Here is a video demonstrating Model T coil adjustment using the dwell time to fire method.
Click here to watch
The method permits each coil to be precisely adjusted to fire the same time after the timer tells the coil to fire. This minimizes coil to coil (cylinder to cylinder) ignition timing variation that can degrade engine performance.
(Message edited by adminchris on September 17, 2015)
Thank you for the video Mike. It was informing to me and I look forward to testing all my coils with my new toy. The Milwaukee club will also be having a session on this one day in the future.
?? So the device measures "dwell" for current passing through a single induction coil.Dwell being a brief pause in the motion of part of a mechanism to allow an operation to be completed. How does this relate to four coils in car, and the rotation of the roller/timer segments and the four coils in operation? Is this in car "dwell" taken into account? (There is discussion that "dwell" is not relevant to a Model T.)
When you adjust Model T coils on a hand cranked coil tester the coils are set to achieve the same current necessary to make them all fire at exactly the same time with a visual display of whether the coil is double sparking. So the effect is the same, just a different way of saying / achieving the same thing.
George, I think the term dwell can be used many ways with many meanings. Dwell on that thought.
George, in this context, dwell time to fire refers to the time duration between the timer telling the coil to fire and when the coil actually fires. The coil does not fire instantaneously. The coil points dwell closed during this interval while the magnetic field builds up until it is strong enough to pull open the points to fire spark.
Adjusting coils to fire based on the same average current does NOT guarantee they will all fire the same time. There are other variables which can skew the relationship between coil current and dwell time to fire like point arcing and coil inductance variation in addition to double sparking. No need to use coil current as an indirect indicator of dwell time to fire when it can be accurately measured today.
If you are running on magneto, the timer only gives you a range for firing. It is the wave generated by the magneto which determines the exact timing. That point will also vary by engine speed. The faster the engine runs, the faster you will reach the point of fire. Royce is right, that the coils must be set to fire at the same current draw. The magneto will do the rest of the work. That is one of the reasons the T runs smoother on mag than on battery.
Royce, thank you for the clarification.
Norm, if that were true, coil point adjustment would not matter and we all know that is not the case. That's a real hoot Norm.
This spring, I purchased an original early Ford HCCT that has a large diameter spark ring with gradations at degree intervals and no provision for a ammeter. This could indicate that Ford tried calibrating coils by time to fire, before settling on current draw as the most practical way of setting coil points in a service garage setting. I'm hoping to find documentation to support this theory.
I think you'd serve your perfectly good product better by marketing it as solid option for setting coil points without being dismissive of the HCCT and Strobospark units as viable options as well. I know I was impressed when Dean Yoder showed me the unit that he was beta testing for you a couple of years ago. I thought I might like to get one to carry in my car because people often ask me to check out their coils while we're out on tours or or their club events. Carrying around one of my HCCTs just isn't practical.
Sadly, I fear that this product is destined to become as controversial as the E-Timer, largely due to the stubborn attitude conveyed in your posts on this forum. It feels like you want us to believe that Ford had it all wrong and the only way to make a Model T run well is to use one of your modern products. To win over purist leaning Model T fans, you'll have to show results that drivers can feel from the driver's seat, just as a set of coils properly set up on an HCCT does over one set up on the old style "buzz box." Numbers, graphs and arguing with Royce on the forum won't do it.
ECCT....Controversial or not, In the words of Howard Hughes.... " The Damn thing Works !!! "
Really though, he said "Flies".... he was into airplanes, not Model T's LOL
Mike knows what he speaks, and backs up with true facts. Some may get confused with his technical explanation, and that's where some may interpret as talking above their acceptance. Where has he "dissed" the HCCT or the Strobospark???? Who "dissed" the Strobospark when John Regan introduced his invention ??? I don't remember one negetive post ! Why now with the ECCT ?????
I have never used the ECCT, but do applaud Mike for his efforts and positive contributions to our hobby.
Hughes character, as portrayed in the film, "The Rocketeer".... just to clarify.
Thank you Eric for your comments.
I have always had a long dwell on the forum discussions on the merits and ways of testing an induction coil. I believe that Henry Ford and his team knew that in the future someone would try to figure out how to improve the testing of the induction coil that dwells in the beast known as the Model T. It is amazing how these cars traveled from point A to B without the various charts and drawings explaining the current to voltage ratio. Now we have computers of the 21st century explaining the workings of 19th century and early first quarter of the 20th century technology.
