Meant to send this to the list, forgot to delete the tag line.
> All you say makes things a little more difficult.
> First off - is there an easy way to set ignition without a timing light -
> answer is yes. You put the engine the equivilant of 10 degrees advanced
> (on the crank) make sure the rotor points to cylinder #1, and it will run
> ok - but there's more. Then you start advancing the timing, and driving
> the car. Advance, go drive (accelerating hard). Keep increasing the
> amount of advance until the car pings. Then back it off so it doesn't
> ping. Usually one does this with the verneer adjuster - that's the easy
> way to do it - but you don't have one. Since that is the case, you have
> to do the other method, which is to turn it by hand. This isn't as easy,
> but isn't too difficult either. The hard part is getting the two bolts
> that hold the clamp down tight enough that the distributor doesn't move
> when you drive, but loose enough you can turn it.
> Believe it or not, it's a crude way to do it, but (assuming your carbs are
> right) it really is the best way to adjust your timing, and it doesn't
> require a light. Also, for the best mileage, get a piece of vacuum line
> and hook it up from the intake to the distributor.
> For an alternate method, you can hook in a continuity testor on the high
> tension lead, set the engine at 10 degrees advanced, and turn the
> distributor until the light changes (can't remember if it's on or off -
> I'd have to look it up in my Bentley manual). If you want that method, I
> can get it for you later today.
> I'm guessing Barney has more info on his tech pages, but a quick scan only
> gave me info on the distributor itself, not how to set it. Look anyhow
> though - www.mgaguru.com
> Phil Bates
>> After taking all your great advice, I have at least got the engine to
>> where it is idling at 1200 (it jumped from 800 to 1200 just by
>> adjusting the points); running fast on the road (you may recall I
>> couldn't get it over 4500 rpm -- now it will zoom right up to 5500);
>> and not running the temperature gauge pegged at the "H".
>> I looked carefully at the distributor and noticed that
>> 1) there is now hose to the intake manifold;
>> 2) the vacuum disk ( my description of the place where the hose would
>> attach) wobbles when touched and
>> 3) the vernier for adjusting dwell (see how fast I'm learning the
>> lingo?) if frozen
>> So I bought a new distributor - which has its own interesting points.
>> For example, there is no vernier on the new distributor which leaves me
>> to wonder how best to adjust the dwell.
>> Also, please correct me if I am wrong (it's been so long) but I change
>> the timing by loosening the distributor and rotating it. Correct?
>> Lastly, is there a alternate method of getting a good timing adjustment
>> short of a timing light?
>> SEARS wants $65.00 for a timing light, which I don't mind paying if I'm
>> going to use it often.
>> Michael Torrusio, Jr.
>> owner of a great 1971 MGB -- my only car.