Just put in a late teen, early 20's rebuilt engine that ran for four hours in the re-builders shop after he completed the job. I put the engine in my car and it sounds like the battery has no power to push it over. I took the battery to the battery warehouse and it is good.
Could it be that the engine has to break in? Could it be that it is too stiff? Just put 600 weight oil in the rear and the car is up on blocks and the stick is all the way forward, not in neutral.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I have had to pull cars around the neighborhood for an hour or so with the plugs removed and squirt oil down the holes every so often. It's typical of a well rebuilt Model T engine. Ford used to run the engine with an electric motor for 30 minutes to achieve the same thing.
Get a piece of rope and a friend with a pickup to help.
Here is a shot taken in late 1913 at the Highland Park plant showing Ford employees running in the bearings using an electric motor.
How does it feel when you turn it with the hand crank?
I had to use 6v starter AND hand crank simultaneously to get mine going when 'new'
turn by crank is relatively easy.
ok thank you. I thought that was the problem. I will just keep at it.
1. Check the ground.
2 use a jumper cable to by pass the the starter switch.
"I put the engine in my car and it sounds like the battery has no power to push it over. I took the battery to the battery warehouse and it is good."
"turn by crank is relatively easy."
Sounds like the starter is the culprit.
Jump it out as advised also if you have a braided ground cable on the battery lose it.
I'll check the ground.
There is no buzz anymore from the coil. whereas it did buzz earlier. Coils should be good. Haven't used them Since June of this year.
I agree with Royce. I had a very stiff, freshly rebuilt engine in my 1923. We could not crank it over, and were afraid to use the starter for fear of burning it out. We pulled the plugs and shot penetrating oil in the cylinders. Then after pulling it around the block a couple times we shot a little oil in the cylinders and pulled it a couple more times around the block. We then replaced the plugs and pull started it. We let it "run in" for about a half hour. We never had a problem after that. Good luck.
Guys, Robert did say the engine was run four hours already before he installed it in the car.
I'd use a 12 volt jumper right at the starter to see what happens.
negative lead to frame, positive to starter connection on the starter.
Pulling it around the neighborhood is good advise but I can't that happening.
I will keep working on it and eventually it will start.
Thanks guys. Bob
I'm with Aaron on this - going to attempt to start up a fresh rebuild over the weekend - came to me a bit tight !
It just dawned on me after what Ken said, there is no good starter sound 'kick'. It too is a rebuilt. In theory, it should all be good. Maybe it is just a break in thing.
Do you have a good free neutral? If not you're trying to turn the motor and transmission at the same time which will stress the starter.
Given that "turn by crank is relatively easy", that the engine has already run four hours, that the battery checks out, and that the starter is fresh IMHO the culprit is either the starter switch or the battery cables.
Just my $0.02 worth.
Ok the starter does have the kick sound. Better after the quick recharge. Still no coil buzz on slow crank.
I think it is in the starter to some how. I'll see if any of the local guys are around. Thanks again!
Is the ignition switch set to battery or magneto when you are checking for coil buzz? You won't get any coil buzz when cranking slowly by hand with the switch set to magneto. Try it with the switch set to battery.
good question and yes it is to bat. they buzzed yesterday? In fact the engine had about 1/4 second of sounding like it was about kick over the first time I tried after putting the engine back on the frame......
One thing not mentioned! " the stick is all the way forward " You are trying to start it in high gear? MG
Rear wheels jacked up and "in gear" gives an addition flywheel simulation.
GUYS!! He's getting no coil buzz--something electrical is wrong. Won't start without buzzing coils.
Oh, and I'd pull the lever all the way back.If it's all the way forward, than you are trying to start it with it in High gear.
oh ok, I though that put it in free something so the rear wheel roles easier. I'll try it straight up or back.
Did you by any chance install a master battery disconnect switch on this car? Or lighter 12V modern battery cables? Is there perhaps a fuse in the main power lead that has blown? There is no point in cranking it until you can get each coil to buzz in proper firing order and on the correct power stroke.
Since the car is up on blocks, it seems to me that pulling the lever all the way back, would activate the brakes, and the friction in the clutch discs would cause extra drag. Better to leave it all the way forward. Take advantage of the flywheel effect as Steve mentioned. That is how they used to start them in cold weather, except, they only jacked up one rear wheel.
