Dear Friends -
I am unable to run the car on Magneto anymore. I have a 1915 Ford Model T - Runabout model. I usually start my car using a 12V battery and immediately move it to Magneto when running it. Last time when I tried moving the car to Magneto the Car would just stall and this kept happening every time I started and moved the car to Magneto. Get a strange feeling that during one of the times I might have turned it to Magneto a bit late and must have driven the Car for 2-3 minutes on Battery which is 12v. On inspecting the Coils..only 1 of them was buzzing and the rest 3 were not. Since I had to reach home so I kept driving the car on Battery and with great difficulty managed to reach home finally !! But found it very difficult to go on slopes and the car did not give any pleasure of driving at all. Have I screwed it up big time?? Need advice on possible issues. Do I purchase new coils?, Is there an issue with magneto which means will I have to open up the engine and transmissions - really hope not :-( as the car was running superbly and had no issues at all.
#1 reason is dirt (fibers from the bands) that have gathered around the terminal at the top. Unscrew the top terminal and cleanup and reinsert and see if that did the trick.
Then your message about only one coil buzzing. Is that on battery? It damned good if you have managed to crible home on just 1 cylinder.
Of course your coils should be renewed with new capacitors and properly adjusted. The timer should be in working condition, clean and well oiled.
Thanks Michael for your quick response. No the coil was buzzing when the lever (to be read as Key) was on Magneto.
No, driving the car on BAT didn't hurt the magneto. Driving on battery won't affect the mag. It will just run down the battery, but not quickly.
If I understand your description correctly, you had only one coil working, even on battery. Your first priority is to have four good working coils. If there's no Model T coil specialist in India, you will need to send them to Ron Patterson or Brent Mize. Once you have four good coils you can address the question of whether the magneto is working properly.
Unfortunately there is no Model T coil specialist in India. Would you know anyone who has 4 good coils so that I can buy them? I am happy to ship them to friend in US who may be travelling to India very soon and he would gladly carry them for me.
Any leads would be of great help.
I found this on ebay would it help?
1. Only one coil at a time should buzz on battery. As you turn the crank, another coil will buzz. It takes two complete turns of the crank for each coil to buzz one at a time.
2. The coils will not buzz on magneto except when the engine is running. The crankshaft must be turning for a coil to buzz on magneto.
From your description, I don't think your trouble is in the coils or even in the timer unless it won't run on battery.
If cleaning the contact at the top of the magneto as described by Michael doesn't fix your problem the next step would be to check the voltage output from the magneto. The engine must be running on battery to make this test. Use an analog AC volt meter and check the output from the magneto post to ground across a 12 volt bulb. You should have at least 6 volts at idle and the voltage must increase as you speed up the engine. If this is not the case, you need to re charge the magnets.
Another possible cause would be end play in the crankshaft which would move the magnets farther away from the magneto coils. This would be the worst case and to fix you would need to pull out the engine and replace the third main bearing cap.
If the voltage output from the magneto is good, the next step would be to rebuild the coils or substitute a good set of coils. If you know of anyone in your area who has a Model T which runs good, you might be able to borrow the coils and see if it fixes your problem. If so, you need to rebuild your coils.
I would ask the seller how he adjusted the coils, it really doesn't say in the item description. I'm not saying that they are not good but I'd want to be for sure about them being in India because probably would be hard to find an HCCT over there to check for double spark, etc. I had a set rebuilt by Ron Patterson 7 or 8 years ago and it was a night and day difference in performance.
Oh, mine wouldn't start on mag either before. Now it starts fine on mag. I don't like having to mess with a battery since it doesn't need one.
The coils you found on Ebay need to be rebuild.
The are just cleaned up and have varnish on the wood. No new contact points and I wonder if there is a new capacitor on it.
Ron and Brent are the right persons to send your coils to but first you can check a few things.
Test your coils on resistance as show in the diagram. Clean and set the points as showed.
TCoilTestData.pdf (139.3 k)
Here are some photos of Sid's 15 runabout:
First, follow Norm's suggestions above. If you find that you do need coils, I would not trust any from an unknown eBay source. If your friend brings you new coils from the USA you can be sure that any you get from one of these gentlemen will be good as new.
407 Stonegate Drive
THE COIL DOCTOR
6498 Flaxton Court
Thanks everyone for your kind responses. Will try and clean the coils. What is the best way to clean the coil? Should I use any special cleaning material for it?
