Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-19-2020, 02:02 PM   #1
fred93
Senior Member
 
fred93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SPRUCE PINE NC
Posts: 435
Default Ignition timing question

I will be checking and adjusting (if needed) a friends 30 Coupe ignition timing.

I have read Les Andrews section on timing and I have read many posts here until my eyes started to cross!

My question is: If the timing has been set-up correctly what should I see when using a timing light when the lever is all the way up and also all the way down?
__________________
Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over!!!
fred93 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 02:18 PM   #2
Dick M
Senior Member
 
Dick M's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: hidden valley lake, ca
Posts: 357
Send a message via Yahoo to Dick M
Default Re: Ignition timing question

If you are asking what you will see with a regular timing light, you will probably see nothing. If you are asking what you will see with a grounded test light attached to the closed point arm, with the ignition on, the spark advance rod all the way up, and number 1 cylinder is at top dead center, you should not see the test light lit. If that is the case, with the ignition on and a grounded test light attached to the closed point arm, begin to bring down the spark advance rod. The test light should come on when the spark advance is down about 1 or 2 clicks. If that is the case, you ae good to go on the timing. If that is not the case, follow Les Andrews timing method. All of this is done with the timing pin in the dimple of the cam gear.
Dick M is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 09-19-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
Patrick L.
Senior Member
 
Patrick L.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY and western Florida
Posts: 5,892
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Timing light ?

It would depend on the type of timing light or if you have a timing strip and pointer set up somewhere.

But, timing should be 0 to close to 40.
Patrick L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 03:26 PM   #4
Jim/GA
Senior Member
 
Jim/GA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Young Harris, GA
Posts: 1,612
Default Re: Ignition timing question

The procedure and the observations (what to look for in the light) that Dick M posts is correct. Spot on.

I help lots of people "time" their Model A engines and the most common error I find (the reason they have contacted me) is that they have confused in their head if they want the light on or off with the spark lever all the way up. So instead of having it OFF with lever at the top, and come ON with 2 or 3 clicks, they have it ON at the top, going OFF with a few clicks. That is backwards! When they do that, they are on the wrong side of the cam lobe and the timing is way off.

As a final QC check on your timing, once you think you have it correct and are reassembling everything, gently turn the rotor clockwise with your fingers to take up any slack and the trailing edge, the lower right corner of the big brass tab on the rotor should be opposite pin #1 inside the distributor cap. If it's not close to that pin, you have somehow messed up; do it again. (I do this quick check at the start, right after I get the timing pin dropped into the cam gear, before I loosen anything up. You can spot a lot of timing problems with this one check.)

__________________
Jim Cannon
"Have a Model A day!"
  • Repair
  • Restore
  • Drive
  • Enjoy!
  • Join MAFCA
http://tinyurl.com/Join-MAFCA
Jim/GA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 03:28 PM   #5
Jim/GA
Senior Member
 
Jim/GA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Young Harris, GA
Posts: 1,612
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick L. View Post
Timing light ?

It would depend on the type of timing light or if you have a timing strip and pointer set up somewhere.

But, timing should be 0 to close to 40.
I think he means a simple test light that connects between the points arm and ground, to show points closed or open. Not a flashy timing light.



.
__________________
Jim Cannon
"Have a Model A day!"
  • Repair
  • Restore
  • Drive
  • Enjoy!
  • Join MAFCA
http://tinyurl.com/Join-MAFCA
Jim/GA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 04:12 PM   #6
Jeff M
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: CA
Posts: 88
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
I have a hard time feeling the dimple.
Jeff M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 04:55 PM   #7
Patrick L.
Senior Member
 
Patrick L.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY and western Florida
Posts: 5,892
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim/GA View Post
I think he means a simple test light that connects between the points arm and ground, to show points closed or open. Not a flashy timing light.



.




That was the reason for my question. He mentioned timing light and not test light. Two different animals, as we know. It seems many folks here try to use timing lights, so I thought that is what he meant.

I might well have taken his question wrong thought. Probably did. Maybe we'll know soon.

I've never quite understood the confusion over timing these monsters or using a timing light for doing it. But, I try to answer the question as I understand it. This wouldn't be the first time I didn't understand what was being asked.
Patrick L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 05:55 PM   #8
Big hammer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Land of Lincoln
Posts: 2,113
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Adjust the points gap first before monkeying around timing, I like Tom Wesenberg's set it and forget it !
__________________
Don't force it with a little hammer tap, tap, tap
get a bigger hammer tap done
Big hammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 07:10 PM   #9
1crosscut
Senior Member
 
1crosscut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 1,441
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
I have a hard time feeling the dimple.
Instead of using the timing pin use a short phillip's head screwdriver to find the dimple.
__________________
Dave

It'll feel better when it quits hurting.
1crosscut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 08:06 PM   #10
Bob from Northport
Senior Member
 
Bob from Northport's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: 215 E. 6th Street Northport, Michigan 49670
Posts: 555
Default Re: Ignition timing question

If you use a timing light. you will need a degree indicator that mounts to the front of the engine and sits over the crank pulley. NuRex sells them. The timing can be adjusted in small increments if you have it set manually to a close degree. Full retard should be about -5 degrees. Full advance should be about 22-24 degrees. NEVER 40 degrees as someone suggested. You would burn the engine up and melt the exhaust. My shop times every car to those specs and they all run and start great.
__________________
Bob from Northport
Northport, Michigan
Bob from Northport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 08:13 PM   #11
wmws
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Coatesville, Pa
Posts: 719
Default Re: Ignition timing question

