I'm in the process of putting my 1914 T back together and have a question about the timing rod. The old one broke while I was adjusting it so I bought a new one. But no matter how I've bent it, I cannot get it to start advancing until about five clicks on the steering column. Is this normal? I guess in my perfect world I expected it to start advancing as soon as I pull the spark advance lever but maybe that's not so?
No, it's not normal. Moving the lever should move the timer. I suspect something, somewhere, is loose. Maybe more than one something, in more than one place.
Could be excessive wear in the bottom of the spark rod lead hole where the spark lever should be pinned & peened over - not cotter pinned.
Things to check:
1. lever at end of spark rod at steering column. The pin should be tight and the lever should not have any free play, but move with the lever on the steering column.
2. Hole in lever at steering column where rod is connected should be snug. no free play here either. The rod should move freely when the spark lever is moved but without slack at hole.
3. Hole in timer should be snug so that the rod does not wiggle around. I have used a brass shim bent around the end of the rod at this location.
When all those connections are tight the rod should be bent to the position where when you push the lever all the way up the spark comes just after top dead center.
Do you have the correct lever on the end of the spark rod, and is it properly pinned? Perhaps the u-joint connection is worn out.
Thanks for all the input and great information; after close examination I think I know what the problems are. First, there is a little slop in the timer cover hole, but not much. The bigger issue is on the steering column shaft where the spark advance rod comes out the bottom end; it's rather egg shaped. So every time I go from full retard to advance spark, the first four clicks are basically moving within the extra space. Is there any way of fixing this without tearing apart the steering?
I put a layer of metal tape over the area and forced the arm back up over the tape and repined it that took out the slop at that point until I pull the whole steering column out and weld /grind/refit
I think pretty much most T's have something like that going on. As long as you can get the proper spark retard & advance settings, the amount of play involved is probably not too important. The only way to really fix it, if I understand the cause, is to remove the lower support, drill out the guide hole, and put in a bushing.
I think you're right on, Jerry. I'll try to shim it if possible but if not, I won't loose sleep over it. Thanks again for all the help everyone!
Try the Red Green approach!!!!.....
I second that! OT, but with enough duct tape and ingenuity, you can turn your T into a modern hybrid car!