Help with timing with TA 212

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by [JP], Feb 27, 2019.

  1. [JP]

    [JP] Well-Known Member

    Hi all!!

    Some may remember, last winter you all helped me lots with completely rebuilding my engine here on the other side of the pond.

    Well, it has given me so far about 7k miles trouble free miles! Yes, I’m shocked I actually managed to rebuild a whole engine and it’s still working! Hahaha

    Anyway.. reason for my thread.

    My engine is a 69 GS 350.

    It had been hard to start end of last summer, sometimes would fire right up, sometimes would take a while.....
    Went to start it the other day and it was having none of it.

    Went through a few things and figured out the problem must have been with the Crane-Cams electronic ignition thing…….. took that off (only been there like 6k miles), put the old points back on and bang! Fired right up. Hardly had to flick the key, easy easy start.

    I might just keep the points for now and forget about all this new gimmicks. I run points on all my old Harleys and prefer them.

    So its working. Now onto timing.

    I have read Larrys thread about timing, but I reckon the more I read the more I doubt myself on what I’m doing.

    Am I doing this right?

    1. Warm engine to operating temperature, done this after a drive around.

    2. Disconnect vacuum and plug it.

    3. Timing light on balancer, engine idling, around 550rpm, move dizzy till white mark between 4 and 8 (think I put it on 6)

    4. With the light pointing at balancer, increase revs.

    5. Line will start moving up and disappearing, increase timing advance on light to bring line back in ( I have a digital snap-on light with all the gimmicks)

    6. Keep doing so till line stops moving up

    7. When I get to the line not stop moving, I’m about 2300rpm, the line is on zero and the advance on the light is showing 30

    Now, am I right saying my total is 36? – As I had the initial on 6 and then with WOT I had 30 on the timing light?

    I’m still running stock springs. I do have the kit from Crane-cams I think it is, but never put any of those springs in. Should I?

    Does my procedure sound right and is 36 acceptable?

    I have a Holley 500cfm.

    I know the best would be to get a Q-jet, but impossible to find one here in the UK.
    Might have to get one from the US at some point.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Dwayne B

    Dwayne B Well-Known Member

    It sounds to me that you have 30 total timing,when you set it idling that is just your initial timing.with your digital light set at 30 and engine rev up into mechanical is all in the balancer lined up on o ,with vac advice on hooked then you have 30 total timing.
    I like to set my total timing to what I want and let the initial timing be what it is.
  3. Stevem

    Stevem Well-Known Member

    Do you still have the two stock wires going to the hot of the spark coil?
    If so then that is your hard start issue, or hard to keep running issue.
    With points one wire applies a full 12 volts to the coil only when cranking the motor ,then in the run postion of the ignition key it drops to 9 volts feed thru the other wire.
    The Crane system wants a full 12 volts fed to it all the time .
  4. [JP]

    [JP] Well-Known Member

    oh... so I only have 30 then.
    shouldn't it be more in the 32-36 region?

    So, say I want 34 (just to make sure I'm thinking this right), timing light advance set to 34, then revs up till line on balancer stops moving, move dizzy till line is on 0 (zero) mark.

    got that right?
    Or (just to make sure I'm still thinking right) - If I put the balancer mark on 2, then I'd have a total of 36? (with the timing light still set on 34). got that right?

    Nah there's no stock wires left.
    I redone the whole engine bay wiring. there was no difficulty on starting for 6k miles or keep running though.

    With the crane system I had wire from ignition going to a balast resistor,as there's no resistor wire, and then from the resistor to the + coil side.
    I left the same for the points and works ok?
    When I installed the crane, the instructions showed to keep the balast resistor as shouldn't have a full +12V on the coil when running.
  5. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Currently you have 6 + 24 mechanical, so anything you add to initial increases your total timing. If you want 36 degrees, you need 12 initial, and the mechanical will still be 24, bringing it to 36 total. Likewise with 34 degrees, 10 initial, mechanical is 24, so 34 total.
  6. [JP]

    [JP] Well-Known Member

    12 initial! that would be off the scale! so i'm guessing to get the 12 initial, I'd have to have engine on idle, timing light advance on 4, then line the balancer timing mark, by rotating dizzy, with 8 on the tab?

    got that right?
    (trying to learn this here once and for all!)

    How would I got about knowing what's best? I left it at 6 as that's where the engine "sounded" better.
    but as I have read the total timing should be 32-36, then I'm off and need more....?

