I Timer free start?

Discuss all things Model T related.
Forum rules
If you need help logging in, or have question about how something works, use the Support forum located here Support Forum
Complete set of Forum Rules Forum Rules

Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri May 24, 2019 10:46 am

Can you get a free start with an I Timer? Yes! In fact you can get four in a row!

Guess I need to lean out the mixture...
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.

User avatar

Ruxstel24
Posts: 1574
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:25 am
First Name: Dave
Last Name: Hanlon
Location: NE Ohio
MTFCA Number: 50191
Board Member Since: 2018

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Ruxstel24 » Fri May 24, 2019 11:00 am

That's cool !!
I was adjusting my points the other day, (Thomas distributor)...
I pushed the spark lever up and got a pop, but no start. I never have yet, but that was close.


John bevardos
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:58 am
First Name: John
Last Name: bevardos
Location: Los Angeles

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by John bevardos » Fri May 24, 2019 11:13 am

Tom,
how are you liking the I-timer?


john

User avatar

RustyFords
Posts: 766
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:16 am
First Name: Don
Last Name: Allen
Location: Houston, TX
MTFCA Number: 50001

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by RustyFords » Fri May 24, 2019 11:35 am

Tom Hicks wrote: ↑
Fri May 24, 2019 10:46 am
Can you get a free start with an I Timer? Yes! In fact you can get four in a row!

Guess I need to lean out the mixture...
Nice!

I was wondering this same thing myself, now that I'm close to getting my warmed-over temp engine installed....with an iTimer.
1924 Touring


John kuehn
Posts: 558
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:00 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Kuehn
Location: Texas
MTFCA Number: 28924

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by John kuehn » Fri May 24, 2019 11:48 am

A free start means everything is pretty much in good working order when you get a free start. Correct timing, carb settings, wiring and etc should give a free start. I would think any timer would give a free start.


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri May 24, 2019 1:34 pm

John bevardos wrote: ↑
Fri May 24, 2019 11:13 am
Tom,
how are you liking the I-timer?


john
I think the I Timer is the best timer made.

A T will run with a warn timer and coils that are not perfect, but for top performance all the time I recommend an I Timer with ECCT tuned coils. I drive a lot and don't want to deal with unnecessary maintenance or poor performance. I want the best.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


SurfCityGene
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:00 pm
First Name: Gene
Last Name: Carrothers
Location: Huntington Beach, Ca
MTFCA Number: 22905
MTFCI Number: 23068
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by SurfCityGene » Mon May 27, 2019 3:17 pm

Tom, I'm going to disagree with you about that ITimer and hope to not start a big fight here about which of Mike Kossor's timers is the best but I much prefer the ETimer.

Ya, for a couple of bucks more you can have the peace of mind when driving all day long on a tour that one of your coils will not get out of adjustment and skip a spark. Also the ETimer has the automatic timing so you can set it and forget it and not be bothered about where the spark lever is supposed to be set. I enjoy the scenery driving my T with other guys and not fiddling with the controls at every hill and stop light. My coils still "sing" to me and if I hear an off note I simply can tweak the adjustment right on the fly until I get that sweet sound just right.

Now I'm not saying that the I Timer isn't one of the best timers for a Model T but would rate it a close second with a photo finish.

I will say that if you can get a free start with your ITimer then maybe it's a TIE! That's something the ETimer will not do to my knowledge.

Drivem and Have Fun!! LOL Glad you like the last timer you'll ever need.
1912 Torpedo Roadster


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Mon May 27, 2019 11:03 pm

I am going to plead ignorance on this one. I was not aware of the E Timer or its capabilities. I have just been reading up on it and it may be superior due to the fact that the coils do not have to be kept in perfect adjustment like the I Timer.

I got a lot of free starts with the I Timer, then adjusted my carburetor and have not had one since. Free starts are not necessarily a good thing. They may show the ignition system is in good shape, but I think they also indicate that the carburetion is not right. When you cut the car off there should not be enough gas in the cylinders to provide a free start. If there is it probably indicates your mixture is too rich or your idle too high or both. That extra gas is not good for your cylinder walls as it washes off lubrication. And I have heard that a free start is harder on a crankshaft than a normal start which makes sense to me.

So you are probably correct about the E Timer being better.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


Scott_Conger
Posts: 1624
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon May 27, 2019 11:32 pm

And exactly why shouldn't there be enough gas in the cylinder for a free start following the shut down of the engine?