With all due respect to previous posts you can easily eliminate coils by connecting a battery, 6 or 12, volt to the bottom and top terminals and the coil will (should ) buzz. When running on battery connect a 12 volt bulb to the mag post, at idle it will be relatively dim and increase in brilliance with increased RPM. No this will not tell you the voltage but it is just as good. If there is a concern that there is excessive movement of the crankshaft causing too wide of a gap (in excess of .030) a quick temporary fix is to place a brass washer between the front pulley and the block to stop any excessive fore and aft movement. With a condition where the magnets are too far away from the coils should only be experienced when loafing and coasting, under power the magnets should be at there closest position as every thing is being pushed forward.
With all due respect the symptoms do not point to coil problems at all. If he had a single bad coil it would still run fine on the other three cylinders when the switch is moved to MAG. Four coils do not go bad simultaneously.
The symptoms suggest that Sid has either :
A. No magneto output or
B. The magneto is not connecting to the coils (all four of them).
I would first accomplish the Regan Patterson memorial magneto test:
Wire a #1156 bulb across from the mag post to ground. I made mine by soldering a foot of wire and two alligator clips to the bulb, then wrapping duct tape around the bulb base. Connect one wire from the bulb to ground, the other to the magneto post.
Start the engine and measure the voltage at the mag post. It ought to be 5 - 6 volts AC at idle and about 18 - 30 volts at higher engine speed, typically enough to burn out the bulb in a few minutes time. The cheaper the voltmeter the better, I use an analog unit from Radio shack that cost $9.95. I know Radio Shack is gone, similar meters are on Amazon and eBay in the $20 range brand new with free shipping.
Then if that proves that the magneto is fine, which I suspect to be the case, it has to be either wiring or the switch at fault.
That helps a lot Royce. Many thanks. Will try that. Does running the T on Battery for a longer duration heats it up? There came a time when the T just wouldn't climb a small slope as well despite pushing the throttle switch several notches down and finally it just stopped. Had to wait for several minutes before I could crank it back again and with great difficulty managed to park it at my garage. It use to run beautifully on Magneto till then. I really hope and pray that there is no major issue with it as getting a skilled mechanic who understand T in India is not very easy.
Running on battery does not hurt anything.
Since it runs poorly on both battery & magneto I'm thinking you need to check the timer, (commutator), for wear. Have you done that yet? Best to begin there.
Do check the output terminal on the transmission cover as Michael first posted. That can get small contaminates and ground out the magneto so it won't fire the coils.
Clean and inspect that terminal first.
They really do get stuff on them, and will ground out!
Seems a simple cause of a lot of magneto issues, but true!
The reason for my anxiety is because it runs on 12V battery as in India we do not have 6V battery's. will check and keep all posted. Many thanks all you lovely people.
If you have a friend coming from the USA soon, I would (if you can afford it) purchase 5 "new" (rebuilt) coils from either Ron or Brent to have as spares, they aren't light, and shipping will add considerably to your costs. A spare timer and plugs would be a good idea too. We here in the states have a much easier time purchasing or even finding parts than you have.
Stop worrying about 12 volts. It's not a problem. When magnetos stop working, lots of people just run the coils off a 12V battery. You can go hundreds of miles, over several days, off a well charged 12V battery and do no harm whatsoever to your car. Just don't let a coil buzz for any length of time while the ignition is turned on and the engine not running. (Letting it buzz during cranking is perfectly fine.)
Again, since your car does not run well on magneto or battery, you need to check the condition of your timer. They don't last forever! Yes, good coils are important too. All the advice you've gotten on coils has been very good. But, good coils are useless when still using a worn out timer. With respect to coils, I highly recommend having your friend get a set from Ron or Brent, as others have suggested.
Thanks Jerry that helps. Well When I put my ignition key on BAT one of the coils starts buzzing,so I am not sure how can I prevent the coil from buzzing as you mentioned that "just don't let a coil buzz for any length while the ignition is turned on and the engine not running"?
who can help me with a timer for my 1915 T
Sid, before you spend money on another timer, check the one you have. It may need little or nothing to work properly.
"...I am not sure how can I prevent the coil from buzzing..." Either start the engine or turn off the ignition switch.
Or, just turn the hand crank slightly to have the timer rotor not touching a contact.
