I am trying to get my Grandpa's 1923 T running after sitting over the winter. The number 2 coil is continuously buzzing. As the motor turns over the other three coils will also faintly buzz, but not as strong as the number 2. I moved the coils around to different spots and the buzz stayed on the number 2 coil. I am thinking that the wire must be grounding out somewhere, but it got dark last night before i could check for that. I am wondering if anyone has any tips I am open to suggestions.
Check to see if the #2 terminal on the timer is touching a bolt, the timing rod, or some other metallic, grounded object.
The wire from timer to coil box is grounded or the coil box has a problem. Check that first and see if you find the problem. The connector at the timer can get bent down and ground on the timer housing or the control rod can wear through the insulation and cause a wire to ground (short).
First: a visual check of the timer wiring to look for a possible short. If nothing found do this next: disconnect the timer wire for that coil at the porcelain connector where it comes thru the firewall. If the coil continues to buzz it's in the box. If it stops it's something not obvious in the wiring. Look closer.
If you are using the original brass plate to retain the felt seal, you may have a short due to small bits of brass shorting out #2 timer segment. Remove, degrease, and blow out with compressed air & re-install.
If no change, check routing of #2 timer wire as Hal suggested.
Is the engine pan bolt under the timer threads up or down? Bud.
I was able to find a small knick in the casing of the number 2 wire to the the timer. After repairing that and checking the rest of the wires I was able to get all four coils to buzz individually. We were able to get it started, but we it doesn't seem to be running on all cylinders. I have one coil that has a weak buzz. After moving coils around I determined that it is the coil itself and not the box as the problem moved with the coil. Is it OK to use a fine grit (800 or higher) sandpaper to clean off the points?
What shape are the coils in Eric? Capacitors replaced? HCCT'd? Yes the points can be cleaned & I hope that works out for you but if you want a really good runner they have to be gone over.
I have had this problem. Give your timer a real good cleaning inside. It fixed mine.
I have found oil with fine metal suspended in it between the insulating ring of the timer and the and the terminal insulator. This will allow the coil to buzz constantly, sometimes sporadically and even faintly. Cleaning the terminal where it goes through the timer case will cure it. I suspect many good timers have been discarded because of this.
Just one more possible reason.
As far as I know the coils have never had any work done to them. Knowing who my grandfather was I'm sure he picked them up here and there at different auctions. The wood box of the one that is buzzing the weakest is in pretty tough shape. After work tonight I am going to look around to see if I can find any different coils to swap in. With any luck I should be able to find at least one somewhere in the spare parts. The timer was cleaned up well when the coil wouldn't stop buzzing. Thank you for all of the replies! There is a lot of great information on here that I am excited to learn.
Eric has solved his continuous buzz, but for future reference I'll show two common causes for that.
The #2 terminal is at the bottom of the timer. If the continuous buzz is on #2 it may be that the bolt below the timer is installed with the long end up and is contacting the terminal.
The #3 terminal is at the top of the timer.
Continuous buzz there may be caused by the terminal or screw touching the control rod. In that case the rod needs to be bent to miss the terminal.
Well we were able to get it firing on all four by switching out a coil. Thank you for the replies.
You need to have someone knowledgeable in calibrating coil current and physical measurements to have your coils properly adjusted tom Ford specs.
You will like the difference the way the engine starts and runs