The Model T E-Timer
An Electronic Timer for the Model T
E-Timer FAQs

E-Timer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Q: What is the E-Timer warranty?
A: The E-Timer is unconditionally warranted against failure for a period of 1 year from the date of purchase.  It will be repaired or replaced free of charge should it fail during the warranty period.  Reliability data continues to accumulate from Beta test units in the field since 2009; some units already have over 20,000 miles on them and continue to perform with the same precision as the day they were installed.  I believe it is reasonable to expect at least 20 years of reliable service assuming 1,000 miles usage per year.

Q: E-Timer performance reports sound too good to be true; were the users paid for their testimonials?
A: Absolutely not.  E-Timer performance reports were provided by actual users who were sufficiently impressed with E-Timer performance they wanted to share their positive experience with other folks. 

Q: How does the engine run so incredibly smooth with the E-Timer?
A: The E-Timer uses modern, non-contact, Hall sensors to detect CAM shaft position and provide consistent, repeatable ignition timing with precision of +/-1 degree regardless of engine speed.  More details about E-Timer operation can be found by downloading the articles on the bottom of the E-Timer home page.

Q: A limited production run was made; does that mean support is also limited?
A: No,   E-Timer service will continue to be available, if necessary, at reasonable cost.

Q: What do I get when I order an E-Timer?
A: You get a complete conversion kit which includes an E-Timer circuit board pre-installed in an original Ford script timer housing with new brass terminals, a vane actuator which replaces the original roller/brush/flapper, an alignment pin, pin cap, locking nut, stainless steel cotter pin, four fuse jumpers used to bypass the coil points and illustrated installation and operation instructions.  You can view a photo of the E-Timer conversion kit on the home page or On-line store tab.

Q: The E-Timer uses a microcomputer with flash memory; how long will it retain its programming information?
A: The data retention time of the microcontroller used in the E-Timer application is 75 years, minimum.

Q: Do the coil points still vibrate/buzz?
A: Yes!  The coil points still vibrate/buzz continuously when ever the timer is in firing position just like the stock ignition system.  Coil points may need to be adjusted to sound like the stock ignition system but the buzz is strictly cosmetic so ignition timing and engine performance are not limited in any way by the condition or adjustment of the coil points electrical contacts.

Q: What is Automatic Timing Advance (ATA) mode and how does it work?
A: The E-Timer comes set in Automatic Timing Adjustment mode.  The car is started as usual with the spark lever fully retarded then the spark lever is fully advanced after starting.  The E-Timer takes control of ignition timing adjustment after 250 engine revolutions (about 30 seconds at idle) and maintains optimal ignition timing regardless of engine speed without further adjustment of the spark lever by the driver.

Q: I enjoy the experience of having to adjust the spark lever; Can Automatic Timing Adjustment mode be disabled?
A: Yes.  The E-Timer can easily be changed to operate in Manual Timing mode where the driver is responsible adjustment of the spark lever as usual to achieve optimal engine performance.  You can easily change between Manual Timing mode and Automatic Timing Adjustment mode whenever desired.

Q: How difficult is installing an E-Timer?
A: The E-Timer installation procedure is nearly identical to the stock roller timer.  The only added detail is to ensure the timer housing rotates a minimum of 0.91” as the spark lever rotates from fully retarded to fully advanced positions to ensure Automatic Timing Advance mode functions properly.  Some users have reported the need to adjust or replace warn timer pull rods and/or pull rod linkages to obtain the necessary adjustment range.

Q: Do I have to modify my car in any way to install an E-Timer?
A: No.  Simply replace the Roller, Anderson or New Day timer with the E-timer using the original coils and original wiring.  The only minor difference is that you bypass the coil points with tiny fuse jumpers which can easily be removed if you ever want to change back to the stock ignition system.

Q: Why does the spark produced by the E-Timer look weaker than the stock ignition?
A: The spark looks weaker because it is weaker!  The E-Timer only fires the very first spark which is responsible for initiating combustion with the same energy as the stock ignition system.  All subsequent sparks are just wasting battery power so they are fired at reduced energy to conserve battery life without impacting engine performance.

Q: Will the E-Timer operate on magneto?
A: No, the E-Timer was specifically designed to eliminate the variables associated with the magneto along with its ignition timing restrictions.  The E-Timer will operate on 6V, 8V, 10V or 12V battery power.

Q: Will the E-Timer be damaged if accidently switched over to magneto?
A: No, the engine will simply stall if accidently switched over to magneto. 

Q: Will the E-Timer be damaged if the battery is accidently reversed (positive ground)?
A: No, the E-Timer will not be damaged if the battery polarity is reversed but it will not function either.  The E-Timer has been designed to operate on 6V, 8V, 10V or 12V Negative ground systems.

Q: How long will the E-Timer run on battery without charging?
A: A fully charged, average size 12VDC car battery is estimated to power the E-Timer and coils for approximately 48 hours of continuous operation.  Many users use their magneto to charge their battery using a simple, low cost charger.

Q: I don't have or want a PayPal account. How can I pay with credit card.
A: You don't need a PayPal account to pay with PayPal.  Simply order as a guest.

Q: The original ignition system is the heart and sole of a Model T.  Why would anyone want to install an E-Timer?
A: The E-Timer permits maintenance free car operation with superior driving performance using the original coils, points and wiring without wear.  The original ignition system components are preserved for future use whenever desired simply by replacing the stock timer and removing the jumpers across the coil points.  The E-Timer is also an excellent option for folks with, physically sound, but non-functioning magneto or no magneto such as speedsters.

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