An individual coil will only 'buzz' when the timer rotor is making contact with one of the four contact points inside the timer case, and the key is on to BAT, providing the electrical current. Provided all wires are connected.
Please pardon me for asking, since I don't know your level of expertise with Model T's, but, do you know where the timer is and how to check it out?
You have a beautiful car ! Many people here would love to have it...keep at it and you will persevere
I honestly don't have the expertise on how to check the Timer out. It would be very helpful if you could guide me. My uncle is down in US next week and would be more than happy to carry a timer with him if some of you kind souls out there can let me know how I can buy and get it shipped to NY. I do have a paypal A/c so can pay by paypal. Luckily I managed to find NOS Spark Plugs in India for a princely sum of $3.00 each and am feeling so happy. Installed it last night itself :-))
Thanks Randy. It indeed is and I bought it from Green Valley, CA and got it shipped to India, from a very kind gentleman who at one point in time am told had over 50 Ford Model T's. Understand his Dad has also written many books on Ford Model T.
Just thought I will update all on what I have been up to with my T...unfortunately not much luck though (
1) Checked the timer and it seems to be fine
2) Checked the output terminal on the transmission cover and it was super clean
3) Checked for all the terminals on the coil and cleaned them thoroughly
4) Cleaned the plugs as well, although they were quite new but there was lot of carbon in them and cleaned them thoroughly.
Now I have a unique problem the Crank Handle has become so tight and it almost breaks my back when I try crank the T...it is so bloody hard. Have no clue why this has happened as earlier the Crank Handle was very smooth and the car use to almost always start in half cranks. Now even after multiple cranking the T does not start using a Hand Crank at all.
In any case the car does not still start when the Key is on MAG. So, after putting the Key on BAT I took help of couple of folks to push it and it starts when pushed.
Again when I park and switch it off to start the car using the Crank Handle it is so hard that I am hardly able to turn the handle and it is really back breaking and despite cranking, it still does not start using the Crank Handle.
Checked for smoke as well and it is quite clear in the sense it is not black at all.
The car runs OK and does not have the same pleasure it use to have in the past, maybe because I am unable to run it on Magneto anymore.
Relying on all you experts on what is wrong with the T now.
Has anyone experienced such tight Crank Handle in the past? If so what have you'll done?
Also another point to be noticed my "Spark Lever" does not completely retard and I have to force it hard so that it hits a 100% retard. Cleaned the lever with WD40.
Sorry for the detailed message as wanted to make sure I convey all the issues with my poor T (
Sid I think that you need to open the inspection door over the transmission. Look in there to see if something has come loose. Perhaps the magneto has been damaged by a broken magnet. Or a band lining has come apart. Something is causing this tightness in the engine and the loss of the magneto power. It is not likely easy to fix.
Be sure to remove the key from the ignition before opening the cover.
Sid, I wonder if something in your transmission is damaged or improperly adjusted which is making cranking the engine so difficult. Jack up one or both back wheels, place the brake lever in neutral then attempt to crank the engine with the switch off. Does the engine turn easier now? It could also be that the magneto coil has come apart or a magnet came off the flywheel which is binding the engine up. Did the engine make any strange noises when it was running before? I would not attempt to start the engine until you figure out what the issue is.
Thanks Royce. Might be a very silly question but where exactly is the Magneto and can one actually see it after opening the Inspection Door over the Transmission? Another observation is that it is NOT always, very easy to change the lever from handbrake to the center level lever position (neutral) and most of the times it is trial and error and If I get lucky it hits neutral else it goes on Top Gear. Also my brake pedal was quite loose so I tightened it a bit today and now it is lot more firmer and braking is better as compared to before.
Hello Stephen, yes I tried doing that today albeit without Jacking the wheels. it was easier as compared to before to crank the engine but still quite hard and tight and engine would not start. The only way it started today was by 2 Men pushing it. No, the engine did not make any strange noise when it was running before. How easy it is to check the flywheel? I think I will need to mount the engine down right?
Looks like I have created some big engine work for myself now
Sid, you will not be able to see the magneto if you take the inspection cover off. The magneto is on the front side of the flywheel and the inspection cover is behind the flywheel.
From your description of achieving neutral being "hit or miss", it sounds to me like the car might be in high gear when you are finding it hard to crank. Try jacking up the rear wheels and see if the cranking becomes much easier.
