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100 timing - getting it in the correct position to start

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Luegolover Avatar
Luegolover Steve L
London, London, UK   GBR
I tried to start my 100 last weekend for the first time with very limited success. When I bought my box of bits it came with a new chassis and a rebuilt engine and during the last 10 years I have spent very little time working on the engine except to fit all the ancillaries including the distributor. When I installed the distributor I followed the manual guidelines as much as possible but it is now clear that I got it wrong. During the starting attempts I withdrew the distributor and moved it round 1 notch on the drive gear a few times until I got to a point when it did fire up for a few brief seconds. I plan to have another go this weekend but wondered if I could be doing any damage by just trial and error moving of the distributor? I don't think I can be too far away but I don't know.

I have uploaded it to Youtube:

Any suggestions on the best way forward?

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NOHOME P P
O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
Remove the valve cover and spin the engine by hand until #1 piston is at top dead center. Observe the two rockers for the cylinder. If it is on the compression stroke, both will be a bit loose due to the valve clearance. If they are not both loose, then rotate the engine another revolution and check again. Assuming that you can find the mark, and you are in compression, move the crank back to the 10 degree before top dead center mark.

Now go to your distributor and with the cap off, look at where the rotor is pointing. That will be #1 cylinder. Instal the lead between the coil and the cap. Put a wire on that #1 cap position and a spare plug on the other end of the wire. ground the plug. Now energize the coil by turning the key on ( but not cranking the engine over.) Rotate the distributor by hand and you will see a spark jump the gap when the distributor corresponds to the correct position.

Install the rest of the plug wires in the correct firing order keeping in mind that the rotor goes counterclockwise.

Pete

Michael Oritt Avatar
LUSBY, MD, USA   USA
Steve--

Pete's post gives excellent advice and I'll just add that if the car is difficult to turn over there is probably too much advance, so slowly turn the distributor counterclockwise. If on the other hand it cranks freely but does not fire there is probably too little advance so pull the timing back by rotating the distributor clockwise.

I really do not bother with static/initial timing readings and simply look for what it reads at 3000 rpms. The 100 engine is pretty sensitive to timing and too much advance will result in overheating or worse, so I would recommend 32-34 degrees at 3K rpm.



Best--Michael Oritt
1954 Austin-Healey 100 (street)
1958 Elva Courier (track) FOR SALE
1959 Elva MK IV sports racer (track)
1961 Ginetta G4 (track)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-07 07:55 PM by Michael Oritt.

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PAN Avatar
PAN Alwyn Keepence
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Pete, this is how I proceed, except that my engine does not have a mark on the timing cover!
Cheers,
Alwyn

Luegolover Avatar
Luegolover Steve L
London, London, UK   GBR
I'm a real donut. Like a major league donut. I'm so embarrassed that I'm going to have to have another beer before I confess to my stupidity.

Luegolover Avatar
Luegolover Steve L
London, London, UK   GBR
Well, embarrassingly I just figured the dizzy would turn clockwise and set the plugs out to match. Naturally the car wouldn't start. So I sat on the sofa and surfed for timing on old english cars only to see some other idiot say that he had got it wrong by setting up for clockwise rotation. I said to my wife that I think I've been really stupid and set the plug leads in the wrong order. She asked if it would take to rectify and I said no so she said lets go and start it. This is the result.




Michael Oritt Avatar
LUSBY, MD, USA   USA
Is that giant spider real and if so did you dispatch it or is it hiding in the car someplace?



Best--Michael Oritt
1954 Austin-Healey 100 (street)
1958 Elva Courier (track) FOR SALE
1959 Elva MK IV sports racer (track)
1961 Ginetta G4 (track)

NOHOME P P
O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
wisdom comes from experience and experience comes from a lack of widsom...Good result! Carry on...

Bout that smoke?eye popping smiley

Pete

ps Reason I mentioned " if you can find the timing mark" is cause if memory serves, I could not find a timing mark on a 100-4. Total timing at 3500 at 32 degrees seems to work.

Pete

Luegolover Avatar
Luegolover Steve L
London, London, UK   GBR
Giant spider was left to it's own devices so I guess it was hanging around somewhere last night and is now feeling slightly smoked out.

About the smoke, I dropped a little oil into each cylinder every year and span the engine over a couple of turns in an attempt to keep the bores fresh, I guess most of it was still in there waiting to be burnt and the exhaust isn't clamped up tight hence the appearance on the side of the car.

PAN Avatar
PAN Alwyn Keepence
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Steve,
as we say in Australia "that's not a spider......!"
Well done! The engine sounds great. You are now sure to remember the procedure. Lessons learned the hard way are well learnt!
Cheers,
Alwyn

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