Coil or Distributor whats better????

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Coil or Distributor whats better????
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Goddard Farmland, NJ on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 08:36 pm:

Hello, when I bought my 1924 Coupe it was equipt with a VW Distributor. I have been having problems with it running right and replaced the
points, but I am still questioning should igo back to Coils or leave the Distributor
ANY THOUGHTS ???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 08:51 pm:

Depends if your T has a functioning stock magneto ignition system or not - might be why there is a distributor on it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 09:00 pm:

Paul
I trust you also replaced the condenser (capacitor) when you changed the points?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Clary on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 09:23 pm:

I won't take a side, but the majority of problems on our recent national tour were from distributors.

Andy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 09:51 pm:

It's my judgment that a distributor can provide a more precise timing than the Ford setup. But, a proper Ford set up is a working system that's proven. I recently changed to a distributor on my 14 that had a working mag and the improvement in timing was so apparent. Either works as long as you have a working mag. My judgement only.....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry K. Lee on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 10:09 pm:

Paul,

A distributor as with any device which has multiple units being used in series is as good as all units in the system. I use a lot of distributors and the key is using GOOD quality parts though out. I.E. points, condenser, coil/ballast resistor. The Bosch 009 VW distributor is about bullet proof. A quality brand such as NAPA points/condenser, a Bosch (made in Brazil) on eBay for about $45.00 shipped and a ballast resistor from NAPA from a Dodge point system from the late 60's or Standard brand RU-11 works great. Most people attempt to use an inferior cheap Chinese made $12.00 coil, wrong. An electronic non-ballast resistor coil will not hold up to the demands of a condenser. Mounting the coil away from heat, standing straight up on the firewall works great. Set the points to .016 wipe with paper to remove any oil or set them using a dwell meter at 50 degrees. I never have silly breakdowns. It is a personal preference and the equal spark on all cylinders makes for a smoother ride. If you are using 6 volts, you may want to find a good NOS Mallory coil on eBay for around $30.00.

My $.02,

All the Best,

Hank in Tin-A-See


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 10:10 pm:

If your having major problems with distributor or coils I need to inform you that you probably don't understand how your system, whichever it is, works. If you know how to maintain it you won't be left flat.I would carry spare points & condenser as I'd carry spare coils. There is no performance advantage of one over the other so that's moot. Learn the system and you'll enjoy your driving more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 10:15 pm:

One of the interesting parts of a Model T is the ignition system. Many people today don't understand how it works. Another interesting is the Planetary transmission It actually works much like the modern automatic transmission except that you use the foot pedals to shift.
It all depends on what your goal might be. Both ignition systems can work very well or can malfunction. The coil and timer system is easier to trouble shoot and fix on a tour and more of your companion cars will have spare coils or timers to help you and it will work on either battery or magneto. Even if a coil quits working you can usually limp in to somewhere where you can fix it. The distributor usually either works or it doesn't and when it doesn't work, you usually need to replace parts. If you have one, be prepared with spare parts in your own car because even those others who have distributors might not be compatable with yours. You will also have a gear running off the camshaft to turn the distributor and if that goes out, will be out of service until you can find another.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 10:19 pm:

Either can work flawlessly when properly restored and maintained. In my opinion, coils/magneto takes a bit more dedication and up-keep, but I can understand the reward of using the system Henry intended and operating a T as designed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 11:35 pm:

Many years ago (more than 25) I broke the magneto on the coupe. It was dead but the motor ran very well but Ford coils on a six volt battery, it left something to be desired. So I found an old distributor and it ran very well for over twenty years. Eventually it needed points, bearing etc so I had a choice. New distributor or go back to coils, the mag is still bad so decided to try the E-timer. It is great, engine runs so smooth and to date has been 100% reliable.
Yes I know it’s not cheap but not much more than new coils or a new distributor set, but it really is the best of both worlds. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 02:38 am:

Tony, You certainly got that right! The Etimer is better than both worlds!

And I can still hear my coils singing!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Goddard Farmland, NJ on Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 09:22 am:

Thank you to all for the advice


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By samuel pine on Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 09:44 am:

Don't ya just hate that word "up grade or modern"?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Kaminar on Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 11:21 am:

Paul,

Another Forum member suggested adding a ground wire from the distributor to some point on the engine. I did this on my car just to be through although it did not seem to make much difference, maybe a little.

The advice of Henry is good advice. You will need a good coil, a good condenser, and good points. All connections should be good. The rotor, distributor cap, and wires should all be good too. And don't neglect the plugs. Carry a spare set of points and a spare condenser.

A lot of members want to keep the car as original as possible and use the original ignition system. I don't have much experience with the original system but I think it works well when it works well. It depends on if you want an original stock car or don't care. I don't have a choice as there was no mag when I bought my car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Doris, North Central AZ on Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 02:37 pm:

My ‘26 Runabout has a non working magneto. I retrofitted it with a timing belt drive Bosch 009 VW distributor and 6v ignition coil.

Have been running this arrangement for 2 months now and am happy to report that the engine runs smoother and has more pep than with running the coils on 6 volts. If my magneto worked, I believe I would see similar results with the original Ford ignition system.

In all of my past experiences with the “Kettering” distributor type ignition system, I have never carried spare points, condenser etc. Never had any problems with them other than routine inspection, setting or replacement of points or condenser.

(Message edited by AzBob on July 22, 2018)


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