Does anyone have either a drawing, or a photo, of how and where you place the metal Timing Gauge, when using one to check the basic timing on the Model T engine?
As a newbie to the Model T, I'm not quite understanding just where the tool goes... a photo of its proper placement and position on the timer would be greatly helpful! Thanks.
It can only be used if you still have a genuine Ford timer, the other brands may differ. It sets the proper distance between a screw in the timing cover and the attachment of the timing rod on the timer with the timing fully retarded.
It's always best to double check when ignition occurs with actual crankshaft/piston position. It's easy: With a cold engine without choking so it isn't likely it'll start, crank slowly with the hand crank with the ignition on bat and the timing lever fully up = retarded. As soon as you hear a coil starting to buzz, check where the crank shaft pin the hand crank engages points - if it points to 9.30 - 3.30, then it's OK. To change timing you'll have to bend the timing rod.
The crank pin may be hard to see on a '24-'27, but on a '23 it should be visible from between the radiator and the front frame crossmember.
(Photo by Dan Treace)
Hello Bob. Here is a picture showing what you want. As Roger pointed out, this gauge is ONLY used for an original Ford timer. Using this gauge with any other brand of timer can lead to incorrectly set timing which can cause backfires which are dangerous to someone who is handcranking the car. A backfire can also damage the starter as well as certain timers.
Up through 1923 it's easy to look in under the radiator and see the crank pulley pin. The method Roger described works without the setting tool, whether the timer is Ford, New Day, Crystal, or one of the many other makes.
I'll ask the question. Just what is the purpose of the timer gauge? Adjusting the timing? Adjusting the dwell (which has been establish does not exist for a Model T)? Adjusting the relationship of roller to the metal segment of the timer to activate the coil? To establish the limit of ignition retarding?
I like the TW timer tool. Its fool proof and easy.
Without a battery in the car you needed a way to set/check the timing, that's what the gauge does. It allows you to get the rod bent for correct timing when using only the magneto.
I still think and will continue to think that most all timers should time out about the same. The manufactures would want you to be able to put their timer right on in place of that old worn out Ford timer for more pep and better fuel economy!
That tool will get you close with any timer, but you should check to be sure the spark comes after top dead center with the spark lever all the way up. And also be sure to push the lever up the same way you would when driving. That is, without touching anything under the hood. Reason is that slack in the linkage could cause the spark to come before top dead center.
This subject has been discussed many times on this Forum. It is the reason why Steve Coniff and I prepared the following article.
The Model T Ford Ignition System and Spark Timing
The 9:30 and 3:30 rule works very well too, but it is difficult to accomplish on the later Model T's with a valance under the radiator because the crankshaft pin is difficult to view.
Ron the Coilman
The 9:30/3:30 rule works for most engines. The crank pin when set at 9:00 and 3:00 will show top dead center. Just make sure it is number one cylinder that is at top dead center. Then moving the pin to 9:30/3:30 will achieve 15.5 degrees ATDC. ..... BUT ...... There are some cranks that the pin will be at 12:00 and 6:00, for top dead center, especially some of the later EE cranks. So for those cranks 12:30/6:30 is the position for 15.5 degrees ATDC. My 27 touring with an EE crank, has the 12:00/6:00 pin position and I have a couple more EE cranks with the 12:00/6:00 position of the pin ...
is there a way to determine the type of crank you have, any markings on them.. my 26 will only start with the spark advance all the way down.. and I can't go any further after it starts so I leave it there.. I was going to just the wires one spot at the timer..
but now I'm wondering if I have one of them there EE Cranks..
I doesn't make any difference which cylinder.
When the crank pin is at 9:30 and 3:30 one of the four cylinders is at TDC. Simply set the timer case to make contact at that point and it will be correct for all four cylinders.
Ron the Coilman
I think another way of stating the pin position would be 17½ minutes past the hour, or 2½ minutes past the 3, or halfway between 3 and 4. If my figgerin' is right, that's 15½º past TDC.
