Ignition Timing Mark on 1937 – 8 and how to set Timing

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    From previous diuscussions it seems that the timing mark is on the flywheel. Where one can peek in with that tiny round obervation plate rotated. Is that so?

    Also, I want to do a static measure of TDC ( Ignition 4-5 Timing BTDC or Mark). Is this the way to go? Or am I off on the wrong foot?



    Hi Steven, there are directions in the owner’s manual for the earlier 8 cylinder cars. I do not know if the same instructions are in the owner/operator manuals for the later cars.

    All the timing is set using the breaking of the points happening at a given position of the flywheel.

    It is virtually impossible to read the timing marks on the flywheel with strobe timing light.

    Since the distributors are two point systems, one set of points operates for 4 cylinders, the other set for the remaining 4 cylinders. if the points are not opening at nearly the identical time for all cylinders, then there will be some loss of smoothies and loss of power.

    This is why the timing is set for 4-5 and for 1-8.

    Hope this helps.

    Greg Long


    Steven…….you can use the flywheel mark to static set the points, but it is difficult. Add to the fact that the flywheel isn’t indexed and can be installed incorrectly, and then all bets are off. We have made pointers on some of our engines when we rebuilt them, so a timing light can be used. A bunch of other obscure issues can pop up if the engine has been significantly messed with. Your best bet is set up the distributor on a Sun tester, install, and set timing. When we set up cars, we jet the carb, recurve the distributor, and make several other changes……,it results in better starting, idle, and performance across the board.

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