How to adjust timing without timing marks??? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-27-2003, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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How to adjust timing without timing marks???

Would appreciate the collective brain power of this wonder AlfaBB to solve this problem.... how to adjust ignition timing when there is no timing mark on the crank pulley.

Dont ask why, but yes, I do not have any timing mark on mine (spent a long time searching for it and still not found one) I have a carb car and at the least would like to set ignition at static timing using the F mark.

what do you think, can I do this.... put car at TDC, take a light bulb connected in series to the points in the distributor and rotate the distributor body till the light just comes on take this as the TDC errr "P??" mark and then errr do I rotate it clockwise or anticlockwise by 4 degrees to set the static ignition timing??? I know my distributor body's circumference and I will just work out what 4 degree is in actual mm to move.

I would love to do a dynamic timing but I do not have a timing light at the moment and besides, I have no M mark to time it with. I can approximate the various marks by taking the engine to TDC but TDC measured with a dial indicator would still put me on either side of +/- 2 to 4 degrees of TDC.

I can try and attach a degree wheel and a piston stop which would be more accurate but heck how do I rotate the crank while the engine is still in the bay? What do I use to turn it? At the moment I put the car in 4th and push but this method doesnt appear to be as precise nore.... gentle? If I were to stick a piston stop in there and push teh car as gentlely as I can, will I end up damaging piston or something? With the plugs out, where do i turn?

Sorry for posting serveral questions within the same post .

Really appreciate your help.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-27-2003, 03:32 AM
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Is the pointer missing or is it the marks on the pulley that can't be found? On numerous occaisons, I've had to sand the pulley in order to find the marks. I then highlight them with a light colored paint or white-out or something. The pointer can, and usually is, hidden under tons of crud. If the pointer is missing, I'm sure I could find an extra I could donate.
If the marks and/or the pointer are missing, then a static timing will put you roughly in the ballpark. But I think that it would better (and more accurate) to just advance the timing little by little, with a road test after each adjustment, until the engine just starts to 'ping' then back off the timing a little. Since the dist rotor turns clockwise, turning the dist body anticlockwise will advance the timing.
To static time the engine, get the engine as close to TDC as you can. Place a mark anywhere on the pulley that lines up with a fixed point on the engine. Then, as viewed from the drivers seat, turn the engine about 25mm (as referenced on the pulley) clockwise. Then slowly turn the engine anticlockwise until your mark on the pulley is about 5mm before the fixed point on the engine. This will put the engine at a very approximate 5 degrees BTDC. A lightbulb, test light or voltmeter then gets hooked up in parallel with the points. Put one test lead on coil negative (the one that goes to the dist) and the other lead to earth. Disconnect the coil to dist HT lead at the dist and ground it. Turn on the ignition. Loosen the dist body and turn it fully clockwise. Then slowly turn the dist anticlockwise until the light goes on (or the voltmeter sees voltage). This is when the points open breaking the primary ignition circuit causing the spark. Then lock down the dist.
If you're going to static time by putting the engine on TDC and then turn the dist X number of degrees, keep in mind that the dist turns one half engine speed. This means that turning the dist 4 degrees equates to 8 degrees at the crank.
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