A question for electrical/ coil gurus

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: A question for electrical/ coil gurus
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Young in Mays Landing, NJ on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 03:49 pm:

One of my T's has no magnets on the flywheel. We all know how these cars run on 6 volts. I don't want to convert to 12. What I am considering doing is to wire an 18 volt battery pack from a cordless tool to the "mag" terminal of the key switch. The little battery would be concealed and, by using the part of the tool that the battery normally snaps into, the receptacle would be affixed. If by the end of a long day of touring the voltage is getting low, I could simply key back to 6 volt power to the coils. Realizing that a magneto puts out around 28 volts of AC power, can I expect to get decent operation from 18 VDC? Is there any detriment to this idea? My other option is an E Timer which would do fine on the 6 volt system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 04:16 pm:

I don't see that it would give a problem. Try it and see for yourself if the charge lasts long enough to be worthwhile.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 04:21 pm:

" We all know how these cars run on 6 volts."


They run just fine on 6V.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Rogers - South of the Adirondacks on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 04:48 pm:

Yes, they run mighty fine on 6 volts- never had a problem.

Seems like a lot of needless work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 05:05 pm:

Experience for me has been coils run a bit better on 12v DC, than 6v DC. Seems to give hotter spark, only downside is with 12v DC, the coil points don't last as long.

Using 18v DC you might see the coil points burn up faster.

For my T's, 6v DC starts the T's, since all have magnetos, switching over to AC is best running, as the mag can put out over 30v AC at road speed.
AC allows the coil points to last longer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 05:29 pm:

I wrote an article about running a Model T on 6 volts DC. There are some things you can do to help, but there is no free lunch.

More on Model T Spark Timing


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 05:31 pm:

I wrote an article about running a Model T on 6 volts DC. There are some things you can do to help, but there is no free lunch.
More on Model T Spark Timing


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Shirley on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 05:36 pm:

As a kid in the 60's I had the honor of befriending a gentleman that worked at a Ford dealership in the T era. He always said to switch to the mag after you get her started, that the AC mag was a lot easier on the points.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Young in Mays Landing, NJ on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 06:07 pm:

Jerry and Tim. Are you saying that your cars run along the same on battery as they do on mag? Mine run worlds apart on when switched over to mag. Getting a shorter life span on the points is not very attractive, as I tend to put about 3500 miles a year on my present T. A buddy of mine did a test with the E timer powering the coils with just a single 9 volt dry cell disposable battery and drove the 45 miles to my house on it. I would expect the lithium ion to last for quite a few hundred miles. This is all just a thought at this time. Next time this motor needs to come apart I'll put the magneto components in and get back to normal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 07:03 pm:

Dave
I suspect Jerry and Tim have the initial spark timing set very close to TDC as opposed to Ford's recommended 15 ATDC. Common trick. The only down side to that is Fords published Spark lever rules for hand crank magneto starting no longer apply and could be dangerous. That gives you some more room before the crankshaft outruns the fixed time to operate ignition coil, but does not entirely solve the problem at higher speeds. Perhaps J & T are driving their model T's as they were designed to be driven. :-)
The Model T coil operates entirely differently on battery DC than Magneto AC. Don't waste your time contrasting battery voltage to magneto voltage. Based on your original question using a 12 volt battery works satisfactorily. Bob S. is correct about coil point wear AC VS DC, but this is not a material reason for concern.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Young in Mays Landing, NJ on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 07:13 pm:

Thank you. I'm going to try it on a little 12 volt battery and see if I notice any difference. That article by Ron is very interesting reading.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 08:39 pm:

Except for an emergency get it home patch? I would not use 18 volt battery of any type.
There are many factors affecting how well the coils respond. It is not only about the voltage, but also the duration. The Ford magneto works better at higher voltage because the short duration of each pulse limits the wasted energy, which is what causes both the burning of the points, and the over-heating of the coil windings and the tar. Running on a DC battery and the timer results in a much longer duration of spark. Generally speaking, the higher the voltage, the more harm that is done. (There are certain current-limiting factors in some batteries and circuits that can change that.) I think an 18 volt unregulated lithium ion battery could ruin the T coils in not very many miles.
Running on a six volt battery often doesn't work really well because either the timer is not properly centered, or the coil condensers or adjustment are not properly balanced. Properly rebuilt and adjusted coils usually run well on a six volt battery. The idea that twelve volts is better is erroneous. The capacitor saturation is voltage related, but once that saturation is reached, more voltage does not help, and can only lead to premature failure of the fine windings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 08:39 pm:

To add to what you said, if you are running a new day timer on battery, over a period of time you will get burn on the leading edge of the contacts, where if you run on mag, the timer will last much longer because the spark will come when the brush is fully in contact with the cap in the middle of the segment. I don't know if that would happen on the new brush type timer.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Young in Mays Landing, NJ on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 10:56 pm:

Well, I definitely don't want to do damage to my coils. Brent Mize has done a great job keeping them going for me with many miles being racked up. I'm running the TW timer. The 18 volt idea is out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 01:38 am:

If Brent Mize has reworked your coils? They should work fine on six volt. Unless there is some other problem with the timer, wiring, coil box or any connections. I do not know Brent M myself, but have heard many good things about him.
Proper centering of the timer (front cover) and good front cam bearing is critical with roller timers. Still important, but less critical with New Day and some other brush type timers. I have not seen the new TW modification. It sounds good to me, but I don't know whether it reacts like a straight brush or flexible roller to an off center timer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 07:43 am:

Dave
You will see a noticeable difference with 12 volts DC at higher speeds for the reasons cited in my article. The only way you will hurt your coils is if you leave the key on and let them buzz continually without the engine running. Brent Mize knows all this.
The post above at 8:39 PM from Grass Valley is for the most part uninformed nonsense.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brad Marble on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 08:37 am:

I have found,through experience, that by setting my coils down close to one ampere, instead of 1.3 or 1.5 amperes, that the engine starts better and runs almost as well on 6 volts as it does on the magneto. I say almost, it is ok but not the same as a good magneto.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:00 am:

To be more clear, in the days when I ran coils and used 6V, I was able to drive fast enough to scare me, (and often did). The car ran great! I can't personally say that it ran better or worse than using the mag, because I never used the mag. (It worked, I just never used it, go figure...)

As to Ron's surmising that my initial spark timing was set up to accommodate 6V, I can't really say. I would have had no clue at the time as to how to do that. I just set things up the way they ran best. Maybe I did just as Ron says, but only by luck or "feel".

Not arguing that 12V is better, just wondering how much you notice it from the driver's seat. I suppose it varies car-to-car, depending on lots of variables. My T on 6V & coils did everything I asked it to do. (BTW, my cars MUST run well, with no sputtering or misses, or I won't rest. I see lots of cars puttering through tours, randomly running on 2 or 3 cylinders, and wonder how that can still be fun.)

Anyway, have a great day on 6v, 12V, or 18V, as you wish! Keep em' going!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:12 am:

I am NOT a proponent of using 12 volts, but it will address Dave Young's specific problem in his original post. .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 12:19 pm:

At the risk of being accused (Again) of having no scientific method, I did some experimentation a few years ago, for my own curiosity. No measurements were taken, but I compared 6 volts, 12 volts and magneto, just from the driver's seat, and found 12v and magneto to have noticeably more power than 6 volts as you increased speed. I did not click on Ron's article above, but if it is what I think it is, it explains how running 12 volts essentially advances your timing, or put another way, running on 6v is like running with your timing retarded. If that is the article I am thinking about, then that is exactly how the car felt. I could tell no difference between magneto and 12 volts. Again, just from the driver's seat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker, Oklahoma City on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 12:57 pm:

Dave,

I sent you a PM.


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