Coils need to buzz though!
I would check the ground strap to the frame connection...
Good points. I will put the lever forward and it is up off the ground.
The battery cables are standard according to our clubs technical advisor. They are very thick, I think '0' Gauge or a 1 or 2. I believe this is a controversial subject of which I am not knowledgeable.
There is a fuse which I will check again. It runs between the starter switch on the floor and the battery point on the coil box because I have an e timer.
Right now it is on the 6V 2amp trickle charger. It has been on there for about three or four hours now. hours now.
I bet its something simple. Make absolutely sure all the coils buzz on each cylinder.
You can check this by putting the switch on 'BAT', spark lever completely up and slowly turning the crank. You should hear a good buzz on each coil as you pull the crank.
If you don't hear the coils buzzing IT WILL NOT START.
Hey guys - keep it simple.
Since the motor ran and now the starter does not turn it over you start with the basics.
1 make sure the ground is good.
2. Makes sure the starter switch is Ok.
If those are OK THEN you can look at other things.
My E timer doesn't make the coils buzz, I don't know how long with key on and engine not running what is the time frame for the E timer to try and advance it's self? or if it does? but when the engine fires up, you only have 20 seconds (I think) to pull the advance lever down.
The motor will turn easier with brake lever all the way forward and a rear wheel, or two, jacked up.
That was the way they started them back in the day when it was super cold out, like way down to degreeze, below tempreture even.
That way you have no clutch disc drag.
Anybody that monkeys around with cars or trucks needs a good HEAVY DUTY set of jumper cables.
Hit it right on the starter terminal with 12 volts. That'll tell if it is the starter or bad connections, or bad battery.
After trying to get it to turn over touch seach battery cable end to see if the are hot.
Be careful. Tough the starter switch too.
It's a good idea to have a ground going directly to the transmission or engine from the batter or frame.
A painted frame, painted engine mounts, etc. can cause problems like that.
Put a jumper cable from the - battery post to the frame.
Try a cable from + post to starter.
The in line fuse was blown.(starter switch to bat on coil box.) It was good yesterday so I did not check it right away till David remarked about the electrical system. I changed the fuse and the coils buzz. I will try to start It tomorrow and report back.
Glad it was something simple.
That said, fuses blow for a reason, so don't be surprised if the new fuse blows at some point - best to check the wiring for chafing and resultant intermittent shorts.
And, always carry one or two spare fuses! Just having them in the car at the ready is sometimes enough of a threat to make the car behave.
I don't understand.
Folks say to break in the engine by towing it around the block.
But actually towing a Model T had been discouraged over and over again on this forum.
What is the difference?
Towing from point A to point B, yes that is discouraged because the transmission is in neutral and flywheel is not spinning oil to all the parts. Towing around the block, the transmission is in gear spinning the motor/flywheel.
If that engine has been run for four hours, towing it around the block isn't going to accomplish anything useful.
If any engine has been properly assembled it shouldn't be too hard to turn over, and should not need to be towed to loosen up and start.
I believe Ford used an electric motor to run in the bearings on new engines because it was faster (read cheaper) than hand fitting and scraping the bearings for a proper fit.
That engine and transmission were rebuilt and properly assembled by a very professional well known rebuilder that has rebuilt over 1,000 engines.
A rebuilt starter transmission cover (to eliminate oil leaks) and rebuilt starter were added with the rebuild.
The engine was run on a test stand for 4 hours and stopped and started several times, just to be sure the starter would work properly.
The engine freely turned over and easily started every time.
I'll say it again.
Check the wiring and switches.
The motor is free - easy to turn over with the crank.
The rear wheels are off the ground.
The battery has tested good.
It started and ran on the test stand.
The battery dosen't seem to have enough power to turn the motor over.
To make it simple,
I would remove both cables from the battery.
Then take a jumper cable and run it between the ground terminal on the battery and the motor - maybe a head bolt.
Then take another jumper cable, connect it to the other terminal on the battery and momentarily touch it to the terminal on the starter.
If the starter turns over easily there is a wiring problem. If it dosen't turn over the starter is most likely bad.
