 2 cents of "newbie" here too. First, and foremost, do what my school bus mechanic used to teach me (& he was the best mechanic, hands down)--start with the easy stuff and go from there. Go back to your fuel system. You said you got sediment that looked like rust. What shape is the fuel tank in? I'm finding that much like 90+ year old radiators, old fuel tanks also don't last forever. If it looks kinda rusty/crappy inside you can try cleaning & coating it, frankly for what "little" a replacement costs from one of the vendors, I say buy a new one and forget it. I've already bought one, and glad I did, for my '12 that I'm restoring. Then check your coils. Maybe they're not putting out enough, or maybe even too much. You need an HCCT for that. And last, but not least, I have to say this.... "TW, TW, TW"... get one and your timer problems at least should be behind you. I have two, third one on the way soon for the '12.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Todd, ............Red Deer, Alberta on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 10:44 am:

"Mechanic installed a new modern timer, but I'm still having problems,"

"Tried to move the car, and every time I advanced the spark after cranking, the car stalled"

Sounds to me like the mechanic didn't check/set the timing after installing the new timer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 09:49 pm:

Mark Strange, here are the photos of the timer lever and the timer you asked me to post. Hope this helps. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.LeverTimer


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 09:05 am:

Annette,

Until a local T person comes to your aid, are you interested in doing a little checking on your own?

Many folks have had (and continue to have) timing issues. Perhaps the easiest and least expensive - and fastest way to check for proper timing is the method espoused by John Regan years ago:" By John F. Regan on Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 08:16 pm:
The timing mark on a T is the crank shaft pulley pin. That pin hole in the crankshaft is the reference point used when the throws on the crankshaft were ground at the factory. Every time that pulley pin is exactly horizontal (3 o'clock - 9 o'clock position) one of the 4 pistons is exactly at top dead center (TDC) - not approximately at TDC - exactly at TDC. Hence you can easily use that pin to get your timing dead on. When that pin is half way between 3 and 4 o'clock position you are at 15 degees after TDC since there are 30 degrees between 3 and 4 o'clock position. The way I do it is to pull the lever all the way up and with plugs out but connected to their plug wires and laying on the motor I then turn the switch to BAT and pull the hand crank super slow and stop instantly when I hear any coil buzz. I then simply look at the pin. So long as the pin is just past horizontal I am safe. If all the way to 4 o'clock or beyond then I am too retarded. Shorten the rod to advance the timing and repeat. It doesn't matter which cylinder you use since the pin will be horizontal every 180 degrees of rotation and a piston will be up at TDC every 180 degrees.
"

You can also read up on other's difficulties by typing ....."timing adjustment MTFCA" in your Google search box. Lots of good information there - maybe you can fix the issue yourself!

Good Luck!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 09:09 am:

Good post Dave, this is exactly how I do it, I swear by it, and it works perfectly. It is however a lot easier to do all this with the radiator removed, but I've done it a number of times with the radiator in place. I've learned to be able to tell the pin position by viewing down on the crank pulley with the crank ratchet engaged.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 09:16 am:

Tim,

I have a small beam LED flashlight that I shine into that small space below the radiator and can just see some of the pin. (I squint a lot ! - AND a larger flashlight or a shop light produces too much light and glare).

One of these days I'm going to invest in a set of timing rod adjustment tools - rather difficult to adjust the curvature of the rod with a "monkey" wrench and channel locks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 12:28 pm:

Annette, thanks for posting the pictures of your timer position when the lever is fully up (fully retarded).

Annette, can you look at your receipts or ask your mechanic what brand of modern timer your mechanic installed? Is it a roller timer, or a brush or flapper type of timer?

I'm no expert on roller timers, but that timer position looks awfully advanced for having the lever fully up, can some other members take a look at your pictures and comment?

Having the timing so advanced may explain why the car will start, but will die when you try to advance the spark. It may also explain the loud backfire when the car is shut off.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 03:58 pm:

In the picture, the timer looks like it is in the fully advanced position with the lever all the way down. I say this because of the position of the timer rod and the fan belt. When the spark lever is retarded the rod moves farther from the fan belt.

