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Old 05-18-2004, 01:08 PM
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283 chevy timing

Hi,

I'm trying to figure out what I need set the timing on my 63-64 283 chevy small block. Since this is an internally balanced engine so it has no external harmonic balancer. It does however have a notch in the plate the lower pulley mounts on. I assume that is the TDC indicator. There isn't a timing tab as well and what I've read about using later model timing tabs imply they may have to be modified to work with pre 69 engines.

Geeze the guys who sold me the truck said it was a 350. Wished he had been right. But casting numbers don't lie.

Thanks for any help.

Rick

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Old 05-18-2004, 03:07 PM
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There should have been a timing tab welded on the front cover......probably been changed.

Your best bet is to make up a pointer on the front cover and see if you can get a timing tape for your pulley flange. Don't know if they make them for that.

You could find a front cover from a 283, that has the timing tab.
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Old 05-20-2004, 08:42 AM
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I really don't know the system, but bad in the early sixty they were adjusting the timing with a vaccum gage. Had something to do with getting the highest vac, then advance or retarding so much. Maybe some one can recall how it was done.
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Old 05-20-2004, 10:18 AM
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To do that,you set the timing to be the furthest advanced, without the motor "pinging" on acceleration. ...............never heardn of it being done with a vacuum guage.
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Old 05-20-2004, 04:35 PM
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thanks for the help!
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Old 05-20-2004, 08:13 PM
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Rick,
That plate on the front of your crank is the original style balancer for 283s. You could try to cobble up a timing mark of sorts by finding TDC and making a pointer that matches where the notch is.
You could also replace the balancer and timing cover with just about any SBC set as long as they are a set from the same engine. You can find them at swap meets or junkyards at reasonable prices.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-22-2004, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MI2600
Rick,
That plate on the front of your crank is the original style balancer for 283s. You could try to cobble up a timing mark of sorts by finding TDC and making a pointer that matches where the notch is.
You could also replace the balancer and timing cover with just about any SBC set as long as they are a set from the same engine. You can find them at swap meets or junkyards at reasonable prices.
Hope this helps.
Indeed it does. But since it is evident I know very little about this, let me ask another question.

I have thought about this a little, maybe a little too much or a little to little. This plate I am referring to looks more like something one would use to mount a lawn mover blade to the engine shaft on a BriggsStraton than any balancer I've seen on a SBC. Is this the way they did prior to using dampeners? I've seen dampeners advertised for internally balanced SBC. Are these different than balancers? I need to make sure what ever do or whatever I get works with a short water pump. So correct me if I'm wrong not just any matched would work unless I was willing to change my water pump.

thanks for your help.
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Old 05-23-2004, 03:29 PM
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Vacuum Timing

Quote:
Originally posted by lanierledford
I really don't know the system, but bad in the early sixty they were adjusting the timing with a vaccum gage. Had something to do with getting the highest vac, then advance or retarding so much. Maybe some one can recall how it was done.
==========================
Doc Here

As I recall, going Like, wayyyy back to the days when tools were made from carved rock, flint and steel....

You set the static timing (#1plug with points just starting to open on the lobe, adjusted the points on open to proper gap using a feeler gauge or in my case the infamous "Matchbook" cover..We Was Poor kids... we were...) Then, hooked up your Vacuum Gauge to any Manifold Port you could find (As I recall there were few choices in those days) Than advance / Retard the timing for highest Hg Reading on the gauge and it was all good....

Of Course back in those Days a Vehicle Computer was an Abacus on wheels...

Service Manuals Were Written on Papyrus... By scribes....

And Fur you real old guys who Graduated at Bedrock High (in my Grad Class...) Changing an AIR Filter required a 1/2 qt to quart of 30 weight oil...The Oil filter could be substituted with A roll of toilet paper...Anybody remember those days? HAH! I'm dating myself here...(tough Job but someone has to do it...)

After the advent of the introduction of "Electricity" To the General Populus ... They invented timing lights and dwell meters ... making Fred Flintstone's Job a bit easier...

Doc

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Old 05-23-2004, 04:29 PM
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dcvette,

Yes, I remember them good ol days.
But I remember that the filter was held in a big metal can and had a BIG square cut "O" ring that was very hard to remove. The filter you mention was an "add-on" from "Franz" and you had to use non-scented TP too.
Back to the original question.
The item you discribe is the front balancer for a 265/283 sbc. They were pressed on and had no center bolt to hold them on. Many hot rods lost them on the drag-strip so something had to be changed. Hence the center bolt and heavyer rubber mounted balancer.
You could change the water pump to match the balancer if you had to. Just be sure to check the belt alignments when you finish.

Good Luck
Scholman
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scholman
dcvette,

The item you discribe is the front balancer for a 265/283 sbc. They were pressed on and had no center bolt to hold them on. Many hot rods lost them on the drag-strip so something had to be changed. Hence the center bolt and heavyer rubber mounted balancer.
You could change the water pump to match the balancer if you had to. Just be sure to check the belt alignments when you finish.

Good Luck
Scholman
Scholman,

Thanks for the information. I assume in order to change to a "bolt and heavyer rubber mounted balancer" I would also have to change the crank or get the current one tapped. I not sure the 283 is worth effort, even though it was running like a top prior to making other truck mods. I guess what I should probably do is time it the old fashion way and try to get the truck back on the road and proceed to build up a 350.

Thanks again to and all for the help.

Rick
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Old 05-24-2004, 06:33 PM
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Rick,
The only reason to stay with the old stovebolt is you want to stay "original". If everything on the truck is original then changing to the newer 350 could lower the selling value.

If you want a good solid truck to get you from point "A" to point "B" then the 350 is the way to go. With this option just put the engine back together and drive it until you have a complete 350 to install. That way you are not just sitting around without transportation
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:38 PM
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good advise which i think i will follow. as far as resell value, i think the 350 will up the value since the 283 is sitting in a 56 f100.
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