Bottom line - T last ran about 2 years ago. Haven't been able to spend much time on her this year, but was convinced I had fuel, no spark. New battery, starter turns over, fuel seems to be getting through, no ignition at all. So still thinking spark.
I've also learned that while I'm mechanically inclined, I'm not a mechanic. In other words, I can do a lot, but I can also screw up a lot. I'm hoping that step by step I can get the advice on this forum to at least get her running a little so I can then focus in on the more detailed stuff that I've been reading about on this forum.
Please be nice when you see this photos. I know that there are problems here. But I don't think anything is horrible or irreversible.
The plugs are pictured mostly in order. First 2 photos are #1, then 2,3,4. Seems that 1 and 4 are in terrible shape. 2 & 3 seem ok. I figured I would post these pictures before even testing to see if there was a spark.
I meant to mention that this T is fitted with a modern, 6V Coil mounted inside the coil box. I have been assuming that the original T switch / key panel on the front of the coil box was actually operational. It's either decoration in my case or those loose wires are definitely a problem.
Nothing that can't be cleaned up and fixed. Don't panic, one day at a time you will sort it out.
I gather the single coil means this car has been converted to a disturbutor. Is that right?
The infliction of a water pump suggests trouble in the cooling system. It's not a problem yet, with the car not running, but this may apply when you do get it running: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG96.html
Here's help in starting up a T that has sat for a long time: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG93.html
Yes - distributor.
Should I be purchasing new plugs? Suspect a new coil wouldn't be a bad idea.
Do the nasty, cruddy #1 and #4 plugs indicate trouble inside the cylinders? If so, big deal or not so much?
It's hard to tell anything about the inside of the engine - just clean the spark plugs with a wire brush and see if you can get some sparks to start it - then we'll see how clean it runs
A distributor system is fairly simple - do you have a voltmeter or a test lamp to check if you get any voltage from the battery to the coil with the ignition on?
Then check if the wire from the coil to the breaker points in the distributor is connected. Pull the center ignition cable in the distributor cap and arrange it a quarter inch from the engine block. With battery juice to the coil and the breaker points closed, try open the points. There should be a spark between the cable and the block. Then reconnect the cable in the cap, put the cap back and lay the spark plugs on the head, connected to their cables. Crank the engine and see if you get sparks in each plug.
The proper firing order is 1-2-4-3.
If no spark, something is wrong in the connections or in the coil. New coils, breaker points and capacitors are made with a wide variety of quality - don't buy the cheapest alternative and consider old NOS parts from back when these kind of parts were made in USA or Europe..
Did you file the breaker points? Some oxide from long storage is enough to stop your ignition..
Looks like the leakless water pump is leaking. Radiator has been left without anti freeze and has significant corrosion.
I would delete the water pump and fill the cooling system with vinegoar overnight. Then flush with water, and refill with an appropriate mixture of water / ethylene glycol.
Like Roger said there are lots of crap parts available for those Chinese distributors. Try and find either a USA or German made coil, points and condenser. New ones are still available on eBay for about the same price as the worthless offshore garbage that you can buy elsewhere. The parts that you need are for 1967 - 72 Volkswagen beetle for 12 volts, 1955 - 66 Volkswagen if you want 6 volts.
Roger / Royce. Points well taken - except for one... when you say "breaker points closed", I can only think of distributor points and if the center ignition cable is pulled aren't those irrelevant?
I will do the radiator flush. I've even been watching and reading the dauntless geezer pieces on radiator flush. I'm not sure I'm ready to create the flush / air rubber plug fitting that he recommends, but I'm very tempted. I would also like to flush engine water passages per instructions. I know that these cars were built like brick sh__houses, but I'm still scared to do something wrong.
If I "delete the water pump", do I need to dismantle the pulley, change the belt, add in ?? to route the coolant back to the engine? Sorry for the basic questions, but trying to be sure of what I do.
I'm also probably going to re-do a lot of wiring in the car. I'm very suspect of the current setup. Can I assume that the Chinese / crap parts are the majority of what I would end up with if I were to buy from one of the easy to find "T" catalogers?
Another possible point of failure is the button switch that engages the starter. It's a heavy duty, button mounted on vertical panel behind the driver's legs (reach down with left hand to press). Last night when I was fiddling around, I pressed the button, starter engaged, released the button, starter continued to crank. That was not great. I'm even considering installing one of the foot switches that I've read were Ford installations.