Thanks for sharing your views on coil adjusting and my posts. I am surprised to learn you feel Iíve been conveying a stubborn attitude in my posts concerning coil adjusting.
I have frequently referred to the HCCT as the venerable HCCT in my posts to acknowledge the reputation it has earned over the years as a viable and trusted method of coil point adjustment. It was a very innovative way to adjust coils for equal dwell time to fire using coil current as an indirect indicator of time to fire since back in the day it was relatively easy to accurately measure coil current compared to accurately measuring thousands of a second and I have acknowledged this too.
It would do me well to not respond to misinformation stated as hard fact and just let it propagate, its just difficult to do when you know better.
There is another way to get 4 coils to fire at the same time with the HCCT. I place masking tape on the outer surface of my spark drum. Coils set to .030 gap and with a good cushion spring adjustment may be slightly off from each other with the same current setting (but not by much). I mark the tape at a spot close to where they all fire. Notice I said close. By changing the gap, the point it fires can be moved slightly left or right. It they are all adjusted to fire at the same point of a fine tip marker, they are the same. Even if one doesn't do this they are typically within 1/2 degree or less from each other.
If I'm reading the vibe of this thread correctly, it seems that some folk are threatened by any limitations of Model T era technology being revealed.
There does sometimes seem to be an opinion that anything to emerge from the Ford factory is completely infallible, but surely this is more emotional than factual.
It seems crazy, if not stubborn, not to take advantage of modern technology we now have to really see what's going on with the ignition system, and to set it to the best possible adjustments - which is to set each coil to fire at exactly the same time as the others in a set. This is precisely why I abandoned ideas of building a mechanical tester a few years ago and went down the electronic path instead.
The simple truth is that an analog meter cannot be used to indicate firing time: 1)the accuracy of the typical meter used for the purpose is not accurate enough, and even if it was, 2)each coil does not necessarily have the same firing current for a particular dwell time. This is clearly demonstrable with electronic testing. You can set a whole lot of coils to exactly the same current, but chances are when firing time is measured there is a not insignificant variation. It clearly stands out.
Of course everyone has the freedom to choose their method of coil adjustment, and those that wish to crank their coil testers to their hearts content, or set their coils to the magical 1.3A on a buzz box are welcome to do so, but why anyone would set their coils to fire at differing times seems odd, when there is now no need to do so.
The ECCT fulfills the need for electronic testing, and having had some experience with one, I can confirm it really does its job well. It is just as easy to use as the video shows. Anyone with more than a passing interest in how their coils work would be wise to get the advanced software option - this shows up the fallacy of setting to current alone quite clearly.
"You can set a whole lot of coils to exactly the same current, but chances are when firing time is measured there is a not insignificant variation."
How much variation have you observed in dwell times in such tests of coils set on HCCT to same current value? How does this variation in dwell time change with supply voltage (ie, magneto output over a range of engine rpm)?
Given equipment sophisticated enough, one could measure differences in most anything that would otherwise be considered identical. The fact of the matter is that 'close enough' is indeed close enough.
Take a set of coils properly set up on a HCCT. They run a T pretty well. Take those same coils and put them on the ECCT. You may indeed see some difference. Make your necessary adjustments and put them back in your T. I imagine it still runs pretty well. Does it run any better? I'm sure with some more sophisticated equipment, one might be able to determine the answer to that.
It would be interesting to see the results of a blind taste test of people running a newly adjusted set of Coilman coils and then a newly adjusted set of Mike Kossor coils and, what the L, lets throw in a set of John Regan Strobospark coils, just for the fun of it, and let various owners identify, by the seat of their pants, which set of coils was best. It would have to be a true BLIND test with a neutral party keeping track of who's coils were who's. I could see this being done at a tour or similar gathering. Do a large enough sampling to make it scientific. Maybe it would put an end to this crap.
My prediction on the results: I doubt the average T owner can tell a nickel's worth of difference between the three.
Agree with Hal. We could give each contestant a completely disassembled set of Ford coils, a new set of points, four new capacitors, a pot of hot tar, and four hours to assemble and test them at identical work stations while a team of non affiliated observers makes sure that no one gets any outside help or a set of ringer coils. Then test the coils in a stock Model T on an engine dynamometer.
