distributor conversion

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: distributor conversion
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Randall Strickland, Lambsburg Va on Monday, September 21, 2015 - 11:36 pm:

Working on a 25 coupe with a bad mag,no time to pull engine to fix problem,so I might use a dist. Do they run good on 6 volt?,don't want to change to 12


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 12:25 am:

An e-timer would require virtually no engine modification and it operates independent of the magneto. maybe that's an alternative to consider? More info on the e-timer here:

http://www.modeltetimer.com/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les VonNordheim on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 01:19 am:

It does not make any difference to a dist. what voltage you want to use. Make sure the condenser and coil are compatible with the voltage you select.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 01:21 am:

To actually answer your question, Randall; they run equally fine on either voltage. Run a 6 volt coil and it will work fine. The points and condenser don't care what the voltage is too much although I would probably install a Ford FA66 condenser which is factory for 6 volts instead of the 12 volt one it will come with. If you are running an old one, like a Bosch, the FA66 is a good choice since the original Bosch condensers are probably not available.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnH on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 02:08 am:

No need to change to 12V to use Ford coils with no magneto. 6V works fine provided everything is set up correctly. This has been discussed not too long ago here http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/572321.html?1442841842
Of course, the E-Timer is an excellent option too - and will give perfect results regardless of the coil adjustments which become redundant.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier Savannah Tn. on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 03:50 am:

Here is my opinion on this subject. Distributor is fine for who ever wants to use them however if I have a mag go bad I want to find out why. You maybe be on the verge of a major catastrophe if it flies apart. Just my honest opinion. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Marchees _____Tax Capital, NY on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 06:20 am:

Randall, the Texas T distributors work great--6 or 12 volts. I have a hardly used one that I am going to remove though now that I have all the parts to run coils again. I sent you a PM.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Randall Strickland, Lambsburg Va on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 08:34 am:

Thanks for the info,this car has not many miles since restored,has all the bills and paperwork to document,I think whoever set mag gap got it wrong,crank end play is good,I knew the old 50's car's ran well on 6v but had some to tell me t's didn't like 6v,not sure what I will do,might try e-timer


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 09:00 am:

If the orig coil system it there & intact why not just use a small battery to power it? It'll run you $3/400 in parts to change over to a dist and there's no power/economy advantage to a dist anyway. It'll run just as good with either system if that system is in good shape. I'd keep my $ in my pocket and the coils in the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 09:14 am:

Randall,

Would you consider spending some time trying to determine why the mag is not working?

You wrote: I think whoever set mag gap got it wrong...

The cause of the problem in this thread
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/573120.html?1442885923

MAY have been wrong mag gap.

Then again, if you troubleshoot the inoperative mag, you may find that the "fix" will be as simple as removing the lint/fuzz from the mag post....or the point of the mag post has lost contact with the mag ring.

In any event, it might save you further grief if you can assure yourself that all magnets, keepers, screws, etc are secure.

Possible result from bad gap:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 10:32 am:

Randall,

Just run the coils on 6V. It's not as bad as a lot people make it out to be. I never had any problems running coils on 6V.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Lay,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Lancaster Ca. on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 10:53 am:

I have only had three Ts but none of them had a working mag so I just ran them in the battery position. Never had a problem, ran great for a long time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 06:09 pm:

For the price of the Disy conversion you should get an Etimer and you'll most likely notice a marked improvement in the performance of your car like nearly everyone else has.

The real plus is you'll still have a Model T that looks correct and a simple replacement of the timer whenever you choose.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom 30 miles N of Memphis TN on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 06:25 pm:

Keith Barrier gave you the best advice. If you chose to run a distributor or etimer or coils off the battery, I would want to know that the engine isn't about to hand grenade itself first. Any advice to just do X and keep going isn't good advice.

It could be something simple as another poster mentioned. If you figure out that the switch is bad or something and then choose X, no problem. You already stated you suspect it wasn't set up correctly. Mags don't normally work then stop just because the clearance isn't right.

