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Old 08-01-2020, 06:40 AM   #1
Cadillac Bill
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Default 1927 Model T - distributor questions

There seem to be there are understood basics about the Model T that EVERYBODY should know! I have a dumb question that I can't seem to find in my manuals, nor online.

I have a 1927 Model T. I need to find the diagram where the spark plug wires are arranged into the distributor cap.

They were in order, counting from the seven o'clock position on the cap, (radiator forward) were set up when I got it beginning at 1,2,3,4. Possibly someone me before set the sequence wrong?

The car will barely run and am getting backfires through the carbs (I have dual Solex carbs) and sometimes through the exhaust. Something is wrong.

But I have seen sequences with a different order.

Where should the proper sequence? I understand the number 1 cylinder is forward of the radiator.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:04 AM   #2
jimTN
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Firing order on a T is 1243 and a Model T does not have a distributor, it has a timer instead. Pull the no 1 plug, stop up the hole with your finger, turn the crank until you are on top of the compression stroke and you have a starting point. Crank turns clockwise so the timer turns counter clockwise so position of the roller or brush should be very close to No I and a starting point.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:02 AM   #3
redmodelt
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Which distributor do you have installed? There were/are several different ones and each is a little different. Did you take it off? Unlike other cars, the Model T distributor does not have a dedicated No 1 terminal it can change to one of the other terminals depending on how it is installed.


The correct firing order is 1-2-4-3.



Start by cranking the engine over till at TDC on the compression stroke No1 cylinder with the timing lever all the way up. Now crank just a little more till the piston is just over center and starting to go down. While you are doing this pay attention to which way the rotor is turning, because of gearing, some turn clockwise and other counter clockwise.

With the cap off, where is the rotor pointing and what are the points doing? The points should be just about to open. If you did have it off, you may be off one or more teeth where it engages the cam gear. Sometimes it takes several tries to get the proper gear mash and as I said, the No 1 terminal on the cap can change. Once you get the base line established, check the wires to make sure they are in the proper order for the rotation of you distributor.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

If the engine is equipped with a distributor as mentioned, it can have any of the usual problems that a single coil ignition system can have. Bad condensers are the common problem in the modern era. Many currently manufactured condensers are crap right out of the box. A lot of the ignition component manufacturer's just don't test this stuff and frankly, they don't care if it works or not.

The late T models had the timer on the front as usual and the four trembler coils mounted in a box on the left side of the engine but some folks do convert them to a battery ignition due to magneto or coil problems.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:22 AM   #5
Cadillac Bill
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Thanks for the replies. I presently have an Atwater Kent that I had thought it had a problem. Apparently there are no new parts for AW. So I bought a "Texas T" distributor (Bosch) and solid state.

It had a coil wire defective. Once I get the spark plug wires sequenced, will see if I need below.

New plugs (.35 gap) spark plug wires, coil wire.
Distributor (.14 gap)

My 1927 Speedster has a modified engine. Canadian. dual Solex carbs, Ruckstell rear end. Free flow exhaust. At one time, possibly in the 1990s, it was a pristine car! Beautiful pinstriping, leather buckets, kill switch for the engine and electric fuel pump. Pressurized oil system, oil pressure guage, speed, Edmunds and John type 20 headlights.

Custom made trailer.

But no information about what modifications to the engine. Having to figure it out as I go!

If anybody has any ideas about the previous owner? I got the car from a local guy (Model A). He knew little about the car as he had bought it on eBay 5-6 years ago.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

You want the points set at .018 - .020.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:55 AM   #7
Cadillac Bill
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevests View Post
You want the points set at .018 - .020.
Will do!

BTW the plug wires were incorrect and now are set for 1243. Really running good. The Ruckstell is set far back. Seems stuck. Will deal with this later.

Going out for a drive. Just 83 degrees and heading up to 92.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Don't know if anyone has suggested it, but you might want to drop the crankcase inspection plate and take a look at what is in the bottom end to see what crank and rods are installed. Also, what pistons? When you look thru the spark plug holes are they flat on top or dome shaped high compression? (all Model T pistons stick out of the top of the block at TDC) Stock pistons, the edges are angled but the top is flat. Good job getting the distributor sorted out.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Thanks, redmodelt, Will see about dropping the crankcase tomorrow. And look in the spark plug hole.

I drove it a little while and it died. Turns out the screw that hold the points is stripped.

Think I will install my new distributor tomorrow. Looks like all I need to get the engine on TDC and replace the new Dist and line up the rotor.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Just in case you are missing the install instructions;
https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/R...3161T-5858.pdf
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by redmodelt View Post
Just in case you are missing the install instructions;
https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/R...3161T-5858.pdf
Printed out. Thanks, Again!
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

You are welcome!
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Got it out of the Garage! YAY!
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Put in the Texas T Distributor. All day long. Struggle.

Should this one run counter-clockwise? I could have sworn that the Atwater-Kent did go clockwise. I had to change the spiral cut gear for the Texas T Distributor.

I admit that I know brass cars better than a T, but the T has a fascinating mystique. I want to learn more.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Yes, the Texas T distributor runs counter clockwise. I believe the Atwater Kent runs clockwise. The two gears for the Atwater Kent distributor will absolutely not interchange with the two gears for Texas T distributor.

Last edited by gz; 08-02-2020 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1927 Model T - distributor questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by gz View Post
Yes, the Texas T distributor runs counter clockwise. I believe the Atwater Kent runs clockwise. The two gears for the Atwater Kent distributor will absolutely not interchange with the two gears for Texas T distributor.
Texas T sent me a new gear for the engine. We could not find the CCW in the instructions and put the plug wires as per the CW rotation. No fuss, it just did not run.

Finally we finally got it down and the T barely runs. Will hit it again.

Glad that our garage has AC!
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