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Old 09-28-2018, 10:17 AM   #1
bigd1101
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Default checking timing

I don't have a make shift test light. Can I use a regular 6/12 volt tester and just clip it to the coil on the drivers side (ignition)and use that as an indicator when the points are open? This what I have...
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: checking timing

Should work fine.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: checking timing

I know that the home made ones have a ground.....I'll assume this one is self grounding? Never used a test light setting timing and I don't want to short anything out......
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:34 AM   #4
Dick Steinkamp
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Default Re: checking timing

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I'll assume this one is self grounding?
I can't figure out "self grounding". Help.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: checking timing

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I can't figure out "self grounding". Help.



On this vid he grounds the home made test light. I don't have one like that. I have one like above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwirH7f0a9o
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: checking timing

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Originally Posted by bigd1101 View Post
On this vid he grounds the home made test light. I don't have one like that. I have one like above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwirH7f0a9o
I think they are the same. The test light shown in the first post has to have one end connected to ground and one end connected to (switchable) power in order to work...just like the one in the video.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
Patrick L.
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Default Re: checking timing

A standard ole test light like you have will work just fine. Most have a 12v bulb which means the light will be dim when used with 6v.

With points open expect the light to light. When closed there should be no light.
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:02 PM   #8
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: checking timing

All I do is position the top cap so there is a gap for spark to jump, while holding the timing pin in I either hand crank or roll the car in gear, if the spark (with timing retarded) jumps at the same time as I feel the detent in the cam gear the timing is correct--- much the same procedure that is outlined in the owners instruction book
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: checking timing

Have your wife (or girlfriend hold the secondary wire while you slowly rotate the engine. If she jumps at the same time you feel the detent in the cam gear, you are good to go.

Just hope you get it right the first time...

Seriously, I use a "Buzz Box". The Buzz Box is the same principal as the light, buzzes when the points open. Only difference is the Buzz Box supplies it's own power so you can use it while an engine is on a stand or if you have a Mag.

I bent up a couple of these 1⅜" wrenches to fit the ratchet nut to slowly turn over the engine. Just don't start the engine with it on the nut!!



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Old 09-28-2018, 03:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: checking timing

I cannot for the life of me find the indent on the timing pin. I rocked the car in 3rd so the distributor cam made it all the way around. So...I pulled the front spark plug and put a measuring stick in the hole and rocked the car and watched the stick go up and down and stopped the car when the stick was at it's top measure mark, or when the piston is at the top of it's movement. The cam was way off on the distributor as it should be on the number one cylinder or if you are looking down, about 7 o'clock, and right on the pin dead center, correct?? If so, I need to loosen the cam and bring it around to that position, yes?? Then I need to gap the points and rotor. I did notice the cam where it meets the pins on the distributor cap was not flush,it was bent down a tad below the contact pin height. Is that right?
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Old 09-28-2018, 04:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: checking timing

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Originally Posted by bigd1101 View Post
I cannot for the life of me find the indent on the timing pin. I rocked the car in 3rd so the distributor cam made it all the way around. So...I pulled the front spark plug and put a measuring stick in the hole and rocked the car and watched the stick go up and down and stopped the car when the stick was at it's top measure mark, or when the piston is at the top of it's movement. The cam was way off on the distributor as it should be on the number one cylinder or if you are looking down, about 7 o'clock, and right on the pin dead center, correct?? If so, I need to loosen the cam and bring it around to that position, yes?? Then I need to gap the points and rotor. I did notice the cam where it meets the pins on the distributor cap was not flush,it was bent down a tad below the contact pin height. Is that right?
The method you describe is not at all accurate! There is what is known as 'piston dwell' at top dead center. That is, the crankshaft can rotate an unknown number of degrees without the piston moving, or moving so slightly as to be nearly undetectable. Also, you could be checking TDC at the end of the exhaust stroke, in which case the distributor rotor (and timing gear dimple) will be 1/2 turn off.
Use your stick to get close, then watch through the timing pin hole for the indentation. It's easier to turn the engine slowly with the hand crank rather than jockeying the car back and forth.
Remember, this is only a preliminary setting, so that the engine doesn't kick back when starting. Your actual timing is controlled by the lever on the steering column.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: checking timing

If you cannot feel the pin drop in the dimple as in my case I cannot, there is a fool proof way to determine if you are at TDC.

Use a mirror at about a 45* angle so you can see with a flashlight right in to the dimple through the timing pin hole. You can get almost dead on if you want to use the method you described but to alleviate the piston dwell you must turn the engine one way until you can first see the infinitesimal movement of the piston starting to go down. Now go the other way and see where this occurs on the opposite direction of rotation. Now go back exactly 1/2 this rotational distance. You are now at TDC and will see the dimple within the timing gear as you use the mirror as explained above.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: checking timing

Use a VOM across the points.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: checking timing

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Originally Posted by bigd1101 View Post
I cannot for the life of me find the indent on the timing pin.
Probably goes without saying but you do know the dimple is only lined up with the hole every two rotations of the crank??

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It's easier to turn the engine slowly with the hand crank rather than jockeying the car back and forth.
That's exactly why I use the wrench shown in post #9, so I can turn the engine and feel for the dimple at the same time.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: checking timing

The turning of the engine is made easy by removing the spark plugs. When you find the proper position or the dimple you can gently drill the dimple a bit deeper for future adjustments.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: checking timing

The engine when rotated needs to be brought near TDC on compression stroke [ not exhaust stroke] and the indent should be near the timing pin hole. As the fellas mentioned there are a few ways to find that hole. Another is to grind more of a point on the timing pin [ or use something similar]. Some holes are not very pronounced and hard to locate. If the timing is close the rotor should point toward the right headlight.

The point gap is set before the timing.

Once you find TDC on compression stroke, you should be able to turn on the key and with the spark plug strap 1/4" from a good ground [or the spark plug end] pulling down the spark lever a couple clicks should allow for a spark. Then the timing is right.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:04 AM   #17
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Default Re: checking timing

I use a phillips screwdriver instead of the pin because the screwdriver has a sharper point and it is easier to feel the dimple.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: checking timing

Grind a little off the sides of the timing pin to make the point a bit sharper. Easier to drop into the marker hole. Similiar to using a philips screw driver as above.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:13 AM   #19
bigd1101
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Default Re: checking timing

Took the spark plugs out and turned it by hand and viola! Found the dimple and it wasn't real obvious that's for sure, but the pin went in ever so slightly.The cam seems to be right in the middle of cyl #1 pin. I'll check the points. As you all know, I had a overheating problem and the rad was plugged and corroded. Got a heavy duty one from Snyders coming next week. Blew out the engine water jacket with water then compressed air with little to no junk being expelled. Adding a Gano coolant filter just in case. It's been a wild ride so far with the new A
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Old 09-29-2018, 12:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: checking timing

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Grind a little off the sides of the timing pin to make the point a bit sharper. Easier to drop into the marker hole. Similiar to using a philips screw driver as above.




Wasn't that already mentioned ?
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