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Timing light won't go out with static timing? TIME URGENT

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James.Spencer Avatar
James.Spencer James Spencer
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK   GBR
1970 MG MGB GT "Vivienne"
Hi there,

Long story but I'm selling one car and wanted to swap the distributor from one to the other. I have to drive to work later.

I've tried to static time it as per John Twist's video, however no matter how much I turn the distributor the test light doesn't go off.

I currently have the end of the test light attached to the low tension lead (from the negative side of the coil) and the other end hooked up to one of the hot fuses.

The rotor is currently pointing at around 1 o'clock, maybe slightly more at 10 degrees BTDC. I've checked the diagram explosions of 25D distributors. White wire is going to the positive side of the coil, white/black to the negative (1974 GT).

Any ideas? I can't see what I'm doing differently to JT.

Cheers



If it could be better, it's as good as broken.

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Wachtmans Avatar
Wachtmans Wouter Strodijk
OVERVEEN, Noord Holland, Netherlands   NLD
1974 MG MGB "The Bee"
1974 MG MGB "The Bee"
1974 MG MGB MkIII "The Bee"
One side of the test lamp must be connected to the negative side of the coil as you did. However, the other side must be grounded anywhere metal surface of the engine. Try again and see it will work now. Cheers.

69 B GT Avatar
69 B GT Ed Siemens
Altona, MB, Canada   CAN
I believe the first lead should be on the tab where the low tension wire came off of (the tab on the distributor). The other on any Hot point.

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James.Spencer Avatar
James.Spencer James Spencer
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK   GBR
1970 MG MGB GT "Vivienne"
Hi Wouter,

unfortunately still the same.. the light wouldn't go out. Tried different ground points as well, still stayed on regardless how much I turned the distributor.



If it could be better, it's as good as broken.

Wachtmans Avatar
Wachtmans Wouter Strodijk
OVERVEEN, Noord Holland, Netherlands   NLD
1974 MG MGB "The Bee"
1974 MG MGB "The Bee"
1974 MG MGB MkIII "The Bee"
If you have an electronic ignition (accuspark or alike) it is indeed difficult to find the firing spot where the testlamp goes out. If that is the case, the testlamp will only go out for a split second. If you have a points distributor, possibly the points have to be set to assure they open....!

James.Spencer Avatar
James.Spencer James Spencer
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK   GBR
1970 MG MGB GT "Vivienne"
It's with points, I've moved it very slowly to check if it goes out for even a millisecond and it doesn't.

I've confirmed that at 10 degrees BTDC, the rotor is also pointing to the correct Number 1 sparkplug lead. So frustrating.



If it could be better, it's as good as broken.

ghnl Avatar
ghnl Silver Member Eric Russell
Mebane, NC, USA   USA
1961 MG MGA "Calvin"
Did you remove the points to clean or install new? The assembly at the wire lead end is not intuitive. See: http://www.mgaguru.com/mgtech/ignition/ig106.htm

Quote: When replacing contact points and/or condenser, connections of the condenser lead and the input flex wire have to be made to the spring arm of the points set, and these wires must not be grounded on the screw post. If the points open, but the side terminal is still grounded, you likely have this wrong. Correct assembly order is, bottom insulator bushing, condenser wire end terminal, spring arm, input flex wire end terminal, top insulator bushing, flat washer and hex nut. As a matter of convenience you can put both input wire and condenser wire terminals in front of the spring arm (under the insulating grommet), all electrically connected and all isolated from the post. These wires should be positioned so they do not touch or rub on the rotor shaft or housing in operation.





Eric Russell ~ Mebane, NC
1961 MGA #61, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider, 1991 Honda ST1100

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69 B GT Avatar
69 B GT Ed Siemens
Altona, MB, Canada   CAN
James: If I read your original post, I think you are excluding the points from your test lamp circuit ... you should be testing this through the distributor. One lead on the connection at the distributor (ie. not on the low tension lead), the other on a hot fuse. Then the points will open and close as you turn the distributor thus turning the lamp ON and OFF. Please tell me if I'm wrong, because then my timing was not done right. I have not had a chance to start my engine as I need to complete a carburetor rebuild. At least that's how I understand it from JT.

