The Model T E-Timer
An Electronic Timer for the Model T
E-Timer User Reviews

E-Timer User Reviews
More than 75,000 cumulative miles logged without any problems reported

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the pioneering individuals who stepped up to the challenge of supporting the E-Timer project to become a Beta Tester. Thanks to their dedicated work, detailed feed back on installation and thousands of miles drive testing I can confidently declare the E-Timer production ready.

Meet some E-Timer Beta testers and owners, and what they have to say about E-Timer performance.

E-Timer in Daily Service at the Henry Ford Museum

Antique Vehicle Specialist, Ken Kennedy, from  The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, learned about the E-Timer at Hershey 2010 swap meet.  Ken was intrigued by the E-Timer because it installs without any modification to the car or wiring; it closely mimics original coil operation, and most importantly, requires no maintenance.  Ken welcomed the opportunity to become an E-Timer Beta Tester to establish reliability.  Here is what he had to say about it:

 “The E-Timer retains the appearance and function of the original ignition system but eliminates the mechanical wear and periodic maintenance of the coil points and timer contacts.  This is a significant cost factor for the museum considering our cars operate 7 days a week for 9 months of the year putting on between 7,000 to 10,000 miles.  The E-Timer has been in daily use at the Model T District in Greenfield Village since April 2010 providing dependable operation driving the equivalent of 25,000 miles.  Acceleration and shifting are very smooth especially at the slow driving speeds our cars are typically driven.”

Ken Kennedy,
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, 9/2011, updated 7/28/14
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Beta Tester Dean Yoder leads the pack with over 20,000 miles logged on his E-Timer.  Here is a great photo of Dean seeking an answer to the question: What happens to the E-Timer when you drive through a low water bridge?  Answer: It performs flawlessly!  Dean wanted to be sure so he repeated the test 4 times, at speed! 
Dean also reported enduring two days of heavy wind and rain enroute to Pincher Creek without incident.



Dean tested his car on a Dynamometer using the E-Timer and again using a New Day Timer.  Here are the reported results:  The E-Timer produced significantly more HP at the wheels than with the New Day Timer.
Test Conditions: 12V battery operation in both tests.  The E-Timer was operated in Automatic Timing Advance (ATA) mode.  The spark lever was manually adjusted for maximum HP at each speed using the New Day Timer.

More Dyno test data: New article compares the E-Timer with various stock ignition system configurations
Model T Ignition System Performance Comparison




Dean Yoder's car: aluminum pistons 40 over, Stype 280 cam, Manly race flow 1.55 valves, aluminum intake, vintage heater exhaust manifold, large drum ruckstell, Giant Power Head, ported NH crab, babbited rods bored 30 thousandths long.  Driven ~ 2200 miles from Ocala, FL to Iowa City, IA via Chickisha,OK March 2011 using the E-Timer electronic ignition.  Dean reported the ability to pull a 2 - 3% steeper grade, about 2 more MPG and average GPS speed 35MPH pulling a trailer using the E-Timer on the trip.

"Love it! My E-timer has over 60,000 miles on it now and running strong. Rain or shine."
Dean Yoder, 7/12/16

                                                                                                                                                


"I am pleased to report I completed my installation last Friday morning, took a run around the block and immediately noticed a significant improvement over the past ten years of operation with my True-Fire system.  THERE IS NO MORE BACKFIRING DURING STARTING,OR AT ALL! - which was no doubt due to the Waste Spark system employed by the True-Fire. Just this relief was worth the effort and expense.

Next to talk performance: I can accelerate smoothly from 3 miles per hour in high gear to 50 mph +! What a great feeling! This Sunday past I took in a club tour of 350 miles, running at 45 mph max most of the time. Lots of power !

At 45 mph I’m only at about 1/3 throttle! As has been reported previously by others, I experienced more power through the full range. To date I have only run in the ATA mode. I am thrilled with the results! The engine runs very smoothly through the full range of rpm, from idle at about 400 through to 2000 rpm about 55 mph.

The power is so smooth that I can ignore low gear if a wish and pull away in high gear! Quite amazing indeed. Many thanks for all your efforts over the years to produce a product that truly improves the pleasure of driving a Ford T in modern traffic.  Another point I noticed on this initial run was the remarkable lower engine temperature, certainly attributable to your more accurate timing!"

