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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so i did a head gasket swap on my sbc 350, did the valves and when i Installed the distributor and went to start it, it idles for a second very rough and back fired through the carb. So i figured i had it 180'd out. Fixed it and this time when i went to start it, it would crank then a loud grinding sound would happen about when crankshaft made one full rotation. I pulled the wire out from the distributor cap so no power was getting to it and that breaking sound doesnt happen when i crank the engine. Im really paranoid right now. Im afraid to touch anything. What could that be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
i just found TDC again, reinstalled and it idled this time but VERY rough and whiteish smoke was coming from somewhere in the engine bay. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?! im so lost
 

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turn the distributor counter clock wise a little and see if it runs better??
if it doesn't go the other way till it runs good enuff to set the timing with a light..
the smoke may just be oil on the manifolds..
 

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X 2... Compton is correct, engine wouldn't have started at all if 180 degrees wrong...

Distributor cap only goes on one way... do you have that correct?

White smoke might only be spilled fluids burning off of hot exhaust manifolds...

If engine at TDC, does distributor rotor point at #1 sparkplug wire terminal? May have to rotate crank one revolution to get on correct rotation now...

Set base timing at 12 - 20 degrees BTDC... not at TDC... ~12 degrees for small cams... 14 - 20 degrees for bigger cams... know your cam specs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
X 2... Compton is correct, engine wouldn't have started at all if 180 degrees wrong...

Distributor cap only goes on one way... do you have that correct?

White smoke might only be spilled fluids burning off of hot exhaust manifolds...

If engine at TDC, does distributor rotor point at #1 sparkplug wire terminal? May have to rotate crank one revolution to get on correct rotation now...

Set base timing at 12 - 20 degrees BTDC... not at TDC... ~12 degrees for small cams... 14 - 20 degrees for bigger cams... know your cam specs?
i do not know the specs. How would i find that out? And the rotor was pointing to cylinder 1. Ill double check the firing order and the cap.
 

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Ok so i did a head gasket swap on my sbc 350, did the valves and when i Installed the distributor and went to start it, it idles for a second very rough and back fired through the carb. So i figured i had it 180'd out. Fixed it and this time when i went to start it, it would crank then a loud grinding sound would happen about when crankshaft made one full rotation. I pulled the wire out from the distributor cap so no power was getting to it and that breaking sound doesnt happen when i crank the engine. Im really paranoid right now. Im afraid to touch anything. What could that be?
Probably off a tooth (about 28 degrees) not 180 degrees out. The SBC distributor rotates as the gears separate mesh, this pulls the oil pump shaft with it till that separates. When you put the distributor back in the shaft ends don't match for the proper firing position but one tooth off it all slides together. Depending on space before the vacuum advance hits something you can twist the distributor around to get number one lined up again. The real thing is to reach in with a long screw driver and turn the pump shaft slot back to the proper alignment when the distributor is out.

Bogie
 
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