Should my '27 Tudor have a resistor on/near the distributor's coil? If you have one, can you post a photo?
Mine is a 6V system, runs well only on battery, and runs only a couple miles until it overheats, starts missing/chugging/surging hard and finally dies. The ignition coil is quite hot. Letting it cool, lets me go a few hundred yards.
From reading the forums & MTFCA's manuals, I think its an ignition problem... and perhaps its missing a resistor. Can anyone tell me about this resistor? (Specs, cost, where buy, looks like, pix, etc.)
Maybe it's just 'new driver me' not finding the perfect retard/advance position. Or maybe it's the previous owners repairs missing a part. Or maybe something else.
Below are a few pix of it as is.
Just ask at a parts house for a Chrysler ignition resistor from the 1960's. White porcelain about 3/4" square by about 3" long with a built on metal mounting bracket. A couple of bucks. Their not voltage sensitive so there's no 6 or 12 volts to worry about. It goes in line on the positive + wire going to the coil. You should have no starting problem because it sends full voltage to the coil when it's cold. As it heats it cuts the voltage down.
6 volt shouldn't need a resistor. I've read that some of the new coils are only partially filled w/oil and need to be mounted w/the terminals at the bottom. Maybe try turning your's over and see what happens.
I think you have a bad coil. Interestingly, I have found the majority of ignition problems occur in cars which have modified ignition systems. It could be that the points need adjustment. You might have too long dwell, that is the points are too close together and cause current to flow for too long a time in the coil. However too much dwell could also cause arcing of the points. But it's a cheap thing to try first. A new set of points and condensor with the gap set about 18 thousandths. If that doesn't fix it, you may need to replace the coil.
Another thing, the car won't run on mag if you have a distributor, and the most common reason the original ignition system is replaced with a distributor is that the magneto doesn't work.
I once had a De Soto which exhibited the same symptoms. It would start and run just fine for about 2 blocks and then stop. After it cooled off it would start and run a few more blocks. It turned out to be a bad ignition coil.
If you decide to replace the coil keep a few things in mind: Buy a 6 volt name brand coil from a reputable dealer. There's a lot of junk out there. Also find out when you buy a coil if it has an internal resistor. Some do and it's usually printed on the side of the coil. No external resistor needed in that case. You do need one though. It's purpose is to reduce the voltage going to the points greatly increasing their life span. Say, check if your coil says anything. If it has an internal resistor it's probably taking a d**p.
Here's your picture.
Before buying anything or trying other fixes, just unbolt the coil and take it to an auto electric shop for testing. Many auto parts stores can provide the same service too. Be sure to tell them you're running on 6 volts so they set their machine up correctly.
The cost should be minimal to nothing and will tell you where you stand.
I agree that the coil may be bad. Napa part# ECH IC7 is a 6v coil that is internally resisted (no resistor required).
Thank you everyone for the comments here.. and a shoutout to Bill Devine of Texas T Parts who called me and walked this new T owner through various scenarios.
I'll check the timing, the gap the points, flip the coil, disconnect the magneto (which can overpower coils if connected), and take the coil to the airmen's auto shop here at Wright Pat AFB and have the coil tested.
I'll follow-up with my results.
I always buy some small zip ties and secure the coil wire boots to the cap, where the boot slides over the cap and also where the coli wire goes into the top of each boot. As the distributor head is rotated, I have had the wires slip up in the boot and cause a miss. Never has happened again since doing this.
Since the coil fails as it gets hot, it's already fried, New coil definitely needed, but follow the previous posters' instructions on resistor.
Some one ALWAYS comes on and informs us that 6 volt coils don't need a resistor.
I ask you, what in hell is that thing by the fuse box on '32 through '48 Fords called resistor????
Model A Fords had a resistor built into the coil.
Now go buy a coil for a '66 VW and be done with it.
They are 6 volt and have a resistor built into the coil already.
If you are running a coil without a resistor it would burn the points badly in a few minutes.
I'd be tempted to bring that great car back into correctness and use the correct coils and a nice TW timer. Just my two cents, adjusted for inflation.
OK maybe he bought it that way Tim but you're talkin' a lot more $ than just a new coil to change back. Dist. systems are old enough/commom enough to be OK with me and I'm not sure if I'd be willing to spend because of that.
"Some one ALWAYS comes on and informs us that 6 volt coils don't need a resistor."
If the coil has a built in resistor then it doesn't need another one added.
"I ask you, what in hell is that thing by the fuse box on '32 through '48 Fords called resistor????"
The '33 through '48 Fords used an external resistor all right, but IIRC the coil itself was only rated at 3.6 volts.
"Model A Fords had a resistor built into the coil."
Then an external resistor is not required.
The resistor thing with a Kettering coil & points ignition circuit is quite simple.
Coils are rated in ohms. You need a 3.0 ohm coil running 12V or you need a 1.5 ohm coil running 6V. How you achieve the required ohms is up to you. If you are running 12V then either get a 3.0 ohm coil(has an internal resistor built in) OR get a 1.5 ohm coil and install an external ballast resistor in the circuit.
Oh, I know Charlie...that's why I said "tempted"...I know often it's hard to come up with the dineros to do that. Just wanted to bring it up should he not have even thought of it, which I'm sure he did. You're right, a coil's a lot cheaper. And Lord knows, I'm not out to bring out the typical Distributor vs. coil argument!!!