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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think my timing is off on my '65 Trophy 650. She fired up quickly the other day, but the throttle response is bad. Carb is new and clean. I did replace the condensers, and, I do recall loosening the pillar bolts, as well as gapping the points but this was about a year ago. I need to start fresh. I should remove the entire unit and make sure the advance is working properly too. Do I need that special tool to remove the advance or is their another way? Some coaching would be appreciated!
Gar
 

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Hi Gar,
remove the entire unit and make sure the advance is working properly
Before removing points and auto-advance unit, if you mark the points plate and AAU in relation to a fixed mark on the timing cover inside the points compartment, the marks will help with reassembly.

Remove the 1/4" bolt in the centre of the points plate.

There is a Triumph workshop tool - D782 (60-0782) - for 'breaking' (not literally ;)) the auto-advance unit's male taper loose from the camshaft's corresponding female taper but ime a reasonably-long 5/16" bolt will do.

As yours is a '65, I expect the AAU extraction thread is 5/16"-26 Cycle; however, don't exclude the possibility it's BSF (22 tpi) or a later replacement UNF-thread (24 tpi) unit ... :rolleyes:

You should be able to screw in the bolt 'til it bottoms on the end of the camshaft. When so, knock the protruding bolt with the heel of your hand once in each direction (up and down or side-to-side). This might 'break' the AAU-camshaft taper but, if it doesn't, ensure the bolt is hand-tight against the end of the camshaft and repeat. The AAU should 'break' free with only a few good hand thumps on the extraction bolt.

The Triumph workshop manual has Section B28 "REMOVING AND REPLACING THE CONTACT BREAKER" (.pdf pages 78/79, paper pages B26/B27); it's light on removal instructions, better on reassembly as it covers both 4CA and later 6CA points plates.

Hth.

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hey stuart

As yours is a '65, I expect the AAU extraction thread is 5/16"-26 Cycle; however, don't exclude the possibility it's BSF (22 tpi) or a later replacement UNF-thread (24 tpi) unit ... :rolleyes:
i didnt know that there were three thread possibilities.

what were the circumstances around the BSF 22 threads?
 

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Hi Kevin,
didnt know that there were three thread possibilities.
what were the circumstances around the BSF 22 threads?
Never come across a BSF-thread AAU. However, I wouldn't claim vast experience of 1960's Britbike AAU, just thought I'd mention the BSF possibility in case it happened neither a 5/16"-26 (Cycle) nor a 5/16"-24 (UNF) bolt fitted the AAU on Gar's bike?

Hth.

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or one got forced into the hole.

ive discovered M8 screws holding primary covers in place instead of 1/4-20
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Question....on this 65 Trophy, I do have the plug behind the cylinder jugs to find TDC....but should there be an 38 degree spot on the crank too? I can't seem to find one. I'm just using a deep-well socket with a 16 penny nail inside as my plunger and I'm only finding TDC. Also, my primary cover does not have an inspection cover, so, I was hoping to just static time. I have the 4ca setup with points and the condensers are in there too. Please confirm: The 1st step involves getting the rt piston to TDC, then going back 38 degrees, and setting the left set of points (blk and Yellow wire) by loosening the pillar bolts and turning the plate while fully advanced. Then, get left cy. to TDC, go back 38 degrees, etc. and set the right side set of points by adjusting the points themselves and not the plate. One other thing, when mounting the wires for the points, should there be any insulating washers? I know that on the 6da set-up, that part is critical. Is a degree wheel a must for this process?

Thanks
 

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Hi Gar, Socket & nail will allow you to feel TDC. However the real tool tends to be more accurate by a few degrees.
I would recommend purchasing the real tdc tool. Get correct thread on tool! Or purchase the double threaded tool. Then your good no matter the threads.
Degree wheel & the mounting bolt kit. Again correct threads for cam that is in motor. Many reproduction cams have 1/4-28 thread. So remove AAU bolt & measure threads.
With degree wheel you can lock AAU to full advance & static time or strobe time with unlocked AAU. In either case you’ll need to add a wire pointer under a timing cover screw.
Always rotate motor normal running direction very gently until tdc pin drops in. Set degree wheel to zero. Then back up motor several degrees & forwards again to tdc. Verify wheel is still at zero. This compensates for timing gear backlash.

