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Old 07-21-2020, 06:17 PM   #1
dfairty1
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Default Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

So, Fully Retarded, the steering column lever is one click down (hits the body at fully retarded) And I have about 3/8" gap between the distributor arm & the body at fully advanced.
How does one adjust the Steering Column?
Thanks in advance. And if anybody is in the greater New Haven, CT area and wants to stop by, there will be Pizza involved!
1930 Model A Sport Coupe. All original, but new distributor/coil etc.
Dave
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:22 PM   #2
Conaway2
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

There is a clamp on the steering column just above the steering gearbox. If you loosen this, you can rotate the steering column tube to get the spark and throttle control levers - where the control rods attach to each - into the correct position. You may also need to bend the Spark control rod between the steering column and distributor just a bit.

I’d be happy to stop by, but am in Charleston, SC.....

Jim
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

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Originally Posted by Conaway2 View Post
There is a clamp on the steering column just above the steering gearbox. If you loosen this, you can rotate the steering column tube to get the spark and throttle control levers - where the control rods attach to each - into the correct position. You may also need to bend the Spark control rod between the steering column and distributor just a bit.

I’d be happy to stop by, but am in Charleston, SC.....

Jim

You also need to loosen the clamp inside the cab of the car where the steering column support is clamped to the gas tank. You may also need a strap wrench to budge the column even when everything is loose. All this assuming you have a two-tooth steering gear.
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:59 PM   #4
dfairty1
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

And which way do I need to rotate the steering column? Clockwise or counter clockwise? Thank you both for your input.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

CCW looking down column from inside the car.

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Old 07-22-2020, 02:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

OK. So, Now I've tried adjusting the timing 4 or 5 times according to this commonly used description. There are a bunch of these descriptions out there & are all pretty much identical. It ran OK before I started, but backfired out the muffler in between shifts & only ran fully advanced. now it won't start at all. WTH. As per this way of adjusting, I get the light on at the first click down from top.
http://pvmafc.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

If you followed those instructions your timing should be ok. When you adjusted the point gap to .020 are you sure the point arm was on the highest point of the cam lobe.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:20 PM   #8
dfairty1
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

wmws Yes. Checked it multiple times. Everything shuld be perfect. Just not understanding what it could be. Very odd.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

wmws One thing that doesn't make sense to me is this:
"5. From the right side of the engine, the rotor should be pointing to about 5 o'clock position. Loosen the distributor cam screw and rotate the distributor cam clockwise to the point just before the points open on the lobe. Tighten the cam screw down."
But that puts it at the back side of the flat spot. So when you Advance the spark it has to travel all the way across the flat spot to get to the lobe to open the points. Instead of being right at the beginning of the lobe. Makes more sense that it would be turned "CCW" Does that make sense? Hard to put into words...
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

When it won't start are you getting fire from the coil wire to a head bolt.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

I'll check. I get good spark at the Points.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

To answer your post 9. Turning the cam clock wise takes the back lash out of the system. Have just a little drag on the cam as you are doing this to be sure the back lash is taken up. Then you are right in that the cam should be just about to open the points when you screw in down. Then when you move the lever down it rotates the point arm into the cam lobe. Yes hard to explain but I think you have you lobe on the wrong side of the cam arm. I am wondering though how you got the light to come on with just 1 or 2 clicks down.
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

This last time I ignored the instructions & went with common sense. And we see where that got me. The other times I did as instructed & got the other result-too far from the lobe to get there in 1 or 2 clicks. I will revisit tomorrow & see how it goes.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

Maybe you should consider getting a Nu-Rex timing wrench. For someone new to this, it can really help and sets it pretty much right on. I have one and so do many others. The issue in your instructions say to set the rotor so it's at the 5:00 position, but then there is the issue of just what, exactly is 5:00? In actuality, the rotor needs to be so that the trailing edge of it with backlash removed is right at the #1 contact point on the distributor. That's kind of eye-balling it. The wrench will help with that.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

Just out of curiosity, do you have original style points of the "modern points?" In my opinion, the original style are easier to work with.

I'm in lower Fairfield County. If it weren't for the pandemic I would come up and give you a hand.

Ken
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:18 AM   #16
dfairty1
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
Maybe you should consider getting a Nu-Rex timing wrench. For someone new to this, it can really help and sets it pretty much right on. I have one and so do many others. The issue in your instructions say to set the rotor so it's at the 5:00 position, but then there is the issue of just what, exactly is 5:00? In actuality, the rotor needs to be so that the trailing edge of it with backlash removed is right at the #1 contact point on the distributor. That's kind of eye-balling it. The wrench will help with that.
Hi Bill, I do have the wrench.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:19 AM   #17
dfairty1
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGBnut View Post
Just out of curiosity, do you have original style points of the "modern points?" In my opinion, the original style are easier to work with.

I'm in lower Fairfield County. If it weren't for the pandemic I would come up and give you a hand.

Ken
Hi Ken, Old style points & Condenser is in the old spot below the distributor.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Adjusting the Retard/Advance on the steering column

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Originally Posted by dfairty1 View Post
Hi Bill, I do have the wrench.
OK, if you have the Nu-Rex Timing Wrench, then just follow the instructions that came with that wrench and forget about all the test lights and clicks of the spark lever.

Nu-Rex Timing Wrench:



Use timing pin to get #1 cylinder on TDC. Rotate wrench on cam around clockwise and as you approach touching pin #4 of the distributor body, tighten the cam screw.

Fun Fact:
You can also use this tool to check your timing. Don't loosen the cam screw. Just use the timing pin to get the engine #1 cylinder to TDC and then put the wrench on the cam. Gently turn the wrench clockwise to take slack out of the distributor shaft/drive and the wrench should stop right at pin #4 of the distributor body. If it does, timing is good.

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