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Old 07-01-12, 23:43
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Default M38A1 timing...?

Okay well it's running and the float hand the hole had to be the problem but now timing seems out as it wants to pop and fart when trying to throttle up quickly...although if it is throttled up slowly it does fine.

Not knowing how the spark advance works...I assume its sentrifical weights?
and not vancuum? or both and the vaccuum advance is internal to the disrtibutor? any ideas?

Also to adjust the distributor to at least get it to run well enough is there a place to advce the spark or is it a turn the whole distributor like a small block chevy etc?

I had an English austin that had a ratchet type of small incremneted adjustment that allowed you to adjust the timing by rotating the ratchet one way or the other to adjust and never had to touch the distributor.

Well thanks in advance...Hope I am on the right track...
Casey
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Old 08-01-12, 06:08
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The advance is purely mechanical...no vacuum diaphragm on a jeep.

To check the timing, you can replace the number one shielded spark plug wire with a normal 7mm or even an 8mm wire with both ends square cut. On that you can use a normal inductive timing light, with only one battery hooked to the power leads (12 volt or you will burn out your light). If you have one of the fancy lights, you can retard your timing on the light by 30 degrees or so, rev up the jeep motor to 2000 rpm, and see if the mark on the pulley goes back to zero.

To check the weights, it's easy enough. Remove the distributor cap, and try and turn the rotor. It should rotate (about 30) and then spring back to where it came from. You should occasionally oil the wights pivot pin....remove the points plate and the weights are underneath.

To adjust the timing, you loosen the bolt at the block, and turn the distributor.

Popping on acceleration can also be stale gasoline or else spark plugs that are over gapped (30 thou is the correct gap).

Last edited by rob love; 09-01-12 at 05:27.
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Old 08-01-12, 23:53
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I thought so and you confirmed it...unfortunately the wieghts are seized so they have not seized that long ago as it did run in the summer.
So I am guessing liberal amounts of rustinhibitor and try to move then slowly together outwards? plugs fine new and i did gap at 3 thou as well the leads are good and the rotor and cap look new pomits as well not burned at all.
Oh and finally found the elusive bolt that hold the distributor from rotating. Can't they make anything for large hands?
heater assmebly had to be removed to get in there...
Any ideas about the weights solutions used to free them up will be appreciated?
thanks again Rob! Hows the 105 coming along? ready to invade North Dakota yet!?
LOL
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Old 09-01-12, 05:27
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I would suggest that you turn your engine to TDC, note the position of your rotor, and yank out the distributor. You have to lubricate both the bushings on the weights, and the upper shaft where it moves in relation to the lower. As often as I have seen the weights seized, I have also seen the springs rusted to the point of imminent failure. You will want to check them as well.

If you want to see the progress on the howitzer, have a look at my thread about it over on the G503. http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=189187
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Old 09-01-12, 08:24
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Well the springs look pretty good and got the weights to jiggle in the slots but cant seem to turn the shaft to get them to open. I checked my small block chev distributor and it does move like you said this one should. Put the rotor on and nope won't budge but the weights are now loose but won't open so i am guessing it is the upper shaft that is actually seized. So okay thought I'd have to take it out. It's ready to do so tomorrow.
Thanks Rob and yes will look at the gun now thanks!
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Old 09-01-12, 15:10
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Remember that the jeep distributor rotates counter clockwise. The shaft should advance left, not to the right.

If you pull the rotor off, you can lube the shaft by putting some oil into the top of the shaft.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:03
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Hey thanks didn't know about the counter clockwise rotation...hmmm? well have the distributor out and did oil that last night but still nothing. the weights will jiggle a little but the top shaft will not turn at all when the bottom is held or in the slot for the drive.
I am guessing I may have to take the tiny spring clip out that holds the shaft where you said to oil it...and I am guessing it is a pry open rather than squeeze to allow it to open up and come from the slot that it is in. then amybe i can free the top part from the lower? Going with out a manual here so...common sense takes over.
thanks thus far and we'll see tonight on the bench! I have tried turning it both ways and nothing but now know which way it goes. and number one plug wire goes to the lower left hole in the distributor cap on the coil side? starting to foeget to take the pics...LOL?
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Old 10-01-12, 07:02
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Always take photos...they cost nothing but can be invaluable as well as saving precious hours.

