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Old 09-05-2005, 07:43 PM
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distributor problem

I have a '77 corvette with a modified 355 small block. My problems started when I decided to set my total timing at 36 degrees. I did something wrong because the car ran worse. Then I tried adjusting the air/ fuel mixture. Anyway it was one bad move after another and now my distributor is out of the car and I just want to start at square one. My problem right now is with the rotor pointing at the number one plug the vacuum advance has to be turned all the way forward to get the car to start. It use to point toward the rear grommet on the valve cover. What's going on?
almost forgot, there is a ticking noise now when the enginge is running???

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Last edited by charliec; 09-05-2005 at 07:49 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 09-05-2005, 08:09 PM
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pull the distributor out, and go though the top dead center again,, this time make sure the distributor is turned out more before dropping it in.
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Old 09-05-2005, 08:17 PM
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Timing

Doc here

You can set the #1 plug tower at any tower you want (allowing movement of the VA ) provided you time the dissy to the cap..

In the stock location, #1 plug tower is 5 to 7 O'clock .. at #1 TDC, Timing marks aligned both valves closed.

Should this not work for you because of space..you can move the #1 plug wire anywhere on the dizzy you want, you must pull the dizzy and bring the rotor up to the new #1 location , check your advance for clearance, and then reinstall..then follow up with the rest of the firing order..Clockwise 1 8 4 3 6 5 7 2.....you should be fine..

The clicking noise and not being able to time it may be indicative of other serious problems like worn dizzy..so inspect it.

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Old 09-05-2005, 08:35 PM
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that is a thought but I guess I am more concerned as to what changed? why should I have to do that? If that va. advance wasn't pointing there before why now? I tried a brand new dist. too. same thing
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Old 09-05-2005, 08:40 PM
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First things first..

Doc here,

Get the Dizzy back in and see if it still changes once you get it timed..

If it continues to do so you may need a new timing gears and chain..

Also don't rule out a defective timing light..try another before confirming or denying anything..

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Old 09-05-2005, 08:51 PM
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The timing seems like you have it out of sync with the rest of your engine. You probably do not have the rotor pointing at #1 or what ever cylinder you would like to use. By spinning the distributor like you are (i'm asuming counter clockwise or essentially advancing the timing) you are getting it close enough to run. You may have to move the whole distributor a coulpe of teeth one way or another.

Although the defective timing light may be a good clue. One more thing, are you sure you have #1 plug wire for the pick up?
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:12 PM
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thanks for your help guys, I think I am just going to call it a nite and try your suggestions tomorrow. I'm aggravated and burned out today. The timing light is also new. I thought my old one may be the problem. As for the timing gear and chain, like I mentioned before, everything was good before I decided to IMPROVE it. I'm just not getting the performance out of this motor for what I have in it. After I get this straighted out I will give you guys a list of the parts I've got in this thing and maybe you can help me out.
Thanks again, as usual you've been a big help!
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:21 PM
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When you changed your distributor you probably kept sticking in it until it dropped into place. The distributor will only line up with the oil pump in 2 positions. Since the gear from one distributor will not be the same as the next. You probably have the distributor in a couple of teeth away from where it should be. Also, when setting your timing, disconnect and plug off the vacuum advance hose, or your timing will be way off.

Find #1 TDC. Set timing mark to 10 degree advance. With distributor cap off. Tighten dist clamp. Mark the distributor body where rotor is pointing. Replace cap. Loosen clamp and line mark on body to the closest plug wire socket. Tighten distributor. This will now be #1. Put #1 wire on and follow firing order as Doc specified. Start car. Set idle to 1000 rpm. With vacuum advance hose disconnected and plugged, attach timing light and set time to 10 degrees. Lock down dist clamp and re-attach vacuum advance. With someone in the car, put car in drive with brakes applied. Set air mixture screw to max idle with least amount turned out. Set the others the same amount of turns.

Now you can reduce idle speed, remove vacuum advance, and set total time. Total time should be set with car idling around 2500 to 3000 rpm to make sure flyweights are extended all the way. Re-attach vacuum advance and set idle to desired rpm. Car should be working fine.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:17 PM
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thanks again for your help. I am leaveing for Mexico in a few hours and wont be back until next week sometime. I will be sure to let you guys know once I get a chance to work the problem out.
talk to you later Charlie
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