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Old 08-25-2017, 06:27 PM   #1
old31
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Default Timing indicators, do you use them?

Who is using timing indicators by Brattons, or similar to it. What are your opinions about them?

I have a 5.5 head and was going to try using my digital dial back timing light.

https://www.brattons.com/ignition-ti...ator-only.html
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:32 PM   #2
CWPASADENA
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

In my opinion, if you are using electronic ignition or any distributor with mechanical advance, a timing indicator is absolutely necessary.

I also feel a timing indicator is good if you are using a stock Model A distributor especially with a higher compression head where timing is more critical.

Again, this is just my opinion, others may have a different opinion.

Chris W.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:13 PM   #3
glenn in camino
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I've never used one. I just crank the engine until the pin falls in the hole. Then I set the points to where they are just about to open.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I use them on all my engines - in cars/trucks and on engine test stands. I find thm far more accurate then he "henry" pin system.

Part of that "get it purrfek" thang. ken
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by old31 View Post
Who is using timing indicators by Brattons, or similar to it. What are your opinions about them?

I have a 5.5 head and was going to try using my digital dial back timing light.

https://www.brattons.com/ignition-ti...ator-only.html
Just build your own and mount it to the front right motor mount bolt and bent it where you want it to match up to your mark on the front pully and go from there
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Per your above questions:

I. Who is using timing indicators by Brattons, or similar to it?" .... I am.

II. What are your opinions about them?

A. In my situation, a Timing Indicator = A convenient "All - Time" Timing Device that can be quickly used when trying to "accurately" time a Model B distributor .... on a Model A engine .... that has a Model A Front Timing Cover.

B. "All - Time" Timing Device = A Timing device for:

1. Timing above said B Distributor/Model A engine when one is in one's Garage and/or Shop; and,

2. Timing above said B Distributor/Model A engine in any type of emergency when one is far away from one's Garage and/or Shop.

It is always up to each individual Model A owner to choose what works best for his/her Model A.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I have one. But I have a 6.1 head and a "B" distributor, so dropping the pin in the hole and setting the points to open wont work. Very handy with a timing light.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

OK guys, I feel foolish in asking - I have forgotten and I haven't used one since I got out of college !!!!!!! So, can someone explain the procedure and or come up with a few drawings on what and how to use one in this situation???? Thanks in advance, Steve
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Sorry, I forgot to add that in addition to the 5.5 head I have a FSI Zipper distributor.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Heres how I did it
1 bolt indicator to block
2 set dial indicator with magnetic base on head and make an extension for the stem that goes in spark plug hole with an offset in it to touch the top of piston atdc on compression stroke.
3 mark pulley, use file to cut groove and fill with silver paint.
It is nice to know the timing advance at idle with the rpm's and the full advance in degrees say at 2000 rpm's
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by old31 View Post
Who is using timing indicators by Brattons, or similar to it. What are your opinions about them?

I have a 5.5 head and was going to try using my digital dial back timing light.

https://www.brattons.com/ignition-ti...ator-only.html
I have 5.9 Brum head and extra hp (65) I have elec ign. I have used 6 volt light for timing since 2000 , years ago found using timing pin always close but using timing light and markers you will be surprised how much it can differ. Have fun modelAtony tony white Lafayette, LA
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I built one from a hinge for fun.. worked perfect when i checked it with a light '
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

We use them on several cars, very helpful.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:39 PM   #14
nick c
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

When I made my first dial indicator adapter, I used a lathe, mill, taps, 1/2" cr round 1'' long or 3/16" cr round.
There is another way to do this. You'll need a compression coupling for 3/16" copper tubing and a 20 penny nail, Cut just the head off of a 20p nail, belt sand to 3/16" dia. so it will go into the brass coupling, the offset will be about 1" to go into the spark plug hole and end up over the piston. Most all dial indicator stems are just over 3/16" in dia, so take the ferrel out and saw cut it down one side and clean up the inside with a 3/16" round file.
carry on nick c
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

OK, can you help me with the readings. I am not sure what they are telling me. What do I have?

Hopefully you have the FSI Zipper and a 5.5 head as I do.

I purchased the Snyders timing kit. http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/ti...gree-indicator

With my dial back timing light hooked up to a 12 volt battery I was able to get it to work.

The timing pin fell into the timing gear hole at the same time the piston was at TDC.

With the timing pin in place and the rotor is just where it should be on the #1 distributor pin. At the same time it corresponds to the Snyders "0" on the circle chart that is placed on the distributor.

This is what I have.

At 400 RPM I have to adjust the light to 28.7 achieve 0 on the Snyder timing gauge that is bolted to the motor.

At 500 RPM I have to adjust the light to 21.8 achieve 0 on the Snyder timing gauge that is bolted to the motor.

At 1400 RPM I have to adjust the light to 47.9 achieve 0 on the Snyder timing gauge that is bolted to the motor.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

After reading the directions on Snyders website,
http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/Co...A6252-5945.pdf

It says that: The ‘B’ engine timing gear cover offsets the timing pin in the advance direction so that it locates #1 piston at a crankshaft location 20 degrees Before Top Dead Center (BTDC).

So if you have a B engine and a Mallory dual point, what are some suggestions for setting the timing on this engine?
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Ford, I do not have a B timing cover.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:26 PM   #18
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Does this sound correct? I would think the reading should be 0, not 20.

With the nu rex timing indicator installed. I checked the timing pin against the piston TDC and they were perfect. I put a white mark next to the nu rex 0 on the pulley.

