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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
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Timing Issue

Need some help... (again)

So my project has been stuck over winter mainly due to the weather but more getting the thing to run right.

So one 4x4 1988 with new plugs (NGK) new leads, distributor cap, arm, vacuum advance. ignition sensor and electronic module.

Each new part has improved the running so it now idles, starts first pull, revs and moves BUT

I can not set the timing and its doing my head in as I have never had this sort of issue before (44 odd years messing with engines).

Set the whole thing up static to the distributor marks.


Tipex'ed the timing mark.


It starts and so let it warm up and then drop the idle screw to just ticking over.

Pull the vacuum hose and block it.


Connect timing light and the mark appears every occasionally (long gaps) at 5 and 10 deg but really pretty random.

Move the distributor in a really fine step and the mark is no longer visible go back and its still missing.

Reconnect the advance and occasionally its hovers around 15 Deg the rest of the time nothing. The timing light is flashing but nothing appears.

Checked all the individual parts and all is good. The old parts (plugs, module etc.) all refitted and all work as well.
Rebuilt the distributor three times now.

Check the valve timing twice and did a compression check.


Now I see the Snap On displays high revs (14-1600 ish) so I guess this is the double spark coil thing?

Tried two different Snap On units of different ages and its the same.

I resorted to setting by 'ear' which is close the the static settings and seems good.

Have a brand new coil to try but the sparks are good so dont see a reason to mess with it.


So is it me?
In the Snap On the wrong tool?
WTF is it?

Any pointers appreciated.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: The East Midlands, Derby.
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Re: Timing Issue

the double spark is only on ECU controlled (without distributor) engines.

i was told that these engines need a 2 or 4 degree dwell.. if that helps..

every timing light i have hooked up to Talon never strobes so i dont know what the timing is doing on that.. it just sounds OK. (i think every timing light i have is broken)
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