All this takes some practice. Take your time. Always put fan in front of motor during strobe timing to prevent overheating.

If you own one of these bikes, you basically need most of the tools the dealership used. As they say, cost of ownership.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Gar, Socket & nail will allow you to feel TDC. However the real tool tends to be more accurate by a few degrees.
I would recommend purchasing the real tdc tool. Get correct thread on tool! Or purchase the double threaded tool. Then your good no matter the threads.
Degree wheel & the mounting bolt kit. Again correct threads for cam that is in motor. Many reproduction cams have 1/4-28 thread. So remove AAU bolt & measure threads.
With degree wheel you can lock AAU to full advance & static time or strobe time with unlocked AAU. In either case you’ll need to add a wire pointer under a timing cover screw.
Always rotate motor normal running direction very gently until tdc pin drops in. Set degree wheel to zero. Then back up motor several degrees & forwards again to tdc. Verify wheel is still at zero. This compensates for timing gear backlash.

All this takes some practice. Take your time. Always put fan in front of motor during strobe timing to prevent overheating.

If you own one of these bikes, you basically need most of the tools the dealership used. As they say, cost of ownership.
Don
I agree with everything you recommend here so thank you. As I tinker with this ignition setup, a few things come to mind and I need some clarification. From what I gather from both the shop manual as well as Haynes, the 1st step is to center the pillar bolt location on the points plate, get TDC with the R Cyl. and set the B/Yellow set of points to .015" without the AAU advanced correct? And, I do this on both cylinders and points the same way correct? So, with the points fully open, the gap needs to be .015". I've done this and she starts up very quickly and I can ride her, but upon hard acceleration, I get some serious hesitation and then catching on...then hesitation, etc. I've advanced the timing a bit, and retarded the timing, and it doesn't make much of a difference. It's that next "timing step" that I can't perform without the tools correct? No way to just wing it until I order up the tools (another week geez)? :D This is a single carb bike and the carb is new. It did sit with some gas in it for a few months, however I did dissemble and clean it recently. Thx Don!
 

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Hi Gar, Can you post photo of your points plate.

Since you can’t find 38b slot you’re winging it could result in holed piston.

Your fist step is getting the tools.
You could measure piston position, that’s another subject. Your stuck until you get tools. If you wing it, you’re on your own. The degree wheel that fits AAU is specific to this tool set.
The big degree wheel is for hooking to crank shaft. So again get the timing kit.

The exact setting of timing will depend on your points plate. Many older bikes owners changed to later points plate as they are easier to adjust overall.

You are correct. Start by centering slots in pillar bolts. Then set point gaps. .015”. Then static time. But that will depend on points plate fitted.

More after I see your points plate photo.

Lubing the rubbing block of the points is most important. 99% of points problems was from lack of proper lube. Rubbing block overheating due to poor lubing melts/wears rubbing block, points close up, motor looses spark. Just riding short distance they do ok since not heat soaked. They decide to take a long ride, 150 miles out bike feels funny. 20 miles later it’s no longer rideable. At work I’ve seen this easily a thousand++ times. US smog rules demanded timing must not change for many thousands of miles with zero servicing. Points cannot do that. To be reliable they must be serviced. Triumph said every 3k miles. In real life if rubbing block properly lubed they can go 6k.
If smog laws didn’t demand long service intervals & catalytic converters. Points would probably still be common place. We’ll serviced points are very reliable. Poorly serviced, points are very bad. #1 cause of tow ins.
Don
 

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Hi Gar, Good photos! Thank you. They show you still have the original '65 system. This will get complicated.

Your points cam looks like you have ET (energy transfer) ignition on some photos & normal on others. (??)


Now I must ask what your coils look like? A round can like normal coil. Or do they look rather like a rectangular shaped transformer? ET is not very forgiving. The point cam & the timing is different on ET than normal battery/coil system. You must match points cam to normal coils or ET coils.

If you have normal coils, ignore all the ET stuff. Timing procedures are basically the same.