While idling at 400 RPM the white dot was next to the 20 advance with the timing light. Wouldn't that be a 0 at idle, and not 20?

My model T-111 Kal dwell meter showed that I have 20 dwell.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:39 PM   #19
old31
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Guys, do you have any thoughts on this?

Should the timing light be showing 0 or 20 degrees?

How does the dwell look?
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:21 AM   #20
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

At idle timing is normally set at zero. You have too much total advance. 28-30* is good for most engines.

John

Last edited by john in illinois; 09-14-2017 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:02 AM   #21
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I like setting full advance on mine so I do use one with timing light
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:29 AM   #22
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john in illinois View Post
At idle timing is normally set at zero. You have too much total advance. 28-30* is good for most engines.

John
Yes, I thought that at idle it should be 0 and not 20.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:52 AM   #23
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

FYI -- The picture in post #1 is NOT the one sold by Brattons. The one pictured is the one I have and is only available on eBay from fellow Barner "Old Victoria".
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:55 PM   #24
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Found Old Victoria in the member list.

Last edited by duke36; 10-19-2017 at 09:57 PM. Reason: found member name
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:21 PM   #25
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I agree,
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:29 PM   #26
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I am old school...I use Henry's pin method to set initial time, then adjust the spark advance while driving per the engine's preference - usually 1/2 to 3/4 of the full range.
Works for me
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:35 PM   #27
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

The timing is set at just after TDC for start up when using a Model A distributor and front cover and the timing pin. For most cars even with HC heads, you are setting by sound and feel so using a gauge except to make it easier to set points to match the pin hole in the cam gear easier really does not do a lot. You can't use the gauge to check where the best timing is while on the road where is really counts.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I use the timing pin to get me to the TDC on number 1. Then with a mirror and flashlight ascertain that the recess in the timing gear is indeed in the center of the hole. Then I make three marks, one on the pulley and two that line up with the one on the pulley so anytime I wish to find TDC I can get really close with the crank. If I had to do it on the road I'd do it as quickly as possible and get out of harms way, then recheck with my light and mirror later. Once you know TDC it is very easy to get reasonably close until you're back in your work area, or Motel, whatever. I set the rotor to where the heel of the rotor is opposite the number one lug on the distributor body at full retard and tighten it down, then drive away with the spark advanced until there is no improvement in running. When I get home or to the night lodging I test with my timing light. Usually it is good, but if I slipped and it needs improvement I can re-find TDC very quickly and carefully cure what ails it. Works for me and several I have helped. Not for the purist on their show cars, mine are all drivers only. Some more so than others.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:55 AM   #29
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I'm confused regarding all the precision some use to set the timing on a stock motor. I set the timing using the pin method but set the spark lever one notch down (not full retard). Using a jumper wire from the points arm to ground, I very slowly turn the motor until a spark indicates the points have just opened. Now, I have some leeway to adjust the timing slightly more retarded with the spark lever or much more advanced while driving depending on road conditions and speed. Why is all this precision needed with timing indicators and timing lights when the spark lever gives you a wide but manual choice of timing settings? I must be missing something as some of the respected gurus on A motors seem to adhere to being exact in setting their timing. Am I doing this all wrong?

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Old 03-14-2018, 11:23 AM   #30
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Lona, that is what I do also. Finding TDC accurately is more of a concern, especially with a sloppy pin and dimple or with a worn rotor shaft bearing in the distributor that allows the point gap to fluctuate. This is more common in older motors.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:35 PM   #31
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I have found it's quite easy to set TDC by removing the #1 spark plug and looking in the hole with a small bright flashlight. You can see the piston come up while turning the hand crank. Stop just before it starts down. I know that sounds silly....stop just before something happens... but with just a little practice and rocking back and forth you'll be able to spot the stop point. Just be sure to stop in the up stroke of the piston as you turn the hand crank.


For some reason my gear doesn't have the dimple in it. I had to improvise. It may not be as accurate as using a dial indicator, but when one isn't available this is sufficient. As others have pointed out, that's why the left lever is on the steering column.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:55 AM   #32
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

If I follow things correctly, your Zipper distributor must have an automatic spark advance. I have heard that 28 degrees advance (as measured on the flywheel pulley) is the maximum that you should have. This agrees with John's reply above. Richard Lorenz
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:07 AM   #33
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

I use all methods but for fine timing if you wish to run 5 degrees retarded then a timing light is the best method to verify. It is easy to check your timing without touching the distributor. Put light on check and then decide if changes are required.


I recently had a bad timing gear and we replaced it. Car did not idle well and poor power. A quick check with the timing light showed the timing had changed to over 20 degrees retard. Yes the engine ran but no power. Just a few min. and I had it back in its sweet spot.


Use whatever works for you... Now I am a 12 conversion so just hook up. If 6 then you must provide a 12 source to run the light.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:22 AM   #34
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

A Friend drilled a 1/8" hole in the timing cover & glued in a 1/8" welding rod, with a POINTY end. Painted the tip WHITE & a WHITE spot on the Pulley, at T.D.C.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:54 PM   #35
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzlegend View Post
I have one. But I have a 6.1 head and a "B" distributor, so dropping the pin in the hole and setting the points to open wont work. Very handy with a timing light.

ZZ are you using a dialback light? I will be going to a Snyders 6.1 head soon.


So, when you are at 0 TDC, what do you have to do to your light to get it to 0? Are you changing the dialback to 20-23-26 degrees to achive 0?
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:04 PM   #36
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Default Re: Timing indicators, do you use them?

The distributor body will rotate some on the base. This makes it moot to try and split hairs when timing. The pin works just fine.
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