How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

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BLB27
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How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by BLB27 » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:26 pm

I have watched a number of videos of coil restoration, and they show how the coils are adjusted using several different testing devices. " Back in the day", how did the typical Model T owner keep the coils adjusted without having these devices?


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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:40 pm

Coils, when dialed in well, typically stay dialed in for quite a while. One might presume
original owners had easy access to garages with the tools and used them as needed. I set
up my coils 5 years ago and have not messed with them since. I bought a HCCT tester a
couple years ago and have yet to use it.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by DHort » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:50 pm

Took them to a dealer. They had the HCCT.


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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by OilyBill » Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:16 am

Also, it probably only cost them 25 cents to get it done. Ford Universal Service.

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Mark Gregush
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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:23 am

Also because of the number of Ford on the road, there were many general repair shops that had the HCCT after they were introduced to the market. The HCCT was not just a Ford shop tool.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by BE_ZERO_BE » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:07 am

Nearly every auto repair shop (Ford and otherwise) had a HCCT.
It was a money maker.
A HCCT cost s little as $40.
It didn't take long to pay for it self.
Respectfully Submitted,
Be_Zero_Be

For every Absolute Model T Fact there are at least three exceptions
You never used to be older :shock:

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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Jim_PTC_GA » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:19 am

My father would pop the lid off the coil box with the engine running and adjust them by sound. Ive watched him do this countless times while we were driving his Roadster around town. Now that I have inherited this T I've tried the same thing only to electrocute myself over and over. LOL
Just give me time to Rust and I'll be good as new. :) Wabi-Sabi


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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Rich Bingham » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:50 am

Jim_PTC_GA wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:19 am
. . . pop the lid off the coil box with the engine running and adjust them by sound . . .
:lol:
I expect this was probably more commonly practiced than paying a mechanic to use testing equipment. "Tuning by ear" was the method handed down to me by my granddad when I got my first T as a kid.

Not saying that it's better, mind. Grandma was fond of saying, "Poor people have poor ways !" :lol:
"Get a horse !"


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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Adam » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:56 am

Back in the day, If you bought new FORD coil points and installed them per the book directions with the correct gap, odds would be very good that the coils would work properly. This would have been the result of FORDS very good quality control on the gap and spring tension of the follower spring on the upper point.


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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Original Smith » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:03 am

It must have been nice to be able to walk into a Ford dealer, and buy a new Ford script coil. I suppose they still stocked them until WWII?


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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Been Here Before » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:08 am

Of course if you lived a few miles from a dealer what would you do. No HCCT, no electronic device, no telephone or even internet. Just your owners manual. Maybe a copy of the Ford Owner. Well you buy or make a coil tester and set your coils to draw 2.5 amps.
752880buzz.jpg

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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:12 pm

Adjusting by ear was how it was done before the 1914 style coils came out and seems the practice was carried on later. Unless the 2 nuts were replace by a knurled nut, not an easy task to do. ;) A friend of mine who is in his 80's keeps wanting to do that, adjust by ear, I keep telling him not too. After he messes with them, he brings them to me to reset on the HCCT (which is his anyway).
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: How Did the Model T Owners Do It?

Post by Adam » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:27 pm

Actually, if you really know what you’re doing and know what a correctly set coil sounds like, then you could have very good success getting them real close If you set them by ear while running on magneto at a very low idle. There is a distinctive “clack” right around the sweet spot on most coils.

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