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Old 03-16-2018, 10:02 AM   #1
captndan
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Default Timing light

Can a timing light be used on a Model A?
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:06 AM   #2
J Franklin
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Default Re: Timing light

With modifications, yes. But you do have a timing pin that has worked for many decades.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Timing light

Yes. You do need to install timing indicators. https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=227658

I find it a lot easier and faster to check my timing using a light over using the original pin. Also you can check your advance
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by captndan View Post
Can a timing light be used on a Model A?


IMO and experience, the use of a timing light is easy/fast and more accurate once you learn how to use it !


I haven't used a timing 'pin' for decades. I have an 'antique' timing light and a 'kind of modern' timing light and use both.


The latest modern light uses it's own source of power to activate, making it even simpler to use.


The one thing that you have to know how to provide ...timing marks for the light to 'read'. These marks are made (paint and/or scribe) on the crank pulley and/or balancer if equipped.

Last edited by hardtimes; 03-16-2018 at 01:42 PM. Reason: ..................
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing light

I have no issues with my 12v timing light. It still fires when number one fires. Just make sure you hook up the battery (power leads) correctly on the standard 6v system. No issues on mine.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Timing light

Yes
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:39 AM   #7
Jim/TX/GA
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Default Re: Timing light

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Originally Posted by captndan View Post
Can a timing light be used on a Model A?
Yes. I have done it on one of my cars that came with a timing mark and degree indicator.

My main complaint with it is, unlike a modern car where you can loosen the hold down clamp and rotate the distributor body to adjust the timing, you have to turn the engine off and open up the distributor to adjust the timing on the Model A. Then put it back together and restart, recheck. Kind of a pain. I tend to overshoot, then undershoot, etc.

With the timing pin and an ohmmeter, I can get the points to just open (per the meter) when the pin has the #1 piston at TDC. I set it where when I take all the slack out of the distributor shaft with a cam wrench, the meter says the points are closed and when I let the pressure off, the points are open.

Once timed, I used the light to confirm the full 40 degrees of advance with the spark lever from top to bottom. It ended up being more like 38 degrees, which is still too much for this high compression head. So I don't advance it all the way when I drive.

YMMV.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim/TX/GA View Post
Yes. I have done it on one of my cars that came with a timing mark and degree indicator.

My main complaint with it is, unlike a modern car where you can loosen the hold down clamp and rotate the distributor body to adjust the timing, you have to turn the engine off and open up the distributor to adjust the timing on the Model A. Then put it back together and restart, recheck. Kind of a pain. I tend to overshoot, then undershoot, etc.

With the timing pin and an ohmmeter, I can get the points to just open (per the meter) when the pin has the #1 piston at TDC. I set it where when I take all the slack out of the distributor shaft with a cam wrench, the meter says the points are closed and when I let the pressure off, the points are open.

Once timed, I used the light to confirm the full 40 degrees of advance with the spark lever from top to bottom. It ended up being more like 38 degrees, which is still too much for this high compression head. So I don't advance it all the way when I drive.

YMMV.


Hey Jim,
Your method, i.e.- shut off engine loosen dist and rotate it then....on, is not necessary. It can be done and I time my engines (with light) with engine running, which is fast/accurate and easy. I did it your way for a short time, before using the method that I found best for me.


To each his own, and not saying that one is right or wrong, but just saying that there is more than one / two ways to get this task done.

Last edited by hardtimes; 03-17-2018 at 01:09 PM. Reason: ...........
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardtimes View Post
Hey Jim,
Your method, ....- shut off engine loosen dist and rotate it then....on, is not necessary. It can be done and I time my engines (with light) with engine running, which is fast/accurate and easy. .................
Sorry Hardtimes, Have I got this right ... you know a method of adjusting the set timing with the engine running with a stock Model A distributor?? please enlighten us....Like Jim/TX/GA I always have always had to open the cap off and shift the cam.... of course once we're under way the whole accuracy of the timing goes to pot as we adjust the timing lever to get suit the speed... (one of the delights of A motoring )

Last edited by johnbuckley; 03-17-2018 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 03:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Timing light

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Originally Posted by johnbuckley View Post
Sorry Hardtimes, Have I got this right ... you know a method of adjusting the set timing with the engine running with a stock Model A distributor?? please enlighten us....Like Jim/TX/GA I always have always had to open the cap off and shift the cam.... of course once we're under way the whole accuracy of the timing goes to pot as we adjust the timing lever to get suit the speed... (one of the delights of A motoring )
Hey John,
My B engine setup is NOT stock.
No timing lever.
I use old Mallory auto advance dist.


Mark the pulley/balancer for TDC . Note: I do this when head is off for accuracy.

Add pointer. Paint or chalk timing marks for good visibility. Also, make mark on dist and head for reference when turning dist by hand. Hook up light. Fire up engine. Check current timing setting with light. Loosen fastener for dist. With engine running, turn dist as needed and indicated by light to wanted timing marks.


As in old days, I set timing (first)by ear for best running, just by turning dist till engine running smoothest. I do this out of habit to see if I can still get close by ear, as back when. Then I check with timing light to ensure.


Fasten dist in place. Recheck with light and redo as necessary.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Timing light

After the timing is set the only real reason it should change is wear on the rubbing block. As a quick check after a couple of months running I put the light on it. If the timing is off, I readjust the point gap to spec. Then recheck with the light. It is usually right on or pretty darn close. No need to get into using the pin and an ohm meter/utility light/buzz box/etc.
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