Tom Forsythe, 7/21/2016
Canada

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Jacque and Mae White with their 1913 Touring

 




Jacque and Mae White recently completed a trip of over 8100 Miles in their 1914 Touring using the E-Timer from Pine Grove, PA to the National Meet in Kenab, UT then on to CA and back home by the southern route through TX ,LA and many other states including blistering heat through the Mojave desert at 116F.  Jacque chose the E-Timer because of its outstanding performance, proven reliability and maintenance free operation which saved him the trouble of cleaning and lubricating the timer about 16 times over the course of the trip.  Congratulations Jacque and Mae on completion of a trip of a lifetime!

Here is Jacque's description of his car and comments on performance:

"Because our 1913 Model T Ford performed so well I should tell what was done to the car. All the work done was by Ernie Spittler & me. I babbitted the main bearings, rods, 4th main (ball cap) and line bored them to fit. The main bearings were time savored to the new Scat counter balanced crank. The rods were bored, using a fixture I made in White's Machine Shop, using a Knight Jig Bore. Other changes are: Stipe 280 camshaft, A 7-1/2 degree nylon timing gear made by White's Machine, Inc., Reader high compression head, Watts clutch, all three new transmission drums made by Dave Nolting, Kevlar bands, adjusted 1 turn low pedal, 1/2 turn reverse pedal, valve seats installed by Wes Roll, new rear axles from Ben Hardeman, Texas T's, new Ruxtell from Chaffin's, Rocky Mountain Brakes, did not adjust, a maintenance free E-Timer made by Mike Kossor which performed flawlessly, a new transmission shaft made by White's Machine. Inc. The transmission was rebuilt by Jacque White & Ernie Spittler, it was statically balanced in White's Machine, Inc using their balancer, each magnet was weighed in grams and positioned on flywheel to balance it then taken to Trim's Engine Shop to be Dynamically balanced. The Ruxtell rear was assembled by Ernie Spittler. There were no major mechanical problems, all of these changes performed exceptionally to perfection. The radiator was the most problem, mostly due to the speeds that we traveled, mostly at 45 mph, one time on I-81, 57mph. For this trip a new set of McLaren wire wheels were used for safety. Lost 1 McLaren hub cap (we think it was stolen), lost 1 top prop nut, pulled radiator twice to fix leak at overflow tube at top tank, torqued head bolts, fixed 1 flat tire, picked up a small nail and the ignition switch vibrated to the off position about 10 times. Also fan shaft wore a grove in the brass fan hub, had to put 2 nylon washers and 1 metal washer to take up the space."

Jacque and Mae White
Pennslyvennia
                                                                                                                                                 
Ko Rustige's 1915 Touring 



"I just completed a 100+ miles tour around the northern part of The Netherlands, called North Holland/West Friesland.  A wonderful tour organized by the illustrious "Club of 10" that led us past the flowering fields with tulips and daffodils.  The 19 participating equips with pre-war vehicles ranged from 1908 Peugeot,1912 RR, 1931 Delage and 3 Model T's, including my 1915 Touring. All completed the tour without a flaw.

I would like to testify that the E-Timer made driving through old towns and over narrow dikes much more relaxed.  With my car, equipped with a Ruckstell, I could now run at lower RPM than before and still have sufficient pulling power.  There is really a noticeable improvement in the lower RPM-range.

You indeed provided the hobby with a very useful piece of equipment that enables one to navigate modern traffic with greater ease."

Best regards,
Ko Rustige, 4/2012
Netherlands
                                                                                                                                                 
Ken Verdeyen's 1915 Runabout



"1915 T – hand cranked – mag changing system to 12 volt battery

The 15 started but the motor sounded like the ignition was retarded – tried everything I could think of –
Called Michael –Michael said to check total movement of timer – it had to move 0.91"  Well – I have fought the timer rod before –(I have a front bearing oil line that is always in the way -)

I made a new timer rod – checked clearances – adjusted the timer rod about 10 times –
Then started – WOW did it run smooth – then timer control lever, all the way down

I then took it out of the shop for a drive – Never had it run as well – More low end torque and faster –
Thank you Michael"

Ken Verdeyen, 4/2012
                                                                                                                                                
Beta Testers; Ernie Spittler's 1914 Roadster and Jacque White's 1913 Touring


"During the week of August 16-21, 2011 Jacque and I drove our T's to the annual Keystone Cops Model T tour held in Bernardston, Massachusetts.

