Well it was a fun ride while it lasted. My brother and I bought a speedster about a month ago, for what we thought was a very reasonable price. The previous owner had just finished rebuilding the magneto, and we know he does quality work.
All of that came crashing, almost literally, to a halt. From what we can tell, the magnets came off the flywheel and decided to make a swift exit from the hogshead. Does anybody know how fast these magnetos can spin before they blow themselves apart?
The best we can figure, it's one of two possible reasons why this happened. Either A: something about the rebuild wasn't 100% done right, and it just decided to fail now, or Option 2: we ran it too fast for two long and it decided it didn't like doing that.
Here's what we know about the car. It's a fairly stock car, with a lowered stance, Waukesha Ricardo head, and an outside oil line. As far as we can tell it's bone stock other than those modifications. The previous owner claimed it would run 55, and we can verify that. So the real question is, did we run it fast enough to sling the magnets off, or did something else ruin our fun?
I'd like to know, so we know how we should rebuild it. If the stock magneto can't run that fast, we either need to figure out how to make it run that fast or install a different ignition system. It's fixable, I just want to make sure we do it right.
I once knew a guy who had a similar experience on a recently rebuilt T engine. Turned out the rebuilder did not hammer over (like a rivet) the brass screws holding the magnets to the flywheel.
The Montana 500 Boys and Girls average those speeds so I doubt a correctly setup magneto will fail at 55mph.
This leaves incorrect assembly.
There are 16 100 year old magnets and if ANY one fails, it's all over. Really the magnets should each individually magnafluxed and I doubt most amateurs builders do it. JMHO
I just pulled my motor down and found two magnets cracked in two. I was lucky not to end up like you.
Am curious to know how much damage was done? You should be encouraged you may also be able to 'resurrect' your speedster.
An irresponsible bro-in-law had unfortunately tried for the ultimate speed record with my Dad's factory stock 1926 TT. (Dad heard about the speed attempt afterwards when our next-door neighbor revealed he had been following the truck.) Two days later, one of the magnets had cracked in half and came up through the hogshead, punching out a fist-sized hole. Thankfully, I was able to find salvage parts and do the repairs before Dad passed away... And I'll always remember Dad's Cheshire Cat grin when I drove up in it. The original 'Holey Hogshead' has been kept to be a responsible reminder for the past. Maybe, that's why Dad passed the TT on to me?
Yes, magnets do break. I've found cracked or broken ones in more than one magneto. When assembling a magneto I whack each magnet hard against an anvil several times before recharging it. I'd rather have a cracked one break then than after it's in the car.
To estimate the damage you will need to take the engine apart and see.
The reason why this happened, you will never know for sure. I am about sure it will not be the speed. I did 80km/h very often and had till now never had a problem. At that speed it are the brakes that are a problem!!
Even when all is done right during the rebuild it can happen, you are working with 100 years old parts.
Even having magnafluxed it all will not garantee you, it could not happen.
If I was you, I will have a bear ( ore two) and take it all apart, make photo at every stage and show them and see what can be done.
Thank you for all your encouragement. So far all we've done is pulled the floorboard off and picked up all the big chunks. I'll get some pictures up here as soon as I can. It looks like we're going to need all new magnets and hardware, and the coil ring is broken. The entire top of the hogshead shattered, and there's even a hole punched in the engine pan. The hardest part of the rebuild will be the cowl. A lot of pieces came flying out, and some of them hit the sheet metal pretty hard. Oh well, we were thinking about repainting it anyway.
Here's how she looked the day we brought her home.
Jared..first, I'm glad you "got out of it" okay without being injured. Second, I have to agree with Keith B....speed. Don't care what they say, the T was designed for 40-45 mph, and yes, you can "push" em far beyond, but not without the possibility of extreme consequences. I know my thoughts here will open up Pandora's box much as oil and water pumps, but that's my own feelings. I'll stick to a safe comfortable 30-35 all day long.
All of the above. 55 is pushing it hard. Yeah, some people get away with it. Is it good for the car? I can't see how it does it any favors. Can a magnet have a crack that doesn't get seen by a builder? Yeah. Can a magnet without a crack develop one? Yeah. Are the chances better of a magnet turning loose at 55 than at 35? Yes.
I didn't see this mentioned but what if one of the brass screws used to hold the magnets failed?
I agree that you will probably never know for sure what happened. If I were to guess, I would suggest that the magneto was not properly shimmed to assure the gap was the same all the way around and then due to the higher RPM and the resulting centripetal force one side of magnets touched the magneto. Evidence to support this would be if multiple magnets adjacent to each other broke.
