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Offline beicholz

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Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« on: September 11, 2011, 07:15:39 PM »
I searched, but didn't find much about this.   
 
1) Has anyone converted an early Pinto (mine is '73 2.0l) to electronic ignition?   Any advice on brands, etc.?
 
2) Has anyone replaced valves to accommodate unleaded fuel?   Any advice?
 
3)  I've been told that once you put in electronic ignition, you can advance the timing a bit to get more power.  Is this true, and if so, how much can I advance the timing.  My wonderful Squire is very slow (big surprise...hea vy car, 70's auto, 80HP!).
 
Thanks, members!
1973 Pinto Squire, 59K Miles, 2.0, Auto P/B, A/C
1972 VW Karmann Ghia Convert. (Red/Black), 2K Miles on restoration, One Owner
1972 Chevy Vega (virtual owner - in the junkyard)
2011 Subaru Outback 4WD
1 Yam. Golf Cart: Our "car" on Catalina Island

Offline Starliner

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 09:18:32 PM »
) Has anyone converted an early Pinto (mine is '73 2.0l) to electronic ignition?   Any advice on brands, etc.?   LOOK AT USING A PERTRONIX KIT TO GET RID OF THE POINTS.    A MALLORY UNILITE DITRIBUTOR IS ANOTHER WAY, BUT EXPENSIVE.  (I HAVE THAT IN MY 73 1600)
 
2) Has anyone replaced valves to accommodate unleaded fuel?   Any advice?  JUST DRIVE IT AND DON'T WORRY.     IF A VALVE STARTS TO GO YOU CAN INSTALL THE HARDENED VALVE SEATS  AT THAT TIME.  WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IS ADJUST THE VALVES AND CHECK COMPRESSION EACH TIME YOU CHANGE THE PLUGS.     IF YOU SEE A COMPRESSION LOSS, THEN DO IT AT THAT TIME.  I HAVE PUT OVER 100,000 MILES ON PRE-UNLEADED GAS ENGINES RUNNING UNLEADED.
DO NOT USE LEAD SUBSTITUTE ADDITIVE.  IT LEAVES DEPOSITS AND PROMOTES SPARK KNOCKING. 
IF YOUR TIMING IS IN RETARD IT WILL BURN THE VALVES.  SO MAKE SURE YOUR TIMING IS CORRECT OR SLIGHTLY ADVANCED. 
 
3)  I've been told that once you put in electronic ignition, you can advance the timing a bit to get more power.  Is this true, and if so, how much can I advance the timing.  My wonderful Squire is very slow (big surprise...hea vy car, 70's auto, 80HP!).YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ADVANCE YOUR TIMING WITH OR WITHOUT ELECTRONIC IGNITION TO GET BENEFITS.  THE TRICK IS NOT TO HAVE SPARK KNOCKING.   
FIRST PULL YOUR DISTRIBUTOR ROTOR.  ADD 4 DROPS OF OIL TO THE FELT THAT SHOULD BE THERE.  IF NO FELT, ADD THE DROPS ANYWAY.  THIS LUBRICATES YOUR MECHANICAL ADVANCE. 
KEEP ADVANCING YOUR TIMING SETTING A LITTLE AT A TIME UNTIL YOU HEAR SPARK KNOCKING WHEN THE MOTOR IS WARM AND YOU APPLY A LOAD.  THINGS LIKE GOING UP A HILL OR ACCELERATING.  NEXT, USE A HIGHER OCTANE FUEL TO ELIMINATE THE SPARK KNOCKING.  IF YOU WERE USING 87, USE 89.  IF YOU USING 89, USE 93.  YOU GET THE IDEA.  USE BRAND NAME FUELS ONLY.  THAT SHOULD BOOST YOUR POWER.  YOU WILL FIND THAT YOU WILL PROBABLY GET BETTER MILEAGE TO OFFSET THE MORE EXPENSIVE FUEL PRICE.   
 
Thanks, members!
1973 Pinto 1600 - Sold!  
1979 Pinto 2300 - Sold!
1984 Audi 5000 Avant - 60,000 original miles
1987 Audi 5000 S Quattro - The snowmobile
1973 Volvo 1800 ES wagon -  my project car
1976 Mustang II - Wifey's new toy

Offline beicholz

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 09:14:45 AM »
Thanks for the great info, Starliner!!!  Gonna get started today...
 
1973 Pinto Squire, 59K Miles, 2.0, Auto P/B, A/C
1972 VW Karmann Ghia Convert. (Red/Black), 2K Miles on restoration, One Owner
1972 Chevy Vega (virtual owner - in the junkyard)
2011 Subaru Outback 4WD
1 Yam. Golf Cart: Our "car" on Catalina Island

Offline Starliner

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 07:24:35 PM »
I forgot to ask what octane fuel you are running.   You may want to advance the timing after you are around 1/4 to 1/3 of a tank of gas.   That way after you detect the SLIGHT spark knock under load you can fill up with higher octane fuel.  Then after about 5 miles of driving easy the higher octane fuel will work it's way to the engine.   Then  you can drive it normally to hard and gauge the performance improvement.
 
Is the car exempt from smog?   If so, you could try some carburetor jet changes slightly richer. 
 
Good luck and keep us updated.
 
