New Double T Owner, few issues...

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: New Double T Owner, few issues...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 05:47 pm:

Hello, My name is John and I just made the leap into the slow lane. I purchased two model T's, one is a 1918 that was last started in 1984 and is in a cut down buggy configuration from the 1930's. It has multiple fuel supply issues and I am working to clean out the fuel line, tank, bulb and carb to get that one rolling again. I also picked up a 1919 Touring that has been kept in AMAZING condition overall. Its been with its owner for many years and he has been driving it on tours for thousands and thousands of miles to include all the 12,000 foot passes of Colorado. My focus has been on the 1919 because it was the last one he drove on a regular basis. Last time he drove it for sure was in the 1990's but he thinks he may have run it as recent as 2003. That all said I am chasing gremlins with this car. We cleaned out the entire fuel system even know he drained it all out before he stored it. We greased everything and oiled it back up and spent 6 weeks checking every nut and bolt on the car. When it came time to start it we had some serious issues with gas pouring non stop from the carb. I shut the fuel off and pulled the bowl and found a stuck float was causing it, fixed that and moved on. Still after 250 1/2 crank attempts the car would not even attempt to start. I think inside the carb we have maybe some crud we did not get the first time. Well anyway we have spark about 10 degrees ADC and all four coils are sparking. After hundreds of hand crank attempts (no starter) it fired right up. If I shut it right off I can start it with a 1/4 turn on the crank easy. But if it sits overnight it is back to hundreds of cranks to fire it up. That said it is getting better, day 1 took me four hours to get it started, Day 2 took three hours and Day 3 took two hours of cranking so I am headed in the right direction. I checked the timer case and found it was dry and a bit fouled so I replaced that with a new one (NEW DAY type) along with the contactor that rides on the cam. That helped a lot in getting it started but still it takes 100+ cranks.

Yes I am moving the spark control all the way up and running the gas lever about 5 or 6 notches down. I also backed off the mixture about 3/4 to 1 1/2 turns (even tried 2.5 turns) and still it does not want to start. Once it finally does start it runs really great and smooth while sitting. I quickly adjust my timing and throttle controls to calm it down and go to MAG, smooth running. It I shut it off at that point it is super easy to start. Ok moving on still, time for the drive. in low range it feels like I could drive over a mountain top with ease. I get up to maybe 10MPH (with or without Ruckstell) and go into second and it gets nice and smooth and starts to cruse up to 40MPH with ease as long as I am on FLAT ground. As soon as I start to go up even the slightest grade the engine INSTANTLY starts to loose power and I have to use low range to make it up the hill. Gas tank is full to the top and vent is working. Timing has been toward the top on the hills, I would say in the 5 or 6 notches down from the top and that feels like the most power on hills even know it looses its momentum fast and needs low range. SO long as I use low range I can climb up grades of 10% with ease at a strong 8 to 10 mph. I have been trying for weeks on end to figure this out and so far some things I am going to do is #1 5w-30 (or 40) motorcycle wet clutch oil. Just ordered the ETIMER kit as well and I intend to attempt to rebuild the Kingston L4 carb. I think it is related to it sitting because the former owner stated it always started within 2 to 3 cranks even on the worst days and by cranks he means 1/2 cranks. He also talked about and has pictures driving this exact car up the sides of some very steep and high altitude mountains at speeds of 50+ (he did have a non factory gear in the rear end but has since fixed that back to a 40+ MPH gear set).

So I am looking for input on the extremely hard start and lack of power on ANY kind of hill (3%+ grade and it will slow to a stop unless you use low range) issue. Again this car has sat for years on end and the engine has 58, 58, 57 and 60 for compression. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get it going so I am looking for ideas. I am sure I left out all kinds of good details so I will try to remember them and get them posted.

That said I did spend over 100 hours reading as much as I could before I even attempted to do anything with these cars so I am not exactly a novice but I also respect the vast knowledge of the folks on these forums and hope that maybe I can get some ideas.

And yes I know the Etimer is not exactly true model T but after swapping the timer case today and dealing with clearance issues and grease issues and now my spark stalk is moving from what I assume is somehow now enough grease in the timer case I found myself quickly wanting to try the etimer. My plan would be to remove it at some point once I factor out timing for the issues. Maybe I am being silly by trying to keep everything stock but that said it is now a 12V car anyway so some things clearly have changed.

Okay my long winded rant is over, I look forward to any input you all may have. I just don't get why good compression, fuel, spark and timing still makes it hard to start even on a warm day and why now high range power.

Help!

Thanks
John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 05:57 pm:

There is nothing nicer (well, perhaps I'm getting carried away here) than having an early Ford start on the 1st quarter turn of the hand crank.

Many different ways to set the timing . personally, I like this way...

How to Time a Model T Mike Robison:
1. Turn crank shaft around until crank pin is horizontal
2. Turn key to Batt.
3. Retard spark
4. No coils should be buzzing
5. If coil buzzes go to step 8
6. Advance spark rod 3-5 clicks on quadrant a coil should buzz; If coil doesn’t begin to buzz go
to step 9
7. Retard spark, coil should stop buzzing everything okay!
8. The timer control needs to be lengthened return to step 3
9. The timer control needs to be shortened return to step 3
10. Coil should buzz and quit buzzing every time you advance and retard the spark!

When the timing is set properly, then you can work on the fuel issue.

Good Luck...(and you are to be commended for your perseverance :-) )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 06:37 pm:

That's great info. I am going to definitely do those steps! Thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 06:59 pm:

One thing I don't think you mentioned. Have you been using the choke? And if you are using the choke, is the choke being completely closed? You need to first turn the fuel adjustment 1/4 to 1/2 turn richer before you try to start it. Then Turn about one complete turn with the choke pulled. Then turn on the ignition and try again without the choke. Usually a cold engine will start or at least sputter the first pull after you release the choke and turn on the ignition. Sometimes even get a "free start". Anyway, that is what I think is happening, you don't have enough fuel into the cylinders for starting a cold engine. As the engine warms up, lean the mixture to the point where the engine runs smoothly.

Another thing. How is your compression? You should have at least 35-45 PSI at higher altitude. This is also part of why you lose power when climbing hills. The higher altitudes have less oxygen and do not have quite as much power. It should pull a 10%grade in Ruckstell Ford high. Maybe not start out on a hill like that, but if you approach at a run and as it begins to slow to about 15 MPH shift down into Ruckstell it should continue to pull the grade. I don't know whether you live near Dave Huson, but Dave drives all over the high passes and he could tell you if your engine is running OK. You also need a full or nearly full gas tank when going uphill.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 07:21 pm:

Only thing missing on the timing instructions above is to be certain #1 cylinder is on COMPRESSION stroke. Also I leave the spark plug connected but laying on top of the exhaust manifold to ground it, so then I can observe spark at that plug while setting the timing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 07:23 pm:

Yup full tank, and compression is showing high 50's low 60's. Turning this engine over by hand reminds me of how strong the compression is. I live at 8,000 feet but the car has been at these altitudes since it was brand new. In fact both cars I have came from even higher at around 10,000 feet and have now moved lower in altitude. As for the choke yes I do choke it and when cold it does not even so much as make a sputter. If I choke even an extra half turn I notice the engine hydrolocks (or equivalent cyl flooded) because it becomes REALLY hard to crank until I crank a few more times to flush it out. Part of it may be me getting the hang of cranking it as well. It has 1990 era 30 weight oil (fresh from bottle, last owner did a change the day before I picked it up from him). Some variable weight oil would go a LONG way on this engine. My 1918 takes about HALF the effort to turn the crank. I can STAND on this crank when it is 40F outside and it barely moves. When it is 70F out it turns much better but still very difficult. I am over 200 pounds and still it is a bear (ya I need to work out so maybe this T cranking will help...)

