Being newer than many here to model Ts I worked my way through the the usual maintence and thought it would be a good time to clean the inside of the timer cover and a few other items.
I put it back on and car runs but not as well as it was I'm assuming obviously really that it needs to be in the right place. Is there an easy way with no specialised tools I can centre the timer ?
just to add to this have been trying the search function but not getting much luck, sorry
What kind of time are you using? The roller kind or the brush kind? Is it possible for you to upload some pictures?
They are pretty straight forward regardless which you have, but just see if you can post a few pictures etc.
I assume a roller timer see pics below, sorry not the best quality but can see hopefully
TT- please clarify something-
You write "a good time to clean the inside of the timer cover"
Did you clean the inside of the round timer?
Or...did you clean the inside if the timer cover that actually bolts to the front of the block (the round timer attaches to the timing cover)?
Sorry, TT, you posted the photo as I was posting my question. You answered my question.
hi john, no worries, Ts are new to me I tend to learn from my mistakes, ie next time don't clean the timer as need to be reset!!!
TT- if the T was running fine before removal of the timer, then centering of the timing cover is probably not necessary at this time, unless the motor is removed and on a stand, then check center at this time..
There is a pin the goes through the roller and into the camshaft. Did you insert the pin?
Also, Some camshafts have a hole which goes all of the way through the shaft which would allow installation of the roller to be off 180 deegrees. Check this before proceeding.
Was running fine before (normally a fan of if it an'nt broke don't fix it!.
All I did..........he says......... was remove the timer cover and clean the contacts inside, replaced the cover.
It did start ok, always has, just seems a bit rougher at higher speeds, I did not touch anything else, so my thought was that this was the reason for the slightly rougher running if not quite in the right place
In my head it says if it was running correctly before and I reinstall the cover with the advance/advance leaver all the way to retard it should be in the same place?
Did you lube the timer after you cleaned it?
Mark - That's a fair point not really thought much beyond cleaning it, looks like a light grease is the way to go?
Did you do anything with the timing Rod? What shape is your wiring harness in? Did you disconnect any wiring or re-route any of it? What shape is the roller in? Did you put any grease in the timer? If so, is there a chance it's graphite grease? Timers are pretty uncomplicated devices. They simply provide a ground for the coils at the right time to provide "spark" to the spark plugs. But they're still sensitive improper or inadequate circuitry.
The harness at this end is in ok condition.
To be fair I think the missing link is the lubrication, I just added a little oil after cleaning, we all learn, think I will try a grease or Vaseline seems to be a common choice by many.
This might be some of your problem, or at least a future problem. The thin brass shield that sits behind your rotor is worn out. The gap shown by the #1 arrows should not be there. The brass shield should fit nicely in the recess. What has happened is that the timer body has worn away the periphery of the shield. This allows it to now fall inside of the timer body where it can short to the timer contact segments and cause weird, random misfires. You can see by arrow #2 that the shield is already riding against the rotor.
I have thrown out every brass shield and the felt behind it on every Model T I have rebuilt and installed the more modern seal on the shaft to stop oil leaking out from around the shaft. Those brass shields are a PITA with mystery ignition problems. Your mileage may vary!!!
Interesting stuff, the T has always run well, and revs freely, tops out at a scary 60moh, only a couple of times. thanks for the diagrams gives me food for thought, for 'future proofing' at least, appreciate the input I do really enjoy the T and learning all the time 😀 I think the first step is to add grease to the inside of the timer and take from there, just to clarify my original question do I need to set the cover in a specific place or to put back as was put leaver to retard and fit timer in that location. Thanks all
Should the timer cover not slot into the #1 gap? It seems too currently ?
Sorry scary 50moh I mean!!
I asked these questions earlier but got no answer.
There is a pin the goes through the roller and into the camshaft. Did you insert the pin?
Also, Some camshafts have a hole which goes all of the way through the shaft which would allow installation of the roller to be off 180 degrees. Check this before proceeding.
Apologies, thought I had responded.
I did not remove the roller just the cover itself
Fine- just trying to eliminate a possibility.
Some interesting replies and certainly some things to lookout for int eh future.
Just going back to my original questions which is how do I centre the timer cover/ put in the right place without specialised tools?
There is a tool which will supposedly show you the correct timer orientation. The adjustment is done by bending the rod. I say "supposedly" because the tool was designed for original Ford timers and any other type may not be made to the the exact same specifications which can give you an incorrect timing setting.
Here is a thread with a lot of different options for setting the timing: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/291108.html?1337819249
When the engine misses only at high speed it can be due to waviness worn into the red insulator which causes the roller to skip. If your engine ran OK before cleaning it's more likely to be a problem with the cleaning...