The bits of stuff and corrosion in the coil box are probable irrelevant as it has a modern coil mounted inside and is just there for asthetics. Don't pull the water pump just yet if it still turns. That corrosion is external only. Removing it will require replacement parts. Don't spend $ on what might be OK. A good standard flush on the rad & cooling system is OK. The gizmo I recommended to Steve works great if properly used which it's not in his video. The water outlet needs to be restricted quite a bit and the engine needs to fill entirely. "Free flow" does nothing in this case. It's the scrubbing bubbles in a full system that do the cleaning.The plugs are troubling as they appear to have rust on them. Do a compression test. It will tell you a lot about the motors internal condition.
Charlie - the coil, breaker points and the capacitor are necessary to produce a spark. The spark comes right when the points open. Since your first priority would be to check if the coil works, then you don't need to include the distributor cap and its rotor in the test - they can be checked afterwards when you're sure the coil and the breaker points works.
(Message edited by Roger K on September 16, 2016)
Well it finally happened to me, radiator boiled over !!! After closer inspection I noticed what appeared to be grease in the filler neck and inside the core. I have done some research on the vinegar flush but no one has said what the proportion is ??? is it 50-50 or straight out of the plastic container ??? let soak 8-12/more hours ??? do you just use the vinegar solution for the block or can you do the entire system inc. the radiator ??? Never done this flush before and I sure's hell don't want to wreck anything ($$$) I bought the 26' Roadster PU early this spring so don't know alotta history about it. And yes (Royce-Steve and a few others) it has a water pump, which I think is the cause of all the grease in the coolant system. Wife picked up "cleaning vinegar" which I guess is a little stronger acidic formula. Any advise will be appreciated.
I did a vinegar soak in my '14. I put straight white vinegar in the entire cooling system (Block & radiator) I let it sit a little over a week, then flushed with water Then a water an washing soda mix, then water again. A Lot of crud came out.
I still overheat on hot days when driving over 30 for an extended period of time. Ordered a new radiator from brassworks and am going to take the head off and check the cooling passages.
After the vinegar treatment I did have one freeze plug start to leak. (I suspect rust was sealing it) and one of the solder joints between the radiator tank and the core developed a ever so slight seep.
Charlie, somehow I missed your comment on September 16. I think you saw only the first video. The second one shows the engine filling all the way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ3nkPm87X0
How much of a restriction on the outlet would you recommend? I'll add it to the notes and make another video when I flush again.
Steve: I'd suggest a restriction at least the same size as the hose that's feeding water in. A bit smaller actually would be great. In other words it's the action of the air working with the water that does any cleaning. Just using air to blow the water out with a wide open engine outlet simply blows the water out. Easiest is using a hose that fits the outlet and vice gripping or clamping it down to a smaller size. And please NEVER use it on a T radiator tempted as one may be.
RE what Roger said: Did you file the breaker points? Some oxide from long storage is enough to stop your ignition.
Add to that even a lite coating of oil on the contacts will stop you dead in your tracks.
Simple test, with the key on and points closed, pull the point arm open with a screwdriver (pull just the arm don't short to base for this test). If you get a spark when the points open you are getting battery voltage to the points to feed the coil. The voltage at the points is only 6/8/12 volts only. (depending on what volt battery you are using) If you get no spark, turn the key off and clean the points; file, clean (even rubbing alcohol will work) and drag a piece of card between the closed points to finish. Then try again.
To replace that water pump you need:
3944KIT - clamps, hoses, and pipe
3018 - gasket
3015 - connector
3016 - bolts
You will also need a new belt, but you have to measure for that.
Lets get the car started FIRST! LEAVE the water pump alone for now. The question is about getting the car STARTED not about the water pump.
I'm definitely focusing on starting before cooling. I need to flush the cooling system for sure, but basic flush and fill for first step. Water pump staying put unless it's shot which I doubt.
The starter button on it was typical Cole-Hersee. I am suspicious so got an exact replacement at my local West Marine. It's heavy duty, mounted on the panel behind my left lower leg when seated.
I'm also going to do a thorough electrical review. New ground cable (mesh wire type), sand/grind the grounding location nice and clean. Also am thinking about an overall re-wiring from battery to switch / solenoid, coil. I've read that #1 gauge wire is necessary for a 6v system. What I have probably is #1, but the wire and lugs for so little distance is cheap at West Marine (I have a Port Supply) account. I can measure and then build right at West Marine without having to find or buy the swage (spelling?).
I noticed that the contact on the top of my solenoid seems to have come loose from the solenoid housing (as in probably shot). I'm buying a new solenoid. The whole collection of electrics on the driver's side of the fuel tank is pretty poorly positioned (I have to remove half of the electrics just so I can have a challenging job unscrewing the solenoid.). I'm tempted to re-wire that whole area down there. There's also a marine type battery switch which is essentially my key. All piled on top of each other. Spreading them out a bit will be helpful. My question buried in here is that there's a very short piece of heavy battery cable (#1 or #2) leading from the solenoid to the battery switch. Is there some reason that this cable is as short as possible? If so, fine, but if not, I can move the solenoid location to a more easily accessible location.
