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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know. It seems like timing issues are a constant on here but hopefully someone is not too tired of answering questions for a newbie.

Ok, i have been fighting a timing issue for a while. This is what I found today.

** I pulled all the plugs, they are new but look like they have been in there for years. Pulled cap off dizzy. Turned over by hand. When I initially installed the dizzy, I made sure #1 was TDC, and put a mark on the base of the dist where I could identify #1 on the cap. The rotor is pointing @ #1 and #1 is TDC.

This is where I get confused! Now that rotor and #1 are pointing at each other, the harmonic balancer mark is no where near the tab mark "0". If you are looking at a clock the tab mark "0" is @ 2 o'clock and balancer line is 12 o'clock. So when i put timing light on it, i was retarding the crap out of it?

Is it possible that the harmonic balancer has "spun"? Is this possible? Looks like a stock 8" on it. Actually the "8" that is stamped on it, is @ the tab "0".

*** Should I pull the balancer, open up timing chain cover and make sure my "dots" are aligned 12 to 6 or apply some timing tape and go from there?

I really want to put this to rest. Im ready to get back on the road! Please help!
 

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A balancer can spin, I've had it happen to me. If it's an externally balanced engine and the balancer has spun, it will shake the whole car because the motor is not balanced anymore. I would pull the valve cover and bring #1 to TDC and see what position your lifters are at. That will be easier than pulling the timing cover unless you intend to replace the timing chain & gears anyway. Is this a stock motor or a motor someone else has worked on before you got it? The timing chain cover may have been replaced with a different one at some point that is not the correct one where the tab is concerned.
 

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Some later sbc had the timing pointer that's on the timing cover at the 12 oclock position. Visible behind the water pump. Mark on balancer was set at 12 oclock and not the old standard 2 oclock position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a bbc 396. I bought the car from someone a few months ago. Its typical, i guess. I had no part in building the motor so i dont know the quirks or shortcuts that were taken.
 

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Time it by ear then check it with a light and see what it's at at idle. You most likely will get some obnoxious number which is nowhere close, or no numbers at all. Either one means you need a new balancer.
Be sure to check it at the normal 2oclock possition, but also at 12 o clock too just in case you have a newer style balancer and the cover is old.
 

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Get the correct balancer and timing pointer for it. Don't NEVER time one "By Ear" as it can and will fool you. If you were to make the mistake of over advancing the timing it'll detonate itself to death and you wouldn't be happy knowing you just ruined your engine when the fix costs less than $100.
 

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I didn't say to time it by ear and beat the snot out of it and never fix it. I said to time it by ear so he can see if the balancer slipped. The 3 minutes at idle that it will run won't hurt anything and it will give you an idea of what's messed up.
 
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