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View Full Version : Timing issues. Chevy 350 with HEI dist



John510
09-27-2010, 12:39 PM
Distributor was set correctly with rotor pointing at #1 cyl so I can rule that out.

I am at 50 degrees in timing. When I go to set it lower the car will die and spit out the carb. Could my distributor be bad? It is only 1 week old. I already tried a new coil and new ig module but it is still not working. Car likes to be at 50 for some reason but because of this I am overheating like crazy.

What else could be wrong? Cam installed wrong? Bad dizzy? I am lost. HELP!

406 Q-ship
09-27-2010, 12:54 PM
Slipped balancer ring or the wrong combination of balancer and timing marker.

Restomod Z28
09-27-2010, 01:07 PM
+1. Are these the original balancer and timing chain cover for this engine? Did you verify your timing marks? Is 0 on your timing markers truly TDC? Also, you're checking your timing on the front driver's side plug wire, right?

DynoDon
09-27-2010, 01:23 PM
If you need 50 degrees at idle, and you are definitely checking the #1 cylinder, then either the balancer has slipped or is the wrong one, or the timing marker is the wrong one. PERIOD

Use a dead stop and bring the motor to TDC #1 and then compare you timing marks, I am sure you will find something amiss

John510
09-27-2010, 01:27 PM
thanks guys I will pull the balance off tonight and try a new one. The marker I have is new and correct.

The one on there is an 8" should I have a 7"?

DynoDon
09-27-2010, 01:33 PM
There are a couple of different ones for the 350 and are off by as much as 10 degrees if I remember (maybe more). The diameter will correspond to the timing indicator or timing cover being used, you can't mix them - the 7" will be too far away from the 8" marker and the 7" marker will run into the 8" balancer.
Again i would really find True TDC with a piston stop and see where you are at this point

John510
09-27-2010, 02:20 PM
:machine:ARGG! I noticed I have no crank bolt. I went to screw in a new one and its stripped. Damn! So now even if I get the balancer off I have no way of putting it back on. Motor has to come out now to tap a new hole right?

I bought the car with this motor in it. Its killin me now.

406 Q-ship
09-27-2010, 03:13 PM
There are a couple of different ones for the 350 and are off by as much as 10 degrees if I remember (maybe more). The diameter will correspond to the timing indicator or timing cover being used, you can't mix them - the 7" will be too far away from the 8" marker and the 7" marker will run into the 8" balancer.
Again i would really find True TDC with a piston stop and see where you are at this point

There are ones that are more than 10 off. The ones on smog era SBC (these are the ones where you look between the water pump and timing cover) are about 50 BTDC if it is mixed with the early timing markers (on the driverside of the engine). Then to make things even more interesting there is a van/motorhome one that is on the bottom of the engine. :rolleyes:

twosaturns
09-27-2010, 06:20 PM
:machine:ARGG! I noticed I have no crank bolt. I went to screw in a new one and its stripped. Damn! So now even if I get the balancer off I have no way of putting it back on. Motor has to come out now to tap a new hole right?

I bought the car with this motor in it. Its killin me now.

some cranks weren't threaded for a bolt; I had a mid '60's 283 w/o one. I used to tap it on w/ a rubber mallet.
agreed on needing to find your TDC, then mark it yourself on the tab or get a different tab.

JEFFTATE
09-28-2010, 04:47 AM
First of all,
Remove the drivers side valve cover , distributor cap, and #1 sparkplug.
Bring the engine up to TDC on #1 cylinder and make sure everything is properly phased.
With the valve cover off and the ditributor cap off , you can see exactly the relationship of ignition rotor , rocker arms , timing mark , and actual TDC of the piston.
Make sure everything lines up right , then proceed ..
This way , you can double check your timing mark , distributor position , camshaft timing , etc..

You do need a crank bolt.
I had to do the same thing on my ' 69 when I first bought it.
It was the first repair I ever did on it.
I feel your pain .

Type73LT
09-28-2010, 12:12 PM
Are you sure you used the right bolt in the crank?

Try a tap and see if any threads are left then try a heli coil.

Does the balancer have have the key still in there? You need it to keep it from spinning.

Who built your motor? Check with them for the right bolt.

John Wright
09-28-2010, 12:25 PM
Yup, need a bolt to hold the balancer/dampener on....they will come off at the most inopportune time, and it won't be pretty.

LowBuckX
09-28-2010, 11:31 PM
just to be sure Are you pulling the vaccum hose off the Vac advance can when checking???? With 32 total plus the vac advance 50 sounds about correct. Assuming you have all your timing coming in fast.

John510
09-28-2010, 11:38 PM
just to be sure Are you pulling the vaccum hose off the Vac advance can when checking???? With 32 total plus the vac advance 50 sounds about correct. Assuming you have all your timing coming in fast.

