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Old 05-30-2020, 06:18 PM   #1
rivcokid
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Default Timed my roadster - now runs worse

I was told that timing the car would take care of several issues, and it was a good idea to do it periodically anyway. So, armed with my Nu-rex, I followed the instructions step by step, finding TDC etc. Put everything back, and it was harder to start. When I got it started and took it out, it was like I was towing a Mack truck behind it. Little power in all gears, and it really lumbered up even the shallowest of hills. Playing with the timing lever seemed to do no good, or at least nothing appreciable.

So, of course, my question is - what did this novice do wrong, and what should I do to rectify it so I can drive it?

Thanks, always, in advance . . . . .

Last edited by rivcokid; 05-30-2020 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Getting the best out of your A (bad mental image there) is a balance between ignition timing and fuel via your GAV setting. Have you fiddled the GAV? If so, I suspect the timing is retarded.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Yes - worked the GAV while traveling with little effect.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Give it another go. Perhaps you just had a brain fart and didn't do it right.
The NuRex is pretty bullet proof for getting you close.
Did you have the spark advance lever in the full up position?
Or possibly didn't get the cam screw tight enough and it moved on you.

Once your timing is set you shouldn't have to mess with it for a very long time.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Make sure your condenser is not disconnected, assuming you did time it correctly. You might just put a little windage in the timing. Loosen the cam screw and move it a scosh counterclockwise. It’s timed good when you get a little cackle when you push the spark lever up. (At idle). If you don’t get that, your timing is off. Good luck. The A engine really wants to run good.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Did you have your spark advance lever,,,,all the way up, before you started this process?
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Old 05-30-2020, 10:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

There is a great timing video on YouTube that Jackson!!! Made to help us novice.
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Quote:
Originally Posted by rivcokid View Post
I was told that timing the car would take care of several issues, and it was a good idea to do it periodically anyway. So, armed with my Nu-rex, I followed the instructions step by step, finding TDC etc. Put everything back, and it was harder to start. When I got it started and took it out, it was like I was towing a Mack truck behind it. Little power in all gears, and it really lumbered up even the shallowest of hills. Playing with the timing lever seemed to do no good, or at least nothing appreciable.

So, of course, my question is - what did this novice do wrong, and what should I do to rectify it so I can drive it?

Thanks, always, in advance . . . . .
A couple of suggestions: First, be careful where you get your advice! There are so many urban legends floating around on timing and tuning a Model A that it'll make your head spin! Just stick to the factory procedure in the owner's manual for simplicity's sake. All you need to keep in mind is that this procedure only sets base, or initial timing (for starting purposes only). As soon as the engine starts you pull the timing lever down part-way, which advances the timing. As you you increase RPM, you move the timing lever down some more, which advances the timing further.
So, set the point gap at .020" (or .018"-.022" per factory manual) then follow the procedure for setting the points cam and tighten the screw. You have now set the timing(initial) for the life of the engine! Leave it alone! Keep the point gap at .020" and your timing will always be correct.
Eventually the timing gears will wear which will retard the timing slightly. Just advance the timing lever an extra click or two and you automatically have compensated for this wear! Don't over complicate things!
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
A couple of suggestions: First, be careful where you get your advice! There are so many urban legends floating around on timing and tuning a Model A that it'll make your head spin! Just stick to the factory procedure in the owner's manual for simplicity's sake. All you need to keep in mind is that this procedure only sets base, or initial timing (for starting purposes only). As soon as the engine starts you pull the timing lever down part-way, which advances the timing. As you you increase RPM, you move the timing lever down some more, which advances the timing further.
So, set the point gap at .020" (or .018"-.022" per factory manual) then follow the procedure for setting the points cam and tighten the screw. You have now set the timing(initial) for the life of the engine! Leave it alone! Keep the point gap at .020" and your timing will always be correct.
Eventually the timing gears will wear which will retard the timing slightly. Just advance the timing lever an extra click or two and you automatically have compensated for this wear! Don't over complicate things!
This is indeed very good advice. Follow this and you can't go wrong!
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

The power loss from improper valve timing due to a worn timing gear cannot be made up for by advancing ignition timing.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Did you clean the points after setting the timing?
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
A couple of suggestions: First, be careful where you get your advice! There are so many urban legends floating around on timing and tuning a Model A that it'll make your head spin! Just stick to the factory procedure in the owner's manual for simplicity's sake. All you need to keep in mind is that this procedure only sets base, or initial timing (for starting purposes only). As soon as the engine starts you pull the timing lever down part-way, which advances the timing. As you you increase RPM, you move the timing lever down some more, which advances the timing further.
So, set the point gap at .020" (or .018"-.022" per factory manual) then follow the procedure for setting the points cam and tighten the screw. You have now set the timing(initial) for the life of the engine! Leave it alone! Keep the point gap at .020" and your timing will always be correct.
Eventually the timing gears will wear which will retard the timing slightly. Just advance the timing lever an extra click or two and you automatically have compensated for this wear! Don't over complicate things!
In all my years playing around with these cars, I never really thought of this.

You are so right, once timing is set properly, you could be good to go for many, many years and miles.

Our 1929 was professional tuned by a Model A Engine restoration expert over 20 years ago. Since than we have changed points, plugs, rotors, and caps, but we never have re-done the timing. Car runs like a clock.

If it isnít broken, donít try to fix it. We have all been there. Enjoy.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Never mind TDC, did you find the dimple??
Paul in CT
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

When the points are replaced , the points cam and upper breaker plate must be removed and replaced . Any time that the points cam is removed and replaced . The points cam must be replaced , pointing in the same EXACT position or the timing will change , that is if the timing was exactly correct in the first place . Points gap effects timing . More gap advances less gap retards .Ford specs for points gap was anywhere from eighteen to twenty two thousands as necessary . The spark happens when the points begin to open . When the rotor tip points at the number one contact in the distributor cap with NO counter clockwise backlash . The points should be adjusted to be just ready to open . That is why the specs for gap can vary .
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Old 05-31-2020, 03:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

I have accidentally timed to #2 before....
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

I have emailed this picture to two different people that called me on how to time their A's.
I talked to them on the phone on how to install the pin, have spark lever up, take the slack out of the rotor, and just set to look like the picture and check that the points are just starting to open. Can't hardly go wrong for a ball park setting. So easy. Thanks to Tom W. for the picture.
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

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Originally Posted by zzlegend View Post
I have emailed this picture to two different people that called me on how to time their A's.
I talked to them on the phone on how to install the pin, have spark lever up, take the slack out of the rotor, and just set to look like the picture and check that the points are just starting to open. Can't hardly go wrong for a ball park setting. So easy. Thanks to Tom W. for the picture.

It would be a lot easier to set when the points just start to open if you remove the rotor! It's just in the way for setting the timing.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Quote:
It would be a lot easier to set when the points just start to open if you remove the rotor! It's just in the way for setting the timing.
Ditto
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:34 AM   #19
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It would be a lot easier to set when the points just start to open if you remove the rotor! It's just in the way for setting the timing.
Well, i would like to think common sense would come in to play since the screw has to be loosened and the point cam has to be rotated some what which means the rotor has to be removed.
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Timed my roadster - now runs worse

Just take an old rotor and drill out the center so you can get to the screw slot.


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