It is a gravity feed system, no pumps or electrical solenoids are involved, and if the cylinder is inhaling a gulp of fuel on it's way to stopping, and stops just past TDC there is every reason to expect a "chuff" or a start when the coil vibrates.

On my stem winders, I pull the crank twice, turn on the key and just about 50% of the time, the car starts itself. Am I doing something wrong? Inquiring minds want to know.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

User avatar

kirkiep
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:18 pm
First Name: Kirk
Last Name: Peterson
Location: Santa Fe, NM
MTFCA Number: 24051
MTFCA Life Member: YES
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by kirkiep » Tue May 28, 2019 12:16 am

I frequently get Free INITIAL Starts after 2 priming hand pulls.
I really like my I TIMER and ECCT with software adjusted coils.
Gene when I was in school I learned it was I before E.πŸ˜€πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‰πŸ˜
Kirk Peterson
Santa Fe NM


SurfCityGene
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:00 pm
First Name: Gene
Last Name: Carrothers
Location: Huntington Beach, Ca
MTFCA Number: 22905
MTFCI Number: 23068
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by SurfCityGene » Tue May 28, 2019 3:22 am

OK Kirk, You win that one!!
1912 Torpedo Roadster


Fire_chief
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:09 am
First Name: Charlie
Last Name: Gagel
Location: Orange, CT
MTFCA Number: 8377
MTFCA Life Member: YES
MTFCI Number: 22437

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Fire_chief » Tue May 28, 2019 4:03 am

I chose the I timer for the simple fact that you can use your magneto with it. Most of my cars don't have a starter or generator.
Mike Kosser set up my coils, and also helped install the timer. Never had a better running T.

User avatar

JohnH
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:57 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Hunter
Location: Blue Mountains, Australia
Board Member Since: 2002
Contact:

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by JohnH » Tue May 28, 2019 4:08 am

I have had a free start with the E-Timer.


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 am

Scott_conger wrote: ↑
Mon May 27, 2019 11:32 pm
On my stem winders, I pull the crank twice, turn on the key and just about 50% of the time, the car starts itself. Am I doing something wrong? Inquiring minds want to know.
NO, when you pull the crank twice you are pulling fuel into the cylinders. If a piston is "stops just past TDC there is every reason to expect a "chuff" or a start when the coil vibrates." There are those who say this is hard on the cranshaft and that makes sense to me. They also say that 100-year-old crankshafts are not as storng as they were when they were new. That also makes sense to me. But those people might be wrong and it is your crankshaft, so ther is nothing wrong there as long as you are happy.


When you shut down the engine it should not take in enough fuel to give a free start, if it does your carburetor is not adjusted properly. Either the idle is too high or the mixture is too rich or both. With a correctly adjusted carburetor you will not get free starts.

A free start does indicate that your ignition system is in good shape. The ignition system needs good connections, properly adjusted coils, and a good timer to work the most efficiently. ECCT adjusted coils and an I Timer will give lots of free starts like mine did, IF your carburetor is not adjusted properly.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


Scott_Conger
Posts: 1624
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue May 28, 2019 10:02 am

And so, I'll ask again, exactly why shouldn't there be enough gas in the cylinder for a free start following the shut down of the engine? The engine does not slam to a stop on the last exhaust and continues to draw fuel into each cylinder until it ceases rotation.

The more worn and loose the engine, the more likely to have free starts. They are unlikely to occur on a fresh engine as the rings will be too tight to allow the weak explosion to move the crank more than a couple of degrees.

If you truely believe it can only happen if the carb is maladjusted, you are misinformed.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue May 28, 2019 10:37 am

Scott_conger wrote: ↑
Tue May 28, 2019 10:02 am
And so, I'll ask again, exactly why shouldn't there be enough gas in the cylinder for a free start following the shut down of the engine? The engine does not slam to a stop on the last exhaust and continues to draw fuel into each cylinder until it ceases rotation.

The more worn and loose the engine, the more likely to have free starts. They are unlikely to occur on a fresh engine as the rings will be too tight to allow the weak explosion to move the crank more than a couple of degrees.

If you truely believe it can only happen if the carb is maladjusted, you are misinformed.
Well, I have certainly been misinformed before. And I have a lot of respect for your knowledge of T's. I would like another opinion because I don't want to spread misinformation and this Forum needs to be accurate on matters like this. We are not discussing the best type of oil.


