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1932 Country Club Coupe 90S Engine timing

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Hello All


I have a question in regards to engine timing and want to make sure I am not steering myself in the wrong direction.  Now last year I had the engine running and was having trouble putting the car in first and second gear and was attempting to tune down the carburetor and adjust the timing.  Now the car has not started since 1980 and I cleaned the carb and put new gaskets and needle valve in, took the water pump apart and cleaned, took of the fuel pump cleaned and put back.  The car was in pretty good shape, just parked.  So as I began to go thru the process of trying to get the timing down by going thru the blue manual specifications and adjustments for 1932 and followed the timing of the vehicle by watching no 3 exhaust fifth valve from front at top dead as exhaust is just about to open and timing to adv 10deg on the flywheel positioning rotor to number 1.  Now this is where I am thinking I screwed things up!  I in my ADHD hast was actually once I timed the first time was trying to time of the fourth valve instead of the 5th.  I did not realize what I was doing and thought the rotor had moved and moved it back by undoing the advance screw picking up the the distributor and moving to position, this was last winter.  I could not get the car to turn over and at that time winter was setting in and decided to continue in spring.


Spring is here and went out to see what I had done wrong, now I have redone the timing to the fifth valve and moved the distributor back to original and am going to attempt to start soon.  Now my questions are once I have in the position and no 1 is about to fire will the valves for no. 1 will both be in the up position?  Also the points should they be opening or closed or just about to open?  Other question is since moving the distributor a couple of times will that affect anything I should be concerned about with the distributor gear.  Any comments will be most appreciated, I am not a mechanic and have never claimed to be and am willing to learn as much as I can from those born with the gift.  I love antique cars and love driving them now I am attempting to understand what really makes them tick as much as possible.  Just wanted to throw that out there and if anyone wants to make a video that would be even more helpful.  I am going to go thru the book again and make sure I am in the right area.  Thank you again look forward to the comments.


Thank you

Matthew Maya

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I don't know about the 5th valve business, To help Understand your engine a little better the 2 end cylinders on an inline engine travel together, and timing is always done with number 1,

so, if the valve cover is off, watch #8 as you slowly turn the engine and at the point that the exhaust valve  (the very back one is the exhaust) closes and the intake is about to open # 1 is on firing position.   8 is on the dead stroke between exhaust and intake and somewhere near the top.  I don't know where the timing marks are on that engine but likely on the flywheel with a cover held by one screw.  You should be able to find the marks. You are looking for a TDC or UC. Top dead center or upper center.   At that point the distributor rotor must be pointing to the # 1 plug wire and the points just opening, If the rotor is pointing wrong you will have to pull the distributor out and turn it to the correct position. Remember the gear is beveled  so it will turn a bit when you reinstall it so allow for that.  When that is correct, position the distributor so that the points have just opened... barely.  be sure you know the direction of rotation.

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Just install a petronix module, flame thrower coil and suppression wires from the brillman company, works great and no time trying to get the points perfect. But when/if the module fails you will be dead in the water. Points can be nursed and will give a warning prior to failure allowing you to find a good spot to pull over. Just my 2 cents.

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Here are the pages from the spec and adjustments book. I fabbed up a crank shaft spinner for a 1/2 " breaker bar. Pull the plugs when setting points and always keep rotation same direction, ie. don't back up if you pass your mark. That removes the lash. Also can use a vom and timing light to gain accuracy. Runs well with points, but I think better w electronics. 





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One common error that has shown up on a number of 32 Buicks that have had an engine rebuild is that the fly wheel is mounted to the

crankshaft with 6 studs that are equally spaced.  The fly wheel can be put on in 6 different positions.  Murphy's law says you have a high probability of getting it wrong.   


Set the engine to TDC as per the reference manual instructions and if you don't see the timing marks in the window, the flywheel is on wrong.


Bob Engle

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