Another free start story

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Another free start story
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 11:36 am:

I haven't fixed the dead spot on the BAT side of the ignition switch or replaced the weak battery on the Rusty Coupe. I'm at a point where I let things go that work most of the time. Today I was cranking the T. It ran a second or two and died. A few more cranks with no buzz and I decided to get in and use the starter. Slamming the door gave the switch enough jar that the engine came to life instantly.
No wonder we tend to enjoy the personality these old crates take on after years of developing their own dispositions.
Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 12:23 pm:

Free starts certainly provide a certain visceral satisfaction when they occur. _I've gotten maybe two or three over six years of ownership, but mostly when I turn on the ignition and the engine reacts, it's just a momentary heave followed by the sound of coils sizzling.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 12:36 pm:

I sometimes wonder if free starts occur more often when a certain piston is TDC (i.e. #3) or if it is merely the absence of witnesses that provokes a free start. Richard maybe you had to slam the door to wake her up sorta like Captian Kangaroo and the grandfather clock. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 01:03 pm:

What's fun is when you turn the switch to BAT and walk around in front and the car starts just as you're about to reach for the crank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnH on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 07:09 pm:

When I first had my T, I used to get free starts all the time once the engine had warmed up - it could get quite annoying sometimes when I wanted to demonstrate cranking it by hand.
The strange thing was the engine was all original with not so tight bearings, and not of very high compression. After I changed the rings and ground the valves, that was the end of the free starts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard E Moore Jr. Pickwick lake Tenn. on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 08:36 pm:

Scary as heck if the hand brakes not set. I'll bet a lot of them hit the wall or worse.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 08:37 pm:

I'm sure other have this ... but my T generally starts cold on the third crank with the choke pulled. It starts on the first or second crank when it's hot. In both cases it's a slow gentle lift of the crank from 7:00 position.

Now when it's not cold ... and not actually hot ... that's when it can be hard to start. Usually requiring me to prime a couple of turns with the bat off .. then switching on and about six turns of the crank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 08:38 pm:

I'm sure others also have this ... but my T generally starts cold on the third crank with the choke pulled. It starts on the first or second crank when it's hot. In both cases it's a slow gentle lift of the crank from 7:00 position.

Now when it's not cold ... and not actually hot ... that's when it can be hard to start. Usually requiring me to prime a couple of turns with the bat off .. then switching on and about six turns of the crank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 08:40 pm:

JohnH:

I can free start my unrestored roadster all day long. It actually helps that the engine is worn out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 08:41 pm:

Steve...last year that very thing happened to me. After my wife & I running around all afternoon and getting one free start after another, after about a half hour at the ice cream parlor we got in expecting another. Nada. Sigh. Got out, as you said, walked around and I was just inches away from the crank handle and voila! Away she started. Thrilling. A bit scary too, as if I had ahold of that handle at just the right moment....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 08:58 pm:

I think its always a little more startling when you get a free start while being outside the car, as i think this nice gent can attest to at about the 1:00 minute mark. :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg23yIx0m1E


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 09:24 pm:

Not 1922. Another mis-dated 1923 Fordů..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Fischer - Arroyo Grande, CA on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 09:49 pm:

First free start that I ever experienced was very early in my Model T exposure and I was unaware that such a thing could even happen.

It was a cold winter day and I knew I'd have to jack up a rear wheel for the start. So I carefully blocked the front wheels, jacked up the right rear and pulled the crank a few times while holding the choke closed. Then I walked around and turned the switch to "BATT". The car gave an immediate lurch and began to run.

I was so startled that I immediately returned the switch to "OFF". And suddenly the garage was quiet again, except for the pounding of my heart.

I stood around for ten minutes or so to give the adrenaline time to dissipate, and then cautiously choked again. This time the coils buzzed innocently and I found the courage to turn the crank.

The car wasn't mine then; it belonged to my Dad, who had just purchased it. That night I told my Dad what had happened. He got a big laugh out of my surprise and explained that the T would do that from time to time.

Dick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Adkisson on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 10:13 pm:

Free starts and free wheeling...my T is good for free starts and last year every time I stepped onto the right side running board, the parking brake disengaged and away I went...had to rework the pawns


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Skingley ......Westland, Michigan on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 07:44 am:

I have the S-2 Holly of 1913 vintage. One thing I do know that it will never or almost never start if you try all your priming with the throttle closed or at idle. I open the throttle up a good ways maybe 7-8 clicks so the fuel can pass into the manifold for a rich start. I even hold the choke about 2/3 closed as I make my first start pull from about 7 o'clock. I advance the timing as soon as it starts and then close the throttle. I now can start it easily with this formula when cold, it took me awhile before I realized that throttle at idle on a cold engine made it a mule to start. On a hot start it does not need much but does like the throttle open 4-5 clicks. All this technique stuff is real important to the guy who hand cranks every start......Bob


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