   
1973 Pinto 1600 - Sold!  
1979 Pinto 2300 - Sold!
1984 Audi 5000 Avant - 60,000 original miles
1987 Audi 5000 S Quattro - The snowmobile
1973 Volvo 1800 ES wagon -  my project car
1976 Mustang II - Wifey's new toy

Offline beicholz

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 08:09:13 PM »
Starliner...I am using highest Octane in our area...92.   And yes, the car is smog exempt.   She's at the mechanic today, so let's see how much difference a fresh tune-up, a bit of advancing, and electronic ignition make.   I didn't buy the car to race it anyway.   It would be nice, though, not to have a long line of cars honking at me as I climb the mountain to my cabin!
1973 Pinto Squire, 59K Miles, 2.0, Auto P/B, A/C
1972 VW Karmann Ghia Convert. (Red/Black), 2K Miles on restoration, One Owner
1972 Chevy Vega (virtual owner - in the junkyard)
2011 Subaru Outback 4WD
1 Yam. Golf Cart: Our "car" on Catalina Island

Offline Starliner

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 06:21:21 PM »
With the 92 octane and advancing the timing I would expect some power gains and improved fuel economy with the timing advanced. 
 
I have driven up to Big Bear and canyon carved on Mulhulland drive many times in the 80's when I lived in California.  So I know what you are facing.
 
Something to consider...  You should invest in two gauges.  A small tachometer and a temperature gauge.  You could mount them in a way that keeps the originality feel of the car. 
The purpose is to monitor your temperature on those climbs (or summer drives to Vegas!) and to downshift the automatic into 2nd gear and not over rev. 
The 2000 engine is very strong.  It has a main bearing on each side of each crank throw, excellent oiling system, and an overhead cam.  It will stay together all day even at 4000+ RPM's.
The rpm limiting factor will be your cam profile, carb, and exhaust.  You will quickly learn where it will purr in 2nd gear climbing the mountain.
 
One more...  I would run Mobil-1 15W-50.  It has enough zinc content to protect the camshaft, will resist the high heat generated from the mountain climb, and the weight is perfect for southern California. 
 
I put a picture of my gauges.  I don't know if it will post. You will see the tach and temperature gauge are small.

 
 
1973 Pinto 1600 - Sold!  
1979 Pinto 2300 - Sold!
1984 Audi 5000 Avant - 60,000 original miles
1987 Audi 5000 S Quattro - The snowmobile
1973 Volvo 1800 ES wagon -  my project car
1976 Mustang II - Wifey's new toy

Offline beicholz

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 09:30:21 AM »
Thanks for the great advice, members.  I already have great results: simply re-timing (it was WAY off) and adjusting the carb did wonders.   It's not fast, but I don't expect that.  At least she gains speed when I floor it, rather than just growling at me!

Question: The C4 feels really tight and solid. However, it seems to upshift later than modern tranny's when going uphill.   Am I imagining things?  Perhaps that's what Starliner meant above?

Also, what is the correct temp for the 2.0?   My V6 Pinto ran hot - 210 to 220, but seemed very happy doing so.
1973 Pinto Squire, 59K Miles, 2.0, Auto P/B, A/C
1972 VW Karmann Ghia Convert. (Red/Black), 2K Miles on restoration, One Owner
1972 Chevy Vega (virtual owner - in the junkyard)
2011 Subaru Outback 4WD
1 Yam. Golf Cart: Our "car" on Catalina Island

Offline Starliner

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2011, 09:29:02 PM »
That is good news that it is more responsive.  It really makes the driving experience so much better!
 
The engine should run 180 to 195 F degrees in normal driving.  It will rise higher climbing the mountain or in the desert in the summer.   210 F is OK for those conditions.    Higher and I would be concerned and get things fixed or improved.   
 
If you run Mobil-1 15W-50 you do not need to worry about the oil breaking down from excess heat and friction.  Oil can run 100 F higher than the what the coolant is running.  Regular dinosaur oil can break down pulling mountains and hot desert summers. 
 
When I was talking about revving it in second gear I was referring to shifting the transmission manually into second gear and revving it higher going up the mountain on the steep inclines and in the twisties. 
Yes, it is normal to have the transmission shift late when the engine is under a load. The transmission modulator valve reads the engine vacuum and controls when the transmission should shift.   When your engine is pulling the hill the engine manifold vacuum is lower and delays shift points.     That should help you when pulling an incline.
 
 
1973 Pinto 1600 - Sold!  
1979 Pinto 2300 - Sold!
1984 Audi 5000 Avant - 60,000 original miles
1987 Audi 5000 S Quattro - The snowmobile
1973 Volvo 1800 ES wagon -  my project car
1976 Mustang II - Wifey's new toy

Offline beicholz

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 09:15:48 AM »
Thanks again for the advice, Starliner!  I spent much of my climb to 7000 feet in forced 2nd gear.  I confess, a couple of times I had to use first.   Not a racer, but she made it!
1973 Pinto Squire, 59K Miles, 2.0, Auto P/B, A/C
1972 VW Karmann Ghia Convert. (Red/Black), 2K Miles on restoration, One Owner
1972 Chevy Vega (virtual owner - in the junkyard)
2011 Subaru Outback 4WD
1 Yam. Golf Cart: Our "car" on Catalina Island

Offline Starliner

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Re: Advice Needed: Timing, Valves. and Electronic Ignition
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 07:08:10 PM »
One last thing to help the mountain climbing and desert runs...
 
I would add a transmission cooler.
They are low cost and it will help the transmission live longer.
Cheaper than rebuilding!   
1973 Pinto 1600 - Sold!  
1979 Pinto 2300 - Sold!
1984 Audi 5000 Avant - 60,000 original miles
1987 Audi 5000 S Quattro - The snowmobile
1973 Volvo 1800 ES wagon -  my project car
1976 Mustang II - Wifey's new toy