Heinze Coils, advice and a little help needed.

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Heinze Coils, advice and a little help needed.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:08 pm:

Hey all,

I am working on a few Heinze coils, 1912 I think.
To make them spark again, I had to replace the coils and capacitor inside on 5 of the 6 coils. For a fast test I made a "buzz box" but the meaning is to test and set them up on a HCCT.
First question: In the early Model T days, as these coils were used, did they use a HCCT to set the coils?? How was this done and what was the setting?? I understood in, the past, that these coils are not set on the usual 1.3A but between 0.8A and 1A, some were set as low as 0.2A.

Second one: To fill the coils can I use the Tar as in the Ford coils or should I use something else??

Thanks
Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:10 pm:

Forgot to ask What about the double spark????

Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:45 pm:

Andre
Unfortunately the Hienz points don't have a "rebound " spring like the later style points. So it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get the type of function that the ordinary coils provide. I went down this road 15 years ago. Consider a E timer if this is for a "driver" car. I currently have a Trufire in my '13, but plan to reinstall the Hienz coils with a Etimer. Perhaps others and you will have better luck and I certainly hope so


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 08:16 pm:

Andre, there was a thread years ago that had info on these coils given by RV Anderson. The amp draw was not 1.3 as the later coils, it was much less, but I don't remember exactly what it was. See if you you can find the thread and I'll check to see if I've saved it. If so, I'll post again with the
info.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 08:19 pm:

I did save RV's thread after all. Here it is:

I’m not sure that I’m an expert, though I appreciate the compliment; however, I’ll chime in anyway.

The major reason that folks have trouble with the early coils is that they fail to realize that they are unique and their individual qualities allowed and provided for in their rebuilding and their operation. They were made by completely different companies and covered under their different patents, although their operation was/is similar. It’s a little like trying to set a Ford carburetor with a Chevy manual, so when I am contacted by someone experiencing frustration with them who says “I set them up for the 1.3 amps but can’t a good spark from them…”, I try to explain that the procedure to be followed when setting up the later coils of the Ford/K-W design is not to be used with the Heinze, Kingston, and Jacobson-Brandow coils. Each is a unique animal.

To begin with, it should be understood that Ford didn’t sell the first 600,000 or so cars with defective igniti on. They ran on these coils when they were new and they can and do run on them today, although they run their best with a modification that I will explain shortly. The most common problem by far, besides the sputzed original condensers common with early as well as with late coils, is an open secondary. These coils’ windings used silk as an insulator. Not the best choice in my opinion, for a high-voltage application; shorts soon developed and eventually the winding went completely open; a “deathbed” situation, for, while they would often continue to spark if the open was close to the contact, the wire would burn up like the electrode in an arc welder and eventually the gap would get too wide for the spark to bridge and that was that. This is the situation in about 85% of the early coils that I get in for rebuilding.

The early primaries, on the the other hand, since they experienced relatively low voltage, had their silk insulators continue to be effective and they almost alw ays remain like new today, electrically speaking. Hence, the modification: I have had a number of new high-tension windings custom-made to fit these larger-diameter original primaries, and, by utilizing the original primaries in conjunction with original-type points, they will work like new and can be set and adjusted in the same manner as intended by their manufacturers.

Heinze coils, for example, should have the vibrator tension set to draw between 0.6 and 0.8 amps; the early (“high-bridge”) Kingstons, about 0.7-0.8, and the later “low- bridge” type used in later 1911-early 12, about 0.85-1.0 amps. The Jacobson-Brandow Company recommended that their coils be set to draw 0.2 amps.

The fact that these early units do not utilize the K-W riveted spring is often seen as a “defect.” However, the situations analyzed so well by Ron and Trent in The Vintage Ford article that Ron cites, were in fact recognized by these early manufacturers. They went about solving them indiv idually by equipping their coils with unique points in their efforts to improve their product and obtain a “selling point”. Each of the 4 major ignition suppliers to Ford attempted to eliminate contact rebound and duration in some manner.