"That's a real hoot Norm."
" ...its just difficult to do when you know better."
These are all the things I need to read to determine I'm not interested in ECCT's & E-Timers. Though I'm certain they're very nice products...
"... but do applaud Mike for his efforts and positive contributions to our hobby."
You must have calluses by now.
Just let each 'contestant' send in their best set of coils to a non-partisan official at one of the club headquarters who will mark them Set A, B, & C. Only this official will know the true identity of the coils. Then let anyone who wants, go for a spin with each set and determine which set he feels runs best. The club official can tally the results and let the whole world know if one method of adjustment is better than another, and if so, by how much. I.E. Did one set of coils walk away the clear winner every time or did they all get about the same number of votes?
Like I say, I bet there ain't a nickel's worth of difference in one method over another that can be determined 'by the seat of the pants'. You start using a dyno and the guy who's coils give 0.01% more horsepower will declare victory hence now and forever more. My idea is more about, "Is there any noticeable difference to the average T driver?" I'm betting "No".
BTW Jerry, THAT'S FUNNY!
Just to throw in my 2Ę. All three instruments will do the job and make our Model T's run well. I personally have an Allen Electric HCCT, which has serviced me well. I friend purchased one of John Regan's Strobo Spark and we played with it comparing it to my HCCT and as far as I can tell, both will adjust a coil to the same state. Then a weekend ago, Dave Hjortnaes brought over his new ECCT that he had just gotten from Mike Kossor and we again played between the two. After becoming familiar with how the ECCT works and is read out, the two instruments are very close. For my money and my Model T, anyone of these instruments would make my Model T run like a champ. I know that Mike and John both put a lot work into their machines and should be proud of them, because they do work so well. I think that the only draw back to my HCCT is that it is very heavy and not very portable. Whereas the other two can be moved easily and if the user is knowledgeable on how to use them, the results will be just as good. Another point is that many of us can not afford a HCCT, and the restoration costs of same. Whereas the ECCT and the Strobo Spark may seem expensive, they are a bargain in comparison to the HCCT. That said, what ever it takes to keep the Lizzie on the road, do it. Mike
Jerry, where was your high and mighty commentary on my posts plagued with troll behavior?
That alone speaks volumes......
Well Mike, I guess I just don't every post you're involved with.
Oops, ...just don't read every post...
Hal, your proposal of coil adjusting bake-off sounds like fun but have learned from experience that conducting true A/B comparisons (let alone A/B/C comparisons) of engine performance is not a simple task. Subjective performance opinions can be replaced with numerical analysis of engine RPM and vehicle speed, however, there are numerous variables involved that are difficult to ensure all remain equal for each set of test case A and B. You must also verify there are no other factors which contribute more variation than the one you are studying.
Recall the TDAS system I designed to conduct impartial engine performance comparisons. I tried to keep all operator variables the same for each test case and made multiple runs. The test results did in fact support your predicted results: HCCT and ECCT coils operating on magneto yielded similar engine RPM and vehicle speed performance with all other variables controlled to the best of my ability. One unknown variable was timer/CAM gear/Crank gear ignition timing variation of the test vehicle. A set of coils with +/-1 degree of timing variation may not perform any better than a set with +/- 4 degrees of timing variation if the test vehicle timer/CAM gear/Crank gear variation is +/- 6 degrees and have yet to determine what that variation is. I also discovered that my wood coil box was arcing internally when trying to figure out day to day performance variations for the same set of coils. The wood coil box has been since replaced with a custom Delrin plastic coil box but have not had the opportunity to re-run performance comparisons but hope to before the cold weather arrives.
Performance comparisons are interesting and fun to do but the bottom line is folks have demonstrated the ability to adjust coils with good results using the HCCT, SS, Buzz box, and by ear. The ease and ability to achieve consistent, repeatable results varies with method and operator skill level. It should raise no ire that test results thus far show the ECCT produces consistent, repeatable results at least comparable to the venerable HCCT with distinct advantages in ease of use, size, weight and cost. Its rank among the other tools will be established over time by the end user as Eric suggested.
