1931 898 spark control knob operation help

  • Brad Hoskins
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28 Oct 2014 05:37 #28417 by Brad Hoskins
Brad Hoskins created the topic: 1931 898 spark control knob operation help
Trying to set the timing on the car and just wondering if Auburn ever supplied an explanation of the spark control in any of their literature. I've looked at both the Service Manual and the Operation Manual and I swear there is no explanation of how to use the spark control!
I'm from the Model T world where the spark control lever is always 'stored' in the fully up position - which is fully retarded. Three teeth down to start and then move it further down once started but not so far as to make the exhaust glow red!
I would equate that with the Auburn spark knob being fully retarded when it is fully pushed in and would have assumed that you would pull it out to advance the timing.
However, with the Auburn counterclockwise distributor shaft rotation, a full manual advance of the spark would result in the distributor fully rotated clockwise in the distributor base slot.
To me , this means that the distributor is fully advanced manually when the knob is pushed all the way in and pulling the knob out only retards the timing.
Do I have this right?
If so, was the spark control meant to be left alone and only there if you were crazy enough to hand crank the motor and wanted to avoid breaking your arm with a backfire?
Was this so obvious in 1931 that it didn't warrant mentioning in either manual?

Thanks
Brad

BTW this forum is a wealth of information and, had I searched for 'spark' before trying to adjust the timing by the 'oil pump removal method' ( after determining that the shaft is 'keyed' to fit one way only), I would have discovered that there is a screw in the distributor end of the drive shaft and it actually serves a purpose. Another little missing tidbit from the Service Manual.
( it wasn't too bad as I had the pan off already anyway!)
http://forums.acdclub.org/phpbb2/viewto ... ight=spark Thanks to Ken for that info!

31 8-98 cabriolet

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28 Oct 2014 15:07 #28420 by RandyEma
RandyEma replied the topic:
It has an automatic advance . R

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29 Oct 2014 03:05 #28427 by Brad Hoskins
Brad Hoskins replied the topic: 1931 898 spark control knob operation help
Randy

As I understand it, they have both the automatic advance (centrifugally operated spring weight system in distributor) and the manual control on the dash.
Was the dash spark control just there to balance out the dash arrangement or did it actually serve some purpose :D.
If I my understanding of the operation of the system correct, then all I can think of is that it's function is solely to manually retard the spark to allow for safe hand cranking of the motor. I just think it odd that the manufacturer would supply a knob and offer no advice on what it is there for. Perhaps we are too accustomed to 200 page owner manuals that describe what a door handle is for!

Brad

31 8-98 cabriolet

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  • mikespeed35
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29 Oct 2014 03:44 #28428 by mikespeed35
mikespeed35 replied the topic:
My L-29 Cord has the same setup. I retard the spark for starting and then advance it and leave it alone.
Cordially Mike

Mike Huffman

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30 Oct 2014 04:32 #28437 by Brad Hoskins
Brad Hoskins replied the topic:
Mike

Does any of the Cord literature offer an explanation of the usage? I'm pretty sure I get it but I am still curious about the lack of any 'official' description since the Auburn manuals did cover the rest of the controls.
In keeping with your comments,
I did find this comment in the 11/64 club newsletter article on V12's
gauge, and water temperature gauge. Controls included the throttle and choke, manifold heat control and a spark control to retard the spark from the setting of the automatic advance mechanism. These
engines start easier if the spark is retarded.

And this from the 7/81 newsletter on L-29's
D) Ignition Timing: Spark control full advance
(pushed IN) Distributor set so contact points are just
breaking for #1 All engines are set at 12° to 15° BUDC,
or 4 to 5 teeth before flywheel is at top dead center.

Just nothing from the factory!

As a word of caution for anyone trying to use the 1927-1941 National Service Manual available on this website http://restorecarsclassifieds.com/wiki/ ... .php?n=249 ( which is an interesting website with some really good scanned information) the procedure for setting the timing for 1931 is wrong and the procedure for 1932 is correct as far as positioning the distributor goes! Thus my head scratching! Too much internet isn't necessarily a good thing especially if it involves bad information from 1941!

Brad

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  • JOEL GIVNER
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30 Oct 2014 15:28 #28441 by JOEL GIVNER
JOEL GIVNER replied the topic:
Brad,
In looking at two different Auburn operating manuals (1926 8-88 and 1930 8-125)
under operating instructions, starting the engine......both manuals state to "retard spark lever (left lever on steering post) by drawing it halfway down"
After engine starts, advance spark lever upward as far as it will go (driving position).

Mike's L-29 is essentially the same as the Auburn 1930 8-125

Joel

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