Phil Bray’s gear sets

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    Thank you guys so much for letting the rest of us know of you’r experences with the Phil Bray gear sets. This form along with you’r input saves the rest of us a lot of pain and expense. My 1247 has the original 4.58 stump puller which will have to do until I find a better solution. Thanks to all. Doug Vogel



    The problem with the Bray Pierce-Arrow gears SHOULD NOW be corrected for future production. The ones in my car are noisy and won’t set up quietly, but driving performance has certainly been improved. The real difficulty is dealing with Phil IF there is a problem.

    There are other alternatives out there. Member Marty Roth just mentioned a source in Michigan that is doing a gearset for his 1914 Buick at a very reasonable price.

    Also you should consider what gear ratio you need and want. Living here in the relative flatland of the midwest, I think a 3:54 would have been a better choice that the 3:85 I got. Out in the west you might be happier with the 3:85. I’ve yet to encounterreal mountains, but so far the 1247 with 3:85 pulls long hills very well.

    Will we see your 1247 in Rochester in July? I’d like to see what mine should look like! We could park them side by side for a before and after shot.



    David, Thanks for the advice on the 3.85 gears etc. As of right now my 1247 is not going anywhere as it only runs on one side. I am not getting spark on one side of the engine. Spark at the coils , but not through to the plugs. We had a mechanic friend who is in our local old car club come up twice and try to fix it , but after four hours he just laughed and said he could’nt believe how well it ran on just half the cylinders. PAS member Bill Lawton is going to drive over from Boise and look at it soon. It should not be anything hard to fix, if you know the Pierce 12. I’m just not that good with electrical problems. The car is all but finished , just little things, adjustments, ect. I am now retired from the university, but the honey do list is long. This summer it’s sideing on the house, and then start my shop, which I plan on being 60×34 feet so have a lot to do. It will be nice after ten years of work on the 1247 to drive it ! I will post photos soon. Doug Vogel


    Check the condensers(capacitors). I would replace them with Onan units which are almost fool proof in hot engine situations. The points wear down the fiber post that rubs on the cam surface. This causes a change in the point gap. Sometimes a part of the points shorts out gainst the case of the distributer, and is hard to see. It can be frustrating, but if the coils are ok have you tried swapping coils to see if the opposite side of the engine fails? I’ve had each of these problems myself.


    Thanks for the advice. Every part was replaced or rebuilt, and I tried switching the coils. But still runs like a nice six cylinder engine. Doug


    Try opening the points to .027. Gives a longer dwell, though not factory spec. The lobes on the cam may be worn down.



    Be very, very sure you have the correct rotor in that distributor. A friend was beating his head against the wall–same problem you’re having.



    Thanks for all your help,

    The rotor is the same one that was in the car when I drove it back in 1973 and it ran well then or at least on all 12 cylinders. I will try opening the points. The distributor was set up on a dist. machine before it was installed. Try, try ,try again! Doug


    One of my rotors had a fine hairline crack in it at the center, between the top contact and the shaft of the distributer. This killed the the spark from one coil and one half of the engine.

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