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One of the pronounced developments of the last two or three years has been the general adoption of various starting means for setting the engine in motion without recourse to the usual form of hand crank. Some of these motor starting systems merely replace the usual hand crank with some means of turning the motor over without leaving the seat by purely mechanical connections. Others, on 1912 and 1913 models of a few cars, depend on air pressure, while the most popular and generally applied forms to 1916 model cars depend on electricity as a source of power for a small electric starting motor. Electric starting and lighting systems have been made in many forms, though the basic principles of operation are practically the same in all systems that can be grouped in several main classifications. It will not be possible to describe all in a general treatise of this nature, but if the features of the leading systems are outlined it will not be difficult for the repairman or student to become familiar with the principle of other systems which may be slightly different only in points of minor detail. Not only are the various parts of leading systems shown, but as a result of the co-operation of the leading automobile manufacturers, the author is enabled to show the actual application of the various ignition, generating and starting units to leading power plants. While a certain amount of technical exposition is unavoidable, everything has been stated as simply as possible so readers without technical knowledge can understand the principles and method of operation, as well as location of troubles in the popular systems. The illustrations have been carefully selected and all wiring diagrams are of representative systems actually in use. The reader not versed in electrical science will find that careful perusal of the chapter on “Elementary Electricity and Magnetism” will enable him to understand many of the more technical descriptions and wiring diagrams. As electricity is used for operating many accessory devices besides the lighting, ignition and motor starting units, a chapter is devoted to the unusual applications of the electric current.


MAY, 1916.




Nature of Electricity-Static Electricity-Water Analogy to Current

Flow-Why Current Flows-Parts of Water Circuit-Parts of Elec-
trical Circuit-Potential and Its Effect on Current Flow-Electrical
Conductors-Electrical Insulators-Nature of Circuits—Open Cir.
cuit-Closed Circuit-Current Production by Chemical Action-
How Primary Battery Works—Parts of Battery-Dry Cell Con-
struction-Function of Depolarizer-Series Wiring of Dry Cells-
Multiple-Series Wiring-Primary Cell Disadvantages-Principles
of Storage Battery Action-Construction of Storage Batteries,
Capacity of Storage Battery-Fundamentals of Magnetism-Prop-
erties of Magnets—Forms of Magnets-Zone of Magnetic Influ-
ence—Magnetic Circuits-How Iron and Steel is Made Magnetic-
Relation Between Electricity and Magnetism-Basic Principles of
Magneto Action Current Production by Induction-Magneto Parts
and Their Functions—Transformer Coil-Magneto System-Low
Voltage Magneto Armature Winding-High Tension Magneto-
Magneto Types Compared — Dynamo-Electric Machines — How
Dynamo Works—Simple Governed Dynamo-Ford Magneto-Gen-
erator—Methods of Winding Dynamos—Series Wound-Compound
Wound-Shunt Wound—Open Coil-Closed Coil-Electrical Terms
Defined–The Volt—The Ohm-The Ampere—The Watt-Electrical
Measuring Instruments—Moving Iron Type-Moving Coil Type-
Plunger and Solenoid Types—Magnetic Vane Form-Signs, Sym-
bols and Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 to 65



How Compressed Gas May Be Ignited-Early Systems—Methods of

Electrical Ignition-High Tension-Low Tension-Elements of All
Electrical Ignition Systems Simple Ignition System-Induction
Coil Action-Construction of Induction Coil-Coil Parts and Func-
tions—Windings—Vibrator-Condenser-Box Coils—Coil for One

Cylinder Ignition-Coils for Multiple Cylinder Ignition-Arrange-
ment of Coil Terminals—High Tension Coil Ignition System—Timer
and Distributor Forms—Timers for One Cylinder-Multiple Contact
Timers—Roller Contact Timer-Arrangement of Timer Contacts-
Ball Contact Timer-Atwater-Kent Timer-Secondary Distributors
-Delco Ignition System-Delco Timer-Delco Automatic Timer
Advance-Delco Ignition Coil-Resistance Unit-Delco Condenser-
Delco Circuit Breaker-Ammeter-Combination Switch—1916 Delco
Ignition Distributor—Timing Delco Ignition-Westinghouse Igni-
tion Unit-Spark Plug Forms—Spark Plug Design-Construction of
Spark Plugs—Spark Plug Insulation-Spark Plug Installation,
Plugs for Two-Spark Ignition—Individual Coil Ignition System-
Typical Battery Ignition Systems—Vibrator Coil—Distributor Sys-
tems—Ford Magneto and Coil Ignition System-Master Vibrator
System-Non-Vibrator Coil Distributor System—Closed Circuit
Systems—Connecticut Automatic Ignition—Thermostatic Switch
Release-Low Tension System-Low Tension Igniter Plate-
Double Ignition Systems—Triple Ignition Systems—Battery Ignition
System Troubles—Testing Dry Cells—Dry Cell Defects—Care in Dry
Cell Installation—Storage Battery Faults—Charging Storage Bat-
teries—Appliances for Storage Battery Maintenance-Remedies for
Loss of Battery Capacity—“Flushing" Undesirable-Cure for Sul-
phated Plates—Battery Charging Apparatus-Rectifiers for Alter-
nating Current-Lamp Bank Resistance for Direct Current–Edison
Cell Features-Winter Care of Storage Batteries-Freezing Points
of Electrolyte-Spark Plug Faults—Testing Spark Plugs—Repairing
Spark Plugs-Setting Plug Gaps—Induction Coil Troubles and
Remedies—Adjusting Coil Vibrators—Roller Contact Timer Troubles
-Wiring Troubles—Electro-static Effects—“Bucking,” Cause and
Remedy-Battery Ignition System Hints—Timing Battery Ignition
Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 to 184



Magneto Generator Construction—Single Cylinder Magneto—Multiple

Cylinder Magneto-Magneto Systems—Arrangement of Distributor
Contacts—Speed of Armature Rotation-Low Tension Magneto
Systems—Simple Low Tension Magnetos–Oscillating Armature
Type-Governed Rotating Armature Type-Inductor Magnetos-

Delco System Action-Delco Motor-Generator-Motoring the Generator

-Generator Clutch-Cranking Operation-Motor Clutch-Generat-
ing Electrical Energy–Lubrication of Delco Unit-Delco Voltage
Regulator—Method of Current Output Regulation in Late Types—

Locating Troubles in Gray & Davis System—Ammeter Indications a

Guide-Systematic Search for Faults—Locating Short Circuit-
Faults in Motors and Generators—Refitting Brushes—Care of Com-
mutator-Faults in Wiring—Short Circuits—Open Circuits-Protec-
tion of Wiring—Care of Lamps—Brief Instructions for Care of Bat-
tery_Hints for Locating Delco Troubles—Delco Testing Volt-Am-
meter-Delco Test Points—Indications of Delco Generator Troubles
-Testing for Defective Windings-Grounded Generator Coil-
Shorted Generator Coil—Open Generator Coil-Grounded Motor
Winding—Testing Cut-out Relay—Voltage Regulator Troubles—
Voltmeter Test-Troubles in Dyneto System-Dyneto Will Not Start
-Lamps Burn Dimly-Dyneto Starts Slowly—Dyneto Does Not Gen-
erate-Bosch-Rushmore Troubles—Adjusting Automatic Relay-
Adjusting Regulator-Remy System Troubles—Starter Will not
Turn Engine-Grounds and Short Circuits—All Lights Go Dim-

Generator Test-Starting Motor-Instructions for Repairing Storage

Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 422 to 466

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