While it is not a 'blind' test and someone COULD accuse you of favoritism, your observations seem to confirm my suspicions.
Jerry, I'm referring to the post where I was attempting to curb Troll behavior to which YOU injected "Give it a rest Kossor".
Yeah, that one.
You DO know what Troll behavior is, don't you Jerry?
Oh yes, that one.
Mike, I'm not going to joust with you here. I just don't care for your demeanor, plain & simple, whether attacked by trolls, justly or unjustly, makes no difference to me. Other people who challenge you may have their own faults as well. You like to call them trolls. Through your rhetorical question above, I guess you just called me one too. That's o.k. Since I have nothing Model T related to add here, I will "give it a rest" myself.
Mike, Thanks for sharing your experience with the various coil adjusting tools. Note that while the coils tested on the HCCT and ECCT can both test favorably, it is not uncommon to have a coil adjusted on the ECCT for the same dwell time to fire that tests poorly on the HCCT. This is what JohnH was referring to in his post. There are other factors which will skew the relationship between average current and dwell time to fire. Testing a larger sample of coils may reveal this.
Jerry, with all due respect, I do not call people who challenge me trolls nor did I coin the term or define the actions to which earns the designation.
From Wikipedia: Troll - "a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog)"
Thank you for practicing what you preach.
The biggest trouble with a pissing contest, is that everyone gets wet.
I don't have a HCCT available at present, but to answer your question, we can use the current meter in the ECCT instead.
As can be seen with six coils I tested, there is a variation of 2 degrees, or about 0.3ms, when the coils are set only by current.
Dwell time changes with supply voltage; for example a coil set for 2ms dwell at 12V increases to 3.5ms when fed with 6V. However, the important thing is the dwell between coils does not change. All of them have their firing point advance and retard by the same amount over the supply voltage variation.
I compared the ECCT with regards to this against another electronic tester that also operates at 6V, 9V, and 12V, as I was curious to see if the fixed voltage of the ECCT test was a limitation.
As far as I could determine it wasn't.
I understand using this tool to check the capacitors for leakage, setting the amps, checking for double sparks and checking the general health of the coils. I am however wondering how important is checking the dwell in the range shown here has on the running a T engine at say a top RPM of 14-1500 RPM's on magneto? There are a lot of these readings that is frankly way beyond the understanding of a number of us.
I am not saying this as a put down of the tool. Running on coils with AC voltage from say 4/5 volts up to 36 volts from the magneto and the timer picking up the voltage pulse in maybe 2 or 3 spots on the contact. Those pulse which may or may not even actually be the same volts at each peak depending on the strength of the coil and magnet that goes by it, when you start getting down to the level of 1.866 MS ramp time. How does that compare to using set voltage ranges?
JohnH and Mark, Thanks for your posts related to this subject. I think the real value to this is that most of us don't have an HCCT and they're not really very portable. This seems to be something even a novice easily could use to adjust the coils and be very certain they are operating as good as possible.
Some here sound like "running just OK is good enough" but when it's possible to make it run a bit better I'm all for it. Sort of like balancing your tires... the car runs ok without but adding Dyna Beads or others will make it run better. Why not?
We certainly shouldn't be fighting and attacking each other over this when we all are just trying to get our T's running their Best. Well it seems like maybe some here are not. That's Sad...
My apologies to the forum for responding to the off topic taunts.
Mark, The notion is coils with equal time to fire will achieve the highest level of engine speed with smoothest operation. Engine crank shaft position advances at the rate of 6 x RPM in degrees per second. So if a coil that takes 0.3ms longer to fire means the crank shaft (and piston position) has advanced 6 x 1000 x 0.0003 = 2 degrees. Note that 1000 RPM is moderate speed with the upper end typically being 2500 RPM in which case that same delay to fire equates to 4.5 degrees. The emphasis is on coil to coil dwell time to fire variation because it can limit the engine speed due to the irregularity in ignition timing.
By the way, the examples JohnH provided (+/-1 degree at 1K RPM) is actually classified as good by ECCT standards. Data from properly adjusted HCCT coils and ECCT adjusted coils I have measured were up to 3 and 4 times that deviation. Other HCCT adjusted coils I tested had little deviation as Mike observed in his test comparisons. Not saying it can't be done with either method just that if coils with equal time to fire results in the desired engine performance it makes sense to adjust coils for equal dwell time to fire.