If it cranks much easier with the rear wheels off the ground, shut the car off, lower it back down, and have a helper work the emergency brake lever while you watch from underneath. Make sure that the clutch lever bolt is lined up with the cam arm on the brake shaft so that the bolt can ride up the cam when you pull the lever back.
Once you have verified that the clutch lever bolt and cam are lined up, check your low pedal clevis and clutch bolt adjustment per the diagrams below.
Sid, It sounds like the stamped steel cam on your brake lever that holds the transmission in neutral when the brake lever is vertical or all the way back is not lined up properly with the bolt which will cause the clutch to not disengage fully. That will cause the engine to be very difficult to crank. Please take a picture of the bolt and cam that hold the clutch disengaged when the lever is back so we can see what it looks like. As far as the magneto is concerned, it is located between the engine and the transmission and can only be viewed by removing the entire transmission cover. You cannot see it through the little door on the top. Before taking anything apart please upload a picture of the clutch lever and cam so we can determine if it's lined up properly.
Thanks Stephen. Is it ok if I send you the picture the inspection door over the transmissions? I will ensure that my brake level is all the way back when I take this picture. Also the level does not go all the way back very easily and there is still a gap after I push it all the way back.
This is the view Stephen is asking about.
He wants to see this. Take a picture with the lever straight up, and another with it all the way back. I agree, don't take anything apart yet.
Ok my dear Ford T mates here is an update from my end and the long of the shot is that that the handle of T is still so hard that I almost broke my back once again today. Here is what I am my helper did over 2-3 hours..
1) Jacked up the rear wheel and tried to crank it the handle was still very hard
2) Removed the entire Engine Oil and surprisingly it was very dark despite changing it only 2-3 months back and tried to crank the handle again too hard.
3) Thought maybe the clutch is tight so tried to loosen the 6-bolts in the clutch and tried to crank again no luck...back breaking effort continued
4) Struggled to get the car on neutral as well and by fluke whenever I was able to (by checking if the fan behind the radiator was rotating or not) the rear wheel was still quite tight to move as I am told even a 10-year old kid can turn the wheel with one hand when in neutral.
5) lastly as suggested by Steve and Mark tried to do what they suggested but not change again and I have almost developed Hernia now !!
Pictures of the bolt and cam as suggested by Mark, Steve and Stephen when the lever is vertical
I'll jump in here and maybe confuse matters.
1. It looks as if you will need to pull the brake handle back a bit more to get the bolt on the ramp.
2. Next I would make sure that the emergency/parking brakes are released. Even if you have to remove the pins that attach the brake rods.
The dumbest questions ever asked of you perhaps.
Have you oiled/lubed the parking brake shaft/control shaft mounts/bearings lately? Has it rusted up?
The hole in the frame right above the shaft mount/bearing. Both sides.
That and a spot of grease on the high speed cam?
That parking brake/control shaft should be very easy to move.
Do you have accessory oiling on that engine? Is your internal line plugged and you have bearing issues?
You'll get it sorted.
Look at the picture that Steve Jelf posted and you will notice that the lock nut on the bolt to the parking brake trans lever is mounted under the HEAD of the adjustment bolt and then is run down and tightened to prevent the bolt from turning by itself and changing your clutch adjustment. From your picture the lock nut on your car is underneath and also appears to be loose. The washer on top is for sure just loose so I think possibly your adjustment of the clutch "neutral" moved by itself because it was not locked down. Not sure what 6 bolts you moved to try to change the clutch adjustment but hope you really didn't start tinkering inside the transmission. You seem to be getting into more and more trouble. I am going to suggest you try to somehow find someone locally to help or pick one person from this forum to work with you one on one and not to try solving your issues by working with a committee. Just moving things or trying things at random is not a way to fix it. There is a lot of expertise here and in some ways perhaps too much expertise. You need to be more methodical so as not to add problems rather than subtract them.
Hope this helps.
Sid is in India so it may be a bit hard to find a local T expert
Brent Mise. Nice man and dose a super job on coils. You won't regret using his coils.
Just a suggestion, have you adjusted your break band too tightly? Maybe loosening that will allow the hand cranking to be easier?
Difficult hand cranking could be caused by one thing, or a combination of things. I believe the most likely problem is the clutch. But I can't imagine what six bolts you loosened. Let's see a picture of them so we know what we're talking about. I agree with John that just turning things at random is likely to make things worse.
John is right about not taking anymore things apart.
