There is another thread running where a fellow model T owner made a statement about running his engine with two missing mag plates. I am of the opinion that it is an extreme danger to the engine or the people in the car, and as mentioned by another poster, "it is a ticking time bomb". Since his questions are buried in another post I thought it would be good to post it here as more people can "chime in" with there thoughts. I explained my thoughts about it in the other thread. Ill attach the link to it. I have personally seen the damage it can cause, so I am concerned for the safety of anyone running a engine with missing plates ... respectivally submitted with concern, Donnie Brown ...
Agree, the ends of the magnets, not being secured, can move around and work on the single retaining bolt in the V of the magnet and could cause failure of the bolt. Same thing with the brass screws and spools at the magnet ends. Having loose parts flying around in the transmission is pretty serious. Its not something to ignore, that's for certain.
It would also be a good idea to check all that whenever the transmission door is pulled for whatever reason.
My first question would be, If missing, where did they go? The demise of the transmission is imminent!
If the person values their ability to walk without the aid of prosthetic legs, I would refrain from running the engine and entertain a complete tear down for repair.
Please read the link above for my thoughts about it. He states he has been running it for a year. My intentions with this thread is to have everyone give their opinions as to the dangers involved in running the engine. Maybe it will also help someone else, new to model Ts, who is not aware of what can happen to an engine if it decides to "come loose" especally at speed in high gear. That is the time it will more than likely happen ...
The power plant: engine, magneto, and transmission, and all of the other components needed to run the car need all their parts as originally designed and constructed. Minor improvements are acceptable. Missing parts means asking for major trouble. That's why we have all these books on how to restore these cars, and thankfully, vendors who provide the needed parts. Most older cars don't get the attention of parts vendors. The Model T and the Model A are in their own elite league. They are very special cars. They continue to live well beyond their expected life, because they have proven they can and deserve our respect and continued maintenance and care.
One could run the car with a non-working spark plug, but ask yourself, how well would it run?
How much do you value your feet, your legs, your private parts? I don't like explosions, particularly if they are close enough to hurt me. If your mag doesn't work anyway, why keep all that extra weight rotating on the flywheel, besides throwing oil around. Remove the magnets, screws and plates and replace with oil slingers. They'll oil things just as well and you won't worry about losing anything personal. If doing this is too much trouble, do yourself a favor and have a qualified metal fabricator make you a scatter shield like drag racers have to catch the projectiles.
There is nothing quite like begging for big trouble. And that is not a good thing. The magneto magnets are made from a steel alloy that has a history of cracking and breaking. Without the clamping plates on the ends, the center may be "safely (????)" held in place by the main bolt? But the two long ends of the magnet WILL vibrate in unison with certain engine rpm frequencies. That WILL (given enough time) eventually result in a breaking of the magnet near the middle which WILL allow one or both pieces to fly loose into the rotating mass and break up a whole bunch of stuff (possibly including lower portions of someone's anatomy).
Not generally worth the risk. Maybe if you were lost in a desert canyon? And the only way you could save yourself and/or others was to put together a broken model T engine and drive out? It might be worth hoping for fifty miles.
But get real. Fix the darn thing.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Donnie, U answered your own question in your initial post and you answered it correctly . DON'T even start the motor again as is!
i fixed the mag for a man in our chapter a few years ago. The car ran well going onto the trailer and again off and into my garage. Once the engine was out and apart I was surprised to see the damage of a few of those retaining plates. They took out a couple magnets and on half a magnet was wedged in behind some others. Not only would I not run one with known damage, I wont run one with a bad mag for the same reason.
I see advice all the time here to just run it on 12 volt until you can fix it. I will never do that nor give that advice based on what I saw.
I just got done rebuilding mine, I would wonder if plates are missing. What else is missing or loose ? would not run it.
Ok, you guys have convinced me, I'll pull the engine and rebuild the bloody magneto. Been wanting to do that for sometime anyway (to get off that damnable distributor and back to coils like she's supposed to be running on), now's as good a time as any I guess...gonna have to draw quite a few drawings to help pay for the parts though...might be a good time to do the transmission, magneto and engine assemblies though.