John H. ......
Good results & pictures.....
Like I quoted in earlier post... " The damn thing works " !!
John H. ......
Good results & pictures.....
Like I quoted in earlier post... " The damn thing works " !!
Excuse the double post, not intentional
Clarification. RE "upper end typically being 2500 RPM", did you mean 1500 RPM? Or was 2500 RPM used to test the dwell/ramp time to use as a base.
Not sure if that was in reference to my post earlier on, but I would contend that if the difference in not noticeable from the driver seat, then it is indeed "Close enough".
I have no doubt that the ECCT is a fine tool for adjusting coils and I have nothing against anyone using it. However, from the information posted in this thread, it doesn't appear that coils adjusted with it are head and shoulders above those adjusted with HCCT's or Strobosparks and it would take some sophisticated measuring equipment to determine the difference. Certainly a viable alternative, but not the be-all end-all to coil adjusting.
Hal, Sorry if my post appeared that way. I did not mean to direct my comments to anyone here but to all that seem to "pounce" on anyone or thing that is out of the norm or the original.
The seat feel is the very way I judge how my car is running when I make any changes. Of course when I indexed my spark plugs I sure couldn't feel anything but I still do it. Sometimes I think when you add everything up it might amount to something.
Mark, the upper end would definitely not be 1500 but maybe Mike will clarify.
2500 RPM was the upper limit for the test vehicle, my 1927 Touring, during various test runs. Got close but did not exceed that value in low pedal prior to shifting. Other test cases flat lined at 2100 RPM. At those engine speeds, ignition timing variation of tenths of a millisecond have a much greater effect on performance. The one parameter I wish I did instrument to monitor was engine smoothness. It seems logical that less ignition timing variation would yield a smoother running engine with less stress on the drive chain by firing at the optimal piston position consistently as opposed to sooner or later.
The video and audio quality of the video I posted is not very good (still learning) a replacement with improved audio and video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDdpIJLbMG8
More coil point adjustment scenarios like double sparking and how it is resolved can be viewed from the Video Demos tab on the ECCT website.
Hal said: "not the be-all end-all to coil adjusting."
Does it need to be?
Is Mike only allowed to clear up misinformation if his product is the be-all end-all?
I'm not trying to be a smarty, but I honestly have been contemplating your posts for over a day now and don't understand the point that you are trying to make.
At the risk of thread drift I want to relate a Montana 500 story. Years ago, one of the Montana boys would test his coils by holding them against his front fender and then twiddle with the points until it threw a big fat blue spark and the points would sound a high G sharp or some such thing.
I guess close enough is close enough!
p.s. this guy never won the Montana 500.
I really did not want to get into this because it never ends well, but since you asked directly, I guess I will. Eric Hylen hit the nail on the head with his post above (3:19 AM Sunday Sep 13). Whether Mike means to or not, he comes across as putting down the competition when he promotes his products here. Perhaps that's just advertising. But he will make it look like his products are head and shoulders above everything else. He will show all kinds of graphs and diagrams that would lead the 'uniformed' to believe any of the old technology is no good and his is far superior. Not that I am 'informed', but I when I look at the data, something stands out to me. The differences he brings to light are only measurable by sophisticated equipment or else you have to be so far outside of the normal range of operation to see the difference, that it would not be noticeable to the average T owner. Maybe it would shave a little time off at the race track, but in the grand scheme of things for the average owner, his car will run just fine on coils set up properly using a HCCT or Strobospark.
To cut to the chase, my point is "There's nothing wrong with using a HCCT or a Strobospark to adjust coils and there is nothing inferior about those coils."
Thanks for sharing your views, It was not my intention to put down other methods of coil point adjustment and have acknowledged that all other methods have been proven viable. I can understand how pointing out the distinguishing technical features of the ECCT with emphasis on accuracy of time to fire can imply superiority. I did, however, honestly present the TDAS data HCCT vs ECCT coil performance comparisons on several occasions and acknowledged no significant difference in performance of engine RPM or vehicle speed on my car. Still, I viewed the project as an overall success that others may find of interest because the data showed the ECCT method can produce consistent, repeatable results that are at least as effective of the proven HCCT standard with significant benefits of small size, lightweight, portable battery operation, ease of use and 1/3 the cost. This post was intended to demonstrate the dwell time to fire method of coil point adjustment.