Your issue: 1) Jacked up the rear wheel and tried to crank it the handle was still very hard
Your photo of the brake lever straight up shows clearly the clutch lever bolt is either loose, worn threads, or dropped down too far, and that jams on the cam of the clutch lever,....and won't allow the clutch to release.
Without the clutch releasing, your are trying to start the T, turning it over with the hand crank with the T in high gear. High gear means you are trying to crank over the entire transmission and drive line, rear axle and wheels.
Get the correct setting on the clutch lever bolt, so that you can pull back and with the clutch lever, put the T into 'neutral', as that is what is needed.
Since everybody is offering their 2 cents I figured I might offer some suggestions . . .
As far as the clutch goes
Have you tried cranking with 1 or both wheels off the ground and the brake lever all the way forward?
As far as the brakes go
Have you lifted both wheels off the ground and tried rotating them with the brake lever all the way forward?
As far as cranking goes
Have you tried (switch off) cranking while somebody else pushes the pedal in very slowly?
Does anyone else see a problem with the pedal to clutch linkage? It seems that the clevis is ran all the way in. No threads showing. I would think that even if he adjusts the lever bolt to ride on the cam, the pedal is going to limit its travel to the point he's not going to get a free neutral.
Your last photos, Pictures of the bolt and cam as suggested by Mark, Steve and Stephen when the lever is vertical
Looking at your handbrake in vertical, the clutch lever bolt isn't up the cam to get the T into 'Neutral', that to me would be a problem.
Note where the bolt rests on the cam. Suspect this is keeping the engine in high gear, way too hard to hand crank with high engaged.
Here are the 3 positions of the Emergency Brake/Clutch Hand Lever. You should adjust the linkage for better free neutral.
If the six bolts you loosened were the ones which are wired together, they must be tight and wired. Loosening will not adjust the clutch. I think you either have a problem with the neutral position of the parts in the article above titled "Adjusting for a free neutral", or or the brake rods are adjusted wrong. If you remove the clevis pins from the brake rods, and pull the brake lever back far enough so that the bolt rides on the cam you should be in neutral. The rods should be loose enough that the brakes do not drag when in this position with the handle approximately straight up. Then pull it back a few notches and the brakes should lock tight.
If you can't reach neutral in this way, either the cross shaft on the brake lever is bent or there is an internal problem in the clutch.
Dear all -
Many thanks for all your suggestions below is what I would like to clarify -
1) The 6 - bolts which I tried to loosen are the ones on the clutch plate. I tried to remove the copper wires on it and loosen those bolts. No effect on cranking.
2) I suspected that we must have adjusted the Brake band tightly so tried to loosen it and yet no impact on the hand-cranking, it continues to be hard.
3) Did try to remove the clevis pins from the brake rods as well and yet no neutral
4) As a matter of fact since one of the wheels was on jack whenever I try to hand crank it the wheel also moves with the crank
5) @ Dan Treace how come the head of the bolt in your picture is upside down in the sense the head of the bold is hitting the cam while in my case it is the lower end of the bolt which is hitting the cam
6) I tried to crank with only 1 wheel on Jack (the right side one)
7) How do I ensure that my clutch has released? As most of you do mention that the clutch should be released before I can hand crank it but looking from the transmission door I am unable to find out how the "released clutch" should look like?
8) Some other observations the oii was very dark and there was lot of carbons on the plugs as well so cleaned them up
9) Also the last good ride which I had the T threw up the water from the Radiator couple of times before I finally parked it and post that the crank continues to be very hard
10) Tried "Adjusting for free neutral" as well using the literature sent by Mark but that did not work as well
Honestly with all the help I am getting there still seems to light at the end of the tunnel and wondering what else is wrong with the T and why does the crank continue to be so hard and why the car is struggling to find neutral....
1. No need to mess with any of those bolts
2. If you tightened the brake band too tight it could be dragging. This should not be engaging the drum at any time other than when it is being pressed by you foot. If too tight it could be causing problems except for number 4.
3. The clevis pins won't give you neutral but can will release the parking brake if that was causing problems
4. This indicates your clutch IS NOT seperating the engine from the rear end, your problem is the clutch.
5. Personal choices, it doesn't matter either way. The bolt head will give a larger surface area as opposed to the end of the bolt.
6. I'm assuming the wheel on the jack was turning based on number 4. If you jack up both wheels and block the car so it can't come off the jacks you may be able to start it with both wheels turning. This is DANGEROUS as the car will be starting in high with no brakes on.
