My 1915 Model T REFUSES to Start :-((

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: My 1915 Model T REFUSES to Start :-((
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 09:59 am:

Dear Fellow Enthusiast,

Just installed a new rebuilt engine along with a Brand New - Magneto plate. Besides had a broken Brake Drum which was also replaced and installed as per the manual.

Did the following:

1) Installed Brand new Plugs
2) Checked for Coil Boxes with 12V Battery and they all Buzz
3) Car now engages in Neutral

Now after doing all this tried to start the Car on Battery the coils do not buzz and the car refuses to start.

Engaged few men to push the car and start but the car still did not start. Checked for Petrol and all was ok on that front as well.

Also while Cranking the handle it is harder than normally it was. Tried to turn the Clutch plate in and give it "Half Turn" clock wise for each of the 3 screws and nothing much happened.

What am I missing here? We have been working on this for sometime now and yet unable to start the car. Don't really know what is it that we are missing.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance all fellow enthusiasts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 10:08 am:

Spark, gas, timing. If your coils don't buzz as you turn the motor over no amount of pushing will start it. If you have a reasonable "neutral" don't mess with the clutch. In these enlightened times, the wisdom is that you cannot "tune" coils by ear. First make sure you have fire to the plugs, then move on to timing and carburetion. She'll start, have faith, and good luck !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 10:14 am:

Re-read your post Sid, check the timer !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 10:25 am:

A newly rebuilt engine will be tighter until it is run in, and can be hard to crank start.

You said you have verified with a battery that all of the coils buzz, but then said they do not buzz when trying to start. Take a meter and verify your coil box switch and all terminals are good. Be sure you have set it for #1 cylinder on compression, that #1 cylinder is sparking! Some cam shafts can have the timer contact installed 180 degrees out (if the hole for the pin that holds the rotor is drilled all the way through the camshaft it can be installed two ways).

Once you have a good buzz on each coil disconnect each spark plug wire, pull it through so each coil buzz's and verify with a spark plug that the spark jumps about 1/4"-3/8" from the spark plug wire to ground (like a head bolt).

When you know you have the timing correct and good spark that leaves compression and fuel. It's not as easy to verify compression on a '15 because you have to crank it, and that's hard on a fresh engine, but if it has new rings and a valve job you should be OK. You can have someone press a thumb over the spark plug hole while cranking and feel it compress.

If you have all of that good then next is fuel. Make sure there is good fuel to the carburetor bowl. When you pull the choke rod and crank the car you should hear it sucking air through the carburetor; if not you have a vacuum leak, frequently on a manifold gasket. Hopefully you are using the rings and glands, they are seal the best.

You may want to try just a little starter fluid sprayed through the carburetor, then choke the engine and crank it a couple 1/4 turns with the key off, then turn it on and try to start it. If it coughs you know you have spark and compression. I had this with my most recent rebuild, and it was a dirty carburetor jet.

I'm making a couple of assumptions; one is that your carburetor and tank are the ones you ran before, and they didn't get left for weeks with old gas in them. If they did be sure to drain the old gas and use fresh, and spray carburetor cleaner through the jets in the carburetor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 10:25 am:

Thanks Rich. Can you help me on what should I exactly do with the Timer? Any guidance on that front would be really appreciated.

Cheers,
Sid


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 10:42 am:

Sid, all 4 coils have to buzz as you hand crank over the T as all 4 cyl. revolve.


Start at the coil box, make sure all 4 coils are in and secure against the contacts, you may have to remove each coil and clean or adjust the contacts in the coilbox so the coils are in contact with the terminals. Be sure the coil box switch works, as you are applying battery current to the box for first start. Don't let an old switch put any battery current to the magneto terminal, DC current applied will short the magnets of the magneto.

Then check wiring to timer, to be sure you have correct wiring order, remove and clean the timer roller contact and the contacts in the rim of the timer shell.

