I have a 1921 Model T with a 1926 engine. It has a Bosch #009 distributor. It recently won't start. When I checked for a spark on the plugs, there is none. There is a spark from the coil, and I replaced all the plugs. The points seem fine. I considered replacing the condenser, but the condenser on mine doesn't seem to be the same as the replacements. Mine has one wire and connector, but all the replacements have two connectors daisy chained on one wire, or on two separate wires. Not sure if these will work, or if the condenser is event the problem. I'm not sure what I should do next to address this issue. Options are replace condenser with one of these ones that doesn't match, replace points just in case, replace the entire distributor (hate to have to spend that much), or some other option not thought of yet. Thanks for any help.
I imagine I won't be the only one to suggest scrapping the distributor altogether and going back to the original coils and commutator system.
If you can break the points by hand and get a spark between the coil wire and a ground, then it sounds like you may have bad distributor cap, rotor button or wires. Perhaps the spark is jumping someplace else rather than the plug gap.
I bet you are right, and I'm not against it in the long run. I would love to hear the original buzz. I have considered it, but can't make that investment right now. I will save that for another day.
Thank you Hal. Could it be the condenser, or should I just put the existing one back on and look to these other areas you mention?
Timer, good coil box and coils will be around 300-350 dollars well spent. Maybe cheaper.
Those singing coils make a Model T and give it its true character.
If I understand your original comments correctly, you say you have spark from the coil. I assume you mean that when breaking the points by hand and holding the coil wire (I prefer to prop it up against something) where it has maybe 1/4" gap to jump, that it will jump that gap, then I would think your condenser is working properly.
Craig, can you post some photos of your ignition??
Make also close up photos of capacitor, points wires, cap, coil,.... all the ignition. We maybe can see what is wrong.
I had a customer bring me a '27 roadster that would not run. It was equipped with the Bosch 009 distributor from Texas T parts.
The distributor drive gear on these units is the camshaft gear nut. In this case the nut was not tightened, so the distributor was way out of time. I also noticed that no one had ever lubricated the drive gear or the distributor.
I tightened the nut and set timing, then greased the almost totally worn out gears. The car runs for now.
If you don't understand the point type ignition system find some body that does. Coils or distributor both work well but you have to know what you're doing/looking for in either case. You sound like you're flying blind. The only possible result is you spending $. Get help.
Just went through this with a friends T. Same distributor. Turned out to be the points were completely shot. New set installed and she took right off.
Condensers go bad or at least partially bad more frequently than you might expect.
Electrical issues can be frustrating, especially chasing a "short". Fixed an issued recently on my wife's T that turned out to be a "dead" battery to frame grounding strap.
For my early 009 distributor I use Napa EP 148 Cond.
Its a single wire type. But as others have said you need to check the rotor and cap and maybe the timing. My rotor is Napa EP 278 and cap is a Napa EP 274.