Now that I've fired up the '24 after 47 years in storage, I'm content that I have something I can work with.
It's my practice with long-term storage barn cars like this, once they've fired up, to shut them down quickly and then assess the vital systems to make sure I don't do any damage and to repair/replace anything needing attention.
So...I pulled the radiator to give the front of the engine a good look. The timer looks pretty good (should've taken a photo of the inside) but the timer rod was worn and sloppy and wasn't allowing the timing handle to fully actuate so I replaced it.
The seal behind the timer looks suspect...like it's been leaking a lot of oil. What's yall's opinion of the modern neoprene seals that Lang's recommends?
Highly recommend the new style timer seal. You may have to spread the outer edge so it taps in vs. falls in place. Also add some ultra black sealer around the outer edge so it all seals nicely once installed and dried.
You may also want to check the timing cover in that it's centered and if you have to break that seal, replace at least the upper half of the front crank seal while your there.
Thanks Chad. What do you mean by "spread the outer edge"?
Once you've installed the neoprene seal, you can throw away the thin brass plate behind the roller as well.
Replacing the felt seal with a new timer seal from Langs or another vendor is a no brainer for me. A great improvement a purist cant see and should appreciate.
Isn't that a 54 Ford sitting in your garage? Either a 53 or 54 going by the taillight I think.
Don't think its a 52.
Makes me wish I would have kept the 56 Ford I had!
With a roller timer like you have the "modern seal" is perhaps not advantageous, as the roller timer needs adequate lubrication. The modern seal is desirable if you are using a brush type timer.
Just wanted to clarify. What you most likely have now is a felt packing (available new from the usual suppliers)
If it was my car I would clean inspect and oil the timer you have. A good "tune up " of the coils would be one of the next things I would consider
Thanks Les....good to know.
Now I need to decide whether to switch to a brush-type timer and neoprene seal, or keep my roller timer and replace the felt seal.
Yes...it's a '54 Ford. It was my high school car (32 years ago).
I recently completed a frame-off restomod on the car. (it's all stock except for a 302/AOD engine/trans combo and disc brakes).
It's just waiting on a proper paint job now. It'll be repainted the original Sandalwood Tan color with the stock, stripped out gray interior. I typically like my old cars to be pretty stock, but I wanted something I could hit the modern interstate highway with and play ball with the modern traffic, etc. I've already taken it on a 5 hour (one-way) trip and back and it loves to run 80mph.
Here it is a couple months ago with John Mays' car at the local gas station.
oh yeah Les...I agree on the coils.
The "Coil Doctor" is working on rebuilding a set for me now.
I revived several barn cars over the years and have always given their ignition system a tune-up. This typically involves a new coil, points, plugs, rotor, cap, wires, etc.
So...getting the old wooden coils redone on a T seems to be the logical equivalent. It already has new plugs and wires. So, the ignition system is pretty close to being "gone through".
I'll be curious to see what shape the magneto's in. Once I get it running again, I'll do the light bulb test on it and I'll see if it runs decently on mag. If not, I think I'll try to recharge the magnets on my own.
If you decide to keep the roller timer and felt seal then you DO need to use the thin brass plate that I earlier suggested you pitch. BUT, buy a new one. What usually happens is that the rotation and vibration of the timer housing wears away at the perimeter of the brass plate, eventually wearing away the portion of it that's meant to fit between the timer housing and the engine. With the plate's diameter now reduced, it falls inside the timer and shorts it out.
I've always had Model T's with the 1913 - 15 timing cover that has a groove to retain the felt seal. Never used the brass plate, and I always use roller timers.
Don, the new neoprene seals are often a loose fit in the timing cover recess. Chad's advice to spread the outer edge is an attempt to make a firmer fit. However, that spread edge is the one which goes to the motor if the seal is fitted the correct way round. This makes starting it into the recess problematical.
I achieve the same firm fit by cutting some brass shim stock to go in the recess. This strip is cut a little wider than the depth of the recess. The seal and shim are coated with Loctite and this acts as a lubricant as the seal is tapped home. The extra width on the shim gives the seal a start before it enters the recess. I usually tap that extra width down flat once the seal is home.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Thanks Allan for the response, this was the first I was able to get back on today.
Don, if you go with the modern seal, and have the timing cover off, it is easy to test fit it to see if it is loose or not. Manufacturing tolerances stack up, some times the fit needs to be snugger, other times the fit is fine.
Good to see your diving into the car. Have fun!
Thanks yall....this old bucket of bolts makes me grin every time I get near it.
For instance, last night I was sitting in it trying to figure out what to about the steering wheel. The steering wheel nut had fallen off somewhere back in time and you can tell that they couldn't (or wouldn't) find another one so they peened the edge of the steering pinion gear over all the way around to keep the wheel on.
I was able to get the wheel off with much effort and, not knowing how anything under the steering wheel works or goes together, I found out that the cover on the hub unscrews and that there's three beautiful little gears in there that interact with the pinion gear. (And that the thing needs grease there and it hasn't had any since probably ,Eisenhower was president)
Anyway, the sheer simplicity of the car continues to amaze and delight me...I love it.
Seems to me after sitting this long, it'd be good to take some sandpaper and lightly buff the roller wheel and the contacts on the inside of the timer cover.
Any harm in that?