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basic ignition timing question


I haven't played with ignition timing before, but looking over the manual, it seems like setting the basic static 4deg BTDC is straightforward enough. (This is on a stock 59 TR3A.)

But I'm not sure what fine tuning it will need after that. What are the symptoms I'm likely to see if the timing needs to be advanced or retarded?

Is a timing light needed, or is it sufficient just to spin the vernier adjuster one or two marks (or less) at a time?



Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Hi Txtr3, The timing light takes the guess work and minor error out of the system.Another tool I prefer is a Dwell meter to set the point gap rather than the feeler guage. In either case the vernier adjuster may only be required to adjust to fuel changes.I usually set it in the middle of its range and rarely use it---Fwiw---Keoke

Paul Johnson

Jedi Warrior
I'd be glad to shoot the timing for you. Just about to leave on a m/c trip, but if you want some help next week send a pm, and I'll get it Mon or Tue next week.

Geo Hahn

Country flag
What are the symptoms I'm likely to see if the timing needs to be advanced or retarded?

[/ QUOTE ]

You are looking for it to ping just a bit when you put it under more load than you would normally encounter... such as being in 4th gear, slightly uphill, 35 mph and you floor it.

If you get no pinging under these circumstances then you might try a bit more advance... if you get a lot of pinging under these conditions and pinging with more normal acceleration then try a bit less advance.

Of course your grade of gas is a big factor. My TR4 requires careful adjustment to eliminate pinging using premium... the TR3A does fine with regular & stock advance (somewhat worn engine).

Personally, I use the vernier for these adjustments noting each change on a 3x5 card so I know where I started and where I am.
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