Timing notes
Ford Falcon Six (144 & 170ci)

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Timing Specs: 1960-62 Timing Specs: 1963

Ford Distributor Wrench

It's about 14" long overall.  It makes accessing the distributor hold-down bolt much easier.  I bought this one about 22 years ago.

Ford distributor wrench (1/2)

Distributor wrench in action

Something that isn't mentioned often: in order to correctly time this engine, the vacuum line to the vacuum advance (shown below) almost always must be disconnected, and the port in the carburetor plugged while adjusting the timing (shown: port is taped with electrical tape). 

The Ford Shop Manual, while mentioning the need to disconnect this line (in Bold), forgets to tell you to plug the line or port.

The reason?  Ford was one of a very few that for a while used full (or nearly full) manifold vacuum to the vacuum advance while the engine is at fast idle, so unlike other makes, where you can usually get away with just making certain that the idle is low enough, you really have to pull the line.  Use a 3/8" tubing wrench and a 7/16" backing wrench on the port adapter.  Note: this connection varies a great deal between different models of carburetors used on the various years and applications.

You can disconnect the other end of the line instead, if you prefer.

If you omit this step, your timing could be extremely retarded, your mileage may suffer, and your engine may run hotter than normal, especially the exhaust temperature.

If you have the idle speed very low, you may not have much vacuum advance at idle, but it's very sensitive to idle speed, and disconnecting the line and plugging it is the only safe method.

* High vacuum to the vacuum advance yields a good idle, but not so great emissions, and on a manual-transmission-equipped car, can make it difficult to get rolling smoothly: as you let in the clutch, the vacuum drops off, the timing retards, and you get less power just when you need more!

Vacuum line disconnected while timing

Now is a good time to lubricate the distributor's shaft bushing.  Use engine oil in an oil can, and squirt it into the access port directly under the distributor's lower edge, opposite the engine, above the oil filter.  There is a hinged cover that you must hold down out of the way.  Put a rag underneath it, then fill the port with oil until it runs out.

Lubricating the distributor's shaft bushing

Comments?  Email Al

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Last updated 15-Mar-2001