Plus... With ET I clock crank sprocket on crank with peg just above 9 oclock with crank at TDC. You need the special ET rotor. I've only used the S hole. I expect if bike used to run good, this is ok??

Shop manual was written for dealership mechanics with lots of experience. They were aware of setting magneto timing & then learned the iterations of unit motor timing starting with the unit motor in '63. Point is if you look at shop manual it's very confusing to owners. Like it takes you in circles.

To start with it sounds like your cam had peg to locate AAU. So you know the AAU is correctly oriented on exhaust cam. You have a TDC hole & flywheel with TDC slot. So it's easy to locate TDC.

First thing, is make sure the points spring clears the case. Bend spring near the condensers as needed. Looks like you're ok, but double check.
Condenser stud must clear case as well. It looks like you're so close you put tape there. Good you insulated it. I would be better long term to file the studs shorter. The tape will migrate when heat soaked.

Put bike on center stand so you can rotate rear wheel. Remove spark plugs. (Verify visually that pistons are fully up with TDC tool in TDC hole).

On thing I didn't mention is you need a way to know when points open. Shop manual suggests .0015" feeler blade, or the cellophane on cigarette pack. What works best is ohm meter or test light. Test light is the most accurate in my experience as it's true actual current flow. Ohm meter works just fine though.


KEY MUST BE OFF TO USE OHM METER! On ET ignition battery is not hooked to points but keep key off anyway. If battery power accidently gets into ohm meter it will damage it.

Ohm meter depending on meter, points closed will read about 2 ohms points closed. Open I don't know what ohm meter will read with points open on ET. Just close points. Read meter. Open points read motor. Point is seeing when points open. I've always used buzz box with ET. Basically a test box that shows points open or closed. Has light with buzzer that has its own battery built in. Points closed it buzzes & light on, points open no light & silent.

If you use test light you may have to use stand alone battery.

I center slot & set both points to .015" on highest part of cam, meaning points widest open it can get. Using .014 & .016 blades is easy way to verify .015. 014 will feel sloppy, .016 will feel too tight.

Again make sure you have correct threads on tools.

Now using TDC tool set crank to TDC. Remove AAU bolt. Hold the cupped washer (if included in timing disc tool kit). Or, a larger washer like a copper seal ring or loop you made of wire on end of AAU. Then flat washer, then hold the washers just barely snug with disc holder bolt. Insert a small screwdriver (I made special tool from coat hanger wire instead of using screw driver).

While holding washers centered as needed snug the holder bolt just slightly. Then using the slot in AAU cam, reach in with tool & turn AAU cam clockwise until it stops. Verifiy the spacer/washers are still centered. Lock The holder bolt so it holds AAU at full advance. Visually verify it moved to full advance & watch it to make sure it didn't go backwards while tightening holder bolt. Don't crank down holder bolt, but it must be tight enough to not allow anything to slip.

Now loosely install degree wheel. Install pointer wire (Made from coat hanger wire or the like). Install it under screw that seems best. Crank is already locked at TDC. Set degree wheel to TDC. (zero). Lock degree wheel.
Remove TDC tool. Back motor then go slowly forward until TDC tool just drops in. Verify degree wheel is still on zero. Adjust as needed until it reads zero. This verifies you have compensated for back lash of gears. Remove TDC tool.

Look at your degree wheel. Does it say crank shaft degrees? Mine does, it's a Wassell kit. It did not come with cup washer.

I've only used the 37b spec for ET motor.
We start with rear points (right cyl is rear from factory(black/yellow wire).
Using rear wheel, trans in 4th gear. Turn motor until it looks like rear points will soon open. Keep very slowly turning & set degree wheel to 37b. Looking at degree wheel the zero will be behind pointer going direction of rotation, meaning you'd have to go 37 more degrees to get to zero.

If you have normal coils I use 38b for timing. So set degree wheel to 38b.