Speedsters are in reality antique Hot Rods. They should be driven as what they are, Antique. Pretty simple to understand that.
Really sad story. That's one of the reasons why I put slingers on my flywheel instead of magnets and get the ignition from a high tension magneto in my speedsterized primitive pickup. My forth season of fun has just begun - of course it'll break some day since I drive faster than it was designed to run - but it won't be the horse shoe magnets that breaks
I've had my speedster over 60, but briefly! I didn't intend to go so fast. Was watching the road instead of the speedometer and kept accelerating, (felt good). When I finally looked at the speedo, I suddenly thought, "the magnets!", and backed off.
All that being said, I don't think good, un-cracked, properly installed, magnets are that big a concern at higher speeds. BUT, how many of us can say, for certain, that we don't have a cracked magnet lurking in the bunch? (I guess Roger K. can say that)
You were lucky as you seem to have both your feet and legs intact. The rest of the stuff is easy to replace. Sorry that it happened to you though. Otherwise, a very cool looking speedster!
I had one come apart sitting in my driveway , running at a fast idle, the cause was a broken magnet, it took a piece out of the hogshead, stripped some coils off the mag ring, broke off the magneto pickup and much more, all the pieces fit into a coffee can.
I think I've told this on here before, but....I sent a set of magnets to a fellow forum member to be charged. He found a cracked one, but replaced it for me, so I would have a whole set. He said to just send him a replacement when I found one. So, I'm at Hershey and there's a guy with a bucket full of T magnets. I told him I wanted one, but could I check it for cracks first? He said yeah. So I held it by the bent end and smacked it against the asphalt (No anvil handy). It broke in two. The next one passed inspection and rang like a tuning fork. Glad I didn't send the first one as the replacement.
Wonder if he would have wanted me to check the rest of them for him?
All this talk about 55 being too fast, I assume the assumption is a stock driveline with stock gearing in the rear end . . .
Consider yourself lucky, now you have an excuse to build a less stock powerplant. Now you can remove the magneto and put on a distributor. Since you should be taking apart the motor might as well install an oil pump where the mag has been removed from and pressurize the main bearings. I like to run a pressure bypass that runs surplus oil to the timing gears.
A speedster opens the door for options that might not be as approved for a stock T. I would start by losing the magnets and mag ring and adding some splashers or spools to help move the oil. Then I'd contemplate what I wanted for my ignition system. To me there would be three choices - a high tension mag which would be era correct, a distributor (some vintage around but modern works too), or an E-Timer which looks stock and lets the coils buzz without the dependency on the mag or carefully tuned coils. There is some charm to the stock ignition on a speedster but considering that you have already deviated quite a bit from Henry's intent, there are reasonable choices that don't include exploding transmissions. Whatever option you pursue will probably run you in the range of $400-500 when installed and running.
While it's apart, you really should take the time to check the balance on everything in the engine and transmission. Careful balancing is one of the main reasons the Montana 500 folks can run those speeds and have the engines survive.
Distributor from langs $325
Magneto coil $220
Odds and ends probably make up the difference.
In short a new distributor may be the same cost as rebuilding your mag.
Thank you for all of your suggestions. I keep seeing mention of the Montana 500. Has anyone on the forum run in that event? I'd like to keep the stock magneto setup if possible, and any suggestions for how to do that would be greatly appreciated. I like the idea of going faster, but I don't want to get too far off the stock setup. I know, kind of a tricky balancing act, but I'm willing to give it a try.
Talk to Tom Carnegie:
Here is a link to the Montana 500 website:
No offense but you car screams "not stock." Just as your car not having a stock body would not be welcome on the Montana 500 their cars would not be welcome on an endurance run. It is much more difficult to attain the same speed out of a stock car as compared to a speedster. What I like about a speedster is that it is a perios correct way to go faster. A good balancing act yet also difficult is to retain all period correct for whatever year your car is.
I enjoy the good hunt for that hard to find part whether its the Atwater Kent distributor, Winfield carburetor, Hartford shocks, Perfecto rear end, or even the Model C 16V Roof. Many parts have been reproduced and many when found will need restoration and even the fabrication of parts.
Jared, my gut reaction is that one of two things happened: 1. One or more of the magnets was cracked and just "let go". 2. Something interposed itself between the magnets and the field coil, such as a bolt.
A bolt could have come from one of the six that hold the transmission tail shaft on, for instance. It could have happened from a nut dropped into the transmission when the bands were changed at some time in the past, as another example.
