Another thread that talked about coil performance got me thinking and a couple questions came up.
In 2010 we got my dad's 19 T that had been in storage for 46 years.
One of the first things I did was send the coils to Ron Patterson to be rebuilt with new capacitors etc.
They worked great and we have had no problem with them.
We are going on 5 years since the rebuilds and I am wondering how often we should have them tuned up.
They have had limited use - maybe 50 or 60 hours a year - mostly on the mag - and I used a 12 volt battery for starting with a crank - no starter.
The 12V battery was installed with negative ground, but I recently changed it to positive ground when I changed the motor. I will need to run on the battery instead of the mag because the mag is not working correctly. Do the coils care if they it is negative or positive ground?
Just swap the cables back so it is negative ground again. That way someone will not accidentally hook up a battery charger backwards one day.
If you run the coils constantly on battery they will need attention sooner. How soon is anyone's guess. You might search "in car magneto recharge" and get the magneto working again to save your coils.
Assuming the coils have been properly stored you can plan on 5-7K miles of trouble free driving. At about that point you can expect the points to start acting up first intermittently and later very regularly. Then you should get the points replaced and adjusted by a competent person with appropriate tools. Most coil re-builders offer a reduced price for this service because the other initial coil rebuilding tasks (capacitor replacement, etc.) are not required again. You can expect the originally replaced capacitors to last a very very long time.
The coils is not polarity sensitive and Royce is correct.
Ron the Coilman
In 1937 Chevrolet had a special contact connected to the starter (the engine was started by pressing the accelerator to the floor)
Each time the engine was started, the polarity to the breaker points was swapped. The theory was to minimize erosion of the points, but perhaps the extra contact gave more trouble than the lengthening of the point's life was worth, so the polarity flipping contact was dropped for 1938 just as the accelerator starting mechanism - the starter got its own pedal.
So flipping the polarity doesn't matter much for an ignition coil. In theory point life should be longer if the polarity is flipped often, but in practice it isn't worth the effort.
As long as the car runs good, you don't need to tune the coils - but if someone close by has a hand cranked coil tester or any of the modern versions, then you may as well check them any winter - especially if you get the magneto to work again. Coils are more sensitive to correct adjustments if they're supposed to run on both battery and magneto.
Question for Ron: My car was purchased from an estate sale by one person then it sat until I purchased it is there a way to tell if it has had the capacitors replaced in the coils without opening them up?
Yes, with some specialized test equipment.
Send them along and I can tell you.
Ron the Coilman
Ron The coils have been in the car ever since you sent them back to me. I did take them out to make sure the contacts were clean.
I will try to figure out the mag problem when I have a bit of time.
The car runs on the mag but misses and gets worse as the RPMs increase.
It is stronger and smoother on the battery.
It doesn't seem to be in the switch and I carefully checked the wire.
When you get ready to investigate your magneto difficulty give me a call. I can help.
Ron Patterson 859-881-1677
Folks interested in testing and aligning their own coils can find more useful information here: www.modeltecct.com
Even more useful information at better prices (free) can be found here:
FYI, The information available at www.modeltecct.com is also free. The tools available there, like other sites, are not free but they do more and cost less than other coil and magneto test tools available from other sites.
Knowingly spewing misinformation with the intent to provoke a response is considered Troll behavior that is grounds for a forum participation timeout. Habitual offenders risk permanent ban.
I hope to do more work on the car this weekend.
Since it is finally running (on the battery) I'll finish up the details like band adjustments, getting a few miles on it, and re-torqueing the head, before attacking the mag problem.
I shared links to technical information designed to help the man. You shared links to your products for sale. Please do not insult other posters. It is against Forum rules.
Royce: Pure Troll behavior response. Any Forum rule abuse will be addressed by our Webmaster, not you.