This is the 110th anniversary of the Ford Model K banner year. About 500 Model K were produced during fiscal year 1907, making Ford the largest producer of six cylinders automobiles in the world for the second straight year.
Few are probably aware, but Henry Ford applied for a magneto developed for Ford by Edward Huff. Not the 1908 low tension Model T magneto, but an even earlier, and more unique ignition system.
Henry Ford applied for a new magneto patent in July, 1905 (issued 1908). This was a unique ignition system, and was used on the 1905, 06 and 07 Ford six cylinder racers. It was also the first magneto placed on a production Ford, the Model K.
Unlike low and high tension magnetos, standard on some high end automobiles, this was a truly unique system, and wouldn't be seen on a production auto again until the 1950's. This advertisement by Holley (builder of the mag) explains the magneto to some extent (Huff system):
This photo of the 1905 six cylinder shows the Huff mag mounted forward of the seat just behind the rear cylinder jug:
When researching the magneto/ignition system used on the Ford Model K, there was confusion about what kind of system it was. Fortunately, Mike Kosser agreed to review the diagrams of the Ford-Huff system used on our K, and found that it was indeed a unique system. It was the fist known working Capacitive Discharge Ignition system, and the first CDI placed as standard equipment on a production automobile. The CDI wouldn't be used on a production automobile again until the 1950's. In the link below, Mike contrasts the system with the later Ford-Huff Model T low tension coil/magneto system. The article is somewhat technical (for me), and may appeal to some of you who understand the workings of the Model T coil system. Thank you Mike.....
A couple of excerpts from Mike's three page paper:
Whoop's,I thought there were three?Bud.
There are three, however only two redundant or independent systems. One may run on battery/6 coils/timer, ala all early Fords. Then the mag/CDI consists of dynamo (mag), condenser, coil and distributor. The third system is to use the coil and distributor with battery, switching from Mag to Bat on that side of the coil box. So, yes, three ignition systems, however no more than two in use at a time.
Rob,I remember you and Dean Yoder working on the mag and trying to explain it!! I hope your well! Bud.
May I ask? What is the physical size of the capacitor?
It's in a box the size of the coils. I believe 2.? mF
This video shows the Huff magneto from our Model K running at moderate speed, with over an inch gap. At the end of the video a hand crank speed shows how hot it is at slow rotation.
Tis a big capacitor and a hot setup.