Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

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Mark Osterman
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Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:48 am

As I’m dialing in the adjustments on my Stromberg OF with road tests I was wondeing if others who have an OF in their cars have a favorite timer to use in combination.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:06 am

Does any particular carburetor prefer one timer over others, or do the carb and timer perform independently, each uninfluenced by the other?
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:39 am

Well ... that’s the point. Some carburetors might be more responsive than others and who knows. Everything effects everything. Moser effect.

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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:49 am

My opinion is, when clean/new, and properly adjusted, all timers perform pretty much the same. Points and coils functioning properly are as important also.
Some timers last longer than others.
Again JMO...


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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Tom Hicks » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:55 am

I Timers are supposed to last, and they require no maintenance.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:02 am

...and they require no maintenance.

I suppose that would apply to an E-timer. Is there a mechanical timer that never needs to be lubed or cleaned?
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by BobD » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:13 am

Mark Osterman wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:39 am
Moser effect.
Haven’t heard of that one before. A search didn’t turn up much. Thinking it has to do with sympathetic interactions between mechanisms or physical elements.


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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by SurfCityGene » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:09 pm

Mark,
I'm running an OF and it performs very well. I don't think the carb cares how or which timer or dist delivers to spark to the cylinder.

Since you asked which timer is my Favorite..

I have to say very STRONGLY it is the E or I timer that Mike Kossor is manufacturing. Both of these timers use the exact same timer housing as the original Ford. The Etimer doesn't not require the properly adjusted coils! This is what I use because it delivers a spark to each individual cylinder at the exact time AND it will never need any maintenance because it has NO Moving parts to wear out! The Hall sensor and the electronic computer that Mike has developed and squeezed inside the timer is a miracle for driving a Model T many, many miles.

His newest timer named the I timer because it may be the Ideal one for many guys works on the same electronic principle as the Etimer but requires the coils be properly adjusted. It is a direct replacement and works directly off your mag or battery if your don't have a mag.

A quick Google search will give you a very detailed description of how it works and performance compared to other timers and distributors.

Enjoy your OF and good luck with your timers. I'm sure many others will add their favorite.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:35 pm

Bosch distributor! :twisted:
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Bruce Compton » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:20 pm

It's hard to argue with the previous statement that "the carb shouldn't care how the spark gets there", but when you consider just how huge the compromise is that any original carb provides compared to an "OF" , I wonder. I'm guessing that the absolute correct mixture provided by any original T carb occurs maybe 5-10% of the time and the rest of the time is usually a way too rich or very occasionally too lean.With three separate circuits , the OF delivers a much more precise mixture at any given load or speed to the extent that you can actually hear and feel the difference in the way the engine performs. My theory is that discrepancies in timer function will be more evident with better carburetion and will be somewhat masked by the poor operation of any of the original carbs. More proof of the "compromise" or usually incorrect mixture provided by the originals is the constant requirement to clean the carbon off the spark plugs and remove and scrape the layers of carbon from the cylinder head. Cheers : Bruce


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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:29 pm

I posted this as a separate thread but here is the timer I removed. No wonder things seemed wonky. The carbon brush was mostly dust after four months. I did feel like my timer advance and retard adjustments were very fudgy.

So I put in a NOS New Day and everything is working properly. Was wondering why I didn’t see any real benefit with the OF. It simply couldn’t do its job with crappy timing.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Tom Hicks » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:44 pm

Maybe your old timer would have benefited from some lubrication?
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:47 pm

You do not lube brush type timers. They are run dry. Lubing them would be like putting grease on the generator commutator.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Tom Hicks » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:46 pm

So this is normal wear for a brush type timer? How many miles would it take to wear one this much?
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Osterman » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:48 am

I’ve had this timer for two years now. It took about ten months the first time to wear down this far. I sent the timer back for inspection and a new brush. A second interior track was installed. I put it back into the car in October and took it off yesterday. So .. I guess they last a few months.


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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by rgould1910 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:30 am

You say the timers pictured are carbon brush style timers?? Looks like roller styles to me. If so, they needs oil.


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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Osterman » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:37 am

Yes, it’s a modern TW Timer. Here it is with the carbon brush and housing. You do not lubricate this type.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:59 am

Ford tried a brush type like this for a while. I wonder if it is just the type of carbon used for the brush? The New Day uses a copper brush, so wonder if using something like that or a brush with more surface area would work better? In the past I was given 3 era aftermarket brush holders, the brush wipes across the contacts. Idon't know what material was used as the brushes were missing, I used generator brush, which was ok till the spring broke, do not recall how long it lasted.
DSCF6628.JPG
DSCF6631.JPG
DSCF6627.JPG
The brushes for the New Day and Blublaze are copper.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Farmer J » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:18 pm

Mark, You must have something not quite right alignment wise with the TW timer. I have one in my 27 RPU that I tour in that has several thousand miles on the original brush. I clean it every year and only a small amount dust. Just put over 600 miles in the last two weeks and still going strong.