Remove the spark plugs, lay them on the cyl. head, still wired to the dash terminals of the coil box, but in good ground on the cyl head, and then crank over. All four should throw a spark as you crank, if not, you have to replace or adjust the coils that won't fire. Or you may have timer issue. The timer controls the spark to each plug. Re-check timing too, the #1 plug (closest to the radiator) fires just past top dead center on compression stroke. That timing is adjusted by bending the timer pull rod from the timer case to the steering column lever on the spark rod, that spark lever under the steering wheel at full retard (up). You want the timer case to allow # 1 plug to fire just as the crankshaft turns to that spot. One way is to look at the crank pulley pin that secures the fan pulley, it should be horizontal at top dead center, and approx. 3:30 / 9:30 as hands on a clock face when just past top dead center, this is the timing position for the engine, 15 degrees past top dead center.

The cranking will be tough, with a new engine is stiff. Jack up the left rear wheel so it can spin as you crank, as the T only has a 'sort of ' neutral. The rear wheel will turn some even with the clutch lever upright, just don't have it pulled too far back to engage the rear emergency brake shoes. The turning rear wheel will give you a bit more momentum acting like a flywheel to help you turn over the motor.




Position of crank pulley pin at correct timing spot for setting the timer case (by adj. of the length of the timer pull rod) to have #1 plug just fire as the spark lever under the steering wheel is fully retarded (up).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 10:50 am:

Wiring diagrams to assist you.






Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 12:40 pm:

The lack of coils buzzing at all suggests a problem in the wiring or switch. Check switch continuity with a meter and be sure all connections are secure. Without the coils working the spark plugs are not sparking and all pushing or cranking will be futile.

You have good advice above. Here are a couple more references.



http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG97.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 01:13 pm:

Sid,

The roller in your timer is held in the correct place with a small pin. Almost looks like a cut-off nail. The pin fits in a hole on the end of the camshaft and also fits in a notch on the timer roller. Some earlier camshafts have the pin hole going all the way through, making it possible to have 2 different locations for the timer roller, BUT only one location is the correct one. Remove your timer. The remove the nut holding the roller on the cam. Next, there should be a small cup that fits over the pin in order to retain it. Remove the cup. You'll now see the pin. Remove the pin, then the roller. Look for the "extra" hole in the cam. If it's there, reassemble with the roller/pin in the "other" location, 180 degrees opposite.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 02:05 pm:

Well Jerry you took the words right out of my keyboard! Bet that's his problem too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 02:14 pm:

Is the coil box all original? The coil box is the heart of the ignition system for a T. Make sure it's in working order and if it's questionable it's needs to be gone through and rebuilt. A rebuilt engine won't start if the spark isn't there no matter how hard you crank it. A new set of the coil box contact bolts sometimes will work wonders for a better spark. Over time they lose their conductivity will will cause firing issues. Originally they were copper coated and they do corrode over time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 02:37 pm:

Jerry And Tim, Been there, done that, and have the T-Shirt!!! :-) :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Lynn-Colorado on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 02:53 pm:

Too much oil on the timer roller/assembly? Had that problem a few times in the past.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 03:04 pm:

Jerry,

Even if the timer roller is installed 180 degrees out, I'm 90% sure the coils should still sing/buzz. The car won't start/run because the coils are singing at the wrong time -- but they should still sing/buzz.

That could be corrected by removing the timer roller and reinstalling it correctly. It could also be solved by moving the spark plug wires etc. so that the buzzing coil was sparking the correct spark plug that should be fired (i.e. the one that had taken in a charge and had compressed the charge).

Note, once when I was taking a course on rebuilding engines the students in a previous class had installed a camshaft 180 degrees out. The engine could still be made to run well -- but the manufacture's approved spark plug wiring would not work.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 03:13 pm:

Hap, you're right. If there's good contact in the timer, coils will buzz even if the timing is off. If timing is off, but a gas mixture is being drawn into the cylinders, she won't run, but there will be signs of "life".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JD, Wichita, KS on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 03:26 pm:

Check the ground (earth?) from the battery to the engine.
Make sure the engine is grounded to the frame if the battery is attached to the frame.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 03:54 pm:

Hap,

O.K., I saw in his item #2 that the coils buzz, but missed his later comment stating that while in the box and trying to start, they do not.

Thanks for catching that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 11:58 pm:

Sorry for the confusion. The Coils DO NOT buzz when in the Coil Box. What I did was removed all the 4 wooden coils and tested with a 12V battery just to make sure if they are working or not, and when I did that they did buzz. Once I put them back in the Coil Box they never buzzed :-(


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Monday, January 22, 2018 - 12:40 am:

You need to check continuity through the switch. It sounds like it is not making contact. Also be sure you have a good ground from the engine to the frame.

Another thought; by chance do you have a fuse in the wire from your battery to your coil box? If not you should for safety... if you do it may be blown. Also be sure you have a good ground from the battery to the frame.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, January 22, 2018 - 01:29 am:

Thanks Gary. No I do have any Fuse in the wire from the battery to the coil box. Interestingly the T was working fine before I rebuilt the engine and have made no alterations on the electricals at all and just fitting it the same way as I exactly removed it prior to deinstallation of the engine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By george house . . .caldwell county, TX on Monday, January 22, 2018 - 08:13 am:

How about the tiny spring on the commutator roller - or flapper? If it’s broken, the roller won’t make contact with the 4 commutator segments..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 10:47 am:

Dear All,

Finally some good news !!

After all the terrific help i got from all you good people i was finally able to hit some success with my 1915 Model T

1) was able to adjust the timer and hear the buzzing of my coils when I move the key to BATTERY. Sweetest sound on my ears after ages !!


2) The crank handle is still too tight so finding it very difficult to use my hands to move handle

3) Engaged few young boys and pushed the car as the coils were buzzing and Eureka the car started kept it running for few minutes and switched it off as i had yet to install the Radiator.

4) Installed the Radiator, filled water, checked fuel and Oil.

5) Tried to hand-Crank it but finding it still very hard to do so.

6) Used the trick of engaging few boys to push start the car and the car refused to start :-(

7) Tried several times including pushing it using a Car but the T is now refusing to start again.

8) The Coils are buzzing

9) Car is finding its neutral

10) Brakes are Ok

11) Advance/Retard levers are working fine

12) Moved the Key to MAG instead of BATT and tried to push start the car no luck again

13) There is a slight smell of Gas which comes when we push, but the car shows no signs of starting and the coils do buzz well !

14) Checked for Current as well on all the 4 Spark plugs and it responds wonderfully for all the 4 plugs.

What am i missing. I know this is very frustrating but was so happy when it ran even if for a little while. Now don't know what else am i missing.

Is it something to do with the Fuel Mixture Settings? Never altered on it when it 1st started though and kept it in the same position.


I am now clueless on what else will it take to start the T.

Need help friends.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 11:09 am:

It may be flooded. Take the spark plugs out and let the car sit for a few hours to allow all of the excess gasoline to evaporate.

What kind of carburetor do you have? A good starting position for the mixture screw is 1 1/2 turns out from fully closed.

Once the excess gasoline has evaporated out, re-install the spark plugs and try crank starting the car on battery with the transmission in neutral with one or both back wheels off the ground (be sure to put the car on jack stands and put chocks on the front wheels).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 11:34 am:

Thanks Mark. It is the original Holley Carb which came with all the 1915 Model T's.

Is there any remedy one needs to take when the Crank Handle is still hard? Any easier way to start other than push start?

Cheers,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 11:46 am:

No, push start is an accepted method. The engine will free up once it has run a while.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 02:52 pm:

Run it a few times, driving it easy a few miles each time, make the trips a little longer as you go. It won't take long and it will turn over easy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dufault on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 04:16 pm:

How much gas is in the tank?

After letting it sit for awhile as Mark suggested, be sure that the gas is turned on, and that there is sufficient gas in the tank...maybe 2 gallons, minimum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 07:46 pm:

Hi David,

Is there a provision for turning on the gas in a 1915 Runabout? I did not see that lever anywhere. The only lever which is there is the Mixture screw.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 07:49 pm:

Hi Gary,

The crank handle is hard and difficult to turn it as the engine is recently built. Any better way of cranking I do not have a foot starter in my T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dufault on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 08:09 pm:

Sid,
Is there no gas shut off valve or lever anywhere in the line from the gas tank to the carburetor?

There should be.

If you do not shut off the gas when parking the car for an extended length of time (overnight, days or weeks) and there is some debris that prevents the carburetor needle from closing completely, you run the risk of spilling gas on your floor. (Sorry - you probably know that - I just wondered if, in your excitement to have the engine running, your turned off the car and forgot to turn it back on....I do that more than I care to admit! :-) )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 08:14 pm:

Hi David,

Honestly there is no Gas Shutoff Valve or lever anywhere in the line from the gas tank to the Carb.

The only lever which is there is the Mixture screw . Do have have any picture of how it looks like?

Cheers,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dufault on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 08:28 pm:

Something like this



or this:



some sort of valve available to you to POSITIVELY shut off the flow of gas when the car is not being used.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 08:39 pm:

Under the gas tank should be a sediment bulb, with a drain to allow the tank to empty. The bulb has a handle that is the on/off for the gas flow.


The handle should be in 'down' or vertical position for gas flow. Horizontal is off.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 08:40 pm:

There should be a gas shut off under the gas tank. It requires getting under the car to shut it but you should be able to see it when you look under the car. If it has not been used in a while it may be difficult to turn but don't force it as the handles have a tendency to break if they are forced.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tim moore, "Island City" MI on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 08:49 pm:

Pull the gas line off at the carb. and see if you have flow. If so pull the bowl off the carb and see if there is gas in there as you might have a stuck float or the needle is stuck.

Sounds like a simple problem with fuel flow or a stuck carb.

Tim Moore


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daren Carlson on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 08:50 pm:

You need four things. Compression, fuel, Timing and ignition. Check them off one at a time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 09:16 pm:

I dislike having a shut-off at the carburetor because I don't care for the ugly modern look of it. I prefer to use the sediment bulb valve shown in Dan's picture. To avoid having to crawl under the car, I did this.


A collar made from a piece of small pipe is clamped on the sediment bulb valve handle. It swivels on the end of a rod.


Another view of the same thing.


At the other end of the rod is a handle under the running board. Up like this is on. Turning the handle down shuts off the fuel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 11:48 pm:

Thanks. Yes i went underneath the car and noticed the bulb valve as shown above. Do i need to switch it to "off" every time I park the car?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Monday, January 29, 2018 - 12:12 am:

You really want to shut the gas off either there or at a valve near the carburetor, it's a serious fire hazard if it leaks fuel all over; you really do want to use a shutoff.

At the end of any day I am driving my car I turn the petcock off and let it run off the fuel in the carburetor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, January 29, 2018 - 12:34 am:

Thanks Gary. Will start to implement this as a regular practice. Thanks for the useful advice once again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Kable - Kiama NSW OZ on Monday, January 29, 2018 - 02:00 am:

I don't think anyone has yet answered your question "any easier way to start than push start?"

Yes there is.
Jack up the rear end and place it on stands with the wheels off the ground, chock the front wheels in the front, let the hand brake off putting it into high gear. You can now use the crank to try to start it and the rear wheels will help you along, no need to have extra people to push, when it looks like it will start you can adjust things, check spark and fuel until it gets to a point where it will fire up.

When it does you can adjust the controls, fuel, spark throttle and get it running properly while it sits there on the stands. At any time you can easily recheck all the possible components to see they are working as they should.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, January 29, 2018 - 04:32 am:

Thanks Peter. Very useful. One quick question, Should I jack up both the tyres or only the left one? Also when I put the hand brake lever into high gear do I not run the risk of car charging on me? :-(

Also does the crank handle become a little less harder to turn when one does that as currently since the engine is rebuilt?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Kable - Kiama NSW OZ on Monday, January 29, 2018 - 07:02 am:

Jack up both wheels, the car can't charge at you as there is no contact with the ground. block the front wheels (in the front of the tire) so they can't move forward with a block or brick so it is impossible for the car to move forward. Have you got decent jack stands? if not get 2 you will need them in the future at some stage.

Yes the crank will be easier to turn as there is no longer any drag from the clutch, the rear wheels turning also adds motion to make cranking easier.

Also, as the motor is cold you are able to choke it before cranking from the front of the engine.

