So close to starting...

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: So close to starting...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 06:41 pm:

Hi all, tonight I finally had enough of my T back together that I thought I could start it. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get the thing to go and eventually just gave up. It seemed like it wanted to go and gave the odd puff but nothing strong enough to push it through the next compression stroke.

Here's what's been done:
-All new wiring, installation double checked against multiple diagrams
-New coils from Fun Projects
-New Champion plugs (425s? 525s?)
-Tiger Timer, cleaned and oiled
-timing set to 15* ATDC on the power stroke and verified firing order
-new head gasket, copper coated and torqued
-valves ground
-rebuilt carb
-new sediment bulb
-fresh gas
-fresh oil
-carb needle 1 3/4 turns open

I jacked up the rear end to help, then pulled it through a few times with the choke on to prime it. First turn of the switch to BAT gave a big backfire and after that the best I could do was get pretty consistent single puffs each time a coil fired.

Any thoughts on what to try next?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Peterson on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 06:57 pm:

Hi, Sometimes it is just easier to pull it, once it starts it seems to start better, maybe flooded. If there is something else wrong at least you do not have to wear out your arm or your starter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Doolittle on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 07:30 pm:

Just a thought. I have read that some camshafts have a straight through hole for the roller/flapper pin to slip into. All of mine only have a hole on 1 side.

I have also read that the 2 holed camshafts make it possible to get the timing off by 180 degrees, which would explain the backfire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 07:40 pm:

Could easily be flooded. I see people recommend opening needle valves 1-1/2 and 2 turns, and that may work for them, but mine both run at about 3/4 turn open. Also, more than 2 pulls on mine with the choke closed and I got fuel pouring out the carb.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Corey Walker, Brownsboro TX on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 08:18 pm:

I'm with Hal on the flooding thing. One of mine likes the choke but 2 pulls on choke with the other one and if it doesn't start on the next pull it's flooded. I either waste time and wait on it to sit a while, or waste gas. I shut off the gas, drain a bit from the carb and open the throttle. Then crank it a few times with the hood open, so that when it starts you can idle it down fast without running to the steering column. I crank right handed so I'm on the carb side when it starts. Then depending on how much gas you drained, you can turn the gas back on before it dies.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 08:24 pm:

Close the needle a bit (1 1/2 open) and make sure of your spark lever position. Everything's been messed with and could be off a bit. I think it primarily involves timing because of that backfire and the puffing with no start. If your timing was OK it would have free started instead of kicking back.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 09:16 pm:

After getting worn out by cranking our rebuilt motor, we hitched a long rope to the back of the truck and gave it a little pull.
I put the brake handle in neutral, set the timing leaver in the up position, the gas about half way down, and pressed on the low peddle after we went about 3 feet.
It started so I pulled the timing leaver down, released the low peddle, and adjusted the throttle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 10:41 pm:

For what it's worth, I just went through this with my T after never hearing it run and putting it together. I thought I was setting the 1 cyl on TDC and the 1 coil and plug, but I was on the exhaust stroke at TDC, not compression, so I was 180 degrees off. Tracked that down and it started up. Got other issues, but at least it started.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 10:44 pm:

My wife tells the story of her Dad trying to get a T started and pulling it behind the family tractor with his Brother behind the wheel of the T. No one actually expected the T to start, so when it did, it outran the tractor and crashed into the back of it, braking the walnut steering wheel completely off the T.

Her Dad never forgave his brother for that.

So, plan accordingly, if you choose that route.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 11:04 pm:

Thanks guys, it could very well be that I'm flooding it. I *think* I had a stuck exhaust valve early on because as I went the flames out the manifold went away. It also seemed to limber up quite a bit the more I tried as well as having more of a feeling of compression so I think oil was getting to places it needed to be.

John, I also considered that my timing could have been 180* off from the roller being in wrong but I verified by checking which stroke was compression (blows a wad of paper towel out the spark plug hole) then switching on the battery to check it was sparking then.

Hal, Corey and Charlie, I'll try backing down the mixture screw when I try again tomorrow. When I filed and polished the groove off it I could very well have put a blunter tip on it which would take fewer turns to open.

And Charlie, I'll double check my timing but when I put it all back together I followed the procedure for setting full retard from a different thread here and when I went to check how much I'd have to bend the timer linkage it popped right in exactly as I got it. It's easy enough to check again if leaning the mixture doesn't work.

And of course my confession here is that I've never started a T before in my life so this is all guess work in my garage. I should also mention I've been starting with the throttle closed, should I try cracking it open but by bit?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 11:08 pm:

Thanks Robert. The weather here sucks now and will stay that way until at least March so towing it is out unless we get an unseasonable heat wave. Funny you mention timing being off by 180* as that was my first thought too. I'm pretty convinced that it's right, both through checking and from it trying to free start about a quarter of the time I turn the switch on. It will often fire and turn forward but not strongly enough to push through the next compression stroke.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 11:56 pm:

Yes, try it with the throttle lever two or three notches down. Maybe even four or five. They're all different.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 04:51 am:

What Steve said.


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