Half way between 3 and 4 is the best way to describe it since it is simple and "close enough" since you have lots of lever position room to take up any variance. The danger in setting the timing is having the thing set to 3 or before 3 by any amount since that is gonna fire before the piston passes top dead center and that spells broken arm.
The 9:30 and 3:30 rule uses the clock face hour hand.
Ron the Coilman
You might have a distributor with automatic advance. In that case, the above advice for timers would not apply. The only way I know how to identify an EE crank would be to remove the inspection plate under the engine and look at the part of the crank between the journals. There would be a letter EE cast on the crankshaft in that area. The EE also hase oblong area between the throws where the earlier has more of a diamond shape.
The way to identify where the hole for the pin is drilled, would be to push the piston to top dead center, any piston, and observe the position of the pin. If it is vertical or nearly vertical, your pin is drilled 90 degrees from the usual drilling.
On Garnets pic above do we bend the rod until the hole on the end of the gauge lines up with the rod mounting point?
The usual directions call for disconnecting the rod from the timer, putting the timer in the proper position by whatever means (Gauge or whatever), then bending the rod so it lines up with the hole in the timer. In practice, I find this difficult. It's hard to get it back in the hole without moving it and even if you can, there is usually enough slop and/or flex in the rod that the linkage will not ever put the timer back into that exact position, which leaves it too far advanced.....Not good. I find it easier to just bend the rod with it still attached to the timer. I turn the engine until it is after TDC. Then I bend the rod until the coil buzzes when advanced, but quits buzzing as I push the spark lever up to the very last notch.
What I did with mine was, once I had the timer positioned correctly, I took some white-out and put a stripe across the timer and timing cover so that if the setting got disturbed while bending the rod, I could quickly rotate the timer back to the proper position.
(Message edited by cudaman on August 26, 2015)
What may not be obvious is that you can't have any slop in in the spark lever regardless of what tool is used to correctly set the retard position - everything must be in good working condition.
RVB. Not all EE cranks have the different pin placement. Ron P. Thanks for stating that any cylinder will work. I thought it would be so, but never really took time to think it thru as to #one or all of them working. RVB to know what pin placement you have you will need to find top dead center. You can remove the #1 spark plug and slowly hand crank the engine. By using a long drinking straw or a small plastic tube thru the spark plug hole, you can "feel" the piston as it is coming to TDC. When you get to TDC the crank pin will be in one of the two positions. Either 12:00/6:00 or 9:00/3:00. That gives you a TDC reference to use to set the 15.5 degrees with. I only mentioned the different pin positions because I ran into it on my engine when I had it overhauled, and I was setting the timing. So I looked at my stash of cranks and low and behold I had a couple more with the strange pin location. All the strange locations I had, are on EE cranks, but some of my EE cranks are the more standard pin location. Not trying to confuse anyone, but it does not seem to be common knowledge as to the two different pin locations .....
Thanks guys, very helpful thread.
Garnet is right on the mark with his comment above about spark lever/rod slop. Before you set any timing you need to get this slop resolved for a good outcome with timing setting.
If you use the TW tool the crankshaft pin location is immaterial.
Ron the Coilman
I got one of those timer gauges from Lang's today, along with a new ANCO Timer kit. If I'm reading this all correctly, I apparently CANNOT use the Lang's gauge with my new ANCO Timer, is that correct?... and I can only use the "crankshaft pin" vs. TDC method?
Here's an earlier thread about timing with the Anderson timer:
No, I would not try to use the gauge with anything but a Ford Script roller timer. Any other timer, and all bets are off. Using the crank pin method or piston position method works with any timer and guarantees you have it right.
FYI, I used the #1 TDC vs. "coil just starting to buzz" method, and I'm at least in the ballpark, as it fired right up in a brief test I did after installation of the new ANCO Timer kit...