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Old 06-27-2013, 06:48 PM
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Timing light question.

I just started my car back up for the first time since putting the new head gaskets in. The timing used to advance to 34 degrees off idle. Now however Im getting 15-18 degrees at idle and it is not adjusting.... Im getting no advance, and the timing is not moving..What on earth could I have done?

The only thing I changed was I replaced the timing tape on my harmonic balancer, even if this was off, would I not see advance as I revved the engine?

For the record my distributor is a billet pro racing distributor, no vacuum advance, and it was locked out at 34 degrees.

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Old 06-27-2013, 07:10 PM
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"and it was locked out at 34 degrees."???? the lock must be working
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
"and it was locked out at 34 degrees."???? the lock must be working
Well it never would advance past 34 degrees. now Im not seeing 34 or any movement at all..All I can think is that the timing tape is wrong, and it really is at 34 degrees but showing 15-20? whne i twist the distributor at idle, I see no movement at all on the timing.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:51 PM
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Checked Ign & Light?

Given the symptom of timing not moving when you move distributor, are you sure you are looking at a spark timing?
When you move the distributor, if the timing is really changing, you should be able to affect the engine operation, particularly at idle.
If you can tell the engine is changing but you don't see any change with a timing light, then there is a problem using the light.
What kind of ignition do you have and how is the light connected?
If you were connected to the wrong plug wire, your "degrees" would be way off, but should still move.
If somehow the timing light is too sensitive, it could pick up the equivalent of "points closing" instead of "points opening" which is what generates the spark. Even most electronic ignitions still use a coil where a current is charged into it, and then shut off, which generates the high voltage.

This would be easy to test by moving or reducing the spark wire connection to the timing light in various ways. If it worked before, it should work again.

If the distributor doesn't affect the engine (backwards?) I'm surprised it would start, but once it did, is it possible that it could knock/diesel without the spark having any effect?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antiquebob View Post
Given the symptom of timing not moving when you move distributor, are you sure you are looking at a spark timing?
When you move the distributor, if the timing is really changing, you should be able to affect the engine operation, particularly at idle.
If you can tell the engine is changing but you don't see any change with a timing light, then there is a problem using the light.
What kind of ignition do you have and how is the light connected?
If you were connected to the wrong plug wire, your "degrees" would be way off, but should still move.
If somehow the timing light is too sensitive, it could pick up the equivalent of "points closing" instead of "points opening" which is what generates the spark. Even most electronic ignitions still use a coil where a current is charged into it, and then shut off, which generates the high voltage.

This would be easy to test by moving or reducing the spark wire connection to the timing light in various ways. If it worked before, it should work again.

If the distributor doesn't affect the engine (backwards?) I'm surprised it would start, but once it did, is it possible that it could knock/diesel without the spark having any effect?
Im using an MSD 6AL2 I really havent turned the distributor all that much at idle but it seems it would want to stall. Also I tried 2 different lights, both are the adjustable type and both displayed the same exact results. I set the light at 0 and it shows about 18 degrees on the tape. Also It doesnt matter which spark plug wire I use, i get the same results. No movement...
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:42 AM
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If you can stall by moving the dist, then you know you are doing something, and you should see timing changing as you stall it. 20 deg of rotation at the dist should produce 10 deg of change at the crankshaft.

What kind of engine is this? Even though you've got a distributor that goes with the block (not coil-per-plug), that doesn't mean that the distributor controls the timing. There could be a crankshaft sensor that lets a computer control the spark, with the distributor just being used to make sure that the spark gets sent to the right cylinder. And the sensor would be down where you were working.

Before you touched the balancer, did you see changes when you rotated the dist, or only when revving?
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antiquebob View Post
If you can stall by moving the dist, then you know you are doing something, and you should see timing changing as you stall it. 20 deg of rotation at the dist should produce 10 deg of change at the crankshaft.

What kind of engine is this? Even though you've got a distributor that goes with the block (not coil-per-plug), that doesn't mean that the distributor controls the timing. There could be a crankshaft sensor that lets a computer control the spark, with the distributor just being used to make sure that the spark gets sent to the right cylinder. And the sensor would be down where you were working.

Before you touched the balancer, did you see changes when you rotated the dist, or only when revving?
It has a crank trigger. It is an old SBC per 87 I believe. But before I put the new timing tape I did see movement of the timing. I'm just confused as all hell now..
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:59 PM
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If its got a trigger, thats y you cant time it. You phase the dist and move the trigger for timing changes.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilSmoke View Post
If its got a trigger, thats y you cant time it. You phase the dist and move the trigger for timing changes.
Oh, i did not know that..
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:34 PM
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Is it an msd crank trigger? If so their tech has all the setup in pdf form.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilSmoke View Post
Is it an msd crank trigger? If so their tech has all the setup in pdf form.
Thanks!! So adjusting of the timing is done via the crank trigger?
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:29 AM
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Post pics, who installed it in the first place and where are the instruction sheets?
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:51 PM
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I moved the crank trigger to the proper position and think it should be dead on now. I will start it in the AM, kids sleeping now..
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:07 PM
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How do you know its the right place without using a light? You also need to phase the dist before you do the timing.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LilSmoke View Post
How do you know its the right place without using a light? You also need to phase the dist before you do the timing.
Following the instructions on MSD's web site for setting up the phasing. One of my magnets on the crank trigger wheel was way off form where it should have been..Thats why I was only getting 18 degrees and not 34 degrees.

http://www.dragstuff.com/techarticle...ger-setup.html

Last edited by Dajerseyrat; 07-02-2013 at 10:48 PM.
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