Once again we are privileged to have another fine article written by Ron Patterson.
When the Model T Car was originally developed Henry Ford insisted that it have a self-contained power source for the Ignition System so owners would not have to rely upon battery power. All inexpensive cars at that time used dry cell batteries to power Trembler coils for ignition. A dead battery would disable the vehicle until it had been replaced. Many people carried extra batteries, but commonly forgot to keep a supply of charged batteries on hand. These batteries were not rechargeable and were a common nuisance to maintain.
While Ford’s idea sounds anachronistic today, it was a major selling point of the new Model T Ford in 1908.Henry Ford’s idea was implemented by Joseph Galamb and Edward Huff in the form of the internal flywheel driven alternating current generator (the Model T Magneto); sixteen permanent magnets mounted on the flywheel rotating (rotor) near a ring of sixteen fixed field windings (stator) to produce ignition current.
In this magneto system spark timing was controlled by a combination of Magneto current pulses that occurred every 22.5 degrees of flywheel rotation and the Timer which was connected to the driver manipulated spark control lever (advance and retard) on the steering column.
For those interested in more complete details of the entire system read our article entitled “The Model T Ford Ignition and Spark Timing” and may be found at the following link:
The Model T Ford Ignition Spark and Timing
Figure 1 Ford Recommended Starting on Magneto Procedure
Continue reading “Hand Crank Starting the Model T Ford Car on Magneto by Ron Patterson”
This week we are blessed to have a very instructive article written by Ron Patterson and Bob Cascisa.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to help many with Model T electrical system problems. I discovered that many Model T Fords were incorrectly wired. In some cases those cars were being driven and the owner thought everything was working correctly. I quickly ceased believing anything anyone told about their car and developed some simple tests that will validate if the wiring is correct so one could rely on the dash Ammeter to provide reliable data when looking for problems.
I suggest you first read the article “Model T Ford Battery Charging System” to fully understand how the charging system operates. This article can be found
Here in the Model T Ford Fix website (modeltfordfix.com).
The basic function of the Model T Ford Charging System is to maintain the Battery at a proper level of charge to provide sufficient electrical power for the starting motor, ignition and headlamps while providing an Ammeter indication the system is working properly. The Ammeter indicates the net power in the electrical system. If it indicates a Charge, the generator is providing sufficient power to meet the electrical demands (Ignition and lights) and to keep the Battery charged. If it indicates a Discharge, the Generator is not providing enough power to carry the load and keep the Battery charged. A dead or weak Battery will result by driving the car with the Ammeter continually showing a discharge condition.
When working on Model T wiring it is important to be sure you are using a correct wiring schematic. Many commonly available wiring schematics are incorrect, particularly in the charge/discharge circuit wiring. Additionally, many reproduction dash Ammeters do not have their polarity clearly marked + or – on the terminals and as a result is commonly wired incorrectly. These wiring errors can allow the Ammeter to show only discharge current and no charge current or vice versa. I recommend you use the wiring schematic in Figure 1. This wiring schematic is electrically correct for the starter-generator equipped Model T.
Here is an easy way for anyone with limited electrical knowledge to functionally check the charging system and correct any trouble.
Continue reading “Troubleshooting the Model T Ford Charging System by Ron Patterson and Bob Cascisa”
In this issue we are going to look at many of the things that can be done to make your Model T safer to operate. Many of these things were done to the car originally, and for good reason. You don’t want expensive parts falling off unexpectedly, and you probably expect the car to steer, stop, and go when needed. In this case the word “safety” has two meanings; first, to make the car less dangerous; second, to secure something so that it cannot loosen or become disconnected.
Back in the day a mechanic uses the shop’s chain fall hoist to lift a car (not a Ford) up for servicing. OSHA was still decades in the future. The idea of using extra railroad timbers to support the car in case the hoist failed was probably in the interest of “safety”.
Continue reading “Safety and the Model T Ford”
The Model T Ford battery charging capability is a subsystem of the Ford FA Starting and Lighting System designed by Mr. Fred Allison at the Ford Motor Company electrical engineering department and introduced in late 1918 for use on Model T Ford cars and trucks.
Many people have trouble with the charging system on their Model T and need help repairing it. Here is an electrical (not physical) schematic diagram and technical description of how it works.
Above is a Model T Ford generator rebuilt by Ron Patterson equipped with a Fun Projects voltage regulator in place of the factory cutout.
Continue reading “The Model T Ford Battery Charging System by Ron Patterson”
This week we will have the privilege of seeing a lot more vintage post cards depicting humor that involved America’s most popular automobile – the Model T Ford. Truly the king of Model T comic post card illustrators was Cobb X Shinn, but he was not alone. Many of the cards we see today are signed “Witt”, we don’t know who Mr. Witt was but clearly he was quite talented too. Other Model T joke cards were, like the example above, not signed at all but very funny.
The cards seen here are primarily from the collection of Erwin “Irv” Plagman. Mr. Plagman is no longer with us, but we hope he is looking down upon us and enjoying what his son is sharing with us here today.
Continue reading “Cobb X Shinn, Witt and other Model T Ford Post Cards”