Almost immediately, years of study and hard work gets dismissed as a complete waste of time and effort because it is the magneto waveform which determines the exact timing and that adjusting the coils to achieve the same current makes them all fire at exactly the same time. To which I admit found very disturbing because both statements are categorically wrong! It is difficult for me to just let that misinformation stand, letting others believe it to be true when I have considerable data that clearly indicates otherwise. The importance of proper coil point adjustment operating on magneto is well known to regular participants of this forum so interpreted the Normís comment as a deliberate attempt to discredit my work, hence, my snide comment to Norm which was un-necessary and do apologize to him for that. I am thankful JohnH has independent data to substantiate the fact coils set for the same coil current does not guarantee the same firing time. That does not mean it cannot or the method is wrong. Since the desired objective is to set the coils for the same firing time, I prefer the dwell time to fire method; which by the way, has been used by Montana 500 winners long before there was an ECCT. Hopefully this clarifies my position on the various coil adjusting methods.
Eric said: "I think you'd serve your perfectly good product better by marketing it as solid option for setting coil points without being dismissive of the HCCT and Strobospark units as viable options as well."
I have spent a lot of time today going through posts on this subject, some back to 2012. I can find no posts where Mike has overtly or even obliquely said anything that I would be consider to be dismissive of the HCCT or the Strobospark. I would be like to have any such post pointed out to me.
Hal said:"There's nothing wrong with using a HCCT or a Strobospark to adjust coils"
That is your point? Who ever said there was?
Saying there is a another way, or even saying that there is a better way doesn't mean that you think that some other way is wrong.
Again, I'd like a reference to any post where Mike said that adjusting a coil with a HCCT or Strobospark is wrong.
I hate to get into this forum arguing stuff, especially as I don't have a dog in this hunt. I don't care a whit whether anyone uses a HCCT or ECCT.
It seems to me that some people feel the need to defend the honor of the HCCT over some perceived slight. I've been know to stick up for inanimate objects myself on occasion, but I don't think I would do it if I thought it might damage someone's source of income.
Well said Tom, thank you.
I am not taking the bait, Tom. I think Mike and I see where each one is coming from and I don't think it needs discussing any further. And frankly, I am surprised you would propose that we do.
Thanks Bob, well said perhaps, well written - not so much.
I meant to say:"I can find no posts where Mike has overtly or even obliquely said anything that I would consider to be dismissive of the HCCT or the Strobospark." I put in an extra "be".
I said:"I would like to have any such post pointed out to me." I put in an extra "be".
Two be's that should not to be.
I shouldn't try to write on my lunch hour. I can't type with one hand and peel an orange with another.
You are to hard on yourself! I think we all understood what you wanted to say! And stop trying to peel and orange and type at the same time. I am lucky if I can do one of them at a time!
Tom, That was about what I wanted to say earlier.
Thanks for taking time during your lunch to post.
Now lets try and learn some more about Model T coils, magnetos, or timers!
Many folk getting to tied up in trying to understand how what, when, and how of operation of magneto and coils. The beauty of and best part of the ECCT is there is no need to know! Mike has done all the hard work! Just simply adjust to work inside the specified parameters and put them back in the box! When combined with a good serviceable timer you will be sure to notice definite running improvement.
Like I said..... "The Damn thing Works !!!"
The same can be said of the hand cranked coil tester. It simply does a great job and even better - it does not have any electronic high fail items or fluff data to distract you from the job at hand.
I'm be curious what the "electronic high fail items" might be. None showed up during the several unintentional things that occurred when I was evaluating the ECCT.
So called "fluff data" is actually the reason behind the ECCT's high accuracy.
But, the great thing is no one has to use the "fluff data" if they don't want to - it's completely optional. The coil adjusting is just as accurate using the simple LED display.
One has to wonder if the ECCT had been developed by "established" instrument makers, would there be any animosity towards it? Or is it because it's a new way of doing things that it is a perceived threat? Again, no one is being forced to use a ECCT, but I just like my coils to fire with equal dwell time.
What a lovely little Gizmo. Congrats Mike.
