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This procedure is for use on centrifugal advance (009) and single-vacuum/dual advance distributors with points only - and even with these distributors, it is only approximate. Setting the maximum advance timing with a stroboscopic timing light is much more important. Dual vacuum distributors and distributors equipped with electronic ignition must be timed with a stroboscopic timing light.

If you have a single vacuum distributor, there is no need to remove the vacuum line to static time the distributor. However, if you are going to use a stroboscopic timing light, the vacuum line must be removed and plugged so that air will not be sucked into the carburetor during the test.[/mark]
  1. Put the transmission in neutral and set the parking brake.

  2. Unfasten the clips that hold the distributor cap (a medium-sized screwdriver works best for this).

  3. Lift off the cap and find the notch on the rim of the distributor body, either by sight or by running your fingernail around the rim under the #1 spark plug wire. You will find the notch at about 5 o'clock on vacuum distributors and about 7 o'clock on the 009 distributor (these two types of distributors are 90 degrees different from one another).

  4. Rotate the engine clockwise with the 19mm wrench on the generator pulley until the rotor is pointing directly at the notch in the distributor rim and the crankshaft pulley lines up with the split in the crankcase at 7.5 o BTDC, then put the cap back on and clip it down.

    [mark]Make absolutely sure that piston #1 is at TDC. It is possible to inadventently set piston #3 at TDC, which will position the notch on the distributor and the rotor 180 degrees out. If this is the case, make sure #1 is at TDC by using the Finding TDC procedure, then rotate the distributor until the notch is at 5 o'clock from vacuum distributors and 7 o'clock for the 009 distributor.[/mark]
  5. Get out your static timing light (just a 12-volt bulb in a long wire and an alligator clip on one end and any kind of a metal attachment - a pointy thing - on the other).

  6. Clip the alligator clip to the connection on the coil where the thin wire (usually green) from the coil to the distributor is connected.

  7. Turn on the ignition key (Do not start the engine!).

  8. Move the engine backwards a little to take the slack out of the distributor, then clockwise again until the timing park on the pulley (7.5 o BTDC) lines up exactly with the split in the engine crankcase.

  9. Now loosen the distributor clamp bolt (10mm) and hold the pointy end of the static timing light to ground (e.g., the engine case). Rotate the distributor clockwise until the test lamp turns off (points closed), then slowly counterclockwise until the breaker points open and the test lamp just flashes on. Tighten the distributor clamp bolt.

    [mark]You may find that the nut on the forward end of the clamp bolt turns when you try to loosen or tighten the clamp bolt. It is difficult to get a wrench on this 10mm nut; we finally kept it from turning by wedging a small flat-blade screwdriver against it.

  • To check - while holding the pointy end of the static timing light to ground, rotate the engine backwards (counterclockwise) a little, then slowly forward, watching the timing mark (7.5o BTDC) and the light at the same time, so when the light comes on you are ready to stop turning the engine.

  • If your engine is timed correctly, the light will go on when the 7.5o BTDC timing mark is lined up exactly with the crack between the two halves of the crankcase.

  • If it's right you're through-if not, loosen the distributor clamp bolt, and re-adjust the distributor in accordance with Steps #g and #h above, tighten the clamp bolt, and check it per Step #i above. Keep at it until it's right.

  • Switch off the ignition as soon as possible.

    Authors
    Rob & Dave

    Tags

    ignition, distributor, timing