Driving on "Battery"

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
John Dow
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:21 am
First Name: John
Last Name: Dow
Location: Leawood, Ks
MTFCA Number: 32344
MTFCI Number: 24459

Driving on "Battery"

Post by John Dow » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:26 pm

Sadly, with my magneto no longer operational, I'm now resigned to driving my T on battery only going forward. Other than making sure I have a good battery with sufficient charge, what other things do I need be aware of driving this way? Thank you in advance for your help.


Allan
Posts: 1151
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:21 pm
First Name: Allan
Last Name: Bennett
Location: Gawler, Australia

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by Allan » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:28 pm

John, just make sure you switch to the battery position on the switch!

Allan from down under.


Scott_Conger
Posts: 2479
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:33 pm

...and you can drive on battery in reverse, too


:lol: :lol: :lol:

sorry...couldn't help it :D
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

User avatar

Mark Gregush
Posts: 1985
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:57 pm
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Gregush
Location: Portland Or
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by Mark Gregush » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:50 pm

You can drive just fine on battery. Many cars did for many years. If your normal top speed is under 40, you can still reach it but it will be a bit slower and may not seem to have the same power. You may have to pay a little more attention to adjusting the spark lever, but it will run fine.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1921 Huckster
1925 Cut down pickup

User avatar

A Whiteman
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:36 pm
First Name: Adrian
Last Name: Whiteman
Location: South Island, New Zealand

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by A Whiteman » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:06 pm

I have run my truck on battery for years. I have a separate 12v battery (the lights, starter, horn etc still run on 6 v) wired to the 'MAG' position and keep the 6V still on the 'BAT', that way I can be sure of always having spark!

The 12V is 'total discharge' - meaning it is not hooked up to a Generator, however, even on the longest runs over several days I have never had an issue with the 12 V going flat.

I keep the 12V topped up with a battery tender and have never had a problem yet, but do give it a boost on the charger now and again.

The 12V gives a better spark than 6V battery (the magneto kicks out 38V so there is no issue running 12V through the coils). Switching from 'BAT' to 'MAG' (6V to 12V) makes a noticeable change in performance.

All the best,

Adrian

User avatar

Steve Jelf
Posts: 2361
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:37 pm
First Name: Steve
Last Name: Jelf
Location: Parkerfield, Kansas
MTFCA Number: 16175
MTFCI Number: 14758
Board Member Since: 2007
Contact:

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:18 pm

As Mark says, the spark lever may need more adjusting.
Eventually the engine or the transmission will decide it's time for a tear-down. That will be an opportunity to fix the mag.
:D
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


Topic author
John Dow
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:21 am
First Name: John
Last Name: Dow
Location: Leawood, Ks
MTFCA Number: 32344
MTFCI Number: 24459

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by John Dow » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:35 am

Thank you for all your assurances. Happy driving!!


HPetrino
Posts: 345
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:14 am
First Name: Henry
Last Name: Petrino
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by HPetrino » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:15 am

You didn't say what year T you have and if it's equipped with a generator. If it has an operational generator (or alternator for that matter) all you need to do is put the switch n the "BATT" position. If it does not have a generator, be sure you keep the battery your using charged. When I first got my TT running after many years of sleep and not having everything working properly yet I used a 6 volt dry cell battery. It's surprising how long those things last, but be sure to keep a spare handy.

User avatar

NHUSA
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:21 pm
First Name: Fred
Last Name: Dimock
Location: Newfields NH

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by NHUSA » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:29 pm

I can't drive ON my battery - it is too small.

Sorry I couldn't help myself!
NH - Where I live - not the carburetor ! :lol:

User avatar

DanTreace
Posts: 1207
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:56 am
First Name: Dan
Last Name: Treace
Location: North Central FL
MTFCA Number: 4838
MTFCI Number: 115
Contact:

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by DanTreace » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:53 pm

Along with less engine performance from hot spark with the vibrator coils running full time on such 6v or 12v DC current, coil points will carbon arc and wear faster.

Those trembler coils and points were made for magneto AC juice 8-)
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford

User avatar

Charlie B in N.J.
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:40 am
First Name: CHARLIE
Last Name: BRANCA
Location: Brick N.J.
MTFCA Number: 28967
Board Member Since: 2010

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:28 pm

Of course what Dan said above is true. Running on DC will cause the points to wear faster than AC as the metal begins to transfer in one direction whereas (as anyone whose played with more modern systems will know) you get a pit on one point contact and a raised section on the other. Since you have no mag the point is moot. No pun intended. Drive/enjoy.
Forget everything you thought you knew.

User avatar

Richard G
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:29 pm
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Grzegorowicz
Location: Hartland VT

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by Richard G » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:27 pm

IF I HAD THIS PROBLEM I WOULD INVEST IN A DISTRIBUTOR, BOSCH MADE A GOOD ONE, AND YOU CAN RE SELL IT WHEN ITS NOT NEEDED. ALSO THERE'S A SHIM YOU CAN PUT IN THE REAR MAIN TO TAKE UP THE MOVEMENT ,

User avatar

A Whiteman
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:36 pm
First Name: Adrian
Last Name: Whiteman
Location: South Island, New Zealand

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by A Whiteman » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:20 am

Dan made a good point. "Quick fix" is swap polarity on the old battery now and again, and keep those points clean.
Given usual T mileage, that has not been an issue for me (yet) :-)


SurfCityGene
Posts: 256
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: Driving on "Battery"

Post by SurfCityGene » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:37 am

John, You have the perfect time to get an ETimer and then your car will run better than what you were experiencing before your mag quit. I'm surprised no one else has offered that fix for you.
Richard offered the conversion to a distributor which was a common solution for a inop mag but the ETimer maintains the original T equipment and out performs the Dist system.
Do yourself a favor and check out Mike Kossors E Timer and you'll never regret it or want to give it up.
1912 Torpedo Roadster

User avatar

JohnH
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:57 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Hunter
Location: Blue Mountains, Australia
Board Member Since: 2002
Contact:

Re: Driving on "Battery"

Post by JohnH » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:25 pm

After about 41,000km of driving over the last 17 years with only 6V, I'm still waiting for the points to wear out. And, top speed is around 75km/h on the freeway. It's all how it's set up.
However, coils I've restored for those who use them on 12V do have a shorter point life. You can tell the 12V users by all the black marks around the points.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic