Does anyone run these aftermarket coils with good success?
The cases appear to be good quality and the coil core consists of flat strips of iron. Thanks
If these are Part # 5007 and sold by Snyder’s over the last 5-10 years well yes. Both of our T’s (26 and 27) have run these faultlessly for this time. I’m happy to send you photos of one if you wish.
Cheers. Alan Long.
Hi Mike, why do you say those are aftermarket? Aren't they rebuilt wood coils, that's what the vendors say they sell? Doug
I thought the aftermarket coils were plastic cased.
Are those the ones with a cardboard separator and a dab of tar over a questionable capacitor?
They're good for target practice.
I don't any experience with wood boxed coils except some originals stamped with "FORD" script. I do, however have three plastic cased coils. One is in the coil box in my car now. The other two I carry for spares.
These are wood aftermarket coils without brand label. The coils have copper plated studs and stand-offs. They have coil cores made from flat iron strips and have concave brass contacts, without the typical lead mound. The high voltage coil measures 8600 Ohms between the two side contacts; more than twice the typical value.
These coils fire a good hot spark of ~54mJ and can be adjusted to fire spark with good consistency. I wanted to know what folks thought of them who actually use them or used them in their car. OK to send me a PM or email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't want to post a reply here. Thanks!
John Regan makes the only good quality new coils.
Look at the poor quality of the coil pictured above. Your best bet is to buy Ford coils, and send them to Ron Patterson to rebuild.
I don't run any, but I have rebuilt them for others and also to sell. They seemed to run ok when I road tested them and tested ok on my HCCT. I'm not sure if the flat plates of the core are necessarily a bad design, or just an indicator of lesser quality inner components like the capacitor, but I do know some consider them inferior to the ones with the wire bundle core. With the correct modern capacitor, I don't know that they aren't just fine.
Here is my long experience with these coils.
These coils are made in Mexico by an Oregon based company. When they first appeared on the market about 20 years ago they had several problems. The winding cores were not correctly positioned not allowing correct point geometry to be obtained, the points were not properly installed/tested and they used metalized Mylar capacitors. These problems clearly indicated the manufacturer did not understand how coils were used in a Model T Ford ignition circuit. Many were sold by all Model T parts suppliers and they soon failed because of the wrong type capacitor. Testing also showed that the manufacturer was testing the coils using a “Buzz Box” type tester which did not allow for use on the Model T magneto. With much fiddling the point adjustment problem could be corrected IF the owners knew what they were doing. The capacitor problem was easily correct by installing the correct type capacitor. Word quickly spread about these problems and most, but not all Model T Parts suppliers stopped selling them. After about ten years these coils started to be sold with the correct capacitor, but the other issues continued. One part supplier started buying them without points and installed points themselves and tested the coil on a proper test device. As time went on another problem became evident and that was a high coil failure rate because of the tendency of the secondary winding in these coils to go open circuit.
Today most Model T coil rebuilders won’t fool with them because they cannot be relied upon when placed in the hands of customers. There are still a lot of these coils floating around Model T land and sometimes show up as cores for possible rebuilding. Given these problems the effort to repair them and high secondary winding failure rate do not justify the expense of trying to fix them.
In my view these coils are poorly made and when received I them simply throw them (several hundred so far) in the garbage to get them out of circulation.
If you want properly made new ignition coils only buy the FunProjects product. They are very well made by someone who understands how the ignition coil operates in a Model T Ford.
If you want rebuilt original coils only start with KW/Ford script coils.
The KW coils made by Echlin new in the 1950-1970’s can also be made to work correctly.
I forgot one point.
Very early versions of these coils had wood boxes made smaller than an original Ford coil and did not properly fit the Model T coilbox without having to shim the unused space.
Ron P (or anyone else following this that knows), Are these coils being discussed the ones that the wooden case is slightly undersized? One critical dimension is about 1/8 inch shy and results in contact problems. If so, I had two of them, still have one.
