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Timing

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Clod_King
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Timing

Postby Clod_King » 23 Apr 2018 01:17

Finally got around to checking the timing on the TR7 today and it was off the scale. Literally. It could've been 50 or 60 degrees of advance. How could the car run like that? But my question to the smart people of this forum is could the distributor have been installed one gear tooth advanced? I've fully maxed out the adjustment and I'm still sitting at 30 or so degrees of timing BTDC. Or could the harmonic balancer have slipped? The engine started running better when I retarded the timing as far as I could go and the rpm at idle went up which would makes sense (was idling around 600 rpm or so and went up to 1200 or 1500 after the timing change).

Just wondering if my theory of the distributer being installed improperly by the PO makes sense.

Also is there a rebuild kit for these crummy lucas distributor's? I have one I could rebuild and transfer over if I could rebuild it. Maybe a simple cleaning would be enough.

Thanks in advance.

sonscar
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Re: Timing

Postby sonscar » 23 Apr 2018 14:37

Possibly as the gear causes the rotor to rotate as you fit it.As a rough check remove no 1 plug and rotate to TDC on the firing stroke.This will show how close the marks on the balancer are.Remove the distributor cap and the rotor should be pointing to the inlet manifold bolt nearest to it.This is a rough alignment check.Hope this helps,Steve...

Clod_King
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Re: Timing

Postby Clod_King » 23 Apr 2018 21:45

Thanks Steve. I'm gonna check it out this week if I can find a wrench or socket big enough to fit the crank bolt.

Hasbeen
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Re: Timing

Postby Hasbeen » 24 Apr 2018 07:04

You can turn the engine over by pushing on any slack in the fan belt, to remove any slack, & turning it over by the fan belt. It is quite easy with the plugs out.

Hasbeen

FI Spyder
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Re: Timing

Postby FI Spyder » 24 Apr 2018 15:14

Being out a tooth happens all the time (as mentioned the spiral gear moves the distributor as it is pushed in). Most people send their distributor away to a shop to get new bushing put in.
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Clod_King
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Re: Timing

Postby Clod_King » 29 Apr 2018 20:37

Okay so I believe I'm doing some wrong or I'm on the right track and there's something else that's way off...

I have the hash marks lined up on the crank pulley with 0 degree mark on the timing tab and the timing chain gear hash marks lined up and the distributor pointing at the rear most bolt on the intake. The spark plugs wires are hooked up 1-3-4-2 on the distributor cap with number 1 cylinder being the front cylinder of the motor and plugged into the port on the dizzy that lines up with same bolt on the intake. I believe that's correct.

She run's worse than before. Sounds like it's only running on a couple cylinders. I'm going to double check the gap for the plugs. I've also just recently rebuilt the carbs and they were only loosely set up to run. But the car ran with the same carb setup before with the insane timing.

Again, sounds like it's running on fewer than four cylinders and there's a strong smell of unburnt fuel.

Hopefully I'm missing something super simple like no1 cylinder is at the back of these motors...

Clod_King
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Re: Timing

Postby Clod_King » 29 Apr 2018 21:00

All plugs are gapped to .023-.025

I'm running out of options.

REPLIC8
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Re: Timing

Postby REPLIC8 » 29 Apr 2018 21:48

Sounds like you've got the basic mechanical timing correct, you need to set the static timing to 10 degrees BTDC. Have you checked the points gap? Also worth swapping the condenser for a spare one. Mine was running like a pile of poo and it was the condenser breaking down.
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Clod_King
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Re: Timing

Postby Clod_King » 29 Apr 2018 22:03

Installed my MSD blaster 2 coil. She ran better. Installed some new plug wires and all four cylinders are firing again. But is this just because of a new more powerful spark making up for bad timing? Or is it because the carbs are so out of whack that a more powerful spark is burning the excess fuel??

Clod_King
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Re: Timing

Postby Clod_King » 29 Apr 2018 22:26

Got 10 degrees btdc just like the book says it wants. So I guess now I can attempt to setup the carbs... oi

Clod_King
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Re: Timing

Postby Clod_King » 29 Apr 2018 22:30

Replic8, I have electronic timing courtesy of Lucas on this hunk of burning love.

I'm wondering the car was sort of dieseling along with a weak spark and a huge advance on the timing. It runs but not as smooth as it once was. Also the rpm at idle dropped from 1500 to around 900 so there's a bunch of work to be done still I think.

John_C
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Re: Timing

Postby John_C » 30 Apr 2018 09:07

In my experience electronic ignition is notoriously crap so that could well be your problem. Others have gone for years without having to change anything but I've had more trouble with different ignition modules than anything else on my car over the years. And that is in spite of only keeping electronic ignition systems for a total of six or seven years and running points the rest of the time.
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FI Spyder
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Re: Timing

Postby FI Spyder » 30 Apr 2018 15:40

Could be anything in the "chain" of possibles, overlook one thing and you're going down the garden path. Make sure the top dead centre is on the compression stroke (there are two, the other being the exhaust stroke which would put it 180 degrees out). Electronic ignition parts can fail (either intermittently or totally) including the capacitor of regular timing. That being said, my original Delco electronic has never missed a beat in 38 years (did UK/Europe get the Delco electronic or just NA)? Bad wires/plugs/cap/rotor can make it run bad. Leaking (split) rubber carb mounts can make it idle high/run shitty/fail to start. Carbs are the last thing on the list and the best way to fine tune them after rough setting up is by the condition of spark plugs (with out professional equipment).
- - -TR7 Spider - - - 1978 Spitfire- - - - 1976 Spitfire - - 1988 Tercel 4X4 - Kali on Integra - 1991 Integra - Yellow TCT

Beans
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Re: Timing

Postby Beans » 30 Apr 2018 19:21

Clod_King wrote: ... I have electronic timing courtesy of Lucas on this hunk of burning love ...

According to my parts manual the Lucas ignition was mainly used for the US cars.
So main question I'd like to see answered first, is what spec engine is in your car? Do you have an engine number?
And as FI Spyder mentioned, check everything thoroughly. Don't take anything for granted!
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