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  • Timing woes

    Brother decided to remove his point distributor from his 289 and replace it with an HEI distributor he used to run. When he swapped the distributor I helped him start the truck and it sounded GREAT . It seemed very smooth and would rev better when I popped the throttle than it has in a long time. So far so good.
    When he tried to time the engine the vacuum advance would hit the firewall before the timing marks lined up. I would have probably taken it for a drive to see how it ran, but he wanted the timing right. We removed the spark plug wires and moved them around the cap so we could turn the distributor body away from the firewall. The engine started right up, but didn't sound as crisp . We also had trouble getting the timing marks to come into sight and I tried to time it by ear. We got the engine to run pretty well and he took it down the road for a test drive. He said it did not have the power he expected and when he backed off of the throttle before turning around there was a slight popping from the exhaust. This was July 4 and after tinkering some more it was so hot we gave up until he got back from CeRap.
    Today we tried again and never got the engine to run as smooth as it should. When I would run up the rpms it would sort of pop through the exhaust and although I played with the timing and got most of that out it still felt like there was a slight miss. We need ideas. [?]


    1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
    "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

  • #2
    quote:We also had trouble getting the timing marks to come into sight
    You've answered your own question. The timing is off. Get #1 cylinder on compression, both valves closed, timing mark under the pointer and line up #1 plug wire on the cap with the rotor button arm. If it isn't in line, either move the distributor one tooth, rotate the body or move the plug wires, but get it back in time. That he is using the HEI makes it more difficult, as with points, it is easy to check when they open.

    thnx, jack vines



    PackardV8
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      Yep...what Jack said...!
      One tooth is much preferable to moving the wiring away from where it's supposed to be.

      Mike

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      • #4
        one of the problems encountered when removing and replacing distributors is the helical gears will cause the shaft to rotate slightly when they come out or go in. It is easy to get them one tooth off unless you are very careful. They need to be in exact. Close is not good enough. I have done it and I bet other folks here have more than they would like to admit. I try to avoid the task as much as possible.

        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
        SDC member since 1975
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          I bet you got two of the wires switched.

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          • #6
            I'll check the wires for proper firing order. I would have thought that it would run worse than it does with two wires switched.
            He had the wires moved when I got there. The first thing we did was bring #1 up to the compression stroke and pop the cap. The rotor was dead on.
            BTW On a Stude engine, where the oil pump drive is a tang going into a slot, how do you move the distributor one tooth? Does the oil pump move? I understand getting off 180 degrees, but if the engine is not cranked with the distributor out can it be off one tooth?


            1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
            "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
            "In the heart of Arkansas."
            Searcy, Arkansas
            1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
            1952 2R pickup

            Comment


            • #7
              Get a long screw driver and a flash light.
              Rotate the shaft in the direction of the tooth rotation and drop the distributor back in. It may take a try or two to get it right.

              A lot of times when you pull a distributor, the shaft will spin just a little more if the oil pump is nice and free. The oil will help continue the motion for a half a tooth, a tooth.

              Mike

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              • #8
                I probably should wait for somebody with more knowledge and experience to answer... but being as shy as I am, I can't resist. I'll have to put off the Poodle's hair cut just a little longer to embarrass myself(again). It has been a while since I have been into one of my engines. Some of you folks can do this blindfolded, but I usually have to have the manual so that when I mess up...I can look it up and see what I should have done in the first place...So...here goes...(Also, I have no experience with an HEI distributor and the complications that arise as a result)
                When parking an engine TDC, I make sure the #1 piston is on the compression stroke, at the top of the stroke, and the rotor in the distributor is pointing at the #1 terminal with the points open on the distributor cam lobe. The pointer should also be in the appropriate position at the crankshaft. Then I "scribe" a mark on the distributor housing and engine block to make sure the marks will line up in the same position when I reinstall the distributor.
                Once all the above is in place, I disconnect the vacuum tube, and remove the distributor. As you remove the distributor, due to the curve of the gears, you will have a slight rotation of the distributor shaft. If you do not take this into account on re-installation...it is possible to get the distributor one tooth off. Then you will start adjusting everything else trying to "chase" the timing in an attempt to get it firing smoothly. On the standard "points" distributor...the points should be open at the #1 position if you have re-installed the distributor correctly. If the HEI has no points...I suppose that is one less mechanical reference to work with.

