mrcvs

Maxwell rotor

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I am posting this in case others need it as it is uncommon and early.  The "AK", no doubt, stands for Atwater-Kent.  I assume the "19" means this dates from 1919, although originating on a 1917 Maxwell.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I really think the 19 is either an Atwater-Kent part number although I've been unable to find this listed anywhere. I have 2 rotors like this and one is number 6 and the other is number 9. Knowing this system was introduced in late 1917 my rotors couldn't possibly be from 1906 nor 1909. I think the numbers were used to tell different batches apart much like casting numbers on cast iron parts.

 

Howard Dennis

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The numbers on distributor caps and rotors relate back to the mold number from which it was cast.    Thus  19  would be the 19th hole or  cavity in the gang mold.    I have lots of those rotors,  the jar in the picture is a large 1 gallon pickle jar.       Atwater Kent used several different model numbers during their production run.   H,  H2  K2   CC   CA  LA  and RA  were some of the models of distributors that they produced.   I have parts for all of them if you need.

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57 minutes ago, Old buicks 2 said:

The numbers on distributor caps and rotors relate back to the mold number from which it was cast.    Thus  19  would be the 19th hole or  cavity in the gang mold.    I have lots of those rotors,  the jar in the picture is a large 1 gallon pickle jar.       Atwater Kent used several different model numbers during their production run.   H,  H2  K2   CC   CA  LA  and RA  were some of the models of distributors that they produced.   I have parts for all of them if you need.

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Tom, Thanks a million for clarifying this for us. Could I ask one more question about Atwater Kent Type CC ignition systems? I've hunted parts for these for years for my Maxwell and almost every unit I've found has had the small rotor And I just assumed the bigger rotor was used on the 6 and 8 cylinder distributors. Recently several 4 cylinder units have been found with the larger rotor. In looking over my picture files gathered over the years off the internet I discovered 2 different pamphlets showing 2 different rotors. Do you think Atwater Kent changed from one style to the other over the years this system was sold?

Howard Dennis

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Howard,  I believe AK used only 4 rotors during their production run with one exception.   The only difference I have noted is the dist shaft size or mounting hole size.    The hole sizes used were 1/4    5/16   0.405 and 1/2  inch.   That's why whenever someone contacts me regarding an AK system for parts, the first question I ask is the shaft size.    I will take some pictures later today and post with some of the various rotors that were used.    The only exception I mentioned  is for the very early distributors and they were noticeably different from all the others.

 

Tom

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Tom, Do you have any thoughts  why or if  a large rotor would have been recommended over a small one or visa versa whichever came first?

 

Howard Dennis

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Howard,   I speculate based on data and pictures from early ignition catalogs that the early ones are in the second picture are on the left (the fat one)   Then progressing thru time the 2nd, third boxy style and then the counter balanced ones.    Left photo shows the various sizes of shaft diameters.     Last photo shows the same rotor, same shaft size  BUT  different length of contact point.   I thought I had AK figured out,  I found this in the box when prepping for the pictures.

Back to a case study on Atwater Kent.  

 

Tom

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Thanks for this research Tom. It's hard to read in my pamphlets but the tiny print says 8 cylinder rotors have longer blades.

 

Howard Dennis

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I have a CA atwater kent and could use a rotor, and a couple of the wire clamps on top of the cap. My cap seems OK, but would consider getting one if available. My rotor looks like the 2 in the above picture; and have the plastic bar inside like some of the others above. The rotor has AK 8, and the cap has C-C- 1/ 6. Shaft dia. is 13/32" aprox. Any help would be appreciated. C Harvey

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On 6/8/2020 at 3:18 PM, Old buicks 2 said:

Chuck,  sent you a PM on the rotor etc

Thanks for responding.  I'm working on a 1920 Paige Glenbrook with 6-42 engine.  Enclosed find pictures of the rotor and the distributor.  As you can see, the rotor was broken at some time in the past and repaired, sort of with JB Weld.  I found a used Atwater-Kent distributor cap with the wire clamps for sale on the internet, and ordered it.  It is not here yet so I don't know its condition.  I could not however find a proper rotor for this particular unit.  We're having trouble sending pictures so will send a second post with pictures of the car.  I posted questions about the Jacox steering box several weeks back, and got ripped off by a guy who said he had parts for it.  They never showed up.  However, I was able to disassemble and repair the broken pin inside the box.  I have recently rewired all the lights, repaired the broken speedometer drive chain and changed all the lubricants in it.  I am replacing the mechanical fuel gauge with a more modern marine type, as I could not find anything remotely like it.  I had hoped to find a number of these things and others at the Chickasha OK pre-war swap but of course it did not happen.  I have a few more things to do to this and then I will probably put it up for sale.  Even Barrett-Jackson and Gateway Classic Cars does not know what this car is worth, so I don't know what to ask for it.  If anyone in AACA is interested in it, make me an offer.  I have accumulated a few spare parts and maintenance literature for it.  Also some sales ads and a book about the history of Paige and Graham-Paige which would go with it.  Thanks again.  Chuck Harvey

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Chuck, so sorry to hear you got ripped off. I just advertised for a gas tank for my 1917 Maxwell and got a bunch of replies that I believe were from rip off artists because after asking for photos all failed to reply. This seems to be happening more frequently and we need to be more cautious in requiring proof before sending funds. A local magazine just had an article about prisoners with cell phones making a fortune scamming people from their cells! A recent prison raid netted thousands of phones which are banned!

 

On a more pleasant note what a great rare car you have. Thanks for sharing it with us.

 

Howard Dennis

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Chuck    I really need to know what size distributor shaft you have so that I can accurately get the correct rotor for you.   I mentioned in a previous post that AK used 4 different rotor shaft sizes, kind of a nightmare for the parts guys to say the least.  It appears to be the 1/2" size, but measure it for sure.

 

 

Tom

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Thanks for responding again.  I hope you liked the pictures.  The shaft diameter is approx. 13/16".  I did receive the used cap and it seems to be in pretty good shape and has good wire connectors on it to replace some of the broken ones I have.  I have ordered new spark plugs which are 7/8-18 Autolite brand.  The wires are newer but I'm going to replace them anyway.  I recently did a compression test, and all 6 cylinders were around 60 psi.  I really don't know if that is a good compression for a 20's car but it starts easily and runs pretty well on a Stromberg carburetor, despite the plugs being so cold that they are black carbon coated.  Hope you have a rotor for me.  Thanks again.

Chuck Harvey

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Chuck,  finally got around to taking a couple of pictures of the rotors.   They are the 0.406 ID ones.   Send me a PM for more details.

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Forgot to include the contact details.    402-359-5762  or tsvanmeet@gmail.com

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Thanks for the response again.  I was busy on the Paige and on my '74 Dodge Pickup over the weekend and forgot to check.  I don't need any points as I have a spare set, and the distributor cap that I got appears to be in very good condition so I don't need that either.  The rotor in your picture looks just like mine.   What do you want for 1 or 2 of them as I would like to get at least one from you.  A note to any Paige owners who might read this, I have a parts brochure for 1916 to 1918 and 1921 and 1922 Paige with Remy ignition.  This of course not for my vehicle but might be the ignition used on other vehicles of those years.  I'm asking $15 plus shipping for it.  Let me know how you would like to be paid.  Can do check, credit card or Paypal.  Thanks again.

Chuck Harvey

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Chuck,    I will be gone for a few days but you can   contact me at 402-359-5762   or 402-926-6909cell    I will have the cell with me

 

Tom

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Old buicks 2,

 

I haven't forgotten about you.  I do need a condenser and points for my Maxwell.  Getting the specifics as to what I need, not so easy.  I'm rarely at home due to a ridiculous work schedule, but hang in there and I'll get back to you in a few weeks or months.

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