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Barry Wolk

What is this Ford part?

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

It's a tuning fork. You rap it lightly on a Modal A's fender while adjusting the timing. grin.gif

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It's from a Model T. I believe these were placed around the flywheel & were magnetized as the engine turned thus charging the magneto. Do I get a prize?

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I'm told it is from a Model T. How would that part attach to the flywheel with no fastener holes?

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Don't feel bad, West. It looked like a tuning fork to me too! blush.gif

Wayne

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The magnets are aatached to the flywheel with clamps, brass screws and aluminum spacer "spools". They do not "become chaged" as they turn, but are already magnetized and create current as they pass over the coils. C'mon guys, this is simple, grade school science and Old Car 101 stuff

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It also supplied power for lights when Ford went to electrics in the late teens Barry. Next step was adding 6v starter, generator, and battery. The magneto lights were a bit dull if you let the revs drop. Periodically owners would need to get the magnets recharged, and there was an auto- elec trade scam that the customer would believe that the magnets had to be removed and charged individually, then reassembled. Because the little brass bolts that held all together had to be replaced and the ends peined over for security, the customer was charged for a day's time. It fact they were remagnetised in place using a current through the windings.

The flywheel revolved in the engine/transmission oil resevoir. Oil collected from the wash by a little funnel ran down the tube to the front of the engine to splash feed all the bearings. Owners had two good reasons to reverse up steeper grades: Fuel would gravitate to the carby, and the bearings would not run dry.

In the late teens a specialised trade developed to supply after market parts for people to modify cars for performance. Even Miller made twin OHC heads for the T Ford, and Miller associates were behing the making and marketing of the Ruckstell 2-speed rear axle. (Ruckstell had been a Mercer racing driver). Frontenac catalogue listed everything up to a complete modified car for racing. You might have a power/mass ratio of 150bhp/ton, which gave better acceleration from rest than possibly anything but a Stanley on full steam; and in 1923 L L Corum took 5th place at Indianapolis behind 4 Miller eights, probably most of which were using Midgely and Kettering's tetraethyl lead fuel dope for the very first time. Corum's average for the 500miles was around 83mph! You can still get a lot of fun for little money building a T Ford speedster today; but if you are smart you have good brakes.

Ivan Saxton.

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Even Miller made twin OHC heads for the T Ford, and Miller associates were behing the making and marketing of the Ruckstell 2-speed rear axle. (Ruckstell had been a Mercer racing driver).

I was unaware of a Miller/Ruckstell connection. The first Ruckstells were built by Hall-Scott, where Glover Ruckstell was employed, and later, by his own company. The Ruckstell axle was based on an earlier design, The Perfecto 2 speed.

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One thing gramps never told you about that flywheel mag. These put out 9 to 12 volts AC. That is why the later cars with a starter were fitted with a 6 volt DC generator while still retaining the flywheel mag, and also, why they run better on mag than on battery. wink.gif Yeah, I been there and done that! whistle.gif Dave!

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I believe what you say is correct, but Griffith Borgeson gave more detail in his book on Miller. I understand that Mark Dees' book "Miller Dynasty" is more comprehesive, but I cannot find a copy that I can afford. Ruckstell obtained a licence from Perfecto to adapt the 2 speed axle to the T Ford. He not only worked for Hall Scott, but had worked with him in wartime service. Eddie Pullen and C J Cadwell, who was Miller's field representative, had Ruckstell territory of Southern California, while Rickenbacker, Tom Milton, and Earl Cooper had other sales areas. When sales approached 100,000 units towards the end of 1923 and were expected to double, the inventer of Perfecto, C E Starr, invented a competing transmission, said to be an improvement on the Ruckstell; and a new company was formed to manufacture it, which included Miller and Murphy among directors. Half of Miller's plant was converted to produce this transmission, and another factory was built in Oakland.

Borgeson related this to try to clarify how Miller came to specialise in transmissions.

Ivan Saxton

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Thanks Ivan! I never knew about the Miller/Ruckstell connection. I'll check my Miller Dynasty to see if there is any info, I don't remember anything being mentioned. I do have an original sales brochure that I'll post later today. Love it when a simple question turns into such an interesting conversation!

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