Although I'm still a newbie on the Model T, one of the ongoing problems that I noticed pretty quickly is that the commutator rod likes to rub against the fan belt, due to overly-tight clearance issues.
As I struggled with trying to properly adjust a new commutator rod I was installing today (along with my new ANCO Timer kit), it suddenly dawned on me that there must be a better way to connect the spark control lever to the new timer... while also bypassing the lack of clearance problem in the process... and that the way to get-around these clearance problems might be to "think outside the box"... How to do it? Try running the commutator rod OVER the water pipe, and attaching it from behind (instead of from the front).
So, I simply reversed the commutator rod, mounting it from behind, and behold, not only does it all still work just fine, but the rod is now about a half-inch AWAY from the inside edge of the fan belt!
Has anybody else ever tried this idea out on their own machines? While a lot of purists will probably not appreciate the idea, I'd still like to think that maybe Henry had it all backwards... and that mounting the rod the way I did can actually solve some major interference problems!
Anyway, here are a couple of photos of how I ran the rod over and above the water pipe:
Hey, whatever works! Just make sure that none of the timer terminals can accidentally touch the rod over its full range of travel.
"attaching it from behind (instead of from the front)."
It's supposed to be from the back (and under the lower radiator connection pipe). Maybe you started out w/the rod the wrong way around?
What is that mark on the pitman arm? It looks like it may be cracked.
Looks like you made it worse! If you are happy, so be it. Yikes.
I do it that way also. Many likely do it than will admit.
Yes, I made sure of that (that none of the terminals can touch the rod) as I shaped the rod.
And, that thing that looks like a crack is actually just a little bit of flashing left over from the casting of the pitman arm, and a small shadow, from the way the light was hitting it.
Ken, the way I received it (when I bought it a month ago) was that it went under the water pipe, but then was inserted into the timer socket from the front... which was causing all sorts of clearance problems for me (especially hitting the fan belt, no matter what I did in bending it). Silly me for assuming that the previous owner (or the guy that did the initial restoration for him) had installed the rod the way Henry first intended! LOL!
And, lastly, I have to ask Larry... how do my changes make it "worse"? I mean, so far the thing is working flawlessly, and, there are now no more worries about it ever getting too close to the fan belt... just askin'...
Bob, Larry seems to like being cantankerous.
Bob -- I don't know who bent the rod like that (apparently you don't either), but it has been bent to smithereens. If you had started out with a properly shaped rod, you wouldn't have had any clearance problems with it.
You can get a proper one from Lang's or any of the other vendors for about 5 bucks. (Part # 3534B at Lang's.)
If you do get a new one, you might need to trim a little off the lower radiator hose to make it fit. The ones the vendors sell are too long. The rod should go under the metal water pipe, not under the hose.
WHAT?? No one commented on the water pump??
Y'all's fallen down on the job here!
Bob, if it works, it works! Does seem to have a lot of short bends it in though. .I know, just cosmetic!
I know, it's just cosmetic, but I think I'm gonna leave it alone for now, as it does seem to be working well.
And, yeah, I also know that I'm going straight to Model A Hell for having a waterpump on this car, but it actually came with one (all siezed-up and not working, and the car was overheating, so I replaced it before I knew any better! Ha!). I also know that, right now, it's 106-degrees outside, and we have really hot summers out here in the Livermore valley, so I figure it's better to have it on than not.
Lastly, I've reassembled the new timer and set it according to the TDC method (didn't use the timer gauge that I had bought), and so far, the engine is starting right up, and (more importantly), I can get the RPM's up way high now, which I couldn't do before! Now, I haven't driven it yet today (too dang hot outside!), but may give it a try this evening, if and when it starts to cool down a little bit (hopefully). I will say, though, that the early indications of my tune-up (and reducing the amount of retard, too) may finally get me back on the road again with more power AND a little less engine heat (so my firewall doesn't catch on fire again)!
Bob, As a few others have said, what ever works for you. I had issues with my T when I bought it and tried to fix my comm rod by rebending an already overly bent rod. I gave up and bought a new one from Langs. It literally dropped right in and no further bending or interference.
A new rod properly bent to factory drawings needs only to have the lower radiator hose out of the way by it being trimmed to the right length. The timer rods is not supposed to pass under that hose and/or clamp. If that is OK then only a slight altering of the upper arc of the timer rod as it exits the timer is then necessary to trim the timing. Bending the upper arc by squeezing the arc to a slightly smaller radius will advance the timing a bit and spreading that arc to a slightly larger radius will retard the spark. Opening or closing that arc does not alter the basic path of the rod. I have always had good clearance on all cars that I have. Once someone has started to bend it some place else to clear things like that lower hose or its clamp then the problems begin and only get worse as the rod is bent again and again in vain attempts to get better clearance at various places. Just my experience.
FYI only the early timer rods used with the timers that were held in place by the brush as used from 09-11 had the timer rod entering the timer from the front to the back. When the timer cover and timer changed to the now type held by the external strap and bolt the timer rod then also changed to insert from the back to the front.
Bob I gotta say that looks like poo! The way the rod was installed originally gets nowhere near the fan belt, and works great.
Gotta agree with Royce on this one. When you have a chance and the radiator is back on it should be replaced. As long as it is working for you now that is OK. Does not have to be done tomorrow.
When you get around to changing that timer rod,........ do trim the lower radiator hose from new to the correct factory length of 2 3/4" as the new ones are too long as John posted.
That way the timer rod will pass under the lower metal connection pipe with ease.
Good picture Dan. It's nice to see a car with the timer rod installed correctly! I have two '13s, and BOTH of them required a washer placed in back of the fan bracket to get the fan belt to track properly.
Thanks, all, for your input, especially for the photos of the rod having been installed properly (and, attaching into the timer from behind)!
I'm not sure what kind of rod was used on mine, but as I mentioned before, it was bent to go into the timer slot from the front, which then resulted in the rod being too close to the belt and slowly chewing it up.
I'll look into ordering the proper rod from Lang's and giving it another try!