My experience. Two of them came to me with a small bunch of coils I bought at a swap meet. They were pretty, but otherwise I was not impressed by them. The size problem was obvious to me. A quick check and test run in my car found them functional. I tried to run them for a short while out of curiosity. I had to shim them for contact, and still had a lot of trouble making them work reliably. One of them then quickly failed, and I salvaged the nice looking point set, trashing the rest. The other one, I took apart. Everything looked poorly made, but sort of worked. I replaced the capacitor with a new recommended one, did a little other tweaking. I put it back together, and glued a piece of wood on the back to correct the size. I did a partial adjustment with my really bad home-made buzz tester. On battery, it seemed to work okay.
I had rebuilt several coils I had, set them up the same way. Then I went to a good friend's house. He has a very nice HCCT, and learned from Ron P how to use it some years earlier. Since I was going anyway, I took the el-cheapo along. Every other coil I had done, we tweaked to optimum performance on the HCCT. Most of them only needed minor adjustment, a few required cushion spring reworking. One required serious effort on Dan's part. I could tell, that Dan learned very well from Ron.
I had a few of the '50s/'60s KW coils. They all seemed to adjust okay.
The el-cheapo? Little hope. It seems to work fine on battery. But will not get close to proper adjustment for magneto use. And we didn't waste much time with it. I still have it. I have carried under the seat on a few tours. I figure it may help finishing a tour if one of my running coils were to fail. And, If someone else had a coil fail? I could give it away with an apology, and not have any desire to have it returned. (By the way, I wrote on the side of it that it is not to be considered a good coil.) And, if it in turn fails? Well, I have limped home a few times over the years on three cylinders. That is one of the beauties of the model T Ford ignition.
I have seen one that burned up internally from lack of tar. Consider tinkering with it, replace the capacitor if you have any doubt about it, and pour in some tar. Tar works wonders.
I bought a set of those coils about 20 to 25 years ago.
They let my engine run on battery, without much power, but when I switched to magneto, I got a lot of popping and back firing.
Then I was told that I could return them for another set, which I did and the other set worked the same way.
Then I found out about the small capacitor size and sent them to Ron to rebuild, although they were still new.
I really though he could replace the capacitor and properly adjust them.
He told me they were trash and he could just put them where they belonged or return them and let me trash them.
I did learn the cause of the backfire was the coils breaking down from the higher AC voltage.
I told Ron to trash them, case closed.
You guys got me wondering now. I don't recall ever seeing any that were undersized or were not filled with tar, but I have definitely seen ones with the core made of flat pieces rather than the bundle of round wire, and was able to get them to run satisfactorily on mag.
Some of the early versions of the Mexico coils had wood cases that were smaller than original Ford coils.
The KW coils from 50's-80's can be made to work very well as you point out.
This morning I took a series of photos contrasting the Mexico and KW 1950-1980 era coils showing the differences.
If anyone wants a set of these photos just email me and I will forward them.
Thanks for the replies to my inquiry. It seems the consensus is these coils suffered from flaws 20 years ago. They continue to be offered by select vendors Today so would be interested to know if anyone has present experience with them. Has the manufacturer addressed and resolved the issues of years past as many products do with experience(including the Model T) but continue to get a bad rap? The one I checked has a case only slightly under sized by 0.030" which should not pose an issue; I will check the dimensions again. If so, case size may be an indication of product evolution to resolve early issues and may be an perfectly acceptable alternative today. Interested to know if anyone has recent experience of flaws like poor fit, pre-mature capacitor failures or secondary winding failures.
Mike, apparently you have failed to understand what has been said above, by the most famous coil rebuilder or all time!
As I stated before.
Some of the early problems with these coils have been corrected, but they, still today, suffer from poor manufacturing quality issues and high failure rates.
As shocking as it may be; it became painfully apparent to me that some Model T "Experts" don't always put the best interests of the hobby or Model T consumer first when offering their opinion of products or services for whatever reason.
For example, do a forum search for ECCT and read what some "Experts" said about it then contrast that with the reality a growing consensus the ECCT out performs ALL other coil testers in achieving superior engine performance. That doesn't mean all other coil testers are bad and should be put in the garbage as many will affirm. Similarly, I wanted to know if the subject coils continue to deserve the bad rap they have been branded from end users with recent experience using them. Given strong opinions they do may intimidate others from sharing their personal experience which is unfortunate for the hobby and Model T consumer. I know this too from experience and thought my post may help change that. Everyone's experience is a valid data point worth consideration and should not feel intimidated if it contrasts with the esteemed "Experts". Sadly, many simply cave and decline to participate to avoid confrontation.
I wondered how long it would take to Mike to turn this into yet another ECCT “lnfomercial”
I am outa here!
And I thought this was going so well......
Perhaps you missed it, but this thread contained a well placed "Infomercial" plug very early in the discussion.
"If you want properly made new ignition coils only buy the FunProjects product. They are very well made by someone who understands how the ignition coil operates in a Model T Ford."
Given my stated experience, I admittedly have difficulty when strong opinions are stated here as gospel fact and sharing of differing experiences are muted or discouraged by obvious factors.
Obviously this discussion is going no where!
Ron P, Thank you for answering my question!
It's a strange oddity that so many products and services are freely mentioned and praised on this forum, some mentioned in this thread. In fact there seems to be a casual, kind of automatic, assumption that if someone needs a certain part, tool or repair, then you get it from a certain person who has developed a reputation for expertise in that area, and all will be good.
But, any mention from Mike about his products is seen as an "Infomercial". Yet, my experience is that they're well engineered products that work as claimed, and have been the best that I've used with my Model T. So why not promote them?
(Message edited by 26tourer on May 07, 2018)
Coils can be made to work. Just depends on what limitations they were born with as to what you have to do to them. I made some coils work, many of them, despite what people think.
Heck, if you can vaccuum seal them with epoxy like a 'modern*cough30yearsoldcough*' coil and they don't break down then what? "Oh noz they wurk"
What are you going to do old man? Prove me wrong? Oh wait you can't LULZ. Do what i do & see if it doesn't work if you do it to the best of your abilities.
Why is this website controlled by old grumpy men who poop on everything? What is this, facechoke? i snub your censorship.
Again an interesting discussion is ended on a way I don't like. What is wrong with you??
These "Old Grumpy Men" are not trying to control this website but are trying to share the long time experience they have because they know, and some of us do not understand or except it, as they disappear their knowledge disappear with them.
Someone once said to me:" When an old experienced men disappear, a few libraries are burned and the information in it is gone for ever"
By the way, Thank you Ron for trying to share the information you have.
I had a nice long response, but decided to keep it to myself.
To clarify further, a little history is in order. Its been the long established tradition here on the forum Vendor P can praise and promote Vender J's goods and services and Vender J and praise and promote Vender P's goods and services. Customers and mutual friend(s) of both vendors can openly praise and promote both vendors here on this forum. Vendor P would frequently encourage happy customers to offer praise here and
all was good. In fact, the more praise the better for the hobby since both Vendors offered quality goods and services that deserve the good reputation they earned.
Folks then lament, the hobby needs young folks to take and interest and keep the hobby going as the valued vendors retire or leave. I heard that message and thought I could offer the hobby quality products that would help keep it going long into the future. The only problem was, my products compete with Vendor P's and Vendor J's products and was viewed as an immediate threat. An all out assault was launched to discredit me and my products on this forum. Anyone offering praise of my products were frequently confronted by prominent individuals who aggressively questioned the validity of their experience with my projects, spewed misinformation about my projects function, quality and down right blatant lies in an effort to deter folks from buying them. That went on for years as I my products slowly built their own reputation. I am extremely grateful that enough folks came to learn my products are quality goods that perform as described with high reliability, that the unsubstantiated lies about my products are no longer tolerated here.
A recent sale of the subject coils was just canceled and money refunded because of their reputation.
This included an "infomercial" to buy coils from the accepted Vendors. Given my first hand experience of what happened to me here on the forum, I wanted to know if the subject coils still being sold today continue to deserve the reputation they have and wanted to know from folks who actually use them, not from a competing coil vendor.
