My model t ford has been equipped with a distributor. With my distributor system I still need to operate the spark advance lever on the steering column.I was going to use the E-timer but it apparently does not work or intended to work with a model t which has incorporated a distributor system with one coil.
Are there any suggestions for modifying my system or adding to it to automatically operate and take the place of the spark advance lever on the car.
I do not believe the distributor has any sort of vacuum advance either.
i have been told of a pentrox system. Does anyone have a suggestion or alternatives to my dilemma with this spark advance lever on my model t without total replacement.
It should not be a big problem - you push the lever up to start the car. You pull it down for driving.
If that is too hard, you can buy a VW Bosch 009 distributor with centrifugal advance and / or vacuum advance and / or Pertronics. They are all over eBay. The advance mechanism or the entire distributor can be adapted to the distributor that you currently have.
Click here to see all the options:
Seems like a lot of work and $$$ considering it only relieves you of the simple duty mentioned in the first paragraph.
Did you mean a Pertronix system? Pertronix makes retrofit electronic ignition modules that fit inside many original equipment distributors, but I don't know if they make one for yours.
Is having to move the advance lever really that much of a burden? The key thing is to remember to move the spark lever fully up for starting, then move it down in rough proportion to engine speed once the engine is running. With practice, you'll find that occasionally moving the spark lever to suit your driving conditions becomes second nature. To me it's part of the charm of driving a Model T.
Louis - I couldn't agree with Royce more! If your Model T runs well, by all means, initially, best to subscribe to the,......"if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory! Drive it for awhile Louis, because as Royce says, all you really have to do is be sure the lever is pushed all the way up for starting, and after the engine starts, pull it either all the way down, or, it you want, just pull it down as far as possible with the engine still running smooth. Trust us Louis,....if you just drive the car awhile, you'll soon develop a feel for adjusting the spark advance for where the engine runs best, and again, once you get used to this, you'll never give it a second thought. And by the way, many, many long-time experienced Model T drivers deal with the spark advance in just this way,.....only two positions ever,.....all the way up for starting, and all the way down for running,....period.
You might keep in mind that in most cases, the reason the engine was fitted with the distributor system was because the original factory flywheel magneto with four coils system quit working, and the owner did not wish to go to the trouble and expense to fix it. There are those that will criticize you for not having the ORIGINAL factory ignition system, but ignore them if your car runs well with the distributor. You can always go back to the original system at some future time if you ever need (or want) to pull the engine for a complete rebuild.
Also, and many Model T guys will not admit or tell you this, but consider that when the Model A Ford came out in 1928, it was equipped with a distributor ignition system just like yours, and so were almost "ALL" other cars, and nobody looked back for the next 50 years or so! Like most Model "T" guys, I love the original Ford factory flywheel magneto with four vibrator coils but your distributor ignition system is simple, reliable, and opposed to the original magneto system, it is completely "EXTERNAL", and whatever might go wrong with it in the future, it is very simple to fix with NEVER having to pull and tear down the engine. Again Louis,....my advice,.....just drive it awhile and have fun and decide about the ignition system later.
By the way, by your profile, I see you are a first time poster on the forum, and I assume pretty new to the Model T hobby! As we all say,.....welcome to the affliction! Best three things you can do is join the forum as a participant, join a club, and buy the Ford factory manual and another related book or two!
Also, while I'm rambling on and on here like I sometimes (and perhaps too often do), I have to say that your name really caught my attention when I first noticed it on the forum this morning Louis. I went all through grade school and high school with a kid that I always liked a lot and he had the same last name as yours. George Angelucci. First time I've run across the name "Angelucci" in over 60 years since my grade school/high school days in Franklin Park, Illinois. Any relations in the Chicago area Louis?
Again,.....welcome to the hobby and the forum,......harold
Louis - I should have said that I agree with Royce (and Mark) about the spark advance lever being no real problem once you get used to it!
Well thank you for responding. I will visit the forum as often as I can.
