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

To: "MG list" <>
Subject: Re: Distributor in wrong, can't retard timing: 77B
From: Max Heim <>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 20:41:14 -0700
Hmmm, I *think* the only way your distributor can be in wrong is if the 
drive gear is backwards (180 degrees off), which generally means you 
aren't running. It seems more likely you've got the plug leads rotated 
around the cap. Pull each lead and move it to the next socket, moving in 
a "retarding" direction (without it in front of me I forget which way 
that is). That will retard things 90 degrees, then you rotate the whole 
distributor back in the advancing direction as much as necessary (try 
60-70 degrees to start). The idea is to get the "sweet spot" into the 
middle of the adjustable area.

Tom McLaughlin had this to say:

>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"


Max Heim
'66 MGB GHN3L76149
Runs great, 
looks particularly bad since some SUV clown backed into it.
If you're near Mountain View, CA,
it's the red one with the silver bootlid.

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