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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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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