No I am not from Chicago though i lived there for a couple of years in college when my father was transferred. there are a number of contingents or areas of the country which were settled (by legal citizens I might add) in various places in the USA. there are those in NY, NJ, Philadelphia and surrounding area where i am from and I believe OHIO. It is a common name in the area just east and north of Rome Italy. My last name is quite prominent in Rome as well.
thanks for your support. I just feel there are too many things to think of while driving this car. going into reverse for me is another issue. I think what i really need is someone to check out all the linkages on the car and yes I intend to install back disc brakes such as sure stop as well.
Lou - Driving a Model T isn't nearly as complicated as you think it is Lou! For example, you just mentioned ,....."going into reverse for me is another issue."
No, not an issue at all Lou. If, while stopped, you bring the hand brake lever half way back, that locks the system in "neutral" and you don't have to hold the clutch pedal (or, what I'd rather call the "high/low pedal") with your foot. All you have to do for reverse then is push on the reverse pedal to move in reverse, and release the pedal and push the brake pedal to stop if necessary. And that probably isn't necessary at such a slow speed. So, visualize what I've said Lou,.....you're sitting there completely stopped with the engine idling, or maybe just a bit above idle if necessary, but probably not. The hand brake lever is halfway back so again, you're completely stopped, feet doing nothing, hands doing nothing,....you're just contemplating your reverse move. When ready,....hey,....no hurry,.....just push on the reverse pedal a bit with your toe. Move a foot or two. Let the pedal up and you stop. There! Easy, huh? Okay, push pedal a bit harder and hold for a second or two longer,....okay,....so you've moved slowly backwards for maybe five or ten feet now! No big deal, right?
Trust me Lou,.....you're "overthinking" this stuff and it's really not that hard. Just take your time and practice in some level, quiet place with nobody else or no other cars around, and it'll get easier, and easier, I promise,........harold
Ok thanks again
And the spark lever is no different. Yes, you CAN adjust it constantly and it might give a slight increase in performance. But you don't HAVE to. You can easily move it up to start and then move it down when it starts and forget about it until you get ready to shut it down, then move it back up again so it will be there when you go to start it next time. As you get more comfortable with driving, you can start to experiment around with it, but you can most certainly 'get away' with retarding to start and advancing to drive and leaving it there until you get done driving.
Louis, I have a distributor in my TT that is an old 20's Bosch unit. Like Royce said, I put the spark lever up to start then put it about 9:00 and leave it alone while driving. PK
Lots of T drivers really struggle with what is the best setting of the spark lever for different driving conditions. It takes practice and a really "tuned" ear to get it right. Don't despair. You can learn it too
Can the gas rod be connected in some way so gas and spark work together ? according to the pic. above the rods are almost together most of the time ..on flat land anyway ??
i guess not looking at it more clearly
disregard last message
If I advance the control arm more than half way...it is too far advanced. I am using a Texas T 009 distributor with a Pertronix module. No problems in over 10 yrs. use. I do carry an extra module and points if all went to Hell.
Lou - Set it and forget it.
But make sure you remember to retard it before starting again or you'll have a broken arm.
No big deal, right?
Nine O-Clock is about as far as I can advance the timing on my on my very original (worn out) '19 engine. Almost a "set it and forget it" situation unless I'm on my hill.
I also have the 009 Bosch dizzy on my TexTParts setup if that's what you are running. Nope, no advance built in. :-)
These distributor (dizzy) setups work well and perhaps you could think about it this way: You're cruising along, a stop is coming and you can expertly "toss" your levers "up" to slow the car down real good and then deal with the stopping. Then touching the carb adjustment so it's running perfect until you take off again when used to it.
If you would, play with that timer lever and soon it really will become second nature. The carb adjustment is a real fun thing to do too if you like that engine "picking them off" at its best. IF you have an NH carb or some such on it.
Good fun and thank you for posting here! :-)
Keep us updated! :-)
I mentioned the chart above to a very experienced T guy with decades of driving and rebuilding Model T's. He scoffed at it. Since then I've pretty much gone by set it and forget it. After starting, I advance to where the engine runs best and leave it there. If I hear pinging while climbing, I retard just enough to make it stop.
I don't know why the sound is called pinging. It sounds more like a knock to me.
You can't tie ignition timing to throttle position. Ignition timing should be a function of engine rpm. Throttle position and engine rpm are not necessarily the same thing. Like when going up a hill in high gear, the throttle is likely wide open, but the rpm are going to be relatively low.