This year is my second with my 1916 T but I was not lucky enough to drive more than 50 miles in total.
It started with a tour of about 20 miles and when I stopped there was a big cloud of steam coming from the front. It showed that nearly all coolant was gone. I had one gallon with me and could make it to the next village where I filled her up. All the way home (the other 20 miles) it did not use any water !
Two weeks later with unusually high temperatures here in Germany I just made a short drive but had some bad feeling about 'something is wrong' with the engine. I could drive home without really noticing what could be a problem.
Some days later with lower temperatures I started the T again and this was not easy. The car started only after many revs of the electric starter (lucky that the seller built one into the car) and than ran very rough and did not get power and revs as usual.
That was 8 weeks ago. I let it run several times since then but always the same. First I had a look at the carburetor after taking it off. After cleaning and reinstalling there was no cure.
Last weekend i found the time to check ignition and found that cylinder no. 2 has no spark. The spark plug from no. 2 worked on no. 1, so no spark plug issue. When i turned the crank there were the coils buzzing but there was one time gap too long. So I had a suspicion on the coil. When I changed the coil from cyl. no. 1 to no.2 I have a spark on cylinder 2 - this should proof the coil not working and there should not be an issue with cables or the Anderson commutator.
Due to the seller last year all coils are rebuilt ones. I opened the back of the not working coil and it has an inscription 'coilman' - so well known here for good work.
Now it is a problem to get a new coil here in Germany. I understand that I have to send it in to receive a new (rebuilt) one ?
How can it be that a coil quits working after only 250 miles ?
To me it is impossible to judge if the coil looks o.k. - just have a look yourselves.
Well - age 99 is not a lucky number for my T ...
Can you send me a mail.
I maybe can help you.
Gotta love it...coil testing facility right on the dining room table! Andre, you rock!!
A common cause of a coil to stop working like this is if one of the soldered joints at the screws has broken off. This happens when the nuts have rusted on and the bolt ends up getting twisted back and forth trying to loosen the nut. You'll need to dig down into the pitch to check this.
Another cause of the problem is where the solder has not taken to the primary winding terminals properly, because the enamel was not completely stripped from the end of the wire during manufacture. Removing the old solder, scraping the wire clean, and re soldering usually fixes this.
A further possibility which I have encountered is when the actual coil contacts have a problem - where the point looks like it's attached to the vibrator contact, but is actually not electrically connected. The actual tungsten contact can be rotated by hand if that's happened.
(Message edited by 26tourer on August 24, 2015)
A bit of corrosion on the face of the points will keep one from working. Just take some very fine sandpaper (Like 320 grit, or finer, wet or dry paper), fold a strip in half so the abrasive is on both sides, and gently pull it through the points while putting a little pressure on them to hold them together. That will remove any corrosion that may be insulating the contacts. Current has to flow through those points before it will work. It's a quick and easy thing to do and quite often solves the problem. It's a good thing to do before going on to other, more invasive, procedures.
Have you checked the resistance of the coils to see if the primary or secondary are open? Use Ron's diagram as a guide.
Thank you all so far for your hints.
The coil and its contacts look like new (as it was installed last year and should have worked only abt. 250 miles).
I tried to measure the points as described but must admit that I am not sure how to handle that. I am more an office guy than a mechanic ...
Right now I am expecting generous (and overwhelming) support from a T fellow in Belgium with a coil to be exchanged and hope to soon have the T running again.
I can see several signs that I rebuilt that coil not too long in the past. How it wound up in Germany I know not? Every year I rebuild 800-1000 coils and in that same period 2-3 develop some odd problem I failed to detect. If you send it to me I will fix it free.
It might be cheaper in shipping to have Andre fix it?
Ron the Coilman
Thanks for caring and for the generous offer Ron. I sent you a message.
I send already a spare coil to Joerg. As soon as I get the broken coil I will check it and will keep you posted.
And it really was the coil !!!
After setting in the replacement coil today everything is fine again - no. 2 is firing and my T starts and runs as fine as before.
Special thanks to André and Ron !!!
Next to adjust will be the commutator rod.
Ignition with the lever fully retarded is at abt. 15 degrees after TDC on cylinder 1 but I still have the original rod and ball joint linkage for 1916 and this is badly worn and abt. 5 notches on the lever do not show any movement on the commutator. With the lever fully down I assume to run it still a bit too retarded (what could be the reason for some overheating from time to time.
At least I am sure to have it set in a way that there is no kick back when starting and it starts well (at least now again with the new coil).
I did not find a source for replacement in Germany yet for the ball joint linkage and the known vendors do not sell one either I think.
So I have ordered the standard rod and link and will try some bending job in the future.
Cheers and have fun driving the T,