Coil Replacement Time.....any thoughts on electronic?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Coil Replacement Time.....any thoughts on electronic?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hank Western on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 04:58 pm:

It's time to replace my coil boxes. I see there's an electronic version on the market. Anyone have any suggestions, pros, cons, advice, etc.
Thank
Hank


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hank Western on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 04:58 pm:

by the way it's a 26


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 05:09 pm:

No re-building plans?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 05:13 pm:

Hank. check out the ETimer option. Dean Yoder will have driven 10,000 miles on his just This Year alone and does close to that every year!

The great thing about this electronic timer is that it requires No maintenance. You still need coils but they do not have to be adjusted to have a perfect running car.

The timer electronics will normally outperform many original systems.

See the current thread of "Damn the Torpedoes...." for some more discussion from current users.

Good luck with what ever you choose.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 05:22 pm:

If you're asking about the coils, not the timer, I'd send them to Coil Man Ron Patterson or Coil Doctor Brent Mize. Either of them will make your coils as good as new.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob on Texas Gulf Coast on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 05:34 pm:

My second most favorite discussion. Water pumps is third.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 05:42 pm:

Which "electronic version" are you referring to?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hank Western on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 06:12 pm:

I'm actually not sure. i saw something about electronic coils vs. the old style. i don't know anything about timers! Do I need to know about that too? Where does it end? LOL


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 06:22 pm:

What's happening with your coils that makes you feel they need to be replaced?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 06:35 pm:

The original style coils do an awesome job if you give them. Bit of maintenance every decade or so. Most local clubs have a coil tester you can use for free.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Coco - Winchester Va. on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 07:02 pm:

I'm an outsider so to speak, since I own no T, though my '10 Hupp (soldiers, attention!) has T rear end parts.

I'm always fascinated by people wanting to improve the old cars, not for any real reason other than the technology is there.

The original coils carried Model T for a hundred years and many billions of miles. Why not use the original and have fun with the car, and experience the originality? Yes, electronics might be more reliable. But so is a Pinto engine.

Have fun with it as built, and if you have troubles, then that's part of the fun...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 07:13 pm:

Careful David, or you'll get branded with the dreaded "P" word.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 07:19 pm:

David, if your interested in one of the varieties I am running, just PM me and I'll fill you in on the details. There's positive and negatives for just about every alternative out there. In the end it's your car. Do what you think is best for you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hank Western on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 08:08 pm:

Is there a simple way to test the coil to make sure that's my problem. I don't have a tester.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 08:23 pm:

What problem are you having?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 08:27 pm:

Any potential mentors near Hank? I'm on the opposite corner of the country.

Hank if the car has begun running poorly, it is just as likely the timer as the coils. As it's simple, I'd pull the timer and clean it. Depending on the type of timer, it may also want to be lubricated. A picture of the inside of the timer would be real handy so we would know what to recommend for lubrication (if any).

It would also be good to check the spark plugs for even combustion across the cylinders. Clean and/or replace any that are particularly fouled.

With the timer clean and ready, the most basic testing of coils would be to start the engine and then one at a time short out the plugs to see which cylinder(s) is/are not performing properly. Use a long plastic handled screwdriver to short the plugs (but you knew that). If you have any spare coils you can do some swapping to eliminate the bad one(s).

Another test if one cylinder isn't running correctly is to swap coils and see if the problem moves with the coil or stays with that cylinder.

There are several devices available to test and help adjust coils. Best bet if you can is to start with another experienced T guy who may have access to those tools and some experience using them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 08:29 pm:

I have had pretty good luck buying coils at various swap meets. I can usually get them cheap. I have about 40. I clean and adjust the points and put them in my "buzz box" I can hook the box to the magneto of a running T and see how they perform on magneto. I adjust to 1.3 amps and then try them in the car. If it runs good I keep them as is. If not I can rebuild with new condensor and points. I always carry a couple extras in my cars, just in case.

If you have access to a hand cranked coil tester or strobo spark, that would be even better way to test them.

I use a regular timer. The Anderson works good for me. There is another version which has a carbon brush which some say is a good one.

Anything electronic, might be very good, but if a part fails, your car will stop. Good to carry some original or good aftermarket parts along too, just in case.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 08:50 pm:

What are electronic coils? The standard Model T coils operate on electricity. Aren't they electronic?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 09:07 pm:

Hank,Ever had a free start?? Yup,Has your T ever started when you turn the switch to battry with no cranking and no starter?? You can do anything you want,but should you learn about a model T first?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 09:12 pm:

Bud, those thoughts went through my head too. But we all had to start somewhere.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnH on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 09:17 pm:

