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Trying to set timing

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  • Engine: Trying to set timing

    Got the 55 president running and it souds great. I'm gonna install my fuel fill tube tonight and then it's time for a little test drive down the alley.
    I am having a little trouble with the timing though. we backed the dizzy clockwise till it stopped popping out the carb and it sounded good then when I hit it with the timing light it read 20 deg BTDC.
    I am assuming the white notch just before it says IGN is the TDC mark?
    Anyway using that mark anywhere from 0-14 advance it pops and ocasionally shoots big fireballs out the carb but only when you rev it. At idle it's fine. it's about 18-20 deg adv where it stopps popping altogether.
    This is all with the vacuum advance tube disconnected.

  • #2
    Actually the "IGN." mark is the 4 degree timing mark, not TDC that is 4 degrees to the passenger side of the "IGN." mark and marked UDC.

    It sounds like you missed Number ONE when you stabbed the Dist. it is the left front Cly. and should be the forward (center) tower on the Dist. Cap. Vacuum advance pointed straight to the right fender. Is the vacuum advance disconnected and taped off and the idle set at 550 or less when using the timing light?

    Either that or the Carb. is way too lean or short on fuel flow.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      I have also been fighting timing or fuel issues this week. Your story sounds somewhat familiar. The mark on my crank shows UDC before IGN. Upper Dead Centre of cylinder #1 is only when the rotor (dizzy?) is at position 1 under the distbutor cap. You can also double check this by taking the plug out of cylinder #1 and looking into the hole at the top of the piston. I am sure you have already double checked the firing order and your the hook up of the spark plug wires.

      My problem has also revealed: points that were wearing on one side, dried up felt under the breaker plate assembly of the distributor and broken insulation on the small wires inside the distributor. I am still working out other issues relating to the oil pump driveshaft, so I have not found if these tips I share will get you running or not.

      Funny thing in my story is, I thought adjusting the valve lash would help all to run better. Now I have a bunch of little things that seem to forming one big problem. Missing the Father's Day Show dampened my whole week, but now I will just settle in getting the car back and going for another time. Hope you have better luck and the road will see you soon.



      • #4
        Here's a document that might help. It was written by Dwain Grindinger and appeared last in the August, 2008 TW. It describes the correct position of the distributor cap and rotor, and which way the rotor should be pointing when the engine is rotated to #1 cylinder TDC. It helped me a lot when I was trying to figure things out.
        Attached Files

        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


        • #5
          I just rebuilt a 50 Champion engine that had the harmonic balancer assembled incorrectly that changed the position of the timing mark which made it impossible to use the timing mark to set the timing. I corrected the problem when I reassembled the engine. Bud