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Old 04-07-2005, 07:29   #1 (permalink)
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Mechanically Challenged...

I recently bought an old 1977 f100 and couldn't help myself from taking it to pieces...
It has a 351 Cleveland in it and I have slowly been working through the probs with it.
Would like to make it more reliable...
Apart from heaps of other stuff...
I just replaced all the vacuum hoses and the fuel hose also got the carby recon'd.
I have changed over plugs, ignition leads, tried to sort all of the electricals...
However
Flames shoot out through the carby..
I was told this is the timing so I checked the distributor.
The bolt retaining it was loose and it's shifted (Turned about 30degrees) and I have since tried to shift it back to where I think it shoudl be...
How do I know that the Distributor is in the right position?
Is there a special tool to change that with...
Is it the timing or could it be something else?
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Old 04-07-2005, 15:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Mechanically Challenged...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hulk
How do I know that the Distributor is in the right position?
Is there a special tool to change that with...
Is it the timing or could it be something else?

The distributor is in the "nearly correct" position when the rotor points at the number one spark plug terminal and the number one cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke. It is in the "correct" position once timed to your engine's requirements. Correct is likely to be something different for nearly every engine, especially older engines.

There is a special tool to change that with...it is a big wrench with a socket on the end of it that matches your balancer bolt. Turning the engine in a clockwise direction will enable you to find TDC on the compression stroke. Remove the #1 spark plug, put a finger over the hole and rotate the engine until it "blows" past your finger. You should be able to see your timing mark on the dampener come somewhere near about 6-10* advanced on the timing pointer. At that point, if you pull your distributor cap off, you should see the rotor pointing to one spark plug pole more predominantly than any other. That would be the #1 plug. Wire all of the remaining wires from that point, ensuring that you traverse the cap anti-clockwise.

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Old 04-07-2005, 23:31   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Mechanically Challenged...

Welcome to the forum Hulk.

Thats an easy trap to fall into............ie: installing the distributor 180* out WRT the crank.

Your spark plug is firing with your intake valve open!........hence the BBQ Holley.
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Old 04-08-2005, 03:26   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Mechanically Challenged...

I have set timing without a timing light by pulling off the number one plug lead, moving the crank round to the desired initial timing setting (say20 deg BTDC), turn the ignition on, then slowly move the distributor the opposite way to the way the rotor normally turns. You can hold the lead, or place it near the body if you dont like getting shocked. when spark happens clamp the dizzy in place. you can get it supprisingly accurate. doesnt help with checking advance tho.

to check if its 180 out, the valves on the number one cylinder should NOT be on the rock, (pull off the valve cover) ie the motor should be between the compression and power stroke. caught me out once too!
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Old 04-10-2005, 18:12   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Mechanically Challenged...

I had the pleasure of doing "this" this weekend...it started out as a simple tuning job. I loosened the distributor clamp on a 4V 351C only to find that the distributor wouldn't turn.

I found a bent piece of square tubing and a small piece of wood. I placed the wood under the distributor and pried at it with the tubing...after loosening the distributor hold down. No budge...not even a little. I split the block of wood from the amount of pressure applied to it. De nada. I pulled out the hold down and drowned the area in a bath of WD40. I reapplied the bent piece of tubing and the distributor popped out completely.

After issuing a few expletives, I grabbed up a long flat blade screwdriver and a flashlight. I stuck the screwdriver into a tube of moly grease and loaded up the oil pump driveshaft. Using the end (tang) of a long round file, I eye-ball centered the driveshaft and after about 5 or 6 tries, got the distributor to sit down snuggly. Of course, the rotor was pointed into "who knows where land."

I pulled the number one plug off of the distributor and relocated it at the location where the rotor pointed and followed the rest throughout the firing order. I pulled the number one plug and rotated the engine around to the compression stroke and the markings on the dampener were at about 18* BTDC. I returned the plug to its home, loosely locked down the distributor and cranked the engine for several seconds, noting that oil pressure was present. I touched the throttle and it fired to life. Finally, I was back to the point where I could actually tune it.

This is all relatively simple, if not a bit tedious...the most annoying being the oil pump driveshaft.

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