Sorry for all these posts, but this will be my last concerning the engine hopefully.
Alrighty then. Today installed the painted fan, new fan belt, painted crank, refurbished coil box with its restored coils, spark plug wires, new exhaust manifolds, painted intake, and finally the restored carb (NH). Oh, and the new hoses and clamps, grounded the generator, and flushed the block and head a little. Filled with oil a few days ago.
Tomorrow : Install radiator, fill radiator, install battery, connect fuel.
Bought a timer gauge from Langs and the timing is set perfectly how it was. Let's hope it's right.
Plan : Connect battery and crank start. I do not have a 6V battery, otherwise would use the starter. I'm unsure if the starter even works.
Thank you everyone who has helped me along the way. Tomorrow (hopefully if it all goes to plan) it will start and we can hear it live again for he first time in years!
Some photos below. Sorry ahead of time if they appear sideways, taken on a phone and it always messes that up.
Good luck John. Post a vid if you're able, would love to hear how it sounds.
Will do other John!
This OK to do?
You ARE close! :-)
Keep an extinguisher handy... :-)
So that we don't get neck sprains. These damn smaht fones ain't that smaht. I'm happy with my dumb phone.
Great! What kind of timer are you running? The repro of the Ford gage (see Lang's link below) may not be good for timers other than the Ford and similar roller timers.
If you are running a flapper timer or some other kind of timer, or you are running one of the more modern electronic ignition timing systems, it's best to set the timing using this method:
It would appear that Duey is quicker at the keyboard. I was taught to type by Messrs. Hunt and Peck.
Mark, I read that too, pretty sure it's a ford timer as there's no markings saying otherwise and it looks like one.
Thank you Duey! Appreciate it
Bill, we're giving any lookers an extra good look at John's engine! :-)
Me too with typing. Mr Hunt was gone that day for me. :-)
You guys are so blame fast, I opened another tab to see if somebody beat me to it when I was ready. :-)
One extra question I do have is that the fan is slightly to the right. That's the position for the belt to be tight enough to turn the fan. It is not centered exactly. Is this okay? It's a little thing but just would like to know.
The fan position is fine, that is the nature of the beast. As to the belt, Not Too tight; just tight enough so that with a finger pull on a fan blade the fan pulley will drag on the belt.
I hope that all goes well tomorrow. Bill
Thank you Bill. Read on another post someone demonstrated correct at tightness the guy grabbed the fan while the engine was running, so just as you said, it drags on the belt. Will check it out tomorrow, I think that's how I left it.
Also have to grease the timer tomorrow. I do not know if the grease I have on hand is non metallic so I will use Vaseline for it. Someone said it works good. Or maybe I'll use some oil, it will drop out fast but I've got the old oil sitting around.
John, I noticed a manifold gland ring resting on the frame rail. It is essential that all 4 glands be in place in the exhaust manifold. They help keep it aligned during heat cycles and prevent it becoming bent. Hopefully yours is a spare. If not, the new manifold needs it, if it is to stay serviceable.
Keep up the good work. Make sure you have someone ready to record the event. You only get one first start!
Allan from down under.
Hi Allan. Thanks for noticing, however that's one of the old ones that didn't fit well. All new ones plus copper glands are now installed.
New update. I am attempting to start the engine.
Battery connected. Negative to frame ground, positive to coil box terminal.
Tested spark. Only 2 of the 4 coils buzz. I have switched positions and the same coils do not buzz, so it's not the box (which is rebuilt). The coils look brand new, so I am hoping they were rebuilt recently, the seller hinted at it.
I crank, choke, crank, choke, crank and connect battery. Nothing. Rear is jacked up. No sound at all. Choke. Crank. Connect battery. Nothing. Change timing a really small bit and open throttle a little. Crank, choke, crank, connect battery, crank and nothing.
No sound at all is coming from the engine.
I am hoping that those two coils just need to be "warmed up". Is there a way to test with a battery? They have some dust, is it a dust issue? Corrosion on some of the brass?
Removed spark plugs, and they spark.
What do you all think could be the issue?
Oh, and it's a rebuilt carburetor
Send your coils off to Ron Patterson - without determining the condition of those, you are peeing into the wind !
Steve's right. For testing today tho, with the battery hooked up and nothing buzzing, ground out the top terminal of the coil box where either of the two dead coils are and give the movable point a wiggle or six.
Sometimes that can wake up a coil that's not willing to work.
Sick coils can be fiddled with to make the best of what they are today.
If you get them buzzing, don't let them sit there and buzz for too long. Then try to get them to buzz while turning the engine over.
I hope this helps. :-)
Just leave the coils in place, positive battery to coil box terminal and negative on frame still, and ground by touching a screw driver or something like that to the engine head you think? A sanded spot of course with metal. Or do you mean something else?