As far as high speed with magnets. I have never had a problem with it. Indeed, my T will go 55 mph all day long and I have had it going as fast as 75 on down hill runs, as have most Montana 500 guys.
When we built Clayton Paddison's T motor, we insisted that the original magnets be retained, as we feel that they are part of the oiling system and are virtually required if pressure oiling is not being used. We don't consider paddles adequate, either from an oil delivering standpoint, or a robustness standpoint. I have seen too many paddles come loose eventually. I have never seen a set of well tested (for cracks) magnets let go. Clayton drives his somewhat hopped up T (HC head, Stromberg 97's, distributor e.g.) at speeds of 55 plus for long periods of time.
Speedsters are a whole world of their own. Original era. '30s era. '50s or newer. Restored or replicated to an original specific era? Or just do your own thing like people have been doing with model T Fords for 108 years now. True racing built cars back in the day were few, and expensive. Speedsters (by any of dozens of names) were built by the many thousands, and probably half of them back in the original era had stock engines with timer and coil ignition. The truth is, more over-head valve heads were sold for use in trucks in the original era than were put into speedsters. Better power low rpm and better breathing higher end equaled more ton/miles per hour. It was during the depression that most of those heads were removed from the trucks that had reached the end of their usefulness (truly worn out). Some found their way onto depression era racing. Some just onto shelves full of hopes and dreams.
Original era speedsters ranged from beautifully built cars with factory made after-market bodies of many types. With or without fenders windshields, external exhaust, fancy wheels? So many options. And so many cars to try them out on!
Other speedsters were farm built. Used what ya had, made it work. Looks kinda rough right now, but maybe later I kin finish it up a bit?
Personally, I like a nice clean looking home-built type speedster. A mostly stock engine, with a good carburetor upgrade, Whichever of the three main options for ignition is fine by me as long as it is tweaked up and working great!
Then I want a good overdrive in there. Warford, Muncie, Jumbo Giant, Chicago was Vic Sala's favorite. Any of those good overdrives behind the carburetor upgrade an a healthy reasonably balanced engine should be able to cruise at about 70 mph all day long. And don't forget the brakes!
Now THAT is a car I want to do a few hundred miles of winding back road, all in one day. And maybe do so for several days in a row.
As for your flywheel? Check it over carefully. It may be that much of it could be used safely. Some parts (pan for example) may be repairable. Many pieces clearly will need to be replaced. Check over the flywheel itself (cracked warped or triple pins damaged) , the rear flange of the crankshaft (bent or fractured), transmission drums (new cracks?)
If enough of your pieces look good? You may be able to just pick up a few easy pieces and start putting together a transmission that won't fall apart at 70 mph. If too much looks much worse? You may need a whole new transmission or two to find enough good pieces.
Chad, I just meant the car doesn't have a lot of modifications. Yes, the body is customized and the stance is lowered. As far as the mechanicals, the aftermarket head and outside oil line are the only things I can find that aren't stock. Anybody can build a fast car if they throw enough parts at it, and that's fine if it's your particular cup of tea. I just like having a well-tuned car that goes a little bit faster than a stock Model T.
Tom, that's what I was hoping you'd say. I like the stock ignition system, and I think Clayton Paddison's car is probably the most famous speedster in recent memory, so if his hasn't gone kablooey and he runs as fast or faster than I want to go, that's good enough for me.
Wayne, that's what I thought too. I did a VERY quick search through Lang's' online catalog and I think I can buy everything I need for $500, give or take. Won't know for sure until I actually pull the transmission apart. Luckily I bought a pile of parts awhile back and in it I have at least one more hogshead than I have engines.
Some form of accessory transmission or Ruckstell axle is in the long-term plans eventually. As of right now we're just planning on rebuilding the transmission and redoing the body. The only thing we're thinking about changing is the body color. Maybe changing the differential gearing to a high speed set this winter.
Thats what I figured. On my speedster that I built in HS there were as I consider it minimal engine modifications and yet when opened op I was able to run at 55-60. And if you believe those following in a modern car hit as high as 75, I did drive considerably on bay area freeways so I believe the speed was about right. Something like what I had sounds about like what you are after.