I hope we can agree that a free start begins with enough fuel in the cylinders to fire and start the engine without turning the crank. I say that much fuel indicates either the carburetor is too rich or the idle is to fast or both. And, that much fuel in the cylinders when the engine is shut down is not good for the cylinder walls because it washes down the lubrication.

Again, I have been wrong before.

Would some others with familarity on the subject weigh in?
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue May 28, 2019 3:16 pm

I really would value some more opinions, if I am wrong I need to know so I don't go on misinforming others on this Forum and elsewhere.


Yes, I know one can remove the plugs, add a little gas to each cylinder, and sometimes get a free start.

And one can crank the engine a couple of times on choke, then turn on the ignition and get a free start.

And a warn engine is more likely to produce a free start, although inn my opinion not unless the carburetor is not set correctly.

I am speaking of a free start where one shuts down the engine, then when the ignition is turned back on the engine starts. I believe that is only possible when the carburetor is not set correctly, or perhaps if you leave the throttle open rather than closing it before shut down. I hope that clearly explains what I am speaking of. And I believe that extra gas in the cylinders is not good for the cylinder walls.

Please, if I am wrong, tell me, I have been wrong before and you won't hurt my feelings.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


Kerry
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:42 pm
First Name: Frank
Last Name: van Ekeren
Location: Rosedale Vic Australia

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Kerry » Tue May 28, 2019 5:58 pm

Well Tom,
For a free start, there would or should be no raw fuel in the cylinders, only the atomized vapors of fuel and air mix that will exsplode. You can put out a match in raw full if you can avoyed the fumes. A very rich mix giving un-burnt fuel while running will or can wash the bore.


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue May 28, 2019 6:46 pm

kerry wrote: ↑
Tue May 28, 2019 5:58 pm
Well Tom,
For a free start, there would or should be no raw fuel in the cylinders, only the atomized vapors of fuel and air mix that will exsplode. You can put out a match in raw full if you can avoyed the fumes. A very rich mix giving un-burnt fuel while running will or can wash the bore.
So a carburetor that is set too rich or an idle set to high will NOT cause a free start?
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


Kerry
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:42 pm
First Name: Frank
Last Name: van Ekeren
Location: Rosedale Vic Australia

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Kerry » Tue May 28, 2019 7:06 pm

Tom, yes it would and a correctly set one as well, Scott covered it with his post, vacuum is still drawing vapors until the engine stops rotating, reguardless of how the carby is set.


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue May 28, 2019 7:16 pm

kerry wrote: ↑
Tue May 28, 2019 7:06 pm
Tom, yes it would and a correctly set one as well, Scott covered it with his post, vacuum is still drawing vapors until the engine stops rotating, reguardless of how the carby is set.
Thanks, anyone else?
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.

User avatar

JohnH
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:57 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Hunter
Location: Blue Mountains, Australia
Board Member Since: 2002
Contact:

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by JohnH » Tue May 28, 2019 7:53 pm

Tom Hicks wrote: ↑
Tue May 28, 2019 3:16 pm
And a worn engine is more likely to produce a free start, although inn my opinion not unless the carburetor is not set correctly.
That was my experience. With my original engine with loose bearings and worn rings, the free starts were very frequent, if the engine had already been warmed up. As time went on and the rings were replaced, and the bearings taken up, it very rarely occurred, but the last time it did was after the E-Timer had been installed.


SurfCityGene
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:00 pm
First Name: Gene
Last Name: Carrothers
Location: Huntington Beach, Ca
MTFCA Number: 22905
MTFCI Number: 23068
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by SurfCityGene » Tue May 28, 2019 8:22 pm

After some discussion today with another frequent Free Starter guy We conclude,

The carb setting may not be the most important part. When shutting down the engine with a reasonably set carb the critical part is adjusting the rpm's before turning off the ignition. Where the engine finally stops is the MOST important part to get repeated free starts.
this takes a bit of practice and playing with the shut down speed. Yes, a bit higher idle speed might be required.

I don't think a free start should hurt a solid crankshaft nor do I believe a bit of extra vapors in the cylinder has any negative effect. It's not like your shutting down for an extended period where a few shots of oil would be appropriate.