Yep, coils in place in the box, positive to coil box terminal and negative on the frame.
From the top terminal on the coil box to the head using a screwdriver? Sure!
Doing that, we are pretending the timer is in the right spot to ground that coil and turn it on for testing/fiddling.
Perfect, thank you Duey! Will report back soon.
Did that and those two coils still do nothing .
Guess I will send them off.
Will order a new exhaust system kit and some other odds and ends too.
In the meantime, I tested the compression since jacking the rear up makes such a big difference in how easy it is to crank.
#1 - 33ish PSI
#2 - 48 PSI
#3 - 46 PSI
#4 - 45-46 PSI
Previously was getting around 20 since I wasn't cranking fast enough! Now it's almost as good as it can be.
I would assume 1 is low because of a sticking valve or something, I will check it again after I get it running.
Don't be afraid to take the points off, clean them and try 'em again. :-) They're not Rolex watches. :-)
I got some fine sandpaper and tried to sand those contacts a bit. Nothing at all. Held the screwdriver there for 10 seconds, nothing. Other two working ones buzz right away.
Either sending these out or will buy new from fun projects. Still deciding!
Will update soon.
John, A good coil rebuild generally includes a testing of the capacitor inside and if necessary a replacement. Just because the other two coils are sparking does not mean everything is ok. Let me help you spend some of your hard earned money. Send in all four and save yourself some headaches later on!
Exactly Michael, that's what's I plan on doing, sending them out. If two are dead then the other two must be way out of whack or something too. I will send you a PM!
Oh wait, reread. So do you also offer rebuilding pr just you are saying get them rebuilt?
Get some really fine wet or dry sandpaper. 400 grit or so. Tear off a small piece, fold it in half so it's rough and both side. Draw that through the points on top of the coil a couple of times. They can oxidize and prevent current from flowing. That might get them back firing. However, you still need to get them properly rebuilt for it to run properly on magneto. Can't stress that enough.
Rough on both sides.
Thanks for letting me know,however that's what i did when I found out they were not buzzing. Did that a few times and grounded the coil, nothing.
Will be sending the coils to either Ron or the doctor.
John, No I do not rebuild coils. Just suggesting from past experience!
Understood it wrong. Thanks Michael. Contacted Ron and I will be sending them to him!
Thank you all. Stay tuned.
Also was able to check the radiator today. Leaks a little at the bottom solder joint in the corner and the top neck at the solder joints. Will have to see what I can do eventually.
Pssst, John, you got some sillycones or acrylic latex caulk?
I know it's against the grain but it works for long periods on one's rad.
Don't tell anyone. Shhh. I have acrylic latex caulk holding oil inside the crank case on my 24. 20 years later.
Thanks Duey for letting me know, I'll figure out something like that temporarily until I can get it in a shop!
Just picked up a 6V group 1 battery...
I am wondering
1. How I can test the starter while it is mounted? I do not wish to attempt to start since I have no coils, but want to see if it works for when I get them back.
2. What should I look for when testing the starter?
3. How would I be able to connect the starter and be able to use it, but also use the battery for the coils? Do I NEED a starter switch? Is there a way to hook it all up so I can use the battery for the coils AND to use the starter to start it?
Quiet here as of late.
1. Try it. Cobble it together, touch the terminals and it sure will not hurt anything if you crank the engine over during testing.
Spark off, gas off. A-OK.
I am still surprised at how fast the engine turns over!
2. I dunno. I cobbled/cleaned up an old starter and it worked.
3. Yep. You need a starter switch. A good starter switch is always a good thing. I used an old switch laying around to activate a 6V solenoid to do the switching. NOT correct but it works.
On the HOT side of your starter switch is where you want juice for your coils/Ignition switch.
Thanks once again Duey.
What do I need since I am only testing and not doing the entire test, JUST the starter switch? Is there ANYTHING else I would need?
I have the old starter cables, the thick ones with the terminals and such.
You should be able to grab some jumper leads and bench test the starter. Connect the proper jump leads to the battery, then positive to the starter post, touch negative to the starter body.
In the car you could just connect a lead from the positive battery terminal in your vehicle and touch it to your starter terminal. Bake sure the battery is grounded.
Thank you Shane, so leave negative grounded and positive touch the terminal.
That will engage and turn the starter. Because it is not as good a connection as bolting a battery cable to the starter, it may not turn at its greatest efficiency. Just keep that in mind, but it should do the trick.
If you are touching the starter's threaded post with the battery cable, please touch the top of the post and not the threaded portion of the post as the arc may burn away some of the thread. I have seen some threaded posts (not just on Model Ts) with what looks like arc damage. Be careful and good luck. Bill
The arc WILL burn the thread if you touch it, ain't no maybe about it, put a nut on it, or something. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Attach the cable to the starter post THEN "touch" the ground !
