MG Midget Forum

Welcome! Sign In Register
Please Sign In or Register to Search

Timing for dummies.

Posted by TheFlyingMG 
NOHOME Avatar
P P
O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

You seem to pretty much have the gist of it.

I do have to admit that I have never seen a timing mark that was round. Also, it tends to be about where you have the tape and is just a notch on the edge of the pulley. I use a dap of white paint to make it stand out better.

I dont use the light. I simply ground a spare plug on the head, and rotate the distributor until I see a spark jump the gap. This way I know that the engine is timed correctly and that the spark is actually making it to the plug.
. You can hide this ad & support this site by upgrading to a Gold Membership ~ click here for more info
refisk Avatar
Rick Fisk
Frankenmuth, Michigan, USA   usa

Johnny,

The green dot is not the timing mark. What you're looking for is a groove cut into the outer edge of the pulley. It's on the outer circuference of the pulley, not on the face.

Rick
Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

In reply to # 2037723 by NOHOME You seem to pretty much have the gist of it.

I do have to admit that I have never seen a timing mark that was round. Also, it tends to be about where you have the tape and is just a notch on the edge of the pulley. I use a dap of white paint to make it stand out better.

I dont use the light. I simply ground a spare plug on the head, and rotate the distributor until I see a spark jump the gap. This way I know that the engine is timed correctly and that the spark is actually making it to the plug.

I will have a good look on the pulley tomorrow morning to see if I can find another timing mark.

Can you explain the thing with the sparkplug, sounds like it could be very precise if you rotate the distributor slowly, will I see only one spark or a continuous spark?
Can you elaborate on this? What does "ground a spare plug on the head" mean? Explain it to me as if I was a child please haha.
. You can hide this ad & support this site by upgrading to a Gold Membership ~ click here for more info
AmishIndy Avatar
Seth Jones
Wheaton, IL, USA   usa
1971 MG Midget MkIII "Guenevire"
2007 Mazda 3 "Porco Rosso"

In reply to # 2037749 by TheFlyingMG
In reply to # 2037723 by NOHOME You seem to pretty much have the gist of it.

I do have to admit that I have never seen a timing mark that was round. Also, it tends to be about where you have the tape and is just a notch on the edge of the pulley. I use a dap of white paint to make it stand out better.

I dont use the light. I simply ground a spare plug on the head, and rotate the distributor until I see a spark jump the gap. This way I know that the engine is timed correctly and that the spark is actually making it to the plug.

I will have a good look on the pulley tomorrow morning to see if I can find another timing mark.

Can you explain the thing with the sparkplug, sounds like it could be very precise if you rotate the distributor slowly, will I see only one spark or a continuous spark?
Can you elaborate on this? What does "ground a spare plug on the head" mean? Explain it to me as if I was a child please haha.

Because of the way the the coil works you should only see one spark. To make the spark, the coil needs to charge and that happens when some contact points inside the distributor are closed. When they open, the high voltage stored up in the coil is sent to the spark plugs. making the spark discharges the coil. Grounding a spare plug just means sticking a spare spark plug in an ignition wire and holding the electrode against the engine block. Be careful here because you will probably get quite a shock if you grab the wire with your hands. try to find some insulated pliers for this. Ground is an electrical term which in the automotive world is ether the body of the car or anything that is directly electrically connected to the body of the car. It's a way of reducing the number of wires needed to make a complete circuit.



Seth Jones

1971 MG Midget

www.SpridgetGuru.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2012 08:24AM by AmishIndy.
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"

MY THEORY HERE: The reason the mark on the Midget pulley is somewhat "imprecise" is that at the factory the engines were assembled on a line and once TDC was established the person (not a robot in those days) would simply grind a slight mark on the edge of the pulley. In the US, at least on Fords and GM, the pulleys were cast with the line or mark and the factory would use a key to lock the pulley on the crankshaft once TDC was determined.
. You can hide this ad & support this site by upgrading to a Gold Membership ~ click here for more info
NOHOME Avatar
P P
O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

Have a look at the pic I posted, the mark is just a thin line in the edge of the pulley. If the pulley has been painted, it will be hard to find.

