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Static timing issue
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majorharden
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:23 am    Post subject: Static timing issue Reply with quote

I am unable to static time my 1962 beetle with a zv/pau4r5 distributor.

I am having two issues:

1. Whenever I connect a test light to the negative terminal on the coil the light turns on - this occurs even when I disconnect the condenser cable. So the distributor shouldn't be affecting it? I have tried two different test lights.

2. A mechanic at a previous service put a paint mark on the distributor to indicate the static timing point an I tried match this mark. However, it idles horribly and cuts out here. If I turn the distributor counter clockwise it seems to get more rpms and a stable idle.

Any help with what I'm doing wrong would be most appreciated! I can't get my beetle to run smoothly.

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klroger
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2022 9:09 am    Post subject: Re: Static timing issue Reply with quote

It doesn't go off even if you slowly rotate the engine by hand or rotate the distributor??? If your light comes on & stays on, either your points aren't closing, or your test light is on the wire from the ignition switch & someone has the coil hooked up backward. Going out on a limb, it still has points & not changed to an electronic system by a PO??? Just thoughts...
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rcooled
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2022 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Static timing issue Reply with quote

majorharden wrote:
A mechanic at a previous service put a paint mark on the distributor to indicate the static timing point...

The static timing should be set to a mark on the crank pulley, not the distributor Rolling Eyes

The static timing for your distributor needs to be set at 7.5 BTDC, with the #1 cylinder on its compression stroke. You should see 2 notches close together on the rim of the crank pulley. The one farthest to the right indicates 10 BTDC and to the left of that is 7.5 BTDC. This is where the static timing should be set.

In this photo from the gallery, the white spot indicates TDC and those 2 notches can be seen just to the right of that.
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It's important that the timing be set with #1 cylinder on its compression stroke, with the piston being at the very top of its travel. You can check for this by removing that cylinder's spark plug and inserting a plastic drinking straw in the hole (don't use a pencil or anything hard). Watch the motion of the straw as you slowly rotate the crank around to the timing marks. The upward stroke of the piston will push the straw up as the timing marks approach the split in the crankcase.

Before attempting to set the timing, make sure that the ignition point gap is correctly set to .016".

It might be advisable to find yourself a new mechanic too...
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Last edited by rcooled on Sat Dec 10, 2022 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wdfifteen
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2022 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: Static timing issue Reply with quote

Any chance the mechanic put a mark on the distributor to indicate when the rotor was pointing at #1 cylinder? I've seen that done. It's NOT a timing mark.
It sounds like you need to review the timing procedure. I've never tried to set the timing by putting a light on the coil. It doesn't even look like it's connected to the distributor. What book/guide are you using?
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ashman40
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2022 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: Static timing issue Reply with quote

majorharden wrote:
1. Whenever I connect a test light to the negative terminal on the coil the light turns on - this occurs even when I disconnect the condenser cable. So the distributor shouldn't be affecting it? I have tried two different test lights.

You misunderstand how the test lamp is working when connected between the coil (-) terminal and a good ground point for static timing. When static timing the ignition, the points influence the test lamp by turning it OFF when the points are CLOSED.

With the test lamp connected between the coil (-) and ground it offers current coming out from the (-) terminal a second path to ground.
When the points are OPEN there is no path to ground thru the green points wire so all current coming out from the coil (-) terminal will flow thru the test lamp to ground. This current flow turns the test lamp ON. This is functionally the same as if you disconnected the points wire from the coil (0).
When the points are CLOSED they form a zero resistance (direct) short to ground for the coil (-). Since current prefers the lowest resistance path to ground, nearly ALL current coming out from the coil (-) flows thru the points leaving almost no current to flow thru the test lamp. Any current left flowing thru the test lamp is insufficient to light it up. This means the test lamp appears OFF when the points are CLOSED.
Since your test lamp never turns OFF it suggests the points are not closing, the resistance thru the points is much higher than normal allowing a large portion of the current to flow thru the test lamp. If your points never close the test lamp will remain ON all the time!


    TEST1 (basic): Confirm your points are CLOSING and grounding the green wire. Remove the green points wire from the coil (-) terminal. Place your test lamp between the coil (+) terminal and the end of the green wire. In this arrangement your test lamp is powered by the coil (+) terminal and the points are the ON/OFF switch in the ground path.
    Rotate your engine until the points are CLOSED. With the ignition switch ON the test lamp will be grounded and should light up. Using something wood or plastic, OPEN the point contacts and the test lamp should go out. This confirms the points are grounding.

    TEST2 (measured): With an ohm meter, place one probe on the end of the loose green wire and the second probe on a good ground. When the points are CLOSED you should read zero ohms (short to ground) indicating a direct short to ground thru the points. With the wood/plastic tool, open the points and the resistance should go to infinite confirming the points are opening the circuit. If you find there is a non-zero amount of resistance thru the points you need to clean the points contacts or replace them with a new set.


BTW, what size is the bulb in your test lamp? Most 12v test lamps are very low wattage (~5W) to minimize the current it draws away from the circuit being tested. Your bulb looks like an 1156 which would draw 25W instead of 2W. That's like 5x the current draw needed to be a simple test lamp.
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'67 Beetle #1 {project car that never made it to the road Sad }
'75 Beetle 1200LS (RHD Japan model) {junked due to frame rot}
'67 Beetle #2 {2019 project car - Wish me luck!}
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