Fintail Ignition Tuning - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2010, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 1981 300TD 310k--1966 230 165k--1970 280se 172k
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Fintail Ignition Tuning

Before I figure out what's wrong with my carburetors, I want to be sure the ignition is up to snuff. 1966 230 with the 180.945 engine. I see the timing spec in the owners manual says "approx. 2 degrees UDC." However, the service manual has an assembly setting stating "Stroboscope check at starter speed and with spark plugs installed 3 degrees BTDC". Then there is also a table for "Ignition setting and stroboscope values at engine speed" and lists a range of degrees at various RPMs. The text says to check it at 4500 RPM without vacuum. That setting is listed as 37 degrees.

First of all, is UDC the same as BTDC?

Secondly, is there really 37 degrees of advance at 4500 PRM? Seems like a lot. What do you guys recommend? Just set it at 2-3 degrees BTDC at starter speed and then check it at 4500 RPM?

Also, is the table with "Closure angle" the same as dwell?

Forgive me, I am more familiar with diesels and it's been many years since I tuned up a gasser. What's more important, dwell or gap? Doesn't one affect the other?
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1981 300TD--310k miles
1970 280sel--172k miles
1966 230--162k miles

Last edited by carpenterman; 11-06-2010 at 07:22 PM. Reason: add pictures
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 04:22 AM
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UDC is BTDC in German. 3 BTDC at idle is fine. All in timing is 37 BTDC @4500 RPM. Max RPM is 6200 RPM but the engine will live happily above that. Use proper plug leads and terminals not silicone carbon string leads and get rid of the points . use a pertronix ignitor .
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:43 PM
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Distributor Setting?

Is your distributor set correctly on the shaft?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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I wanted to rotate the distributor to bring it to the middle of the adjusting plate range at TDC following the tutorial found on the Ponton site. It said to rotate the helical cut shaft a gear or two, but my distributor shaft had tangs below the helical gears that would only allow a 180 degree rotation. So I had to settle with the maximum advance on the adjusting plate which left me at exactly 3 degrees BTDC at idle speed.

The car is still a bear to start. I thought I had it fixed after checking plug gaps, setting dwell, setting RPMs, fixing a possibly leaking vacuum connection at the carb, adjusting idle mixture, and balancing the carbs using the #3 and #4 plug pull-off method. The car starts perfectly when warm, but takes many cranks to start cold, using every combination of choke and pedal.

How much effect do the bi-metal spring diverting plates below the carbs have on cold starts? My springs are shot.

1981 300TD--310k miles
1970 280sel--172k miles
1966 230--162k miles
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 03:13 AM
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A while back, I posted some stuff for the zenith carbs, to the online resources portion of the forum... I might have other stuff too if you're still in need.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the offer, Grubeguy, but my carbs are Solex 38PDSI. I have searched high and low for an exploded drawing and have come up empty. It seems they were only used for two years (1966 and 1967) and only on two models (230 and 250). I would like to tear them down but would feel more comfortable with a drawing.

The PAITA carbs, by their looks, appear to have some slight differences. Still, I hesitate to use the drawings and specs. You know how it is with these maniacal devices: one little thing being off and you're buggered.

1981 300TD--310k miles
1970 280sel--172k miles
1966 230--162k miles
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 01:28 AM
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Will this help? There aren't blowups of the carb but a good 6 page description...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 66 230 Solex Carb.pdf (1.81 MB, 561 views)
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 04:17 AM
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I thought the 230 and 230S of that era used ZENITH INAT's. I had a 67 230S with the ZENITH's. The later 220S, 250S and 280S all used the ZENITH's. (Just a comment)

Near Manassas Va. '65 220S, 2006 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, '99 Volvo V70, '72 350SL 4 speed

Not part of the in-crowd since 1952. It's BRAKES not breaks. You break a bone, use brakes to stop your car. /rant

http://www.megamanual.com/index.html
http://www.bgsoflex.com/megasquirt.html
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 04:24 AM
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Think UDC is the same as BTDC. To make sure the distributor set correctly on shaft. Give more stuff,pls.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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I owe you one, Grubeguy. That PDF was very helpful. I'll run through the adjustment procedures and report back. A poster over on another forum suggested that there may be a vacuum leak in the fuel lines from the tank to the pump allowing the fuel to run back to the tank when the car sits. I'll check that out, as well.

Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm also dealing with the brakes and heater cores and am rushing to take advantage of the weather. Heater cores are out and at the radiator shop for a boil and leak test.

I also pulled the shoes on the side that had the misaligned or mis-sized shoe. The radius of both shoes were the same. When I put them back on, the radical angle of the slave piston on the front shoe mysteriously disappeared. So I'm going with that.

I realized that you can't power bleed the rear brakes because of the compensating/check valve at the master cylinder. Have to buy more brake fluid and get my helper to pump the brakes.

1981 300TD--310k miles
1970 280sel--172k miles
1966 230--162k miles
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