However, if you use the valve cover off method of setting the piston to top dead center, the pulley notch wil HAVE to be near the pointer and it might be easier to identify it and ark with some white paint.
73midget Avatar
Chris Edwards
Carrollton, Texas, USA   usa

In reply to # 2037734 by refisk Johnny,

The green dot is not the timing mark. What you're looking for is a groove cut into the outer edge of the pulley. It's on the outer circuference of the pulley, not on the face.

Rick

THIS! The round dimple is not the timing mark you are looking for, if you run your finger nail around the outside front edge of the pulley you will find the notch. Most people find it by feel the first time, then once you know what you are looking for, it is much easier to see.

The reason for taking off the valve cover is that during its travel, the first cylinder actually hits TDC twice (and the timing mark will line up both times) once is on the compression stroke when both valves are closed, the other is on the exhaust stroke when the exhaust valve is open. If you set your timing for the exhaust stroke you'll be stuffed.

There is another way to go, but it will only work for sure if your engine runs (even if it runs badly) and that is to take off the distributor cap and make sure the rotor is pointed somewhere to the right (front of the car).
. You can hide this ad & support this site by upgrading to a Gold Membership ~ click here for more info
Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

Ok I have now found what appears to be the correct timing mark, the pulley has like 2 parts sandwiching a band that makes it turn, it was on the thin part right next to the engine, not the thick part next to the fan.

I took the distributor cap off and the points do not appear to move when the rotor is turning, also there is a gap between the rotor body and the plastic (red thing in picture) that touches it making the points open and close.



The engine runs despite of this, but I thing I'm going to pull it off to adjust it. Any advise before attempting this? I just have this feeling something is going to go wrong confused smiley

I bought some feeler gauges and a testing light to kinda do it right or have options in case something happens, I didn't quite get the sparkplug thing u_u
NOHOME Avatar
P P
O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

You are over thinking the spark plug thing. Think of the spark plug as the light and it goes on (spark jumps) when the distributor is in the correct spot.

Attachments:
25d_series1.jpg (37.1 KB) –
25d_series1.jpg

Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

Ok got the dizzy out, adjusted the points and put it in again.. Now the light won't come off when I rotate the distributor! HELP!

(When getting it out forgot to turn the ignition off.. I had a couple of nice surprises coming my way hahaha)

If I rotate the rotor cam the light either goes off or on and stays that way rotating the distributor doesen0t change anything, the rotor is rotating with the distributor..

I also replaced the grounding cable that gose to the baseplate to the body, it was rotten.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2012 04:39PM by TheFlyingMG.
Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

Ok it seems the distributor was not all the way in, now the light turns on, and tuns off when I rotate it counter clock wise, moving it forward doesn't make the light go away and then it stops rotating it gets stuck...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2012 05:35PM by TheFlyingMG.
Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

Ok I re-read the tutorial and it says the light goes our just as the points begin to open, that's where I put everything back together, the car did start but it has some loud an continuous farting or gurgling sound at anything below 2k revs...
Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

I did various attempts and got the same results so I then decided if I was going to have a hard time adjusting it them I might as well try with a new distributor I have, also to see if it was the used one that was the problem; I set up exactly everything the same way and when I tried to start the car it made the starter noise and then boom a very loud backfire sound. So I re-checked everything and noticed I inversed the cables and wasn't a 1, 3, 4, 2 firing order, so I corrected the problem (double checked) and the same thing happened a loud, single back fire.
What could this be?
refisk Avatar
Rick Fisk
Frankenmuth, Michigan, USA   usa

Igntion timing is off.
Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

Ok so, the distributor cap has 4 holes for the cables that go to the sparkplugs.
Looking at the cap from the outside (connection side) the sparkplugs should be connected in the order: 1, 3, 4, 2 in a counter-clockwise direction.

Now, does it matter in which hole of the cap you start? or can you start in any hole as long as you keep the order? (Meaning you can put number 1 spark plug in any hole you want in the cap and then just following in a counter clockwise direction the 3, 4 and 2 sparkplugs?
NOHOME Avatar
P P
O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

In reply to # 2038726 by TheFlyingMG Ok so, the distributor cap has 4 holes for the cables that go to the sparkplugs.
Looking at the cap from the outside (connection side) the sparkplugs should be connected in the order: 1, 3, 4, 2 in a counter-clockwise direction.