I actually have the original battery to starter wire. Maybe I will attach it to the starter and just touch the battery post end to the battery terminal instead of risking arcing?
I also have the starter nut on the terminal, so that's out there too.
Thank you for warning me!!
I strongly advise against touching ANY cable/wire to the battery directly - attach whatever battery cables to the battery then attach your jumpers to those - keep the sparking away from the battery !
John, if you're waiting for coils just wait for a starter switch while you're at it. Use the wait to get your radiator water tight and installed so that you can have ten times more fun running the engine when the big day comes.
Thanks Tim and Steve.
I will connect the battery and touch the nut on the starter then to check it. It will be very quick. I will order a switch today and rebuild it.
The radiator is in good enough condition and holds water well enough for a good test or two, but that is next on my list too.
Will update soon.
If you don't know I have since received a switch and the starter confirmed is working
I have the timer set pretty well and a rebuilt carb. It is getting gas for sure. I am pretty sure it is getting spark... all rebuilt coils...
Try the starter, choke, starter, choke, and starter and hold. Nothing. It is definitely being "helped". But it is not doing anything.
Did you try switching the coils around on the box? That will let you know if the coil is the problem or the location in the box. If your box is sprung a little, the side contacts on the coils may not be touching the contact fingers inside the box. Try a pop-sicle stick shim on the opposite side to press the contacts together better.
Coils and coil box are rebuilt, all coils are firing/sparking.
Tomorrow I will remove plugs and check yet again for spark...
Carb mixture turned out about 1 full turn since it is so cold.
John, since you said you have a new carb, where do you have the lean/rich adjustment set?
John, try another 1/2 turn out, they usually like a little richer mixture when cold.
Do you have the wires in the correct order, 1243? Take the spark plugs out and connect to the wires and lay on the head. With the switch off bring the motor to just before TDC firing stroke No 1 cylinder. Turn the switch on and crank thru all 4 cylinders and make sure each plug is firing and in the proper order.
Will do mark, believe the wires are on correctly, but I'll do that too.
Hi John, I tried with it out 1 1/2 out also, nothing changed. I can try going a little higher out tomorrow. Battery died finally!
John, I'd suggest taking your spark plugs out and laying them on the head, still wired. With the key on battery slowly turn the engine over by hand and check that the piston is at or just past top dead center that plug fires. If you're getting spark, and the timing is right, (and assuming compression is good) then you've only got gas left.
On your carburetor, ensure that the gas is on from the tank. Screw the top adjustment screw in all the way, then back it out 1.5 turns. Make sure your spark lever is all the way up, fully retarded, 3-4 notches down with the gas lever. Choke it once, and it should crank up or at the very least cough and try.
Last resort: if there's any T folks any where near John, then go help him get it started.
Have you oiled the cylinders lately (to raise compression)?
Perhaps try setting all 4 pistons about half way in the cylinders and squirt some light oil in. Let sit overnight if you can.
I'm of the belief that if we do this right before starting, the top ring will push most all of the oil back up onto the deck and it does little for us. Don't know how sound my ideas are tho.
Sounds like it's a little groggy and not ready to wake up just yet. Mine was the same way and I believe it took two full turns on the carb for the first start. After that I don't know if the car changed or I did but it's mostly fired right up ever since.
With all spark plugs visualized as firing in sequence, and fuel supplied to the carb and a carb bowl that fills properly, then with a rebuilt carb that has new spray needle and seat, try a setting of 3/4 turns out.
And remember to choke for a few revolutions after turning the ignition switch to Bat and stepping on the starter switch.
Normally 3/4 to about 1 turn out is spot on.
Good luck...when the ole T hits and runs you'll love it
As for spray needle setting my engine runs and starts best at 7/8 open. any richer and she soils the spare tire
Took out all the spark plugs and wiped them down. Layer them on the head with the wires connected. Drained gas (it's just a little funnel). Cranked. Plug 1 sparked, 2, 4, then 3. All nice blue sparks.
With plugs out, cranked until 1 reached TDC. No coil buzz. Moved down spark lever until it buzzed (half way!!). Did the squint eye method of aligning timer and it was perfect with the spark lever half down... checked my timer gauge and it said it was off but the other two methods told me otherwise.
So. Filled funnel. Opened up mixture about 1 1/2 turns. Pushed down on starter switch. And quickly choked.
Started right up within 3 seconds!
Adjusted mixture a little bit, pressed on the pedals, spark adjusted, blah blah blah. Revved it up, all good. FOOM, the hose clamp shot off the exhaust manifold, and barn filled with light smoke and the smell of burnt rubber from the hose clamp. It was temporary. Oh well.