Your points may have just opened or are about to open. Verify degrees on degree wheel is still ok. Loosen pillar bolts just enough to rotate back plate. Hook up ohm meter or test light/buzz box. Rotate back plate clockwise as/if needed until points are closed. Then very slowly clockwise until points just open per your meter. Lock pillar bolts. Now, back motor a little, point cam will have moved counter clockwise visibly & you see points are closed for sure. Now go forwards with motor very slowly until meter shows points just opened again. Read degree wheel. Points should open just as degree wheel reads spec. 37 or 38 depending on system. If needed loosen pillar bolts & move back plate a little. If wheel reads too high move the back plate clockwise. Too low counter clockwise.

Work at this until points just open at the degrees you want. Takes practice. Lock pillar bolts firmly but don't strip or damage them. Tip: round side of flat washer against points plates allows easier adjustment.

Now move to front points.

Hook meter to front points spring.

Rotate motor direction of rotation 1/2 rotation of degree wheel & really slow down near spec. of degrees. Again you'll see the cam is now going to open front points. Go slowly & watch the meter. Stop just as the meter shows points open. Read degree wheel. We want it be on spec of 37 or 38 depending on system.

This time you MUST NOT move points plate!! You will modify points gap as needed. on front points. Change point gap larger or smaller than .015. If degree wheel reads too high close point gap smaller. If degree wheel reads too low, open point gap wider. So... making gap smaller retards timing, wider advances timing. Not exactly one to one, but close enough to say .001" point gap change, changes timing about 1 degree. So change point gap. Then retest as before, back motor, then come forward & stop when points just open per meter. Read degree wheel.

I will modify gap as much as .003" & call it good. If more. I change gap as needed on rear points. Then go back & retime rear points. Then move to back to front points. So now we've modified gap on both points.

Tip: when replacing AAU into cam. Line it up very carefully into taper of cam shaft. If not centered well or burred in any way it will wobble & make setting timing harder. Plus rubbing block won't sit flat on AAU cam.

This job takes practice! It can take all day! Once practiced it's not all that hard, but still takes a bit of time.

The starting in 1968 Triumph introduced a system to allow separate adjustment of timing on points. 1969 they introduced a more improved system. Now you could adjust back plate & each set of points independently. This later system had various versions as time moved all, but the same concept applied to all the later versions. Still... They have a basic static setting. Following makes life much simpler, yet it takes practice also.

There is a lot to points. They are simple yet must be set up perfectly. They are key component to reliability!!

In USA Lubricam point cam grease works very well. In UK I don't know. Bosch was best in world, but very hard to find in USA. Wheel bearing grease is better than nothing, but get real point cam grease. 1/2 drop of oil on point pivot shaft.

Before starting clean points face with copy paper & carb spray or gas. Cut paper into narrow strips. Put cleaner on paper & pull it through closed points, holding points just so with finger nail or screw driver. Then dry with new paper. Repeat until paper comes out perfectly clean. Don't slop cleaner on rubbing block or points grease. Put very, very thin smear of points grease on cam to prevent corrosion. If rough. smooth cam with very fine emery cloth.

Not wanting to deal with points is why so many go to electronic ignition. Plus timing advance curve works better with modern fuels. But points allows starting with dead & I mean 100% dead battery. But battery must still be good when fully charged. Failed battery can suck so much current during kicking starter pedal you can't start motor. The starting with dead battery is why I keep using points.

Photos: spacer washer or wire to lock cam at full advance. You won't have special cup washer in kit.

Turning cam clockwise, then lock it. I'm using normal bolt. You'll use the degree wheel kit bolt so you can mount degree wheel. Later bikes have timing marks on rotor & pointer in primary cover. Much easier. No degree wheel needed.

Next 2 photos shows good application of points. Grease. This is Mallory brand point grease. It's green. Color doesn't matter. No moly greases. Use real point cam grease. Lubricam & Bosch are light brown. Place grease like photos. Rotation of cam will pull grease in, yet not throw it on point faces.

Last photo shows me placing the copper spacer washer & flat washer over end off AAU to lock it. Again, you can bend hoop of wire if you don't have appropriate diameter washer.

Photos are from 1973 Tiger 750. You can see the sub plates for setting timing easily. Condensers moved to coil area. Triumph did make improvements, but only slowly... Points plate looks much more complicated, but sure makes setting timing much easier.

