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Timing lights 101

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  • Timing lights 101

    I received a PM regarding the use of those Timing indicators that bolt onto the front cover. Are they needed? NO...

    Find TDC with the timing pin...
    Put a dot on the crank pulley and a dot on the front cover so that it is even with the dot on the crank pulley. The location of the dots on the pulley does not matter, just as long as they are directly across from each other.
    Use an adjustable timing light to check and adjust your timing...
    Example: Say your timing is set dead on spark lever up and using the light it's reading O deg.
    Now pull the lever half way down and you'll see the dots are no longer lined up.
    Turn the timing lite advance knob till the dots realign.
    Now whatever that reading is on the timing lite knob is how much you were advanced.

    If you have the older style light without the advance feature deep six it!!

    No timing plate needed and it keeps the original look if that matters to you.

    These dots will also aide in lining up TDC down the road.
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"

    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

  • #2
    I'm with you.
    I have done the same, and actually made a pointer out of heavy gauge wire bolted to the timing cover so I can get the marks real close. The, marked off 1 and 1/8" on the pulley from the zero mark you just explained how to do. Then using a white office marker I divided that 1 1/8" distance into 5 equal sections. Each mark is 5°

    That way I can keep my old school Craftsman timing light, and still get good readings. I have bought 3 brand new timing lights in the past 5 years, with the dial back, and they all died within 6 months, just out of warranty. China has it figured out exactly to the day. And they were not cheap at 100 simoleans a pop


    • Mitch
      Mitch commented
      Editing a comment
      I have had my same snap on digital adjustable T-light for over 30 years now
      It shows rpm and advance

  • #3
    Same for me I have had my light for years and never a problem.


    • tbirdtbird
      tbirdtbird commented
      Editing a comment
      wish i could say that!!!!!

      maybe try buying a new one?! They still work for you because they were built pre-China?? LOL

      BNCHIEF commented
      Editing a comment
      You are right about that Tbird maybe mine was japanese junk.

  • #4
    They might not be needed, but then most things I have on my truck that didn't come on it are not needed either.

    "But Dad, I really want one"
    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
    This gallery has 2 photos.
    Alaskan A's
    Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska
    Model A Ford Club of America
    Model A Restorers Club
    Antique Automobile Club of America
    Mullins Owners Club


      BNCHIEF commented
      Editing a comment
      Some of the other kids have them and you do not want me to be an outcast.

  • #5
    There is nothing wrong with having one on your car,Ii'm just trying to explain the basic principles of this procedure.
    Just because the suppliers sell it, that does not mean it's needed.
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"

    Mitch's Auto Service ctr


    • #6
      TIP# 31
      A Friend drilled the timing cover & inserted a straight 1/8" welding rod, with a POINTY WHITE tip!--Would that deduct points or would it need to be painted GREEN or BLACK?


      • #7


        • #8
          Originally posted by CarlG View Post
          They might not be needed, but then most things I have on my truck that didn't come on it are not needed either.

          "But Dad, I really want one"
          Carl, can you tell us where you got the degree plate? I like it the best of all I've seen. I have a Snap-on light like Mitch mentioned and it works, I use the reflective squares that came with my snap-on digital tachometer for a better mark but they don't look attractive.


          • Mitch
            Mitch commented
            Editing a comment
            I use 2 tiny pinpoint dabs of white out

          • CarlG
            CarlG commented
            Editing a comment
            They show up on eBay quite frequently. I talked to the guy that makes them and he said that he is sold out right now, new batch will be available in several weeks, so just keep looking.

        • #9
          What ! You're trying to get me to throw something away ! You're sounding like JoAnn ! 3 timing lites is about right, one for each hand and a spare just in case. I'm trying now to think when I last used one.


          • Dennis
            Dennis commented
            Editing a comment
            I bought my last new one in 80. Never had a reason to get rid of it...

        • #10
          Originally posted by Mitch View Post
          I use 2 tiny pinpoint dabs of white out
          I did the same thing last year for the engine I'm fixing as a temp for my 28. I use the dimple to time, but the dots can let me know when I'm getting close.

          The Dollar Tree white out pens have nice fine ball points, and contain a fast drying white paint.

          Timing Paint.JPG


          • #11
            I've had mine like that for quite awhile, then some reflective tape squares.

            But then I see Carl's and I wanna be like Carl now. Yeah... "Dad he has one so why can't I ?? LOL But you just got an upper water connection like Carl, so what makes you think you gotta have a timing indicator"...


            • DaWizard
              DaWizard commented
              Editing a comment
              Hey Dennis, I have one just like Carl, you want it? Cheap cause I don't use it, broke my timing light.

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