New Day Timer Brush

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Mark Osterman
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New Day Timer Brush

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:56 pm

My brush for the New Day Timer finally died. I went through my box of timer parts and found a vintage NOS brush. It had a stronger spring and I had to file away some metal so the the keeper pin would go all the way in.

After I wiped out some grime and gave the timer a little sandpaper cleaning I buttoned it up and started the car. Interestingly the timing of the vintage brush was different than the previous new one. I have to advance the spark about 3/4” to drive the car as usual. I ordered a couple of brushes from Langs and will replace the vintage one with one of those. If it doesn’t bring it back to the original setting I’ll pull a plug and reset the spark rod length so it will fully retard properly.

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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Oldav8tor » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:32 pm

That is very strange. I had a problem with a new brush that had a weak spring but changing it had no effect on the timing. Is the pin location different? If so, maybe you could install a new brush in the old holder and avoid having to re-do the timing.
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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:36 pm

I didn’t think it was in a different place. I assumed the pin hole was the same but that the other side that holds the spring loaded brush is slightly different.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by John kuehn » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:38 pm

So you are saying that the notch in the brush for the small pin in the original is moved over just a little? Maybe the one that you originally put in your car was the one that you set the spark advance rod with and it happened to be the wrong one? Interesting.

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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:59 pm

If it works well, just reset the timing. That's pretty simple.
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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:19 pm

I have a New Day which I took off the car because the brush was worn out. It went to one side as it wore out. I think that retarded it a bit. However, as with every timer change out, you need to re-set the timing after you work on it..
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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:24 pm

It's just stamped and formed sheet metal. Like Steve said, not that hard to re-time. If you really hate to bend the rod (and I don't know why you do), the location of the brush can likely be massaged with a wrench, relative to the slot in the barrel. I would not do it, but that's all the issue is: the slot in the barrel vs location of brush.

It is precisely this sort of thing that makes the magical alignment tool for timers largely useless for anything but original FORD roller timers.
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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:53 pm

LOL ... sure guys, I know how to reset the timer. And it works great so I may do that and keep the ones I ordered as spares. Only thing is that this one has a pretty string spring and might wear out the timer faster. Just thought something like that brush would be pretty standard. Here is the vintage brush I installed. A little different than the modern ones. Has the piece that staticky out off to the right in this picture.
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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:55 pm

A little iPhone glitch at the end there ...meant to say the little piece that sticks out to the right is different than most.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Adam » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:29 pm

If your timing is different, then maybe the replacement brush wasn’t from a New Day timer. There are 2 differently timed Turner Timers that have a brush that is identical to the New Day, and one of them is degreed slightly different.

The new brush from Tip Top Timers that is bronze seems to last better than the copper ones from some of the vendors.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Art Wilson » Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:09 am

I had a timer brush spring that had too much force fail on a tour years ago. The spring got hot enough from the friction of the brush against the timer contact face that it lost its temper and collapsed. I replaced it with a spring from a ball point pen and continued on the tour. The car ran for many years with that spring.

When installing a New Day timer brush I take care to aim the brush angle so it is aiming straight against the timer contact face or slightly trailing the direction of rotation. If the brush is angled towards the direction of rotation it could chatter or bounce causing timing issues.

A problem with almost all timers used with Model T coils is the arcing that occurs when the brush first starts to make electrical contact in the timer and especially when the brush is leaving the contact. I think adding Transient Voltage Suppressors at each terminal could help considerably to reduce the arcing.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:14 pm

Thanks for that story. Very interesting. Yes, I think it’s too strong and although it works fine as far as running smoothly I’ll take it out of there. Last night I went through my electrical stuff and found a generator brush that I cut down to fit the old brush housing I have. Will try it out after I find the right ball point pen spring. 😀
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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Adam » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:42 pm

I’ve made my own out of starter brushes like you show in your photo. They did work, but they didn’t last very long and the commutator required a cleaning & polishing with green scotch-brite about every 80-110 miles. They probably lasted 700 miles.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:07 pm

Yikes, that’s not very good. I drive my T around 100 miles a week. Guess I need the bronze type brush.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Original Smith » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:51 pm

Mark: The picture you posted of the brush is not the same as a NOS. Sorry. The brushes on originals had a slightly different size, and God knows where they put the slot for the brush these days. I've been using originals for years, so I have no problems. I recently had some bushes duplicated out of an electrical brush material that contains 1% carbon. Haven't tried one yet.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Original Smith » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:08 am

If you'll look at your picture above, the bottom of that brush is not the same as an original. Again, check the pin slot and see if it's in the same place.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:17 pm

Well, here is an update. As I suspected the NOS brush I put in my New Day Timer was set at a slightly pitch than the new ones I recently got from Langs. It threw the advance off a little. When I replaced it with the new brush from Langs the advance lever was exactly where I had set it back when I first installed the timer. Now ... wonder what that brush was made for. Looks like the ones used in the New Day timers except for the extra bit of metal off the back .. and of course the different pin location.


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Re: New Day Timer Brush

Post by Piewagon » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:49 pm

I too like New Day timers or I meant to say I like ORIGINAL New Day Timers. I find decent used ones and resurface them but also work on the brushes a bit. If you have a postage scale (even better if you have a digital one that measures ounces and parts of ounces) you can then place your brush against the scale and press the rubbing block down into the spring cavity. Then to compare pressures I push the brush in until the retaining pin is at the half way point. I usually use a felt tip fine point pen and write the pressure number on the side of the brush so I can know what the brush is doing pressure wise. An evening with my pile of ball point pens and springs and I soon discovered that VERY FEW of the ball point pens out there are alike pressure wise so the term "ball point pen spring" is certainly not anything standard in any way from one pen to the next. You need to make sure the brush does not "stack" the spring by compressing it too far or you won't have a smooth and constant pressure amount on them. Proper timing reduces the arcing on the leading edge of the timer because the brush generally should be connecting to the timer segment while the AC magneto wave form is nearer to the zero crossing. The points take most of the beating and not the timer when all is well. Some etching is inevitable but a resurfaced NEW DAY with about 10 ounces of spring pressure makes them last a very long time. Absolute amount of spring pressure is not as important as making sure that the same pressure is there with both deep and shallow positioning of the contact inside the brush mechanism. When resurfacing the face you need to make absolutely sure that the cutter is removing only small amounts of material while remaining totally parallel with the outer edge of the timer housing. This way the brush on the timer when resrufaced is not going up and down hills as it rotates around. Smoothness is important but parallelism of face to edge is most important.

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