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  • Engine: 58 President timing issue

    Yesterday a couple of my friends and I attemped to fine tune my brothers 58 President Hardtop. I put on new wires, cap & rotor, new plugs. We checked the firing order a couple times and it checks out! But we could not get it timed to where the marks read right. How ever we got it run and idle good by ear. We disscused this and we think that the timing marks on the harmonic balencer may have slipped. Could that have happened and still be able to get it running(it seems to run good!) Please advise!

    Thanks Ernie Baily

  • #2
    When I re-installed my timing cover and therefore the balancer and pulley, they are asymetrically doweled and can only go on one way and one way only.

    I'm speaking for a flathead six, but I can't see why S-P would have thought the eights would be different? Has your gear set been moved off by a tooth, etc?

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    • #3
      If the idle is to high, or vacuum advance isn’t temporarily disconnected, the timing mark will be off when checked with a timing light. Also make sure you have the light connected to the number 1 plug wire; driver side front.

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      • #4
        We had done a valve job many years ago when my brother bought the car. The engine was piled in the trunk. We put it together back then and it seem to run good from what I can remember. The car has sat from many years and I also had the carb recently rebuilt too! I'm just not sure of what to do next?

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        • #5
          The V8 vibration damper also has one off-set bolt hole, but it isn't off-set far enough to prevent incorrect installation. Get #1 piston up to top (remove spark plug and watch piston movement) then see where the UDC mark on the damper is.
          D 'N Q RACE ENGINES

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          • #6
            Cam Gear installed wrong?
            Last edited by StudeRich; 05-21-2021, 08:33 AM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner
            SDC Member Since 1967

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            • #7
              Why does everyone immediately want to blame internal parts because someone can't get the timing right? Don't start the troubleshooting process by ripping your engine apart. Are you sure you have the wires on right? Counter Clockwise on the distributor? Double check the wire routing. Check your rotor and cap first. They are the easiest and cheapest to fix. Just because they are new does not mean they cannot be bad. I've seen some very lousy rotors and points in the aftermarket lately. Some rotors will turn on the distributor shaft up to 10°. Also check the distributor itself. Is the plate, where the points are mounted, secure? Is there a lot of side to side play in the shaft? Is the cap secure? There are numerous reasons the timing may not be right without having to look inside the engine. Be methodical. It will turn up. You just have to be patient. Check and double check. If all else fails, time it by ear. I've only ever done it that way for fifty years.
              sals54

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              • #8
                What Dwain said. I've seen that one too. Not installing the damper flywheel with the stamped 6H mark towards the radiator is one way to get the results the original poster
                described.
                JT

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                • #9
                  I guess everyone does not know that Fords Number Cylinders: Left 1,2,3,4 and Right 5,6,7,8 and Studebakers and most others: Left 1,3,5,7 Right 2,4,6,8.
                  Mistakes happen.
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                  SDC Member Since 1967

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