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What would be a better gage to have

Dirtracer 619

Well-Known Member
Well finally got truck started after one year new headers for the motor. And anyway timing at 10 deg (although I'm not sure which 10 before or after it ran like junk. Moved it to where it was almost 20 base and it cleared up ???? Anyone think the distributor might be off a tooth. I just don't know
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Distributor could be off. But it doesn't really care because you can turn the base to adjust it out. Had same problem with my truck. Spun balancer. Set to tdc and remarked. Adjusted timing. Runs great now.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Spun balancer will read retarded. To find it I pulled the valve cover for number one side. Pulled number one spark plug and put dual indicators on top of piston and intake rocker. Measured for highest reading on piston and lowest on rocker. Looked at timing mark. No where near the timing pointer. Re marked balancer and used an advance style timing light to re time ignition.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Fought this for awhile. Finally decided it was a base engine problem. I need to buy a new balancer before it completely grenades.
 

Dirtracer 619

Well-Known Member
Thanks i will check it out tomorrow to see if i can tell but if is i will get a new one banging around the desert i would hate to send it through the radiator.
 

Dirtracer 619

Well-Known Member
Bert, a spun balancer would make sense for a lot of my troubles if it retarded it would account for the high heat exhaust etc is there any way to tell physically by looking at it or just setting no one cylinder on TDC and comparing. Just looked it up about $350 for a new one. Thanks all will get back when I know some more about what's going on
 

Dirtracer 619

Well-Known Member
I have been looking and had to send ATI an e-mail hopefully I can cross reference to what's on there now My motor is a 1991 5.0 HO but it has been bored and stroked to 331 cu in and an after market steel crank so that puts indecision in my selection Figures nothing is ever easy haha
 

dzrt performance

Well-Known Member
a spun balancer WILL NOT change timing.

what it will do is cause you to incorrectly read what the timing actually is. as others have pointed out, you need to mechanically identify TDC and then verify your mark/pointer is correct before proceeding to time the engine.

the next thing you need to do is verify rotor phasing. this is often a misunderstood concept but extremely important.

to do this correctly you need to cut a portin of the distributor cap away so you can physically see where the rotor passes the tower for #1 cylinder. Ideally, the center tip of the rotor should align with the center of the post in the cap at half of your advance curve.

so for example, if you have a distributor with 20' of advance, and base timing at 10'...…..then the center to center should happen at 20' .

it is possible to have the base timing correct but rotor phasing off to where spark begins to scatter because of this.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
i disconect adv sprngs to get a good base line install, just remember full advance trumps All other timing areas, idle, mid ect.thats what i was told yrs ago
 

dzrt performance

Well-Known Member
i disconect adv sprngs to get a good base line install, just remember full advance trumps All other timing areas, idle, mid ect.thats what i was told yrs ago
disconnecting the springs allow the distributor to go FULL advance. if you are wanting to set base timing with NO advance, the correct way to do it would be to LOCK the advance mechanism (MSD and other distributors have a hole to put a nut/bolt to lock the mechanism (some people weld them).

I agree full advance is what counts...…...
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
i set up once and at full adv rotor was too far past cap post, ran, but not quite right, yes rotor phase is crucial.car will run with it way off butt mimmick other issues
 

Dirtracer 619

Well-Known Member
I have the TFI type distributor from MSD so I to my understanding I just have to unplug the sprout to set base timing The plug it it so 10 deg base will give me about 31 deg full advance. I still unclear where to start as it was set at 10 last year and ran great but had the excessive heat n cylinder. Causing the fiberglass wrap ( cheep brand) and the fiberglass in the mufflers to melt, I didn't change the timing but added headers and when I started it it ran like crap popping thru the intake missing etc. I advanced it to almost 20 and it smooths out nicely. So where to go from here. Is it a spun balancer or something else would hate to send the balancer thru the radiator. I have not taken it out to run yet but want to soon So ideas will be tried in my effort to make it run reliable and safely
Thanks everyone for your ideas
 
Here' a picture of a damper off my 87 BII with a 95 Mustang 5.oL. Rubber Is coming out of the 2 halves. I don't remember the timing symptoms, but it wobbled a bit.

95Mustang5.0Damper.jpg
 
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