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Timing for dummies.

Posted by TheFlyingMG 
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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 2012-04-12 05:35 PM 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?

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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?

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.

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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?

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

tater salad Avatar
Todd Smith
Charlotte, NC, USA   usa

checking valve clearence , I have watched on you tube several times I still dont get it, but I know I know I have to learn it

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

In reply to # 2040642 by tater salad checking valve clearence , I have watched on you tube several times I still dont get it, but I know I know I have to learn it

Its easy. Start with a cold engine. Look for the valves that are completely open By that I mean the rocker arm has tilted as far as it can and is pushing the valve downward as far as it will go. To get to this point you may need to crank the engine a bit The valves are numbered from the front 1 to 8. Then use the rule of 9 to find the valves that you can adjust That means subtract the number of the valve thats open from 9 and that will give you the number of a valve that is safe to adjust. You're going to want a valve clearence of between .015 inches and .025 inches

Stick your feeler guage between the rocker arm and the valve and see wether it is teh right clearence. If its correct the gauge should just drag a little on the surfaces of teh rocker arm and valve but not too much. If it feels rally loose then you've got too much clearence and if its too tight you may find it hard to put the guage in or may find it impossible to put in. If that valve needs adjustment, use a wrench and a screwdriver to losen the nut and then use the screwdriver to adjust the valve(check clearence with the gauge as you go).

Once the valve is where you want it, use the screwdriver to hold the adjuster in place while you tighten the nut down with the wrench. Write down teh number of the valve you just did. Now look for another valve you can adjust using the rule of 9 (and wright that down too). Two valves are always adjustable at the same time. Now adjust that valve two if it needs it. Once that one is done, turn the crankshaft 180º and look for the next two valves. Keep going like this untill you find you are back to the same two valves you wrote down.



Seth Jones

1971 MG Midget

www.SpridgetGuru.com

Joe Kerr
LAX, Skyloft, USA   usa

In reply to # 2040693 by AmishIndy
In reply to # 2040642 by tater salad checking valve clearence , I have watched on you tube several times I still dont get it, but I know I know I have to learn it

Its easy. Start with a cold engine. Look for the valves that are completely open By that I mean the rocker arm has tilted as far as it can and is pushing the valve downward as far as it will go. To get to this point you may need to crank the engine a bit The valves are numbered from the front 1 to 8. Then use the rule of 9 to find the valves that you can adjust That means subtract the number of the valve thats open from 9 and that will give you the number of a valve that is safe to adjust. You're going to want a valve clearence of between .015 inches and .025 inches

Stick your feeler guage between the rocker arm and the valve and see wether it is teh right clearence. If its correct the gauge should just drag a little on the surfaces of teh rocker arm and valve but not too much. If it feels rally loose then you've got too much clearence and if its too tight you may find it hard to put the guage in or may find it impossible to put in. If that valve needs adjustment, use a wrench and a screwdriver to losen the nut and then use the screwdriver to adjust the valve(check clearence with the gauge as you go).

Once the valve is where you want it, use the screwdriver to hold the adjuster in place while you tighten the nut down with the wrench. Write down teh number of the valve you just did. Now look for another valve you can adjust using the rule of 9 (and wright that down too). Two valves are always adjustable at the same time. Now adjust that valve two if it needs it. Once that one is done, turn the crankshaft 180º and look for the next two valves. Keep going like this untill you find you are back to the same two valves you wrote down.

I was going to try to do that while the cover was off but didn't want to mess around too much hahaha.
Thank's for that explanation makes it very clear. How often should this be checked?

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

I check it whenever I have the valve cover off, do engine work, or start working with an unfamiliar MG that came from a dubious PO and doesnt have that tapetty noise it should. The bentley COSM 1275 manual's amintenance schendule says every 12,000 miles which for some of us might be every 4-5 years. Of course if there is advanced cam wear past the hardened surface, you may notice a need to do that more often, and if the car was taken to a mechanic who set the clearence to zomething close to zero, or some DPO swapped out the rockers, rocker shaft, and pedistals then its a good idea.



Seth Jones

1971 MG Midget

www.SpridgetGuru.com

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