Jump to content

Timing 1929 DeSoto 6cylinder


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Im a Buick owner and have been asked to help check timing on a friends 1929 DeSoto with 6 cylinder engine. It runs fine but we all like to reassure ourselves that it is set within specs.

He says he cant find a timing mark or opening to find it on the flywheel and says there is not much in the shop book either.


Can a fellow DeSoto owner/ enthusiast enlighten me in to where it should be on this vehicle and what the settings are?


Anything to be aware of in setting these up?


many thanks

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't believe there are any marks unless someone made them later. 

Can't image it is much different than my 1930 CF (8cyl).


To set ignition timing. (paraphrased from the instruction book Second Edition March 1930)

Adjust breaker points to .022" (0.56mm) opening and the manual spark control button placed in the fully advanced position. 

Remove the 1/8" pipe plug above the no. 8 (or 6) cylinder and place a gauge rod in to be in contact with the piston head. 

Rotate the crankshaft until the no. 8 (or 6) piston is .037" before top dead center. 

Remove the distributor cap to see that the rotor brush is at no. 1 spark plug terminal.

The distributor clamp screw should next be loosened and the distributor rotated in an anti-clockwise direction, as viewed from above, until No. 1 cam begins to separate the breaker points. 

Before doing this the distributor rotor should be press against the direction of rotation to be certain that all backlash is removed. 

Then put it back together. 


Works everytime for me.


There is also another thread on this similar topic.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Brian said; beyond that I'm a great advocate of tuning with a vacuum guage.


If you can find a port in the manifold to hook up a vacuum guage it's so much easier to get timing/mixture etc. sorted, bearing in mind fuel properties have changed so much since these cars were built.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi guys,

many thanks. Those are very clear instructions. We will follow those and check what we have. Also have a vacuum gauge so that will be worth while.


Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...