(Williams’ patent contention that it was the extension of the primary winding to nearly the full length of the core that made his coil superior is somewhat absurd, I feel, because in my observation, every one of the 4 other suppliers did exactly the same thing, and every original primary winding that I have removed has been wound this way.)

It was probably the Jacobson-Brandow company’s armature assembly that came closest to realizing the full potential of the principle, which Williams eventually did: by allowing the contact a sort of restricted (by the rivet) “floating,” rebound and duration issues were both addressed. The major difference is that all of the early units had their “floating” contact on the armature rather than the bridge, which was/is required for superior operation. But that doesn’t mean there is something “wrong” with the early units any more than something is “wrong” with the T engine, as compared with modern power plants.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 08:48 pm:

R.V. Anderson is the man that is the "go-to" man for the Jacobson- coil rebuilds.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 09:12 pm:

I did save RV's thread after all. Here it is:

I’m not sure that I’m an expert, though I appreciate the compliment; however, I’ll chime in anyway.

The major reason that folks have trouble with the early coils is that they fail to realize that they are unique and their individual qualities allowed and provided for in their rebuilding and their operation. They were made by completely different companies and covered under their different patents, although their operation was/is similar. It’s a little like trying to set a Ford carburetor with a Chevy manual, so when I am contacted by someone experiencing frustration with them who says “I set them up for the 1.3 amps but can’t a good spark from them…”, I try to explain that the procedure to be followed when setting up the later coils of the Ford/K-W design is not to be used with the Heinze, Kingston, and Jacobson-Brandow coils. Each is a unique animal.

To begin with, it should be understood that Ford didn’t sell the first 600,000 or so cars with defective igniti on. They ran on these coils when they were new and they can and do run on them today, although they run their best with a modification that I will explain shortly. The most common problem by far, besides the sputzed original condensers common with early as well as with late coils, is an open secondary. These coils’ windings used silk as an insulator. Not the best choice in my opinion, for a high-voltage application; shorts soon developed and eventually the winding went completely open; a “deathbed” situation, for, while they would often continue to spark if the open was close to the contact, the wire would burn up like the electrode in an arc welder and eventually the gap would get too wide for the spark to bridge and that was that. This is the situation in about 85% of the early coils that I get in for rebuilding.

The early primaries, on the the other hand, since they experienced relatively low voltage, had their silk insulators continue to be effective and they almost alw ays remain like new today, electrically speaking. Hence, the modification: I have had a number of new high-tension windings custom-made to fit these larger-diameter original primaries, and, by utilizing the original primaries in conjunction with original-type points, they will work like new and can be set and adjusted in the same manner as intended by their manufacturers.

Heinze coils, for example, should have the vibrator tension set to draw between 0.6 and 0.8 amps; the early (“high-bridge”) Kingstons, about 0.7-0.8, and the later “low- bridge” type used in later 1911-early 12, about 0.85-1.0 amps. The Jacobson-Brandow Company recommended that their coils be set to draw 0.2 amps.

The fact that these early units do not utilize the K-W riveted spring is often seen as a “defect.” However, the situations analyzed so well by Ron and Trent in The Vintage Ford article that Ron cites, were in fact recognized by these early manufacturers. They went about solving them indiv idually by equipping their coils with unique points in their efforts to improve their product and obtain a “selling point”. Each of the 4 major ignition suppliers to Ford attempted to eliminate contact rebound and duration in some manner.

(Williams’ patent contention that it was the extension of the primary winding to nearly the full length of the core that made his coil superior is somewhat absurd, I feel, because in my observation, every one of the 4 other suppliers did exactly the same thing, and every original primary winding that I have removed has been wound this way.)

