What is really the best timer to use? Does is make much difference?
Oh, my! Coils or distributor? Kevlar, cotton or wood? Flaps or no flaps? What weight oil? Is the ring worn with the emblem facing toward or away from the wearer? The eternal questions....
This is sure to become another long thread, but I'll start. When I first bought my T 12 years ago, I went through Tiger timers at a high rate for the first couple of years. Then I kept reading on the forum about the Anderson timer. Decided to get one and was suddenly free to worry about things other than the timer.
As they say, your mileage may vary...
These are my actual experiences over the last decade (other peoples experiences (or opinions) will vary:
I get maybe 7,500 miles on a Tiger timer and you will probably use a total of 3 rollers in that time (before the timer itself is hopelessly worn out). For optimum performance and life, you will have to take the timer off, clean the roller, case, and contacts with solvent, and put a light film of oil on the contacts, roller, roller shaft, and roller pivot every 100 miles or so. Tiger timers have an issue with metalized oil getting behind the segments and causing trouble. Keep an eye out for this and you may have to occassionally dissassemble it to clean behind the insulators. Make sure you get everything back together in the exact same order and relation it was disassembled it. I like to put a little Permatex Ultra-Black sealer behind the segments and insulator holes to eliminate (or at least slow down) this problem.
Anderson timers seem to perform a bit better. I have been running one for maybe 10,000 miles and have had to replace the contactor a couple times and clean the contacts, also, metalized oil does also seem to soak into the cardboard insulators at the bottom of the case, but light scrubbing with a toothbrush and mineral spirits seems to correct the problem without disassembling the contacts. I have tried running Anderson timers, dry, with grease, with oil, with EP lubricant, and the method that equals the longest life has proved to be plain, clean, 10w30 engine oil. The Anderson timer does need regular removal, cleaning, and lubrication if you want it to really last and perform fantastically. I clean and lube mine about every 500 miles.
The new day timer is an excellent design, but with the modern materials, and low quality standards they have been produced with over the last twenty years or so, they will last approximately 1000 miles before they are absolutely worn out (and this is with proper cleaning, adjustment, and a re-profiling of the brush a couple times).
Thanks, and it didn't occur to me I was potential stirring a controversy. I will hold off on asking about my Kevlar bands for now!
Is the timer offer at http://www.andersontimer.com/
up to snuff?
Don't worry about it, Steve. This forum thrives on controversy...
Actually, it's not really controversy. It's just that there are differing opinions on a number of Model T subjects and they are periodically trotted out and compared.
My vote goes to the Anderson Timer. There has to be some reason the last time the timers were checked on the MONTANA 500 94% were using the Anderson.
Some time before that, the faster racers were using the Rush Timer but I don't know of any that are using them now.
Another Timer that is good is the New Day, However it must be an ORIGINAL. The reproduction New Days have are supposed to have a very soft insulations between the contacts. This results in a cup and your brush will start jumping and miss the contacts. Used New Day are like fleas at the swap meets. You must however make your self a pad that fits down in your New Day and sands the face until its smooth. Use your drill to turn the pad. Also start with a medium sand paper and the finish with a fine sandpaper.
My vote is for the Anderson Timer and Frank Fenton. He is a great person to deal with and puts out a top notch product.
I like the Anderson. I replaced my old Ford type roller timer (worn out) with one. Not quite as cool looking as some but lower maintenance. Only disadvantage is you have to retard timing before shutting engine off or dry crank (with ignition off) as you retard it before start up. Not a big deal,
I have been using Ford type roller timer all my life and never had a problem. I do keep a spare unit in my tool box just in case I need it on a tour.
Timer ?? The only quality production timer produced today comes from Frank Fenton......... the Anderson style timer he manufactures has stood the test. Quality materials, Quality workmanship, & Quality service.
Can you beat that ??
Running Anderson Timers over 10 years
**** Usual disclaimer, no connection or profit, just happy customer. RJ
Not only that Frank has/will sometimes put the Anderson works in the Ford case! I see no disadvantage to retarding the spark before shutting off the switch,only gain as the first sometimes takes care of the second.Bud.
I love my Anderson Timer and it has performed great with Very little maintenance. I can not say enough GOOD THINGS about Frank Fenton. As far as I'm concerned his timers and especially his service is more than Tops!
I will cede all positive points about Frank Fenton, his Anderson timer and the good service. The later attribute being the most important to those who don't want to screw around and drive the car.
But there are other alternatives.
A "properly rebuilt" (not worn out junk) Ford roller timer and the Crystal timer (assuming you purchase the new metal case) are good alternatives.
I have had an original rebuilt tiger timer on my car for over 15 years, but I rarely drive it.
Unless your a tinkerer call Frank.
Ron the Coilman
timer is in the box and headed to Frank tomorrow. thanks for the tips guys!