Sorry I'm on a steep learning curve here. I've got the ignition system sparking, and finally got fuel through the carb. Now I get a cough when I try to start the engine and I see it try to go the opposite direction. I'm guessing I'm firing early, so I removed the distributor and retarded it one tooth. Now I get nothing when I crank the engine. So simply, how do I set the timing on a Model T that has been adapted to a distributor and coil?
Points or electronic?
Retarding 1 tooth is a LOT!!
What distributor and drive?
Pull out all the plugs and connect to the wires and lay on top of engine
Slowly hand crank with the ignition on
When a plug sparks, look down the plug hole to see where the piston is
Les, sorry I can't answer that. Looks like the previous owner wired like a Model A (reverse polarity) 6 volt batt, with a 12 volt coil. distributor has Atwater Kent on it, Type LA. I know it worked this way when my father had it and I'm sure he didn't change anything. I intend to redo the electrical this winter, but would like to fire it up to see what other winter jobs I need to do in order to be ready to drive this car next spring. I digress, it has points, that don't appear to be removable from the distributor. I'll attempt your advice of turning it by hand with the spark plugs out and the ignition system live. Will do this now will probably be back in an hour or two. Thanks again.
Look - here's the way I do it.
1. Ignition off and put the Dizzy back where it was before you tried to improve it.
2. Bring #1 Cyl up to almost TDC compression stroke (thumb on hole + pfft will let you know)
3. Look in the hole.
4. Bring the piston to TDC, watch it come up, then hover like it's not moving.
5. Watch for the piston to start going down. Stop when you first see it moving. The point is it needs to be on it's way down to avoid you breaking your arm cranking it.
6. Ignition on, wire on plug, plug laying on block.
7. Turn the distributor "the wrong way" (depends on what you've got) a bit and then "the right way" until the plug fires. Lock it down.
8. With the spark lever you should be able to move it down and then back up to get a spark.
9. Don't mess with it anymore.
This video shows what I mean by bringing it up to make it spark after it's all set right. https://youtu.be/eKMI_nWiZ2k
All: Thanks for the help, followed Les's advice and as I was thinking it through I did what Tim recommended with the retarding lever. I did have to move the distributor back one tooth. Also had to adjust the point gap. After doing that I checked every cylinder making sure the plug for that cylinder fired at or just after TDC. Guess what, I got the thing to fire! YEAH! However it didn't stay running long, carb was puking gas so I guess carb rebuild is on the short list of things to do. Thanks to all for the help!
What type of carb? If one of the simple T carbs like an NH, I'd be tempted to pull it off, take the bowl off and check for crud. Take a good look at the float level and condition of the needle and seat, clean it all as best I could and put it back together. The worst it will be is what you have now and it may clear up the fuel issue. If you find crud in the carb, consider adding a clear sediment bulb or fuel filter on an interim basis to see how much more crud is coming with the fuel.
Glad you got it working!!!
Consider taking a hard look at the condition of the condenser
They tend to have a "life" and as they fail they are hard on those points that are really hard to buy/replace!!
A option to evaluate is a product offered by
(kirkengines.com) called a "transdensor". Consider on it
Walt, I spent a couple of hours today cleaning the carb out. When I started I couldn't get fuel into the bowl. Had the bowl off, the float off, and the valve the float closes out to clean the crud out. Bowl level may be too high, gas seems to be coming from intake, but not sure.
Les, thanks, will take a look at the transdenser, but spark seemed to be consistent when turning over the engine by hand crank with plugs out after I seemed to hit on the right point gap. See my two posts, Carb Id and Wiring recommendation, I included picture of the right side of my engine. You'll see what I currently am working with. Again, thanks for the help.
A trick to try with your carb is as follows;
Turn on the gas until the carb is full.
Now turn of the gas and start the car
Now turn the gas back on and hopefully the car will run OK
Will try that in the morning, have removed the battery and currently recharging it. Have had a lot of cranking on the last charge to get to this point.