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Timing for dummies.

Posted by TheFlyingMG 
Johnny Quest
Skyloft, Mexico   mex

So this is the next step and it's going to be tough so let's get on with it.

I now know the theory behind the basic to make it work.

1.- Adjust the points (this sounds fairly easy).
2.- Firing order of 1, 3, 4, 2.
3.- Timing (static).

"This method employs the timing marks positioned at the side of the pulley and on the crankshaft but the adjustment is made while the engine is stationary. "


What are the timing marks and where can I find them? I've read one is on the "timing cover" which I think it's on the engine, and the other on the pulley which I think is the rotating thing on the front lower end of the engine.
Apparently the timing cover is easy to find, but on the pulley not so much, I read it's easier if I just find top dead center and it should align by itself on the pulley, but what will I be looking for? And is this true for all cars? I have a 1974 MKII Midget.


"Then connect a 12 volt test lamp (you can make one up from an old side light unit) between the low tension terminal on the side of the distributor and a good earth on the engine."


Can somebody enlighten me on how to make the lamp and where to connect it exactly? I have seen them but I went to 5 electric and car shops and the only thing they tried to sell me has a $150 laser-strobe timing gun or something fancy like that.

What is the low tension terminal? And what is a good earth or a "hot" part? I would rather be told where to put it exactly.

I think this covers the first step of what I need to pull it off, then will be those "degrees" I have no idea what they mean.

I am trying to learn because everyone who I've taken the car to, do it just by ear or something like that and the car never sounds quite right.
My main sources are the library here and the videos of John Twist from university motors found here

.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2012 02:27PM by TheFlyingMG.
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Midget79 Avatar
john S
california, USA   usa

deleted



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2012 01:54PM by Skye.
Bill Masquelier
Santee, Ca, USA   usa

The timing mark is on the front crankshaft pulley. There is a tiny groove on the pulley wheel that is very hard to see but when you do find it then either cover it with some white chalk or white paint so that you can find it again.
Next the "pointer" is at the bottom of the engine just behind the crankshaft pulley. There are two or three "spikes" pointing down, the biggest one is the "zero" and the others are something like 5 and 10 degrees before zero. When the white line and the big pointer are together then you are at "zero"
The test light is ANY small 12 volt light bulb with two wires connected to it (if you have access to Harbor Freight they have a good usable one for about $2). If you put one wire on the + on the battery and one on the - and it lights then it will work for you.
The little place on the side of the distributor that has a small wire (white with black stripe) is the "low tension" terminal and where you should hook one of the wires from your test light (either wire, it doesn't matter which).
Touch the other wire to ground for the other connection.
When you move the distributor back and forth a little bit the light will turn on and off.
If you move the timing mark to the first little pointer and now move the distributor to where the light just turns on and off then you will be very close to correct.
It is best to have someone show you haw to do this but those are the basics.
BillM
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Johnny Quest
Skyloft, Mexico   mex

Ohh but your explanation makes it a lot more clear.
You say the marks on the timing cover (engine) are on the bottom, and looking in the video (for like the 30th time) it looks as if I will only be able to see them from underneath the car, is this true?

Also I have a distributor here at hand and it has a small cable in front of the condenser (screwed to the condenser and the distributor body), then another one going out of the black part of the condenser like a tail, and finally a cable going from the inside to the outside of the dist. which one is the low volt?
And when you say "touch ground" can you be more specific? Like the body of the car? What par would be best suited?

Thanks and sorry for the dumb questions, bud god gave me my looks instead of proper knowledge or understanding of even basic machines hahaha.
AmishIndy Avatar
Seth Jones
Wheaton, IL, USA   usa
1971 MG Midget MkIII "Guenevire"
2007 Mazda 3 "Porco Rosso"

In reply to # 2036882 by TheFlyingMG Thanks and sorry for the dumb questions, bud god gave me my looks instead of proper knowledge or understanding of even basic machines hahaha.

ground is the body of the car yes

Thats basically how we all start. British car knowlege is not a priori. No one is born with it. I grew up with a dad that taught me. Honestly I think what you need is to get a repair manual, some basic tools like a grease gun, a jack, a timing light, and some jackstands and then spend some time spinning some wrenches on your car. Stop giving ip and taking it to mechanics because at least here in the states, they are cluless about these old MGs. No classic car owner starts out a McGyver, but they get there eventually if they are committed to the hobby. Those that rely on mechanics usually burn out, give up and move on to more modern machinery that requires much less attention.



