1986 280i (Federal) Ignition Timing

1986 280i (Federal) Ignition Timing

Author
Discussion

MCWEDGE

Original Poster:

39 posts

27 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
MCWEDGE runs great, but I had never checked the timing until today.

Highlighted the crank pulley mark, removed, cleaned, painted the fixed timing plate.

Timing light pickup on #1 plug wire, vacuum advance hose pinched off.

Idle set to 950 rpm with dwell/tach.

Strobe shows timing to be about 100 degrees advanced!

Anyone experience anything like this?

Jim McPhee
New Mexico, USA

Wedgehead

48 posts

7 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
We all know that’s not right but suspect you are doing something wrong. I borrowed my brother n laws light (timing his boat) and struggled with the reading until a nearby neighbor pointed out that this was a “new style digital gun”, you had to dial in the timing you were looking for and then time it to zero??
So without the adjustment my reading of 16 bedcovers was actually the 8 I was looking for. Good luck

KKson

2,763 posts

66 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
I've heard numerous stories of the timing marks being out due to issues with the pulley but 100 degrees does sound excessive. Was the number 1 HT lead getting any interference?

MCWEDGE

Original Poster:

39 posts

27 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
My timing light is at least 40 years old. Inductive pick-up, but no adjustment. Nothing to do wrong with it. Well, except put it on the wrong wire, but no question it was on #1 plug lead.

No interference that I am aware of. I replaced the plug wires with top of the line wires when I first got MCWEDGE, and I think they are well routed.

When I said 100 degrees off, I think I exaggerated a bit. I'd been over at a buddies doing this in the hot sun in his driveway. When we finally got the timing marks cleaned up and visible after taking the bonnet off, and got the light on it, I was practically seeing double! Looking at again in my garage yesterday, it appears to be more like maybe 50 degrees off. A bit more than 1/8 of the pulley circumference.

Adrian@

3,565 posts

223 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
Q. Does it have the blue (CJ Wagoneer) cap or the grey Ford motocraft distributor cap ...I have a USA spec DH '86 with the blue cap and I could take a look at mine. A@
I am presuming that you have set the engine at TDC and looked to see if the rotor relates to number one lead.

Edited by Adrian@ on Wednesday 15th May 17:31

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MCWEDGE

Original Poster:

39 posts

27 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
It has a Bosch distributor with a brick red cap.

That's a good suggestion about checking rotor orientation at TDC. I have not done it, but will this afternoon and will report back.

Adrian@

3,565 posts

223 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
IF you take the plug out of number one and 'feel' if hit TDC, THEN check, the pulley marking etc. Mine is a later car spec wise, (400 A frame and in the nose radiator...but I can pull the bonnet later if needed. A@

MCWEDGE

Original Poster:

39 posts

27 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
Yes, that is how I would confirm #1 cylinder is at TDC.

MCWEDGE is a June 1986, model with radiator in the nose cone.

Adrian@

3,565 posts

223 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
My understanding is that the cap used is the 'Wagoneer' blue on the later cars, NOT that it will fit a different distributor, if for some reason it has been changed AND the rotor will be the match to the cap.
As you say you are 'only' checking and as it all runs fine...this is for you own curiosity etc.
A@

PS, back when... I pulled a bosch cap off the shelf, before I even opened the bonnet ready to service this car...LOL

Edited by Adrian@ on Wednesday 15th May 18:15

MCWEDGE

Original Poster:

39 posts

27 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
I'd never heard of the 'Wagoneer' blue cap.

I forgot that the alternator and A/C compressor are blocking the #1 spark plug hole. Checking for TDC and rotor orientation will have to wait until the weekend.

WedgeLess

2,519 posts

90 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
This might sound way too obvious but just in case.

The only thing aligning the pulley on the crankshaft is a single woodruff key. It's possible to assemble the engine without that key, and your timing marks can then be anywhere.....
If bolt is really tight it probably won't slip..... have seen this once on a Triumph engine, but not a Ford...

Yeah - check true TDC by using a probe (coat hanger wire even !!) down the spark plug hole. Or a torch (+mirror !) if you can get at the right angle to see top of piston.
can then only be either at TDC or at valve rocking (i.e. 180 degrees out on dizzy). Can tell if it's the "right" TDC from the valves, incorrect one will have both valves moving
(one on each side of TDC) whereas ignition/compression will have both valves closed and static.

Dizzy - I do know there is a Motorcraft distributor and a Bosch for the 2.8 engine, and they have different caps (and ignition amplifiers/drivers too).
Motorcraft cap is blue, but I thought all 'export' engines had a Bosch dizzy with the red/maroon cap. But then, it's possible that your car was originally a UK one....

MCWEDGE

Original Poster:

39 posts

27 months

Wednesday 15th May
quotequote all
This might sound way to obvious but just in case.

The only thing aligning the pulley on the crankshaft is a single woodruff key. It's possible to assemble the engine without that key, and your timing marks can then be anywhere.....
If bolt is really tight it probably won't slip..... have seen this once on a Triumph engine, but not a Ford...

=====


Never considered that possibility. Do you know if the key is visible from the front of the crankshaft with the pulley in place? Or if the the pulley slot and crankshaft slots are visible? If so, shouldn't be difficult to see if the pulley slipped.

=====



Dizzy - I do know there is a Motorcraft distributor and a Bosch for the 2.8 engine, and they have different caps (and ignition amplifiers/drivers too).
Motorcraft cap is blue, but I thought all 'export' engines had a Bosch dizzy with the red/maroon cap. But then, it's possible that your car was originally a UK one....

=====


MCWEDGE does have the Bosch distributor with the red cap.

========


Adrian@

3,565 posts

223 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
I have looked for my information...I quoted the Wagoneer (Jeep) blue cap as I thought you might relate better to that car stateside. The very late cars used a Motorcraft distributor cap that is blue (generic picture of the Jeep item) as fitted to the 2.3/2.8 Granada here.



A@


MCWEDGE

Original Poster:

39 posts

27 months

Yesterday (00:59)
quotequote all
Well, the weekend is gone, and I have not been able to check for #1 cylinder TDC. Maybe I can do it during the week, and check/set the valve clearances at the same time. Will have to see how things pan out.