Hello,If a magneto system goes bad can the car run off the battery? maybe I won't put a distributor in it.
Yes, but you may not like it unless you use 12 volts for your coils. If you run the coils off 6 volts, you will have severe spark timing retard at high engine speeds.
Why not fix the magneto? MTFCA has a good how-to book.
Seth is right. In my experience they'll run perfectly fine on battery as long as you use 12 volts. Those plugs don't care where the sparks come from but they like nice, fat ones. Bob
Seth is correct. I ran my car on six volt battery and was disappointing. I went to 12 volt battery and it made a huge difference.
Next problem: If your '19 has an electric starter you could create reliability problems by simply replacing your 6 volt battery with a 12 volt one. I'm in the camp that says 6 or 8 volts only for that starter.
There are ways to have 6 volts for your starter and 12 volts for your ignition but mentioning them here usually starts a pissing contest from Hades, so I won't go there.
When I was a teenager I had a T that the mag didn't work, I ran it on 6 volts (on coils) for a year and a half, never had a problem.
I don't know why so many folks say that they don't run very well on 6 volts, that hasn't been my experience.
I ran for 10 years on 6 volts with a New Day timer and kept up with most stock T's. I rewound the magneto and took off a few thousandths from the head and replaced a warped exhaust manifold, and a new timing gear. I am now one of the faster cars.(not speedster fast, but fast for a stock car). Every little thing helps, and put several together makes a difference
This might sound overly romantic but the sound of the traditional coils clicking from Magneto supplied
current is one of the best sounds emmited from The Model T Ford. O.K I will admit that on one of my Fords I used Truefire a great product but I still missed the sound of the coils.
Edward R. Levy
They sound mighty nice on 12 volts DC also.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.
If the coils are adjusted 100% perfect you can run just fine on 6 volts.
"100% perfect" being the key words here.
I agree that I prefer the way my T runs on the mag, but have to add that I drove from St. Louis MO to Dearborn MI and back in 2003 and did it running on my 6-volt battery. It can be done.
I'm certainly not the Model T expert here, but if you run off battery rather than mag, don't the coil points wear out faster? I had a dead mag, ran off battery for several years, then finally recharged the magnets (in-car recharge. . .sorry) so I could run off mag. The car now runs like it is supercharged, and no other changes were made. I was told the points had been worn on the coils from DC voltage rather than using AC. Is that correct? If so, wouldn't that also be a good reason (along with higher voltage output) to fix the mag?
1. Running on DC is harder on the points.
2. Higher RPM suffers when running on DC (it's worse on 6V better on 12 but not as good as on the Mag's 20±VAC.
Right on Bob.
My roadster pickup did 38 mph (according to GPS) on battery when my magneto went bad .... with the windshield up too!
A new acquisition has Truefire ignition which seems to work just fine, but I'll be out pushin' if it ever dies with no spare box onhand !!
At the risk of "extra discussion", at 12 volts I believe the coils operate about twice as fast as on 6 volts. ( IE: a higher frequency).
The reason I say this is because the ramp up time on 12 volts is about 2 milliseconds and on 6 volts it is about 4 milliseconds. The ramp up delay can also be thought of as retarded ignition. This is why 6 volts is considered as unable to go fast as fast as 12 volts. It could also cause heating at high speeds.
No comparison to the Mag Operation in the above statements.
However, the batt ops must be harder on the points since the points buzz during the full interval of the timer/roller contact.
If old coils without new caps are used, I suspect even less life is likely and the leakage of the old capacitor will likely degrade the spark output possible.
Now as I currently understand it, The magneto operation has 2 points in it's favor.
The polarity of the current flow in the contacts reverses randomly and decreases the contact erosion.
The points only should operate once per spark, usually.
I wouldn't mind it if Ron double checks the last 2 points.
Some of this info was posted in Ron's and ?? extensive MAG article in Vintage T. Who was ??, ?. (Fun projects fellow?) (brainfart).
"Now as I currently understand it, The magneto operation has 2 points in it's favor. "
This doesn't mean to imply they are the only two points that are favorable for coils.