With the vaccuum it was around 80+. I cant remember if that was with the vac on or off though. It went off the charts with that though. Not even registerable with the timing gun

DynoDon
09-29-2010, 08:24 AM
just to be sure Are you pulling the vaccum hose off the Vac advance can when checking???? With 32 total plus the vac advance 50 sounds about correct. Assuming you have all your timing coming in fast.
I think he was saying that it was showing 50 degrees of INITIAL!

LowBuckX
09-29-2010, 09:20 AM
just had to ask.... puzzles need all the peices.. Im betting on a slipped ring also... Have access to a degree wheel???

John Wright
09-29-2010, 09:38 AM
If you use an adjustable timing light(dial back), you can turn the dial until you get the timing mark on zero....glance at the dial and see where you are sitting. Also make sure the mechanical weights haven't stuck or the advance plate isn't stuck....something is amiss. Maybe the dizzy is a tooth off whne the dizzy was put back into the motor. Easy to do, especially if the oil pump shaft turned a wee bit and let it just slide in.

John510
09-29-2010, 08:52 PM
I feel like an idiot. How do I find TDC with no crank bolt? I am turning slowly with starter jump and I cannot tell how to find true TDC. I thought it was at TDC and set distributor and now its popping smoke out the carb. Arrrrrrggggg

MrQuick
09-29-2010, 10:00 PM
My old 327 never had a bolt in it from factory....no provisions for one either. Belts will hold it on right?

I removed the 3 other bolts that hold the pulley on, put on a bolt grip puller and made a big washer to keep it from pushing on the crank snout. Used that to rotate the engine.

your gonna have to degree your dampner.

Make a pointer or use the one you have as a reference mark.

As someone suggested above...Use a piston stop in cyl 1 hole, turn slow by hand to one stop, mark the dampner, then back up to stop again then mark the dampner...move forward to half way point of your two marks and that will be your TDC.

If it was me I'd just move that distributer till it idled good then keep advancing till it started to detonate under full acceleration. Then back it up abit.

If you are ever in San Mateo, bring some Jamba juice by the shop and I'll take care of it for you. :cheers:

John510
09-29-2010, 10:09 PM
LOL my car wont make it over the bridge. it is overheating after 5 mins. Im giving up. Time to have it towed it to a shop.

MrQuick
09-29-2010, 10:30 PM
you have AAA?

John510
09-30-2010, 09:23 AM
No triple A for me. How sure are you that you can fix it? Ive had 4 people look at it and nobody seems to be able to fix it. My crank bolt is stripped and will need tapped or helicoiled.

Compression in Cyl #7 is at 220 while all others average 175. 2 of my rockers are "sinking in" to the pushrods when you adjust them and wont allow you to adjust it perfectly with the feeler gauges.

John Wright
09-30-2010, 09:37 AM
Vince can get you all fixed up, or at least tell you what is going on.

adjust it perfectly with the feeler gauges solid lifter cam?

John510
09-30-2010, 11:00 AM
Vince can get you all fixed up, or at least tell you what is going on.
solid lifter cam?


Yes solid cam.

Mingus
10-01-2010, 04:51 AM
First question, you said you bought this car with the engine in it, but you didn't say how long ago. Has it ever run right since you've had it or did this start when you changed distributors? It sounds to me like somebody threw it together with whatever parts they had around. Unfortunately this seems to happen a lot. I had a truck once that had two completely different heads (valve sizes and chambers) and a friend of mine had a "new" engine he bought that had flat top pistons with a close chambered head on one bank and pop-ups with an open chambered on the other. :barf:
With all the other issues, as long as the key isn't sheared I wouldn't waste any time or money trying to fix the balancer bolt until you're sure the engine doesn't have to come out anyway. It needs addressed if it will stay in, but I have my doubts at this point. The huge compression difference makes me think the one cylinder has an oddball piston. The rockers being "sunk in" is not good at all. Are they stock type rockers? If it's a solid cam it probably has some kind of huge seat pressure "race" valve springs which are in the process of punching the pushrods through the rockers.

As for the timing, I assume it is the wrong pointer. There are a huge number of them for Chevys. Don't pay attention to the pointer and time it to where the engine seems happy. Try timing like other posters have mentioned, keep advancing it until you get pinging under acceleration or the starter has a hard time cranking and back off a little from there. I usually time a car like this and then throw the light on it afterwards just to see what it says. With it set like that, how does it acutally run for the few minutes before it overheats?
The overheating could be from the timing, but it could also be a blown head gasket, bad water pump, etc. Don't assume they have to be related even if they started at the same time. Murphy likes to operate that way. :)

406 Q-ship
10-01-2010, 07:44 AM
Murphy likes to operate that way. :)


I give Murphy a beer to keep him happy and away from my cars.:fingersx:

MrQuick
10-15-2010, 09:38 PM
problem solved....1980 dampner with early timing tab... degreed engine, re marked balancer, recurved distributer and carb overhaul. Holls bolls but pucker turns. which led to...rust repair, new paint, new suspension and empty wallet. LOL


Thanks guys!!!