Seth Jones

1971 MG Midget

www.SpridgetGuru.com
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grbspecb Avatar
George B
NJ, USA   usa

Anyway to use a light with electronic non points distributor for static timing.
prop46 Avatar
Prop Black Hole Midget
Missouri, USA   usa

Hey john s

You need to be more considerate of your posting material.... AkA the toaster image, no doulbt skye will pull it when he sees it

This is a very public site and is viewed by people at work, so it would be sad for some to lose there job becuse of your posting

That said... I liked it.... But we still need to be tolarent of what we post...

Wow ... After all the trash ive posted, am i actually allowed to say anything.....hahahaha

Prop



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2012 10:15AM by prop46.
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Midget79 Avatar
john S
california, USA   usa

sorry for having some humor prop I'll filter myself from now on just for you. If someone is going to get fired for being on this site its not going to be about a stoned toaster, it will be for being on a forum & not doing the work you're paid to do.]Just sayin tongue sticking out smiley
Johnny Quest
Skyloft, Mexico   mex

In reply to # 2037166 by Midget79 sorry for having some humor prop I'll filter myself from now on just for you. If someone is going to get fired for being on this site its not going to be about a stoned toaster, it will be for being on a forum & not doing the work you're paid to do.]Just sayin tongue sticking out smiley

That's not humor its spam, you need to lay off the crack right now man.
Midget79 Avatar
john S
california, USA   usa

[/quote]

That's not humor its spam, you need to lay off the crack right now man.
[/quote]

ha Im very scared right now I pee's my pants in fear. I've never done drugs by the way, Im loony on my own with the help of a little alcohol devil smiley
Johnny Quest
Skyloft, Mexico   mex

Edit: Off topic image: http://i.qkme.me/f1y.jpg

I'm off to polish my steering wheel winking smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2012 02:26PM by TheFlyingMG.
Midget79 Avatar
john S
california, USA   usa

deleted



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2012 01:56PM by Skye.
NOHOME Avatar
P P
O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

I will present a slightly different approach.

Remove valve cover.
Crawl around under car until you find something like shown in the picture. Set the notch in the pulley to the pointer representing the "10 degree before top dead center" mark.
Now since the valve cover is off, look at the two rockers (valve actuators) at the front of the engine. If they are both level and have a bit of free play, then the enigne is set at 10 degrees before the pistn reaches the top of the cylinder, on the compression stroke. This represents the exact piston position for when the spark needs to happen.

If both the rockers are not free, then rotate the engine one full turn and check again.

Once you are happy that your pointer is lined up, and that the enigne is on the right stroke, hand your friend a beer bottle.
Turn on the ignition
Have your fiend hold the end of the plug wire with a spare plug stuck in the boot; make sure his is holding the base of the plug.
With the key in the ON positon, start turning the distributor body back and forth.
The engine will be timed correctly at the exact point where your buddy smashes his beer bottle over your head. Trust me, you will know. Stop turning the distributor at that point. Your done.
In your newly concused state, do not forget to tighten down the distributor clamp and replace the valve cover before road testing.

Attachments:
timing_marks_jpg_2578.jpg (20.4 KB) –
timing_marks_jpg_2578.jpg

AmishIndy Avatar
Seth Jones
Wheaton, IL, USA   usa
1971 MG Midget MkIII "Guenevire"
2007 Mazda 3 "Porco Rosso"

Nohomes method may work assumeing that some PO didnt screw up the orientation of the front pulley or put the wrong timing cover on (it happens).



Seth Jones

1971 MG Midget

www.SpridgetGuru.com
Johnny Quest
Skyloft, Mexico   mex

That's a very nice diagram, so the markings are on the top or the pulley but are seen from under the car? I don't need to remove anything from the car to see it right?

I don't want to remove the valve cover because it has a DIY cork seal with window seal on the valve cover and engine (I now know that's wrong).
And right now my GF is the only one that could help me but if I shock her with a spark she may cut my gentleman's vegetables in the middle of the night hahaha.