7. If you can turn 1 wheel without turning the engine the clutch is released. The fork on the transmission attached to the shaft will move (circled in red).
8. A model T has no oil filter so oil will get much darker much faster.
9. It's possible your brake was tightened too tight and dragging causing a greater load on the engine making it run hot. Or as you indicated on "Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 03:17 am" your timing could be off causing it to run hot.
10. Did not work as well as what?
It is my assumption that there is something wrong in your transmission. Reason being the hard to find neutral coupled with the failure to run on mag. This has been approached as 2 different possible problems that are happening at the same time. The first being "what's wrong with the mag" and the second "I can't find neutral." Couple with that the overheating that you experienced last time it was run I don't think this is an easy fix. If it were me I would be looking at removing the engine/transmission.
You state, "1) The 6 - bolts which I tried to loosen are the ones on the clutch plate. I tried to remove the copper wires on it and loosen those bolts. No effect on cranking."
Do NOT loosen those bolts!!! Tighten them back up and wire replace the wires going through them!!!
Show us a picture of the transmission with the cover removed.
Bottom line, your car still cranks hard with the rear wheel jacked up, so the problem is NOT in your clutch. By jacking up the rear wheel, you have eliminated the clutch from the equation.
I'm now thinking you have a bad head gasket. It would explain the misfiring and lack of power. It also explains the hard cranking, since coolant has most likely leaked into a cylinder and is beginning to seize the engine. I suggest you remove the cylinder head and have a look inside. I would normally suggest a compression test, but since you can barely crank it, that not feasible.
Here is sketch of transmission with most items labeled for functions.
From the look of your bolt on the cam, it seems wrong. Too long, too many nuts under, and seems tilted like the lever threaded hole is enlarged with wear. My placement of the bolt face just my way to have more surface so the bolt doesn't wear on the cam face, but with grease there the bolt end is as Ford says. Suspect you just can't properly lift the clutch lever up enough with the surface of the cam to release the clutch spring.
Ford way, but note, the bolt has to ride up high on the cam to get the leverage to lift the clutch lever to compress the 100lb clutch spring.
The big spring is what engages the clutch discs, and locks them for the T to go into high. Pulling back on the hand lever should release the spring. The bolt on the cam has to do that job.
You stated you re-adjusted for 'free neutral' but if you have that same bolt and nuts in the place as your photo, you haven't got the setting correct yet. Try again, remove the clevis to the low pedal, and try to get the bolt / cam / clutch lever to have the clutch spring compressed to release the clutch discs.
Then the T should handcrank easy, as the clutch is released.
If still you cannot, then more than the clutch engaged MAY be the problem as posted by Chadwick.
You have posted that 2 persons pushed the T while in high gear and the engine started and the T drove. Was the driving distance very far? Did it go into low pedal, and go slow, and also with foot off the low pedal, it also went to high? When you pulled back on the Emergency brake handle did the T remain in neutral or did it creep along? Does the foot brake stop the T? Do you have to hold the foot brake on when at level stop?
If all the above was OK when you pushed started the T in high gear, then adj. is good, IF any of the above wasn't right, then the clutch adjustment for free neutral is still off.
Simpler question would be is that when it was last running (after pushing) could you stop the car using the clutch pedal and brake pedal without the car dying. If so then you clutch is functioning and linkages are a problem.
With all due respect to Royce and others I have had the same problem and it was the coil(s). I did the normal things when purchasing a (new) T. One of them was to adjust the coils to a 2.3 output. I started the car and it ran very well on battery. I then switched to mag and you would think I turned the key off. I tried it several more times with the same result. I adjusted the coils back to .7 and switched to mag and the car ran smoothly. It didn't have the power I was used to in other T's but it ran. I had a very week mag and it would not drive hot coils. A new mag fixed everything. Just my .02.
Hello My Dear Model T friend -
Well some good news and some not very good news !! Finally managed to fix the neutral of the car and got the bolt and Cam aligned. The T is now able to find it's neutral fairly well. Impact on the Crank handle is about 10% in the sense it has now become 10% less tighter but still quite tight.
Had to push start the car and ran it for couple of kms. The Car seems to be missing, not able to drive well on high gear, unable to climb even a 20 Degree high slope, got fairly hot in that short distance and overall not much of driving pleasure. So, did not take any further chance and parked the car. Tested for neutral again and could find it quite easily. So, one issue solved but the bigger one still remains !!