Folks who frequent the forum already know this IS the way it works here. Any young folks with the aspiration of contributing to the hobby please continue your pursuit but be forewarned.
Mike, I have bought and used your E timer on two of my T's and have been very pleased both with the product and with your customer service. I appreciate your contribution to the hobby.
Bittner used to make an excellent replacement coil. The reason I say they were excellent was that they had empirically verifiable better windings than most other coils.
These coils were presented unfavorably on this forum.
Shortly after that, they ceased being produced. I don't know if there is a connection, but I doubt the bad reviews helped.
Well said and an undisputable fact of life on this forum Mike K.
The crazy thing to me is that these coils are made by a manufacturer that remains relatively a mystery, despite the apparent quality issues. It doesn’t appear that they are involved in any other way in the hobby. The only other manufacture that I can think of that does something similar (providing parts tangentially to our hobby) are the folks that make tires.
The other thing that is a mystery to me is how you could make a coil that almost works great. It seems like the chasm between a good coil and a bad coil would be so wide that you just couldn’t wind up somewhere in the middle. But making Model T coils from scratch seems like such an overwhelming task to me that I’m probably way off in my assessment of this.
In any case, I’m thankful for the suppliers that we do have of known good parts! As a young end-user, I find myself constantly struggling to determine which spare parts I need to buy now to future proof myself in case they’re not available at some point.
I noticed that some of the coils have the Ford script on the large panel and is a large size and others have the Ford script on an edge of the "points" pannel and is small. What is the difference? thank you. Erick
Mike.... Truth prevails...thank you for addressing the ELEPHANT "in the room ". Well said and appreciate your courage. Bob J.
The location of the script is a "when they were made" issue. No other differences. It is covered in the clubs coil videos put together years ago by a well respected club member.
The difference is that when you first came on here selling the E-Timer, you bad mouthed the everloving CRAP out of the Model T's original ignition system. You made it sound like you'd be lucky to even get back to the house if you dared venture out on the road with a stock ignition system, and when you did get home you could almost guarantee you'd need a coil adjustment because they were so hard to keep adjusted. Funny how all that BS ceased when you came out with the ECCT.
Ron Patterson has taught SEVERAL people how to adjust coils. You really think he'd do that if he was worried about someone cutting in on his business?
John Regan is a consummate gentleman. I've never heard him badmouth you or anyone else.
You ought to be ashamed.
Mike, Your post was the most clearly written description I have ever read about your introduction into this hobby. Well Said.
Yes, at times, we all say things that may be on the edge but you have continued to persevere and everyone of your products speak for themselves.
You offer customer service to everyone that is far above the excellent service that many of our vendors provide.
Your customers have supported you and your products not because they bought items from you but because they outperformed their Own expectations. That is a level of quality very few vendors are ever able to match!
Let me say again, "Thank You, Mike" for the time, work, Risk, and the Bull Crap that you have endured to provide model T owners with products that enable them to enjoy driving their cars.
Well said Hal.
Here is the earliest post I can find that Mike talked about the E-timer vs. Original system from December of 2010.
"Again, the E-Timer is simply another option for the Model T enthusiast to use or elect not to not. I commend everyone lucky enough to have procured a stock of NOS ignition components, have the equipment and knowledge necessary to properly align, install and maintain them and are satisified with the performance and ware from them. The original system is an elegant design and true electro-mechanical marvel worthy of preservation."
Hal, My introduction to the Model T hobby was from a fellow who enjoyed touring and frequently complained about timer and coils issues while on tour. So I designed the E-Timer so he could enjoy touring without timer or coil issues while on tour. The thought was others might appreciate the E-Timer so I wrote it up and offered made it available to others as a maintenance free option. Many did and still do appreciate maintenance free option of running an E-Timer. I did not realize at the time there are many other segments of the Model T hobby like those who appreciate the lure of magneto powered ignition and actually enjoy the coil maintenance and adjusting. The advent of the E-Timer polarized groups with differing interests much to my surprise and dismay. I learned about coil testing and thought I could offer a better way to adjust coils so developed the ECCT for the hobby to promote use of the original coils. I did so at considerable effort and expense knowing it would reduce the demand for the E-Timer and it has but not to the extent I had hoped because of the appeal of a maintenance free timer. That is what prompted the development of the I-Timer; to help preserve and promote use of the original magneto powered ignition; including the art of coil adjustment.