I wouldn't run it at all (other than maybe with a test light connected to the mag post to bypass all wiring and switch) until I knew why it isn't working.

If it does come apart due to some mechanical issue, nobody sells an e-flywheel or e-hogshead to correct the damage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 07:21 pm:

My 25 coupe has been in our family for 67 years and has had a dead mag for over 40 years. We've run it the entire time with the coils and the 6v battery and it runs great. As long as the generator is charging, you're golden. Just adding the distributor is only adding something else to go wrong. Henry's Model T runs fine as a bone stock automobile.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom 30 miles N of Memphis TN on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 07:30 pm:

Knowing the risk of frequent documented mechanical failure of the flywheel - magnet assembly, would those advocating continued operation feel safe with your grandchild sitting in the front seat of that same car?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 09:11 pm:

Of course I agree with Gary and others first advice. Obiviously check to make sure everything is sound and not ready to come apart. If you find the problem is something like an open circuit I'd check out the Etimer first.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Randall Strickland, Lambsburg Va on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 11:05 pm:

It will run on mag but not as good as on battery,so far I have checked timer, mag post, charged the mag with welder using Tom's way and have had good result's on other T"s using his method,when I get back on it, going to check mag voltage and see just how many volts its putting out,it had been sitting for several years and thought mag had gotten tired,I am hoping it is something else!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood -Long Beach, California on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 11:10 pm:

I just posted this in reply to a comment about dizzys in the ecct post.

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!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 12:56 am:

I have had no problem at all getting my points and condenser for my VW dizzy from NAPA. I do not know how much of the country they cover.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 05:17 am:

For what it's worth my T would only do 40 or so MPH on 6 volt but 55 MPH on mag.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 07:56 am:

This pretty white speedster is on the Texas T Party tour every year. The car is always breaking down due to failed coils and condensers in the Texas T Parts distributor. Last year he was stopped in a little town working on the car and I stopped as usual to see if he needed a ride to the part store or some gas or something.

He was changing the coil for the second time in less than 100 miles. He said something to me like "I was told that a modern distributor was going to be a lot less trouble than all that weird old magneto and coil business".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 08:04 am:

Royce,Did the car also have a water pump?? Sorry,i coulden't help myself!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 09:17 am:

Ken,

Yes, he has the water pump, distributor, alternator and battery cutoff switch. Maybe you get a discount if you buy all four? One of my theories is that the reproduction alternators put out too high voltage for the coils / condensers, aggravating and accelerating their low quality offshore fail rate. I recommended to the owner to try and find German or US made Volksbuggen parts, and to add a ballast resistor to the coil circuit, and to check output voltage from the alternator.

The other possibility that comes to mind is the troublesome battery cutoff switch is intermittent, causing voltage spikes when the battery is intermittently disconnected from the alternator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 09:34 am:

It's always the same even after selling 15,000 000 some will never agree Henry might have got it right!! Bud in Wheeler,mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 09:48 am:

Kep,

For most T guys, 40 mph is good enough. Like my dad used to say, "A horse that sh#*ts fast, don't sh#*t long".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 09:52 am:

How would a distributor coil with internal resister work for this set up? PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 01:12 pm:

Pat,

If you can find one that is made in USA or Germany it ought to work fine. The ones from China say "No External Resistor Needed" on them. My thinking is that who ever builds these coils doesn't have any idea what that statement means.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Moorehead on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 08:12 pm:

I have 4 T's running 4 Texas T distributors, 2 on 6 volts and 2 on 12 volts. I use internal resistors in the coils, 1 from China and the other an old VW Bosch, both 12 volt. I have had no problems with either and have run several thousand miles on both.
My only vulcher truck trip was on a failed distributor head that some how got out of time with the cap pick up position.
Other than that, I have had no problems,with any of the components except for the aftermarket head.
None of the cars has a magneto, using the magnets on the flywheel to circulate oil.
One of these days I will set one up as made from the factory, but only after I get a chance to retire down the road. I just don't have issues with the distributors, no matter what the voltage.


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