Hello all, I was wondering if some one on here could help me out, I am having no troubles with my 59 AB, but a buddy of mine has a 1951 Marmon-Herrington Ford F6 with what looks to be a 59 AB (looks the same as my 46 Ford flathead v8) his engine has what looks to be a magneto in place of where the distributor should be.
The problem he's having is spark knock, and over heating. Neither of us has a clue as to how to set the timing, I've heard the regular distributor in my truck has to be removed from the engine to set the timing. I was wondering if the magneto is the same way?
You might want to give that '51 a closer look. It's likely an 8BA or 8CM and the mag is in the distributor hole (out over the front of the right bank--very different from the 59A). It sounds like the timing is retarded which causes high combustion chamber/exhaust temps due to combustion still happening during blowdown. With that super heated exhaust routed through the water jacket it'll heat up like a steam boiler. It's a fast way to burn valves too. You might want to advance the timing by turning the distributor (magneto) against the direction of rotation a little at a time to find a place where the engine seems happier. I might add that if he's running a mag there's probably no auto advance on it at all. You may have to rig up a bowden cable to enable the timing to be retarded for starting and advance when it's running; sort of like a Model A. Some of my friends had to do that when they put mags on their HD motorcyles or they got sent to the moon when they tried to kick them over.
Hope this helps you out.
Thank you for the reply, but this post was 2 months old. The engine was definitely an older model engine, as the distributor or magneto what ever it was, was located on the front of the engine, facing forward in between the crank pulley and the swapped in alternator. He has since sold the truck.