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No timing advance and one black spark plug
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billfred1
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:03 pm    Post subject: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

Started running rough. All plugs except for #1 looked fine. Plug 1 was really black. Not oily black, but powdery black. Put in another plug and same thing happened right away.

Also noticed I'm getting no timing advance. Vacuum advance in dizzy is working.

Checked valves and dwell.

Any ideas?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

Bad cap or wire, advance weights frozen?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

Confirm the model# of your carb & distributor. Carbs with venturi vacuum for the vacuum advance port (eg. 30Pict) will not generate enough vacuum signal from the left side port for a later distributor (SVDA or DVDA) which are expecting a ported vacuum signal.

You want to match the distributor to a carb that produces the correct vacuum signal. Also, your ignition timing should be based on the distributor installed.
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Last edited by ashman40 on Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mukluk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

What are the specs of the engine we're talking about?
How are you verifying the ignition advance isn't working?
Have you checked the vacuum signal from the carb's advance port with a gauge while the engine is running?
Have you checked the spark quality at the offending plug?
Have you done a compression check to see if cylinder 1 is low?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

An original 66 bug would have a 113905205K installed. However, after decades, who knows which distributor is in it now.

How did you check the vacuum canister? You need to use at least a hand vacuum pump with gauge. The canister should be pumped up to say 100MM hg and then not leak down at all.

If that passes and the distributor still doesn't advance, you probably have a stuck or sticky pivot inside the distributor. It would need to come apart, cleaned and then lubricated. 99% of the SVA distributors I restore have never been apart since new and the original lubrication grease is long gone.
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billfred1
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

Thanks guys. It does have the 205k dizzy from Tasb. Mated up with a recently rebuilt 30 Pict 1 carb.

It's the stock engine with 1600 jugs. It's been running great for the past year.

How do I check spark quality? Also, regarding the timing advance, with the timing light, I no longer am seeing an advance when I gun the throttle.

When I suck on the air line going to the dizzy, I can see the points shifting.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

billfred1 wrote:


When I suck on the airline going to the dizzy, I can see the points shifting.


If the vacuum canister is partially blown, you'll see the points pivot plate shift some but you can't be sure it's moving all the way.

When I check vacuum canisters, the arms will move while I'm adding vacuum but not much and will immediately retract when the vacuum is stopped being applied.

You can put a timing light on the engine and rev it up to say 3000RPM. Point the gun at the timing mark on the pulley and see how much it's advancing. If that distributor has the correct vacuum canister mounted and you have it timed at 7.5 BTDC, you should see the timing advance at least 32°.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

You check spark quality at the plug similar as you would from the coil: unscrew the plug from the head, reattach the plug wire, then crank the engine over while holding the threads of the plug in contact with a good ground and observe the spark at the plug to see if it's strong or weak.

If sucking on the advance line to the distributor shows the can is working and not leaking, then you should check the vacuum signal coming from the carburetor advance port with a gauge while the engine is running -- the port may be obstructed.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

If one pulls on the spark plug cable to pull the socket that plugs over the spark plug, and if the spark plug cables are built like the original VW ones. Then the rubber insulation of the cable could have stretched and the copper strand wires do not stretch. So the copper wire strands are no longer in contact with the brass screw/stud of the socket. Unscrew the socket from that cable, trim off the insulation till at least 1/8" 3mm of the copper strands sticking out. Bend the strands flat to the end of the insulation, and rescrew back on the socket.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

wcfvw69 wrote:

If the vacuum canister is partially blown, you'll see the points pivot plate shift some but you can't be sure it's moving all the way.
When I check vacuum canisters, the arms will move while I'm adding vacuum but not much and will immediately retract when the vacuum is stopped being applied.
You can put a timing light on the engine and rev it up to say 3000RPM. Point the gun at the timing mark on the pulley and see how much it's advancing. If that distributor has the correct vacuum canister mounted and you have it timed at 7.5 BTDC, you should see the timing advance at least 32°.


Bill,
This sounds like my scenario. I do see the plate move when I suck on the hose. It immediately returns as soon as I release vacuum.
I'm confident that I'm getting no timing advance at all. I've confirmed with the timing light. I used to see it advance, so I know what I should be seeing.

I guess I need to confirm the carb vacuum before I go blaming the dizzy.
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billfred1
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

mukluk wrote:
you should check the vacuum signal coming from the carburetor advance port with a gauge while the engine is running -- the port may be obstructed.


Any advice on how this should be done? What level of vacuum do folks see?
I blew compressed air into the vacuum port of the carb. Didn't make a difference.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

My bet is the vacuum canister is failing or failed. You'd need to "T" in a vacuum gauge on that vacuum line going to the vacuum canister. That carb will probably put out a max of around 110 mm HG of vacuum.

If you need a good, used and correct vacuum canister for the 205K, I have some for a fair price. PM me if needed.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

billfred1 wrote:
mukluk wrote:
you should check the vacuum signal coming from the carburetor advance port with a gauge while the engine is running -- the port may be obstructed.


Any advice on how this should be done? What level of vacuum do folks see?
I blew compressed air into the vacuum port of the carb. Didn't make a difference.

To see if the carburetor advance port is providing any vacuum signal at all, simply connect a vacuum gauge directly to the port and run the engine. If you do have vacuum from the advance port, plumb the gauge into the advance line with a T fitting and see the vacuum signal information in the table below for the applicable vacuum signal and advance you should be getting.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

I'm starting to think I might have carb issues. When I advance the plate with my fingers and then cover the hole on the canister, the plate stays in place, it doesn't move back like it would if there was a leak.

Now I'm seeing all 4 plugs are black. Just in the time I've been running it in the garage, the other ones are now black. Checked compression on one cylinder. I'm getting about 115 psi. I just put new rings in about 10 months ago.
Also, I'm getting a good spark.
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billfred1
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

I got a vacuum gauge. Going to try to do some testing this weekend.

Could the lack of timing advance lead to the black (carbon) plugs?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:55 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

billfred1 wrote:
Could the lack of timing advance lead to the black (carbon) plugs?

It could, yes.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

Vacuum gauge is showing a steady 5 in Hg regardless of the RPM.

I also notice when I disconnect the line from the carb to the dizzy it nearly dies.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

billfred1 wrote:
Vacuum gauge is showing a steady 5 in Hg regardless of the RPM.

I also notice when I disconnect the line from the carb to the dizzy it nearly dies.

See the picture associated with paragraph 11/6 below, your 30PICT uses the same port setup as the 28PICT shown. Note the advance passage has two ports: one straight through at the venturi and another lower down near the throttle plate. Your constant vacuum signal tells us that either one of those two ports is obstructed or you have a leak at the base of the carburetor, between it and the manifold flange.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

Bill- do you have an ultrasonic parts cleaner? I had some issues one time with a German Solex 34-3. It had a clogged idle passage/port deep inside it. Dipping it in carb cleaner didn't do anything. I washed it out and sprayed all the passaged out with carb cleaner. Still clogged. This carb body was spotless inside and out I thought.

I finally dunked it in the hot/soapy water of an ultrasonic parts cleaner that was 140°. I let it run for 30 minutes. The clean water was black when I pulled what I thought was a clean carb body out of the water. The passages were clear after that.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: No timing advance and one black spark plug Reply with quote

I might be able to get my hands on an ultrasound cleaner. Any recommendations on trying to clean it out if I can’t?
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