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Old 02-28-2006, 12:18 PM
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distributor

I am working on Ole Girl right now(83 C-20 with 350) I let a friend work on it while I was workin. He took the old points off and was putting on an HEI but he got put on alert and then activated(army reserves) with out actually putting the HEI on. I know how to do timing but I've never done it off an initial installation and he didn't mark anything. I put it in and got everything hooked up but I can't get it to hit while its cranking. Ive turned it to see if I could get it close enough to start but i can't find it. I checked all the wiring...its good i just gotta get the distibutor at the right angle to start. Suggestions..Tips...i've never done anything but a tune-up concerning distr.

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Old 02-28-2006, 01:42 PM
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The most common problem is the distributor is 180* out.
The distributor must fire on the compression stroke.
Turn the engine to TDC on #1 cylinder. See the timing tab.
Make sure both valves are closed on #1 cylinder. Remove valve cover to see valve positions.
Distributor rotor should be on #1 position on the cap. If it's 180* out, pull the dist. and rotate it 180* and reinstall. If it won't engage the oil pump, lift out, turn it a few degrees and drop it again. If that doesn't work, disconnect the 12 volt feed to the dist.then crank (bump it)the engine while holding a slight pressure on the dist.
Recheck that rotor position is on #1 cylinder.

If you have spark, the engine should fire. Set timing as usual.

The HEI will not use the ballast resistor. It needs 12 volts during cranking and running.
Put a meter on the 12 volt input to the dist. to check this during cranking and running (ignition sw. on and start) positions.

vicrod
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Old 02-28-2006, 05:06 PM
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Doc here,

Number 1 cylinder TDC compression, Timing marks aligned, Both intake & Exhaust valves closed , no pressure on the lifters (not too much slack either..) If you can't co~ordinate these, you have timing chain/gear issues..

Drop the dizzy in, and watch the rotor, It will advance clockwise a bit, this is because the gear teeth are diagonal cut, It will go about a tower in a half in some cases..Note the amount of change and then withdraw the dizzy.

Line the oil pump shaft up to that location with a large screw driver, and reset the dizzy, for number one plug tower, allowing for advancing as the gears seat..

The easy way to do this is make magic marker lines on the base of the dizzy, for exact #1 plug tower, and the difference of rotor movement as it seats..due to the cut of the gears..(I.E...#1 and the amount of distance BACK required to make it sit on #1 plug tower when bottomed out..)

#1 plug tower in the stock location for SBC's is 5 to 7 O'clock, (depends on year, and obstructions) 7 is usually good.

Direction of rotation is clockwise.

The F.O. is 1 8 4 3 6 5 7 2..

Put on your hold down just tight enough to hold it but enough to forcibly move it by hand, and start it up..set your static and total timing..

Static 10 to 12 is a good starting point advance defeated and vacuum line plugged.

Total around 34 to 36 is usual on a stocker with advance hooked back up..

Tighten down the hold down, set your idle for 650 Manual trans, 950 Automatic, and drive it .. hammer it on the freeway, If it pings or runs hotter than usual, retard it a few degrees..If it dogs, advance it..Try also lugging it up a steep hill highest gear as slow as it will pull, If it pings check the timing again.

That's it.
------------------
NO SPARK ISSUES:

Quick easy test for Spark, Clamp any timing light to any Plug wire, and crank..If it strobes you have some type of spark, on an HEI. (and you don't get bit trying to hold the plug on ground while cranking.)

If you have a "No Spark " Issue, First check the coil , providing you have a full 12 volts to the coil , measure the primary side (Batt to Tach), With your DVOM set to R X 1, and Calibrated for 000, It should read less than an ohm, but more than 000..If 000 or infinite , replace the coil..

Next check the Secondary side, set your DVOM to R X 10K and measure between the rotor pickup and the Batt terminal, It should read between 6000 and 30,000 ohms..outside that range , replace the coil..

If that checks out, Check the Module, you can have it tested at Auto Zombie for free..and If you do need another, have that tested before you leave, the "Out of Box Failure Rate" on those is very high..and once you leave it becomes your problem..and in either case, new or old module, don't forget the heatsink compound when you put it back..or you WILL need one shortly..

The last thing to check is the magnetic pickup..look up the ohmic value for your Year/Engine and measure the pickup, OR quick and easy, set the dizzy on a low star, hook your ohm meter across it and pass a small magnet in front of it, If the meter jumps it's working..If not you need to pull the Dizzy again to replace it.

As Vicrod said, If you have a Ballast resistor, or Resistor wire , you need to pull that and replace it with a straight run of wire. Also the Secondary Ignition needs to be checked if your Vehicle had it before.

Check the Computer Fuse (S) , If the Computer is not working you will lose some Dizzy Functions, like EST and Advance..(I assume you have one on the 83..no vacuum advance pot on the dizzy, right?, OR is this non Confuser with a pre 80 Dizzy?)

Let us know what you find..
Doc
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:21 PM
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thanks guys that did it. I got the timing close enough to fire off now all i gotta do is get the light under there. backfires once every 10-15seconds but hey as soon as i get the light under there it'll be alright but ya thanks again
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Old 03-01-2006, 04:25 PM
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Doc here,

Check and Double Check plug wires 5 and 7 for reversed condition..

Sounds exactly like the problem , and it's soooo easy to do, since they are the only wires where both ends are next to each other on BOTH ends..

Seen guys troubleshoot for days and finally find those backward.

Doc
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Old 03-01-2006, 07:37 PM
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nope they're in right I just gotta get the timing completed and carb adjusted its running rich right now. but thats easy enough, I got the manual for that. That reminds me... Whats a good lead to wire in an electric choke? Holley 4150. Thanks for the help all

Last edited by TX_bowtie_devil; 03-01-2006 at 07:43 PM. Reason: add stuff
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