Remove the jumper cable that goes to the block, reinstall the ground wire and momentarily touch the other cable to the starter again. If the motor does not turn over you need the clean both ends of the ground cable including the place it attaches to the frame. If that dosen't fix the problem you may need a ground wire between the frame and motor.
If works after installing the ground wire and removing the jumper cable there is a problem with the starter switch or the wires (maybe wire connections) between the battery and the starter.
Check for a plugged up sediment bulb screen, Put gas in it, turn on the fuel line valve.
He got it running on the 25th. See above. LOL, I never think about fuses blowing because Model T's don't have fuses.
Robert, when running an E-Timer on a newly rebuilt engine, make sure the E-Timer housing is making good electrical ground connection with the engine timing cover. Freshly painted timing covers will insulate the E-Timer housing from making good electrical ground contact to the engine, preventing the E-Timer from functioning properly. The solution is to remove the paint from where the E-Timer housing contacts the engine timing cover down to bare metal.
The blown 4A fuse in series with the coil box power wire indicates you have another electrical issue. One or more of the timer wires likely made contact with the engine ground while the ignition power was on. Check to make sure all timer wires are snug and the insulation is in good condition so the wires never make contact with engine ground.
Be sure to follow the E-Timer installation instructions to insure safe cranking and sufficient spark advance for best performance. You should verify each plug fires spark normally with the plugs removed and laying on top of the engine as the engine is slowly hand cranked as specified in the E-Timer installation instructions. Good luck with getting your car running. Please let me know if you have any specific questions via PM or email.
Bob has been rather busy with company and work, but he got the engine running again on November 29.
He sent me a note and said he took the starter motor cable off the switch and touched it directly on the battery cable.
There was no starter motor activity and the voltage at the starter terminal was 6.32 volts, the same as at the battery.
His wife sat in the front seat and pulled on the choke wire while he hand cranked the engine many times.
Finally, the engine started. He turned it off and tried cranking again, but the engine would not start.
He held a long screw driver on each plug again to check for spark and there were four proper sparks.
The first crank after that the engine started.
He is at a loss about understanding the problem or why it took so many cranks to start the engine.
I told him the problem must relate to the carburetor, as he proved the E-timer was good and his wiring was correct.
Professional opinions are welcome here!
James, how about a vacuum leak? It might not have enough vacuum to suck the fuel mixture through the carb into the manifold and from there the cylinders. I'd take the plugs out, let things dry out a bit (just to make sure), then put the plugs back in, choke / crank the engine several times, then see if there is fuel on the plugs / smell of gas in the cylinder. Just an idea.
Remember that an engine only needs three things to fire. Spark (at the right time), compression, and fuel. If he has verified spark / timing and that the motor has compression, the only thing left is a fuel issue.
(Message edited by zdillinger on November 30, 2016)
I took a battery to our O Rileys and had it tested. It tested ok on their tester. It was not. Purchased a new battery and solved my problem. Suggest definitely trying jumping it with another battery directly to the starter.
It sounds like he has intermittent electrical problems. I would start by removing any non - original electrical items. Anything of that nature leads to frustration and an unreliable Model T. After a while you will realize Ford built an extremely reliable car that ran great with its original parts and original ignition system.
Get rid of any battery disconnect switches and any plastic modern electronics that are likely causes of your problem. Install things made of metal, wood and brass that will work well for a century.
When troubleshooting electrical problems related to battery and ignition you need to use a light bulb to test the circuit. A meter will often show voltage potential that does not actually exist when a load is applied. This is why a meter is often going to lead you to incorrect conclusions.
Just letting you know I am reading your response and appreciate your help.
I am going to try the jumper cables and if that does not work I'll take the starter off and try another starter.
The engine rebuilder already has a another starter in the mail to try.
I'll let you all know when I know something.
You have a second starter already - crank it.
Agree with that - I don't have starters on some of my T's. It ought to fire right up if you have spark at the right time, compression, and a reasonable mixture.
With the key off, hold the choke and pull up on the crank four 1/4 turns.
Turn the key to BAT. If the timing is right, the car should either start or at least make a "Poof" as it fires one cylinder.
Then pull up once on the crank. The car starts. At least all of mine do. Like this:
Or this, note the "poof" back through the intake due to one of the primed cylinders having an intake valve open.
