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Distributor in wrong, can't retard timing: 77B

To: MG list <>
Subject: Distributor in wrong, can't retard timing: 77B
From: Tom McLaughlin <>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 09:48:26 -0700 (PDT)

After replacing the electronic ignition in my car, from Pirana to
Pertronix, the coil, plug wires, disti cap, rotor, and plugs, my car
was back to running pretty good.  The Pirana unit was the culprit. 
However, the car was unusually hard to start.  I figured that I messed
up the timing when I put the disti back in and it was too far advanced.
 So, I went and bought a timing light this weekend and told myself that
Saturday was the day I learned about timing.  WOW! THE TIMING WAS WAY
WAY ADVANCED.  I did pull the vacuum line and plug it and then set the
timing too about 20 degrees TDC.  Here's the problem:

I couldn't retart the timing any furthur because I had to turn the
disti as far as it would go to the left to get it to this point.  I'm
assuming I just made another rookie mistake when putting the disti back
in.  I thought I was careful about this, but obviously not.  

I know I need to pull the disti out again, but could someone give me
some advice as to what I did wrong and how to correct this problem??? 
I believe the disti should be about straight when the timing is right. 

By the way, the car now runs better than it ever has.  It doesn't ping,
idles better, more pull, sounds great. I will continue to make these
mistakes, but this weekend was a great experienece for me.  Saw an MGA
at a gas station...his first words to me were, "I just put in a thing I ever did."  Thought I'd throw that in, and I saw
an early B driving around in the same day......great weekend.

Tom "the rookie"

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