Monday, February 21, 2011

Ignition Timing 4 Classic Flathead Ford V8 Engines

Flathead V8 Engine Distributor School - Lesson 2

Flathead Ford V8 engines like for the ignition distributor to cause a lot of spark advance at lower speeds and loads.

Spark advance is the number of crank shaft degrees before top dead center that ignition occurs. At idle speed, initial timing is normally about 4 degrees top dead center. For best operation, that needs to quickly increase up to about 25 degrees.

The 1941 to 1948 Ford and Mercury distributors had as much as 22 degrees plus initial advance as early as 1200 engine R.P.M.

The 1949 to 1953 engine had more spark advance at light loads than did the 1941 to 1948 because the engine liked it. It had less advance at high speed and load (to prevent pinging) because the compression ratio had increased from 6.8 in the earlier engine to 7.2 in the 1949.

In the next lesson, learn how to reduce the tendency of your antique flathead Ford V8 engine to overheat

John Shelor

Saturday, February 19, 2011

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How Does An Auto Engine Distributor Work?

Flathead V8 Engine Distributor School - Lesson 1

A non credit course for owners, mechanics and anyone with 32-53 Ford V8s, who want them to perform up to factory specifications or beyond.

How does an auto engine distributor work?

The engine distributor has 3 major functions:

  1. To interrupt the current flow through the ignition coil to cause an ignition spark to occur.
  2. To direct the spark produced to the proper spark plug and cylinder to achieve ignition.
  3. To use centrifugal, vacuum, or other mechanisms to adjust spark advance to optimum values for all conditions of speed and load as well as accommodating engine starting.
If ignition timing is delayed from optimum value, the main result is that the flame continues on when it should have burned itself out. The effect is that the flame continues into the exhaust port and to more exposed cylinder walls. This is a major contributor to the engine overheating.

In the next lesson we'll talk about specifics for the 1932 to 1940 Ford V8 engines.

John Shelor