what year is the balancer?
some models of balancers the timeing marks were actually welded to the timeing cover straight up and down.
Thats how mine was, so I couldnt put conventional bolt on type marks to it.
Im gonna take some heat on this for sure but ill say it anyway.
It is possible(this is what I did) to put a vacum gauge to manifold vacum and set your timeing to the highest vacum. It is an old way of doing it, but it works.
Vacuum won't do it - not even close. Buy a piston stop tool and use it to find TRUE #1 TDC, and mark your balancer and timing tab at that location. Then you can install a timing tape with "0" on the tape at your mark on the balancer and you'll have an accurate reference.
"They" are the same Guys who tell you to beat your harmonic balancer on with a board and hammer. "They" are every where. "They" are our fathers, brothers, uncles, neighbors, friends, and anyone else who has ever worked on cars for any long amount of time. Also "They" never think their wrong either. Sorry If you are one of "them" But "they" must be stopped
Trust me "They" Have helped me alot and got me into all of this. I owe alot to all of them and meant no harm. "They" supported me when no one esle would and are always there to offer a helpful note. But some of them need to learn that its not to late to change how they've been doing stuff. I feel you can learn something from everyone. Even if you are the teacher you may learn something from the student. You just need to listen.
Please don't take my post wrong. I was only haveing some fun with you all, because we all know people like that. Sometimes I can even be like that. But I try not to. I want everyone on this site to know how thankful I am that you have been here for me. I have learned alot from everyone here and I try to pass it on to as many people as I can. So once again "Thank you"
[This message has been edited by xodus921 (edited 09-20-2001).]
Unless you have an absolute factory stock engine and you're setting the timing to factory spec's, initial timing should be low priority. The factory knows what the total will be so it's easier to instruct to set initial. Part throttle and wide open throttle detonation are your biggest concern in our cars. So total mechanical timing is more important and you will get the most performance without detonation by setting total. Unless you have a custom curve you are stuck with the initial you get after setting the total. There is a lot more to all this but that's it in a nutshell.
Now as for engine vacuum, raise the idle a little and you will find the vacuum usually goes up. Lower it and vacuum goes down. Advance the initial timing and it raises the idle. Retard it and the idle goes down. Put 2 and 2 together. Do you have any idea what the timing is using a vacuum guage? So can you set the stocker to factory spec's using the vacuum guage? Can you set the total timing on your performance engine and know where you set it using a vacuum guage?
All you can do with a vacuum guage is meter a change. You can do the same with a tach or your ear! It's not accurate! You don't have the numbers for future refrence! And if you think your vacuum reading is all the refrence you need, try setting your timing and record the vacuum reading. Now adjust your idle mixture screws or even just raise or lower the idle screw!! Guess what? That vacuum reading isn't good any longer. Set your timing with a light at a given rpm and play with the idle mixture, your timing will be the same at the rpm you set it!!
Cody - JohnZ has given you the best advice. find #1 TDC and mark your dampner at 0 (zero). If you don't have a dial back light get the correct tape for your dampner so you can see how many degrees of advance your setting things!!
No, I haven't taken your post wrong, but ya can't teach an old dog new tricks, sometimes. Depends upon the person whether they are willing to listen to the whole story or only to what they want to hear.
In the times of going against a brick wall, one has to do a damn good sell job, like selling to a dog, and convincing him, to buy a pile of dog crap.
But just remember, the only dumb question is the one not asked.
Have a Good Day, Drive safe. If you're gonna beat on that balancer, use a rubber hammer!
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