Engine modifications consisted of 26/27 intake manifold inverted and stromberg sidedraft carb bolted to it via a 1/4 inch plate to adapt bolt pattern. I did change over to a distributor removing the T magneto, allowing for a bug oil pump and pressurized mains. A bypass was fitted to discharge excess oil to the timing gears. The camshaft was changed to a cut down stock model A. The A cam can be tuned down and run in the T block without bearings. As far as head goes I was running a stock low head. I was running a stock exhaust manifold that opened up to a 2 inch straight pipe. All in all minor modifications that while they did not produce tire burning acceleration would move the speedster quite well. As far as gearing went I did have a warford which would allow me to grab that overdrive and drop the RPM's down which was a huge help. To keep the overdrive from being too high a 10 tooth pinion was installed making the rear diff a 4:1. This provided an excellent high gear for driving around home (Sierra foothills) that I could shift into underdrive and climb nearly any hill in high, and believe me I've been up and down some real monsters.
Well there is a combination of parts that I feel are mostly stock, fairly cheap, and produce good results.
Thought I'd post some pictures of the carnage, for those of you who are curious.
Luckily the floorboard is heavy plywood, or things could have gone badly.
The cowl took quite a beating too.
More photos of the damage:
Looks like a few pieces came upward at a high rate of speed. I wonder if the passenger side of the engine is where the trouble started.
Can't post more than two photos per post for some reason, but I have more.
Looks like something decided to escape through the pan.
But the worst of it seems to have gone out the top.
Looks like I need a new exhaust pipe.
And the coil ring has seen better days.
Last picture for today, I promise. My apologies to those of you still using dial-up.
Here's what we've fished out and/or picked up so far. I haven't seen anything that looks like it came from the engine or the transmission (no gears, bearing caps, obviously not hogshead or magneto pieces) so we may luck out. No way to know for sure until we actually pull the engine and transmission apart.
My brother was slowing down because he was approaching a stop sign, so I'm going to guess he was in neutral when it happened, if that may affect anybody's diagnosis. Does anybody have any suggestions or words of wisdom for a couple novice magneto builders?
Is it possible that in coming to a stop it was put into neutral before it was throttled down? Obviously something mechanically failed, but maybe over-reving in coming to that stop contributed. I'm glad no one was hurt - that is sad to see.
Or downshifted into Low at too fast of a speed and over-revved it?
When you're talking about a 35 mph car without front brakes and an engine designed for a non-counterweighted crankshaft, rolling on skinny clincher tires with nylon cords at 55 mph, structural and safety margins will come in thinner slices. _Transforming the pokey Model T Ford into a race car can be done, sure, but all race cars sacrifice reliability for performance and they're notorious for breaking down.
The coil ring surely appears to be a fairly new re-wind by Wally S. or the new fellow who took over from Wally - Major Bummer !
I'd place $ on a cracked magnet let go.
I'm notorious for running these engines without the front floor boards in place. I think it's due time to change that notion.
Thank you for sharing and keep us up to date on the rebuild if you would. :-)
You might never know just what led to that disaster, but fortunately you were not hurt. I would suspect that one of the magnets was cracked and it let loose while it was toward the bottom of the crankcase which caused the hogs head to break and the exhaust pipe to be damaged. That is the worst case I have seen a picture of. I have a hogs head I got with a bunch of used parts, with a chunk out near the starter but haven't seen one where it went all the way across like yours. I would suspect the starter shaft stopped it abruptly when the broken magnet hit that area.
I think you should check very carefully the block, especially around the 3rd main and also the crankshaft for breaks. Also check out all the transmission parts and even the driveshaft and rear axles, because such an abrupt stop could also damage more than just the magneto and hogs head.
Sorry for your loss but happy no one was seriously hurt or killed.
An option when rebuilding is to replace the horseshoe magnets with modern magnets to eliminate the likely-hood of a magnet coming apart.
Jim, that is an interesting idea. I read the thread you linked to in your description. Does anybody know if this accessory ever became available for purchase?
I will ask the previous owner about what all he replaced when I get the chance. Part of the appeal of this car was the rebuilt magneto, which I've been told is quite the performance enhancement on any T. When you switched the key from Batt to Mag, the sound of the car was like night and day. And you could feel the power difference when you were running, too.
My theory is there were some parts reused from the old magneto that probably should have been replaced. Whether it's the magnets that gave up or some other part, it's hard to tell. I'll post some pictures in the next day or two to corroborate my theory. The only thing I can come up with is a magnet giving way, as it's the only part big enough and heavy enough in the rotating mass to cause such chaos.
I assume, which is usually a bad thing, that any parts vendor who sells recharged magnet sets tests every single magnet before they clean, recharge, and package the "new" magnets. Is there any way to assure this without knocking all the magnetism out of a fresh magnet? Is it possible to buy brand new magnets, that would likely to contain zero 90+ year old stress fractures as compared to originals that very definitely have that possibility? Maybe I'm being paranoid, or maybe I just don't have enough extra hogsheads laying around to do this more than once. haha
We spoke to the previous owner tonight. I told him what happened, and he felt bad about what happened. we were very adamant to him that this wasn't his fault. As a philosopher from Greenbow, Alabama (that's in the county of Greenbow) once said, "It happens."
