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Old 12-26-2011, 03:27 PM   #1
Tom Cavallaro
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Default Timing the model a....

Wow! I thought it was going to be easy....I'm trying to set the timing on my Model A, usiing the pin in the front of the motor, but can't seem to feel the notch is not easy to find in the flywheel. Does the pin drop in a good size hole or is it more of a feel type thing. I'm not feeling it....hard to hold the pin and crank at the same time. Is there an easyer way? I tried to place a screw driver in the spark plug hole but the screw driver only moves about a half an inch up and down...really at a loss now....HELP.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
Jerry Parr WI
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Some timing gears have the depression in the incorrect location and some are not very pronounced. I have good luck finding them with a pointed device like a phillips screwdriver. I have seen timing pins ground to a point but think it looks bad.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
Mitch Bunkin in PA
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

As was mentioned, use a thin Phillips driver (I've used an ice pick or a long nail) because the hole is very shallow. Remove #1 spark plug. Put a long nail into hole. As nail first moves up a bit press lightly on Phillips & you should feel a slight dip. OR Put a thin, rigid metal ruler into spark hole, slowly turn with crank & stop at highest point. Often (for me) that worked too. Good luck.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

I had the same problem. When I was assembling my engine I did not drill a large enough indent on my timing gear to easily identify the spot with the timing pin so I recently removed the timing cover and re-visited the deficiency.....problem solved.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

It sounds like you were trying to find TDC on the Flywheelthru the inner starter bolt hole .Maybe just the way you worded it.Just push pin while slowly turning engine with hand crank & you should feel pin go in sleight depression in Cam gear.Once found,Ive made made the dimple a little deeper by useing a drill bit & turning it with my fingers as the gear is generally made of fibre.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Tom here are a few tips:

By removing Plug # 1 and shining a small flash light into the hole, it is possible to see the top of the piston when you are at Top Dead Center.

Similar to what Mitch said, you can use a coat hanger through plug one and feel where top dead center is.

If you remove all of the plugs it will eliminate the compression making it easier to crank and find the mark.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

If you go past TDC, then just put the car in 3rd gear and roll it back a little to roll the engine back. Best to not be pulling on fan blades, especially if you use an original fan as I do.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

I use my eye to find the indent. Set at top dead center and look thru the timing pin hole. After you find it, dab a bit of white paint on it to make it easier to find next time.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
Tom Cavallaro
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Thanks guys...I'll go back tomorrow and try again. I used a screwdriver in the spark plug hole and watched it go up and down, but I expected to see a great deal of travel...not just a half inch up and down. Tell me...each time #1 comes to the top...is TDC???
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Only once ever two trips. 4 stroke engine. TDC is both ignition (what you want), and the top of the exhaust stroke.

Pull off the distributor cap. When you crank the engine around and see #1 TDC, see if the rotor is pointing in the direction of about 4:00 as seen from the passenger side of the engine. That's TDC ignition as the rotor is set to send the current down to the #1 plug. If the rotor is at 10:00, you are looking at TDC on exhaust stroke.

Once you find the real TDC ignition, take a steel chisel and make a small nick in the top rear edge of the crankshaft pulley while looking straight down on the pulley (no parallax from looking from the side of the engine). Now you always know TDC ignition. Some folks put a dab of paint or WhiteOut on the crank pulley edge so they can wipe it away before a show or judging. I have a flat steel pointer mounted to the front of the engine lined up with the nick.

You will probably also be able to find the dimple in the gear at this point, and a quick twist through the hole with a drill bit will ensure you have two references for TDC ignition (sort of like wearing suspenders and a belt.)

Good luck!
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:40 PM   #11
Rusty Homestead Fl
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Sounds like your screwdriver is resting on a valve and not the piston top if it's only going up that small amount
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
Glenn C.
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Make it easier on yourself for cranking to find the dimple on the gear, remove all spark plugs to reduce compression
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:44 PM   #13
Milton
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

If nothing else works try the following:
First retard the spark and remove number one plug.
Turn the engine with the crank and you will feel each compression stroke.
When you don't feel the compression stop cranking.
Look in the plug hole towards the generator side and see if the piston top is visable.
If not turn the crank a bit and look again, if it is turn the crank until it is very close to the top of its travel.
Remove the timing pin and with a mirror look into the timing hole.
If you see a small indent that is TDC. If you don't, then position the crank so you can rotate it with the side of your knee.
Rotate the crank while looking in the mirror until you see the detent.
That's all there is to it.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:52 PM   #14
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

I've never had a problem feeling the dimple while pushing the timing pin in and hand cranking the motor. Most of the time I do it with the plugs in place, but as Glenn mentioned it sure makes it a lot easier to crank over with the plugs out. I press the pin in with my left hand while I pull on the hand crank with my right hand.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

What Tom says with the plugs out and dist cap off, make sure spark is RETARDED,
Paul in CT
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:00 AM   #16
Marco Tahtaras
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

I may be misunderstanding some of the suggestions but you would be lucky to get close to TDC by watching the piston through the spark plug hole. It can however assist you in knowing you are close to finding the indent in the timing gear. There is approximately a 15 degree range of crankshaft rotation where the piston will be within .010" of TDC.

Assuming the car is currently running you can use the location of the distributor rotor to know when you are getting close as previously suggested. My link below will offer more info which may be helpful.

Model A Ignition Timing
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:15 AM   #17
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Here Is good tip a old timer tought me. and it works evertime. take the timing pin out and turn it around and and put it back in. now take a c clamp and put on the timeing pin and the timing cover and tighting it up to where it is snug. now pull the # 1 plug and turn the motor over when you reach TDC the clamp will fall off. look in the spark plug hole making sure you are at TDC. hope it helps.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:13 PM   #18
Frank Miller
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Here is a thread on the V8 side that might help if you cannot find any indentation on the cam gear.
http://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57144
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Tahtaras View Post
I may be misunderstanding some of the suggestions but you would be lucky to get close to TDC by watching the piston through the spark plug hole. It can however assist you in knowing you are close to finding the indent in the timing gear.
Exactly the reason. To get close and not go past the mark. It is a lot easier to be prepared to stop on the mark than it is to backup to the mark or crank it around again. The rotor is a better clue, and a lot easier, IF it can be trusted (i.e. the car was currently running).
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #20
Tom Cavallaro
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Ok gentelmen, I found it...pulled the plugs and it made it easier to turn the crank slowly. Pin bumped...so went around again slower and stoped. Checked down the spark plug hole, and was surprised to see the top of the cylinder back farther. I was riding on the valve. Just expected to find the cylinder right under the sparkplug. Thank you all. Tom
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:41 PM   #21
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Tom,
Thanks for the update.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:42 PM   #22
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Default Re: Timing the model a....

Marco's method under the link is a great way to time the car. I use it every time and have had great results. Keep a copy in your garage file.

The offset cam wrench is a cheap and valuable addition to the tool box.
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