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Old 03-21-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
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Default Timing mark/TDC question

When I line up the timing mark on the pulley to the TC mark, my #1 piston is not at top dead center. Is it supposed to be? Can I just make a new TDC mark on the pulley?
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:41 AM   #2
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I wouldn't, you would be better off to figure out why it's doing that
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:12 AM   #3
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kinna sounds weird to me are you using the pointer from the blockand did you mark with a white marker on the damper from underneath your timing mark and did you stick a skinny screwdriver in #1 sparkplug hole while turning to feel the piston coming up slowly not to bind it til it starts going back down then back a little if your trying to set the distributor you can plug the hole with your finger first until you feel pressure to assure the compression stroke then find the top with the screwdriver.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:19 PM   #4
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Might be possible to have the balancer "slip" from the inner to the outer portion of the Harmonic balancer itself

is the rubber deteriorated...cracked or pieces missing?
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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Dave msaybe you should tell us what in the heck you are doing and why you are lineing up the marks.. Also do you KNOW which cylinder actually is number one?
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:27 PM   #6
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I tried to set the timing and was unable to see any marks even close to the pointer on the block. I then removed the #1 plug (forward cylinder on the passenger side of the engine) and inserted a screwdriver to feel when the piston moved. I also took off the distributor cap after identifying the #1 wire location. I had someone turn the crank with a ratchet while I felt for the piston move to the top of the stroke. I realize that the piston comes up on both the compression and exhaust stroke, so I stopped turning when the piston was at the top and the rotor pointed at the #1 position. I then looked to see if the marks on the balancer were lined up with the pointer. They were not. Just to make sure, I turned the crank until the piston went down and back up to the top and rechecked the timing marks. They were not even close.

Should the timing marks be lined up when the the piston is at the top center on the compression stroke? I just bought the truck and have been able to get it to idle smooth, but the distibutor was a little loose so I wanted to check the timing. I am open to any advice for how to proceed.
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Last edited by Deluxedave; 03-21-2010 at 05:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the details. Ok the crank goes at twice the speed of the camshaft. What you are trying to do simply CANNOT be done. It is impossible to get exact measurements from a visual attempt. CLOSE is good enough. Then with a light and the proper things disconnected from the distributor one sets the timing.
The only proper way to set the things you are LOOKING at is to take the timing cover off and realign the gears..
If you havn't disconnected the things that THAT dist requires then the timing will show waaay advanced.. so much that there wouldn't be any marks where the light flashes.
What I do with my rides is to measure the circumference of the balancer then I divide by 360* and make a good mark with a file at about 37* advanced.. Then I use a paint pen and paint the mark. Then I put another mark half way back to the TDC mark.
By doing this I can visually see how much vac advance I have and how much mechanical advance I have and also by watching the tachometer I can KNOW when these advances are happening..
I think you went to a lot of trouble trying to do what cannot be done.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:24 PM   #8
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Jim,
I don't know if the previous owner had messed with the timing gears, but I suppose I could look to see if there is any appearance of a recent front cover reinstallation. Could an improper timing gear replacement cause the mark to be off?
I still want to know: should the TC mark on the balancer be lined up with the pointer when #1 is at TDC?
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:58 PM   #9
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Wink OK I'll try again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluxedave View Post
Jim,
I don't know if the previous owner had messed with the timing gears, but I suppose I could look to see if there is any appearance of a recent front cover reinstallation. Could an improper timing gear replacement cause the mark to be off?
I still want to know: should the TC mark on the balancer be lined up with the pointer when #1 is at TDC?
When looking at the inside of the dist you aren't allowing for WHEN the spark jumps across the rotor/cap gap. It is impossible for you to simply LOOK in there and see it is incorrect.
If the timing is a cog off your engine won't hardly run at all.. It will barely start and will pop and crack and generally raise hell.
So what i'm saying is everything is good...get out of there.

Now as for the mark on the balancer and the pointer on the block.
With your screwdriver and the slop in the timing chain it would be quite hard to really KNOW what was what..
You need to put a timing light on it and make sure it is running at the advertised idle speed.. then make sure the vac (if any) is disconnected and plugged. Then if it has a computer plug that needs to be unplugged...unplut that thing.. Then the light should be working at the designed advance. At the designed idle speed. If not then give the dist a small twist and get it to where it is advanced to the proper amount.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:54 AM   #10
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LIke Jim said make sure the spout is disconnected that could be the problem all along that is the grey single wire connector just off the distributor connector about 6 inches or so set the timing and tighten it then check it again then plug it in that is all you need to do. the only way to check the timing visually is to line the gears up under the cover and then the mark should be on tdc. Doesn`t the 2.9 have a timing chain I know the 2.8 has gears only.
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