My experience with the roller type timer in your picture is that the worn metallic material from the segments and the roller will deposit itself behind the red insulating ring creating a short circuit between the segments and ground can cause misfiring. This needs to be cleaned out with some type of solvent (I use brake cleaner) and then lubricated. I have had best luck filling with motor oil through the spring loaded cap in the body of the timer. Keep it oiled from time to time.
As posted before, the brass retainer will cause short circuits and should not be used for this reason. The diameter of the new ones is too small and they fall inside the timer which creates the short circuit.
Something else to check if you experience missing after removing and replacing the timer is the wiring loom. The connections at the timer tend to break due to the movement of the timer. Sometimes they break down to just a strand or two of wire and start giving problems.
As for the search function, use "MTFCA + description of what you are searching" in Google. This works much better and faster than the Forum search function.
You can see the timing checking tool here: https://www.modeltford.com/item/3170.aspx
Thanks Eric, think I will go for a reclean, grease/oil and double check the connections as a first step.
I agree something maybe to do with the cleaning maybe I did not get rid off the dirt with I rinsed with carb cleaner or could be a simple as a wire after being moved a few time as broken down.
That metallic mud is really sticky stuff. Be sure to use plenty of solvent and maybe even a toothbrush behind the insulator ring to be sure.
Given it a much deeper clean!
Put back together set up etc and noticed that one of the wires has become brittle near the end, so soldered a new ring connector (did all four whilst there) and much much better, whether the cleaning or connector who knows but thanks for all advice and links from all those who helped.
Some of the T's wiring has been replaced before, including this part, but I'm guessing the taking off and replacing the timer will just wear out the wire where it bends in the end.
So will continue my secondary project of replacing the wiring!
The timer housing fits into the recess on the front cover of the engine. When you simply remove & replace the timer it will always locate in exactly the same place, so long as you carefully seat it in that recess and reconnect the timer control rod. The larger question of centering the timer has more to do with the placement of the front timing cover on your engine. In other words, that recess needs to be concentric to the camshaft. While that's important, it is not why you're having problems now. Since the car ran well before your maintenance, and since you did nothing to upset the placement of the front cover, there should be no issues with timer housing location, (or at least no new issues).
Most likely, some wires and/or connections to the timer got upset.
I'm with Jerry and Eric, a combination of both.
I think the cleanout caused the brass backing plate to now move around a bit... The old grease and gunk was probably holding it still in the past. I'd replace with a modern seal, but its up to you.
Then, when removing and replacing the cover itself, the wire connections can bend/become frayed/move etc. There are also insulator washers that can break or otherwise not function as intended when moving the timer cover around etc...Hope this makes sense.
I see you did re-solder the ends of the wires, so just make sure the insulator washer are clean and in good shape or replace those.
Finally, the routing of the wires is important, and makes the cover fit easily, or be a pain. When I replaced my timer wires, I didn't do it correctly, and I had installation issues as well as rubbing. Maybe someone can post the pic of the correct wire routing to help?
I don't see how it revved out before and now doesn't, unless... the timer cover is also worn out and doesn't seat in the recess nicely, and this coupled with over tightening the timer retaining spring T-3163 is somehow holding it off center. Its a reach of a thought I know... but what else would cause the inability to run smoothly at high revs??
Maybe its time for a TW or Anderson timer ?
Hope this helps,
Thanks for this probably worth the investment in a new timer in any event this one look pretty old and quite worn.
I think it was the frayed wire as now seems fine will take out on a longer run at weekend.
I saw these any thoughts ( I'm in uk so less available choice)
Thats the one TT.
I put one on my T, world of difference. Also bought an Anderson for the other motor I'm building but haven't tried it yet.
Whopping price, but I guess its about right with shipping, markup etc. I would get lucky with business trips to the states... pack light, come home heavy
You won't go wrong with a TW. And Tony Wiltshire is a good guy, very knowledgeable... and originally from your neck of the woods.
Oh, and remember, with a TW you must use a modern seal. You'll have to remove the timer backing plate, dig out the felt seal and set a neoprene seal in there.
That will mean a gasket in case the old one tears etc, and re-alignment of the cover plate to the cam.
But then you know its done right, and will be good for a long time.
If all this seems like a schlep... go with an Anderson from Tip Top timers. Your backing plate is probably perfectly aligned since you can get to 50mph... and you can run a felt seal with the Anderson.
Sure someone will chime in on my comments, but I hope this helps.
Sounds like a plan
If you are changing the style of timer you should check and adjust the timing. Many other threads on here to help you with that
How to set Model T Timing (Illustrated): http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG97.html