There should be a 40* range between full retard and full advance. I set mine from 10* ATDC to 30* BTDC. I agree 40* BTDC is way too much.
wmws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:02 PM   #12
fred93
Senior Member
 
fred93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SPRUCE PINE NC
Posts: 435
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob from Northport View Post
If you use a timing light. you will need a degree indicator that mounts to the front of the engine and sits over the crank pulley. NuRex sells them. The timing can be adjusted in small increments if you have it set manually to a close degree. Full retard should be about -5 degrees. Full advance should be about 22-24 degrees. NEVER 40 degrees as someone suggested. You would burn the engine up and melt the exhaust. My shop times every car to those specs and they all run and start great.
Thanks Bob--Yes I have the NuRex Timing set-up.

The owner is complaining that the car lacks power. I wanted to see where the timing is currently set before I start changing anything.

I set up a "test light" and I checked the timing that way first. I had no light with the lever up all the way. The light did not come on until the lever was almost to the lowest position. I assumed that the timing is way retarded, but I will be hooking up a "timing light" to actually see how far off it really is.

Once I had find where the timing is right now, then I will start making my adjustments.

My reason for the original question was that I wanted to have a target to aim for.

I checked the compression and came up with #1--60psi #2--55psi #3--55psi #4--53psi (these figure were when the engine was cold--I know that it is normally done with the engine at operating temp but I had the spark plugs out to check them and I didn't want to put them back in (hindsight is always better than foresight) I will be checking the compression again at normal temp later).

I noticed that the spark plugs were very sooty, like it has been run too rich, however that could also be caused by incorrect timing? I will be installing new plugs.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7351.jpg (78.4 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7324.jpg (22.6 KB, 42 views)
__________________
Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over!!!
fred93 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:08 PM   #13
Bob from Northport
Senior Member
 
Bob from Northport's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: 215 E. 6th Street Northport, Michigan 49670
Posts: 555
Default Re: Ignition timing question

He's probably got the GAV open to far and fouling the plugs as he drives. Sounds like you're on the right track!!
__________________
Bob from Northport
Northport, Michigan
Bob from Northport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:56 PM   #14
P.S.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 1,526
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Good timing (pun)! I just posted a video about Model A timing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaCZ5lB9EJ4
P.S. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2020, 06:25 AM   #15
Patrick L.
Senior Member
 
Patrick L.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY and western Florida
Posts: 5,892
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Base timing should be [ or about] at TDC [ 0 ]. Full advance timing is 40 as designed by Ford.

I'm in agreement that these monsters don't need 40, but, thats what that left lever is for.

Now that we know a test light, instead of a timing light , was used it makes the job much easier. A test light or continuity meter across the points will quickly show when the points are open or closed.

Just make sure the points are adjusted prior to setting the timing.
Patrick L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2020, 04:12 PM   #16
Bruce of MN
Senior Member
 
Bruce of MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 778
Default Re: Ignition timing question

If you want to limit the travel of the lever:

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showp...2&postcount=23
Bruce of MN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 07:32 AM   #17
mhsprecher
Senior Member
 
mhsprecher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Posts: 2,348
Default Re: Ignition timing question

This is a great thread. I have been timing my cars recently and this information provides very helpful background information.
__________________
1924 Model T Coupe
1928 Model A Roadster
1930 Model A Town Sedan
1939 Deluxe Fordor
1945 pickup
mhsprecher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 10:52 AM   #18
captndan
Senior Member
 
captndan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 710
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
I have a hard time feeling the dimple.
I had one that was so full of crud you could not feel it. had to pull the cover.
If you do be sure to drill the dimple out a little.
captndan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 12:59 PM   #19
fred93
Senior Member
 
fred93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SPRUCE PINE NC
Posts: 435
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by captndan View Post
I had one that was so full of crud you could not feel it. had to pull the cover.
If you do be sure to drill the dimple out a little.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob from Northport View Post
If you use a timing light. you will need a degree indicator that mounts to the front of the engine and sits over the crank pulley. NuRex sells them. The timing can be adjusted in small increments if you have it set manually to a close degree. Full retard should be about -5 degrees. Full advance should be about 22-24 degrees. NEVER 40 degrees as someone suggested. You would burn the engine up and melt the exhaust. My shop times every car to those specs and they all run and start great.
Thanks for your reply--- I finally got back to the timing read out--

With the NuRex degree indicator--

1--With the timing light hooked up (and without making any adjustments) the timing with the lever all the way up, the reading was approximately 25* to 30* retarded.

With the lever all the way down, the reading was 5* retarded.

2--I adjusted the points (to .018") and replaced the rotor (it just did not fit snug against the distributor shaft) I also adjusted the rotor to cap gap to .025" .

I then adjusted the timing (making it more advanced).

The reading after all that was :

With lever all the way up---5* retarded.

With the lever all the way down--45* advanced.

With the lever half way down---30* advanced.

Seems to me that I need to adjust again so that with the lever all the way down I would have 30* advanced.

Thoughts on this please!
__________________
Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over!!!
fred93 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 01:22 PM   #20
duke36
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,215
Default Re: Ignition timing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
I have a hard time feeling the dimple.
You can use a mechanics mirror ($4-5) and small led light and look inside the cover hole to see the dimple centered (At TDC with rotor close to the #1 distrib cover contact, etc.).
duke36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:44 AM.