                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
                SDC member since 1975
                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                SDC member since 1975

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's something I posted on Saturday, on another question.

                  It's a little more detailed, John, but not much.

                  I know this is something we all do automatically, but it needs mentioned once in a while.

                  Auto Engine 101

                  When removing the distributor:
                  Bring the No. 1 cylinder up to top dead center (finger in spark plug hole, crank until pressure is felt, watch timing mark, stop at TDC) Remove dist cap, note that rotor is pointing toward the front of the car. (this assumes that the spark plug wires are in their standard position.) remove the clamp screw and clamp holding the distributor in place. remove the electric wire from the coil (it's usually easier there than the Dist) and gently lift the distributor up, about 3/8 of an inch. THIS IS CRITICAL. Note that the rotor has turned about 60 degrees clockwise. With a felt marker, mark on the edge of the distributor where the rotor is.

                  It has to be here when you put it back in. As it goes in the last 3/8 of an inch, the gears mesh, the rotor turns counter clock wise and the 'stinger' engages in the oil pump.

                  If it doesn't enter the right gear, the oil pump won't engage and lots of bad words will be heard.

                  Sorry if we all know and do this, but someone out there has never done it before and will benefit from this lecture.


                  [img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Avatar1.jpg[/img=left]
                  Tom Bredehoft
                  '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
                  '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
                  (Under Construction 617 hrs.)
                  '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
                  All Indiana built cars

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                  • #10
                    Great Tom...I just knew somebody out there would know such things as how many degrees the thing would move and even in which direction.
                    John Clary
                    Greer, SC

                    SDC member since 1975

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What I have always done if the oil pump doesnt mesh is make sure your distributor is in the proper position to seat & with the coil wire pulled out, bump the starter. When the oil pump shaft matches up, the distributor will drop down easily. Then install the hold down bracket, coil wire & properly set the timing.

                      60 Lark convertible
                      61 Champ
                      62 Daytona convertible
                      63 G.T. R-2,4 speed
                      63 Avanti (2)
                      66 Daytona Sport Sedan
                      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                      64 Zip Van
                      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                      66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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                      • #12
                        The shop manual (I don't know how anybody can own a Studebaker and not have one) has a very good description of distributor installation, including the bumping the starter tip. I installed a T-bow converted to Mopar electronic Presto-lite in my GT the other day, and the starter bump worked like a charm. Russ Farris
                        1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
                        1964 Avanti R-1 Auto

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                        • #13
                          quote:Originally posted by Warren Webb

                          What I have always done if the oil pump doesn't mesh is make sure your distributor is in the proper position to seat & with the coil wire pulled out, bump the starter. When the oil pump shaft matches up, the distributor will drop down easily. Then install the hold down bracket, coil wire & properly set the timing.
                          EXACTLY Warren! [^]

                          I am sure many of us like myself, have done it the hard way like John Clary and Tom B have, and EVENTIALLY it will work.

                          But after learning this trick, I will never go back to all that hassle!

                          StudeRich
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                          • #14
                            Also be sure to check that the plug wires are in the proper location! I had a 62 Daytona that someone re installed the distributor 180 degrees off, So, when I rebuilt it and installed it properly, it would NOT run. I started looking at firing order and low and behold, the wires were 180 degrees off.

                            Jim
                            "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

                            We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!


                            Indy Honor Flight www.IndyHonorFlight.org

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                            • #15
                              As was said earlier, I will check the plug wires again, but I have trouble believing it will start and run as well as it does it two wires are swapped. Seems you would have a more sever miss or backfire problem.
                              Has anyone else used one of the Steel Tech HEI set ups and if so what plug gap did you use? These are gaped at .055 in the range Dave suggested in the instructions.


                              1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
                              "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
                              "In the heart of Arkansas."
                              Searcy, Arkansas
                              1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                              1952 2R pickup

                              Comment

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