electronic ignition static timing


Asked by Jan 07, 2013 at 01:31 PM about the 1969 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: General

why does my time light keep on  does not go out when i turn the distributor?

11 Answers


As long as you are pulling the triger on the timeing light it will stay on. They are not supose to turn off when you turn the distributor


The timing light strobes when the engine is running. You point it at the timing marks with the engine running and adjust the timing by turning the distributor.

1 people found this helpful.

to be more specific. you point the timing light at the hamonic balancer witch has a timing mark that is "stacked" with te cranck shaft. using the little "toothed" gauge that is bolted or spot welded to the timing chain cover, you can tell how far in or out of time you are. it will not shut off. if it has you have turned the timing so far that the engine has stalled.


Thanks for the answer shaggy1981, Ronc258 and teenspeede, but..... I must have missed a detail I am checking it with static timing, which means that all I am using is a time light and not a time light strobe. Normally I set the engine to top dead centre and when I turn the distributor the light will come off then I turn the distributor counter to the direction I was turning till the light comes on again. Now I just fitted a magnetic chopper (electronic ignition) and when I tried to check the static timing the time light is on and won't come off not even if I turn the distributor a whole turn. Any clues please? Thanks…..

4 people found this helpful.

Guess I never new there is two types of timeing lights. Every one that I have ever seen or used is a strobe style. Guess you learn something new every day. Don't know what to tell you about the style of timeing light you have


The time light I use is nothing special you just have a lamp you connect it to the engine earth from one side and to the coil negative on the other end, when the points are open or closed (am not sure now) the light is on and when the point are open the light will go out. This is done by putting the engine in top dead centre and the no 1 in the combustion position. This is normally known as static timing. For better reference I am sure you can find more info on the net.


Then I would think your points are staying closed to keep the light on becuse that is what would compleat your circut. when the points open the circut is not complete so it would turn your light off


heq that,s my problem I cannot understand what is happening cause this happened as soon as I installed an electronic ignition with a magnettic chopper. to tell you the truth this evening me and my son went on with it and tried to strat the engine, the engine started but it seems 5that it is set in advanced, the indication was that it was very hard to crank but once it started running it ran well. I guess I will have to check it out with the strobe light any way.! Thanks mate for you interest.


if you installed an electronic module ignition like the pertronix unit, did you pay close attention on how it wires up? it is different than points. usually if you wire them up wrong the timing light will stay on continously. if it does it usually burns out the module really quick. also these modules have a clearance between the ring and the module. if the distance is not correct and is to close it will cause the timing light to stay on constant.

1 people found this helpful.

thanks mate I will give it a closer look!

after much research i learned this .... if your using a test light.... you can not time your vw with it, it can only be timed with a strobe timing light

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Beetle in your area?

CarGurus has 7,297 nationwide Beetle listings starting at $1,995.


Volkswagen Beetle Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Chris Billings
  • #3
    Tom Demyan
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Mustang
261 Great Deals out of 37,609 listings starting at $1,350
Used Toyota Corolla
603 Great Deals out of 66,299 listings starting at $900
Used FIAT 500
65 Great Deals out of 3,016 listings starting at $2,950
Used Chevrolet Camaro
238 Great Deals out of 27,311 listings starting at $2,077

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
2,613 listings starting at $15,897
2017 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
6 Great Deals out of 584 listings starting at $13,822
2016 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 362 listings starting at $10,495
2015 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 487 listings starting at $9,683
2014 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 536 listings starting at $6,991

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.