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Old 07-25-2010, 10:50 AM
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There's a bit of an issue with the "#1 @ TDC, point the rotor to #1" method.

You have to account for (anticipate) the helical cut on the cam / distributor drive gear. Plunking the dizzy in when it's aligned at the top of the helix will result in having to twist it a fair bit to be aligned when it's completely seated and clamped.

This is how I do static timing.
*NOTE*
If this is "engine break-in", please ensure that you have adequately pre-lubed the engine by spinning up the oil pump to the point of having oil coming out of the top ends of every pushrod. If you've got an electric fuel pump, check fuel delivery (volume and pressure) and float levels. If you've got a mechanical fuel pump, hopefully you've checked the float levels via the "dry float" method, and have a squirt bottle handy to provide fuel for start-up.

1.) Make sure that you're on #1 compression stroke (both valves closed) and check that by using your thumb over the hole. (coil disconnected)
2.) Check the position of the rotor in the "dist fully seated, clamped loosely, balancer at 0 TDC" mode.
3.) Align the balancer to about 8 BTDC
4.) Reconnect the coil's 12V power supply
5.) With the #1 plug still out, and laying someplace where it has a good gound ... rotate the cap until it sparks. Repeat a couple of times, rotating the cap as slowly as possible, so that you get a real feel for the best position.
6.) Tighten the dist clamp to the point that it takes a bit of effort to move the cap.
7.) Reinstall and tighten the spark plug.

8.) IF this is engine break-in, proceed directly to "Fire it up" and keep it running in the 1500 to 2500 RPM range. Adjust the timing "by ear" in order to keep it running smoothly without laboring. Those first few minutes can be the deciding factor as to whether or not your flat-tappet cam will live or die.


After cam break in: Start over at step #1 and omit step #8.
9.) Disconnect the vac advance hose and plug it.
10.) Hook up the timing light.
11.) fire it up
12.) Check your base timing, and adjust if nessecary. (It should be pretty close if you haven't fiddled with the dist much.)
13.) At this point you could do a variety of checks. Total centrifugal advance would be a good one.
14.) Reconnect the vacuum advance, fine-tune carb idle mixture and speed for best vacuum ... etc.
15.) Disconnect the timing light and vacuum guage and stow them away while the engine warms up.
16.) Assuming that all the vitals look good ... Slam the hood and go for a test drive!
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