Need to check your valve clearances? Need to adjust your points or set static timing? You need to rotate your motor!
Some people advocate using a remote starter to 'bump' the motor around to the correct point in the 4 stroke cycle. This approach works, but it's inexact and particularly for checking valve clearances it's easier to keep track of incremental rotations.
Here's what you need
- A 1/2 in. ratchet
- A socket that fits on the locknut on your alternator or generator, as applicable
- A socket extension that will allow the arc of the ractchet handle (and your knuckles) to avoid imprtant bits on the back of your motor
- Disconnect your battery ground cable. Do it now, stumpy.
- Pop the cap on your distributor. This will let you see how far you've rotated, and you'll need to do it to set points or static timing anyway.
- Set your ratchet to go clockwise, put the socket on the extension, the extension on the nut, and then the ratchet on the extension.
- Give the ratchet a hank to move the motor clockwise. If the belt slips, tighten the belt and repeat as neccessary. This is also a great way to check if your pulleys are clean and belt tension good.
- Belt tension good? Rotate the motor incrementally and keep track of small changes on the timing scale and the big picture by watching your distributor rotor. The distributor gear has a 1:4 mechanical advantage.
- Repeat. When you're done, replace the distributor cap and battery ground cable.