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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by SurfCityGene » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:53 pm

Yup! Every aftermarket timer that has a roller brush or some other old fashion device you use will require some kind of maintenance. No getting around that part. Some are very sensitive and really need to be carefully Centered.. On the Montana 500 racers at every stop during the race we would open the timer up and clean it out with maybe a bit of fine emery on a rotary tool to clean and fine tune the that surface. When you have a brush or even a point gap open closing with an arc there is going to be an issue that requires service and attention. Now that's if you want superior performance not just a running. driving Model T. It's sort of the difference between night and day?
I just post this in case you ever get over the thrill of trying some "new" style timer just to see how much different It runs.
Do yourself a favor sooner than later and look into the I or E Timers that Mike Kossor has developed. The real Key I think is that the mechanical wear points are eliminated so it will perform as good on the first day as the last day you drive it! But there is much more, with the computerized timing and "magic programing" that he has built into this Ford timer the performance you get is unbelievable..

So after you wear out 3 or 4 timers at around 70 plus a pop you could have been still driving like a brand new timer with some neat things no other timer will do.
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:22 pm

Sure I understand why some want to modernize how their T works, particularly if you are in some kind of competition. But frankly I kind of like the tinkering and working with the machine as it was used in its heyday. I work at a museum teaching 19th century photographic processes and there are people who ask me why In would do that instead of shooting digital. I guess we all have different preferences.

Also, I learn a lot buy having different experiences with the parts that were available in the T era. I am not a timid driver just on Sundays. My T is driven on a very regular basis in the hardest traffic, a major city. Once the weather shifts to no more road salt I drive it every day to work. Very different than most people who drive in the countryside once in awhile.


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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Rich Bingham » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:10 pm

At the risk of sending this thread off-topic, I think Gene's suggestion, and Mark's reply, are at the core of every exchange where "purists" and "revisionists" bump heads. Of course, every period accessory was pointed toward improving or "curing" the Model T's imperfections, real or imagined. It's only natural the impulse would persist in the minds of 21st century owners. "Improvements" nowadays may, as in the case of the "e-i-e-i-o" timers, bring to bear penultimate refinements of 21st century computer/electronic technology - similarly as does your brand-new 2019 Whizzix. Many other possible amendments to the anatomy of the humble Model T Ford rely on materials and methods that were developed many decades after the last tin Lizzy rolled out of Dearborn. Perhaps many owners do a bit of soul-searching when it comes to grafting space-age gizmos on a horseless carriage that has been obsolete for a century ? - or not ?

I'm in full sympathy with Mark. On many levels. My hat's off to him for producing photographs with methods that have been obsolete since before the Model T was born, and for preserving that know-how. It's in this spirit that he apparently has little interest in marrying his Model T to a computer. As for trying out timers, the TW timer is a latter-day proposition, but it is based on principles that were well known and applied "back in the day". I've been running one on my Lizzie since she came to live with us, as she came with it. I have worn out at least one brush, but I haven't had bad results with it. I'm curious whether Mark's regular use of his T may perhaps be a "lab" for testing the durability of that timer. I drive my Lizzie all over all summer, but not to the extent he does, and I, too, have a New Day stashed away in reserve. When I had a Model T over 50 years ago (and drove it a LOT!) the New Day solved my timer problems back then, and was, as the name implies, as reliable as sun-up !
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Re: Favorite Timer with OF Carburetor

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:20 pm

Thanks for those thoughtful observations. Yes, I appreciate both approaches to T ownership. I’ve owned/driven two model Ts in the past forty years. I used my previous T as a mobile stage for performing medicine shows. It was driven regularly on many weekends, but not nearly as offen as the one I have now.

Yes, I would say my ‘23 runabout is a good test car that mimicks the kind of regular use back in the day. For many years I used a tiger timer. When through several and tossed them in a box when the tracks were worn with irregular surfaces. I switched to an anderson a few years ago and really liked it. The flapper wore pretty fast but it still worked ok. I switched to the TW Timer because I thought at least the track wouldn’t wear because of the softer self lubricating carbon brush. I liked that too and I’m amazed that it still worked with so much carbon dust flying around inside (look at the picture above). I would buy a new brush for it and use it again but I used this experience to try the New Day timer. It’s running great and I’m anxious to see how long it lasts.

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