Originally Posted by StockR
I do have a timing tab on the timing chain cover, so when the timing mark on the balancer matches up to the "0" mark on the tab does that mean it's at TDC??
Maybe, maybe not.
The following is from another post I made on this:
There are several different dampers. Both the diameter, thickness and the placement of the line on the outer ring of the damper can differ. So you need to know what you have, to know what tab to use.
The three most common locations for the timing mark on the damper:
The pre-'69 damper has the TDC line on the outer ring at the 2:30 o’clock position- or 2º before- (i.e. to the LEFT of the keyway, looking at the front of the engine) the keyway centerline. The keyway is seen in the ID of the damper.
The damper used from '69 to mid-80's has the TDC line at the 2 o’clock position- or 10º before the keyway. You'll find that aftermarket dampers are the 10º type, as are the bolt-on tabs sold in the aftermarket, unless they're adjustable.
A third timing mark was used from about 1978 to about 1991-'92. It is at the 12 o’clock position- or 40º before the keyway. This damper uses a timing cover that has the tab welded on at about the 12 o'clock position.
Above, Custom10 provided a link to make a timing tape. In addition, if you're unsure, or just want to check the accuracy of the tab/mark for TDC, DETERMINE TDC
to see for sure.
I believe that replacing the points distributor w/an HEI unit will be the way to go, for sure. It gives a hotter spark and is generally a very reliable unit.
The total advance (vacuum advance disconnected and the hose plugged) should be around 36°, all in as soon as the engine will allow w/o pinging- shoot for about 2500-3000 RPM.
The initial timing can be around 12°-14°. This won't usually cause hard starting when the engine's hot.
I'd use the HEI's vacuum advance connected to manifold (full time) vacuum, limited (if necessary) to about 10°-12°, by physically limiting the vacuum advance can's travel w/a VACUUM ADVANCE LIMITER PLATE- Crane #99619-1
, INSTRUCTIONS for 99619-1
. A limiter for either the points type or HEI distributor can be made as well.