Timing rod adjustment for Anderson timer

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First Name: Jim
Last Name: Kelsey
Location: Puyallup, Washington
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Timing rod adjustment for Anderson timer

Post by JimKelsey » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:11 am

My car has recently not been running very smooth, though the acceleration has been good. This issue has been going on for some time now, so I searched past forum threads on timing the Model T and came across Tom Carnegie's 10 step method. I adjusted the rod according to the method and, though the engine ran smoother, I had poor acceleration and getting up to 35 mph took a LONG time. I am wondering if the adjustment for the Anderson timer is slightly different that the standard Ford timer or maybe something else needs adjustment. Below are Tom's 10 steps, which are extremely easy to follow for anyone unfamiliar with them. Any advice from Anderson users is welcome! Thanks.

- Jim

How to Time a Model T

1. Turn crank shaft around until crank pin is horizontal.
2. Turn key to Battery.
3. Retard spark.
4. No coils should be buzzing.
5. If coil buzzes, go to step 8.
6. Advance spark rod 3-5 clicks on quadrant and a coil should buzz. If coil doesn't begin to buzz, go to step 9.
7. Retard spark and coil should stop buzzing. Everything is okay!
8. The timer control needs to be lengthened. Return to step 3.
9. The time control needs to be shortened. Return to step 3.
10. Coil should buzz and quit buzzing every time you advance and retard the spark!

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Timing rod adjustment for Anderson timer

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:18 am

The basic setup of all timers would be the same and having it timed right is only used for starting so would not effect your speed. You might need to play with the spray needle adjustment (might be running lean) or you are not advancing the timing enough. Battery or magneto? Other thing to check, are you getting full travel of the timing rod, the the timer moves the needed rotation and does not bind up before end of travel.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: Timing rod adjustment for Anderson timer

Post by Piewagon » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:28 am

I suspect a different problem that sometimes happens to the Anderson Timer only. Of the common timers on the market the Anderson is the only one that can have the contacts themselves get out of adjustment due to wear or sometimes due to the mounting nut for one of the contacts getting loose and then re torqued with the contact being then in the wrong place. This alters the timing for that one cylinder and is most notable when running on battery and is somewhat forgiven when you switch to MAG for running but it still affects performance. Check for that issue as follows:

You will need to be able to see the pulley pin at the front of the motor to tell clearly where each cylinder is firing. On brass cars this can be done without pulling the radiator. Turn off gas when the engine is running and let the car run out of fuel in the carb to make sure the motor won't fire at all in case timing for one or more of the contacts is off far enough to cause the engine to "snort" backwards and bite you while we test it. You can also just drain the carb but I like to run the engine dry to protect myself.

1. Set timer lever to full retard and leave it there for all testing. Pull the hand brake full back to set the brake.
2. Turn coil box on BAT. If a coil is buzzing then pull the hand crank forward until buzzing just stops.
3. Now pull hand crank forward as slow as you can to "sneak up" on the point at which a coil buzzes and STOP when you hear buzzing.
4. Pull the hand crank back and look into the engine pulley and note the position of the pin. Ideally it should be just past horizontal. I call that position the 9:15 O'clock - 3:15 O'clock position. Whatever it is just note it for future reference.
5. Re-engage hand crank and pull engine forward to stop all buzzing.
6. Return and repeat steps 3 then 4 then 5 to verify the exact position of the pin for each of the 4 cylinder firing points. My bet is that ONE or more of the firing points will not be exactly the same as the others. Trace which cylinder is off by arcing the spark plugs to ground with a plastic handle screwdriver touching ground on the head to thus identify the cylinder you have landed on. Alternatively you can simply see which coil has its points arcing in the coil box with lid off and trace that to see which contact of the time has moved.

The last time I did this test with a guy who had the same complaint as you describe, one of his contacts was off more than 25 degrees and he sent the thing back to be readjusted. I think the Anderson timer is the only one that can have its contacts move and that can really mess things up. I wouldn't try to readjust it yourself since you really need it done on a fixture using a degree wheel or some such.

Good luck

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