  7. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    12* initial is not bad. Put your timing light to 12* and turn the distributor to until you reach 0* on the balancer with the engine idling.
    [JP] and johnriv67 like this.
  8. Philip66

    Philip66 Well-Known Member

    What your concerned with is your total timing.
    Set that at whatever RPM your mechanical advance stops advancing.
    Your initial will be whatever it is. Don't set your initial.
    Set your Total Timing, just like your doing now.

    If you set 34* total, then your initial will be ??
    [JP] likes this.
  9. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    You have 30* total without the vacuum advance. Here is the problem, with stock springs, your full mechanical advance may not be in until 4600 RPM. When the line stops moving up, that corresponds to the weights moving all the way out. You say the line stops moving at 2300, but you may be mistaken thinking that the mechanical advance is all in. It may not be, so your 30* total may not be. That is a COMMON mistake, and the biggest reason for using those light springs (yellow) in the Crane kit. With those springs, when the line stops moving, you can be certain the weights are all the way out. Those springs produce maximum mechanical advance as early as 1800 RPM, so you don’t need to rev it to the moon to see the true total. Don’t leave those springs in there, just set the total with them. Then put the stock ones or stiffer Crane springs back in after you set the total.

    Decide what total advance you wish to run. Turn the timing light dial to that number. I suggest 32*. Then with the VA disconnected, aim the light at the balancer. You will see the line below the timing tab. Rev the engine until the line stops moving up. When it does, note it’s position relative to the tab. If the mark is above the 0, you have too much timing, if below the 0, not enough. When the line stops moving, you want it right at the 0 on the tab. Then the total is what you have the dial adjusted to. Turn the distributor to make that happen, simple as that.
    [JP] likes this.
  10. [JP]

    [JP] Well-Known Member

    Yes, thank you, that makes total sense, the initial is whatever it ends up being, the important bit is the total timing!

    That makes perfect sense in my head now!!

    and I will definitely be trying out the yellow springs to set the total timing and avoid revving the nuts off the engine.

    thank you gents!
    I shall give it a go this evening after work if I have time. We are getting unusual warm weather here in the UK for this time of year.... about 59*F!! so it should still be nice and light by the time I get home.
    Darron72Skylark and MrSony like this.
  11. [JP]

    [JP] Well-Known Member

    Tried this out today, thanks all for your help!

    Got the yellow springs in there and yes, the line would stop moving around 1800 / 2000 rpms, dial light on 32, turn dizzy till line lines up with zero.

    So, I had it wrong.
    and on that note, a small question.

    I went out today before doing the timing again and going uphill it seemed like it was misfiring, slightly cutting out but still moving.... once on a straight, it was alright.
    am I right in saying this might have been caused by the timing being wrong and was doing the misfiring when under load going uphill?

    didnt have a chance to go out to that hill after i changed the timing to check it out.

    also worth saying the points in the dizzy are not brand new.
    I'm waiting to get a dwell meter so i can also set the points properly.

  12. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Set dwell and try that hill again, that’s the best test method now

    There’s also the argument to not go up that hill if it’s the only place that it misfires at:D
  13. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Changing the dwell will hange the timing. Dwell first, then check timing.
  14. [JP]

    [JP] Well-Known Member

    I'll report back once I have my new bits.
    My fuel filter is quite dirty, so I want to get a new one of those, a new set of points and then adjust with the dwell meter. friend of mine is sending in the post a bunch of stuff he used to use on old cars and have no use for it now as it's all electronic.
    Dwell meter, colour tune and some other stuff I haven't even heard before.
  15. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Get the HEI conversion and forget about changing points ever again. Just keep a set of points in the glove box incase the HEI unit fails.(just for that just in case circumstance)
  16. Mart

    Mart '71 350 GS, almost stock

    IIRC, .015 - .016 gap with feeler gages gets you close to 30 degrees dwell.
  17. [JP]

    [JP] Well-Known Member

    that's what I had. Crane cams.. and lasted 6k miles...

    I done that. I only use feeler gauges on my old harleys, but reading about dwell meter I'm curious to see how much more accuracy you get out of one of those. (had never heard of a dwell meter)
    So my plan, once I find a set of points over here in the UK (nightmare), is to set it with feeler gauges and then hook up the dwell meter and see how much different it is.
  18. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Don't forget to lube the rubbing block on the points. IF you don't the rubbing block wears quickly.
  19. Jim Nichols

    Jim Nichols Well-Known Member

    You did change out the yellow test springs with the medium tension ones before your test drive? The yellow are too weak and only meant to set total advance.
    MrSony likes this.
  20. MrSony

    MrSony Well-Known Member

    Yeah, did you change the springs back? You can set your timing curve with the springs. You can mix and match colors too.

Share This Page