Friday, March 26, 2010
Remove the sparking plugs, place the car in neutral and remove the distributor cap. Mark the plug leads as already described if you are unsure of which goes where.Turn the engine over until the rotor arm is pointing where number one cylinder HT lead terminates in the distributor cap (it will also be pointing at the notch in the distributor body rim). Place the two wires from your test lamp across the points. Turn on the ignition (NOTE; do not leave the ignition turned on for too long, becauseultimately this practice burns out the coil), then turn the engine backwards and forwards until you find the exact point at which the bulb lights. This is the point at which electricity flows to number one plug. At this point, the notch in the crankshaft pulley (single notch cars pre-1971) should be in line with the crankcase split, and the rotor arm should be in line with the distributor body rim notch. Cars made after 1971 which have a single crankshaft pulley notch are not so straightforward. The 1200 and 1300 notch denotes top dead centre (TDC) and there is no notch or other mark to indicate where the timing should be set. It is recommended that owners of these cars either consult a specialised workshop manual or, preferably, have the timing set professionally. The person who undertakes this work will make a temporary timing mark, which you can later make permanent (use a centre punch) for future reference! For cars with three notches on the crankshaft pulley, the centre notch should be used.
If the timing is incorrect, turn the engine until the appropriate notch lines up with the crankcase joint, then slacken the distributor clamp bolt. Attach the test lamp and switch on the ignition. Turn the distributor until you find the exact point at-Which the lamp lights, and fasten the clamp bolt whilst keeping the distributor in this position. Test and re-set if necessary.
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