Timing help, at 5K rpms, 50*+ advanced!! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 04, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I finally checked my timing at high rpms to see where it was maxing out at. My intial timing was 11* btdc, my roomate gave it gas to about 5300rpms and it was climing past 50 degrees advanced. I dropped my initial to 5*, then it went to about mid 40 degrees at 5K. I need to figure out how to manage this.

My distributor is an older Accel HEI electronic with a little module on the side, and NO vacuum retard canister. How can I adjust this distributor? Are there springs inside some sort of mechanical advance under inside of the housing? I haven't taken it apart, nor do I know how. Any suggestions? I can't drive it until I figure this out...it definitely can't be good for my engine!

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 04, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone? Should I just buy a new distributor? How do these things work...and are the adjustable? I haven't found any thing for Accel distributors in terms of tune-up and adjustment parts.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 04, 11:51 AM
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Sounds to me like the mechanical advance mechanism has no stops in it?? Sounds like a good candidate for replacement.

Do you trust your timing light? What are you using, a timing tape, degreed balancer, or an advance type timing light??

Paul D.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 04, 02:52 PM
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Pitch it and get a good distributor you can curve correctly with a properly-calibrated vacuum advance unit.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 04, 03:10 PM
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If it were a GM HEI distributor I'd tell you to inspect the weight bushings. Perhaps the Accell has the same issue. The bushing wear out and the weights can advance the mechanism too far. If that all looks good, then you'll have to limit the advance somehow. Some weight kits might help. I've known guys to drill them and install a stop to prevent over advancing.

You can measure the advance on the workbench. Use a protractor. Clamp the gear end lightly in a vice. Then rotate the advance mechanism by hand and measure the advance. Remember that one degree of distributor rotation is 2 degrees at the crank.

Rules of thumb are 10* base and 36* total. So the total advance should be around 25* or so. But that is only 12.5 degrees of distributor offset.

Does your distributor have a port for vacuum advance? For one, vacuum advance is a good idea. But alternatively, you may be able to get an advance limiter that uses the vacuum advance blocking plate. It uses a cam to limit the total advance. Check out Accell's web site.

68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 04, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I took it apart this weekend, and sure enough, the little bolt that limits advance (can be place in one of four settings) had backed out far enough that it wasn't limiting advance. I found the broken lock washer inside, along with a bit of metal shavings, as the advance was only being limited by the outer wall of the housing,and the weights were wearing into it!!

I fixed that and set the screw in the 14* setting, which is probably too far, but I wanted to start somewhere. Now I have a new problem...no spark! I cleaned the inside and outside of the distributor with carb cleaner to get the shavings and gunk out of there. Could I have damaged the pick-up or the control module?

I have 12volts at the coil side of the control module (screwed to the side of the distributor), but I don't have anything on the distributor side of it, where the wires go form the module into the pick-up inside the housing). Should I have juice there? Or is my main coil to distributor wire (spark plug type) possibly not supplying anything?
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