Installed a truefire ignition on a 1914 touring car. Car runs great with the spark advance all the way up, when I pull it back where it use to be it will not run. Checked the wireing three times. Instructions said not to mess with the timieing if timieing was already right. Car does not run hot with spark advance all the way up. This seems backwards to me, will this hurt anything. Has anyone else had this problem, and what is the solution or do I just leave it as is? As always thanks for any help or input to this mystery.
You should check the timing on #1 plug by finding TDC on the compression stroke and with ignition then turned on, the plug should spark just after you crank a little more. Should be just the same as Ford coil ignition.
Rhbuff. The Trufire requires a considerably different "bend" in the timer rod. It is just a quirk of it. I've run one now for more than 10 years and love it, so it's worth the effort to set it up right in my opinion!!
This what happens when you don't do as Les suggests and the spark is just a little late.
The engine will backfire through the other cylinder that has a spark and has just started to open.
If the carb has a little spill over gas on it or some old oil or grease is nearby and the stove pipe is not on very tight or not at all, you soon have a nice fire that is hidden under the hood and not noticed until the flames come though the top.
Good thing the fire dept was there to put the fire out.
Here are timing instructions directly from Ed Bittner:
1. Set the Spark Rod all the way to Retard or at the top.
2. Remove all four spark plug wires.
3. Remove all four spark plugs.
4. Attach plug wires back to plugs and set each of them on the head, turn on the ignition key.
5. One person now has to slowly turn the crank, by hand, just until the #1 and #4 plugs start firing, while a second person peaks in the spark plug hole with a small pen light to note the position of the piston. If the piston has just reached Top Dead Center and started down about 1/8th inch, you are good to go and can turn off the ignition key, put the plugs back in and attach the wires.
Alignment Procedure (when the above did not indicate alignment)
6. Remove the Spark Rod from the Timer and rotate the Timer Connection about 1/2 inch closer to the Passenger Side or Counter Clockwise looking from the Front.
7. One person has to turn the crank, by hand, while a second person peaks in the spark plug hole with a small pen light to note the position of the piston. Stop turning the crank when the #1 piston has just reached Top Dead Center and started down about 1/8th inch.
8. Slowly move the Timer Connection toward the Driver's Side or Clockwise from the Front. Stop when the buzz noise starts.
9. Bend the Spark Rod until it will go back in the Timer Connection without moving the timer position.
10. Repeat the Test Procedure to insure the setting is correct. Wear in the linkage may move that setting several degrees.
I had this same problem with mine a few years ago.
Ignore the comment in the Truefire instructions to leave the timing alone, you MUST check and reset the timing per the procedure in the instructions (paraphrased below).
You will likely find that the timing rod needs to be longer than before, possibly so much longer that you will have to fabricate a new rod to keep the rod from touching any of the timer contacts during its full range of movement. Here are a couple of pictures showing where the timer usually ends up with timing set at 15 degreees after top dead center:
Here is a procedure for checking and resetting the timing:
Setting Proper Timing with Truefire Ignition
1. Remove the Spark Rod from the Timer and rotate the Timer Connection about 1/2 inch closer to the Passenger Side (Counter Clockwise looking from the Front).
2. With your thumb covering the #1 spark plug hole, slowly turn the crank until you can feel compression building in cylinder #1. Stop turning the crank and remove your thumb from the spark plug hole.
3. Slowly turn the crank, by hand, while looking in the #1 spark plug hole with a small pen light to note the position of the piston. Stop turning the crank when the #1 piston has just reached Top Dead Center and started back down about 1/8th inch.
4. Turn the key to BAT, and slowly rotate the Timer toward the Driver's Side (Clockwise as viewed from the Front). Stop rotating the timer when the buzz noise just starts. You should see plugs #1 and #4 firing. Turn it back counterclockwise, then clockwise again a couple of times to confirm that the buzz position is repeatable. With the timer rotated to the "just buzzing" position, turn the key to OFF.
5. Without disturbing the position of the timer, take some whiteout or a white marker and draw a line on the timer case and engine front cover. This will mark the correct position of the timer so that you can find it again, just in case the timer gets bumped in the next step or some time later.
6. Bend the Spark Rod until it will go back in the Timer Connection without moving the timer from its marked position. You will probably have to lengthen the rod quite a bit.
10. After you have set the rod length, have a helper slowly move the spark lever all the way from full retard to full advance while you watch the timer. Make sure that the timer rod doesn't touch any of the timer terminals over the full range of movement.
Great stuff Garnet. In cased others missed it,1&4 fire together 2&3 also fire together. So removing all 4 plugs is certainly advise able. You could get away with just removing the #1 PROVIDED the other 3 are connected to some other plugs not installed in the engine!!
Another heads up: keep a couple of old style 4 amp fuses in your toolbox. If you happen to have a dead or low battery and jump the battery and you have left the ignition switch on, the 4 amp fuse inside the Truefire box can blow. To avoid this make sure that if you jump the battery, keep the ignition switch off.
With the 2 cylinders firing at the same time you get lots of free starts. I have had several Tru-Fire's and would not have a t with out one. Tru-Fire uses new 2 cylinder hi output Ford coils. I think you get about 60,000 volts at the spark plugs.
I will tell you from experience, you do need to insulate the inside of your coil box per instructions. Especially the old wood coil boxes, the spark its so intense it will burn the wood and short out inside where the contacts are.
I have run one for 10 years in a Heinz original coil box in my '13. I did nothing special. ZERO problems rain or shine
I'll take luck anyday!!!
I'd definitely get it timed properly. If it runs good with the timing lever all the way up, you are just asking for a broken arm or damaged starter on start up.
As for jumping one off, I suppose you could charge the battery with another car with the switch off, if you were patient enough, but you'd have a hard time 'jump starting' a car with its switch off.