I was on Snyder's Antique Auto Parts website and came across their system for the Model A Fords called a timing advance system. Here is what is says on their site:
"You'll never have to touch your spark rod once you have installed this kit! Throttle link control automatic timing advance system. "TLC" This system continually adjusts speed and spark timing positions automatically. It has a maximum of 30 degrees of advance. Genuine Nu-Rex,. Note: Cannot be used on vehicles with manifold heaters."
Do any of you think this could possibly be tweaked to work on a Model T? Reason for this is to free up the spark advance lever from there to convert to a turn signal lever for the period look 'purest' out there and make it look as original as possible on the outside. Any advice is much appreciated along with any reviews if anyone has attempted this.
The E-timer has an automatic advance feature that would achieve your objective (if you can find one!).
"If you can find one" Uh, his objective or the E-timer???
Richard, unlikely unless you're using a distributor as the timer cover has to move to change the timing, unlike the model A where the points plate does the moving. Although the catalog description and drawing actually give one no real clue how the devices work (notice there's two, and one goes inside the valve chamber to modify the distributor drive shaft somehow).
LOL David, I meant if you can find an E-timer! My understanding is that they are currently out of production and most of the vendors have run out of them.
Sorry Mark, I just couldn't resist--it hit me when I read you posting. Nowadays if something is available you want, you'd better get it then, as it might not be around tomorrow!
Uh, that's also the "Hoarder's Motto" -- Don't ask me how I know that! err,
There are 2 in my catalog. The top one appears to be a throttle type set-up. Open the throttle and it advances the spark. The lower one, which I believe is the one you're talking about seems to be a centrifical/moving weights set-up. (total guess. it's hard to see what it actually is). Neither looks like it'll adapt to a distributor T. OK. Question: At idle the spark is retarded and should advance as eng speed increases so how come no one has ever come up with an eliminate the spark lever linkage and have the throttle linkage advance/retard the spark on a coil/timer ign. T?
Charlie you could probably make a pretty simple link that would advance and retard the spark in correlation with the throttle but it wouldn't be any good once you hit some hills. I've found that retarding the spark a little helps to pull a hill.
And there's the answer. An automatic flyweight/vaccum dist. system would back the spark off under those conditions and a hard link-up would not.
I seldom let my engine idle at full retard (except to show off!), and am constantly adjusting spark while driving--well, maybe not constantly, if I'm on a level road going a fixed speed, but as Seth mentioned, up a hill, or down a hill, it's adjusting time!
I know, some folks just start the car, throw the spark down and that's it until they stop the car. Wasn't the way I was taught though!
I was taught to drive a T by retarding the spark to start the car. When driving the car you put the spark lever at 9:00 - facing left. Typically I can drive all day like that without ever touching the spark lever. The only exception would be when driving in hilly country like Kentucky or West Virginia for example.
If you are driving the car wide open, you pull the spark lever all the way down at high RPM in low gear going uphill.
If you are going down a steep incline you get better engine braking by retarding the spark to the starting position.
I can't imagine any reason I would want some expensive gizmo trying to do any of that for me. A Model T only has three available positions for spark position. The available positions, if you have the timing set properly, are 4 degrees After Top Dead Center (TDC), 18.5 degrees before TDC, and 41 degrees before TDC. It is not hard, not complicated, and requires little effort.
Read here to understand if you don't know what I am saying:
Charlie B, you said: "Open the throttle and it advances the spark". In my opinion, that is backwards. Open the throttle and the pressure in the intake manifold increases. That is when the spark advance should be decreased.