Number one can be anywhere on the distributor.....it all depends how the oil pump got installed. As long as you know where #1 was, you'll be OK as long as you remember the counter clockwise thing for your firing order.

Be sure and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 11-01-12, 01:53
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Took the whole thing out and took the shaft out of the distributor housing.I can see where the shaft splits into the top and lower section and have soaked it in penitration oil.
In another post a while ago I think it was Rob whos to mix one half trans fliud with the other half (brake fluid?) to remove rust...thought a bath in this would loosen the shaft if correct? weights are loose but can't turn the top yet...!
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Old 11-01-12, 02:09
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Nope, that's not my mix. My mix primarily involves heat. I am too impatient to leave parts soaking, and quite frankly, my success rate with the soaking method is poor.

Take a picture of the assembly, then remove the little springs so you don't wreck them. Now heat up the top part with a propane torch. Not hot enough to discolor the metal, but with a bit of heat, you should have the upper half moving in no time. Once you have it moving (and that little top clip off) work it right off the shaft so you can properly lube everything.
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Old 12-01-12, 02:34
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Got it all apart with heat and have clean the rust off gently with oil adn sone very fine steel wool but not where the shaft is or parts that turn.
Wondering what type of lube to use on it white lithium grease or an engine oil?
I see the oil galleries and grooves for it but wondered about the spinning motion may fling the oil off?
Looked like crusty caked on grease in the grooves and the inner shaft.
So far so good...Casey
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Old 12-01-12, 02:53
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Light grease on the shaft will not go anywhere, as long as you apply it sparingly. White lithium should be fine. Then, anytime you have the cap off, place a drop or two of oil on the felt wick under the rotor.

A bit of white lithium on the weight hinges is good too, followed by a drop of oil every time you are into the distributor.

Your next trap will be the fact that you can put the rotor on 180 out onto the shaft. On some of the SMP engines, this can really bugger you up because the oil pumps are offset and will not allow you to turn the shaft 180 and insert it.

Sounds like you will have your Jeep running soon. Winter has finally set in here, so any Jeep driving is now 4 months away (minimum).
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Old 13-01-12, 04:36
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Thanks for the suggestions and yes it was out 180 degrees of course but i found this out before even getting to start it. the distributor would go in any other way so i had to take the upper shaft of and turn it so the flat rotor drive was the right way so the rotor pointed the same way when I took it out.
It runs but still pops from the carb and seems really rich smelling. there is no other setting for the mixture other than the idle mix screw on the side right?
I will have to try the timing. I tried moving the distributor so that it would sound smoother and run a little faster but still some popping just on the initial acceleration. it revs up much quicker now the weights work but the mixture is rich and the popping seems definetily timing.
The weekend is coming and so is the white stuff accorrding to the weather network. Sunday!
thanks again for all advice so far.!
Casey
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Old 13-01-12, 07:24
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Timing is pretty important....yes you have to set it. Incorrect timing can cause the popping. So will a cold engine. You have to have it at operating temperature before gunning her. emember that these are not like todays computer regulated cars, where the fuel/air mixture is automatically controlled based on a series of inputs.

Is the hose hooked up from the aircleaner to the carb? Any possibility you have the aircleaner overfilled with oil? This will be the same as having the choke on.

Winter has set in full force here....lots of snow and -20 temps. So I am buggering off to Cuba tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out in a week when I get back.
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Old 13-01-12, 08:56
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Hey Vios Candious campadre!
have agreat trip and i will let you know what happens...thanks again!