Robert, Using an E-Timer, the symptom that the car hand crank starts and runs fine on 6V but has difficulty starting using the electric starter typically indicates low battery voltage during cranking. Another clue is the car starts up as soon as you release the starter switch. That's because the battery voltage rises the moment the starter motor load is removed and the battery voltage rises to its normal range.
I had this happen on my own 1927 Touring. In my case, the battery strap connecting the negative battery terminal to the chassis was bad. The ground strap was too hot to touch after cranking the car for 15-20 seconds signaling the ground strap resistance was too high and dropping too much voltage while cranking the engine; as others have suggested. I replaced the ground strap, cleaned the chassis and made sure the ground strap was in direct contact with the chassis metal rather than through a nut and washer. Starting problem Solved and the engine cranked noticeably faster too.
Another possibility others have suggested, is the battery is old/weak with high internal resistance. I know you had your battery checked at the battery warehouse and said it was good. Did they test your battery under load or simply measure the terminal voltage? Testing under load is necessary to ensure the internal resistance is not too high. Still, some computerized load tests only apply the load for a fraction of a second which may not detect issues like Harry experienced, especially if your battery is more than 4 years old.
Mike, when Bob hit the starter switch and measured the voltage at the starter terminal and across the battery terminals, he had exactly 6.35 volts across the battery terminals when the starter switch was depressed and when there was no load on the battery.
That suggested to me that the internal starter circuit was open and drawing no current from the battery, as that would or should have lowered the voltage reading.
Here is an update:
I put jumper cables directly on the battery to ground and directly from positive battery post to the starter post and no activity.
The starter was replaced yesterday and after connecting the battery to the starter and pushing down the starter button there is activity. What started this thread was the fact that it was odd to have a rebuilt engine with a rebuilt starter and the starter didn't work. I sent the starter core back and am curios what the problem is??
Now all I have to do is put the firewall and everything else back on and test it out next weekend.
The car does start on crank. I believe the big issue here was that I was not pulling the choke as I cranked. Now it does start when I pull the choke with my left hand and crank with my right - like a normal Model T driver would do!
For a crank start, try richening the mixture needle on the carb 1/8 to 1/4 turn, then pulling up twice on the crank with the choke ring pulled and the ignition off.
Then, release the choke ring, turn on the ignition, and see if it will start with just the crank (no choke). I'll bet it will start.
As the engine warms up, you can turn the carb mixture needle back to its optimum warm running setting in a couple of steps (it will probably need the richer mixture for less than a minute).
This procedure avoids the awkwardness of having to hold the choke ring out while cranking.
Thanks Mark I am looking forward to trying this next week after it is all put together.
Pull the choke out and spin it over 4-5 times - ignition off (if you are strong enough). Then turn the key on and retard the spark. If it's built right and the mixture is correct it will start on it's own.
Robert - Hesitate to get into this discussion, but maybe I can help just a bit:
Mark Strange and Tim have both described to you the procedure that has always worked for me. Actually Royce had about the same advice. The three of them have only varied in their advice of how many quarter strokes to hand crank while choking but with the ignition off. Here's what I have to offer:
I think all three of these guys are right! I can tell you from experience with several T's, and hand cranking old Fords during and since my high school days back in the '50's, the difference is that while all Model T's are basically the same "MECHANICALLY", they all have individual "personalities" of their own. In the areas of carburetion, spark advance, and such, they each seem to like something just a bit different.
Here's what I would do:
With ignition off, spark retarded, throttle just a bit open, pull up on hand crank for two (2) quarter turns while choking. Turn ignition key on and see if the engine starts on third pull up on crank "WITH NO CHOKE". If engine starts, great. If not, next time, try three (3) choke strokes with key off. Then if necessary, four (4) and so on and so forth.
A very important thing here that also effects starting is where the needle valve mixture adjustment is set. Usually, one to one and a half turns open is about right. Once you find what carb setting the engine likes, and you learn how many "choke strokes" it likes, you'll be able to start the engine very reliably. THEN, comes the "mystery" of how much to choke (or not) on a partially warm engine,....another area where they're all different! Hope this helps,.....harold
Thanks Harold, I try that too! We all understand learning the personality of our T's; especially rebuilt T's.
Thanks Harold, I try that too! We all understand learning the personality of our T's; especially rebuilt T's.