AmishIndy: If the car has the wrong timing cover I am screwed anyways am I? Both (or all) methods require this thing?
Or when I see the piston on the sparkplug hole when it's at TDC any point of reference between the pulley and the engine would make it work?
AmishIndy Avatar
Seth Jones
Wheaton, IL, USA   usa
1971 MG Midget MkIII "Guenevire"
2007 Mazda 3 "Porco Rosso"

Johnney Jeff at advanced can sell you a timing cover pointer that can help if it something fishy turns up.



Seth Jones

1971 MG Midget

www.SpridgetGuru.com
Skye Avatar
Skye Nott
Vancouver, BC, Canada   can
1964 Vespa VNB 125
1966 MG MGB "The Bomber RIP"
1983 Suzuki MC GS750E "Kate"
1986 Merkur XR4Ti "The Rally Car"
1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60   → more

There's an Off Topic forum for a reason, post your humorous images over there.



Webmaster, The MG Experience

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littlecars Avatar
David Bassett
Nashville, Tennessee, USA   usa
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "Tamara's Turd... SOLD!!!"
1974 MG Midget MkIII "Lizzy...SOLD!!"
1974 MG Midget MkIII "Robinette"

In reply to # 2037254 by Midget79

That's not humor its spam, you need to lay off the crack right now man.
[/quote]

ha Im very scared right now I pee's my pants in fear. I've never done drugs by the way, Im loony on my own with the help of a little alcohol devil smiley
[/quote]

John S,

So now you are saying you are AT WORK, you've PEED IN YOUR PANTS, and that is because you have had a little ALCOHOL? I thought I was bad looking at the site during my lunch break with a PBJ and Coke and the monitor on view of my fellow employees! Jes sayin...
NOHOME Avatar
P P
O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

In reply to # 2037329 by TheFlyingMG That's a very nice diagram, so the markings are on the top or the pulley but are seen from under the car? I don't need to remove anything from the car to see it right?

I don't want to remove the valve cover because it has a DIY cork seal with window seal on the valve cover and engine (I now know that's wrong).
And right now my GF is the only one that could help me but if I shock her with a spark she may cut my gentleman's vegetables in the middle of the night hahaha.

AmishIndy: If the car has the wrong timing cover I am screwed anyways am I? Both (or all) methods require this thing?
Or when I see the piston on the sparkplug hole when it's at TDC any point of reference between the pulley and the engine would make it work?

Johny:

The picture may not be correct for your car. The timing pointer might be under the car or visible from the top on the right hand side. That is why I said to crawl around until you find it.You do not have to remove anything to find the timing pointer on the engine. The pulley does have to be rotated until the notch in the pulley lines up wiht the pointer.

You DO have to remove the valve cover to make sure that when the pulley notch and the timing pointer are aligned, you are on the compression stroke. Removing the valve cover is the only way I would trust for knowing that the engine is on the compression stroke.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2012 04:46PM by NOHOME.
Johnny Quest
Skyloft, Mexico   mex

Ok so I crawled, I jumped, I rolled, got greasy and scraped my hand but I think I found them!
It was so dark and hard to see that I got my hand in and just touched everywhere around the pulley until I felt those super sharp spikes on the bottom.

The photo you see is level to the ground (and up is up, down is down) so the spikes are below and a little to the right of the pulley.
The red arrow indicates (if I remember correctly) how the pulley rotates when the car is in 4th gear and is pushed backwards, if that's of any help.
Spike 1 felt like the biggest one, I assume this is top dead center (TDC).
Spike 2 felt considerably smaller (and it appears so in the photo) so 5° ?
Spike 3 was medium sized I think so 10°.
4 small again so 15°.
And 5 feltbigger or medium so I suppose 20°.

I hope I don't have them inverted or something.

Now, on the pulley with the same touching method I only found some hollow thing, like a crater, perfectly round and not too deep, its location and size is precisely marked in the photo in green color.
Could that be the other thing I was looking for? Seems a little imprecise to use a circle, I was expecting a line or a cut.
The blue thing is just tape I put in when I found the circle with my hand so I could know when the pulley was going to match the spikes.

Now I know I have to find TDC, then put it at 10° (spike 3), then rotate the distributor just until my testing light turns on (one clamp on the condensor front cable and the other in the car body). So what are those vacuum "advance" degrees and curves and whatnot mean?
Is there something else I need to do after that?

Attachments:
_DSC0250.jpg (23.3 KB) –
_DSC0250.jpg

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