Ed

course2kid Jeffrey Johnson
Fountain Valley, CA, USA   USA
1979 MG MGB "Lucy (Lucifer)"
I think Ed may be on to your problem.

The idea is that you're just using the test light to see if the points are open or closed. The way John Twist shows in his video will work fine. He unplugs the distributor's white/black wire from the coil and connects one end of the test light to this wire (connect to the distributor's wire, not to the coil low side), and connects the other test lamp lead to a 12V source (fuse box). The white/black wire connects to one of the breaker points and the other breaker point is grounded. So, when the points are closed power will flow from the fuse box, through the test light to the ungrounded distributor contact across to the other contact, and back to ground. As you rotate the body of the distributor clockwise, the shaft lobe will open the contacts, there will no longer be a path through the points to ground, and the test light will go out.

If you test it this way and the test light never goes out, it means that there is still a path from the white/black wire to ground. Either the points contacts are not opening, or the condensor has failed and is providing a path to ground. You could test for that by disconnecting the condensor. If, after removing/disconnecting the condensor, the light will go out as the distributor body is rotated, this means your condensor is bad (shorted).

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ohlord Avatar
ohlord Gold Member Rob C
North of Seattle, N.W., USA   USA
1957 Land Rover Series I "EYEYIYI"
1971 MG MGB
1971 MG MGB "Bedouin 2"
Why are you static timing it?



"I'm a long way gone down this wild road I'm on
It's gonna take me where I'm bound
It's a long way around"



"These are the days that must happen to you"

RD2 Radar/ Electronic Warfare Technician
Vietnam 1969-1972

James.Spencer Avatar
James.Spencer James Spencer
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK   GBR
1970 MG MGB GT "Vivienne"
Jeffrey/Ed,

I've tried wiring it up differently.. Instead of using the wire that connects from the negative side of the coil to the prominent spade located on the edge of the distributor, I've disconnected the white/black lead from the negative side of the coil and inserted it into that with the other end of the timing light attached to the top fuse. Now the timing light doesn't turn on.

Should there be any link from the negative side of the coil to the distributor?

Maybe I'm being stupid but I can't grasp it. Either the timing light never comes on, or the timing light never turns off.



If it could be better, it's as good as broken.

James.Spencer Avatar
James.Spencer James Spencer
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK   GBR
1970 MG MGB GT "Vivienne"
Because I removed the distributor (without noting its position foolishly) and now can't get it to run.



If it could be better, it's as good as broken.

James.Spencer Avatar
James.Spencer James Spencer
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK   GBR
1970 MG MGB GT "Vivienne"
The blue wire connects from the negative side of the coil to the prominent spade on the edge of the distributor.
The white/black wire connects to the negative side of the coil.

What goes where? What should be connected/disconnected?

Thanks again.



If it could be better, it's as good as broken.


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barry s Avatar
barry s Silver Member Barry Stoll
Alexandria, VA, USA   USA
1972 MG MGB GT
1974 MG MGB
1976 Triumph TR6
1980 MG MGB
Whether or not static timing is worth the effort, knowing how to properly perform static timing is helpful. This thread suggests that such an understanding is not 'universal'.

Let's just see what Rick Astley says on the procedure, as far as connecting the circuit tester. He says, " connect a circuit tester between earth and white/black wire either at the coil or at the distributor, whichever is easier." He also says to remove the distributor cap while setting. In doing so you can watch the action of the rotor and the points.

There are other circuit tester connector options but I'd suggest that you defer to Astley unless you fully understand the function of the distributor/coil relationship.

Ian Williams Avatar
Ian Williams Ian W
Chipping Longjourney, Toofarupnorth, UK   GBR
You haven't set it 180 degrees out by chance ? I did this once.. Is the appropriate cylinder near tdc ? Worth removing a spark plug and checking.. just a thought..

In reply to # 3717258 by James.Spencer The blue wire connects from the negative side of the coil to the prominent spade on the edge of the distributor.
The white/black wire connects to the negative side of the coil.

What goes where? What should be connected/disconnected?

Thanks again.

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