Jump to content

Recommended Posts

As one can see by my posts I am having nothing but problems on my brass-era cars. Many tours this year but I have nothing running or that I can trust. The carburetor issues with the IHC remain unsolved but now another, more difficult situation has arisen. My 1909 Regal has a Remy mag. It failed on the tour Joyce and I hosted (I have yet to complete a full tour with this car). A plate in the points house had worn through and it needed a new one. But, no one will touch a Remy, even all those magneto 'experts' who just say NO to a Remy, often quite rudely. A local guy said he would fix it and he did make a new plate. But he also tore it apart and put is back together and now there is no spark at all. When I called him today he said it should have had new windings but he does not do this and he said "even Mark the Magneto Man would not help'. Of course this gentlemen said he offered no guarantees and there is nothing he can do now. My car is dead unless I can find someone who will fix a 1909 vintage Remy and/or find someone who will install a different magneto. I would not be able to do this one. So, have any of you put a different magneto on your brass-era car. if so, what did you use? Is there anyone out there willing to fix a Remy (I do have a spare one for parts)? Is there a good alternative mag or distributer system?  Is there a restoration shop in the mid-west that would take on putting a new magneto on my Regal? Really, with the carburetor issues and now this I am ready, after fifty years, to give up on the hobby and sell the cars. At one time in my life this was an almost magical fun hobby. Now, for me and my wife, it has become full of frustration and heartbreak. If I can get these two issues, the carburetor on the IHC and Mag on the Regal, resolved I am done. Yes, it is hitting me that hard. At 64, it may be time to move on. But, if you can help I would appreciate it. Tom

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you post a photo of your Remy? That might show us how it is hooked up. I assume your Regal is a 4-cylinder car. The Bosch mags are popular and dependable, but not sure if they could be adapted to your Regal.

 

 

Phil

Link to post
Share on other sites

From a previous post, supposedly the following company may work on Remy mags, but I've heard, too, that a lot of people just won't work on them at all.

 

Belanger's Auto Electric They also go by Mainly Magnetos

Web site is WWW.MainlyMagnetos.com

Phone is 207-834-7309

Hc 61 box48-3

Cross Lake, Maine 04783

 

The low tension Remy is an issue.  That's what came on my 1910 Buick, but we've made provisions in the rebuild to try a Bosch DU4.  The only problem with going to a high tension Bosch is starting, the mag really should have an impulse on it so it's easier to start.  My '10 Hupmobile has the DU-4, but you can spin that little engine fairly rapidly to start.  The Buick is a much larger engine and not sure if the Bosch will work.

 

There was an IHC four cylinder sold out of Charlottesville, Va., a few years back, always wished I'd bought it, neat car.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never used a Remy mag. But several people I have talked to over the years have switched to a Bosch mag, and said they liked them much better. I have had and run a few cars with Bosch DU4 mags, and I really liked them. One common mistake made with some high-tension magnetos is with the spark plug gap. It NEEDS to be smaller than most other ignition systems. Many years ago I saw it in a vintage reference book, and it recommended 18 thousandths as opposed to the usual 30 or so. This figure does vary somewhat with different makes and models of magnetos, but the DU4 is what I have run and what I remember. 

The DU4 with plugs set at 18 should start well provided the mag is timed properly (a bit tricky and difficult to explain). The higher the rpm, the hotter the spark. At running speeds, the spark is plenty hot to keep the plugs clean. In fact, I still had some trouble with it destroying the porcelain and averaged only a few thousand miles to a set of plugs. If I get another car going with a mag, I plan to try an even slightly smaller gap.

The DU4 is still fairly common, and can usually be found for a reasonable price. There are several experts (a couple already mentioned) to help you with rebuilding and timing it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your responses. I must admit I am quite troubled and feeling depressed about this new 'wrinkle' which leaves me with no operational car at present. I will try to post some photos of the mag later today after work. I have a spare complete but parts Model L Remy but find I also have a Remy Model S that came off my 1912 Oakland when I switched to one of Dave Hentschel's distributors. I miss Dave, he was a food friend, and wish he were here not only to go touring with him again but also because he would know how to solve this.

The 'gentleman' that was supposed to have fixed my Remy knew that it was faulty due to one of the plates in the points house being worn. It produced electricity just fine. But,he took it all apart and put it back together without me knowing. Now it produces no electricity and he put it back together in such a way that it is not longer timed right. He tried to get an 'expert' in magnetos to rewind the windings but of course at the other end of the phone was a very unprofessional 'NO!". When I called him about the mag not working the response was, I did not guarantee my work. Another lesson learned.