If everything spark, fuel, timing etc is working and you hold the choke closed and pull the crank 4 times, one for each cylinder before you turn on the ignition it will make it more likely for the engine to catch and keep running as each cylinder with have a charge of fuel in it.

If everything is spot on, it may even start by itself when you turn on the ignition.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dufault on Monday, January 29, 2018 - 08:40 am:

Sid,

Aha - you found the sediment bulb - the device under the gas tank. :-)

You have a refurbished engine...has anything been done to clean out the tank - or the sediment bulb?
After many years some debris settles in the bulb and sometimes blocks the flow of gas.
If you do as Tim suggested above and get gas flow - all is well. However, if no gas - or very little dribbles out, it may be that the sediment bulb needs to have its screen cleaned.

Good Luck !

Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Monday, January 29, 2018 - 09:01 am:

When I tried to start my '23 with a rebuilt engine I had a devil of a time getting it going for the first time. I had spark and I bypassed the original large gas tank for fear of debris and hooked up a small aluminum lawnmower tank.

I tested the compression with my thumb on the spark plug holes and there was very little, so I squirted oil in each cylinder to help seal the rings. Then I sprayed ether in the carb. It took three or four tries using this system to get it started and I hand cranked! Once I was able to get it going I ran it for 1, 2, 4, 8 minutes at a time ... until the engine head got hot to the touch. Then I installed the radiator and ran it for 20 minutes with water.

That was in August and now I have 700 miles on the engine as of yesterday. It always starts now on battery or mag.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 09:34 am:

Dear Friends,

So, here is the news..not a very good one though :-(

Based on the advice from all of you and particularly Mark, Peter and Mark. I did the following -

1) Jacked up the two rear tyres
2) Checked the fuel and all was ok
3) Made sure the timer works
4) The coils do buzzz well
5) There was oil in the engine
6) There was water in the radiator
7) Pulled the Hand brake lever all the way forward (as indicated by Peter)
8) Made sure the Spark plugs were dry and gas was evaporated based on the advice from Mark as previously the car might have flooded
9) Checked for compression on the spark plug holes and all was found ok
10) The crank handle is still very hard and finding it tough to turn it very easily
11) Tried 10-12 times and no luck !!
12) Once or twice the handle back fired as well and almost broke my arm

While I know this is a bit frustrating but what I am missing !! I really want to see my T firing once again and have been working on it really hard now.

Should I try push start again ? Should I tow the car behind my normal car and try to start it?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 10:11 am:

Sounds like the ignition timing is way off. What kind of timer are you running?

Some camshafts have the hole for the timer roller pin drilled all the way through, which can allow the roller to be installed 180 degrees off from its proper position on the camshaft.

Check the ignition timing again per this procedure. Make sure that it is the #1 cylinder's coil that is buzzing when you rotate the timer by hand with the engine crankshaft just beyond the #1 cylinder top dead center position on the compression stroke.

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG97.html


For reference, here is how the timer should be wired, double check to make sure you have the timer wires hooked up correctly.


pic


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ray Syverson on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 10:20 am:

Maybe you can tow the T around with your normal car, but with the spark plugs removed and battery turned off. This would help loosen up the engine so it would be easier to hand crank. It is bad that the crank handle kicked back on you. Be sure that the timing is set right and that the coils buzz when the piston is at the correct position. Dan Treace gave info on this in the 6th posting down from the top of this thread. This is very important for your safety if you are hand cranking. If the timing is set correctly,and your coils buzz when they should, and you have compression, then the only thing it can be is the fuel mixture from the carb is not right. Once the engine is loose enough to crank properly by hand, you should hear the fuel getting sucked up into the cylinders when you pull the choke as you crank. ( Sorry, you probably know already how to choke a T)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 10:31 am:

Sid

Peter's hint to let the brake/clutch lever all the way forward can be helpful, but it is way hard to crank that way, as you are turning the hand crank the whole drive line is being turned by hand, the rear axle gears and the axles and wheels,....so it is very hard to hand crank that way.

Try again to hand crank with the brake/clutch lever pulled approx. half way back (at the point that the low pedal moves back some when you pull back the lever), that should pull the 100lb pressure clutch spring off the clutch pack so the T is now in "neutral", and make for noticeable easier hand crank.

If you don't notice any difference in ease, then the clutch adj. at the clutch lever is still out of adjustment, as you are still having the clutch engaged.





Pulling some more backward on the lever should apply the emergency brakes at this position of the lever.



To adjust the low pedal, and 'free neutral', follow this.





Of course, if the engine won't start, do check the timing as noted by Mark, the T will need proper spark and fuel to fire up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 12:05 pm:

Thanks a lot Dan. Let me try this and hopefully it would work. I know this can be very frustrating but I have spent several weekend's now trying to start the T and unfortunately not much luck.

Unlike US we have little or no help in this part of the world.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dufault on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 12:26 pm:

Dan T.,

That was extremely kind of you to publish such detailed pictorial help.

Between you and Mr. Thrifty, Model Ts will continue to function around the world. :-)

(Yes there are other good photographers...even in Belgium - just can't remember all. :-(


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Davis on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 05:42 pm:

Sid. while reinstalling the radiator back in the car, something changed. since it was running without radiator need to back track and see what might have changed, did you have the spark leaver all the way up when the car backfired while cranking, if You did not have the spark lever all the way up in retarded position that can cause backfires. also timer may have changed settings while radiator was being installed. and the mixture control may have been turned while choking the engine for starting. No expert here just a few observations, Good Luck


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 07:19 pm:

I agree this really sounds timing related. Yes, it is hard to crank when it is in neutral and the engine is fresh, but it's possible... heck, I'm 57, work a desk job and I was able to hand crank my fresh engine a few months ago.... a couple of engines ago I had a severe backfire issue though, and it was the timing. Backfiring is your timing is too far advanced; it's firing before Top Dead Center. You want to be just after TDC when fully retarded. If you're a little over-retarded with the lever fully up it's no big deal, it just means you have to pull it down a couple of clicks on the advance. But if it backfires even when fully retarded something is wrong on the timing.

I know a number of us would love to drop by to help, )I've got the time) but it's just too much for a plane ticket...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alan Long Western Australia on Sunday, February 04, 2018 - 06:57 am:

Coincidentally, I have just been working on a 1915 that wouldn’t start even though it had fuel in the carburettor, good compression and correct timing and spark.

End result was the NH carburettor was the culprit. We swapped it for another one and instant start. I’ve yet to look more closely into the carburettor but assume that after sitting for 22 years that the internal drilling’s are blocked. Needle and seat, float and fuel flow from the tank excellent but no fuel drawn up into the cylinders. This is of course possible to any year vehicle


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 07:04 am:

Dear Fellow Model T Friends -


Good news !! Good news !! Good news !! My 1915 Model T finally fired with just a minor tweak on the spark lever and up it went. Kept it running for 45 minutes and tried to start again after couple of hours and it started again.

Hurray !!

Couple of observations though -

1) The smoke coming from the muffler is bit black in colour tried to tinker with the "Mixture Screw" a bit better but still black

2) The Car ran even when I switched from BATTERY to MAGNETO and the horn also worked on Magneto

3) There isn't much play on the Spark Lever even when Fully Retracted is it normal?

4) If someone can send me a picture of their Spark Lever (while in the engine compartment) that would be great as mine touches the Radiator pipe when fully retarded is that normal?

I was itching to take the car for a short spin so tried to put the hand brake lever into neutral and press the "Reverse" pedal and the car stopped instantly.

Got down from the car to restart again and the Crank Handle suddenly appeared very hard to crank.

Did not want to take chance as wasn't sure if it would back fire and was also getting late for work so pushed the car into the garage.

Hope there isn't any screw up now?

Dreading to go back and start again but nevertheless will have to.

Noticed that even when the Spark lever (on the Steering wheel) is in a full retard position, there is a back fire once in a way. Is my Spark Rod the culprit?

Well I am happy that it did finally start but really want to take it for a good spin but am low on confidence.

Any advice friends?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 10:35 am:

Here you go, Sid. The timer control rod should be formed to: 1 miss the water pipe through the full travel of the lever; 2 be exactly the right length to provide correct timing.