Both of the Ts were equipped with first production run E-Timers. The timers were set up in the automatic timing mode.  We drove the Ts from Pennsylvania to MA. and back and toured MA. for four days. During the week we drove the T's over potholed dirt roads, in heavy down pours and hail. We put one thousand miles on the Ts in six days.  We could not drown out or bounce apart the E-Timers.  The E-Timers provided easy starts and the perfect timing at all engine speeds made the cars perform better .  I am always trying new items for the T and most times Henry did it best but that is not the case with the E-Timer. The timers performed perfectly."

Ernie Spittler, 8/2011
                                                                                                                                                
Beta Tester Mike Lebsack's 1911 Open Runabout/Speedster


First let me discuss the instructions that accompany the E-timer. They were absolutely fantastic with incredible detail and graphics.  I am using a 1911 Heinze coilbox and coils by R.V. Anderson with point jumper wires as directed. I have standard Motorcraft sparkplugs. I'm using a 12 volt system with Texas T alternator.  A little about the engine. It was rebuilt with the new Scat counter-balanced crankshaft, a 280 Chaffin camshaft, 0.30 over aluminum pistons, stainless steel valves(standard size), a shaved NOS Waukesha-Ricardo head. We have a Chaffin high volume instake manifold and a Russ Potter rebuilt Holley straight through carb. 

I turned the switch to battery and then pulled the crank up twice and it started immediately without hesitation. I then advanced the spark all the way as directed to utilize the automatic spark advance feature of the E-timer.  I have driven approximately 625 miles on days that have ranged from 80 to 99 degrees. I mention the temperature because the engine will start cold or after a very hot run in hilly terrain. Although the car is relatively light it will climb any hill I have encountered in Warford high (basically 3:1 ratio using standard ring and pinion). I weigh 265 and my son weighs 175 so we are putting the car through its paces on the hills. The engine does pull down on steep hills but the spark advances perfectly and it has never missed a lick or hesitated even when lugging down  to a tractor chuggin' speed in high. All of this done without ever touching the spark control!!! By now you can tell that I am sold on the E-timer that I have. I plan to install them on all of my T's. I can always use a standard commutator as an emergency back-up since there is absolutely no special wiring harness or connections.

I would recommend the E-timer to anyone especially anyone who has a failed magneto on an otherwise good running engine. Why tear down a motor to rework a magneto when you have this great option. Thanks Mike!!

Mike Lesack
                                                                                                                                              
Beta Tester Stew Harvey's '14 Touring


"I installed the E-Timer in my 14 touring more than 3 months ago. My main interest was performance on hills since we live up a long climb. The E-Timer out performed the Ford timer that I was previously running by increasing the speed by 15% up the climb (2:44 minutes vs. 2:21 minutes with the E-Timer).

A big advantage I didn't anticipate was the "driveability".   I spent the morning teaching my wife to drive the T in the local high school parking lot. The normal jerking of a learner never happened. The E-Timer allowed her to focus on the pedals and not worry about killing the engine or lugging. Overall, I am very happy with the performance and lack of "upkeep" with the E-Timer."
 
Sincerely, Stew Harvey
                                                                                                                                                

Beta Testers Willard Revaz's 1911 Touring and David Revaz's 1912 Touring


"Here are my son David's 1912 Touring (Red) and my 1911 Touring (Green) which both have E-Timers installed. David's has gone some 750 miles and mine has done about 400 miles. The performance so far has been an improvement in starting, slow acceleration, hill climbing, and overall engine smoothness. Gas mileage has yet to be tracked accurately, but should yield some improvement."

Willard Revaz, Oxford, CT

The  June   11 thru 17 "Ocean-to-Ocean" Reunion Tour in Stowe, VT. went well logging another 376 miles with the E-Timer.  Hill climbing performance was reported to be impressive, making it all the way up in high gear.
                                                                                                                                                

Beta Tester Steve Florence's 1923 Touring


"1923 Touring, Installed January 2011, now have over 527 miles on the E-timer, I like the strong and smooth engine timing, much better than the Anderson timer. I like the fact that there is no mechanical rotor wear like I was seeing with the Anderson timer. Mike programmed the new timing curve in my E-Timer and it runs perfect."

