[Healeys] Static timing

Michael Salter michaelsalter at gmail.com
Wed May 31 11:35:09 MDT 2017

Hi Stephen,
Yes very confusing.... I use 5/8" - 3/4".
For what it is worth here is the procedure that I have found easiest and
most accurate.

*Turn the engine so that the rotor is coming up to the #1 or #6 cap

*Ignition off and connect a test light between the live starter solenoid
terminal and the distributor low tension connector. The light should come
on when connected.*

*Engage 4th gear and gently "nudge" the car forward until the light goes
off. (Points open)*

*At that point the timing mark on the pulley should be 5/8" - 3/4" before
TDC. i.e. to the right of the pointer when looking forward.*
*If it isn't adjust the distributor position and repeat the above
procedure. *
Just rotating the distributor with the crank positioned on the timing mark
just doesn't seem to produce accurate results in my experience I suspect
because of backlash in the distributor drive.

Michael S

On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 12:05 PM, Stephen Hutchings <s.hutchings at rogers.com>

> I remember someone saying that the Haynes manual had some poor or
> inaccurate instructions within its covers.
> Recently I found some strange instructions for setting up the static
> timing on the Healey 6 cylinder.
> They seem to be telling you to set the timing with a test light at TDC,
> without any advance...find TDC, turn the distributor until number one is
> firing, wiggle so that the play allows your test lamp to go on and off, and
> tighten.
> The BMC shop manual says to find TDC, and then "The crankshaft should be
> rotated backwards to obtain its correct position ..." presumably to the
> correct degree of advance- not too precise but the advance is acknowledged
> at least.
> I seem to remember that the measurement is about 5/8", and that's what
> I've used in the past.
> My rebuilt distributor came with the instructions of 10-14 degrees at idle
> without vacuum...would that be about 5/8", or slightly less, do you think?
> Thanks, Stephen, BJ8
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*If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.*
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