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Model T Coils


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They appear to be common standard model T ignition coils. from basically 1918 through 1927, although they will fit some earlier years just fine. Replacements were manufactured almost continuously into the 1960s! Although these do appear to be model T era.

Value? Not a lot really. Their condition isn't really bad looking, and they may or may not be easily repairable. But the condition isn't really good either. Antique stores often ask $30 to $50 apiece in similar condition. And sometimes they ask a lot more (I have seen them ask a couple hundred for one coil!). However, in the model T hobby, ones like these usually sell for between $5 and $10, sometimes less.


Ford built more than fifteen million model Ts! Each one of them had four coils when they left the factory. They probably sold another million or more replacements during the model T years, and maybe another million or more later replacements! That is a lot of coils scattered around the world, and a lot of them still exist. 


These coils usually need to be rebuilt in order to use them in a model T. The old style (large!) capacitor inside them has to be replaced by a very specific modern replacement if they are going to work reliably. The wooden boxes need to be fixed up, and the coils properly adjusted. There are a couple ways to adjust them, all requiring special equipment designed specifically for these coils.


During the model T era, these type coils were adapted to many non-model T uses. So much so, that aftermarket part suppliers not only continued making replacements for model Ts? They also made cheap replacements for some of those adapted uses. Most of THOSE coils are useless junk, and people that know how to spot them (not easy without taking them apart!), generally won't take them even for free.

Those adapted uses include stationary engines, railroad service cars, and electric fences.

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They also were, and continue to be, adapted for use in other early cars that used buzz coil ignition.  I have a curved dash Olds and a single-cylinder Cadillac that used other makes of coil but now run happily with a T coil.  I had a two-cylinder Buick, likewise.  And up until 1913 or so, when the the last iteration of Model T coils appeared, Fords used different buzz coils; many of the survivors were converted long ago, although purists are converting them back.

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