Starting to connect the wiring on my 26/27 engine. The coil box looks good, but the inside contacts are dull and dirty and I'll give them a light scuffing or sanding prior to installing the coils. A little cleaning of their contacts as well. I've got some spray contact cleaner that I'll use just because I have it in the garage.
But while reading about timers, it seems that packing the timer cover with a red non-moly grease helps keep the oil out and the contacts clean.
Would such a light greasing of the coil box contacts be a good idea as wel? Or just keep the lid on the coil box secure and dry.
I'll hang up and listen
Best to rebuild that 90 year old coil box and have it in top shape, with no worries. That engine mounted box has been shaken and heated, the wood is now old and can track carbon leaks too.
Use the Fun Projects plastic kit! That is the better idea for the next hundred year.
Remove and use the old contacts and polish them, no rough sandpaper please. Make them smooth and real shiny. Don't use grease! If you must have a grease for keeping moisture out, like light bulb plugs in the headlamps, only use special electrical di-electric grease sold at auto parts stores.
Do this job right and you have eliminated the most trouble T's have, that is the coil box "Looks Good", but in reality it is in poor aged shape, just waiting to give you that famous 'miss' that is hard to find in the ignition.
Robert, I can only agree with what Dan has said. I redid my second coil box using the Fun Projects kit this past year. It is a little pricey, but you will never have an issue with it again if you follow the directions-----and that is priceless, and well worth it.
I used new brass screws and nuts in mine, being they where store bought, I had to shave the heads down, I used a small belt sander. I then cleaned the original contacts. The best way I have found to do this is soak them in a solution of white vinegar and as much salt that you can dissolve into the vinegar. Drop the contacts in and before your eyes years of tarnish and gunk will be gone. I think I let mine soak total maybe 20 minutes.
I then soldered the new screws to the contacts for a fail free connection and assembled the kit. All of this and no grease or other items are needed, and this should last for years.
Again, as Dan has mentioned, do not assume the coil box is ok. Good luck with your project.
RE: "di-electric grease: is still an insulator. Should be used around and over but not on a contact to seal moisture out.
Clear silicon dielectric grease from any auto supply if you want to.
Something even better, but very expensive per ounce, is the one and only contact restorer you should ever use. Most television and radio contact restorers will do more harm than good.
Caig Laboratories (I hope still?) makes a product called De-Ox-It. There are several variations. The GOOD stuff is best. They make cheaper versions only to sell to hobbyists and technicians that aren't smart enough to buy the good stuff. Most electronic suppliers refuse to try to sell the good stuff. We had to find the company about 25 years ago and buy it direct.
If I remember correctly, they were in Colorado, and easy to talk to on the phone. They loved me the minute I called them and asked for the GOOD stuff. We laughed and chatted for a bit about how stupid it is to be "penny wise and pound foolish".
The good stuff comes in a small spray can that used to cost well over $20 (don't know what it is now, if even if available).
Take it from the forum's biggest cheapskate. If you need this stuff at all? It is worth the difference.
I am down to the last half of my last can. I hope it lasts me the rest of my life.
If no longer available? Blame the EPA.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I have never really understood using dielectric grease. Why would you put a non-conductive material in a spot where you want good conductivity? But I don't know how many of those little plastic tubes that came with different bulbs, points or whatever that I have thrown away over the years.
I understand that you want to seal out moisture and the elements, but why not use something better? I have been using NO-OX-ID for years (at least 25+) and have never had any problems with it. I just bought a new can about 2 years ago, should last me quite a long time. It has the same moisture and element "proofing" capabilities as dielectric grease, but it is conductive and perfect for any point of contact where you want to keep moisture and corrosion out and have good conductivity.
It's like the books say to put Vaseline on the battery terminals. In most books that's about all they say. Ok so I go out and clean the terminals on the battery and cables, I spread Vaseline on every thing....ha ha....what most books don't tell you is to put in on AFTER the connections are made. After the smoke cleared I went duh!
The little tube of grease that comes with the points is for the cam on the shaft and rub block not the points.
"The little tube of grease that comes with the points is for the cam on the shaft and rub block not the points."
Yes, the tube of cam grease is for that use, but not the tube that was labeled dielectric grease for the cap and the plug wires. I misspoke (or is it typed?) when I said points, I meant to say cap. I think I have had the same tube of Standard Cam Lube since I first changed a set of points. I think they label the new stuff as Lubricam, one tube is a lifetime supply.
I'm with Wayne on this; Caig Labs has the best stuff. They make a non aerosol anti-arc compound (can't call it grease, but it's about the same consistency) for relays called "Caig Lube." Used to be they only sold it in quart-sized containers. A number of us toy train guys got together and bought one, then split it up amongst us-- a half-pint will last a lifetime! I think they now sell smaller quantities. I now also use it for stage lights, which are notorious for arcing inside the bulb socket. I think it would be great for the coil box. To give you an idea of how little you use, I have a small medicine pill bottle I filled for the theatre, have used it for 6 years at least, and it's still 2/3rds full. As Brylcream used to say, "A little dab'll do you!"
I agree with Wayne. I use dielectric grease on all my light bulbs etc.
Original coil box contacts are bronze and are tempered. DO NOT GREASE them with anything since one of the 3 for each coil is High Voltage and grease can make new targets for the spark to jump to. You will be defeating one of the very reasons to install the kit in the first place. Best care is simply to polish the contact surfaces with "scotchbrite" cloth which is a non conducting fiberglass cloth that will burnish the contact surface and make it work perfectly. Do NOT use steel wool since the fibers that break off can cause shorts in the coil box while the dust from the scotchbrite cloth is non conducting. I blow out the box when I am done installing a kit in a coil box to remove any dust but I don't have to worry about any that I might have missed.
I see that I'm not the only one that uses "scotchbrite" for polishing contacts.
I was going to recommend using it but JR beat me to it.