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Old 06-08-2010, 01:42 PM
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few problems

My first problem is I have to have my timing pretty far advanced to get it to run correctly when driving and idling. With that though, once it gets warm, its hard to start. The starter will bump every 2 seconds or so. Usually it will pick up though and start but sometimes it gets to the point where it wants to kill my battery. I dont have a timing tab so I set the timing by ear. Im not sure the difference on base timing and total timing. I just know how to set it. I am very confused and am hoping somebody can help straighten this out for me. Im also not sure how much vacuum i should have. My other problem is I have put 2 different timing covers..and multiple seals..and it still leaks once the motor is off. I have a chrome plated timing cover which i know presents problems. The motor is a 400..but not sure what it came out of. I think a 73 impala. Iv used both thicknesses of seals. The thinner seems to be to thin and it just seems way to easy to put the timing cover back on. The thicker once and it was a big pain..but I got it..but it still leaks. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-08-2010, 03:27 PM
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First off, go to the parts store and get a Mr. Gasket timing tab for 8 inch balancer, trying to set the timing by ear is not a good idea as you can over advance it and do engine damage. Once you get the timing tab on you`ll want to set it at 12 degrees before top dead center with the vacuum advance plugged, after setting it at 12 degrees lock the distributor and reconnect the vacuum advance to a full time vacuum source or one that pulls vacuum at idle. As for the leak it`s likely not the cover, it`s likely coming from around the balancer. A common issue on older engines is the balancer, which is made of soft cast iron, gets a groove cut in it by the seal which sooner or later will result in a leak. Get a balancer seal saver kit from the parts store. It`s a chrome piece that slides on the balancer and is glued on. Lube the chrome section and the timing chain cover seal before reinstalling. If the balancers rubber section between the two cast iron pieces is pushed out or rotten you may want to replace the whole balancer instead, but make sure you get a balancer for a 400. The 400 is externally balanced and must use the correct balancer or the bearings will get destroyed. So if you go this route compare the new balancer to the old and make sure they are identical.
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