I'd suggest going back to the link I posted on January 21 at 12:40 PM and check to be sure your timing is right and the rod misses the water pipe. That may not solve everything, but it will eliminate one possible problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 10:49 am:

Sid,

It's hard to crank because the engine is freshly rebuilt and the clearances are still a little tight. Having the engine warmed up will make things even tighter. Once it cools down, it should crank easier again. Just run it for 15 or 20 minutes at a time until the engine has a chance to loosen up a bit.

Before you try to restart it, check the timing, as Steve suggests above. It should never backfire when fully retarded! We don't want to hear about you breaking your arm!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 11:03 am:

Thanks a lot Steve. Quick question I noticed in the picture you have posted, the timer control rod goes from beneath the water pipe while in my case it goes from over the water pipe. Have I made a mistake at the time of re-installing the engine or it does not matter if the rod goes beneath or over the water pipe?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 11:19 am:

You might try a shorter belt. The position of the upper pulley will affect the location of the belt in regard to the timer.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 11:24 am:

Thanks Norm. Before the engine Re-bulld I had used the same belt and the car was working well. Are you suggesting a change to my current fan belt?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 11:45 am:

Sid, I'd have to see your timer control rod to be sure but it sounds like it may be installed backwards. Normally they go under the water pipe then curve around the top of the timer (so the rod never touches any timer terminals). It's really the length between the ends of the rod that matters, but doing it the same as everyone else (and Ford) would make it easier to troubleshoot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 11:52 am:

The rod under the pipe is normal. I've never seen one above the pipe. But as long as the rod doesn't hit the pipe I expect it will work either way.

If the belt is contacting the timer, a shorter belt may help as Norm says. But if it's not, don't worry about it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 11:59 am:

Steve, I was thinking the rod might go over the pipe if it's installed backwards.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dufault on Monday, February 05, 2018 - 01:04 pm:

Appears that the timer rod is backwards...switched end for end. Easy to do....but wrong.

Pictures and words here:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/184041.html?1295888645


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Sunday, February 11, 2018 - 08:58 am:

Hello Dearest Friends,

Thank you once again for all your help and timely guidance. I have been able to fix the Timer issues and also replaced the Timer rod with a new one so that it works. I am now able to do a full retard and advance, no issues and no back firing either :-)

The T cranks very well and almost every time does it at 1st shot so the engine is warming up quite nicely now.

Stuck with a new problem now :-((

When I try to take the car on neutral and attempt to either move it forward or take a reverse there is unusually long drag on the pedals. Every time I try to take the car on reverse after few baby steps the T stops and the Revere Pedal remains sunk in and even after removing my foot it does not immediately retract back.

Also When on neutral, I have to press the Clutch pedal very hard for the T to move forward and it moves way to slowly as compared to before.

Is there some issues with the Band Adjustments?

Any help on this would be great.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, February 11, 2018 - 09:52 am:

It's certainly possible that the bands need adjusting.

Adjust the low and brake bands so that they grab hard with the pedals 1 to 1.5 inches above the floor boards.

Adjust the reverse band so that it grabs hard when the reverse pedal is just above the (released) low and brake pedals.

After the bands are adjusted, re-check the adjustment of the low speed link and clutch bolt per this attached procedure.


pic1

pic2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C-west central, MN on Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 12:06 am:

Sid, tell us if you have the band adjustment sorted.
Do not slip the bands. :-)
Mark is correct about the band grabbing hard.
Push the pedal hard and firm and move the car. That's how it should be.
I have my pedals adjusted so if I push a pedal hard, the car moves without hesitation.
The pedals immediately retract back after removing my foot and do not remain sunk in.
Perhaps tighten the bands a little and try again.
:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Mullin on Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 04:23 pm:

Sid,

The pedals coming back is a function of the spring on the band ears. If yours aren't strong enough to push the pedal back, look for 1. A bind between the pedal and floorboard; or, 2. A weak or missing spring. You might consider the "Better Quality" spring. I think they are just a little bit longer than the standard one.

band spring


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joe Van Evera in the U.P. of MI. on Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 05:00 pm:

Sid; You may be farther into it than this, but the very first thing to do is to make sure that your floor boards haven't shifted, interfering with the pedal travel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 06:14 am:

Dear Duey,

Many thanks. Can you please post me a picture of how your adjusted Band's look like? This will give me an idea on how much to tighten the bands. Let me know if possible.

