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Old 10-28-2020, 07:33 PM   #1
keyswitch1
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Default timing light

I just found an artical in the December Restorer (1989) about using a timing light on a model A! I got my first model a right after high school and never used a timing light ?
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:09 PM   #2
Bill G
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Default Re: timing light

The timing light, of course, will work but I think they are more for a car that has a distributor that you can rotate from outside the distributor to set the timing. The Model A, on the other hand, has a dizzy that is fixed and only the rotor/cam is able to rotate, and only from the inside. To me, setting the timing with the timing pin is more appropriate. Then, if you are curious to see if you hit TDC, or want to know how advanced any given setting of the spark lever is, then go for it. Another issue I have had is getting the timing light to work with 6 volts. Mine is a cheapie, so I have to connect it to a separate 12 volt battery to get it to work well. I have gotten pretty used to setting with the timing pin and going through the drill.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:27 PM   #3
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Default Shocker!!

Use caution when using a timing light with a metal case on a Model A.

I have a pretty nice advancing timing light that I use quite often on my other cars. When I connected it to my Model A with the original type plug connectors and pulled the trigger I got the shock of my life. I can certainly attest that 12v Pertronix Coils put out close to 40,000 volts.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: timing light

Timing by the Model A owners manual method works fine. There weren’t any timing loghts on the farm in 1930. (Or anywhere else).
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Old 10-29-2020, 03:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: timing light

Ruth, I got the same surprise with a Pertronix and die-cast dial back timing light. I was using a separate 12 volt battery and, after reading the instructions, saw that it said an external battery should be earthed to the cars system.
I thought this might avoid the shock but have not re-tried it. Now I am nervous after reading your experience.
I think I put some polythene tube over the bronze plug connector before clamping on the inductive pickup too.
I did not like the 40000 volts up my arm for sure!
Any one else have any thoughts about this? Mine is a Jonnesway timing light
with shiny metal body.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:42 AM   #6
Patrick L.
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Default Re: timing light

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Some folks like to try and reinvent the wheel. Timing lights have their place. But, are not needed for our monsters. Its pretty easy and quick to time these old Fords once you get used to it.
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Old 10-29-2020, 08:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: timing light

A timing light is useful as long as you have timing marks. Handy for checking out everything. I have a battery operated light.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: timing light

I prefer adjusting the timing using a timing light. I use a separate 12 volt battery for the light. I add a mark on the pully and a wire pointer taped to a c-clamp. Works great.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: timing light

Here is an old Rich Pin YouTube video from 2010 on timing with a timing light...FYI..


https://youtu.be/nLzUpQUTU6Y
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: timing light

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Originally Posted by DannL View Post
I prefer adjusting the timing using a timing light. I use a separate 12 volt battery for the light. I add a mark on the pully and a wire pointer taped to a c-clamp. Works great.
To each their own, but methinks that your method is a lot more work than the "Original Ford" method.
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Old 10-30-2020, 12:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: timing light

X2 on what Patrick L. said.
Paul in CT
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: timing light

I use the timing light before long trips to insure my point gap hasn’t changed.
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: timing light

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Originally Posted by GPierce View Post
I use the timing light before long trips to insure my point gap hasnít changed.
Yes, makes for a very quick check.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: timing light

YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! The ignition timing on a stock model A is set with the timing lever, located on the left side of the steering column. The initial timing procedure, once done accurately, is good for the life of the engine (until the timing gears wear out). Just keep the points at the right gap and the initial timing will always be good. Some owners obsess over getting that initial setting down to a gnat's eyebrow, then start the engine and pull the timing lever down to whatever position they like, without realizing that all their fussing and futzing just went for naught!
Even if the initial timing is off a few degrees, a click or two of the timing lever makes up for it.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: timing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! The ignition timing on a stock model A is set with the timing lever, located on the left side of the steering column. The initial timing procedure, once done accurately, is good for the life of the engine (until the timing gears wear out). Just keep the points at the right gap and the initial timing will always be good. Some owners obsess over getting that initial setting down to a gnat's eyebrow, then start the engine and pull the timing lever down to whatever position they like, without realizing that all their fussing and futzing just went for naught!
Even if the initial timing is off a few degrees, a click or two of the timing lever makes up for it.
You must pull the lever down after starting to adjust for driving conditions. Leaving it in the timing position and driving with it there can damage your engine. 9:00 is a good position for most common driving.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: timing light

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Originally Posted by 700rpm View Post
You must pull the lever down after starting to adjust for driving conditions. Leaving it in the timing position and driving with it there can damage your engine. 9:00 is a good position for most common driving.



Thats what 40 said.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:51 AM   #17
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Thumbs up Re: timing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! The ignition timing on a stock model A is set with the timing lever, located on the left side of the steering column. The initial timing procedure, once done accurately, is good for the life of the engine (until the timing gears wear out). Just keep the points at the right gap and the initial timing will always be good. Some owners obsess over getting that initial setting down to a gnat's eyebrow, then start the engine and pull the timing lever down to whatever position they like, without realizing that all their fussing and futzing just went for naught!
Even if the initial timing is off a few degrees, a click or two of the timing lever makes up for it.




Yep
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: timing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick L. View Post
Thats what 40 said.
Yeah, I just intended to clarify the pull down position.
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Old 11-03-2020, 12:37 PM   #19
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: timing light

Model A's are one of the easiest cars to set the timing on . I have never felt the need to complicate the procedure .
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Old 11-03-2020, 01:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: timing light

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Originally Posted by katy View Post
To each their own, but methinks that your method is a lot more work than the "Original Ford" method.
lf I was avoiding work I wouldn't own a 90 year old car. Ha!
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