Talked to owner about a car for sale today. Answering my question about whether it would start and run on magneto, he answered that when he bought the car, the ammeter wouldn’t work. “I rewired according to published wiring diagram, changing 1 wire location at term block. Now ammeter works but it won’t run on magneto (anymore).” Question – is there a chance he shot DC to the mag and converted it into a very intricate oil slinger? I realize that's not much to go on, but I also know some of you fellas are so good with Model T Forensics you probably know exactly what happened and the ramifications. Trying to decides whether to go have a look or not. Thanks,
It sounds like a good possibility Jeff. If you're still interested in the car you can pull the mag wire off the terminal and see if it's hot with the ign switch on both batt & mag positions. If it is there's your answer. It can be re-magnetized in the car so it's not a total loss IF that's what happened.
All kinds of possibilities - a too long screw in the terminal block on a steel firewall can short the wires giving odd results.. Some check ups needed
Not enough details to tell for sure what happened. I would take a look at the car more carefully and not just focus on the magneto working or not since a lot more than that might or might not be wrong with the car that would affect its value more than the mag condition. Even if the magneto is not in the motor it isn't a total fatality and with a Model T Ford and a little experience quickly gained, pulling the motor and installing a missing magneto is not a huge project for an experienced Model T guy. See if there is any Model T owner or Model T Club member who might go with you to look at the car. He won't make the decision for you but might be able to better explain what you are buying. Not much on a Model T is unfixable.
Thanks to all for the answers and good advice. John, I've just joined the Space City T Club here, so hopefully I'll soon have access to expertise locally as well.
Check out all the wiring. I once bought a T and the seller showed me how it ran both on Battery and on Magneto. Later as I was working on the car, I found out that both poles of the switch were connected to battery and the magneto only worked when going at very high speeds (after I rewired it.) I don't know whether or not the seller knew about the way it was wired. Anyway, check the wiring and test the magneto output before you make any drastic changes.