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26 dodge ignition timing


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My 1926 sedan took 5 quarts of oil. The mechanics handbook said four but the level indicator was a little on the low side so I added another quart and it brought it about 3/4's of the way up between the two cast marks on the #1 cylinder wall.

As for the timing, sorry I can't help you with that one.

Dave

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If you have the distributor already installed heres how you can check the timing, it may not be precise but near enough to get it running. Remove all the spark plugs and turn the engine over by hand, that is in a clockwise direction facing the engine; but you probably have a crank handle anyway so can only turn in one direction.

You will need an assistant to hold their finger/thumb over the spark plug hole of number one cylinder and all of this should be done slowly, as the piston moves up to the firing point you should feel the pressure increasing under your finger/thumb, at the point where the pressure begins to decay you are at top dead centre or the firing point, this is the bit which determines the preciseness of your timing and you may need a couple of attempts to "feel" this position correctly.

Having reached this position go to the distributor, note the position of the number one spark plug lead in the distributor cap, then remove the cap and observe that the distributor rotor button is pointing towards the position of number one spark plug lead when the cap is fitted. Now look at the contact breaker points and determine that they are open approximately 0.020" or the width of say a paper clip.

OK so this what you should be observing, if its not right you need to come back with your observations and we take it from there.

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To add to what hchris said one of the valves of number 4 cylinder is closing {I think it's the exhaust but I'd have to look}at the precise time that number one is at TDC. Just as you think number one is at TDC check the valves of number 4. It will be perfect when you can turn the lifter with your fingers, signifying the valve is closed. I like to then loosen the distributor shaft and use a test light hooked to the points wire from the coil. When you turn the distributor shaft and the light lights up your timing is correct.

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Yes you could check the valves on number 4 ( assuming we are talking 4 cylinder here )however that opens a new dimension which would mean removing the side plates to see the valves.

If you go to this trouble then you would observe number 4 exhaust valve closing and number 4 inlet opening at the same time number one piston is on top dead centre of the compression stroke, and yes you should be able to rotate the lifters on both valves of number one cylinder thus indicating both valves are closed.

However we are still in the close enough zone; if you want to be precise then you will need to use a top dead centre indicator which, if my memory seves correctly, can be accessed via a removable plug in the cylinder head where you insert a rod and watch as the upcoming piston pushes the indicator rod up and you can actuallly see the precise point at which the piston reaches top dead centre, more work though.

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To find TDC you will need a fixture that you can run #1 piston up against (mark the crank). Then rotate the engine backwards almost one revolution and up against the fixture again (mark the crank). The mid point of these two marks is TDC.

I made a fixture by breaking a spark plug up and running a screw thru it. You could probably buy one somewhere.

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Not a Dodge expert, but most cars of this era did not have crank pulley timing marks, so you had to go through this debilitating exercise to get it right.

Dont forget we are talking pre vacuum assist distributors here which were manually advanced and retarded as you drove along, so initial timing was fairly hit and miss.

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The way DB mechanics used to adjust the static timing in the olden days was to keep advancing it in tiny increments as long as the engine still ran well at idle with the advance lever all the way up. When it started to run worse at idle with the advance lever up than with the lever down, they would back it off to the previous setting.

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  • 4 years later...

Hi there

Can you help me with my timing issues. I can't work out if I should have a magneto or a distributor. (the car came without it) it is an australian model. A106449.

How does the advance/retard work for the magneto system? Is the magneto system replacable with the distributor? What is the correct firing order?

I think it is a 1924 dodge (has been made into a ute) Single system starter/generator .

So many questions.

Cheers

Shayne

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Hello Shayne, we can help you. If I am not mistaken you have not started a new post concerning the issues you are having and by doing this your posts may be easily read and then dropped or forgotten.

Start a new post or direct me to where you have started a new post and if no one else will I will do what I can to help you.

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