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Old 04-18-2011, 07:50 AM
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Starting problems Timing?

Im having a problem starting my car. When I adjust the timing to allow the car to start easier it drives very sluggish and Idles bad.
When I adjust (advance I believe) the timing a bit the car Idles and drives like a champ but has difficulty starting and battery dies before I can get the car started. Any Ideas what can be the problem . Aslo the tick mark on the balancer is off so I cant use that for timing the car with a gun.
This is on a 1964 Cadillac 429 Engine

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Old 04-18-2011, 04:19 PM
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Reindex you timing mark...... remove #1 sparkplug, put your thumb over the hole and bump the starter untill you feel pressure blowing you thump out of the hole, this is the compression stroke, place a long straw, stiff wire (like a straightened out coat hanger) in to the hole and turn the engine over by hand (DON'T USE THE STARTER) and find where the wire is pushed out of the hole, at the top of the piston travel, turn the crank, by hand, in the other direction and verify the piston is at the top of the stroke. This is TDC or Top Dead Center, mark your timing tab where the zero lines up from the harnonic balancer.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:57 PM
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X2 to get your timing marks established. You can then get a timing tape and mount it on your damper (make sure you get the correct size). That will tell you what advance you are setting. If it's running good with timing advanced but has trouble turning over, could be your dist. advance isn't working. Is it a fresh motor? If it's a high mileage engine, and it was driven by the little old lady, you could have bad carbon build up in the combustion chamber.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:19 PM
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I'll bet the distributor advance weights are rusted
and frozen in place. I'd remove the distributor cap
and do an inspection. Try moving the rotor back and
forth; it should turn a fraction of an inch and snap back
when released. If the rotor seems stuck in place then
clean, lube, and free up the advance mechanism.
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