Steve Florence
President, Sunny T's of South Florida
MTFCI, MTFCA
                                                                                                                                                

Beta Tester Wayne Straughn's 1911 Torpedo


"My experience seems to be in line with what I have seen from other beta testers. I have gained some power on the flats and very noticeably heading up steeper hills.

Then there is the smooth operation at low and high speeds. Much smoother than what I had when running an Anderson timer.

This morning I participated in our local Memorial Day parade. Needless to say it was a very slow paced event and the E-Timer gave me a smooth ride, with no lurching, even at the slowest speeds.

The E-Timer has performed as I had hoped, across a wide range of conditions. I would like to thank you for the effort that went into the development and testing of the E-Timer, and wish you success as you bring the E-timer to the Model T accessory market. I am sure that there are many others who will benefit from the performance improvements that E-Timer provides. "

Thanx,

Wayne Straughn
Jackson, NJ
1911 Torpedo

                                                                                                                                                

Gene Carrother's 1912 Torpedo


"I recently ordered a new electronic timer from you and followed your very detailed installation sheet. I was very surprised at how easy and simple it was to install and your instructions are very clear.

I have driven my 1912 Model T Torpedo on many local and national T and Horseless Carriage club tours and worn out a few different timers and on one tour I had to replace a failed coil but the car performed very good even over Trail Ridge, the high mountain pass at over 12,180 feet.

On my first drive after I installed the E Timer I was truly amazed at how much better my car drove. Your advertisement of the benefits is right on. There is a definite "Seat of the Pants" difference, the first being how much more low end torque when shifting to Ford high. Second is how much smoother the engine is when taking off. It almost seems like you can't kill the engine. Not last but a very important thing for me is that it has No Moving Parts to wear or need adjusting. I hand crank and I think it starts easier too. I guess the Automatic Timing Mode is just the icing on the cake.

Mike, Thanks again and I love it!"

Gene Carrother
Huntington Beach, CA
                                                                                                                                                

Beta Tester Bob Jablonski's 1926 Runabout


"I am proud to have had the opportunity to support the E-Timer project and serve as a Beta Tester since November 2010.   The E-Timer provides smooth engine idle & automatic advance, it's a whole new T driving experience.  The "seat of the pants" experience as I call it has to be experienced first hand to appreciate it.   Those unfamiliar with the E-Timer have difficulty understanding the difference it makes.  We live in coastal southern New Jersey near the protected Pine Barrens, few traffic lights & relatively flat land with gentle hills.   Gas mileage on a duplicated trip was over 26 mpg with the E-Timer.  I have driven about a thousand miles with the E-Timer with absolutely no problems.  Also found that the fuel mixture can be leaned a bit more giving the same power and saves gas to boot. As a Ford ignition coil re-builder I do appreciate what makes the E-Timer work, in both the automatic advance mode and also the regular spark advance mode.  Even driving in snow last year, my '26 Runabout did not stumble in the ruts, going slow in direct drive.  A pleasure in driving experience.  Many thanks to Mike Kossor for his diligence bringing this project to fruition."

Bob Jablonski
Forked River, New Jersey
                                                                                                                                                

Graeme Barnes' 1926 Roadster





"I have a 1926 T Roadster, balanced engine, Z Head, Stipe 280 Cam, Larger valves,6 volt, and Ruckstell equipped, and have owned "T" Models for 40 plus years…I am pleased to share my on-going E-Timer Experience.,,, Much easier starting, improved low down torque, e.g.pulls well at low revs, no jerkiness. On the highway, the engine is more consistent, my dear Wife, and expert critic, confirms the engine seems more gutsy and strong.  The E-Timer with its A.T.A mode, provides precision, variable automatic  ignition timing, resulting in smoother and cooler engine performance, which is conducive to enhanced engine life.  Top speed and hill climbing are at least equal to my cars previous best results….Mike I congratulate you on your initiative  and ability in developing the E-Timer….Model T's to compete and survive in a modern World, with increased and faster traffic, need to be maintained to improve safety and driveability…The fitting of an E-Timer helps achieve that, without diminishing the uniqueness of the "T". and may well keep more "T"'s on the road, by also increasing reliability"

Graeme Barnes
Victoria, Australia
                                                                                                                                          


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