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VE4 Timing Question

q930

Registered
I have a Ve4 with a magneto. The firing order is 1-3-4-2, but the picture of the magneto in the tech book looking towards the distributor cap shows (with the rotor going CCW) 1-2-3-4. Is this a typo error or should the wires be on the cap this way? Either way (I've tried the wires different configurations) the engines pops (like a misfire pop) but won't start. I got gas and a great spark to all the plugs. Somehow it's just not timed right. And yes, with the flywheel at TDC, the mark on the mag gear is present looking in the inspection hole on the side of the gear case. Any ides would be greatly appreciated.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Did someone put a different mag on it? Mine has a wico but I don't have the numbers handy. Post a pic of whacha got.
 

Sonny Reese

Registered
Did you make sure the valves are not stuck open???? I have owned/used many of these and after sitting over the winter the valves would stick causing the backfire. thanks; sonny
 

Heins

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/02/2020
The V-4 engines don't fire even, the mag off an inline four cylinder won't work on a V-4.
 

Phil P

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/24/2013
Hi

The VE and VF4 have an inline crankshaft in a V engine.

For this you don’t get 2 pistons at TDC at the same time like you do on an inline 4.

The next models up have a crank shaft designed for a V engine so they do time like an inline 4.

The way to tell if your magneto is the correct one is by the lobes on the cam that operates the points.

The magneto on the VE and VF4 will have 2 lobes close together and 2 lobes far apart.

If you have even spaced lobes then you have the wrong magneto.

Most of the Wisconsin V4 engines will operate with an inline magneto yours will not.

If you have a manual for the engine time the magneto in accordance with the instructions in the manual.

To get the wires correct just put all of them in the cap and arrange them so you can see which one sparks.

Then remove the spark plugs and rotate the engine with your finger over one of the spark plug holes so you can feel the compression.

The magneto should make a snapping noise just as the piston reaches TDC.

The wire that sparks goes on that cylinder.

Continue this process until you have all the wires identified.

Phil P
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Here's what is on my 1948 VE4. I don't remember if they also offered a Fairbanks on them.
As yours is likely as old as mine, the condensers do go bad. Attach a condenser to the terminal on the side and ground the case. Mine's been running fine with this mod for ten years with the condenser 4 feet away on the kill switch wire. (Old one is still in the mag and connected.)
 

Attachments

q930

Registered
Thank you all for the helpful responses. Phil P you really know your stuff. Your explanation of the lobes made the fuzzy picture clear. I went one step further and removed the heads (as I was also curious to see how everything looked, valves, cylinder walls, etc) and was able to see when piston reached TDC (on the compression stroke) the spark telling which wire goes where.
Two things that made this ordeal confusing is #1 and 4 pistons and #2 and 3 do not go up and down together like normal engines do. Also when the TDC mark on the flywheel is vertical, the #1 piston is NOT. The tech manual should have mentioned this.
Anyway the happy ending to my dilemma is I put everything back together, and it started on the second crank and it runs perfect.
This engines powers an early 1950s Massey-Harris hay baler. I'll drag it out of the dark shed someday soon and take a couple pics of it.
 
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