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Ferret ignition timing


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The user manual says don't touch the red screws in the distributor or you will mess up the point synchronization.  They don't offer any way to set the timing.  I've read that you can't meaningfully use a timing light because of the retard at very low speeds to allow for hand-crank starting.

So, if someone has messed with those red baseplate screws or if things got out of sorts in some way, or (in this case) if one decides to install an electronic ignition module, then what's a good timing and how do I know that I've got it?

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When I fitted an electronic ignition to an Austin K2 ambulance once I asked the guy who made the kits about timing as the timing mark on an Austin flywheel is not visible when in the vehicle. He said turn it over and move the distributor to and fro until the engine picks up then advance it up until it sounds right ........ my reply was "oh, very scientific!!!"

Regarding the Rolls engines, I have worked on many vehicles in army workshops with these engines fitted and we found to get the best performance out of them was to turn distributor to fully advanced, there is only so far that you can turn the body as it has slots in it's flange mounting. Some will say that it will kick when you start it on the crank handle, I only ever used that handle for setting the points gap or fitting fan belts.

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That's what I used to do, just set the distributor for best smooth running.

Precision setting of the timing as per the manual is all very well but in the 1950s petrol was rather different from the stuff you get nearly 70 years later.

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32 minutes ago, fv1609 said:

That's what I used to do, just set the distributor for best smooth running.

Precision setting of the timing as per the manual is all very well but in the 1950s petrol was rather different from the stuff you get nearly 70 years later.

Is that the only reason (Petrol quality) they retarded it so much?

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1 hour ago, Manylandrovers said:

Is that the only reason (Petrol quality) they retarded it so much?

The retard at very low RPM was so you could hand start the motor without danger of kickback.

I'm now informed the Canadian manual has the procedure, you use the marks on the fluid flywheel and line them up while using a light connected across the points to set static timing. Then you just adjust it from there as far advanced as you can without any detonation.  With modern fuel and a 6.7:1 compression ratio, that's likely to be quite a lot!

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My Austin Champ (B40) ran very nicely at 12 degrees BTDC static timing on unleaded 2* petrol. Any more than that risked detonation. It routinely did 16MPG (Imp) and was happy to cruise at 65, though stopping was needed anticipation !

David

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On 10/11/2020 at 10:33 PM, fv1609 said:

That's what I used to do, just set the distributor for best smooth running.

Precision setting of the timing as per the manual is all very well but in the 1950s petrol was rather different from the stuff you get nearly 70 years later.

Is that the only reason (Petrol quality) they retarded it so much?

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Wow that’s some advance.

i was setting the valve gaps on my b80 just now prior to setting the ignition and am confused why the rotor arm is about 45 degrees out when the flywheel is tdc...? Even at 10 degrees atdc the rotor arm is nowhere near the no1 terminal inside the cap...

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