Timing is Everything
Itís a simple thing, right? Hook up the timing light, point it at the timing marks, idle the engine with the vacuum line unhooked from the distributor and plugged.
Turn the distributor until the marks are where they
should be. Done.
I donít THINK so Jim!
Ignition timing is a very important part of your tune
up. You know that, I know that, the
Goose knows that.
What happens when the points rubbing block wears?
The timing goes retarded, thatís what.
Why is that you ask? That is
on accounta as the rubbing block wears the points close.
If the points close up a bit then they donít open as soon as they
should. If they donít open as
soon as they should then they are reducing the spark lead (advance) and the
engine will run retarded. Running a
bit retarded isnít as bad as running too advanced.
Timing a computer controlled engine with the above
method is a bad idea.
There are those who Ďtimeí their engines by using a
vacuum gauge. Not me.
The approved procedure for checking out the ignition
system and itís adjustments follows as:
Check the wires. Look
Ďem over. Start the car at night,
in a dark alley (make sure youíre
armed) and watch for sparks. Yep,
sparks. Look the plug wires
over carefully and see if you see sparking.
If you do, get thee to the parts house and replace the wires.
If you have a plug wire arcing to another plug wire then one of those
plugs is either misfiring or firing the inappropriate plug at the wrong time.
Sometimes youíll actually be able to HEAR the arcing.
Bad thing, bad!
Look at the plugs.
Are they burning a nice dark tan color?
Nice and brown? White is
bad! Black ainít good.
Brown like Triumph Brown is a good thing.
Check the points if you have them.
Take a look at the contacts. Gap
the points properly (unless you have a dwell meter).
.018 points gap will work. Check
Your car is different than mine.
Look in your service manual (or online) to see what the timing should be.
If you adjusted your points gap then your timing will have changed.
The two are related. If you
opened the gap (the usual adjustment) then your timing MIGHT just have come
right back into line.
Keep things in perspective. Watch what you are doing.
Donít hurt yourself or the Goose.
A good Goose is hard to find. The
Goose is our friend. Be kind to the