Yes, nice to have another tool available to help keep our cars on the road.
I could try to buy an HCCT for $1000+ if I can find one available, or I can purchase a Strobospark for $350, or an ECCT for $300-500 depending on what software I want.
One just has to remember that the ECCT test is a bit different than the HCCT so you cannot test a coil on one and then the other. You will get different results. There is no point in trying to go back and forth between machines to get the perfect coil. It just isn't going to happen.
The ECCT is another useful tool out there that will help us keep our T's authentic. No need for 12 volts or a distributor. The ability to keep our cars running the way Henry intended them to be run.
Now if Rob will just drop off that K here in Milwaukee on his way back to Nebraska, and I will work on his coils for him. I should be done by Christmas.
As to it's being better it probably isn't. T's will run better with coils set up on any of these units. There's only so much you can do to a coil after all. It's certainly more informative than an HCCT but that's what was available back then & the HCCT does work. In these times we have available to us, through modern electronics, units that can give more info on the inner workings of a coil that to be honest an old timer back then probably wouldn't have given a c**p about any way. (though I would like to know and the condenser test is a nice feature I admit). All 3 work & accomplish the same thing. Testing one against the other is probably pointless. (no pun intended). So we're down to what? Storage space, availability and price.
What does it cost today?
Ken in Texas
This thread makes me happy I run a dizzy. I will say though 15 inch motor cycle engines have far more HP then a 176 inch T They are generally timed by a dial set through the spark plug hole for correct timing with factory marks and when right the power is very notice able.
I do intend to set a degree wheel up and check the firing accuracy of a clip on dizzy on a T engine. Bet its not very accurate. OT---- sorry!
You mean the ECCT?
My time to chime in. I am no engineer or scientific guru for that matter, but here goes. I have had one of Mikes ECCT's for some time. I also own a HCCT and a Strobo. I have been rebuilding coils for a little less than 10 years. I am on my second 60 pound keg of roof steep and am into my 500th set of points.
There is a hill which I travel quite often with our Centerdoor, Roadster, and TT. It is only a few miles from home and I need to head over it to go to many spots. It is what I call a step hill. It is a long hill, but it goes up and plateaus, goes up and plateaus again. It does this 4 times to the summit. With each of the above mentioned vehicles, it usually requires some speed before the base of the hill and some reserve for the top, to crest the summit. I have several sets of ECCT coils on the road with good results. I didn't have any sets in my cars, but, this past week was the local threshing show and I took the roadster, which normally had a set of HCCT or Strobo coils in it. I put in a set of my ECCT coils in the car and off we went. The car ran smoother, had more pep, and moved along well. As I approached the hill, I didn't accelerate like normal. I left the throttle at half and moved up the hill. I never touched it the whole way up. The car moved up the hill with ease, it did slow up as I was about 3/4 of the way up, but it pulled the hill never really lugging down as far, like before.
My scientific seat of the pants behind the wheel observation, is the car felt like it had more power with each coil firing at the same moment.
Take it as you will, but this is just my findings.
Well that does! It's time to throw my hat in the ring, add my two cents, join this pissing contest, give my opinion, make my assumptions and tell you what I think...
Sorry, I nodded off. Where were me? Oh yeah I've decided it's time for someone to come up with a legitimate way to test coils. Maybe call it a HECTCSTROBOCTHE-SPARK THING!
An observation on distributors for Paul and anyone else who cares. Last weekend five cars from the Long Beach Model T Club toured about 700 miles. It was 285 miles from Long Beach to Paso Robles Ca. on Friday, and 285 back on Monday with 2 days of local touring in between.
Two cars running VW distributors had point and condenser problems. On the way up, one car with a new set of points had worn the rubbing block to a point that the car was barely running after only 150 miles. A new set was located in Paso Saturday and lasted the rest of the trip, however the condenser began breaking down on the way home, and the second car also experienced condenser failure just outside of Santa Barbara.
I happened to be following the second car and we stopped in Santa Barbara to purchase a condenser. We found that Autozone and O"Reilly do not stock these parts, and a local VW repair shop was also out of stock. The mechanic there told us that the condenser we had in hand,(we had removed it for a sample by now) was made in @@@@ and was junk. We asked where we could get a good one and he told us "you can't." We finally found one at our fourth stop, Car Quest.