I don't know if you got the AAU removal tool. I have them both threads. Very simple. Just screw the tool into AAU. It will bottom out in cam & stop. Give it a good hard turn with wrench & pop! It's off. I don't do it any other way. So easy. Zero damage to anything. No chance of bending parts. Just off it comes with a pop.

Again, AAU going on, be like a safe cracker. Feel the pin & line up the slot. Hold it into taper nice & straight, then tighten bolt.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Awesome write up Don thank you. I have my work cutout for me. Being a little old school, I would like to preserve the originality of the bike and see if I could live with the points setup. I see what you're saying about the cam looking like an ET cam. I have no scribe mark on this cam. The condenser insulators are some sort of hard plastic...not tape. Did non ET 65's come with cams that look different? The coils look normal however. I've never yet experienced the bike running at its peak. Just a few rides around the block is all since bought back in late 2019. Gar
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Hi Gar,
65 Trophy
primary cover does not have an inspection cover
Correct; Triumph didn't add the separate small round cover over the alternator rotor (which had the moving timing mark) and fixed timing pointer 'til '68.

hoping to just static time.
Unwise imho. Triumph added the strobe timing marks to reduce the number of holed pistons causing warranty claims. Nearly sixty years on, the fuel we're supplied is nothing like the fuel Triumph used to tune their engines, you aren't going to change things like the combustion chamber shape so ime you want to do as much as you can to make your bike's engine reliable on the fuel you can buy, including setting the spark timing as reliably as possible?

recommend purchasing the real tdc tool.
Degree wheel & the mounting bolt kit.
With degree wheel you can lock AAU to full advance & static time or strobe time with unlocked AAU.
If you own one of these bikes, you basically need most of the tools the dealership used. As they say, cost of ownership.
+1.

I would like to preserve the originality of the bike and see if I could live with the points setup.
I have the 4ca setup with points and the condensers are in there too.
Bear in mind Lucas developed the 6CA because the 4CA spark timing was too inaccurate - frequently, if one cylinder's spark was accurate, the other one wasn't, :( owners or mechanics ended up "splitting the difference" between the two cylinders (so neither was completely accurate ... :cool:).

Also bear in mind the 4CA's condensers failed prematurely due to engine heat - some parts books show a second pair of condensers outside the engine (mounted in holes drilled in the front tank mounting strip).

Finally, going back to the spark timing accuracy, the mechanical AAU simply cannot compete with the persistent accuracy and far longer advance curve of electronic ignition ... however, EI are 12V, your bike's electrics are 6V ... :cool:

Your points cam looks like you have ET (energy transfer) ignition on some photos & normal on others.
:confused:

View attachment 789277 View attachment 789278
For clarity, these are (likely patterns of) '70-on Lucas "17M" coils, 17M6 because they're '6V'.

TR6SR wasn't fitted with ET; of the 650's, only pre-'68 TR6(S)C's and some T120C's/TT's were fitted with ET. The ET AAU is different - less advance - not completely impossible a DPO could've fitted one to your bike, but both types are marked with the advance degrees.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Hi Gar, Here's link that will help explain ET system.

Lucas ET Ignition Unraveled | JRC Engineering, Inc.

Static timing is what the bikes used for many, many years before strobe timing was done. If done correctly will be within 1.5 degrees. Factory would have static timed your bike.

Should you choose to strobe time. After static timing remove the locking spacer washers on AAU & reinstall degree wheel. Zero wheel. Start motor hook up timing light & rev to about 2500-3000 rpm. You will plainly see advance of timing moving & stop moving at full advance. You want it to see 38b at full advance so go the above rpm to be certain it's fully advanced. Move backing plate to time rear points. Timing light will be hooked to right cyl plug wire. If not self powered by internal batteries, use a stand alone battery, not bike's batter to power timing light. After you set the rear point timing by rotating back plate. Move timing light to left plug wire. Adjust point gap to set timing on front points. Always put fan if front of motor for strobe timing. It will get smoking hot in moments without fan. This is time consuming procedure.

The above allows correct timing on both points.