It was probably the Jacobson-Brandow company’s armature assembly that came closest to realizing the full potential of the principle, which Williams eventually did: by allowing the contact a sort of restricted (by the rivet) “floating,” rebound and duration issues were both addressed. The major difference is that all of the early units had their “floating” contact on the armature rather than the bridge, which was/is required for superior operation. But that doesn’t mean there is something “wrong” with the early units any more than something is “wrong” with the T engine, as compared with modern power plants.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 10:53 pm:

I bought a set of 4 completely new Heinz coils that were all adjusted in 2000. I ran them for a year (about 500 miles). I eventually replaced them with a set of "repackaged " later style coils that I created myself. Difference like night and day with the "KW" style points. A couple of years later I was going on a 2000 mile in 13 day tour and bought the Trufire. I hope your luck is better than mine was


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 09:26 am:

I have contemplated a " master vibrator". It is one of the "era" solutions


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 12:33 pm:

Les,
I have restored a few master coils in the past and have one still working very well in the 1922 woody. If I can't make the Heinze coils work properly this will be the way. I will build a master coil in the car but before I will try to make the coils buzz and spark as they should be.

After reading the posts in this tread, I learned that I should forget the double spark story for a while and set the coils different as the common coils.
This is what I did:
First I tried to set the Heinze coils on the HCCT the same way as the "normal" coils. I could make them spark with a current between 0.5A and 1.8A but I had never a clear spark. There were always double or triple sparks what ever the current was.
As this made me crazy I connected the "buzz box" on the HCCT and tried again. The spark gap was set on about 1/4".
While I turned the HCCT I adjusted the points till I had a strong spark. This was for the five coils at a current between 0.6A and 0.8A, as it was said before.
On the Volt meter I remarked that, at this setting, the coils start to spark at about 0.8VAC and sparks strongly at 1VAC and higher. 0.8VAC is about 20 rpm of the HCCT. I think that this speed is lower as a pull on the starter crank.
The spark I produce is in the air and not in a compressed area but I think I have a good spark to start an engine on magneto. I will try during spring time.

After I set the coils I filled them up with tar, cleaned them up and put furniture wax to finish the boxes.

Thanks for trying to help me all.

Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 08:56 pm:

Ford used a tester that apparently worked on the same principles as the smaller HCCTs. This photo is scanned from Part 1 of The Vintage Ford's 3-part series entitled "The Model T Ignition Coil" by Trent Boggess and Ron Patterson (Vol. 34, Number 4). Possibly one side of the bench was used for Heinze and the other side for Kingstons due to the tester being required to be set up a bit differently for each type of coil. Standardizing on one design certainly spared Ford and his dealers a lot of hassle. At any rate, the HCCT most closely replicates the factory's tester for early coils.



What makes the early coils more difficult (though by no means impossible) to synchronize is that their points are essentially sheet metal, and when new points are installed their inherent stresses that cause uneven firing must be worked out in a break-in period. The K-W design all but eliminated the problem of uneven stress in the points and made synchronization easier.

It's a bit difficult to see in Andre's photo, but it looks like he has 5 Heinze with the early style assembled points (1911-12) and one with the later, one piece armature (1913 type). The soft steel piece that is riveted to the armature on the early type points has a much greater magnetic attraction than the much harder spring steel used in the late style; hence, much better coil performance is achieved in the later type with a smaller clearance between the primary winding core and the armature.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 12:36 am:

R.V.
You are right one is 1913 and the other five are 1911-12. One of these coils just needed a good cleaning to make it work. I think it is all original.
Here better photos of the six coils.

I will come back in the afternoon with more questions.

Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 04:54 am:

Back again,

R.V. Thanks for your post but it give me a few more questions.
On the photo, you posted, I can see a complete coil unit ( box) mounted on the test stand.
Did they test and set the four coil together? and how was it done? did they use 4 Ampère meters, 4 spark setups with the same gap distance?
What do you mean by the "points break-in period"?

I have also doubts about the use of the Ford coils to repair these Heinze coils. The Ford primair winding cores are 4mm longer as the Heinze core and need to be adapted to fit in the Heinze box.
Are there other ways to do this better?? I am always willing to learn and never say my way is the best way.
Is the way I set the coils acceptable??
About the current is there something else that need attention?

