Upon checking the coils and starting the engine which had not been started in quite sometime, found out the timer was shorted to the case. Pulled out the old roller timer and installed a newday timer with a carbon brush. Is there any adjustment that needs to be made to the timer advance rod? If so, please be specific as I am new to this. Thank you for any assistance you can give me.
Set timer position with the quadrant lever all the way "up" (retarded) so that the measurement between the center of the timer rod and the center of the bolt on the arm that holds the timer in place is 2-1/2" - same for the New Day as for the stock timer.
You may want to run the New Day with the bronze brush it was designed for, some find a carbon brush "tracks" in a New Day. The originals worked great with the bronze brush.
I don't trust the 2½" thing. Here's how I do it: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG97.html.
Ford had a gauge for measuring the position, it's hard to measure without one, unless you have the radiator off. The "3:30" timing method is certainly reliable !
I'm with Steve. No way would I trust a measurement. Too many variables. Slop in the linkage. Slop in the pin on the brush holder. Slop in the brush in the brush holder. Variations in the way a timer is manufactured. Etc, etc, etc. Steve's method works for any timer and guarantees the timing is at 15 degrees ATDC. Measuring center distance only guarantees the center distance is 2-1/2".
The only thing I would add to Steve's method is advancing and retarding it a couple of times, then bring the lever up to full retard and double check that it is still firing where you think it is.
That gauge only works on original Ford timers. In my opinion the correct way to position the timer is to start the engine and bend the rod until the engine is running in a very slow retarded setting. Then adjust the lever on the steering column so that it is all the way up in a retarded condition. Then you will never get bitten by the advance gremlin when you hand crank the engine. I was using a Pertronix unit on one of my Speedsters and when running it with an electronic tachometer I found that it was turning 125 RPM without missing a beat.
Some people like to set the number one piston at TDC so that it fires at TDC but I think that is dangerous and that it should be retarded more than that and so that I why I set all of mine at the retarded position I explained above.