John, it's good to hear about ETimer free start.
1912 Torpedo Roadster


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue May 28, 2019 10:08 pm

I want to thank everyone who responded to my question about carburetion and free starts. Mr. Conger was right and I was wrong. The knowledge and willingness to share on this Forum is amazing, and if the Forum says free starts have nothing to do with lean/rich mixture or high idle, I have to agree. I will stop posting that carburetion has anything to do with free starts.

My belief that carburetion was a factor started a few years ago when my TT Limo would often give a free start. Sometimes ten in a row! And it also had a tendency to backfire after I shut the engine off. I was told to slow down the idle and lean out the mixture to stop the backfiring. I did and the backfiring stopped, so did the free starts, but it was obviously just a coincidence since carburetion has nothing to do with free starts. That engine had excellent compression, but it was well worn otherwise.

I got the I Timer free starts on Ellie Mae. So I leaned out the mixture and they stopped, but that really proves nothing as free starts are also dependent on a piston being in the right position to fire and that may not have happened again. It is a bit disconcerting though as Ellie Mae has 35 hours on her rebuilt engine, I didn't realize engines got worn so fast. But, I now know that only worn engines get free starts, so Ellie Mae is old before her time.

Bottom line, worn engines give free starts and carburetor settings have nothing to do with it.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


SurfCityGene
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:00 pm
First Name: Gene
Last Name: Carrothers
Location: Huntington Beach, Ca
MTFCA Number: 22905
MTFCI Number: 23068
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by SurfCityGene » Thu May 30, 2019 12:17 am

WHOA.. TOM, I don't agree with you about the carb mixture.

In my Limited experience the fuel mixture has to be in that happy place of, for sure, not too lean which makes sense. I believe that carb setting has much to do with free starts but yes, also piston position. When you got 10 in a row you've certainly got a handle on it!
1912 Torpedo Roadster


Topic author
Tom Hicks
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:07 pm
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Hicks
Location: Chesterfield, VA
MTFCA Number: 32518

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Tom Hicks » Thu May 30, 2019 8:31 am

SurfCityGene wrote: ↑
Thu May 30, 2019 12:17 am
WHOA.. TOM, I don't agree with you about the carb mixture.

In my Limited experience the fuel mixture has to be in that happy place of, for sure, not too lean which makes sense. I believe that carb setting has much to do with free starts but yes, also piston position. When you got 10 in a row you've certainly got a handle on it!
My question was about carb settings, lean/rich and idle. I was saying that if the lean/rich setting is correct and the idle is correct that there will not be enough fuel in the engine for a free start. I was wrong.

Now for clarity, some say that you have to have the throttle set up, not idling, when you shut down the engine to get a free start. Of course that would put more fuel in the cylinders for a free start to occur. But free starts are the result of a worn engine, period. Just how clear do I have to be? Isn't it pretty obvious that a free start will not occur if a piston is not in the correct position? What else do I have to stipulate? You have to have a battery, if you only have a magneto you will not get free starts. Anything else? Maybe I should also say you have to have sufficient gas in your tank. Or the spark plug on the cylinder that fires has to be in working order? Anything else? Seriously, how much of the obvious do I have to state?

Of course the piston has to be in the proper position. That old engine that gave many free starts apparently was worn to the point where it always stopped at the same point. But free starts and back firing stopped with proper carburetor adjustment. We all know that is just coincidental. Carburetor adjustment has nothing to do with a free start and anyone reading about free starts on this forum should not be misled into believing that the carburetor adjustments have anything to do with free starts.

Carburetor adjustments may have something to do with how much fuel is in each cylinder after shut down, but they have nothing to do with free starts. Free starts are caused by a worn engine, period. My newly rebuilt engine with 35 hours that gave free starts with an I Timer is an anomaly.

I hope that is clear enough so that no one gets confused about free starts.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


Kerry
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:42 pm
First Name: Frank
Last Name: van Ekeren
Location: Rosedale Vic Australia

Re: I Timer free start?

Post by Kerry » Thu May 30, 2019 6:11 pm

Position of the piston is in the right spot more often than not, a engine that is turned off will rotate from the inertia of rotating mass, ie, flywheel until compression brings it to a holt. reason why the starter ring gear is worn out in 1 of 2 spots, bringing a spark to match piston position gives a free start.
Mazda have taken advantage of the science of free starts, one model will turn the engine off at traffic lights while waiting and free start when ready to move, they are not worn out engines.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic