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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all:

I had to have some work done to the cylinder heads of my 350.
I put them back on and reassembled everything.
I set the distributor to TDC on cylinder #1.
Today I went to start it up so I could set the timing. The engine would only run if I kept my foot on the accelerator. As soon as I took my foot off the pedal, it would pop and stall. There were also some very exciting flames coming out of the carb :D

My question is...I can't set the timing without the engine running. Should I turn the distributor a bit and see if the engine will stay running so I can set the timing?

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

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Yeah usually need 2 people to do this, it is a pain doing this alone. Maybe just turn the screw on the carb to idle high so then you can turn the distributor and find the correct position.

Jeff G.
69 Verts
69 Unrestored Z/28
Hartford, CT
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Jeff.

I'll see if I can get someone to give me a hand. Maybe my wife will help me out :)
 

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Do you have an HEI by chance? If so it's pretty easy to get it close with the car shut off....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Steiner, yes it has HEI.
When I pulled the distributor out, I should have left everything alone...but NO, I had to spin the gears and watch the rotor spin! That's why I got the #1 cylinder to TDC and lined the rotor up with the #1 terminal on the cap.
That's where she sits right now.
 

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Alright then. Take the cap and rotor off. You'll see two sets of triangles cast into the distributor around the shaft underneath the weights.....a set of eight large ones in the base pointing inward toward the rotor and a set of eight small ones pointing outward. With your balancer marking at 0, all of the triangles will be touching tip to tip with the distributor body clocked so the rotor is dead on the #1 post. This would be timing set at 0 BTDC.

Loosen the distributor clamp a little. Now rotate the engine backwards (counter clockwise) just a little so that your mark on the balancer lines up on the timing tab where you want your initial timing....10, 12, 14 before TDC etc. 12 is a decent starting point for a mild cam and you typically need a little more the larger the cam.

You should see that the triangles are now no longer pointing tip to tip. Rotate the distributor just a little until the triangles are again tip to tip. Tighten the clamp back down and reassemble everything. Your initial timing should now be fairly close to where you set the balancer mark on the timing tab.



You can see what the triangles look like here. Look just below the red marking on the weight.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! Thanks for the info, Steiner.

I will give it a shot and let you know how it works out.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Absolutely! Doing things like that helps me see how things work.

And I enjoyed watching it go round and round :D
 

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Fire in the Carb is not unusual - It's a reminder for you to advance the timing ;o)

The most notorious Carb for Fire was the Plastic Carter 850 Thermo-Quad placed on the 70 to 72 Dodge 340 Mag engines. It always caught fire if it was not enclosed with an Air Filter - Great Perf-Carb though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your help.

I followed Steiner's tips to get the timing close. I was able to keep the engine running long enough to dial in the timing. Now she purrs like a kitten.

Thanks again. I'll see you all soon.
 
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