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Timing frustrations


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It'll likely be more like 2 to 4° off. Plus, you'll use that TDC mark to make sure the timing pointer is correct. I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist, errors are generally accumulative, I'm  a terribly slow wood worker, engineers make terrible carpenters :) My wife's Dad was a carpenter/homebuilder, and over the years I've frequently heard her comment on how long it takes me to build something out of wood. To her Dad 1/4" was close enough, to me 1/32" isn't really close enough, but I make do with it. You've heard "measure twice, cut once", for something critical it's more like measure 3 or 4 times, write it down, draw up a sketch, and then cut it :).

 Not to prolong this extended discussion, but as a (former) machinist, I'm used to working to 1/10000", so I do agree, the closer the tolerance the better it will be and that goes for (almost) everything.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Well, you need a choke or cold starts will be an issue. The carb was milled? Not sure what that means. The one thing that I can definitely tell you is that carb needs a hole drilled in each of the b

Msd boxes were the cats meow, but recently they are all made in china.

IF it ain't one thing, it's another. It never seems to stop. That sucks man! One step forward a three back. Something isn't right for sure. I really hope you don't end up pulling the motor for a rebui

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Hi, Love this tread.  Well done and great tenacity in finding solutions.  It's been a very long time since I looked for TDC.  But I think last time I was about 20 and used my pinky finger.

 

Glad it's keeping everyone entertained. At least giving us something to do during this down time with the virus. 

 

She's all put back together with exception of the fan. Waiting on it to get here. Clutch came fast, fan itself, not so much. Comes tomorrow I believe. I'm not giving UPS a hard time during these times, that's for sure. Just glad we can even still get parts delivered. 

 

I'm sure I could fire it up for a few, and see what the initial vacuum looks like, but I don't really want to until I can take my time, adjust the timing, dial in the carb, idle speed, etc. without worrying about overheating. I'd like to let her run for a good little while assuming all is well. 

 

Get those last minute Hg guesses in.  ;)

Chris - BIG RED MACH 1

Born in '73 - Drive a '73

Former U.S. Army 63B10-H8

1st Infantry Division - The Big Red One

 

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Hi, Love this tread.  Well done and great tenacity in finding solutions.  It's been a very long time since I looked for TDC.  But I think last time I was about 20 and used my pinky finger.

 

Glad it's keeping everyone entertained. At least giving us something to do during this down time with the virus. 

 

She's all put back together with exception of the fan. Waiting on it to get here. Clutch came fast, fan itself, not so much. Comes tomorrow I believe. I'm not giving UPS a hard time during these times, that's for sure. Just glad we can even still get parts delivered. 

 

I'm sure I could fire it up for a few, and see what the initial vacuum looks like, but I don't really want to until I can take my time, adjust the timing, dial in the carb, idle speed, etc. without worrying about overheating. I'd like to let her run for a good little while assuming all is well. 

 

Get those last minute Hg guesses in.  ;)

Without know the cam spec, I'm going with 15" Hg. Stock cam would be around 17" Hg.

Geoff.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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The idle spec is 13 inches, so I'm going with 12 inches at idle.

 

 

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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The idle spec is 13 inches, so I'm going with 12 inches at idle.

 

Don C,

Lots of variables still on the table here, how well was cam timing dialed in, is Big red's balancer spot on or not.

Big red does not have factory carb, surely the holley is going to be richer in the idle circuits.

His cam has a 110 degree LSA that will help with vacuum, if it is not advanced 4 degrees.

Target idle speed will  play a huge role here as well, and lets not forget pcv valve.

Boilermaster

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Cam is NOT advanced 4 degrees per previous owner. : )

 

My "target" idle speed is 800 in gear fully warmed up. I assume that may put me around 950 or so when in park. That sound right?

 

And I did squeeze 10-11 out of it for a minute before I tore into everything.

Chris - BIG RED MACH 1

Born in '73 - Drive a '73

Former U.S. Army 63B10-H8

1st Infantry Division - The Big Red One

 

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The idle spec is 13 inches, so I'm going with 12 inches at idle.

 

That's with the Ford 6° timing spec - nobody runs that anymore. I used to get 14" with a Comp 280H with the Crane Hi-Intensity noisemakers.

 

Remind me which cam is in it again?

 

 

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Guys, isn't the name of the game "guess what the inches / Hg will be" Asking for all the specs takes out the "guess".

As I said before, my "guess" is 15"Hg.

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Please double check my work here guys. What am I missing here? I'm backfiring up through the carb. Flames and all. Wants to start. Stumbles for a few seconds and then BOOM.

 

Typically that's timing. Almost always timing. Typically 180 out. But I'd swear on my life I'm not 180 out. I am absolutely on #1 on the compression stroke.

