302 Ford distributor problem re advancing timing - Page 2 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:02 AM
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Also make sure you have the vacuum advance disconnected (and the vacuum line plugged) and the idle set down fairly low when you check base timing. You do not want any vacuum advance or mechanical advance to affect the base measurement. I don't know about Fords, but on a Chevy the vacuum advance may add up to about 18 degrees, so it will really change timing if its connected.

If the Ford distributor has a mark for the #1 cylinder, I agree that you should put the wires back on the right terminals and pull the distributor to move it a tooth. It will reduce confusion in the future if you ever have someone else do any work on the engine.

Bruce

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:58 PM
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distributor location

To 33Willys37 and 75 GMC:
What I did, was move the wires clockwise one tower, started it up, then turned the distributor until I got the highest / smoothest RPM at idle with the vacuum advance port plugged, using a tach; it ran great; I then used my light and checked the timing at the balancer but no marks were visible; I have an advance setting on my timing light, so I continued to advance the strobe to see how far it was advanced but the timing marks never did show up. I am pretty sure I had the induction clip on #1 wire, but I could have made a mistake and put it on the wrong wire, so will check again. Because the idle kept increasing until I locked the distributor down at what I thought was the highest/smoothest RPM (the engine was getting happier and happier), it was idling at about 920 RPM, and when I used the strobe light, it was still idling at 920, so this time, when I go through the motions, I will bring the idle back to about 500 or so and will look again for the timing marks. Thanks for your comments. I'll report back after I've had a chance to fuss with it again.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:01 PM
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Sorry if I'm not explaining this clearly. My heads stuffed up with a cold and I'm not thinking that clearly. When I said you were now using #2 wire I was thinking GM. It would be actually #8.

I think there is some confusion on the OP's part on what the timing marks on the balancer are. All the marks do is tell you when the #1 piston is near top dead centre and advanced or retarded from that point. They are not tied to the ignition in any way and are purely a mechanical positioning convenience.
So, you must use the #1 cylinder wire, where ever it is on the distributor to time the #1 cylinder. As long as you have the timing light pick-up on the wire going to the #1 cylinder, where ever it is on the distributor, the timing marks will be where they should be, assuming the timing is close to correct.

By all means, change the wires back to where they were and jump the drive gear 1 tooth counterclockwise.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:16 PM
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To everyone who collectively pointed me in the right direction: I returned the plug wires on the distributor cap to the original positions and rotated the distributor one tooth retarded, ran the engine and moved the distributor to get the highest RPM at idle with the vacuum advance plugged, dropped the idle down to 480 RPM and lo and behold, the timing marks on the balancer magically appeared, just as everyone said they would! The timing is around 16 to 18 degrees or so, hard to tell exactly because of the engine throb. The engine revs pretty responsively too, so I guess the timing is close to where it should be. Now I have plenty of elbow space to move the distributor around.
If you're not formally trained in a given subject, it's funny how you learn in such piecemeal fashion. In hindsight, of course, it should have been so simple and I should have known what to do, and I'm glad you were all there to help me and you can be assured I'll remember this lesson.....until the next tempest in a teapot. It's a good thing all of this hotrodding stuff is just for fun! :-)
Mahalo and aloha to all.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:43 AM
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Glad to hear you got it all sorted out!
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:33 AM
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That's great! Nice when a problem is solved when you have been fretting over it for a while. Will we ever get to see the car?
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:56 AM
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distributor location

Yes, it idles very nicely now and I think getting the timing correction helped with the heat problem as well. I do have some pre-modification photos of the car (and the engine exterior looks the same anyway); how do I post them? Do I just go to the profile site?
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:28 PM
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After you hit reply scroll down to "manage attachments" and go from there. You can browse your computer files.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:03 PM
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distributor location

To Crownver:
Sorry for the delayed response, I had to get my taxes done. Here are some photos of my rat rods. The '35 mbz replica photo was taken a few years ago. The car is still up on jack stands currently because I still have to put the grille and hood and the like back together. The MBZ is a 302 w/ World Heads, Comp Cam and kit, Edelbrock 650, T5 trans with clutch cable; I have a 4:11 gear set yet to install. The '31 is also a T5 with a 350 Chev crate engine with an AFB 750 (I have a set of 3x2s ready to be installed) and a 3.73 rear end; it moves pretty good, quite a bit faster than the 'Vette which is a '66 with a '67 front end, original 427 big block, original 4 spd trans, Holley 750, and a 4:11 rear end. All of them run okay, but as you can see, need work. It's a never ending project but how else should it be, since it would be pretty boring if they were completed.... next project is to build my wife's Koa cabinets that have been beckoning me for several years....
Mahalo for your help.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:41 PM
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All very nice cars!
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:38 PM
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distributor location

to Crownver: Thanks, they're all just drivers. Can't see having a car that is so perfect that I'm afraid to drive it. But to each his own. I'll go with a Rat Rod anytime.
Thanks again for your help.
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