And I know about 6 of ya'll who'll think I've been halfway to wits end all along. It's a 1914 Ford runabout and I was at an event requiring a lot of starting/stopping. At some point the recently rebuilt brass top coils quit. So, when I could, I crank started it on mag and loaded on the trailer and came home. My diagnostic instrument of choice is a voltmeter. The battery under the seat showed 11.68 volts. So did the battery terminal on the firewall when the switch is turned on. So I removed the coils and the copper strip on the bottom of the box also showed 11.68 volts. Them I removed the switch cover and inspected the wiring. All looks good. The switch seems to work. And I've tried 2 of the coils on the Servwell Coil Tester and they're hot. So, ......what else should I be concerned with? Once again, it runs great on mag but I like to start on battery..
Runs on mag. Timer, timer wiring and ign. switch on mag. are OK. The only thing that comes to mind is loss of battery power to the coils. Is the battery power still there when you crank? Loose connection at the switch or terminal block? Bad ign. switch? Stupid question: you don't mention a starter so I assume you don't have one.
In fact check all the connections starting with the batt. If all seems OK hook up your voltmeter or test light to the furthest point on the circuit (coil box + connection ?) turn it on to batt and jiggle the switch handle.
George.....I just had the same experience with my '14 touring. It was the battery. Voltage was okay but no amperage power reserve. I went to a 7.5 volt lantern battery that is about half the size of an old "hot shot" battery. Works great.
Take the mag wire completely off the coil box and hook the battery to that side, that might find a problem in the switch if it will run. My 14 switch looked good but sometimes it would start and sometimes it wouldn't. I checked and it showed to work then no go. I took the switch completely apart and cleaned every piece to shiny bare metal and it hasn't given me any trouble since. You can take the switch cover off and run a jumper wire to the the top terminal that feeds electricity to that bottom strip and check it also. Mine gave me fits
Sounds like timer trouble .
Why the timer? Runs Ok on mag.
Do you have a starter on this car? If you do, you might find the battery is too low to run both the coils and the starter. Try cleaning all the connections between the battery and the ignition switch. Also check the battery with a Hydrometer. Sometimes a battery will read OK with a volt meter but still not have enough power to run the car. If you have a charger, try charging the battery for a while and then try again. I do think the problem is with the battery or the connections between the battery and the switch.
If your meter is accurate your battery is dead.
Believe it or not, your meter can show voltage but this does not guarantee current. Place a high wattage bulb across the terminals to see if the battery has current. If the bulb does not light, then the battery is bad.
If memory (of which I have little anymore) serves me correct, you can have a battery show decent voltage, yet have a bad cell or even more than one, and once you put a load on it, zip...nothing.
Had the same issue with a battery that I thought was good. In my case the coils would even buzz but the car would not start on battery and ran fine on mag. All I had at hand at the time was a volt meter and it looked like there should have been enough juice in the battery to start. Ran a jumper from the battery terminal to a small motorcycle battery and got a free start.
Thanks for all the excellent advice and suggestions friends! As today is a new day, I've retrieved the only 7 year old lawnmower battery (showing 11.68 volts) from the runabout and sat it on the right hood cleat from which I ran a jumper to the coil/battery terminal. Tried the switch and - nothing when cranked. Jiggled the switch and hand cranked again - nothing.
(Original '14 engine w/ no starter) so I'm heading into town in the '26 roadster to secure another battery. Will report.
OK... So how much amperes is needed to energize the coils? I understood Ford originally used three telephone batteries attached in series. And I set coils at 2.3 amps. I'll ask the O'Reilly's dude how many amps his new battery produces.
I've read all of the above posts and I will join the choir; you've got volts but not enough amps.
And I must ask: Why have you set the coil current draw so high at 2.3 amps? Inquiring minds want to know.
Good luck with your investigation. Bill
Is that like Noah?....afloat in a sea of water but no pressure to put the water into the spigot so he can have a drop to drink?
Take a coil out. With the key on BAT you should be able to light up a 12 volt bulb connected from the coil box lower terminal and grounded on the engine block.
I say use a test light because a meter sometimes lies to you. A light is an electrical load, a meter is not a load.
I missed the part about it running on MAG - obviously you have a bad connection somewhere. Using a test lamp you should be able to find out where the bad connection is in a minute or two.
You "dead battery"guys were right. I learn at least 9 things a day from my Forum Friends. My troubleshooting protocol was seemingly relevant but I didn't understand the volt/amp relationship. But I guess a 7 year old lawnmower battery gave out sufficient service. The battery tester at the auto parts store confirmed the 11.66 volts and said it 'might' be chargeable but the old battery had only 3 amps out of its rated 185. My right arm provides the "cranking amps" so I guess 3 amps just won't energize coils. Too bad I shared the movie was paying me $400 @ day @ car because I was charged $ 105 for the battery :o(
It was going to be an expense anyways George. That's the way consumables go. I had to replace the battery in my Dodge diesel last week. I couldn't remember when I installed it but when I pulled it out there was a decal on the side stamped August 2002. Yikes, that was waaaaay past a normal service life as 6 years is what I consider a normal lifespan in a diesel. Got my money's worth out of that battery.