I got my 1923 engine running for the first time today, and it seems to go fairly smoothly. Here are the problems:
1) I jacked up a rear wheel before starting, and the wheel turns continually. Pulling back brake lever & slightly depressing left pedal has no effect. That is, I don't seem to have neutral.
2) Top radiator hose is hot, bottom hose is cold. Before installing the radiator, I ran a hose into the top inlet, and water did run out the bottom outlet.
3) Switching to MAG kills engine.
I can picture the causes of these things, but any diagnostic pointers from you guys would be welcome.
The T parking brake is pretty weak and may not stop the wheel. The foot brake should stop the driveline or stall the engine. The parking brake must move the yoke that frees the clutches, this can also be accomplished with the hi/lo pedal partially depressed. Often discs stick together after sitting a long time or cold. If you can't crank the engine at all without moving the back wheels with the parking brake applied the clutches aren't disengaging. That is a transmission adjustment. I think the top of the radiator would be the hottest place because of the thermo syphon cooling. If you have a water pump this might not be the case. Mag coils are tempermental and a short or improper gap will kill them. Someone surely knows how to test the output of your mag. Hope you are back on the road
Get ahold of Brent Mize, he sells a nifty little mag tester light thingy for around ten bucks or so. If you were closer we could use my St. Louis mag tester that luckily came with my '13 when I bought it last January. Pull your mag post first, see if it's dirty with lint or something, or in two of my previous cases, an errant piece of metal got up in there and shorted it out. Amazing how that oil will sling stuff and where it will go. Pulled the objects out and voila! Mag again! Hopefully yours will be that simple.
When the brake lever is pulled back half way (clutch in neutral but parking brake not engaged) the wheel(s) will continue to rotate if one or both wheels are jacked up when the engine is running. That is perfectly normal. There is enough force from the oil flying around the crankcase as well as the oil between the clutch plates to create enough friction to turn the transmission and driveshaft and ultimately the rear wheels.
To stop the rear wheels, when the parking brake lever is at the half-way mark push the brake pedal or simply pull the parking brake lever all the way back.
Do as others have said to check for the neutral clutch working. It is common especially if the car has been parked with the parking brake on for a long time for oil to get thick and make the clutch disks stick. Do as posted above. With the parking brake on, push the foot brake. If the engine stalls you have a problem with the clutch. If it doesn't stall but the wheels stop, your parking brake needs attention.
First thing to check on the magneto. Are all the wires connected between the magneto and the switch? If so, try a light bulb between the magneto post and ground. The light should light up. If you race the engine the light will burn out. If so, your magneto is probably good and the problem is in the wiring or the switch. There could also be some dirt on the magneto contact inside the hogs head. Or the magneto is either damaged or your car has no magneto. If you have a distributor on your car, your magneto is either disconnected or non operational. Many owners will place a distributor on the car when the magneto goes bad.
After doing some more checking of the magneto and clutch let us know what you find and we can continue the diagnosis
The top hose should be hotter than the lower hose, and in cool or cold weather the lower hose might be completely cold. The heat rises to the top of the radiator and is cooled by the radiator and the cooler water goes back into the engine through the lower hose.
I'll check those things out and write the results. Thanks for responding to my questions so carefully.
I followed Norman's tips today. The engine starts easily on battery. I depressed the brake pedal, and the (jacked-up) rear wheel stopped turning, and the engine did not stall. In fact, it ran smoother.
I pulled out the magneto connection, and the brass pin looks clean. Should it be spring loaded? It's loose and kind of flops around. The wire looks OK. I guess I'll next see if it has any output.
I notice that the carb is puffing raw gas out the air intake. I had the mixture screw out one turn.
Puffing gas out the carb intake may be a sign that the mixture is too lean, or an intake valve is sticking. When it is doing the puffing, try turning the mixture screw out another 1/8 turn and see if the puffing is reduced or goes away.
The one turn out is just a starting point, the optimum needle valve setting is a little different for every car. Don't be afraid to adjust the needle as needed to get the engine to run its best.
When my engine is cold, before I start it, I richen the mixture by 1/4 turn of the needle valve. As soon as the car starts and starts to warm up, I slowly lean the mixture back to the setting that gives me the best warm running.
Yes, the mag post should have a spring to press the point down for good contact. It also shouldn't have a bunch of fuzz on it. If you don't have good contact here, that's probably why your engine dies when you switch to MAG.
My post is the auxiliary oil line type, so not like Steve's. It's not spring-loaded, so I'm thinking it has poor contact. I ordered a new one.
The type shown by Steve is used with the magneto oiler. Sometimes the plunger is too short and does not make good contact with the solder button on the magneto. In some cases that can be fixed by removing the nut from the wire contact and moving the entire center post farther toward the magneto by placing a fiber washer between the post and the housing. Check for an opening for oil flow if you do this. Only other way I know to fix this type of magneto plug is to remove the hogs head and add solder to the button at the top of the magneto coil ring. You need a very large soldering iron to do this. Don't use a torch.
A few years ago the fitting one the outside oil line made contact with the plunger thus grounding the mag.
It would be a good idea to make sure that there is no continuity between the mag post and ground with a VOM
I replaced the magneto post today with the oil-line post pictured above. Engine still dies when switched to MAG.
I did solve one problem, however. No. 4 cylinder had very poor compression. Removing the valve cover, I saw the pin on #4 exhaust valve was missing. I didn't see it in there; maybe I never installed it. Anyway, that is my next repair!
I seriously doubt you can test for a grounded mag with a VOM. The mag coil has very little resistance. A brand new one will read as a direct short between the button and ring.
Here is the way I check for crankshaft endplay: I push in the low pedal all the way. Then I go to the front of the engine and try to pry the front of the crankshaft forward. Pry between the pulley and the engine with a large screwdriver. Don't use enough force to bend anything, just enough to determine whether you can move the crankshaft forward. If you have noticeable endplay, your magnets might be too far from the coils to get good magneto output. If this is the case, you can replace the cap on number 3 main bearing. This fix is not easy with a 4 dip crankcase, but it can be done. I have never tried with a 3 dip pan. If you don't notice much play, you can try to recharge the magnets in the car. The book from the national club,"electrical system" Has detailed instructions on how to do this. If you do a word check, you might find out how to do it from this forum. But first before doing anything, I would test the output of the magneto. It might be OK but the switch or wiring between the magneto and the coil box could be defective.