I have to get these both going again because I am only the third owner for both cars, I even have the photo the very day they came home from the dealer and they have been titled and registered for 98 an 99 years solid for the road. Granted the last owner did not do anything with them for at least 15 years and I think that is a BIG part of the issue. He is SHOCKED I am having these issues because he said it always started really easy.

Not sure about Dave Huson but I am happy to transport the car to a fellow collector in Colorado who has any ideas and wants to take a swing at it. Next week I plan to start attacking the 1918 at least to check for basic operation but my goal is to focus on the 1919 touring for the most part until I work those bugs out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 07:33 pm:

1919 Touring car, the hard one to start.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 07:34 pm:

1918 "Buggy"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nick Miller on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 07:59 pm:

If you can, why not take the carb. off the running car and put it on the difficult cat. I'll bet that will solve the problem. Look at the starting setting and vary it from the usual to what works for you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 08:08 pm:

The 1918 "Buggy" has not started in over 30 years, the 1919 Touring is the one that is giving me issues. I suspect both cars have been sitting so long that the carbs are both gunked up. But I do have spare coils and stuff from the 1918 that would still be good. Next week I will try to start the 18 and see what it is all about. I will be shocked if it fires right up, the gas tank had two inches of HEAVY sludge in the bottom and the bowl on the carb had what looked like motor oil in it (old gas).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 08:12 pm:

Rebuild your coils John or have someone competent do it. Crappy coils give you crappy performance.

Do a detailed visual inspection of your spark and timer rods. They're probably worn out and there's lots of slop in them. This has to be corrected BEFORE setting the timing as all you are doing is wasting your time. Smart people understand the problem and make corrections. The rest ignore this. Let them ruin their starters or get thumped in the arm by the crank. You won't!

You have to go thru EVERY electrical connection and makes sure everything is bright and tight. Just wiggling something to see if it's tight isn't enough. Disassemble connections at terminals and shine up everything with a wire brush. This means you are also visually inspecting all of your wiring. Replace wiring with rotting insulation or bare wires.

The coilbox is where you can have multiple issues fighting you. Visually inspect it. 10 times out of 10 they need PROPER rebuilding. Don't replace the wood with wood - go modern. Putting in the plastic wood upgrade kit is the best way. This requires disassembling and cleaning existing electrical contacts to be used in the new kit. YOU WILL NEVER AGAIN HAVE COILBOX TROUBLES AFTER REBUILDING.

Inspect the timer and its wiring loom. If the timer is worn then replace it with a quality timer of your choice. Since the car is new to you, you MUST check the timing cover plate to see if it's properly centered on the camshaft. There is a proper tool for checking this - and there are crappy tools for checking this. If the plate is not centered then you will be firing early on two and firing late on the other two which means sucky performance.

This is the absolute least you should do with a new-to-you car but this stuff will choke an engine. There are no acceptable shortcuts.

Good luck!

Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 08:23 pm:

Yes the coil box is on my radar for sure. The coils are wooden and some are louder vs other but that could just be the two on the end I am hearing more of. It's for sure on my list to go over. Today I did all the electrical connections I could get to and cleaned them up bright and shiny. All in time. Thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 10:16 pm:

"...somehow now enough grease in the timer case..." If there's any grease at all in the timer that may be your problem. A New Day is intended to run dry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dallas landers on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 10:33 pm:

John, sounds strange but your lose of power may be in the brake shoes. Mine sat a long time before I got it. It ran fine but on a very slight uphill grade it would lose momentum and I would go to low to keep moving. The rear axle seals had leaked and that sticky goo was like fly paper stick and robbed power. I cleaned the shoes and drums and fixed the leaking axle seals and problem solved. Just a thought.
Drive safe and often.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Blake, Kansas City on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 12:18 am:

John,

I wish I had the solution for you but I do have some observations. I can't see that your car could be hydrolocking. The intake system consists of a sidedraft carb feeding an updraft intake manifold, and if it were overfueling that fuel would be leaking onto the ground. And considering how much space there is in a model T combustion chamber, I can't conceive of the carburetor gushing fuel so bad that it could result in a hydrolocked engine.

That said, I do wonder if when the spark lever is fully retarded, is the timer actually retarded? It sounds like the timing may be so close to TDC that it doesn't try to kickback, but it tries to fire and feels like its hydrolocked.

Just a thought.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 10:37 pm:

Extremely helpful information! The brakes do seem the be dragging for sure as when I jack the car up in neutral the rear wheels don't even come close to free spinning. It feels like the brake is set but it's not and I have about 20,000 of an inch in clearance on my Rocky mountain brakes. Can't see the factory ones too well but tomorrow I plan to take a very close look at all of that. And yes I suspect timing could be a problem for sure. I have the etimer on hand now but I may try to get he stock setup working right before I install the etimer. If for no other reason just to better understand the car. Also I noticed when I apply a little choke while hand cranking the engine it tends to sputter and act like it's going to fire. At that point I let off the choke and one more crank and she starts up. I suspect some old fuel in the carb may be causing some issues. Tomorrow I am spending all day on the car and expect to have some updates. Thanks to everyone for the helpful info. It is nice to have a forum that is full of helping hands vs so many forums these days with people who just want to bash you. Sounds like I got into he right hobby with T's! Great folks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 10:40 pm:

Extremely helpful information! The brakes do seem the be dragging for sure as when I jack the car up in neutral the rear wheels don't even come close to free spinning. It feels like the brake is set but it's not and I have about 20,000 of an inch in clearance on my Rocky mountain brakes. Can't see the factory ones too well but tomorrow I plan to take a very close look at all of that. And yes I suspect timing could be a problem for sure. I have the etimer on hand now but I may try to get he stock setup working right before I install the etimer. If for no other reason just to better understand the car. Also I noticed when I apply a little choke while hand cranking the engine it tends to sputter and act like it's going to fire. At that point I let off the choke and one more crank and she starts up. I suspect some old fuel in the carb may be causing some issues. Tomorrow I am spending all day on the car and expect to have some updates. Thanks to everyone for the helpful info. It is nice to have a forum that is full of helping hands vs so many forums these days with people who just want to bash you. Sounds like I got into he right hobby with T's! Great folks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Friday, May 12, 2017 - 02:34 pm:

Okay so far today has been very productive, I installed the new Etimer and that made a massive difference for sure. The car now starts after 10 to 15 cranks. That said I also cleaned up all wiring. Here is what I noticed however.... I have to jack a rear wheel up to start the car. Once I do that a few good strong pulls and she fires right up. I am thinking maybe I need to lift some weights :-) because cranking with both rear wheels on the ground is really hard. Also when I lower the rear wheel after I get it running it stalls. I have to let it warm up a bit first. Now that said I do have the lever in neutral and the car does not move on its own when I lower the wheel so I am thinking maybe the low/high is somehow dragging just a little when in neutral?

I have not tried any hills yet as I have to wait for a spotter to be safe. My driveway is 1/4 mile long and 8% grade most of the way. Maybe later today when the wife gets home I will try a drive again.

Making progress.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Friday, May 12, 2017 - 02:57 pm:

Maybe the clutch has to be adjusted for freer neutral or a dragging band loosened - you shouldn't need to lift the rear wheels unless it's freezing cold - or cooler. Maybe you have too thick oil, 10w-30 should be fine.

Don't ever let a band drag - it could become a costly problem soon, especially if you have kevlar - it'll break a drum from heat sooner than the kevlar wears off.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Oravez on Friday, May 12, 2017 - 05:34 pm:

I now have 5w-30 Motorcycle oil for a wet clutch in the car. That rear wheel spin really gets cooking even at idle so I think it is for sure grabbing the "forever belt".

7 cranks to start it from a dead cold engine that sat for three hours however so I am on the right track!


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