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Old 06-17-2013, 08:18 PM
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Erratic timing in my engine

Motor is a 383, less then 2000 miles on it.
Was going to start taking the front apart as the previous owner installed loud timing gear set.
Thought I would check the timing first and see where its at.
At idle I cannot get close to a steady reading. The balancer, well everything actually is new, and the line on the balancer is clear. But it jumps so bad I can't get a good read. It looks as high as 30* ish but really I don't know. At 3000rpm it shows 40* and I know this is way too much. With the vacuum advance hooked up it was as high as 50* at idle.
What could cause the jumping at idle? It does have an HEI with an external blaster2 coil and a 6a box. I have read about dial back lights and msd box problems before, but this is the same light I used on several of my cars and dads car with the same msd components and never had an issue. Could this be an issue with the gear drive?
Idle speed is at 1000, could it be the advance coming in causing this?
Problem is when I try and lower idle speed it will stall in gear. Idle set at 900-1000, in gear its at 500rpm.

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Last edited by bygddy; 06-17-2013 at 08:35 PM. Reason: added
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:27 PM
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What condition is the distributor in, shaft, gear, advance springs/mechanism?
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:55 PM
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What condition is the distributor in, shaft, gear, advance springs/mechanism?
All less then 2000 miles on it. I haven't pulled the cap yet, its a pita as its in an S10, but i wasn't concerned about springs at this point because I didn't think that would cause yje timing to jump around. It does advance fast and the reading is steady as rpm is increased. I'm starting to suspect its got light, or 2 medium springs in it and its causing me to see mechanical advance starting to come in with my idle speed at 900-1000. Tommorow I will crank the idle down to 750-800 and see if that changes it.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:22 PM
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Lose the noisy gear set. That's what did it on mine. Double tru roller settled it right down.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:25 AM
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Lose the noisy gear set. That's what did it on mine. Double tru roller settled it right down.
That's actually what i was going to start doing last night before I found this actually lol.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:20 AM
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Mine was so bad (Pete Jackson) that as I accelerated, the mark was more steady but grew wider. By the time I was at 3k rpm the timing mark was 1/2" wide.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:40 AM
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Mine was so bad (Pete Jackson) that as I accelerated, the mark was more steady but grew wider. By the time I was at 3k rpm the timing mark was 1/2" wide.
I still suspect part of my issue is mechanical coming in around 900-1000rpm which is where I was attempting to check it. But regardless the gear drive has got to go now, its so obnoxious, how anyone can hear what's going on is beyond me. The motor could be pinging itself to death and u wouldn't have a clue. So i will worry about timing once this is sorted out, then a Carb change and see what I have.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:51 AM
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I have a 350 in a s10 and I know what its like to get the cap off the hei. As far as the gear drive goes I know some people use them no problem but I will never use one ever again. I almost lost my engine with one of those and caught it by accident when trying to turn my motor to a certain position with my fan it had a lot of slop in it. Took timing cover off and the dog bone gears that float in the middle was digging into my aluminum cover which was clearance for the gear drive but it dug in it anyways from the floating and my timing got way out of whack all the time and caused surging etc and severe cam walk and I am running a roller cam and it also caused my roller button to grenade as well but got it just in time before it fell into oil pan. Put a new timing double roller chain on and been fine ever since.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:01 AM
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if the gear drive is not already casuing a problem, it soon will.
timing stability. Advance curve stability, cap, rotor, center bushing under coil in HEI. burned.
Cross fire misfire cap rotor phasing,,,, mechanical or electronic issue Mag wires reversed on MSD input.
The high MSD voltage is much more likely to create a burn path in the cap rotor as voltasge like to go anywhere
more voltage more crossfire.
Distributor gear, cam gear worn. bad wires. bad engine ground... Idle timing must stay stable in gear and not drop. worn gear drive Just sell it - trade it as usual LOL
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:09 PM
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if the gear drive is not already casuing a problem, it soon will.
timing stability. Advance curve stability, cap, rotor, center bushing under coil in HEI. burned.
Cross fire misfire cap rotor phasing,,,, mechanical or electronic issue Mag wires reversed on MSD input.
The high MSD voltage is much more likely to create a burn path in the cap rotor as voltasge like to go anywhere
more voltage more crossfire.
Distributor gear, cam gear worn. bad wires. bad engine ground... Idle timing must stay stable in gear and not drop. worn gear drive Just sell it - trade it as usual LOL
Well now lol....I have to keep it at least a month.....wanna play with a bit and see what its like. So will start puling the timing cover tonight. I suck at getting them to seal back up after when I do them in car. But hey, eventually I will get it right....
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:47 PM
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There is a trick to that. trim the corners off the lower seal rail on the timing cover.
Loosen and or remove almost all the oil pan bolts to allow prying down the front of the oil pan to get the timing cover back on without the seal slipping. Use Black Permatex to seal it all back up.
Clean oil off first , using lacquer thinners to clean off oily surfaces. Permatex will not stick to oil.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
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There is a trick to that. trim the corners off the lower seal rail on the timing cover.
Loosen and or remove almost all the oil pan bolts to allow prying down the front of the oil pan to get the timing cover back on without the seal slipping. Use Black Permatex to seal it all back up.
Clean oil off first , using lacquer thinners to clean off oily surfaces. Permatex will not stick to oil.
I have tried that every time, one of my buddies said not to use a front seal at all? Just black permatex? Yah, I have lots of room to lower the pan a bit so hopefully that will make it easier. Comcerend whether the oil pan will seal back up afterwords ....ah well. Right now I'm trying to get the GD crank pulley off without the motor rolling over. Need a helper to jam something in the flywheel but my boy is out and convimcing my 13yr old daughter that she won't die under the car is pain full......
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:22 PM
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Vise grips on the flywheel. Or loosen the bolts with a impact.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:04 PM
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Vise grips on the flywheel. Or loosen the bolts with a impact.
No air at home anymore, but your a fkn genius .....vise grips it is,,,,,
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:28 PM
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Just to throw my 2 cents in here. My 350 sits in a s10 so room at the bottom is tight and I have done three cam swaps and I never had to drop my oil pan at all even though it has a little room to drop down a hair but I just get everything off and pull the cover off with the pain tight as can be and clean everything up good and I put the timing cover gasket on then put indian head on the gasket then put the right stuff gasket maker on the bottom of the cover and I could get it back on no problem and then just took my finger and wiped the excess gasket maker stuff off the bottom in a gentle sweep and makes a nice smooth gasket after it cures and never had a problem. As far as keeping the flywheel from moving I just took some decent rope and put it through a hole through the flywheel and tied it around the frame close to it and did a nice tight not and got the balancer bolt and pulley on and torqued it down then cut the rope and took it from there. That was my way of doing it and fbirds way is a good way a lot of people use as well.
Eric
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