Regarding running, valve adjustment & timing are key factors as well as carb adjustments. The paper air filters can be problematic as they change air flow especially as the get dirty compared to the original wire/gauze. Float level is very important. I can promise you if you do static timing right the bike will run very well unless you have other problems like worn out AAU. It can be quite worn & still run very well though.

If you have stomach to spend more time, it's worthwhile to strobe time.

These bikes are very good runners. Good power & can cruise at 65 mph effortlessly. It will top out near 100mph.

Since you want to keep bike original, keep the points. When you don't want to deal with points, install EI ignition.
The guys I ride with some have points, most EI. We do the same rides, same speed. Some have older bikes with magneto. They have points. Make no mistake these earlier bikes from mid to early 60s can run with our bikes, even on the freeway, not problems at all.

If you keep points, servicing them is a skill set you must learn. Like anything else, understanding, the practice makes perfect. People say the modern points made my Diaiichi are inferior. They have worked well for me over the last 9 years. I've not used modern Lucas yet.

Back to carb, in my area east of San Francisco bikes can set for 2 months and even 6 months. Give a good tickle & they start first kick. Good tickle means fuel running right down side of carb onto top of trans. Short tickle gives hard starting with our fuel.

I don't mean to nit pick, but your plastic fuel lines can fracture suddenly when hardened. Black rubber fuel hose is only solution.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So my new degree wheel and TDC tool showed up and I attempted to set the points and static time the bike. Also checked and re-adjusted the valves. Installed some new NGK plugs too. Never removed the aau but it seems to be moving ok to me. Not much travel though so I'm not sure if that's normal. She starts up very easily however she backfires a bit and really hesitates upon acceleration. Where do you recommend I start first?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not feeling too confident in what I'm finding. First off? Look at the condition, front and back, of the base plate. See the obvious rubbing in the back? Also, look at the grooves caused by the pillar bolts. I filed the condenser studs smaller but it's still a very tight fit. Installing the base plate so that it sits flat seems impossible.
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And finally, the wiring connections look scary. All of this tells my gut to go EI.
 

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Hi Gar, Somebody wasn't kind to this bike! Looks like the AAU was installed crooked?? & rubbed the plate. Plate must sit flat & not rub on AAU.

Turning motor over with plugs out can you see the AAU wobble or does it look like it's straight now.

At the same time sounds like points plate is not flat. Can you flatten it such it sits flat & doesn't rub AAU?

Would it be better to get good used AAU & later points plate. (If possible to find). The newer AAU is longer so you'll need later points cover like from 1973. Bonneville shop & others sells these. I got one from there. Had to shorten screws, but fit & looked good.

Might be good to take out AAU. Inspect cam & taper. Inspect, smooth rubbing surfaces it fly weights. Start fresh.

If you work at it, you could probably salvage your points plate. Use thin flat washers larger over the divots in slots. Verify you have clearance to AAU on back. Also the cam section of AAU may rub inside of plate hole. File it to clear cam. Of course the rub marks you see is not from this. Things aren't seated right is what seems to be wrong or was wrong if not currently rubbing.

This early system, demands higher level of knowledge & skill. These can be learned. They are not simple to set up. That's why Triumph abandoned this system.

This might be time to consider EI conversion. Not saying you should, but it is less complicated in long run.

First thing is, did you learn how to set up degree wheel on end of cam & lock cam to full advance? Then reaching down spark plug hole with soda straw, feel for TDC of piston when degree wheel is at zero.

This is first skill to learn. You must feel comfortable with how to do this & know it's correct.

Do you have ohm meter? I don't recall.

PM me your email. I have some videos.

I'll be away from PC starting Tues. AM until late next week. Limited cell service. So you may have to sit on this awhile. Or proceed with other's help. I'll try to post the timing procedure tonight if I can get time.
Don
 

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the reason for ditching the 4CA way back when is still a good reason for ditching it today.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Take a look at the wear inside the timing cover that the breaker plate is supposed to bottom out on. The upper area is worn allowing the plate to sit back further on the top vs the bottom. Either a new timing cover is in order, or some sort of creative shimming.
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