He said he was driving it when he heard a noise in the transmission, so he parked it and tore it down. He found a broken magnet, so he decided to rebuild the magneto. He took magnets from a donor car, that he inspected thoroughly, and he recharged and installed them. He said he replaced every single magnet. The coil ring was new. As for the rest, I'm not sure. So if I had to guess one of the magnets had a crack in it that he didn't see. Again, "It happens."
That's a very fair treatment of the previous owner. Glad to hear it. I agree 100%.
Sorry for your troubles...
That looks like the boys field coil that got destroyed, they do a wonderful job on them as long as something else does not decide to destroy it!
Thanks for the encouragement, guys. Remember how I said I had more pictures to show you? Well I finally got around to getting them onto my computer so I could share.
Finally got the hogshead off. At least, the big pieces.
I was looking over the engine compartment and found this bolt laying on the timing gear cover. Looks like a bolt from the flywheel. No idea how it got there, or how it just happened to land in that spot.
Here's the chunk of the coil ring that broke off. If you look at the corners, if ovals can have corners, you'll see there's a scraped area on each one. The bottom one has more scraping. I'm not sure if it's because that's anything significant, but I thought it was weird.
It all looks bad, but I'm not sure anything went anywhere except out. I think the damage is pretty much self contained between the flywheel and the coil ring. If anybody wants me to show them anything specific in order to know for sure, just let me know. I'll be pulling the engine and taking the transmission off for sure, but if don't see anything damaged on the outside of the transmission is there any reason to completely disassemble it? Not trying to cut corners, just trying to avoid tearing something apart if I don't have to.
For those of you who were wondering if we made progress, I'm here to tell you... Maybe?
We took one of my spare engines apart so we can use the coil ring and magnets as cores for buying rebuilt ones. Of course the easiest engine to dig out of the barn was the one that was stuck. I came up with a "brilliant" idea: Why not just unbolt the crankshaft from the mains and rods and just take it with the transmission? The answer is because that's not how life works. In order to slide the crankshaft out of the rear main, you have to take the bolts out of the flywheel. The catch 22 was that if we could have done that in the first place we could have left the crankshaft in. But we finally finagled everything around and got both the crankshaft and the transmission out. Right now I have a block on the engine stand with nothing in it but four stuck pistons and a stuck valvetrain. I smell a rebuild coming soon...
But for now the speedster. Everything in the magneto looked good. There's still plenty of magnetism in the magnets. Is there anything I need to do besides clean them up a bit and ship them off?
Yes! Check them for cracks! Also have your block checked thoroughly around the rear main web, usually incidences like this at the very least generate cracks in the web, which can once again, lead to a major failure. I would also have the crankshaft checked--it has been supporting an unbalanced load, if only for a very short time.
Thank you, Jared for starting this thread, I've learned a lot. Sorry for your trouble, though.
Tom Carnegie, I copied your list from 2015 on in-car mag charging and I need to do this to one of my T's.
1. Pull the transmission band door off so you can see the flywheel.
2. Turn the motor over until any two off the brass screws are in a line that is parallel to the ground. In other words the two screws are evenly spaced.
3. Remove the mag plug.
4. Procure a strong DC voltage source of 36 or more volts. Several batteries or a DC arc welder work well.
5. Put some tape around a punch or bolt or some such thing and hold it onto the mag terminal through the mag plug hole. The tape is to keep the bolt from shorting to the hogshead hole.
6. Make a connection to the bolt from terminal of the power source.
7. With the other terminal of the power source, flash the chassis several times. I do eight flashes, just out of habit.
8. Reassemble and test.
Be very careful, especially on 26-7 T's to not short the terminal to anything, especially the gas tank.
Is there anything you would add to this because I want to do it right.
Thanks for any help.
David, what is the best way to "have your block checked thoroughly"? Is there any way to be sure it isn't cracked, short of disassembling the entire engine and shipping off the block to an engine rebuilder?
Again, not trying to cut corners. Just trying to get the engine back together as soon and as easily as possible.
If you can't take it to a nearby engine machine shop (just the block itself) for magnefluxing, then get a dye crack test kit to check the web. This kit uses a cleaner, then a revealing fluid that wicks into any cracks, followed by a spray on 'developing" coating that covers the surface, and any fluid trapped in a crack shows up very clearly.
