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Author Topic: Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap  (Read 1285 times)

attkrlufy

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« on: June 04, 2011, 05:53:41 PM »

Pretty much what the title says: after swapping out the leanburn in my car for an orange box ignition module, I can't get the timing of the engine to come down from where it is now - about 35-25 degrees advance.  I'm trying to get it at 14-16 degrees advance.  When I turn the distributor clockwise to retard the timing, the timing doesn't follow suit, the engine runs worse, and - a few times - even backfired through the thermoquad (giving my eyebrows a nice dusting with flame).

Two things I noticed about the work I did today:

*The reluctor in the replacement distributor has a pretty big variance in gap from vane to vane.  I set the recommended 0.008" gap at the closest distance, but other vanes will go as wide as 0.022".  Could that be somehow screwing with the ignition?

*I put a 4-post ballast resistor in place of my 2-post.  It gets REALLY hot with the key in "run".  Like, too hot to touch (it burned me a bit).  Did I wire the electronic ignition improperly?  Could that somehow affect the spark?

I've gotten the car to run - so I know I didn't install the distributor 180 degrees off, or get the plugs in the wrong order - but it can't stay running without really stomping on the gas.  I just can't seem to get the timing back down.

Any ideas?


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Brian

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 06:09:55 PM »

You are setting the timing with the vacuum advance disconnected and the vacuum line from the carb to the distributor plugged?

It sounds like the timing is changing when you are rotating the dizzy.  If it wasn't then the engine RPM and sound would not change.  I think you have something else going on. 

What kind of timing light are you using?

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Brian

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 06:33:32 PM »

I just answered this on the "other" site as possibilities and verifies.
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Steve

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 07:48:28 PM »



I don't like the big difference in the reluctor gaps though. . .   Almost like the shaft is bent
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attkrlufy

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2011, 03:21:15 AM »


Quote from: POLARACO

I don't like the big difference in the reluctor gaps though. . .   Almost like the shaft is bent



Yeah, the vacuum advance is not hooked up on the distributor and is plugged on the carb.

I thought about the bent shaft, too.  Maye the dizzy was machined poorly?  The bracket that supported the stator was bent - it gave a different gap at the top than at the bottom of the reluctor.  I had to bend the unit (carefully!) while it was still in place to get a straight north-south gap.

But I don't know if all that would cause the problems it's having.  I'll try again today, while taking pics (maybe video?), and see what's going on.

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attkrlufy

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2011, 03:22:02 AM »


Quote from: dana44
I just answered this on the "other" site as possibilities and verifies.
Other site?  What other site?  There are no other sites.  :P

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 06:44:29 AM »

Over on allpar. Exact same question, issues, and, ummm, name. No big deal, I have been there longer than here. Here's the link.
 
http://www.allpar.com/forums/topic/134319-cant-set-engine-timing/
 
If it isn't you, better get hot fixing it!
 
Steve goes over there, too.
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Stitcherbob

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Steve

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 07:47:32 AM »

Quote from: dana44
Over on allpar. Exact same question, issues, and, ummm, name. No big deal, I have been there longer than here. Here's the link.
 
http://www.allpar.com/forums/topic/134319-cant-set-engine-timing/
 
If it isn't you, better get hot fixing it!
 
 
Damned kids
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attkrlufy

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 09:39:01 AM »

Got it!  Reset everything to TDC - turned the engine by hand for those last few degrees - double checked that the dizzy rotor was advanced just past #1 cyl and she fired up beautifully.  After that, it was just a matter of turning the distributor enough to guess where 15 degrees advance is ('cause I can't actually SEE the #s with the water pump in the way).

Man, oh MAN, what a difference electronic ignition makes.  I can't believe I waited this long.  Its like I'm driving a brand new car.  :)

Thanks for the help, guys.


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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2011, 10:16:01 AM »

15 degrees sounds a little bit much for fuel mileage, 12 would be better.
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Steve

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2011, 04:06:49 PM »


Quote from: dana44
15 degrees sounds a little bit much for fuel mileage, 12 would be better.
Agreed
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Jacques

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2011, 11:08:13 PM »

Use an adjustable timing light, like the Equus 3568, then you have no need to guess "where the 15 degrees are". You can read advance and rpm on the display. One of the best tools I ever bought.
Another way of setting the ignition (assuming you run on gasoline): set the timing at somewhere between 34-36 degress maximum mechanical advance. Have someone rev the engine till the dist. doesnt advance anymore, check and adjust timing, and release throttle. Then you're good to go.
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attkrlufy

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 06:11:40 AM »


Quote from: POLARACO
Quote from: dana44
15 degrees sounds a little bit much for fuel mileage, 12 would be better.
Agreed
Well that's good, because I'm on the shy end of my guess - I'm probably at 11 degrees +/- 1 degree.  It's running pretty good, so I think I'll let sleeping dogs lie.

Thanks for the recommendation, Sjak.  I think I will pick up the Equus 3568 - or at least something like it.  I certainly could have used it this past weekend.

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Jacques

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Can't set timing after electronic ignition swap
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2011, 01:41:36 AM »

Well, I have tried lots of timing lights, and only the Equus makes me happy, either the 3568 or the more elaborate (and more expensive) 5568. But most likelty you wont need the added features of the 5568.
One big pro of adjustable timing lights is that it makes it possible to accurately check the mechanical ignition curve through the RPM-range of the engine.
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