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K-W Autolock Ignition Pat. 1912


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The "Master Vibrator" was an aftermarket "fix" for some of the earlier model T ignition system's issues. They were actually manufactured by several companies and different names. Few model T people today want them on their early brass era Ts.

In 1913, Ford standardized the four coil system, and eliminated most of the problems inherent in the earlier coils. Problems which mostly were due to so many variations that people were using wrong pieces to maintain their Fords.

Interesting to note, that the coil inside this particular master vibrator is a six screw brass top coil from 1913 into 1915. In 1915, Ford eliminated two screws for the brass top coils, that otherwise continued into 1917. During 1917, Ford tried a plastic case coil, which developed problems quickly. Ford then during 1917 switched back to the wooden case coils, but without the brass tops. Those continued through the end of model T production and beyond in the replacement parts business. Coils with the brass tops, plastic cases, or wooden cases without the brass tops are all interchangeable in fit and function.


The master vibrator itself has some value, mostly as a curiosity. And the key switch has some value on its own (especially if the key and switch works!).  The early brass top coil would be of greater interest to brass era model T owners. But even it isn't worth a whole bunch. It would need to be rebuilt and properly adjusted to be used in a car.


It has been several years since I bought any brass top coils. Most of the ones I have are the four screw version, but I never paid over $20 for one of those. They may have gone up in price a bit? I hope so? Because of several of us discussing them on other forums, there is more interest in the model T community for having brass top coils inside 1913 through 1916 model Ts (a good albeit minor thing!). For most of the past fifty years, only die-hard purists bothered to get the right era coils for inside their coil boxes. I doubt they have gone up a lot!

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