Taylormade

TDC Problem

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Getting ready to start the motor on my 1932 Dodge Brothers DL six and have run into a bit of a problem.  I'm trying to find TDC to get the timing set up correctly.  I know the best and obvious way is to remove the plug over number six cylinder and put a rod into the hole and watch until it reaches the top of travel.  At this point it's TDC on one and six, then I check the tappets and if both are down on one, one is ready to fire.  The problem is, I can't get the damn plug out.  It's made of brass and seems to have fused to the cylinder head.  It has a screwdriver slot cut into the top, but any attempt to turn it out with the correct size flathead screwdriver just chews up the brass.  Naturally, I have the engine nicely painted and don't really want to burn the finish off by heating the area up.  It's a fine thread plug and there seems to be enough sticking out of the cylinder head to get a pair of vice grips on it and try to turn it, but I'm sure it would totally tear up the plug.  Are they still available or am I going to get myself in deeper by destroying it?

 

Any other methods of finding TDC accurately?  I can turn the engine with the crank and watch the tappets until they are both down on number one, but there is a lot of slack and I don't think I can get that accurate a reading.  Same with putting a finger over the open spark plug hole to feel for compression.  I swear there were timing marks on the flywheel when I was putting things together, but I can't see a thing through the timing port hole on the bellhousing when I think I'm close to TDC.  I have the sinking feeling I'm going to have to get that threaded plug out of the head to make this work.

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I would try to braise a rod to the plug so as not to contaminate the cylinder with brass bits.

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I think I'd only get bits down inside if I tried to drill out the plug.  I guess I'm more worried about finding another plug, although they may be as easy to find as a trip to the auto parts store.  Our local NAPA is an old time shop and they have drawers full of stuff that hasn't been seen since the forties.  And they'll let you look around in the back room all you want.

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Restoration Specialties may have those plugs. You could always do the timing the old way by removing the distributor cap, turning the engine over to where the rotor is facing the #1 cylinder and then check the valve positions.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Put your finger over #1 hole and turn the engine until you get the puff of air.

Then point your rotor to #1 plug wire. This should be close enough to get it started.

Then hook up a vacuum gauge and turn the distributor back and forth to get max vacuum. This should be about the best it will run.

Sometimes a slight bit retarded from this timing. A little experimenting and you will know when its right.

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Can you use a bent piece of wire through the spark plug hole? Sort of flattened Z shape? Have used that on some engines, but not sure if it will work on yours, but with a bit of juggling you may be able to get it in place to feel the piston when near top of stroke and turn crank and feel when actually at TDC.

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I got the plug out with vice grips.  As I feared, they tore up the plug pretty badly, but it was already damaged, as the slot was in poor shape before I even touched it.  It's still usable in a pinch, but I'll try and find a new one.

 

IMG_7626.jpg

 

This allowed me to put a small diameter rod into the opening.  Obviously, the rod rests on the top of the piston and as you rotate the crank it's easy to find TDC. 

 

IMG_7622.jpg

 

I'm glad this worked out.  Before I was trying to guess at it based on the lifters going down.  It turned out I was about ten degrees off doing it that way.  Using the rod, the mark on the flywheel showed up (I knew it was on there!) and I can now see the ignition setting and  the TDC setting.

 

IMG_7628.jpg

 

And I discovered I actually lucked out and got the distributor in correctly.  At TDC the rotor is in the one o'clock position.

IMG_7630.jpg

 

So, adjust the valves, set the timing and I'm ready to fire her up for the first time.

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I am quite sure that the plug will be a standard pipe plug.

Cant wait to see a video of the engine running.

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Taylormade,

Just a thought.  In regard to an alternate method of locating TDC; why not target the cylinder that is at BDC when #1 is at TDC, hunt for the bottom?

John

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56 minutes ago, multiscepter said:

Taylormade,

Just a thought.  In regard to an alternate method of locating TDC; why not target the cylinder that is at BDC when #1 is at TDC, hunt for the bottom?

John

 

Finding BDC is just as difficult as finding TDC.  SInce the spark plug hole is over the valves and not the piston, the access port over number six piston is the only way to determine exact TDC.  It was gratifying to find the mark on the flywheel lined up perfectly when I got the piston on TDC.

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now that you see marks on flywheel

if you highlight marks with white paint , it makes it easier for the next time 

I also use it with a timing light

Edited by 30dodge35 (see edit history)

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