I have also five 1914 Heinze coil that I should like to make buzz and spark again. The original contact points are not available. Can I use the 1913 point on these coils??
These coils fit in the later coil boxes. Till when these coils are they used??

Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 01:02 pm:

Doubtless, the coils were tested as a unit in the box; you can see 4-pole lever switches mounted on the vertical panel that were most likely used to single out individual coils for testing. Units may also have been tested singly; the photo doesn't show this distinctly but it must have been done for units that needed individual attention.

Ron Patterson and Trent Boggess deserve a lot of credit and thanks for locating the negative used to make this photo print.

I don't know what the setting parameters were at Ford's test bench, but Heinze generally were set around 0.75 amps. The break-in period is a variable length of time during which the coils require frequent re-adjustment until a point is reached at which they perform uniformly well over all engine speeds. This varies by coil; some points have more and some have fewer internal stresses so some coils break in quickly and others take longer.

The Heinze primary windings are shorter and wider than the later Ford primaries. You could cut or grind off the Ford core wires where they protrude from the windings on each end.

You will want to set the coils at the lowest amperage at which you get a good spark at all engine speeds. With original Heinze windings this GENERALLY works out to be AROUND 0.75 amp; with later windings installed this will be different; generally it is higher, around 1-1.3 amps.

You will find that as the stresses work out of the sheet metal armatures, the amp draw will drop and the coils will need re-set. Don't get too hung up on the amp draw; with four coil units of varying condition internally as well as differences in the points the draw will vary more than with the later units. As long as you are getting good spark and the engine runs smoothly at all speeds, you are good to go.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 01:13 pm:

As to the later units that you show, these had a three letter month abbreviation inside the top of the circle and the 1914 inside the bottom. The latest I have seen is May. I suspect that that is about when their use declined sharply. Ford may have had a contract with Heinze and these later coils disappeared when it was fulfilled, or there may have been a short-lived supply problem during the changeover to the K-W design and Ford used this late Heinze designed coil only until it was resolved.

These later coils are good ones, and I have had good luck by re-using original points that have some good contact "meat" remaining. I make the earlier style Heinze points but not these; I have kicked the idea around for years but there just isn't enough demand for them and they would be costly to boot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 03:07 pm:

RV & Andre-
I have been following this thread with great interest.

On KW coils, we know to set the point opening, then adjust the amperage using a coil point hammer to increase or decrease the tension on the spring part of the points, thus increasing or decreasing the amperage.

But how is the amperage set on Heinze coils? Just with the tension adjusting nut? Is there no "open point" setting?

: ^ )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 05:29 pm:

Coarse adjustment is set by slight bending of the armature fork. The ratchet nut sets the fine adjustment. You can easily open the contacts by turning the nut "out."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Friday, January 13, 2017 - 01:33 am:

I will try to make some detail photos of the contact point during the day but my working table is a mess. I am busy to take 15 Ford and K&W coils apart to clean the inside and repair the boxes before the rebuild. A lot of tar.

Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Friday, January 13, 2017 - 10:32 am:

Here the photos I promise.
Before I installed the new points on the redone coils, I cleaned up the points of the original coil and observed the points setting.
As R.V. said you can see that the original lower point bridge is slightly bend at the armature fork. With the ratchet nut up even with its spring and the upper point bridge off the contact plate the lower bridge is about parallel with the contact plate. The upper contact point bridge installed, the lower bridge is slightly pushed down.
To install the new points on the redone coils, I set the nut even with its spring and bend the armature fork slightly till the lower contact point bridge was parallel with the contact plate.
The upper contact point bridge is set so that the lower bridge is slightly pointing down.
All this done the coils went in the buzz box and connected to the HCCT for testing and setting.

Thanks R.V. Anderson for all the information and advice you give. It was a great help for me and interesting for all of us.

Andre
Belgium


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