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Mechanical Ignition Handbook

The Hack Mechanic Guide to Vintage Ignition Systems

by Rob Siegel

Softcover, 8 in. x 10 in.
164 pages
109 photos and illustrations
ISBN-13: 978-0-8376-1767-1
Price: $39.95

Mechanical Ignition Handbook

Mechanically timed ignition is easy to understand and wonderfully straightforward to diagnose and repair, which is good because it's one of the most likely things on an older car to die and leave you in the lurch.

Rob Siegel--better known as the Hack Mechanic-- explains how mechanical ignition works and discusses in detail how to set timing and advance. There is also a full chapter on troubleshooting mechanical ignition problems. Illustrated with over 100 photos and diagrams and supported by clear, step-by-step instructions, the Mechanical Ignition Handbook features sections on:

  • Mechanical ignition basics and components
  • Common repairs and recommended tools
  • Adjusting point gap
  • Setting dwell angle
  • Locating the timing mark
  • Finding top dead center
  • Setting static and dynamic ignition timing
  • Using both a standard and an advance timing light
  • Testing coil resistance
  • Retrofitting breakerless electronic ignition (for those who say "enough!")

Vehicles covered:

Applies to vintage cars from the 1950s up through the mid 1980s that have either points and breakers or mechanical ignition advance. Some examples are:

  • Porsche 356
  • Mechanically-timed Porsche 911
  • BMW 1600 & BMW 2002
  • Ferrari 365
  • Austin-Healey Sprite
  • MGB
  • Triumph Spitfire, Triumph TR3 & TR6
  • Jaguar E-Type
  • Mercedes models including the Mercedes 190 SL
  • Volkswagen Beetle
  • early Volvo
  • Pontiac GTO
  • vintage Chevrolet Camaro and other American muscle cars

If you are a vintage car owner who wants to understand how to adjust timing and advance to keep your favorite ride running smoothly, this is the book for you!

Standard points assembly.(Chapter 3, Point Gap and Dwell)
Standard points assembly.(Chapter 3, "Point Gap and Dwell")
Illustration of rotation and dwell angle. (Chapter 3, Point Gap and Dwell)
Illustration of rotation and dwell angle. (Chapter 3, "Point Gap and Dwell")
Diaphragm with both vacuum advance and vacuum retard ports on a BMW Bavaria (Chapter 5, Setting Ignition Timing)
Diaphragm with both vacuum advance and vacuum retard ports on a BMW Bavaria (Chapter 5, "Setting Ignition Timing")
Mechanical Ignition Handbook
Mechanical Ignition Handbook
ISBN: 0-8376-1767-7 (ISBN-10)
ISBN: 978-0-8376-1767-1 (ISBN-13)
Permalink: http://www.bentleypublishers.com/c/BHMI
Associated Vehicles

This product is related to the following vehicles: