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Old 07-18-2009, 01:14 PM
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timing for a 1974 Nova 350

I have a 350 from a 1974 Nova that I am putting in my 1955 Chevy truck. I changed plugs, rotor, and cap a few years ago, but the engine hasnt been driven, although it has been started and ran about every month or so. Recently I have ran the engine more often while pulling the truck in and out of my shop. I have noticed it running a little rough and an occasional backfire, but havn't given it much thought because I knew the wires were in really bad shape and thought new wires would correct the problem. Well I was wrong, new wires helped but didn't completely solve the problems.
My questions are, #1 is it possible that mostly idle running can cause the points, rotor or plugs to foul out? If not, any suggestions on what could be causing the still rough running, when in neutral and accelerating? I am thinking valves but don;t know how to check them without taking the heads off.also #2 Where should the timing et set at for a stock 1974 Novas 350 engine, 2brl, automatic tranny.
Thanks for all the ehlp and suggestions...

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Old 07-18-2009, 04:49 PM
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I can't help you with trouble shooting but on most stock 350 motors I have read that between 8-12 degrees BTDC is a good working range. As for your plugs i would maybe change them as I am having similar problems but not the back fire problem. I store my truck in the winter and by spring after just running it here and there my plugs get fouled out cause of not taking it out and getting my rpm's up plus I have a 1200 rpm idle motor as well does not help me out. Check your carburetor and make sure its adjusted right along with the floats etc. Don't know much else of what to help you out with since I am also learning the trade.
Eric
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric32
I can't help you with trouble shooting but on most stock 350 motors I have read that between 8-12 degrees BTDC is a good working range. As for your plugs i would maybe change them as I am having similar problems but not the back fire problem. I store my truck in the winter and by spring after just running it here and there my plugs get fouled out cause of not taking it out and getting my rpm's up plus I have a 1200 rpm idle motor as well does not help me out. Check your carburetor and make sure its adjusted right along with the floats etc. Don't know much else of what to help you out with since I am also learning the trade.
Eric
Thanks Eric, I bought the carburetor in 2000 and although it has only ran at idle for short periods of time, I guess it could go bad too? I will set the timing as you suggested and see if that helps. I double checked the wires and it is in the correct firing order. I was hoping there were ways to check the carb and valves without having to go through the process of elimination. I'll also take a closer look at the points and rotor, they may have burnt or somehing....thanks
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:34 PM
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Are you using a points distributor??
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
Are you using a points distributor??
Yes it is a points distributor and has all the other components the points and rotor have been on the engine for quite a few years, but not many hours on the parts at all.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:51 PM
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Points is likely where the problem lies. The best place for points is the trash.
Either get a HEI or a conversion kit for your distributor.
HEI`s give far more fire power and they provide far easier starting.
Once you dump points in favor of a HEI you`ll be far happier.
There won`t be any dwell`s to set or worries about point gap.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop
Yes it is a points distributor and has all the other components the points and rotor have been on the engine for quite a few years, but not many hours on the parts at all.
Since the engine has just idled for a few years, I would check these first.

Remove the distributor cap, and check the centrifugal movement. It most likely is stuck.

The quality of the fuel. Add some SeaFoam to it, with fresh fuel. It may also require a fresh carb. rebuild.

Check the fuel hoses back at the tank, and at your fuel pump for cracking. I could be sucking some air.

The distributor vacuum advance diaphragm could have ruptured, giving you no vacuum timing advance.
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
Points is likely where the problem lies. The best place for points is the trash.
Either get a HEI or a conversion kit for your distributor.
HEI`s give far more fire power and they provide far easier starting.
Once you dump points in favor of a HEI you`ll be far happier.
There won`t be any dwell`s to set or worries about point gap.
I agree that HEI is the way to go, but right now I am just trying to get the truck mobile so I can drive it in an out of the shop. After I get the body work complete and ready for color, then I can start doing the upgrades that I would like to do. Thanks for the advice, I will take a closer look at the points....
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carsavvycook
Since the engine has just idled for a few years, I would check these first.

Remove the distributor cap, and check the centrifugal movement. It most likely is stuck.

The quality of the fuel. Add some SeaFoam to it, with fresh fuel. It may also require a fresh carb. rebuild.

Check the fuel hoses back at the tank, and at your fuel pump for cracking. I could be sucking some air.

The distributor vacuum advance diaphragm could have ruptured, giving you no vacuum timing advance.
Will the centrifugal movement or lack there of cause it to pop through the exhaust even at idle?
I only add about a 1/2 gallon of fuel at the time, I dont want a lot of gas to set in the tank, plus I use Sta-Bil in fuel.
The carb is like the rest of the components, it was put on the truck in 2000, but probably doesn't have 10 miles on it. It is possible the diaphram is cracked or maybe i have a vacuum hose cracked or loose. This week I will pull the distributor and check it out closely as well as replace and reset the points. Maybe they stuck at one time and burnt...thanks for the help
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop
I only add about a 1/2 gallon of fuel at the time, I dont want a lot of gas to set in the tank, plus I use Sta-Bil in fuel.
Be careful that you add the right amount of stabilizer- it only takes a little bit for a half gallon. Otherwise, if the sta-bil to gas ratio is too "rich", it'll run like crap.

Unless it's gonna sit for a month or more w/the same gas in it, you do not even need any stabilizer in it in the first place.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Be careful that you add the right amount of stabilizer- it only takes a little bit for a half gallon. Otherwise, if the sta-bil to gas ratio is too "rich", it'll run like crap.

Unless it's gonna sit for a month or more w/the same gas in it, you do not even need any stabilizer in it in the first place.
I never know how long something will sit without being cranked and ran, so I just made it a habit to put Sta-Bill in my "yard gas". I have a 5 gallon can that i put 3oz or Sta-Bil in. I also use this gas to put in my truck when i want to crank it up and move it or work on it....thanks
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:11 PM
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Your spark plugs may be fuel-fouled by running old gas. Flush your fuel system until there's only fresh gas in it, and change the spark plugs. I've had so much trouble with this in my yardmobiles that I've converted 1-gallon gas cans into auxiliary gas tanks so I can move them around, and then run them dry fairly quickly.

And yes, Sta-Bil is your friend. It won't keep the lighter hydrocarbons in the gas from evaporating, but it will keep what's left from gumming up so quickly.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:53 PM
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is it a carb pop or a backe fire from the exhaust if its coming out of the carb its probably a car problem or a lean condition maybe caused by a clogged idle circuit or fuel filter if it in the exhaust its probably a spark problem i.e. timing or points are your point all welded up
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pupsvette76
is it a carb pop or a backe fire from the exhaust if its coming out of the carb its probably a car problem or a lean condition maybe caused by a clogged idle circuit or fuel filter if it in the exhaust its probably a spark problem i.e. timing or points are your point all welded up
Would using some carb cleaner help if the idle circuit is clogged, it probably couldn't hurt. I haven't had a chance to pull the points out to get a better look at them, I hope to do that this week. The points and condensor are made together, it is like a roll cage is built around the contacts. I have been trying to locate a dwell meter but so far no luck. Thanks for the help....
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:39 AM
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yeah that will definitely help but it will be difficult to get the spray to reach the transfer slots without taking the barb off the car
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