Where would one find a Bosch DU4 and how would one know what is a correct one to get? I hate to buy one through eBay or the like as I would have no idea if it worked and I am not sure I am up to going through another mag rebuild. Putting it on the car and timing it would be beyond me.

Anyway, as I say this seems a problem beyond my capabilities. If any mag people read this and can help me out please email me at brasscars@charttrte.net. This issue is such that my wife, who has her own  cars (20's and 30's) and is an enthusiast in her own right, has said time to sell the brass off. She may be right but I am going to try to get the Regal running again. Tom

Link to post
Share on other sites

You bring up some valid points, about asking what to buy.  First, you'd have to determine clockwise or counterclockwise rotation, as DU4's came in both versions.  A DU4 can be rebuilt very easily by most any mag guy, so don't let that worry you.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! I have attached (I hope) two photos of my problem Model L Remy and two of the Model S from my Oakland ( a little beat up looking). I have another for parts only (but complete) Model L. First, can anyone tell me why the great magneto gurus will not work on my Model L? What is wrong is a Remy? I think it is very repairable but I can't get past saying I have  Remy and they hang up. Is there not one magneto expert that will take this on?  I am no longer in any great hurry I just need to get this car back on the roads sometime. If you do magnetos, will you not work on this one? As to a Bosch, my Remy runs clockwise. I would be more than happy to have a functioning Bosch on the Regal but I am not sure I could time it. Speaking of timing, the S appears to b similar in size and should fit on the car without modification. It appears that it has the same firing order (1-2-4-3).  Would it already be timed?  I have not opened it yet to see if it rotates clockwise( and I pray it does) but, I am not sure of its interior condition. Is there some way to test a magneto to see if it is generating electricity? If there is a mag person out there that can test a magneto tell me who you are and I'll ship it to you (or bring it). Any more suggestions (and I appreciate all the responses-thank you). Tom

IMG_7548.JPG

IMG_7549.JPG

IMG_7555.JPG

IMG_7554.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't quite see how your mag is connected to the engine. Most any magneto shop will have a rebuilt Bosch DU4 available. Here is a price list from Craig's. There are always a bunch of unrestored ones on eBay, too. They cost around $300 to rebuild, I think. I use Ed Strain in Florida to rebuild my magnetos. He's been doing it forever:

 

Ed Strain 
6555 44th St. N. #2006 
Pinellas Park, FL  33781 
TEL: (800) 266-1623 
TEL: (813) 521-1597 

 

Here a list of magneto shops. There are quite a few.

 

If you're about to go crazy, you might consider a visit to a good mechanic. If you're in the AACA or HCCA, contact your local chapter and ask who people trust. Cheaper than a psychiatrist. 

 

Phil

Edited by MochetVelo (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The timing procedure isn't that difficult.  The first time that I did it, I think I used a procedure from the Dyke's manual.  Firing order is a function of how you hook up the spark plug wires; it is not specific to the magneto. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Mark' magneto in Colchester Ct had a table of rebuilt magnetos at hershey last year (probably every year).  Several DU4's in both directions etc.  They are pricey, but they are totally rebuilt and ready to go.  It sounds like when the fellow "repaired" your magneto he assembled the armature in the wrong relationship to the coil, or there is a problem with the brush not making contact with the commutator.  If the magneto was producing spark previously, it still should.  Low tension Remy mags seem to be a problem getting repaired due to their later use of pot metal parts and general low quality components.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all who responded and your advice. By talking to a fellow brass-era owner in Illinois I was told to go to Standard Magneto in the Chicagoland area. They told me that they can do a Remy so it is now at their shop. 'This will take time' they said but no problem I just want it done right. mdh7475 is correct, the issue, or bad press, on Remy mags is that later ones appeared to have used more pot metal and are impossible to get restored right. However the early ones have bronze and brass and appear to be of Bosch or similar quality. I hope the company that has my mag will get it done but if not, I appreciate the other leads (I got a few over the phone too). I now question those who do tractor or hit and miss engine magnetos working on one for an automobile. The gentlemen from Manitowoc who worked on my mag was just such a person. He did fix the issue in the points house but took it all apart and basically destroyed it. The shop in Chicago, when I dropped it off, found that the magnets were no longer magnetized and were loose. I fear what they will find when they open it up. Live and learn, I guess. Tom

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

There is not much to go wrong in the magneto. The coil is stationary and the pole pieces rotate on each side of it. The points and the insulators in the right places need to be checked. You can check the output voltage by running it with a drill motor and checking the voltage with an analog volt meter on the AC scale. It only puts out about 1/12 to 2 volts. I suspect the dash coil id the issue. They are special to this mag because the voltage is low but you don't want to get in the middle of the spark and ground because they can through a big spark is all is right with the mag and coil.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...