So we've been tearing down my "spare" engines so we can get enough parts to build a new magneto. On one engine, four of the sixteen magnets are broken. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but is there any way to make sure something like this doesn't happen again?
My brother and I were discussing it the other day, and we started thinking we should install either an external magneto or a distributor and eliminate the coil ring and flywheel magnets entirely. Are there any external mag kits being produced, or is it just the original kits produced back in the day? Is there any real benefit to not running a magneto inside the transmission?
I know there are many people who say these magnetos were never meant to spin that fast, and I'm sure there are many who think the distributor is the only way to go, but I am still a bit wary of deviating from the original magneto setup. Thoughts?
My experience is that if you assemble a magneto with well checked magnets, you won't have a problem.
Tom, that's what I was thinking. I'm just worried about having another catastrophe. The previous owner said he had an issue with the magneto, and that's why he rebuilt it. Is it possible that something else in the car could cause a magneto to come apart?
I've heard a lot of people suggest that I take this opportunity to check the balance of all the parts. What's the best way to do that?
I've ordered the magnets and coil ring from Lang's already, as I plan on using a stock magneto setup in the next engine I rebuild. We're going to rebuild one of my spare engines after we get the speedster back together, so if we have any problems with either car we can just swap out engines if needed. I would like to put the magneto back in this engine, but my brother believes it would be better to eliminate the extra rotating mass and avoid having another one go ka-boom. So we'll see what happens. I'll post pictures of the teardown as we get into it.
Typically, the harder the base metal, the better the residual magnetism.
While this theory was known 100+ years ago, the world as a whole still didn't understand steel. They had figured out that more carbon content (relatively since the actual carbon percentage is to the right of a decimal place) and then lots of heat with a quench of sorts made the steel hard, they were still using the color of the metal hot as the guide to when 'cooked'. Guys were indeed good at this color identification but for the best hardness (and thus best chance for highest residual magnetism)...there was a very fine 'hue' between best practice and 'burnt steel'. (yes, it can 'burn')
So what happens with burnt steel? Oh, it will take magnetism, it might even look OK but somewhere in the grain structure will be micro globs of junk. Micro-glob will have a unique property...it wants to behave like glass! Then it wants to be a stress riser as it differs from the other grains as it solidifies. Then you add years of being used possibly in small flexure's...and you wind up with chunks that can let go.
Short of an x-ray, the only way to test is the wallop test and then those on the edge will crack and cleave. Not to be a doomsayer...but that is still not a guarantee, there may remain a micro-glob that still wants to behave benign and after all of this elapsed time, may stay benign.
(Drop a modern child's thin horseshoe magnet with a Made in Taiwan sticker on the floor. It will probably shatter for the exact same reasons offered.)
Sorry for the drift, but figured why not as future folks search and I have tons of time on my hands for now.
[Today's lesson is brought to you by GIMP who has one leg out of commission for at least the next 6 months (knee cap shattered in 50 pieces and hand stitched together with wire by a cowboy of a Trauma Orthopod. He claims fake knee caps have a very bad record of success so he only does them if the kneecap is full of arthritis as there is no other alternative for those folks.)
You all don't have to worry about me making daily pedagog professor postings either...haha...I also had a frontal lobe contusion from the fall that kept me in a CT machine for most of a day and a night before they determined the brain stopped leaking and put me thru the MRI and for now I am now not supposed to let screen flicker influence things until I'm passed by the neurologist. I did ask the Ms. if she wanted to rent The Shining! Got that raised eyebrow look in return, wonder why? The only time I ever got that look before is when I actually asked first to buy a 1958 red and white vette with matching numbers...and the 'look' told me to not go back and buy it.]
[Weeks ago I had made a post on something and some asked for details when I 'was ready'. I had hopped up into the loft over the laundry room from the garage side...11 ft off the ground...to take some pictures for someone of a disassembled car that stays there. The car is known to be as original as it gets. One second I was in the loft...next thing I know I'm apparently on the ground with a neighbor holding my forearm and saying 911 is coming. I recall looking at my left leg and saying to myself 'straight' but noticing NO kneecap hump at all! I whispered 'guess this cost me a knee-cap' and then I missed the next 3 days...
Good news is that I may have been in the trauma unit for 36 hours straight with some big decisions being made for me from 3 May...but now I'm home since Friday with visiting therapy scheduled and am already up to 88 steps with the left leg immobilized and using a cane! They already billed Medicare for six figures and I guess I'm worth it, eh?]
Sounds like you may be rethinking what I posted on May 3. An option that just came up on facebook is . . .
I have another very nice Columbo ( Apollo ) cross drive magneto mount for sale. These make a slick and very reliable ignition source. This one is complete and also has a brand new set of Dan Mceachern gears that are included. Also has both ends of the magneto coupling. Often the mag side Is long gone. $500 . If you have to consider getting a field coil rebuilt and installed, and 4 coils, it works out to a very cost effective alternative. So, lighten that flywheel , install some oil slingers, and get ready to take off !
Always glad to take payments, these are getting pretty scarce in nice shape. For info, and pics, email@example.com , no Facebook messages or PM's, please. Those are too hard to keep track of. Thanks!
Jared - Not many people spin their magnets as fast or faster than Tom does and for hundreds of miles at a shot. Checked, balanced and set up properly they are very unlikely to go boom. Still possible of course but not very likely if checked and installed properly.
Thanks for the post...
Gravity can sure change a person's life in an instant.
George, thank you for the metallurgy refresher. I remember studying such things in my Materials and Processes class in college. I'm also sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you have a good rest and a quick recovery. Sorry to hear your career as a stuntman was a short one. haha
Chadwick, I'm still pushing for the stock magneto setup. My brother is the one pushing for installing a distributor. The one thing we can agree on is that we should save up our nickels for a Ruckstell or a Warford.
I feel vaguely more confident now that I've checked a second set of magnets. Out of the 16 magnets, only one cracked. For those of you who are superstitious, it was the thirteenth magnet I checked. (Insert Twilight Zone theme here.)
I looked at the dozen good magnets from the other transmission that we disassembled. I was looking for one with the poles oriented in the same direction as the magnet that broke. I had two magnets that were flip-flopped (N-S, not S-N), and all the others either read N-N or S-S when I checked with a compass. I'm not sure exactly how that works, but that's where I am. Guess they'll have to be retrained somehow. The really odd part was that the two magnets that actually had differing poles at the end of the V were right next to each other on the flywheel, and they were installed N-S N-S, not N-S S-N or S-N N-S like they should be. (again with the Twilight Zone theme.)
Well we've made up our minds. Kind of.
Thanks to Chadwick Azevedo, we've located an external magneto mount that we'd like to use. So the speedster isn't going to be running an internal magneto anymore. I'll save the mag parts we already ordered, since we have another engine or two to rebuild. At least we're using a period accessory.
Now my big debate is oil slingers. I've been reading a lot of threads about them, and the general consensus is there is no general consensus. Some guys use them and love them, some guys use them and have disastrous results, and some guys never had them and are still running great. The only thing that seems to be agreed upon is that an external oil line never hurts anything. Since we have one of those, I'm going to rebuild it. It didn't fair well when the hogshead went kablooey.
I'm leaning towards using aluminum angle iron and building my own slingers. Aluminum shouldn't add a noticeable amount of weight to the flywheel, and having properly secured slingers shouldn't hurt anything anyway. And if they should come apart, the aluminum would be soft enough to prevent catastrophic damage inside the engine or transmission. Is this a fair assumption?
I ALWAYS get my T flywheel dynamically balanced. Almost invariably they are significantly out. Typically it costs me about $120.00 locally to get it done. Static balance is not nearly as effective
When removing the magneto my Grandfather would install the vw oil pump for the main bearings running a pressure relief to dump oil on the timing gears. In the pan he would braze a pickup and a dam for the oil. The pickup would be angled so that the spinning magneto would force oil into it. As far as slingers the only thing on the flywheel would be the bolt heads for the ring gear. He assembled a good number of engines in this matter with great success.
Les, that's not a bad idea. Who do you call to do such a thing? I've never had a flywheel balanced before, so this would be new territory. I'm not even sure how you'd do a static balance. I've heard it's a good thing to do, but I don't know of anything I've read that properly explains it.
Chadwick, The VW oil pump seems a little to much of a departure from period correct for us. Nothing against your grandfather's ways. Just not our style.
I've read a lot about guys who either build their own slingers or just double up the magnet support spools and put them on every other screw hole in order to ensure there is something on the flywheel to get some oil movement. I'm thinking if I run a piece of angle aluminum (I know I called it aluminum angle iron earlier. Slip of the tongue, or I guess fingers. There's probably a dirty joke there that I'll let you write on your own.) from the mounting holes near the crankshaft to the starting gear screw holes, with a new spool to keep the angle straight, that should push enough oil up toward the mag post oiler to keep the lubrication at least as good as it was when we bought the car.
I'm either overthinking this or I'm missing a glaring error in my daydream engineering. If anybody can tell me one way or the other, please do. I'm in no way an expert, so if anybody else has a suggestion I'm open to them.
