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Old 08-16-2010, 06:50 PM
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Engine timing help please

hi, i currently bought a 1986 monte carlo ss about a year ago. I found out it had a 1978 good wrench 350 in it. i got it in the winter and had the car painted and i took the factory carb and distributor out and made it hei and all mechanical and not computer controller. The distributor came out of my other 1987 monte that had the factory 305. when i got the car back and started to tune it i saw the timing was way off. 60 degrees advanced. i put on new performer rpm heads and a new cam hoping the new cam would fix it but didn't fix it. im almost positive the tdc mark on my balencer and timing mark on the timing cover where they watch up is tdc. is it possible my distributor is 180 degrees off or what? any one seen this problem before im going insane tring to figure it out. the car runs good no back fire or any thing like that. the engine feels like it lacks power but that mig be from the th 200-4r in it? not sure please any ideas?

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:59 PM
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To begin with you need to see if the marks are correct. You can use DETERMINE TDC to see whether the outer ring has slipped or if the tab is wrong, etc.

Then you can MAKE A TIMING TAPE. The temporary timing tape will allow you to see what the total timing is w/o relying on a dial back timing light.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiperDavid14
The distributor came out of my other 1987 monte that had the factory 305.
You're not using a computer controlled HEI are you?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:37 PM
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I think cobalt 327 is on the right track.This happened to me 2 weeks ago n ive building motors a long time. Check t.d.c. I bet pointer is off.
If it was 180 off it wouldnt run at all.
It all depends on how you install dist. but vacumm can should be pointing to right bank at about #4 or #6 cyl.
Use piston stopper and establish t.d.c. and then do tape deal like cobalt said.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:45 PM
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ok awsome thanks ill give it a shot
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:24 PM
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the distributor is not computer controlled, its a gm performance hei one. is it possible the vacuum advance is messed up? or the weights are stuck? any other ideas?
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:39 PM
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If you were off by one plug wire with the timing light that would be 45 degrees. Add 15 degrees (which is a good initial timing setting, and you'll have the 60 degrees you saw. Just a thought.

After you've determined true TDC, you can go about setting up a good timing curve. But by all means, check the mechanical weights and springs for smooth operation and see that the advance plate of the distributor is free to turn easily on the distributor shaft.

You can check for the vacuum can operation by unplugging it and see what the timing does. If it's hooked up to ported vacuum you'll need to bring it above idle to see if it's retarded from when it's hooked up, or just hook it to manifold vacuum and lower the curb idle to compensate for the idle increase.

You may find the vacuum advance increases the timing too much- you only want 10-15 degrees at the most. You can use a VACUUM ADVANCE LIMITER PLATE- Crane #99619-1, if the vac. can is bringing in too much.

You'll want about 36 degrees total (not counting vac. adv.) all in by no more than 3000 RPM (less RPM if the engine will let you) and as much initial as the distributor will allow (up to about 16-18 degrees), w/o going over the 36 degrees total.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:21 AM
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Along with the posts above, check the crank balancer which has the timing mark, it could be slipping if it's on a rubber ring. If it's as old as 1978 you might want to replace it

that 200r4 should bang through the gears if it's had work. If not, it should still let you feel the power but with smooth shifts.
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