Before you get discouraged or spend a lot more on your mechanic, try to find a local club in your area and ask someone familiar with Model T's to check things. The overheating might be related to the timing or it could be related to fuel mixture or it could be due to a clogged radiator and cooling system. Some of those things are easy to fix by someone who knows Model T's The only one which is expensive would be replacement of the radiator. You should pull hills in high gear unless it slows to about 22 mph and keeps slowing down. In that case use low gear. But the T is not like a modern engine which runs at a much higher RPM than a T. If it keeps pulling right along at 22 MPH just leave in high gear.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 04:27 pm:

Norman, that's the way it looks to me also, but I PM'd Annette asking her to take and post the timer picture with the spark lever all the way up.

Annette, can you confirm that the lever was fully up when you took that picture of your timer?

If indeed Annette took that picture with the lever fully up, then it looks to me like the timer rod is bent too short and hence the timing is way too advanced.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 06:43 pm:

I was told that the new timer has rollers, and yes the timer lever was all the way up--fully retarded. Thanks to all of you who are looking and giving suggestions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 08:56 pm:

I was told that the new timer has rollers, and yes the timer lever was all the way up--fully retarded. Thanks to all of you who are looking and giving suggestions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 08:40 am:

Annette, if your mechanic didn't do it when he installed the new timer, I would suggest he (or a fellow MTFCA member) go through the process of checking and setting the timing that I posted on May 31st higher up in this thread.

My guess is that the timing rod will have to be bent to a longer length, which will move the arm of the timer further away from the fan belt. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 11:34 am:

It's a little hard to tell from the angle of your picture. The problem with the fan belt could be that your belt might be too long. The farther the fan pulley is pushed up to adjust the belt the closer the belt gets to the timer. So I still think the problem with the engine cutting out is with sediment in the fuel system. Sorry about your problems.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 12:04 pm:

Here's a view from the front showing the crank pulley pin mentioned in John Regan's excellent timing advice that Dave posted.


We haven't seen a picture of your 1924, but I would guess it probably has the stock 1924 radiator apron which would block this view. If that's the case, the two choices for checking/setting the timing are:
1 Put a light down behind the radiator so you can see what you're doing and use a mirror to see the pin for John's method;
2 Use Mark's method posted May 31.
Either method will work. They're just slightly different paths to the same destination.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Annette Ford on Wednesday, July 01, 2015 - 11:24 pm:

Here's an update on my T. I had a member from a local antique car club volunteer to come over to help. He found that the biggest problem was something loose on the carburator--so loose that he tightened it with his fingers. Sorry I don't know the name. He definitely knew his stuff. He had his 91 year old father-in-law with him--a man who had collected and worked on T's much of his life. It was like magic when he tweaked the car. They are planning to return as both think the timer needs some adjustment. Both agreed that the motor in my car is in great shape so im excited.Thanks to all of you for your suggestions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Thursday, July 02, 2015 - 08:56 am:

So glad it's working out for you, please post some pictures of the car once you start taking it out and about! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Friday, July 03, 2015 - 10:24 am:

Thanks for the update.

It's always nice to know the remedy for a particular problem...will help the next person with a similar difficulty.

Enjoy !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Friday, July 03, 2015 - 11:32 am:

Annette:

I am sooooo glad you didn't give up and have found some competent local help. Just in case someone has not mentioned it - the Model T Ford is the most "debugged" car on the planet. Every problem the T ever had is well known and documented somewhere. My T was a royal PITA when I first got it and wouldn't go around the block without a problem but that was many years ago. It turned into probably the most reliable vehicle I own simply because as I found each problem, I learned what to do and how to prevent it again and issue by issue the problems went away and while my T isn't the prettiest car at any event, it has been the cause of more fun than any other car there and I am not afraid to drive it anywhere.

Just a warning - Model T's are known to "pull" to the right as you pass an ice cream store so be ready for that.

If you have electrical problems with it - PM me and I can help. I have zero skills at painting and finish but I do know about electrical stuff.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Friday, July 03, 2015 - 06:20 pm:

Kudos too, to the antique car club volunteer and his father in law who came to Annette's rescue!

Gents, if you read this forum, please identify yourselves and take a bow (applause)! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Friday, July 03, 2015 - 11:26 pm:

Annette - am glad someone local came to assist!!

And there is NO ONE in the T world who knows electrical like John Regan..... and he's one hell of a nice guy to boot, so keep that in mind for the future!


Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.
Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration