Cleaning my Timer

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Cleaning my Timer
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Calabrese on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 06:57 pm:

Hello All,
Was looking for some advice on cleaning my timer...Read so many conflicting opinions on grease vs. no grease, oil, etc. Now I'm more confused than ever. Not sure what style I have, any sure way to tell? Any help is much appreciated.
Thank you, Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 07:24 pm:

Need a picture.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 07:58 pm:

Dave, how it is cleaned depends on what type of timer you have. Drop the retaining spring and have a look inside. Then we can help.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By RICHARD GRZEGOROWICZ on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 08:05 pm:

HI Dave,serviceing a ford timer is a fun project,first[i find it much easy'r to remove the fan assy,then take the cotter pin holding the advance rod to the timer move it aside,take note a wire goes behind where the advance rod connects to the timer, loosen the bracket holding the cup in place and swing the cup aside, take your finger and rub it around the race where the roller runs, this should be very smooth,no bumps. next take hold of the roller assy,and check for tightness, a little play is fine. I spray every thing with carb cleaner,then blow every thing good with the air hose to dry carefull not to dislodge the spring I give the roller a good shot of 3n1 oil,put things back as they were and give the timer 3 or 4 good shots of the 3n1 oil and your ready to rumble.good idea to give the timer a shot or two every month or so. good luck GREG.[if its real grungee you may want to replace the felt seal on the cam.]


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 08:28 pm:

Take a look in the Vintage Ford mag or one of the vendor catalogs and let us know what kind you have.
Sort of hard to give advice with what you posted. Dick gave you some good info


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Verne Shirk on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 08:51 pm:

What I do is follow pretty much what Richard G. is saying. At present, Iím using 3 in 1 oil and have for the past three or four years. I run a stock timer and roller. Keeping in mind that the roller is what completes the contact for the electrical circuit. That means the contacts in the timer, the roller, the pin for the roller, the hinge of the roller, etc. are all a part of the circuit. It would be nice to have a mini-camera inside the timer but my guess is that you would see some arcing/sparking as timer roller goes around. That arcing/sparking causes the lubricant (whatever you choose to use) to burn a little bit, producing some carbon. Carbon can be a conductor which can cause the electrical circuit to be completed at times you don't want it to...i.e. misfiring. Iím of the opinion, at present, that the 3 in 1 oil does more to lubricate and causes less carbon tracking than anything I have tried so far.

We had a couple of old boys that used to come on our tours around here in the 1950 to 2005 time frame. One restored a 1911 Model T Touring pretty much to perfection and the other guy bought it from him. They were both some of the top mechanics for American Airlines in Tulsa and, in my opinion, forgot more than most people will ever know about Model T's. They both owned other T's and toured them since the late 1940s. I asked what the secret was to a good running Model T. They said to clean the timer/roller about every 100 miles. It works!!! Even my daughter can now tell when the timer needs to be cleaned by how the car is running. The other "good" thing that comes out of a frequent cleaning is that the timer/roller lasts a long time when you clean it often. It doesn't get scalloped near as fast, nor does the roller, or roller pin, wear out as fast.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 08:59 pm:

But the first problem is, we don't even know what kind of timer it is, as Dave himself indicated. Heck, it could be a roller, Anderson, or even an e-timer for all we know. And each would have it's own need, or even non-need for maintenance. He needs to just open it up first and look inside and go from there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, July 10, 2017 - 10:32 pm:

Hey Tim, If it's one of those "E" things he won't have to look there.

PS Verne, I think there is a camera in there as well. I've never looked after several thousand miles. lol


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 08:45 am:

Gene, yep, I know, altho in case someone went the "extra step" and hid the transistor thing or whatever it is inside the box as the instructions says you can. I'm sure most people don't. And I was feeling a bit ornery last night and sarcastic. My bad! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Calabrese on Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 09:36 pm:

Hello All,
I first need to apologize for the delay in responding, my last daughter of three just got married and I was pre-occupied with the wedding. Here is a stock picture of what my timer looks like, the grease versus oil has me a bit confused, this is the first cleaning as I've only been in the Model T game for about a year and a half. Thanks again.

Timer


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 09:50 pm:

Dave, that's an Anderson timer, they recommend using the lube in the link i posted, but I'm sure others will chime in on what they use. Hope this helps.

https://www.modeltford.com/item/3221LUB.aspx


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Hutchinson on Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 09:51 pm:

sent you a pm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Calabrese on Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 09:59 pm:

Thanks Hutch!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Friday, July 21, 2017 - 06:25 am:

Well, for one thing, that's definitely NOT a roller-type timer, which means a completely different approach to keeping it clean and lubed. -I'd go with John Noonan's advice. -

A timer, any timer, is an imperfect, Rube Goldberg device which works perfectly only under perfectly ideal conditions. -That's why many people give up on the accursed thing and replace it with a Volkswagen distributor, E-Timer, or one of a myriad of other replacements. -Unfortunately, for those of us possessed with an unreasonable purist streak, the timer is part of the warp & woof of what makes a Model T a Model T. -The damn thing is woven into the very fabric of it's infamous tick-tock simplicity and for no more than a desire for originality, those of us who put up with it, put up with it. -For a new, first-time owner, there's a daunting amount to learn about the Model T Ford, but all of it is simple and little by little, you'll become familiar with each and every one of it's absolutely exasperating quirks and even come to feel affection and admiration for its indomitable recaltriance, sort of the way a loving parent dotes on a chronically misbehaving child. -If nothing else, it teaches patience and builds character.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, July 21, 2017 - 07:42 am:

I have had three of those Andersons. The first lasted no time. I lightly lubed the contacts in it. The other two are still running. One is half full of grease. The other is completely dry, no lube at all. Not saying it's right or wrong, but someone on here suggested that maybe the light greasing was just enough to hold abrasive particles right where there needs to be no abrasion. They suggested running it dry. I had already put one on one T with a handful of grease in it, so I didn't bother trying to clean it out and run it dry, but when a roller timer failed on the other T, I installed a new Anderson and ran it dry. Like I say, both are doing OK. I have a TW timer I want to try whenever one of the Andersons fails.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Friday, July 21, 2017 - 08:12 am:

Here's a simple procedure to check an Anderson timer if it's in adjustment: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/669349.html?1472250621

(They can get out of adjustment as they wear and may need some tweaking..)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Calabrese on Friday, July 21, 2017 - 08:40 am:

Good advice here, Thank you


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Friday, July 21, 2017 - 10:03 am:

When it comes to Anderson style timer maintenance, I strongly suggest all to follow Mark Hutchinson's advise since he is the current manufacturer of the Anderson Timer.....IMHO...Quality.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 12:15 am:

I have never cleaned or lubed mine in 7-8 years. I would guess I have 15K to 20K thousand miles on mine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Money - Braidwood, IL on Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 01:28 am:

I put my anderson on dry in 2006. It is still there and I have cleaned it twice. One time because it needed it and the other because I was curious. Running like a timex.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Hutchinson on Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 02:34 pm:

Thanks to all for your positive comments and for using the Anderson Style timer. I also run my Anderson timers dry. I am very please with the service life of these timers. However, Tip Top Timers does sell a grease that is suitable for lightly coating the contacts and flapper for those that cannot stand to grease things. :-)


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