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Trying to establish timing
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I need to check timing on my A14 because it's running rich.
The problem I have is: it's a Frankenstein engine with lots of parts on it. It has a three sheave pulley on the crank and I cannot for the life of me see a single mark on it. I think the timing chain cover is from a 1200, because it looks the the ones on the tech wiki.

So if you have a car where you don't know exactly where TDC is, how do you determine it, to mark the pulley?
I'm thinking about pulling a spark plug and sticking a wire in there and measuring the height but that's only going to get me to within like 5 degrees because movement of the piston is so small at TDC.
Maybe stick the wire in and try to measure it at roughly halfway up, observe the angle there, move it until it's the same depth on the other side, observe the angle there, and split the angles?

Posted on: 7/30 1:30
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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1000s and early 1200s used this timing cover (single mark):
Open in new window


later 1200s and B210/120Y used this cover (degrees marked 20-10-0) and all newer engines including A14 used it too:
Open in new window

Posted on: 7/30 11:16
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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The biggest problem is a pulley without any mark. In that case I would remove the crank pulley bolt and look at the woodruff key position -- that's Dead Center. Line it up like this, then put the pulley back on and mark TDC with a file or a bit of paint
Open in new window


Open in new window


with the cover on looks like you could center a rule between the two bolts like so

Attach file:



jpg  _3640.jpg (50.69 KB)
174_6103d6a17170b.jpg 640X480 px

Posted on: 7/30 11:46
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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Probably get you in the ballpark, engine will run good for 5-15 BTDC. 0 will be a little sluggish and 20 will give more low-end power but wont let it rev very high

Taking the cover off will be 100% accurate

With the cover on the most accurate way is with a "piston stop". I think the wire idea won't be accurate enough

14mm piston stop $16 USD or you can make one

0. pull all plugs so you can easily turn engine by hand
1. Put engine in approximate TDC, then rotate a bit further
2. thread in the Stop to the #1 spark plug hole. Then turn the shaft in until it stops on the piston
3. rotate back (by hand) a bit to be sure then engine stops (hits the Piston Stop)
4. Mark the pulley
5. rotate the opposite way (almost a full turn) until engine stops again
6. Mark the pulley

Halfway between the two marks is TDC

Attach file:



jpg  cca-4795.jpg (15.15 KB)
174_6103ddba1cda1.jpg 400X290 px

Posted on: 7/30 12:08
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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These are all very useful. I'll try to get the pulley nut off (which is its own challenge) and check the woodruff key alignment as that seems the easiest, but may go with the piston stop if I can't get the pulley loose.
Thank you!

Posted on: 7/31 20:17
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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easy pulley nut removal:
* attach breaker bar, rotate clockwise until the bar stops on the chassis rail
* remove coil wire from distributor cap
* turn key to Start (briefly)
This will loosen the nut

When you go to tighten the nut, put the car in 4th gear, block the wheels, set the handbrake, and use a torque wrench. Torque: 15-16 kg/m (108-116 ft. lb.)

Posted on: 8/3 12:25
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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I've always been scared of popping a tooth off the starter ring gear, after having a jeep with a missing ring gear tooth once. That was a big pain in the butt.

Posted on: 8/18 4:54
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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yeah me too. but after using this method on many japanese engines i no longer worry

The alternate method which usually works on the A-series is to put it in 4th gear and use a breaker bar. If your starter grinds on the flywheel (or has a missing tooth) i'd use this alternate method. A quick heave should break it loose or use a rubber mallet

Posted on: 8/18 7:43
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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When I first got my CNC mill working I had to pull the pulley for some reason (I don't remember what) so looked at it, measured one hole size, and the distance between two holes, and cut this lovely tool that fit in the pulley with fingers about 0.1mm smaller than the holes, so I could put it in with a 2m long breaker bar on it, then a second breaker bar on the (31mm?) nut, and pop the nut loose.
Except I didn't actually COUNT the number of holes. I figured it would be six holes. There are seven, in a 1200's pulley.
So I made the tool and... nope. I had to remake it for 7 holes.
But then it worked great.

Now I have an A14 with a pulley I got somewhere else (hence the missing index mark) and it has no holes in it to index on. If I had to do this a lot I'd make a clamp-on tool that fits in the v belt flange and clamps tightly enough to let me shift the crank main nut.

Posted on: 8/21 5:29
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Re: Trying to establish timing
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Come to think of it, I may indeed need to do this repeatedly. The pulley I have now is a three sheave and I'm only using one, to the water pump and alternator. Next project is putting on a Ford EDIS trigger wheel using a machined mounting that clamps into one of the unused pulleys and the trigger wheel presses onto, with a key so it won't move.
After THAT'S working, cast a whole new pulley that has, on its nose, a gilmer drive for a supercharger. Some day...

Posted on: 8/21 5:32
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