I have owned and driven VW beetles and also had VW distributors on Model T's and always found them to be reliable, but that was in the past. Current parts for these are all made offshore and are apparently of very poor quality. The bottom line is that there hasn't been a car made with points and condenser for forty years and many parts stores do not stock these parts and those that are available are poor quality. I'm not even sure where Bosch parts are made anymore.
If you run a VW / Bosch distributor, find the best quality points and condensers available and carry a few extra sets!
So when you ECCT the roadster coils you removed (the ones previously set on stroboscope), how far out of adjustment are they? If a set of 4 coils is set up correctly on a Stroboscope, how much coil to coil variation is detected with the ECCT? JohnH didn't check with Stroboscope, but Andy, you have the means to easily answer this for the 4 coils you removed. I respectfully suggest you first Stroboscope those 4 coils and note the current value of each (also ck for double sparking) do not adjusting anything, then ECCT the same coils, and if you would, pls share the info with us.
Think you are right Jeff! My T started running poor after years of running and starting good. The problem was the rotor nicely made with the center wire buried in some sort of epoxy. There was no continuity from the center to the end. A mile trip to the Napa dealer got me a 7.00 replacement not nearly as difficult to make with metal straight from the center to the end as most rotors are. T runs fine now I wonder why that wire was buried in epoxy now but for 7.00 and five minuets time the dizzy stays!
Jeff, your observation about current replacement part quality applies to muscle cars as well - The starter solenoid on my 1971 Plymouth GTX went out, so I bought a new on at a local parts store. It only lasted a month, so I took it and my original one apart to compare them and was shocked by how cheap and wimpy the replacment part was inside. I went on Ebay and bought a couple of NOS starter relays, that should last me for the rest of the time I will own the car.
Usually on points ignition every so often on a tune up its points, plugs, rotor condenser and cap replacement. If the point rubbing block is worn down fast I would expect the small amount of grease usually supplied with the points was not installed. I am currently fixing power steering on my Massey 203 I was shocked yesterday that the left side spindle was nearly locked up caused by my lack of maintenance with a grease gun and worn or rusted zerk fittings. I do agree with Mark with the same issues in the past on some repairs with replacement parts.
Good question, I will check them out and report back. Give me a day or three, kid football, gymnastics, work, etc come first.
If I remember correctly what Mike has told us above, you cannot compare an HCCT or Stroboscope measurement to the ECCT. The ECCT measures dwell and that is not what the other two measure. I am not an electrician so cannot explain.
Dave, I discourage folks from using a HCCT to judge how well ECCT adjusted coils have been tuned for several reasons cited earlier.
The real question is how do coils adjusted for the same dwell time to fire using the ECCT compare with other methods of coil adjustment in the car on the road? Andy provided an excellent example, thanks for sharing it Andy! His experience includes the subjective seat of the pants feel as Hal referred to it; runs smoother with more pep but also a notable improvement observed by the way the car performed as it climbed a familiar hill with well established characteristics using coils adjusted by other methods and nearly 10 years of experience. The same ECCT adjusted coils may or may not indicate the same 1.3A current on a HCCT based on experience with my Allen HCCT.
I understand the differences in using 'average' (RMS?) current of 1.3A vs the dwell time to fire to set a model t coil. I am purely interested in knowing how much difference is likely to measured in checking a coil previously adjusted by HCCT or stroboscope on the ECCT. Not looking to start a fight, just seeking to understand.
Mike, I'll talk with you in Hershey of you have time, thanks, jb
I put the coils back in the Strobo, this morning and none of them double sparked. They all had nice even needle reading, but the amperage varied with each coil. The first was a hair over 1.3, the next 1.35, 1.4, and 1.5. I haven't checked them on the ECCT, but as Mike says that is compared Fords to Chevys and won't give a good comparison.
I would be curious to see how different the ECCT dwell times are on these, I would assume the 1.3 amp coil fires earlier than the 1.5.
James et al,
Here you go:
1.3-fail dwell time test, poor firing consistency
1.35-fail dwell time test, poor firing consistency
1.4-passed dwell time test, 89% firing consistency
1.5 fail dwell time test, poor firing consistency
The 1.35 actually showed a double spark with the ECCT, whereas on the strobo it did't?