Cheers,
Sid


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 06:16 am:

Dear Thomas,

Let me check on the tension of the springs and give you the feedback. Many thanks for the suggestions.

Cheers,
Sid


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 06:17 am:

Dear Joe Van,

Good advice. Let me check that as well?

Cheers,
Sid


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 06:24 am:

My Free neutral keeps faltering every time. Don't know why this happens. The car is once again finding it very difficult to hit a free neutral. I need to readjust the settings again which is a huge pain as there is lot of trial and error.

Do any one of you'll have an easy fix on how to adjust a free neutral?

Cheers


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C-west central, MN on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 08:15 pm:

Hahaha! Sid, who would have thought I'd be taking a photo of my outside T in February at 16 degrees Fahrenheit (9 below Celsius)
for a fellow in Mumbai, India! I could have searched the forum but thought no, I can do this and this T was the quickest. :-)



It's been a beautiful day here but we started this morning at 10 below zero F.
Sorry but the T's here at my home are not that nice and this picture shows it. Oh well, my photo shows "it is what it is". :-)
Perhaps others would show their bands. The most important is the feel of them and pedal height when pushed down.
I think the only new spring is on the brake band in my photo.

The free neutral instruction right above that Mark posted is very good.
I usually turn the clutch lever bolt down a few turns too many.
See the "We are now ready to adjust the clutch lever bolt." paragraph under the illustration right above.
If you get stuck, ask. These guys are the best.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 02:39 am:

Thanks so much Duey. It is so very nice and kind of you to do this. -9 C is way to chilly and I might just die of cold, coming from Sunny Bombay, where we are blessed with 30 C most part of the year. I think the positions of the springs does give me some idea around how much to turn the Nut.

Wish me good luck as I am dying to take a long spin in my T. Will keep all updated on the progress.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, March 05, 2018 - 01:55 am:

Good news !! Good news !! My Ford T found a "Free Neutral". Bands are all tightened. The T moves forward and backwards. Drove it for couple of miles and was happy with the overall performance.

As always one more glitch came up this time, the manifolds have given way. I will need to replace them now. Found 3 types of Manifold Gaskets on Langs Old Car parts' which one should I go for:

1) Manifold gasket set, 3 in 1 style, Copper clad with glands or
2) Manifold gasket set, original type with glands. 12 piece set or
3) Manifold gasket set, stamped, 3 in 1 type

Also noticed oil leakages from the hole where the magneto Posts is located. Do I need any rings, have a gasket there in any case.

Thanks for all your advices and helps.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Monday, March 05, 2018 - 04:45 am:

First you need to check if your exhaust manifold is warped. Do this by setting a straight edge along the bottom holes of the exhaust manifold; all for should be in line. If you find the middle ones are higher than the end ones it is warped.

By far the best gasket set is the original style with the rings and glands, but thy only work if the manifold is straight. They're cheap; when you order them get extra of the copper crush gaskets, you'll need them when you remove and reinstall the manifold in the future. I usually have an extra complete set, and a couple extra sets of the crush gaskets (rings).

The purpose of the steel glands are to keep the ports of the manifold and block all in alignment when it gets hot so it doesn't warp. If the manifold is warped you can try the three in one, but those aren't nearly as good and don't last as long.

There should be a gasket under the magneto post. Be sure the screws are tight, but don't tighten them enough that you strip the threads!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Monday, March 05, 2018 - 04:46 am:

I just re-read your post... you're getting a new exhaust manifold, so you want the original style.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By SID KHONA on Monday, March 05, 2018 - 04:59 am:

Sorry Gary for the confusion. My bad. I need gaskets for my Manifolds. Luckily the manifolds are doing quite ok.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Monday, March 05, 2018 - 11:12 am:

Style #2. The original type!


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