Timer

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Timer
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joe Konarowski on Sunday, October 01, 2017 - 11:15 pm:

What do most people use as a timer on their model T. There is such an variety what one is the most reliable??? Must be some experienced T folks here that have an opinion on this.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Sunday, October 01, 2017 - 11:22 pm:

Joe
I like the Anderson or Anco type timer with the flapper. I have them on all my cars. I have had failures with the roller timers and New Day.

I am interested to find out about the new Ideal-timer...

: ^ )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Sunday, October 01, 2017 - 11:33 pm:

I use an old-fashioned Ford roller-timer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevada Bob Middleton on Sunday, October 01, 2017 - 11:47 pm:

I second that about the Anderson never had issue.
New days i run but they where old used condition worked ok
I be interested see on the new ideal timers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 12:50 am:

Hi Joe,

Well, this is one of those questions which, when put to four people you will get six answers.

Some folks have strong opinions about which one is BEST, and it is, of course, the one which They are using.

Not one of the different types of timer is really bad. In good condition they all give good service. In worn dirty condition they all give bad service.

Some can run a bit longer or better when worn and dirty than others and to some drivers that characteristic makes one style of timer better than another.

I have a roller style on one of my Ts and it works well. I have a New Day timer on another and IT works well. The both do require some periodic maintenance: clean and lube the roller style while the New Day requires only cleaning as it runs dry. Some folks wish for timers which are almost maintenance free. I like maintenance as it give me the opportunity to look around and see what's what.

I will let others tell you which one to choose while they call me an idiot. Good luck with your project, Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 03:15 am:

Bill is right. Each different type has it's own sort of good and bad issues and require maintenance and wear some more than others.

I like the Anco (flapper type) with the heavier spring but also the new day with a modified brush.

My favorite is the E Timer which as no contact parts to wear or require servicing. Its electronic components deliver a perfect spark every time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 04:26 am:

I've used roller, New day, and Anderson timers. Cleaned & greased (or in the New Day case, cleaned and dried) they all work just the same.
All reliable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnH on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 04:59 am:

The car came with its original (worn) roller timer.
I replaced it with an Anderson which I used for about 12 years. Exceptionally reliable and maintenance free, but as it wears the timing changes, which is problematic when running the coils on battery only. I then used a TW which eliminated that problem. I would assume from the principles of operation that the New Day would also be a good choice in that regard.
All of that is in the past now, having used an E-Timer for the last couple of years. No wear, and perfect timing that will always stay perfect.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 07:20 am:

Lots depends on your front camshaft seal. If you have one of the modern ones that keep oil out of the timer cap, brush timers are a nice low-maintenance choice. Timing remains constant throughout brush wear, and maintenance is minimal. I have TW timers on my engines. Once a year I pull the cover off, check the brush for wear and blow out the cover with compressed air. Reassemble and I'm good for the next year.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 07:54 am:

Joe,

Are you running a Ford designed ignition system for the year of your car?

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Kramer on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 08:26 am:

You can't beat a TW timer. Very reliable, almost maintenance free. You do need the modern cam seal to use one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 08:30 am:

Timers cleaned and good working order (no broken or excessively worn areas) all work good. Where I have found issues is when the timing gear cover is not properly centred your timer will wear out in a very short time,the "Flapper" style seem to handle this condition best but will develop problems too.Bottom line make sure your T is in the best condition it can be and the timer will give you good service. Gene French sells a tool that will center your timing gear cover here http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/3487/725613.html?1506908557 and a quick check to see if your timing gear cover is centred is to look at the timer with the engine running if the timer wobbles it ain't right! I'll crawl back in my hole now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 09:05 am:

I've had good luck with New Day, so I haven't tried the others.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 10:02 am:

I've been using Anderson timers on all of my Ts for years. I find them to be very reliable. I'd recommend them to anybody. That said, I've been thinking of trying out the TW timer. It looks like a good design, and I've heard nothing but good words about the maker.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker, Oklahoma City on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 10:58 am:

There are good timers out there, and there are bad timers. Here's my opinion and summary of some of the various timers (for what it's worth). For sake of argument, I'm only including period timers.

Basically, there are four main categories of timers; rollers, flappers, brush, and point types. I'll cover some of the main ones of each design.

Ford Timer (roller)

The stock timer isn't a very good design to begin with. It has a roller that runs along the inside of a ring of phenolic and four contacts. The roller is subject to skipping, bouncing, uneven wear, and I suspect that many times the roller drags along rather than rolls. Some people fill their timers with grease, but the problem is that grease isn't conductive! The roller has to plow through it to make contact. They are also very sensitive to dirt and grime. They can work well, but expect frequent service intervals.

The Anderson Timer (flapper)

This is one of my favorites. The flapper slaps the hard steel contacts as it goes by. Doing so ensures a good electrical contact, despite oil and grime. It can last a long time with little to no service. However, the flapper doesn't immediately return to its fully extended state immediately after making a contact (read; contact bounce). This can cause slightly uneven firing from one contact to the next when run at speed.

