In searching for the cure for a ratty running engine, I have replaced the coils, checked the plugs and wiring, Cleaned out the carb, ( though I just put it back together without checking the float level distance ).
I cleaned out the timer cap and noticed the metal surfaces are not smooth but have ripples across the surface, these ripples are only on the metal parts, not on the phenolic surfaces.
It seems unusual to me why this would be intentional and guess it must be from wear.
My lathe is too small to hold the cap to turn it down to a smooth surface.
Are these ripples usual wear? Could these cause the roller to skip across the surface at higher RPM's and make the engine cough and sputter?
"Are these ripples usual wear? Could these cause the roller to skip across the surface at higher RPM's and make the engine cough and sputter?"
The answer to both is "Absolutely".
Buy a new timer.
Just ordered from lang's
I guess it sort of doesn't matter whether you can consider these ripples normal wear because normal wear eventually ruins a limited-life part, anyway. _Anytime my engine stubbornly misbehaved and I responded by doing things like taking apart the ignition connections to clean and polish everything, and had coils rebuilt and adjusted, and replaced spark-plugs, it always turned out to be an issue with the stupid, blankety-blank timer. _The ultimate answer, surprise-surprise, was to replace the darned thing.
And that then begs the question of which timer to choose as the replacement. _Some folks swear by Anderson-type timers and others don't happen to prefer that model. _Some like the original, Ford-type roller timer, some don't. _Most agree that the cheapie, stamped roller timer from overseas is a real pig. _Probably is. _There's no shortage of conflicting advice about choosing the best timer and a lot of that advice comes from very experienced folk. _Makes the decision a little difficult.
When my timer retired itself, I decided to replace it with a timer of the same type, figuring I wouldn't have to make any changes to anything under the hood to get it to work. _As luck would have it, I was able to replace my Ford roller timer with one of the last that had been rebuilt by a universally respected expert who passed from this life some time ago. _I yanked the old timer out, put the new timer in and the engine runs okay, though without quite the same zip as when the previous timer was in its prime. _Eh, good enough—I don't believe in looking for trouble where there really isn't any.
Now, the right way of doing things involves embarking on a quest. _If you happen to be the Don Quixote type, more power to you; have at it. _But one consistency seems to be emerging and that is, I've yet to hear anybody say anything but good things about the TW Timer (particularly the new, improved model). _In fact, when my current timer calls it quits, that's the type I'm intending to purchase. _You may want to search through the forum threads to see for yourself as to its reputation.
Now, there are a few installation tasks involved in the switch-over and these pretty much amount to getting the timer's actuating rod bent to the right shape so the distance between the two ends is correct. _TW Components makes a nifty gadget that finds top-dead-center of the piston's travel which is part of their recommended timer installation protocol. _It doesn't sound especially problematic to me.
I think you could build a simple fixture to hold the timer while you turn it. A six inch lathe could handle the job and 4 inch lathe would likely do it also.
You might do a search on the forum and read the horror stories about the new roller timers.
My lathe is small, probably only a five inch turnover and the chuck will probably not open wide enough to hold the cover. It also has four contacts that stick out and the chuck has three jaws so something is bound to get in the way. Furthermore, the geared drive belt de-materialized so I have to buy a new one.
I am simply going for a new timer and the lathe can wait for another cooler day.
Oh c'mon, this is a timer thread. Someone's got to say it. We can't go forever in this "electronic" world and not hear the magic word. Go ahead, you know you want to. C'mon, e..
Alan.. I got caught once with a worn timer and no back up and I had a tour the next day. My timer had the same ripple effect on the contacts. Believe it or not, I took a small hobby type electric die grinder with a small cylinder stone, and ground the high spots off the contacts. Once I did that, I blended the entire contact surface with sweeping motions back and forth. It did not make a perfect surface, but it was 90% smoother and the car ran a 120 mile tour the next day, flawlessly.
Bob, Mike and others, This is Exactly why Mike Kossor developed the famed ETimer.
For some it's the perfect solution to eliminate the constant servicing and replacement of the timer but still maintain the original look and get better performance to boot!
Thank you Gene! My day is complete. Oh, and in case anybody's curious; Marvel Mystery Oil!
Sorry, NOT I couldn't help it but I do think it's important since many new members lately may not know about them. I wonder if they will become available again? I hope so.
Michael likes to stir the pot, eh??
Yep, typical Model T'r, Cranky & trying to start something!
Heh Heh heh!
You forgot to mention roofing tar. . . .
Here's how to reface a roller timer, compliments of Stan Howe:
Mount some kind of a motor, Dremel tool, etc square with the bottom of a board so the sanding drum sticks up through a hole and will square up with the contacts and insulation. On the top of the board mount a piece of 1/4 inch or thinner plywood with a V cut in it. Make one end solid and the other end adjustable. Put the timer face down and rotate it with the sanding drum cutting the contacts and insulation. Take a little off at a time, move the V a little closer to the drum each time and it will clean up a timer faster and just as good as a cut on a lathe will. I gave mine to a friend as I no longer needed it. Mine was made from and old 1725 rpm free motor with a 1/4 inch adapter on the end of the shaft and a cheap sanding drum on it. Cost about two bucks to make and I used it for 30 years. Now I would do it the same way. I've tried to do them on a lathe and it is a real pain. This way takes the outer edge of the timer as the reference and can be adjusted a few thousandths at a time.
A variation on Stan's method if you have a brush-type timer like a New Day is to make a wooden disk to fit into the timer cover, mount it to a shaft and glue sandpaper on it, and drive it with a drill or drill press.
I use this to rebuild a timer
Michael - Do you mean to use Marvel Mystery Oil in a timer instead of grease?
Here is how I resurface timers that cost $1 - $5 each:
First place the timer in the holding fixture:
Then chuck the fixture up using a dial indicator to index off the outside of the case:
I remove perhaps .015" from all sides to achieve a smooth surface. More than that and the contacts are too thin.
If you use a good quality red grease you will not have any wear. The grease needs to be replaced perhaps every thousand miles, or when it gets dirty.
Any type of oil makes a mess and needs to be applied perhaps every 100 miles.
Royce, I have always used oil on my Ts with roller timers but I'm ready to try something that may work better. There are several brands of "Red Grease" on my shelf that are available at local parts & oil suppliers. Some are heavier than others . . is there a brand that you would suggest?
Nice fixture. The kind of fixture my mind thinks up around 3 am.
I noticed the ball bearing. is the roller really a ball bearing or do you replace it with a ball bearing?
There is a "Tinkerin Tips" book series published by the MTFCA. One of the volumes gives the part number of that roller bearing.
Did you get the PM from me?
A copy of volumes 1 and 2 of the "Tinkerin Tips" books is currently for sale at a discount in the classifieds:
A couple red greases that will work well are Mobil 28 (aviation grease) and Lucas red and tacky (available at autozone). Both are lithium based.
I get partial 5 pound buckets of Mobil 28 from work when the expiration date is reached, so that is what I use. You can buy a similar automotive Mobil One red grease at most auto part stores.