Now, does it matter in which hole of the cap you start? or can you start in any hole as long as you keep the order? (Meaning you can put number 1 spark plug in any hole you want in the cap and then just following in a counter clockwise direction the 3, 4 and 2 sparkplugs?


Well, yes and no. You have to be able to rotate the distributor so tht plug wire #1 s lines up with the rotor whenthe points open.

This is why I was insiting on the sparkplug timing method.

You still have a timng issue. Sounds ike it is retarded and fuel is still exploding when the exhast opens.
Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

Ok so I know everyone got fed up with the problem child hahaha.

That said, NOHOME thank you very much. Your advice was what got me running again, decided to remove the valve cover to find exactly TDC, it does match my timing cover. I also decided to use the spark plug technique and after a few attempts got it, it was the only way I was going to make sure it was timed for spark plug number one and boy did it work!

I put everything back together and I was rewarded, or shall I say, blessed with that glorious engine sound. The car felt very nice so I went for a ride.

Thanks everyone who contributed too, can't wait to set my timing again hahaha.
tater salad Avatar
Todd Smith
Charlotte, NC, USA   usa

so now I need to ask because, im getting myself all worked up here on timing my 71 1275, so I did this part


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.

and it all worked just like it says,
I have 2 questions, would the light come on if your on the wrong TDC? and if your on the right TDC would not the rotor on the dizzy be under the #1 plug wire?

I have to say I have reset the timing on my car 3 times and well the tach shows the rpm running around 1300 to 1500, Im thinking this is too high, new points, good looking plugs and my timing marks on the pointers are between 5 degrees and TDC on timing marks, is this ok?
NOHOME Avatar
P P
O, Ontario, Canada   can
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"

In reply to # 2039458 by TheFlyingMG Ok so I know everyone got fed up with the problem child hahaha.

That said, NOHOME thank you very much. Your advice was what got me running again, decided to remove the valve cover to find exactly TDC, it does match my timing cover. I also decided to use the spark plug technique and after a few attempts got it, it was the only way I was going to make sure it was timed for spark plug number one and boy did it work!

I put everything back together and I was rewarded, or shall I say, blessed with that glorious engine sound. The car felt very nice so I went for a ride.

Thanks everyone who contributed too, can't wait to set my timing again hahaha.

Good to hear!

I have posted this method maybe 20 times when people ask how to time their cars. For some reason, people refurse to remove the valve cover to validate TDC?! You sir, are the first to listen. As far as I know, this is the only sure fire way to detemne if your have a spark at #1 at the correct time.

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

In reply to # 2039852 by tater salad so now I need to ask because, im getting myself all worked up here on timing my 71 1275, so I did this part


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.

and it all worked just like it says,
I have 2 questions, would the light come on if your on the wrong TDC? and if your on the right TDC would not the rotor on the dizzy be under the #1 plug wire?

I have to say I have reset the timing on my car 3 times and well the tach shows the rpm running around 1300 to 1500, Im thinking this is too high, new points, good looking plugs and my timing marks on the pointers are between 5 degrees and TDC on timing marks, is this ok?

Great! of course with the valve cover off I would have taken the opertunity to check the valve clearance. You may find that will bring some rewards as well.



Seth Jones

1971 MG Midget

www.SpridgetGuru.com
. You can hide this ad & support this site by upgrading to a Gold Membership ~ click here for more info

Reply to this topic or post your own questions!

Members Sign In if you've already registered, or

Register a New Account

Registration is free and takes less than a minute

Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Check the Forum Help File (FAQ) or contact the webmaster.


Join The Club

Sign in to ask questions, share photos, and access all website features

MGExp Menu

What's New

Membership

Forums ->

MGB & GT

MG Midget

Buy, Sell & Trade

Vendor Market

MG Engine Swaps

Original MG

MGA

MGC

MG Magnette

1100 & 1300

T-Series & Prewar

Modern MGs

MG Motorsports

Member Meetup

MG 2015 Event

Other Vehicles

Off Topic

Clubs

Forum Search

Random Topic

Latest Posts

Live Chat

Calendar

Journals

Tech Library

Car Registry

Cars For Sale

Model Info

Motorsport

Directory

Member Map

MGExp Store

Search Site

Advertising Info

Smartphone quick link
mgexp.mobi

Adjust Text Size

Larger Smaller
Reset Save