 

I know these cars love a base timing of 16BTDC. Mine wanted to dang near die as low as 12BTDC before. Is starting at 0 just to far from where it really wants to be in order to start and not backfire through the carb? I would not normally think so. But it would not be the first time I've been surprised by what these cars like and don't like.

 

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Chris - BIG RED MACH 1

Born in '73 - Drive a '73

Former U.S. Army 63B10-H8

1st Infantry Division - The Big Red One

 

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I would rotate the distributor counter clockwise until it starts and runs The engines not going to run at tdc. May be necessary to pull the distributor and advance one tooth - back clockwise. You have to remember that the spark is occurring the moment the rotor is within millimeters of the cap contact. As with the coil or plug the spark actually jumps when the rotor is close enough.

 

Edit - Should be clockwise on the distributor to advance and counter clockwise on the gear.

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Kilgon

 

 

"The only dumb question is the one not asked"

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Big red mach 1,

Sounds like you are retarded.

Let me rephrase that.

I think you are 1 tooth slow.

Typically, I will set the balancer to the timing mark I want to use and then stab the distributor.

If you are 1 tooth slow, carefully lift the distributor until the teeth just disengage, while watching which way

the rotor is wanting to turn, then go 1 tooth in the opposite direction.

if it fails, you probably are 180 out.

Boilermaster

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Klingon,

YOU TYPE WAY FASTER THAN ME.

 

 Nah - just read the post first.  Although - I am a two finger typer so I have twice the speed of a one finger hunt and pecker.  lollerz

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Kilgon

 

 

"The only dumb question is the one not asked"

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Makes total sense guys. I love the idea of putting her where I want it (in this case 14-16*) and then stabbing it. That's why I threw out 16 being way too far from 0 being an issue. If this were my fuel injected Windsor in my boat that likes 8* total, I probably could have pulled it off. For whatever reason marine engines don't like or need a ton of advance.

 

You guys are a confidence booster for sure. I've found myself second guessing myself throughout this process the entire time, and I need to stop doing that. And yes, I know spark happens quite a bit before the rotor is centered on the terminal of the cap. It doesn't wait around for center. ;-) As soon as it can make that jump, it will.

 

I haven't turned a wrench in a serious manner in quite a while. Really almost never on something carb'd and relying so heavily on vacuum. ALL OF YOU guys are a blessing for the knowledge, reassurance and clarity during my trial by fire.

 

Humbled by what ALL OF YOU know, and I have yet to learn.

 

Sincerely, Thank you.

Chris - BIG RED MACH 1

Born in '73 - Drive a '73

Former U.S. Army 63B10-H8

1st Infantry Division - The Big Red One

 

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Makes total sense guys. I love the idea of putting her where I want it (in this case 14-16*) and then stabbing it. That's why I threw out 16 being way too far from 0 being an issue. If this were my fuel injected Windsor in my boat that likes 8* total, I probably could have pulled it off. For whatever reason marine engines don't like or need a ton of advance.

 

You guys are a confidence booster for sure. I've found myself second guessing myself throughout this process the entire time, and I need to stop doing that. And yes, I know spark happens quite a bit before the rotor is centered on the terminal of the cap. It doesn't wait around for center. ;-) As soon as it can make that jump, it will.

 

I haven't turned a wrench in a serious manner in quite a while. Really almost never on something carb'd and relying so heavily on vacuum. ALL OF YOU guys are a blessing for the knowledge, reassurance and clarity during my trial by fire.

 

Humbled by what ALL OF YOU know, and I have yet to learn.

 

Sincerely, Thank you.

 No problem.  We are all here for the same reason.   The love of our cars.  Also,  I think I told you backwards on the directions of which way to turn.  Should be clockwise on the distributor and counter clockwise for the gear.

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Kilgon

 

 

"The only dumb question is the one not asked"

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Big red mach 1,

Forgot to state that advancing the distributor one tooth will most likely leave you with a distributor that will not want to fully seat.

Fear not, it is just the hex drive of the oil pump not lining up.

Just hold slight downward pressure on the distributor while turning the engine by hand and it will seat.

Had a dream last night that I told you the wrong direction, been messing with a buddy's BBC just before the stay at home order began.

Had to put an advance curve in his new distributor, (he had mechanical locked out) and was using a 427 timing cover on a 454 (timing marks are at a different location and balancers are different) just added him dual quad efi, he called last week after his first road test and was jumping for joy for how good it ran.

gotta get that chev stuff off my brain.

Boilermaster

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So that didn't work. So something just wasn't making sense.