I just installed a set of oil slingers on my 27 Tudor motor. They work real good.
Thats a different color, one usually reserved for down here.
That's a pretty impressive blow up, my toes curl in self preservation at the sight of those pictures.
I have belted a lot of magnets myself recently and found a number of them cracked. There's actually an assembled flywheel down in the shed I'm going to have to revisit, because in this regard, I didn't know anything when it was put together.
When overhauling these things the most tiresome chore I've found is balancing the magnets. They can vary in weight quite dramatically, and being quite hard material it's not very easy to linish material off them without building up a lot of heat. I've spent over an hour with some digital scales in front of the linisher working through a set of 16.
The other tricks I recommend are firstly truing up the flywheel in the lathe. Push the dowels out & set it up so you can take the same tiny lick off the mounting flange, the magnet bolt land and the face where the spools sit.
When you assemble it, do up all the bolts and screws with some loctite. (Make sure the magnet keepers are the right way around or you'll be annoyed with yourself) Check the assembled height of the keepers to make sure there's no huge variation.
For a most satisfying finish, find a machine shop that has some patience and a flywheel grinder. Have them dial it up to your newly machined/trued mounting flange, then grind the magnet keepers just enough that they're all the same height.
If the machine shop is any good they'll also be able to dynamically balance your fresh assembly.
Just curious, has anyone ever run an impulse mechanism on a high tension magneto for a T?
I’m going to take a moment to describe the failed magnet failure analysis from the photo above. I normally don’t do autopsies on photos alone, and I haven’t played coroner in about 5 years because I apparently disappointed a few when my analysis of actual sent in cranks told the why’s but of course could not tell the how’s. (They ran bent and loose and managed to hang in there until generally 30% of the area was left (a 3::1 original safety factor) was not good enough. ) My analysis of triple pins and bushes just after that wasn’t good enough either. ) Tough crowd and that's OK...the dozen or so on this forum that send thanks for postings makes it well worth my effort
For starters…that rust triangle seen was ‘probably’ in there from day of manufacture. A result of the manufacturing process. The ‘surface of Mars’ appearance suggests that. I don’t know whether the magnet material was hardened first and then bent…or bend mild hot…or bent cold and then heat treated. Someone who has the actual drawing of a magnet would have to coach me there as each process will yield a different result come failure time.
Interesting and my purpose for commenting is the Beach marks the two obvious ones, or perhaps even more. They are the result of flexure! What flexure, eh? The metal doesn’t lie. My guess is the flywheel does not flex….sooo…they have been pulled down crooked and tight, too tight, maybe at least 2 times in the last century? Plausible excuse I guess. Interesting also is that the final edge of the break, the outside radius has a pop-top can edge. That says one side tried to hold on while the other side decided to let go and at the final millisecond the breaking force (due to spinning?) was excessive to what the metal was ready for all else failing rapidly. In defense of Ford methods...there is also some garbage 'pepper' at the center and might be expected if Ford or their supplier forged/rolled the steel to near net size...yet without etching the sample, it appears the break passed through there so quick, the usual 'reef' effect of a raw sugar break in the garbage area on a cleave did not have a change to happen.
Again, photos don't show all and I'm not in a position presently to do any lab testing on the cheap..so..just an educated guess on what the photos show...
No solutions for the future…sorry…just a view of the past. FWIW.
Chadwick, I just used what I had in engine paint. Detroit Diesel green. Where is down here?
Save your self some money and maybe a lot of trouble.Do as Les suggested and spin balance the flywheel then bolt it to the crank and spin balance everything!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joe Bell knows!!
Nope, my T is still going strong....5 years, 2 months and 19 days since I fired it for the first time I fired it (and about 10,000 miles). I cruise (with a Chicago OD, Ruckstell and 3:1 gears) at 65 all day. it still pulling at 75...
The magnets do help with oiling as Tom said and add more rotational mass.
You wouldn't think that matters much, but I notice it on hills. My original engine was magnetless and on hills....it was a dog.
Interesting thread, have enjoyed the comments, esp. regarding keeping the magneto assembly in your speedster.
Once did a speedster engine and removed the flywheel magnets, and put angle steel flappers, found that one almost broke at the angle due to oil resistance at running. Removed those things.
Only causal observation so far in your posted photos is the one with the bolt showing that 'star washer' on the busted shaft.
One would wonder of the use of that star washer for locking an internal fastener in the transmission..... poor choice IMO.
Good fun in replacing the mag in your speedster, neat little Ford you have!