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Old 09-09-2012, 10:08 PM
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Piston stop without timing tab

Hey guys, i have a sbc 350 that I am trying to set up and tune. The problem is that i went to check the timing and the timing tab is missing. Im needing to find tdc but I have nothing to reference the balancer to. I have a piston stop and what I think is a good idea, hear me out. I'm thinking of putting a mark on the timing chain cover about where the tab was, then rotate clockwise on comp. stroke to stop, then mark balancer at cover mark. Rotate counter clockwise to stop, then mark balancer at cover mark. Then divide the two marks on balancer and that will be tdc for the balancer, but, then, do I just mark the timing cover in line with the balancer tdc mark? That is with the piston still resting on the piston stop for correct position of the balancer. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:24 PM
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Piston stop without timing tab

Why not go to the Auto Parts store and buy one of the cheap chrome timing chain cover pointers. I don't understand why you are making it so hard.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:36 PM
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What cd said...here's a slug of them at Autozone, starting at about $3.95.

Timing Tab - Performance | AutoZone.com
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:37 PM
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I could just go get one but a lot of the aftermarket ones have adjustable mounting slots and I would still need to know exactly where to point it in relation to the balancer.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:39 PM
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Maybe the timing tab is there but is at the 12 oclock position behind the water pump.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novabuilder113 View Post
I could just go get one but a lot of the aftermarket ones have adjustable mounting slots and I would still need to know exactly where to point it in relation to the balancer.
That would make it even better and easier being adjustable, especially if you didn't know the exact balancer diameter or application, you would still need to locate TDC like you described, then move the scale to that point. Just the same as degreeing a camshaft.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:51 PM
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Man I have searched high and low for it even removing fan for a better look. The timing cover is an aftermarket chrome one so I'm sure the tab was removed and then never put back on.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:01 PM
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You're other option would be to measure the damper diameter and buy a timing tape. Clean the damper, stick it on (after you locate exact TDC), and like I usually do if I don't have a degreed balancer, shellac or clear coat it to make it stay.

Just putting a TDC mark on the timing cover and balancer isn't going to help you time it with a standard timing light except to put it on 0.
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Last edited by 68NovaSS; 09-09-2012 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68NovaSS View Post
That would make it even better and easier being adjustable, especially if you didn't know the exact balancer diameter or application, you would still need to locate TDC like you described, then move the scale to that point. Just the same as degreeing a camshaft.
So the procedure I described is correct as far as Finding tdc on the pulley and Transferring it to the cover, tab, ect?
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:06 PM
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I actually have a light with built in advance so I'm just concerned with tdc. The time light will do the rest
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:14 PM
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Yep, basically roll it one way to stop, mark it, go the other direction, stop and mark it, tdc is between the two.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novabuilder113 View Post
I actually have a light with built in advance so I'm just concerned with tdc. The time light will do the rest
There were three commonly used SBC timing tab/damper lines. They are described HERE.

A page on finding TDC is HERE- although the way you described is just fine for getting the timing tab and damper line within a degree or so.

BTW, if you find that the damper you has the keyway in the 2 o’clock position- or 10º before the damper line, that's the tab that's commonly available at the parts store on the "High Performance" isle.

Good luck.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:02 AM
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I had the same problem of finding the right pointer for my 302 block (347)
so i found a good method somewhere on the net that had me bolt a plate over the deck of the block with a " stop bolt and lock nut" welded in the centre of the plate. The idea of this is to get hold of a degree wheel, bolt it to the front of the balancer and then turn the crank over slowly by hand until the piston is stopped just before TDC by the protruding bolt into the cylinder. Make a temp pointer from stiff wire and fix it near where the Ford TDC pointer would be. Mark the degrees wheel at this point with a marker pen, then reverse the crank until the piston comes up again and stops. Mark the degrees wheel again. The difference between these two marks on the degrees wheel is exactly TDC.
I made a pointer from a pin and piece of brass to show exactly where TDC is.
This is easy with the head off, with the head on, you need a gauge down the plug hole to find TDC.
Al.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:34 AM
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Something else that's a good idea to do- and easy- is to mark the outer ring of the damper to the inner hub to be sure they're not slipping relative to each other. Put the mark near the damper TDC line so the lines are visible w/a timing light and the engine running.

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Old 09-10-2012, 10:25 AM
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Hey guys thanks for all the inputs, very helpful info!
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