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  #1   IP: 69.158.71.200
Old 10-08-2019, 08:33 PM
splashlog splashlog is online now
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Timing is everything..Electronic Ignition....?

Finally got my ignition troubles dealt with. Now, anyone have insights into how to RE time this bad boy now that I have probably messed up the timing real good. It now has the electronic ignition module installed, and it's the old Prestolite Distro. I know where TDC is as I have made a mark, do I just turn the crankshaft until I get a spark on #1 plug and then pray?
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splashlog View Post
I know where TDC is as I have made a mark
Please describe this mark. Where is it and how did you make it?
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:49 PM
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making a mark

Apparently the pins on the drive shaft that are used to rotate the shaft indicate TDC or BDC. I just rotated the shaft until I had max compression and then marked that pin. I realise it's rough, but should get me in the ball park, no?
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:28 AM
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Yes, all correct but please know that the mark you made for the top of the compression stroke will also indicate the top of the exhaust stroke. When setting the timing initially it is imperative you are certain which stroke you are on.
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splashlog (10-09-2019)
  #5   IP: 69.158.71.200
Old 10-09-2019, 06:58 PM
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Confused now with timing

So with the crank shaft at TDC and the roll pin vertical, where should the rotor on the distro be pointing? Right now it's pointing 3 O'clock, but that would mean it's poised to fire plug #4, not #1 as I would assume to be what we need.
The original set up in terms of plug wires off the distro was plug wire #1, 9 OC, #2, 12 OC, #4, 3 OC, #3, 6 OC (1,2,4,3)

I thought I had been fairly careful in keeping the realative position correct of the distro as I had removed/installed it several times, BUT I never checked where the crankshaft was positioned.

I have the EI installed now, if anyone has a step by step procedure, well that would just make my day...

It's the Prestolite Distro with Electronic Ignition
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:40 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splashlog View Post
S
plug wire #1, 9 OC, #2, 12 OC, #4, 3 OC, #3, 6 OC (1,2,4,3)
Firing order facing the engine from the front or flywheel end I presume?
If the engine was rotated while the distributor was out you will have to ascertain if the mark you made is at TDC compression or TDC exhaust.
The easy way to do a distributor removal into put #1 at TDC compression before taking the distributor out and not rotating the crank while the distributor is removed.

TRUE GRIT

Edit: Maybe you can feel the compression as you rotate the engine. See your manual page 3-2.

Last edited by JOHN COOKSON; 10-09-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:53 PM
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Facing the flywheel. I can feel the compression @ TDC. So please correct me here, the rotor needs to be pointing at the contactor in the cap to fire that plug, right? So it makes no difference which contactor is which as long as the rotor is firing the correct plug and the squence is 1,2,4,3.
With an EI, could I use an multi meter and measure for continuity or ohms to figure out the open/closed state for fine tuning?

Last edited by splashlog; 10-09-2019 at 08:04 PM. Reason: thought about it more
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:56 PM
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I'm not saying this is the case but regarding my earlier caution, if #1 piston is at the top of its travel on the exhaust stroke, the rotor should be pointing at #4!!! (because #4 would be at the top of its travel on the compression stroke)

It does not matter where the rotor points on a clock dial, what matters is #1 TDC on compression stroke gets the rotor in contact with the distributor cap delivering spark to #1. The orientation we talk about often is only a convention on this forum, has nothing to do with the actual timing.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:11 PM
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To me little Prestolite dizzy [w/condenser hanging on side and oil cup] means early model. Detail steps are spelled out in Moyer tech pages. Basically, pull the distributor, get to TDC on compression stroke [thumb test, balloon test etc], the front shaft pin now near verticle. Reinstall dizzy with rotor and #1 pointing directly aft. Now your close and you have a lot of rotational clearance to adjust timing.. manually if you like.
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splashlog (10-10-2019)
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:29 PM
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Just found this hint. Answers all my questions.

The Atomic Four has a firing order of 1 2 4 3, and the crankshaft is designed so that pistons #1 and #4 go up and down together (and so do pistons #2 and #3, but 180 degrees out... when pistons #1 and #4 are at the top together, pistons #2 and #3 are at the bottom together). The reason to know this is that when piston #1 is at the top its firing stroke... firing #1 cylinder, piston # 4 is at the top of its exhaust stroke and just starting to do down on its intake stroke... with the exhaust valve just closing and the intake valve just opening, AND YOU CAN SEE PART OF THE INTAKE VALVE FOR #4 CYLINDER TO DETERMINE WHEN IT IS JUST STARTING TO OPEN BY LOOKING STRAIGHT DOWN #4 SPARK PLUG HOLE (IT'S THE ONLY VALVE YOU CAN SEE LOOKING STRAIGHT DOWN).

So, remove the spark plug for #4 cylinder (it's easier if you remove all the spark plugs) and turn the engine by hand in the direction of rotation (counterclockwise facing the flywheel) while looking straight down the #4 spark plug hole with a flashlight (if you can't look straight down the plug hole use a little piece of wood such as a popsicle stick to feel the valve going up and down). As the engine turns you will see the intake valve in #4 cylinder rising and falling. Carefully turn the engine over and stop just as you see the #4 intake valve just starting to open. That will mean #1 cylinder is now at the firing position, so remove the distributor and install it so both the rotor and the wide protrusion in the side of the distributor points plate (which fits into a slot in the distributor cap to align it) both point at 9 o'clock (looking down on the top of the distributor facing the flywheel). Once the distributor is in leave the distributor clamp loose, and install the cap, spark plugs, and spark plug wires, making sure the plug wire for #1 cylinder goes in the 9 o'clock postion, #2 plug wire goes in the 12 o'clock position, #4 plug wire goes in the 3 o'clock position, and #3 plug wire goes in the 6 o'clock position. Once the engine starts turn the distributor slightly back and forth so it runs the fastest. When everything is back in place time the engine at full speed as per the section on timing above.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:49 AM
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You can find a helpful video tech tip here. There are both PC and Mac versions.

Bill
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:05 AM
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splash, whatever works for you. In your research did you find this post from last year? It's a simple tool that costs pennies and eliminates peering down spark plug holes to watch valves.
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  #13   IP: 69.158.71.200
Old Yesterday, 09:46 PM
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balloon plug, starter motor and bad luck..

Yes, I will make that balloon tool, however other distractions are aloof. I am wondering now about something else; when I hit the start button, my starter spins up and engages, yet only very briefly, usually not long enough to get a good bite on the flywheel.

(I did jump the gun and install a new alternator mainly because finding the vintage voltage regulator that I had broken was more trouble than it's worth. So now I have a 65A alternator in place of the original 35A Prestolite....)

So the question is, would the new alternator affect the preformance of the starter? Is there perhaps too much load on the system now that the starter (bendix) just does not want to play? Or, am I just unlucky and that this is one more issue that I need to look at, like is it time to pull the starter and have a little poke about? The starter was begining to miss every now and then, but allways managed to hang in long enough to get things going. But now she spins and just makes a quick attempt at grabing the flywheel but then just spins out. This is making me lose my mind, as I am still trying to get this engine to turn over and get the timing sorted.
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  #14   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old Yesterday, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splashlog View Post
So the question is, would the new alternator affect the performance of the starter?
No, the two are mechanically unrelated.
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