For some folks, it is ego that prompts intolerance to competition not just monetary; even if it risks tarnishing a well deserved reputation.
For other folks, its not what they said but rather what they didn't say that is so damming. Having the knowledge and intelligence to comprehend the injustice of a situation and remain mute because it is self serving of ones own interests.
So with those thoughts Hal, may I suggest it is you who ought to seriously ponder shame given the disingenuous exaggeration of reality you portrayed.
The Irony of the E-Timer
About 100 comments.......
Last Entry 2012 - The irony of this rant is it seems to go on forever. - Mr. Dumas
It wasn't so much your product, Mike, as it was your badmouthing of the original system and later, the badmouthing of the HCCT, that turn some against you. Other guys are able to promote their product without tearing down things that are near and dear to others hearts. Quit with the pity party.
Mike, I purchased one of the first run of Etimers you put up for sale. It's been so long ago that I even forget it is in the TT. I gave the truck to my son who still runs it on a semi regular basis. I modified the truck considerably, Lane Warford, 5-1 gears, Scat crank, Original aluminum intake manifold, Zhead and Stromberg OD 1 carburetor.
It runs comfortably at 35 - 40 MPH and white knuckle @45+.
The TT is on my profile
Oh I must add, it has 4 Ron Patterson coils.
Once again Mike you're beatin' a dead horse. The folks that use the E Timer are satisfied with the product. As to the ECCT: It's smaller, cheaper,
and more accurate than the HCCT but no minds will be changed.
Did I miss something, Charlie B? Where in this thread did anyone badmouth the E Timer?
Or the ECCT?
I installed four Patterson rebuilt coils in my '25 ten years ago. The speedometer just turned over 4,000 miles this weekend. I've never had the lid off the coilbox during that period. Thank you Ron for what you do for our hobby.
I for one relish the enjoyment and challenge of maintaining and keeping my T running the best i can using the original and antiquated way Henry intended it to be, that's just me. That being said, i have never understood why there is such animosity when it comes to someone inventing something to make our cars run in other ways other than stock. all options and opinions should be on the table and be expressed freely here before this hobby dries up, dies, and is lost forever.
Larry, I think it is great how happy you are with your Ron Patterson rebuilt coils and you feel comfortable posting your experience using them here on the forum. That is a good use of the forum in my view and others can learn from your experience.
What do you suppose would be the response if someone posted their experience using Ron Paterson coils for years but just got an ECCT, learned how to adjust their own coils and now their car has never run better?
I think they would be treated very hostile, grilled about what metrics were used to judge performance, accused of advertising, chastised for turning the thread into an "infomercial". Such a response makes folks not comfortable sharing their experience with the forum and serves as a warning to all others not to share their similar experience.
Unfortunately, this is not a hypothetical example. There are many ECCT users who have had this exact experience but would NEVER post it here because they feel very Un-comfortable sharing their experience with the forum. They read the hostile response others receive when I or anyone mentions my products here. That effectively suppresses their knowledge and experience from being shared with others. That is not a good use of the forum in my view and such abuse should not be tolerated. If it is, your choice of parts and accessories may become limited to those which people feel comfortable discussing here. Anyone wanting a set of Bittner coils is now SOL, in part, because of the way it works here, in my view.
Hopefully, this is the #MeToo moment here that will embolden folks to share their honest experiences without fear of intimidation or retribution.
(Message edited by mkossor on May 09, 2018)
I did post this many years ago. I have mostly refrained from posting negative comments because my nature is mostly on the positive side.
Many years ago I purchased a set of coils for my '12 from the Coilman. I installed them in my car and it ran fine... The boxes were not in the best of shape and one failed with an open. Ron responded and told me to return it but I weighed the packaging shipping hassle and decided to simply use one of my spare coils. I still have that coil marked with his name.
