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Old 01-11-2020, 12:42 AM   #1
Russ/40
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Default "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

I understand the A distributor is timed at TDC, and any advance is set via the Left lever. I also read the "B" distributor gives an initial advance of 19* BTC. When using the B distributor with the "A" front cover, what is the initial timing? Is it less 17 * or more 21*.
Needs to be factored as well, I am running a 6.0-1 Snyder head.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:17 AM   #2
J Franklin
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

When the pin drops in the cam gear the car with a B distributor will run retarded by 19 degrees.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

I believe the initial timing on the engine is set by the timing cover. When the pin drops into the hole with the A cover, the initial timing is at TDC. The B cover advances this initial timing by 19* by slightly moving the hole in the cover.



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Old 01-11-2020, 09:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

Install a timing indicator. With number one piston at TDC mark the front pulley. I usually cut a slight slot with a hack saw and paint it white. You are good to go.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

Addendum. Use the pin to find TDC then use indicator. The mark on the pulley will align at TDC or BDC. You must make sure you are at TDC on compression. Another method would be to put your thumb over number one cyl. spark plug hole to find be sure your on compression stroke.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:03 AM   #6
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

The model B distributor is more complicated than the model A . The B distributor advances WAY too slowly and I can see no advantage . The model A engine is the easiest engines to set the timing on . I can't understand why some like to make things more difficult .
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:25 AM   #7
Russ/40
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

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Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
The model B distributor is more complicated than the model A . The B distributor advances WAY too slowly and I can see no advantage . The model A engine is the easiest engines to set the timing on . I can't understand why some like to make things more difficult .
Purdy, my main concern with the "A" distributor is more due to my own personal shortcomings. Concerned with the perils of running the motor in a pinging or detonation condition due to my inability to hear or perceive those conditions, makes me concerned about doing damage to my engine. With a 6/1 head, my understanding is one must be even more careful not to advance too much. Is it not there, or am I unable to hear it?

No matter where I put the advance, I've never heard or experienced what I believe to be any pinging.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:18 PM   #8
AL in NY
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

Russ/40, you said you're running and "A" cam cover, so time the "B" distributor the same way you would time an "A" distributor.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:36 PM   #9
J Franklin
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

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Originally Posted by AL in NY View Post
Time the "B" distributor the same way you would time an "A" distributor.
That won't work because the car will run too retarded. I think in this senerio you should buy a B timing cover with a B distributor or add a stop to the A distributor to stop full advance.

Last edited by J Franklin; 01-11-2020 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:42 PM   #10
Bob C
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

Vince has some good information on the B advance on his site.
http://www.fordgarage.com/pages/bdistributoradvance.htm


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Old 01-11-2020, 03:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

Quote:
The mark on the pulley will align at TDC or BDC.
How can that be when TDC an BDC are 180 apart?
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

It's just TDC on either compression or top of the exhaust stroke.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

I'm trying to get the timing close on one of my engines right now. The engine has a 5.5:1 head and slightly modified cam. It has a B inlet manifold which lacks the post required to be able to set it up for manual advance so I opted for a B distributor. I set the timing as per Model A but a little more advanced. I figured I could dial it in based on what the engine did. A Model B timing cover is out of the question - they are simply not available here.
On a run down the freeway yesterday, trying to hold even 50 mph in O/D, it pinged itself stupid (91 octane fuel). Obviously, I'm going to have to retard it some. I use a Nurex timing tool (that is supposed to stop against #3 post on the distributor top). So I guess as I turn it clockwise, I have to stop a earlier than I did last time, then drive it again to test it. Trial and error.
Once I get it right, I think I will measure where I stop and write it somewhere - maybe on the under side of the dizzy top.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:59 PM   #14
J Franklin
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

My A has a B distributor and an A cover. I set with the pin and advance until it just doesn't ping on steep hills. runs great with a little trial and error. get a degree wheel to look at if you want to eyeball it. I set the +- on the dist. full minus initially. I think you can adjust up 20 degree with it. If it is hard to hear pinging, take someone for a ride with you that has good hearing.

Last edited by J Franklin; 01-12-2020 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

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Originally Posted by J Franklin View Post
My A has a B distributor and an A cover. I set with the pin and advance until it just doesn't ping on steep hills. runs great with a little trial and error. get a degree wheel to look at if you want to eyeball it. I set the +- on the dist. full minus initially. I think you can adjust up 20 degree with it. If it is hard to hear pinging, take someone for a ride with you that has good hearing.
I agree and for me, it's just as well my wife has good hearing. I sometimes think she hears what I am thinking!
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:39 PM   #16
Patrick L.
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

I believe the base timing for a Model B is 9.5. Much over 10 base timing could cause any engine to kick back on the starter.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

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Originally Posted by Patrick L. View Post
I believe the base timing for a Model B is 9.5. Much over 10 base timing could cause any engine to kick back on the starter.
The "B" distributor actually has 19 degrees of initial timing when timed with the "B" cover. Ford wouldn't have used it if it kicked back on the starter. Ford also supplied a crank for starting the Model B by hand if necessary. I have never used mine for starting but have been assured by others that it can be safely started by hand.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:55 PM   #18
Russ/40
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

Patrick, if my feeble brain has finally got this, this should be the case. With the "B" distributor and an "A" cover, if you fully retard the point plate position as indicated on the adjustment on the distributor, and time the ignition the same as you would with an "A" distributor, you have the initial timing at TDC, move the "B" plate adjustment to its center, you end up with 9.5* advance as initial timing.

Critics, please comment, am I correct? This, to me, is a good starting point. Take the distributor and put it on the Sun machine and you can plot the advance to RPM
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

You are real close.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: "B" Distributor timing with an "A" front cover

I’ve been trying to find a B Distributor but they very hard to find. An alternative is the Nu-Rex Mechanical Avance.

Automatic Spark Timing System (Mechanical Advance)
Item#: A-12176
Price each: $186.00

If anyone has tried it, I would be interested in your experience with it.

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