The Anderson is also very sensitive to the angle of the contacts. If they aren't all EXACTLY the same, your timing between cylinders can vary significantly! This isn't something you can really tweak yourself.

Some have said that the timer can jam during kickbacks. On all the ones I have seen, the flapper can strike the contacts either direction. Some have also said it can make the spark advance lever creep. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never seen it.

The New Day (brush)

This is a common favorite, and for good reason. It requires little maintenance, provides accurate timing, and is more immune to grime than the Ford timer.

However, the case and contacts can wear a little unevenly, and it will occasionally need to be resurfaced and will need a new brush. The originals and new repros are great. Stay away from the older "S" repros. They don't last.

I really don't have a lot of negative things to say about this one.

The TW Timer (brush)

Not too far removed from a New Day in that it uses a brush, except that it runs on the inside of a Ford timer, rather than against a flat surface.

This one works very well as long as the inside of the contact ring is smooth and round. Again, plan for an occasional resurfacing and brush replacement. But it can go a long time with virtually no maintenance. Definitely a good timer to go with.

Duntley and Tungsten (points)

These timers can work very well, and provide extremely accurate timing if they're done right. They send the cleanest make-and-break power to the coils (as Mike Kosser pointed out in a previous thread). The points last a long time, and aren't subject to misfire like some of the other timers can be. They are sensitive to oil and grime, which can coat the points and cause them to make poor contact. Since the electrical contacts aren't rolled, struck, or brushed across a surface, these timers are highly resistant to wear.


As for me, I run a Crystal Timer. It's similar to a New Day, except that the housing is glass and it has tool steel contacts. These contacts are almost impervious to wear, but will definitely wear out the brush. They look really cool, but unlike the ad, you can't really see the sparks. Plus, they get covered in grime so you usually can't see anything anyway.

A word of caution: beware of pot metal! The ring that the glass front sits in and the rotor are both pot metal, have most likely swollen and become brittle with age, and can crumble! You can purchase a new aluminum ring through Langs, but you're out of luck with the rotor, though a New Day rotor can be modified to work.

I soldered brass bands around my rotor and heavily reinforced it with whatever I had at my disposal. It hasn't given me any problems, but I do keep a spare timer just in case.

Hope my exceedingly long post helps!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C on Monday, October 02, 2017 - 08:36 pm:

Joe, I hope you find this useful! Being fairly new to real old-fangled timers myself, I need to read this all again!
All of the names of timers elude the heck out of me.
I'm an old dizzy man... I mean "disturbutor" (thanks RDR, I miss him too, and others).
I picked some old roller timer out of the boxes of "junk" that I got last August and by gum, it works real good. So far... :-)

Hah! That cute little brush type timer (repro from nearly 40 years ago) that was on the engine wouldn't have gotten the last owners very far.
The brush is too tall and pushes the cover WAY out as it turns! :-)
Worse of an eccentric than I am! :-)

(Message edited by Duey_C on October 02, 2017)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Clary on Tuesday, October 03, 2017 - 10:01 am:

I ran a Duntley for years with no issues. Then one of the rollers quit. I replaced it with a TW timer which works quite well although I know at some point I will be on my knees searching for the brush. I got another Duntley and will restore one to put back on and the TW will go under the seat.

Andy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 09:16 am:

Andy, easy way to cure being on your knees is to just have a spare brush. I have both versions, and a spare for each. I do like the "square" brush better, it's easier to line up the little hole with the tiny wire from underneath. Being on a lift doesn't hurt any either! I clean mine every oil change, which I do religiously at 500 miles, +/-.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 10:44 am:

I'm on my second roller timer. -The first one came with the car when I bought it eight years ago and it just plumb wore out. -It did give me good, smooth acceleration, but needed cleaning quite often. -Its replacement, purchased from Lang's, was one of the last rebuilt units overhauled by an old-school machinist/timer expert of sterling reputation, shortly before he passed away, works quite well and doesn't seem to need cleaning anywhere near as frequently as its predecessor. -I give it a squirt of 5W-30 motor oil every other day the car gets driven and that seems to keep it happy. -I figure, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mario Brossard on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 01:08 pm:

Thanks Cameron for all details you provided.

Very useful.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bruce Spainhower - Portland, Oregon on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 01:17 pm:

I run an NOS New Day. At the time I got it, there was no adequate reproduction on the horizon. So I went to a motor repair shop and got a few graphite motor brushes, and adapted one to fit the New Day brush housing. I also swapped out the spring for one about half the tension. That was two years ago, and to date I have ZERO wear on the New Day body. The brush has plenty of life left, and the engine runs as well as any I've seen.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 07:36 pm:

Did you drill the new brush for the retaining pin, Bruce ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marty Bufalini - Grosse Pointe, MI on Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 09:45 am:

I've only had a NOS New Day on my 14 for the past five years. Never had a problem and the car runs great. I just clean and dry it once in a while.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 10:05 am:

I remove the New Day timer on my cars once every three years or so, and blow out the dust and sandpaper the case a bit, and put it back on the car, and it's good for another three years. Everyone has their favorites.


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