 

I knew I was on compression stroke. I advanced it a tooth as suggested, and she didn't backfire anymore, just plain wouldn't fire at all. So that told me I might even be further away. My balancer does have 45,90,180, and 270 marks. Knew I wasn't 180 off. But again, something wasn't right.

 

Decided to start researching issues setting initial timing with Mallory Unilite Distributors on Google. Came across these little statements...

 

"My Mallory distributor has a tape stripe arrow on it to indicate the proper phase alignment point. When I drop my distributor in with the crank on compression on #1 I have to make sure that the rotor points to the arrow and that this is also the #1 plug wire on the distributor cap and that gets the correct phase alignment".

 

Mallory Instructions:

"Place the UNILITE® Distributor in the engine. Rotate the UNILITE® Distributor

housing in the opposite direction of rotor rotation until the nearest slot on the rotor’s shutter wheel is aligned with the optical eye of the UNILITE Module. This will generally give timing close enough for starting purposes. Put the distributor hold down clamp in place and tighten slightly, leaving it loose enough to turn the UNILITE® Distributor."

 

Here's the photo I posted before. Knowing this now, I can see my little invisible arrow is not pointing at the "Tape" which is the little metallic looking piece of tape between the base of the cap and the dizzy housing. Was staring me in the face the entire time, just didn't know to be looking for it. Look close or you'll miss it.

 

Hopefully this may help another user with similar issues searching Mallory or Unilite in the future.

 

 

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Chris - BIG RED MACH 1

Born in '73 - Drive a '73

Former U.S. Army 63B10-H8

1st Infantry Division - The Big Red One

 

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All the little things that get overlook that cause big troubles. Makes sense. So the question - did you get it running ok?

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Kilgon

 

 

"The only dumb question is the one not asked"

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That's for sure!! : )

 

Not yet. But I'm confident now that I will. Came inside, did this research, and then got busy again with work which has to take priority right now. I'll have time tomorrow, but I do feel super confident now. I looked at that rotor 10 times and never saw that arrow. LOL! And if I had, I would not have has a clue as to what it referenced. Could have had something to do with the plastic mold for all I would have known.

Chris - BIG RED MACH 1

Born in '73 - Drive a '73

Former U.S. Army 63B10-H8

1st Infantry Division - The Big Red One

 

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So that did in fact get her running. Rough, but running. With a Mallory Unilite Ignition, it's all about that little arrow lining up with that piece of tape. It ensures the LED "Eye" fires when the opening of the shutter is there on the rotor. That was definitely a head scratcher for a minute. I have a new cap and rotor coming. These are not in good shape at all. Due to the wear patterns on the cap, I'm not even sure I'm getting strong spark on all 8 cylinders. I've also got my fuel pressure regulator and gauge coming as well. Then it's time to dial her in. I can say already that not even fully timed, and not having yet played with mix mixture screws, it already seems like there is less unburnt fuel. Getting close guys.

 

EDIT: If anyone wants to recommend their favorite set of plug wires for these Clevelands, I'm all ears. I've seen some positive comments about Taylor, but I've never owned a set. Thanks!!

Chris - BIG RED MACH 1

Born in '73 - Drive a '73

Former U.S. Army 63B10-H8

1st Infantry Division - The Big Red One

 

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I'm using Accel 8mm high temp spiral wound black wires with my Pertronix Ignitor II and Flamethrower coil. I like the copper wound wire far more than just cotton /carbon (cheapo) type. I don't like gordy colors, but that's my choice.

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Big red mach 1,

I like the MSD plug boots,

What I don't care for is routing the plug wires over the rocker covers.

I prefer routing the wires around the rocker covers, like the later 351m and 400 did.

To me they just look a bit more tidy.

I am sure others will not approve, just my taste.

Glad to hear big red is running again, still looking for that vacuum number.

Boilermaster

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Big red mach 1,

I like the MSD plug boots,

What I don't care for is routing the plug wires over the rocker covers.

I prefer routing the wires around the rocker covers, like the later 351m and 400 did.

To me they just look a bit more tidy.

I am sure others will not approve, just my taste.

Glad to hear big red is running again, still looking for that vacuum number.

Boilermaster

 I do agree with you on the routing of the wires over the valve covers, very untidy indeed. But for me, it is what it is on the Ford. At least the dizzy is easy to get to and work on. 

I have to admit, I do like the way Chevy engines package with the dizzy at the back and the wires neatly routed around the covers, as long as it's NOT IN A FORD!!!

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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I have had very good luck with Taylor wires. I buy the universal fit and cut to length and routing. I've also used MSD, Accel, and Mallory in the past with success. If you want a near stock look the Pertronix wires work well, I wish I could say the same for their ignition modules, the coils are fine just get the right resistance one for the application. I'd use dielectric grease and check resistance of each wire before installing. Chuck

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