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Timing a 7.3 with a Ferret adapter.

Discussion in 'IDI Tech Article' started by OLDBULL8, Sep 19, 2010.

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  1. OLDBULL8

    OLDBULL8 Good Morning Ya'll. Supporting Member

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    *** Moderators Note: Thanks to Oldbull8 for the write up. While not a tech article per sey, with the limited equipment available to do pulse method timing the "official way", this timing light method will most likely be the one that endures. Every IDI owner should have this equipment and know how to use it. - Mel ***



    Finally got around today to try out my new Ferret timing adapter.

    I did not change the timing. Just checking the timing on an 88 engine that was supposedly had only 75K miles on it, since running it for an hour+ , found the front and rear seals leaking.
    With the damper timing mark wandering could that indicate a weak IP or the injector itself?

    Tools needed. Digital timing light, Ferret adapter and wrench for IP nuts. Six pack of 16 Oz Bud.

    1st Pic-- Wrench is a modified 9/16" bent and end ground down, digital timing light and Ferret.
    2nd Pic-- Clean off #1 cyl. fuel line.
    3rd Pic-- Ferret adapter mounted and Grd. wire attached.
    4th Pic-- Timing marks on the damper and timing plate 0 degree mark.
    5th Pic-- Factory marks on the IP and mounting flange. IP was advanced to pass side about 1/16". Engine has a knock when idling, but smooths out at about 1000 RPM.
    6th Pic-- Idling RPM.
    7th Pic-- Advance degree setting.
    8th Pic-- 2080 RPM to check advanced degree. At that RPM the damper line goes all over the place, but most flashes bring the timing to the 0 mark, so I assume that the timing is advanced to 8.5 degrees.
    9th Pic-- Ferret adapter mounted. I have no idea what that fitting is below the adapter, the hat shaped thing is plastic and slides up & down about 1/8".
     

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  2. Diesel JD

    Diesel JD Full Access Member

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    Nice setup. The timing tools are pretty fun to play with if there's no pressure. Somebody either timed it with tools or got very lucky as that is absolutely spot on by the book, although probably a little on the retarded side with today's fuel.
     
  3. RLDSL

    RLDSL Diesel fuel abuser

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    As for the bouncing , a number of possibilities here. Try putting it on #4 and see what happens. There are a few possible causes. Injectors that aren't firing properly will cause it to bounce around so if it goes to normal when you put it on 4 then you know it's just the injector, if it keeps bouncing then it could be a hammered IP or your harmonic balancer could be separating , or option #3 your timing light may be a dud and some timing lights will mis read as they approach 2000 rpm , even some high end ones, and show the line bouncing around. so if the bouncing persists on 4 then slowly lower the rpms from 2000 and see if it finds a point where the line stabilizes, if so then it would appear that you would have isolated the timing light as a culpret
     
  4. OLDBULL8

    OLDBULL8 Good Morning Ya'll. Supporting Member

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    That timing light is supposedly be good for up to 10 grand. Good suggestions tho. From the gray paint on everything, it's prolly all original from 1988. I cut a 3/4" thick wood wedge to put between the throttle arm and Hi idle solenoid so it's easy to adjust the RPM's.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  5. seawalkersee

    seawalkersee It needs a turbo...

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    So that just snaps onto the line and has some sort of power adapter that gives the pulse an electrical impulse? Can you show the whole thing? Did you make it?

    SWS
     
  6. MR.T

    MR.T Full Access Member

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    I use the Ferret too -- Two things I've found that get a steadier strobe signal to the timing light. Adding some thick oil or grease between the sensor and the injector line (with paint removed as your pics show), and adding some electrical tape around the ground clip to hold it tighter with a running/vibrating engine.

    Edit: I believe I had more stable readings with the sensor in the straight section of the injection line rather then next to the fitting. It senses the expansion of the tubing, the fitting might make sensing more difficult.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  7. seawalkersee

    seawalkersee It needs a turbo...

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    Can someone show how this works?

    SWS
     
  8. Diesel JD

    Diesel JD Full Access Member

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    SWS, it takes the "pulse" signal from the fuel being injected in the #1 injection line and converts it to something a timing light designed for a gasser can interpret. You then look at the timing marks on the engine. On the 6.9 and 7.3 we only have the "0" on the Harmonic balancer as a reference. What you want to do is to dial in however many degrees of advance you want to your timing light and adjust the timing until the flash from your timing light lines up with the mark on the balancer. In essence it makes the pulse of the injection pump so that the timing light can read it like a spark from a gas engine. This is supposedly and easy timing method, I haven't done it, as I've been blessed enough to come across a working MT1480 and already had a luminosity probe laying around. This is probably easier than that as pulse timing doesn't require the removal of a glow plug. The Ferret Adapter is around $200 and is still available unlike a lot of obsolete IDI timing tools. I imagine you could probably use it on any mechanically injected diesel.
     
  9. seawalkersee

    seawalkersee It needs a turbo...

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    Ah HA...I knew it used the gasser setup but wondered if it was the ferret was what was able to make the change. I did not know that I needed a different timing light (no rpm or advance change) or tape. I THINK I am going to try to make marks on it so it will be usable down the line.

    Where do I get the Ferret adapter?

    SWS
     
  10. MR.T

    MR.T Full Access Member

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  11. wanabebig

    wanabebig Full Access Member

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    what kind of timing light is that?
     
  12. Brimmstone

    Brimmstone Full Access Member

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  13. MR.T

    MR.T Full Access Member

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  14. '94IDITurbo7.3

    '94IDITurbo7.3 HAMMER DOWN!

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    bringing this one back. so today in school i learned how to use a timing light on a gasser. now i understand the concept.

    how does the ferret adapter connect to the timing light to give it a signal?
     
  15. Wyreth

    Wyreth Certifiable Noob

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    I just went through this problem with my j33300 before Gary lent me a new mag probe. My bouncy line was because I had some pitting on the line that I hadn't completely sanded off. The next time was I hadn't gotten the clamp quite tight enough. and that was just another quarter turn with my fingers. Your pic looks alot like what I saw before I sanded it down again, so it could just need some more cleaning. Also, the Kent Moore instructions say to put the clamp within 4", but do not let it touch the injector nut.

    I got my best readings, both with the light and eventually with the mag probe, putting my clamp on the strait part just before the downturn bend. (about a quarter inch back from the bend)

    Awesome idea with the wooden wedge, I am so stealing that trick.
    (also, the hat thingy in the pic is the Rotunda timing adapter. If you want rid of it, you can use a #1 injector line from a van, as they had their timing adapter on #4)
     
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