Yes hose hooked up not too much oil about 1/8- 1/4 inch in the bottom and was hot but will try and try again...I will not be broken...maybe broke but not broken by a Jeep!
MSE Ops do not walk!LOL

Enjoy you lucky bugger you!
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Old 21-01-12, 22:39
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It is alive and doing well...okay better. I have some manuals from a friend here but darned if I can find the timing info to set the timing on it. i have it where it is running okay and the accelerator is working and the advace is great but it is dead reckoning.
anyone know the actual timing in degress before or after TDC?
Thanks I'll keep looking in the manuals...if anyone knows which manual it is in that would be great as well then i can try to find it.
Thanks ...Casey
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Old 22-01-12, 01:13
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Default M38A1 CDN2 and 3 Repair Manual

The Canadian Army Repair manual on the M38A1 CDN 2 and supplement for the CDN3 is a 260 page comprehensive repair manual on all aspects of these M38A1's.
It is available from myself and other Canadian jeep parts suppliers at a reasonable cost. It is superior to the American manuals on the 1952-3 M38A1 jeeps due to numerous changes to the later Canadian production. In addition it includes all aspects of the jeep in one volume including engine rebuild; the US manual are split into 3 volumes.
Why do people start fooling with their old vehicles without getting the manuals first?
........ Brian
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Old 22-01-12, 03:58
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Well it is fairly simple but timing should not be a hunted information thing.
Yes it is a CDN not a CDN2 or 3 but a CND 1953.
manulas are more difficult to get than the jeep LOL
I had to work on it before manuals as there was no place to put it otherwise...Now that I have the excuses out of the way...yes the US manuals are not as well read as the can manuals. I have the CDN-OM9-804-A it is good but not as in depth as I if you could let me know which manual you would suggest I get and if you have it pM me and I would be more than happy to aquire one now that i have some time to get it running better and keep it that way. Do let me know and we can go from there thanks Brian also looking for anothe rear light cover for the right side rear light assembly or just the 6 screws that hold it on as mine were so seized they woud not turn till they snapped. i am going to ahve atough time getting the remains out of the light body but will manage.
regards casey
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Old 22-01-12, 06:45
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Default PM sent

Casey, My apologies for not seeing that you clearly mentioned that you had a 1953 M38A1.
Pm sent with further details. In general, the 1953 M38A1 CDN is well serviced using the 3 primary American manuals: TM9-8014 Maintenance & Operation (replaced the early TM9-804A), TM9-8015-1 Engine & Clutch and TM9-8015-2 Power Train, Body & Frame.
It wasn't until the introduction of the CDN2 that a specific Canadian maintenance manual was required.
Whether you have a CDN, CDN2 or CDN3 all of these manuals are useful since explanations and illustrations differ and often one is clearer than the other: especially for engine rebuilding.
........ Brian
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Old 22-01-12, 11:03
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No applogies neccessary!
I will look at what manuals i have that were sent to me on discs and go from there. i may need some others so i will be intouch with you re these...Thanks so much for the reply!
Regards Casey
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Old 27-01-12, 22:26
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Well have it all back together and it runs quite well while standing in the garage. I set the timing to about 7 degreed BTDC and used the 8mm plug wire from a normal vehicle to set the timing with the light worked great! Thanks Rob! So I took it for a quick spin around the block...made it about to second gear and about 150 feet away and it died. Just like that. Tried to start it and nothing. So I got ready for the long push up hill back to the garage and thought give it another try. It did start with a touch of choke even though it had been hot from idling for about 20 mins.
I managed to back it up and into the garage. I'll have to wait till I have a recovery team...( wife in the pick up) to tow me if it fails on the next attempt!

Working on the rear lights now while waiting for the weather and a free wife to tow me...!

Put questions about those in another post.
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Old 05-02-12, 03:40
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It was a great day today! I got the jeep out and it ran great! No farting poping or dying!
I had the wife follow me with the truck in case of a break down but nope after a little finetuning with the screw driver on the idle screw it ran fine. Started great too.
So then back to the garage for the elictrical...lights. Soon the inspection and the collectors insurance! thanks for all the advice to get it this far along!
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Old 05-02-12, 03:54
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Default Got to love it

Hi Casey

You got to love it when it finally works right. Best wishes to your wife for being willing to drive the chase vehicle. I can remember back before cell phones worked well in our area and my wife would drive the chase vehicle to be sure I got there or got back to the house. Now I have my friendly wrecker on speed dial. But my wife has come and fetched me home to get tools to fix a problem.

Cheers Phil
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