I understand old electrical things fail and do not fault Ron. The condition of the boxes is another issue. I would not have purchased had I seen them in person. I opted to keep them and no bitching.
Many miles later after wearing out a couple of Anderson timers Mike developed his Etimer which was the perfect fit for me. I did not have or want to rely on someone else to adjust my coils and a timer with no wear or maintenance was perfect as long as it looked and sounded like the original T system. Better performance to boot was just extra ice cream on the cake.
I believe it's not proper to discredit another member or vendor unless there is a valid issue or problem. If there is a problem with someones service, reliability of their products or integrity then it IS the our responsibility to let other forum members know so everyone is aware of a faulty part or poor service. Because I believe most members would rat out a cheat to the rest of us I have always dropped in the mail a part and then waited for the check. I have also sent off to members items on loan that I do not know but because they are model T Forum guys I trust.
I'd like to see more positive comments and helping others with issues and less destructive comments that have little or no merit.
Well said, Gene. Thank you for posting.
The intent of this post is to show the owners of Model T's what a poorly made reproduction part can be! I was forced into the repro parts business myself, because of poorly made, and bad looking parts offered by some of our vendors. I have a motto, that I will not sell a part unless it is as good a Henry made it. In the '15 years we've been selling repro parts, we've had very few returns. The bottom line is research, and quality, and the determination to do stuff right.
With all due respect Larry, that was Not the intent of my post. The intent my post was to determine if a Black Balled product still deserved to be a Black Balled product from the perspective of end users with recent experience using the subject coils: "Does anyone run these aftermarket coils with good success?"
In the 8 years I've been selling accessory parts I have had 1 (ONE) return from a dis-satisfied customer. You would NEVER discern that from reading what some Experts posted about my products here. That's the reason why I was interested to know what the end users had to say about the subject coils in addition to the Experts.
Getting some good input from end users and coil rebuilders about these coils; privately not surprisingly.
Thanks to all who have responded in sharing your experience with these coils. Please keep the information coming, would like a few more recent experiences with these coils; PM and email: email@example.com
Some more details on the subject coils. I measured the case of the one I have and compared it with a FS coil:
3.245" x 2.10" x 5.00" (LxWxH) Aftermarket
3.275" x 2.11" x 5.07" (LxWxH) FS
So case size seems to have been addressed.
The mechanical construction also seems to have been addressed. The core height above the top surface is about the same as the FS coil. The internal coil and capacitor are potted with asphalt as shown below:
The coil does have the incorrect type capacitor; Metalized Polyester (Plastic) Film of the correct value; 0.47uF 630V. The use of the incorrect type capacitor may have been partly due to the confusing capacitor data sheet:
Note that the capacitor Recommended Applications does say CDI (Capacitive Discharge Ignition) but the * says "Please contact us when applications are CDI.
So Mechanical / construction issues appear to have been addressed but, the advisory these aftermarket coils do not use the proper type of capacitor remains valid on this later vintage version. This was not apparent from the electrical testing. The capacitance was the correct value and no excessive point arcing during the multi-spark consistency test. No way of telling how many hours the coil was used so the capacitor may not have sustained significant damage yet. Replace the capacitor with the correct type and this coil seems to be perfectly acceptable for normal use. No reports of failed secondary windings so far.
I must confess to using incorrect capacitors way back 16 years ago at the start of my learning curve.
The thing was, as my coils only ever operated off 6V DC, I got away with it. The capacitors I used were 250VAC self healing polypropylene mains suppression capacitors (Teapo XG-VS).
It was only when I rebuilt a set of coils for a guy that used his magneto, that the weakness was exposed and one failed on the first trip. That's when I learned about dv/dt ratings.
I did many thousands of km with the incorrect capacitors in my own car without failure, but eventually replaced them, just in case.
On that basis, it would appear that 6VDC operation is less critical with regards to dv/dt ratings. Perhaps the manufacturer of the repro coils has only ever tested them on a battery supply.