I've been using an E-Timer and much prefer its performance over various mechanical timers. While there's no doubt mechanical timers can work very well, the smoothness and other advantages put the E-Timer in my personal favour.
I use it as a straight drop in replacement with my ECCT adjusted coils. However, one advantage of the E-Timer is that only the windings in the coils need to be good for perfect operation. In this situation, the points are bridged out, making capacitor and point condition irrelevant. The E-Timer then takes over the function of the points operation. It's ideal for those who don't wish to replace capacitors or have the facilities to set their coils.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 09:55 pm:

Michael,It must be the climate?? No earthquake season,no fire season,no mud slide season just cold! But on the bright side,when it's cold there ain't no bug's!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells, Hamilton Ontario on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 10:06 pm:

Hank. Try not to fall for the lure of changing your Model T ignition to a non Model T system. The Ford coil setup is one of the most trouble and maintenance free ignitions ever. Your car can run perfectly for years without ever touching it. Have another look at the first post above from Steve Jelf.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 10:53 pm:

Hank:

Find a reputable coil re-builder, start with your local club chapter for suggestions. Electrically leaking internal condenser and worn/maladjusted points give problems easily remedied by rebuilding.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Monday, October 26, 2015 - 12:02 am:

I'm always betwixt and between when it comes to the idea of updating an antique car. _Of course it gets its beauty and charm from its incongruity and we drive these rolling anachronisms around for the historical experience—they're genuine time machines. _I remember how it felt to be flying my antique airplane (back when I could afford flying) and how, once cruising above it all where there were no contradictory sensory inputs, for all intents and purposes, I was flying back in the 1940's, just after VJ-Day. _I could have updated the old North American for IFR flight, but that would have meant modernizing the instrument panel with new-fangled, digital radios and such and I just couldn't bring myself to allow such desecration.

But I digress (Always wanted to say that).

When my swing-era airplane was destroyed in a windstorm, I used the insurance payoff to get out of some credit-card debt and buy a Model T Ford (Aviation, with its ever-intensifying FAA oversight and New York's overly congested, air-traffic-controller managed airspace, had ceased to be fun). _I brought with me the typical pilot's religious respect for safety and modified my Tin Lizzie according—but only safety modifications would be allowed. _So she got the underhand-wishbone, brake lights, turn-signals and rear-view mirrors, but the essence of what makes the car a Model T remains all there.

As much as I appreciate the availability of such modern replacement equipment as the e-timer (which I'd buy in a Noo-Yawk minute if ever my magneto decides to quit, because that's a far less expensive alternative to having the engine pulled, shipped, rebuilt, re-shipped and re-installed), given the choice, I'd rather stick with the original 4-coil ignition, non-waterpumped thermo-siphon cooling, unpressurized gravity-powered fuel feed, non-Zerk grease cups and non-dipsticked oil-level checking.

In keeping with my former pilot's mentality, I keep a logbook of my Model T's maintenance and repairs, road-trips and mileage, and in keeping with the antiquity of the car itself, write it up with an old-fashioned fountain pen. _It's just the "righter" way to do it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black SC/FL on Monday, October 26, 2015 - 11:04 pm:

Hank,
I'm currently in the panhandle and leaving for Okeechobee in the morning. Send me an email to the address listed in my profile and I'll give you my contact info. I'm not an expert, but, may be able to help you some. I've got T's that run on coils with mag, coils with battery only, and 2 with distributors. Maybe we can pinpoint some of your problems!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hank Western on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:44 am:

Sorry fellas, I got distracted. My initial problem is NO SPARK at all so the car won't start. I was told on this forum that it was most likely a wiring issue. I completely rewired the entire car from bumper to bumper yesterday in hopes that solves the problem. My ignition/key switch was in very bad shape so I ordered a new one from Lang's. I am waiting for it to arrive and see if this solves my issue. I'm not convinced that all four coils went bad at once. Hmmmmm! sounds unlikely. I really don't know what the problem is. Thank You all for your assistance. I'm always impressed with how well you treat a novice like me who knows very little about this addiction.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 01:54 am:

Try hot-wiring the car, but don't allow DC voltage to enter the mag. Disconnect the mag wire and run a hot wire to the hot terminal of the coil box.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:49 pm:

I believe an electronic device is hassle free and works for a long time. But it is not repairable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 04:22 pm:

A 26 will run on either battery or magneto depending on the switch position. Will the coils buzz on battery? Try turning the switch to battery and checking to determine whether you have 6 volts at the connection at the bottom of the coil box. (if you are running a 12 volt battery that location would have 12 volts). If you have the voltage at the coil box, but the coils don't buzz, check the wiring between the coil box and the timer. Also clean the timer. The timer grounds one coil at a time. Whichever coil is grounded should buzz. Try grounding the top connection on the coil box one terminal at a time. With the key on battery, the coil corresponding to the ground should buzz. If it doesn't buzz, your problem is either a bad coil or a bad connection in the coil box. Anyway, that is one way to check for your problem. If you get the buzz, but no spark at the spark plug, you might have a bad coil or a bad spark plug.
Norm


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