Overall, clean, new wiring, laid out nice and neatly will at least make me think I'm doing the right thing. Also, new spark plug wires. They are relatively inexpensive at Macs and appear to be pre-made to length with the tips professionally attached - rather than the type my novice hands would create.
Another question - testing the spark at the spark plug. Pull just one plug at a time and hold by block while cranking to look for spark? Or can I leave all plugs out making sure not to ground them out and test one at a time?
Planning to lightly sand the points inside the distributor cap too.
Ultimately, there's not a ton going on between the battery and the spark plug. I should be able to "trace" down the problem via end to end inspection and continuity testing. "Ground" work - everyone says poor ground is often a big problem. Thanks all for your help and I hope to report good news soon. It's become beautiful cool fall in my neighborhood. Perfect time for "T" driving as the engine heat will be welcome.
One more thing - I'm replacing the coil. 6v modern coil in there now. Replacement is about $15 which is cheaper than the hassle of finding out whether the current one is working properly.
Spark plug wires: Fine. But I'd get them from any other dealer. Wherever you get them, I'd suggest soldering the terminals. They won't come soldered.
Thanks Steve. I knew that when i mentioned Mac's that I'd get some comments. I'm a rookie so all info is helpful. I did note that for the coil, Mac's is the only one who specified US made. On this board a comment was made to avoid the cheap Chinese versions. Not saying that the Langs or Texas T's or others aren't American made. It's just not specified.
Charlie - FWIW, don't discount your old coil without a test. I'm running a coil my dad put in my Speedster back in 1954. Still running strong.
Love the way that coil looks. Mine is the very modern type and mounted diagonally inside the Coil Box beneath the dashboard. Looks great when box is closed up.
I'm going to go over later today and just see if I even have spark at the plugs. Can you or anyone let me know if I leave all plugs in except one and test individually? Pull 1 plug, put close to head and look for arc? Then go through each? Or can I leave them all out and do the same one at a time?
You can leave them all out. They only fire one at a time.
Leave them all out. Good time to check firing order, 1243. Check the the timing too. No 1 should fire just after top dead center on compression with the spark lever all the way up.
IF I have my head on squarely, you can put that sticking solenoid any anywhere you want it but yes, please keep the large current carrying (starter) cables as short as possible, in my opinion.
Your Cole-Hersee switch, it's a small switch with (perhaps) a rubber boot on it that signals the solenoid to operate the starter? Yes? They can suck but generally err on the NOT working side of things.
I personally believe the solenoid is sticking occasionally and needs the boot to the curb. What kind of solenoid is it Charlie?
Oh! If it sticks again during testing and won't shut off, whack that bad boy with whatever you have handy and it should stop for the time being.
Am I out in left field and two days too late like usual?
Not late at all. Waiting for parts including a new solenoid. The current solenoid nut on top (the small wire) seems to have become loose / partially detached INSIDE the solenoid. No idea if I could fix it, but for $15 or so, why bother - new solenoid.
If indeed it is the solenoid causing it to keep turning over rather than the switch, then it's good news. I can return my $20 switch to West Marine. It's not the rubber button type. It's a fully brass switch with what looks to be a small chrome button. Definitely heavy duty. Authenticity isn't the goal - rather drivability.
I need to have another look at the wiring schematic. I believe that it's Battery to Battery Switch to Solenoid to Starter. The very short cable that is the reason the solenoid is so difficult to deal with is from the solenoid and the battery switch. It's only about 3" long. It's all mounted in a pretty straight line from the battery to the starter, coming up just a bit beneath the driver seat for the switch/starter button. Given the choice, I'd move the solenoid back a bit where there's lots of space. I don't think that it would add more than 12" total, all in to the #1 gauge wire length from battery to starter.
It would take less then two minutes to find out whether the present coil is working. It's not a hassle. Diagnosing by throwing parts at the problem will teach you nothing.
I get ya. Move that solenoid if it's a bear to get at. :-)
The Cole Hersee switch sounds like the square bodied brass switch. Not a bad switch, they have semi (or fully) self cleaning contacts although when close to the coast or in moist conditions, they can go bad faster from the moisture and won't work. Used to work with these C H switches over the phone with their mechanics and tried some crazy things to make them last longer.
The round bodied aluminum looking switches aren't very good unless in dryer locations. They will stick ON occasionally.
You'll get there Charlie!