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timing HELP

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 2:48 pm
by fcgadget
'57 bug, '55 engine

this is an inherited piece.... started a 'tune-up' and ran into confusion. (it was running a bit rough)

1 verified pulley notch as in #1 TDC
2 set the points at .016
3.static timed the dizzy and that's when things went south...

The rotor does not point at the notch on the case. It is about 45 degrees off.
I pulled the dizzy and found that unlike my '71 Cruiser the "teeth" at the bottom are offset, preventing reinsertion 180 degrees off.

I rechecked the piston throw in #1 to ensure TDC for #1, rechecked the pt gap, re timed and got the same results.

and it won't start. Turns over but doesn't catch

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 4:27 pm
by fcgadget
oops ......PO put the crank pulley on 180 degrees off

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 4:43 pm
by zenith10
Hey, fcgadget- can't the pulley only go on one way due to the keyway?
This is just off the top of my head-not sure.
Thanks

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:14 am
by sideshow
Both of your engines have that off-set key way at the distributor drive. Unless the vacuum can hits the fuel pump (harder on the 36hp) really isn't that important, as long as #1 notch is sync with the rest.
You may have an oddly clock drive gear, but the crank pulley only goes on one way.

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 4:36 pm
by fcgadget
the vacuum unit does hit the fuel line/pump. Apparently the gear driving the dizzy was put on wrong? It's 180 off.

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:21 pm
by zenith10
Gentleman, Thanks for your thoughtful and polite replies. I do remember that deal about the distributor dive gear being off by 180 degrees. Threw me off for while until I realized that and (I think-it was a few years ago) and therefore disregarded the original notch on distributor and re-notched when all was lined up again. Does that sound right?
Thanks again

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 10:23 pm
by sideshow
The distributor timing notch is just a static aid to getting it close enough to start. It really doesn’t matter what you want to assign #1 (ignoring some that have a few degrees offset ground #3 lobe) as long as the spark plug wires are routed to match.

What cylinder is the most convenient to you? Choose in increments of 90 degree and miswire to adjust.

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 11:19 pm
by fcgadget
Thanks for all the help, I found that the 'drive gear' was in fact about 130 degrees off. Ignored the notch and switched plug wires and it fired up and kept going.

On to the next project1

Re: timing HELP

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:07 pm
by Marc
As sideshow mentioned, most early distributors have 2-3° of retard ground into the #3 lobe on the cam, so when you "hop" the wires around in the cap you may induce a timing error.

When in doubt you can compare the initial timing on the cylinder for which the rotor is pointing at the rim-notch on the distributor housing with the cylinder that's 180° away. If they're identical, your distributor has no built-in #3 retard and there's no harm in poking the cables in whichever holes are needed to make it run.


The drive dog at the bottom of the distributor can be "flipped" 180° by spiralling off the spring to access the retaining pin. Sometimes that's the pragmatic solution when the pinion gear has been installed wrong (rather than risk problems which could be encountered while trying to reposition the pinion on an assembled engine).