Pressed brake, works. Passenger side rear wheel continues to spin however once you let off brake. Driver side does not spin with lever in neutral (which it was the entire time). Gonna guess old crusty oil in rear end? Going to put in new thrusts anyways so it will all be coming apart soon anyways.
Then ran out of gas in another minute. So, this time, filled up the radiator with some water, got a soda can and clamped it on the exhaust manifold to pipe. Filled with gas. Press switch. Shzzzm...Shzzzm...Shzzzm... nothing. Choke. ShzzCHCHCHCHCHCH.
Listened for anything off sounding. I have not been around T engines get besides this one but it sounded alright.
Uploading videos now!!
Wooooo hoooooo! Heck yeah. I'm excited for you. I'm sure that feels good. I'm glad you got it running.
Alrighty guys, video of the first start ever located here for your viewing.
Once again, exhaust clamp blew off halfway through, so it gets pretty loud, and then it stalled from running out of gas a little while afterwards (Not recorded).
If anyone is wondering, yes thats me on it. A bit younger than others Id guess. I was incredibly surprised it started that quickly which is why the face of... well... surprise!
Second video is located here.
Again, clamped on the exhaust better and filled radiator. Top of the radiator is for sure hotter than the bottom which is good!
Here is where the levers were positioned if anyone is interested.
And the final third video.
This thing guzzles gas! If you watch that video towards the end I zoom up on how fast the level of gas goes down... Going to guess it just needs to be broken in more?
Congratulations! Now that it runs you adjust the length of the timing rod so that the timing is at 15 degrees after top dead center on #1 cylinder when the lever is all the way up.
Then, once you have the timing right, start hunting around with the mixture adjustment (once the engine is warmed up) to find the optimum setting.
Once you find the optimum setting, remember where it is so that you can set it back there. You may have to richen it up 1/4 to 1/2 turn to start with the engine cold. Once it starts, you should be able to lean the carb back to its optimum setting within 30 seconds to a minute or so.
Thanks Mark and Seth!
For now I am going to let it rest. Now I will lightly paint the frame, remove wheels, general repairs and such. Now I know that it will run.
Once I get the chassis all done I will experiment a bit more with running it, I'll drive it around the yard and such and get the general hang of it, then build the speedster body and it will all be good to go.
I will be buying a new timing rod since the one installed is really rusty and beat up.
Thank you everyone for your help along the way! This is the end of the engine Awakening thread. Really appreciate all the help.
I absolutely love this video. The expression on your face when it turns over is a tonic. Congratulations on getting it started. I remember starting my first model T back around 1978. My brother and I had never seen one run and we had no idea what we were doing. We originally had the timer roller 180 degrees off and only got a chuff. Then we pulled a plug to check the timing and corrected the problem. It started on the first pull after that. Your video brought me back to that day. Thanks!
Should also say, if anyone hears something off, let me know!
Sorry for all of my replies. Just excited!
John that looks great. I had a similar experience getting my grandfather's T speedster up and running after she'd been dormant for 25+ years. I'm 31, so not as old as a lot of the folks on here, but there's a handful of guys younger too.
Engine-wise I don't see or hear anything wrong. You can adjust the brakes on that right rear wheel! Haha
Thanks once again Seth!
Can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can go full out painting and such. Today is the warmest it's been, around 40.
And thank you for not being afraid of the mixture control. :-)
Runs great, timing's a bit late and no rattling when it ran out of gas. :-) :-)
Figured timing would be off a little! Thanks Duey! That timing gauge, as discussed I think is wrong. I'll mess with it and perfect it once the chassis is done being gone over.
What would rattling when running out of gas suggest? Just curious.
I was listening for rattles in the crankcase. Loose rods etc. :-)
I still get excited on a first startup!
Should've probably bought that new exhaust system last week so it would have been quieter... so you guys could hear it better but oh well, when it starts up next time it will have one!
Love the 1st video! I think the look on my face the 1st time my 26 fired up was probably the same. Looks like you are in for a lot of fun. I like your work shop. Rather fitting for your project. Looking forward to your next update.
Hahaha thanks Dallas! We had been trying to start it yesterday for a few hours and never thought to check the timing again, but turns out it was simply that! Still cant believe how fast it started and how good it sounds compared to some videos of barn finds starting up. Rebuilt parts certainly help Id guess.
Just in an old barn on the property. Id guess early 1900s, so yes, fitting indeed! The people before us had a T engine rigged up as a sawmill in there, so that barn has had something T in it for a long time.
Will probably be taking off the wheels next, so look out for that update.
I really am thinking this is an old rebuild, 50s or something, or at the very least a well taken care of car. Underneath the frame paint there is clearly red primer, and white paint on top of that, and finally the cheap black spray paint or something. Plus it has the red spokes underneath the black, and the new one piece valves.
Guessing a hot rodder took the body and left the cowl judging by how it was cut off and such At least the engine matches the frame!