Besides the T still does not work on Magneto and immediately switches off when attempted. Now have I blown up 1 or 2 pistons, Do I need to check the head gasket, Pistons, Rings etc?
Any suggestions are most welcome before I open up the engine now.....there is absolute no driving pleasure for sure.
First thing I would do would be to run a compression check. Remove the spark plugs and open the throttle. Put a compression gauge in cylinder 1 spark plug hole, spin the crank as fast as you can. Do the same with each cylinder. Compare the readings. You should have about 50 PSI on each cylinder and all should be approximately the same. If the compression is good, your problem is most likely in the ignition system. If you have very low compression on one or more cylinders, the problem is in the valves or rings.
Thanks a lot Norman. I will plan for a compression Test this weekend and update all. Just curious if I have a problem with the ignition system then I should not be able to start the car even with a "Push Start" isn't it?
Interestingly the car starts with barely a few pushes.
The ignition can work fine at low rpms as when push starting, but begin to miss at slightly higher rpms - like if the timer is bad with an uneven surface, making the roller jump and then skip some contacts..
The coil box wood can also be bad, letting high tension sparks go the wrong way at random times, thus giving everyone a headache trying to diagnose the problem..
Many thanks for the responses. It is much appreciated. I did run the compression tests as instructed by Mr. Normal T. Kling above after removing all the spark plugs. Ran it for each cylinder and cranked the handle as fast as I could. Unfortunately it never hit 50 PSI for any of the cylinders. What could be the problem? I have a friend who is in US up to 30th of this month so please let me know what parts do I need to buy so that I can ship it to my friends place and have it carry it for me. I am really disheartened that My T is not running :-((
Hitting 50 psi on each cylinder isn't as important as having them each above 30 psi and having all of the readings within 5 psi of each other.
Please post the readings for each cylinder and folks here will let you know if they're OK.
Each Cylinder varied between 20 to 25 PSI and at no point did it reach 30 PSI. The reading was same in case of all the cylinders.
Hope this helps.
I don't think 20 - 25 psi is such a bad reading, given that it was done by hand cranking. The cylinders may have also been a little dry, (with little or no oil to aid in sealing the rings), so 20 - 25 is not so bad.
So, do I still change the Gasket and pistons along with rings?
Be sure to have the throttle wide open (and the gas shut off!) when you do the compression test. It is also best if the engine is warm, but if the engine doesn't run, then obviously you'll have to do the test cold.
Since all of the cylinders are low, but within 5 psi of each other, it's likely that the piston rings are worn, but the valves are OK.
If you haven't done it already, try squirting a little oil into each cylinder through the spark plug hole and repeat the compression test. If the compression readings come up, then it confirms that the rings are worn and it's probably time for a rebuild.
It's been a while. Let's review a little bit. You originally stated that the car wouldn't run well on magneto but ran o.k. on battery. What has changed since then? Does the car run well on battery only? Or, does it not run well either way now? Bring us up to date please.
im about to start my model T for first time & wanted to ask if 1912-14 vehicles back in the day ran a battery for better spark to coils when starting ? or just from magneto when cranking ? & does a master vibrator if mounted produce a stronger spark if no battery is used ? if they did use those old telephone pole batteries where was the battery stored in the vehicle ?.. & does anyone have connection diagram ?
John, I have no experience with a master vibrator, but this answers your other questions:
thanks Steve ..appreciate your efforts ..made good reading ...hopefully some-one else will chime in with more answers ..cheers !
John, you may start a new post for your questions that varies from Sid Khona's to get a better response
(and before the KW coils with a cushion spring came in 1913 you got better performance from a master vibrator = more consistent spark at speed, not stronger spark. Also no extra battery from Ford when a 1909-18 was new - but as the third main got worn from use and the distance between magnets and coils increased, many owners bought batteries for easier starting.)
Are all Model T's supposed to normally start on magneto?
Ignacio: Yes, but there's a trick to it. With the ignition timed by the book 15 degrees after TDC with the lever all up, you won't get any ignition from the magneto. So while it's important to always have the timing lever all the way up when starting on battery, you need to pull it down a few notches when staring on magneto. Just not too many - the individual cars differs now when they're about a century old. But with the lever in the right position, any T with a strong magneto and good coils should start on "Mag".