Set Timing on 1964 Comet w/ 200

144-250 cid Inline Six Performance

Set Timing on 1964 Comet w/ 200

Postby chartwig1980 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:30 pm

Hi everyone! I need some advice on ignition timing in my 1964 Mercury Comet. I have what I believe to be a 200 6 cylinder (5 frost plugs) w/ two speed automatic transmission that I have given a tune up but seem to be overheating a bit now. I don't think I have it timed correctly.

I know you typically have to remove the line from the vacuum advance to set timing but when I do this, I don't see anything lining up with the timing marks on the harmonic balancer. If I check timing with the vacuum advance connected I can see the timing indicator line up with a mark on the harmonic balancer.

Questions:
1. Do I need to remove the vacuum advance on this engine to set timing?
2. When the vacuum line has been removed do I just plug the line going to the carb or do I also need to cover the opening in the vacuum advance?
3. What is correct point gap? (I've read either .25 or .017 with .025 being the most consistent answer for a 200 6 cylinder)
4. What is correct cold/warm idle speed to check timing. (I've read anything between 500 and 850 so not sure where to go with this)
5. Where is the correct screw to adjust the idle on the autolite 1100? Do I need to adjust cold and warm idle?
5. Am I going about this all wrong using a timing light and not simply using a vacuum gauge?

Basically looking for a step by step walk through starting with setting correct idle at the curb, dealing with point gap and dwell, and then setting ignition timing.
Thank you very much in advance for any help or feedback!
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1964 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible
200 - 6 Cylinder
74K Miles
Built in Oakville Canada
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Re: Set Timing on 1964 Comet w/ 200

Postby Jims65cyclone » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:18 pm

See if these specs help any. Adjustment procedures are in section 20.
http://falconfaq.dyndns.org/display1.ph ... Page=9-030
Jim
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Re: Set Timing on 1964 Comet w/ 200

Postby Groover » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:06 am

For what it's worth. I'm a big advocate for the book, but wise people on this forum have helped me see that going "by the book" won't always get you where you want to go. In this case, the book should get you close enough, but on idle RPM for example, you may not get satisfaction with the book setting due to modern gas, octane, etc. I find that I can't run my idle as low as the book without some stumbles from time to time. Same thing for carb jets and float settings, and other carb issues. Just something to keep in mind. Again for setting your timing and idle, the book should get you pretty dang close and then you can fine tune under a tree. Of course, your overheating may not be timing related, but might as well rule it out. Good luck and great looking car by the way.
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1964 Comet Caliente Convertible
30,000 miles on our rebuild

All Comets start out as dreams...
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Re: Set Timing on 1964 Comet w/ 200

Postby popscomet » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:22 am

Groover wrote:For what it's worth. I'm a big advocate for the book, but wise people on this forum have helped me see that going "by the book" won't always get you where you want to go. In this case, the book should get you close enough, but on idle RPM for example, you may not get satisfaction with the book setting due to modern gas, octane, etc. I find that I can't run my idle as low as the book without some stumbles from time to time. Same thing for carb jets and float settings, and other carb issues. Just something to keep in mind. Again for setting your timing and idle, the book should get you pretty dang close and then you can fine tune under a tree. Of course, your overheating may not be timing related, but might as well rule it out. Good luck and great looking car by the way.

VERY VERY WELL SAID,GROOVER....OL POP !! :wink:
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Re: Set Timing on 1964 Comet w/ 200

Postby chartwig1980 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:33 am

Thanks fellas. I'm going to take another look at it this weekend and see if I can get it tuned a little better.

I should clarify the car isn't overheating. It's just getting hotter than I'd normally expect sitting in the hot Florida sun at stop lights. I have already replaced the heater core, thermostat heater hoses, and flushed the coolant system. It's full with new coolant and mixed 50/50 w/ distilled water. I did this last year because the heater core had a small drip.

Other things you would expect to see on a hot engine I'm not seeing. No external coolant leaks, no coolant in the oil.

From what I've read and heard from others, even with the heat & humidity the original radiator, 4-blade fan and no shroud should be fine here. It's all new to me. I just moved to Florida from Iowa last year so no real experience with coolant systems in this type of environment. However, I do know I noticed this issue immediately after adjusting the timing.
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1964 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible
200 - 6 Cylinder
74K Miles
Built in Oakville Canada
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