I started my touring by hand a couple of times today on battery, but had no luck trying to start on mag. Once it was running I could switch it over and run on mag with no trouble, but it wouldn't start that way. That's OK as long as the battery is up, but I'd like to ba able to start without the battery if I have to. Any suggestions?
Steve, your mag output may be low. Try installing an 1156 bulb from the magpost to ground and hand crank to see how bright it lights up. If real dim you can follow the test outlined in previous threads. If mag is good try it warm. My 14 starts on mag pretty easy on warm but I do give the carb a quarter turn out to help it along. Good luck,
To start a T on MAGNETO only you need to do something that is NOT SAFE when starting the car on battery. You need to pull the timer lever down about 3 or 4 clicks to advance the timer just a wee bit. Assuming the T is timed perfectly, the magneto pulse that is located at 4 degrees after Top Dead Center will NOT be under the timer dwell unless you advance the lever just that magic 3 or 4 clicks. Try it but remember it is ONLY for starting on magneto alone. The magneto cannot really BITE you by a back "snort" on magneto because the pulse is locked to the flywheel position of 4 degrees after TDC.
May I add to John Regan's sage post..... Correct ignition coil calibration, good ignition switch & clean timer figure into that equation.
Coils with original condensers, old dirty points, loose corroded connections will give trouble especially on magneto powered ignition.
Recently installed one of Ben's re-manufactured ignition switches & now get "free " starts on battery.
Timers ?? Your choice. Keep it clean, replace when worn. I prefer the Anderson style timer from Frank Fenton. I believe the electrical properties are better. Can't prove, just starts & runs better.
No back kick on magneto starting so remember to advance that spark 4-5 notches......... keep the lever fully up on battery starts.
Here is a link to an article Steve Coniff and I wrote several years ago that provides an explanations for that John Regan pointed out above.
If you study Figure 8 carefully you will see why advancing the spark lever is required when hand crank starting on magneto.
Model T Spark Timing
Ron the Coilman
John F Regan is spot on with his advice, in my opinion. I do it that way and it works for me!
I heard that if your coils and mag are in perfect condition, the car will "free start" every time without using a battery.
You were misinformed.
To expand a bit on Jeffrey's post:
You only get the "free start" when using a battery. A "free start" relies on the high liklihood the timer stops with one of the contacts closed, so that coil will buzz and send sparks to the sparking plug and ignite any fuel remining in the cylinder. On magneto, there is no electricity until the magnet (flywheel, etc) starts moving.
Learn something new everyday... Thanks!
My '16 has NEVER had a, or been started with the help of a battery. Other than gasoline issues, I have never had any problem starting hot or cold. After she's sat for a few months I usually just prime number one cylinder with a little gas and off we go with a couple of pulls.
Being basically a Model A guy, I never understood why I had to advance the spark about a third of the way down to get the 16 started. I've always though, there was a problem somewhere I couldn't locate or understand...
What still baffles me is that it really doesn't make a heck of allot of difference in performance at road speed with the spark advanced or retarded. She just seems to rattle a little louder with the spark all the way advanced... She's no dog, I've had her clocked at 53 + MPH on the flat (w/ruckstell). Though unlike Ralph and some of you other guys, it scares the daylights out of me going that fast in a Model T! =-)