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  • Engine: Timing lesson-Who'd of thought?

    Yesterday , my son , myself, and a Studebaker friend were installing a new Mallory
    electronic distributor in a recently acquired Avanti. We brought the engine to the compression stroke
    and checked the harmonic balancer timing mark was indicating TDC. After three hours of trying to
    insert the dist. so that we had number one plug lined up with the rotor, and at TDC, we continually
    failed to be able to get the timing mark to be placed closer than 25 to 30 degrees retard when we wanted
    four degrees. Tried rotating the dist., moving plug wires, re-inserting, to no avail. Finally called Phil Harris at
    Fairborn Motors and he advised the timing mark scribe might be mis-located and to use a dowel or
    dial indicator to physically determine the TDC. Yipes! the scribed mark was off by more than 20 degrees.
    We put our own mark on the balancer for TDC and were finally able to adjust the dist. to the 4 degrees although
    the engine ran better at six. Lesson is ---on a 50 year old anything don't rely on anything factory having
    not changed, even a scribed timing mark. BTW- Phil Harris is great !!

    ....Dick Curtis
    The 1950 Champion Starlight
    Santa Barbara
    CA

  • #2
    Yes , we not only bumped the starter but manualy rotated the crank shaft when it got close to TDC.
    We could see, feel and hear the Distributor drop the last half inch as it indexed into the shaft slot.
    With the piston physically at TDC, determined by watching the dowel movement, checked and checked again,
    the timing scribe line was 20 degrees off from zero timing mark,
    I learned to time cars starting in Aircraft Mechanics school in 1950. Now, at 80, I have probably timed
    fifty or more different make autos in my life time but this is the first time I found the manufactures mark to be off.
    Probably ,sometime over the last fifty years, the harmonic balancer was replaced or some slippage/wear occurred.
    ....Dick
    The 1950 Champion Starlight
    Santa Barbara
    CA

    Comment


    • #3
      Stude's don't 'slip' (unless it is an R2, or an R3)
      Sounds like the dampener was 'forced on' into the wrong position on assembly..
      There is only one 'correct position' on the dampener to hub.
      Did you remove everything and make it right?


      Originally posted by starlightchamp View Post
      Yes , we not only bumped the starter but manualy rotated the crank shaft when it got close to TDC.
      We could see, feel and hear the Distributor drop the last half inch as it indexed into the shaft slot.
      With the piston physically at TDC, determined by watching the dowel movement, checked and checked again,
      the timing scribe line was 20 degrees off from zero timing mark,
      I learned to time cars starting in Aircraft Mechanics school in 1950. Now, at 80, I have probably timed
      fifty or more different make autos in my life time but this is the first time I found the manufactures mark to be off.
      Probably ,sometime over the last fifty years, the harmonic balancer was replaced or some slippage/wear occurred.
      ....Dick
      Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 09-10-2011, 03:13 PM.
      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

      Jeff


      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

      Comment


      • #4
        We have had the 63 Avanti R1 now for three weeks. Joins our three other Studes. I don't know what disassembly was previously done although
        the P.O said he had it overhauled 8 years and 1000 miles ago when a different cam, hardened valve seats,
        and flat top pistons were installed.
        Since the engine is running fine at present, I doubt we will take it apart.
        As to slipping, when we talked with Phil Harris , he opined that the timing scribe was on at band that could slip but you would have to talk with
        him about that cause I couldn't see any separate interface. Sorry if I caused you any concern relative to my description of what happened.
        and i apologize if it offended you in anyway.
        ...Dick Curtis
        The 1950 Champion Starlight
        Santa Barbara
        CA

        Comment


        • #5
          Dick,
          You have NOT offended me.
          But if you have a Studebaker with the flat steel disc vibration dampener, there is no way it can 'slip'.
          There is a rubber disc that goes into the vibration dampener that is 'keyed' by having one of the crank snout flange bolt holes slightly offset.
          This means that there is only one 'correct' position of the steel vibration dampener on the hub....unless you force the bolts in and shove the one odd rubber hole out of the way.
          The R2 and R3 vibration dampeners are different and can 'slip'.
          It is definitely possible that it was put together incorrectly, but it is only a two hour procedure to correct this situation and then it won't hang around, waiting to bite you in the butt down the road.
          Sure, you can get any engie to run with the distributor in any position if you start moving wires around on the cap.
          But it will be you who gets confused down the road...just like you seem to be right now.
          There is one way to do this right... The right way.
          HTIH




          Originally posted by starlightchamp View Post
          We have had the 63 Avanti R1 now for three weeks. <snip>
          Sorry if I caused you any concern relative to my description of what happened.
          and i apologize if it offended you in anyway.
          ...Dick Curtis
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            The R1, also has the vulcanized inertial ring dampener just like the R2 and R3......same thing.
            Non R series engines are different. The Dampner is a disc, and is isolated from the crankshaft by rubber surrounding the bolts that hold it to the keyed hub.
            Bez Auto Alchemy
            573-318-8948
            http://bezautoalchemy.com


            "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

            Comment


            • #7
              Well that explains my quizzical response, which was incomplete, and somewhat incorrect.
              Were 'all' the R1 vibration dampeners the same as the R2, and R3?
              I put that difference in my post about the style, but was not certain of what style he has.
              Your info steers the answer more toward the later style of dampener.
              Phil Harris does sell that style of dampner, so the problem Richard is having still can be fixed properly.
              HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

              Jeff


              Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



              Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

              Comment


              • #8
                Avanti R series are different from Hawk & Lark ( JT or JTS) .They have a pulley grove machined into the inertial ring.
                I have seen the outer ring slipped on the rubber several times. I have also seen some with more than one timing mark machined into them (factory)....do n't know why.
                Last edited by bezhawk; 09-11-2011, 06:06 AM.
                Bez Auto Alchemy
                573-318-8948
                http://bezautoalchemy.com


                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a little advise - When ever I want to do anything on ignition I always check timing first to confirm where timing mark is before I start. Especily on an engine I never worked on before.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That is a good point Alex(ander)..
                    Pat Skelly and I were hanging stuff on a kit car this week and the first thing we did was manually ratchet the engine over to TDC...
                    Verified with a screwdriver in the spark plug hole which verified the 'mark'.
                    No sense chasing everything later on...
                    Good info!
                    Jeff

                    Originally posted by Alexander Feiman View Post
                    Just a little advise - When ever I want to do anything on ignition I always check timing first to confirm where timing mark is before I start. Especily on an engine I never worked on before.
                    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                    Jeff


                    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                    Comment

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