Rebuilt engine - need help w/ initial timing for startup!

FineWynsFJ40

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Ok, just got the engine back. October 1974 F engine freshly rebuilt, bored .020 over, new camshaft and lifters, piston rings and such, reground valves and new seats, new bearings and gaskets/seals, crankshaft was just polished (like it was when it left the Noritake MFG plant 32 years ago). I was given instructions to start it up, then run it at about 1000-1500 RPM's to keep oil going to camshaft and lifters to prevent them from getting scored and such. Problem is, how do I ensure close enough spark to get it to run? I've got the crank turned to exactly 7' BTDC as specified. Point gap is approx. .019" (right on the money) and I'm ready to pop the dizzy cap on, hook up the wires in the 1-5-3-6-2-4 order, but how do I make sure that the rotor and cap line up to get a spark close enough to 7' so it will run, without me idling the engine to get proper timing, then revving? In idling, insufficient oil will cause the camshaft and lifters to score. I was heavily warned against this, as they just had somebody #@!&$5# up an engine by letting it idle for 20 mins when they were warned against it. I'm wondering if there might be a 30-45 second window to try to get it close, but how do i get it initially close so it will fire up at first, without sitting there cranking, and thus scoring said camshaft and lifters? I'm not going to be able to do this until Friday, as college does kinda take up my week... I'm so stoked about firing it up for her 32nd birthday!!! :bounce: :cool: :beer: :cheers: Thanks.

Brian
:bounce: :popcorn:
 

Poser

Oh...Durka Durka Durka.
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Run the oil pump with a drill motor before installing the distributor, and get oil on the crank and cam bearings....



Install the distributor, make damn sure that it is seated in the oil pump. Do this a few times, installing it wrong and correctly, and you will see/feel the difference in how deep the distributor seats into the block when it is installed properly. Bring the engine up to TDC on the compression stroke, verify this by watching the valves as they open and close on the #1 cylinder....you have the cover off the engine right...to verify that you are getting oil to the top end of the engine when you start it up?


Put the distributor in, snug the clamp up but not tight...you want to be able to move the distributor by hand, but not really easily...and start the truck.



:beer:
 
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Follow Posers advice, especially about seating the disttributor all the way. You can set the timing with the engine off like this:

Turn the engine to Top Dead Center on compression stroke.
Turn the key to ON and rotate the distributor "backwards" to retard the timing.
Now advance the timing by rotating the distributo until the points spark.

That's 0 degrees static, which is fine for breakin. The rotor now determines where the #1 spark plug wire is located on the cap. If you don't like it pull the distributor and rotate it to where you want it, then repeat the static timing.

HTH
 
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Initial Timing

Setting the timing on first start up is pretty straight forward. Assuming that your valve clearances are set reasonably close at the rockers ( I would leave them all a couple of thou on the loose side ). You need to find top dead center on the compression stroke. TDC on the compression stroke can be verified by both the intake and exhaust valves being closed on #1 cylinder - this means that there is play in both of the the rockers on #1 cylinder. If it's not in compression stroke, 1 of the valves will be partially open and therefore 1 spring will be geting compressed = no play in 1 of the rockers. Just rotate the engine 360 degrees to the TDC mark again on the flywheel - I put it in 3rd and nudge the car forward - it rotates the crank. (By the way, this is a good method to set the rockers - at TDC - set half of the rockers - rotate 360 degrees and set the other half).

You have to install the distributor with the rotor pointing to #4 spark plug - at TDC in the compression stroke of #1 piston, when it's seated. As everyone says, make sure it's seated. The tang on the bottom of the distributer needs to be in the mating slot - if not, the distributor base plate won't bottom out properly. You might have to use a big screwdrive to rotate the slot to mesh with the tang.
good luck.
 
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You have to install the distributor with the rotor pointing to #4 spark plug - at TDC in the compression stroke of #1 piston,

So you're saying plug #4 fires when #1 cylinder is at TDC? Sorry, I'm not buying it.
 
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That is NOT what he is saying.

What he is saying is drop in the dizzy w/ rotor pointed at #4 cylinder.

Then look at your dizzy cap. That rotor position = cylinder #1.

Thanks Pablo. I see it now. I will add though that wherever the rotor points at TDC is where you attach #1 plug wire. What does it matter if it points to #4 cylinder or the passenger seat or the neighbor's dog? Is there a "1" stamped on the cap? Or maybe the wires are only long enough for that specific arrangement? Beats the heck out of me.
 
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Hmmmm.....I thought you pointed the rotor at the #4 cylinder so that when the distributor gear rotated as it meshed with the cam gear it would end up pointing to #1. And yes, Theo, at least the OEM plug wires seem to fit better at that location....at least to me.:)

Ed
 

FineWynsFJ40

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Sweet, thanks guys. So, what I have gathered is this: align the engine to TDC for the #1 cylinder (the mark is a gouge taken out of the flywheel right, on the inner side, like 3/4" long, right?), install a spark plug and wire leading to whatever the #1 cylinder wire on cap would be, hook up the timing gun so the strobe fires when the distributor sparks, then rotate distributor until it sparks, indicated thus by the flash of the timing light. That is 0' TDC correct? Could I theoretically do this for 7' TDC instead of 0'? Also, how do I know that the distributor is properly seated? I played around with it for a while to make sure that it is in the oil pump thing, or I hope so. Any way of confirming this? Thanks very much guys.
 

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the mark is a gouge taken out of the flywheel right, on the inner side, like 3/4" long, right?

No.


TDC is a line on the flywheel that can be seen in the window by the starter motor.... the dot close to the line is 7* BTDC.




Also, how do I know that the distributor is properly seated? I played around with it for a while to make sure that it is in the oil pump thing, or I hope so. Any way of confirming this?


If you have in fact done this for a while as you state, this should be very clear to you.

Remove the distributor from the engine and turn the rotor an inch in one direction or the other, and put it back in the engine. You should be able to tell the the distributor is not seated in the engine as far as it was when it was seated into the oil pump properly.

Again, this is VERY CLEAR to see and feel when it is seated properly and when it is not....


Do not be afraid to remove the distributor and install it a bunch of times to make sure you get it right and can feel the difference of it being seated into the oil pump and not.



:beer:
 

FJ40Jim

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There are some important point being missed here.

First, the distributor is fully seated in the block, when it is fully seated in the block. Use a mechanics mirror to visibly check that the shoulder of the dissy is sitting on the block when dissy is installed.
Not by feel or cause it seems good enough.

Second, Idle ignition timing can be set dead on before the engine is ever fired.

How to:
Turn crank to TDC #1.
Prime oil pump.
Rotate crank backwards 7degrees until BB lines up w/ pointer.
Verify #1 compression by checking the #1 rockers are both loose.
Use long screwdriver to turn oil pump slot to vertical.
Stab dissy in w/ rotor point appx at #3 plug. As dissy engages gear it will turn rotor backwards to appx#4 plug.
Verify that dissy is seated on top of block surface!
Connect DVOM set to beep/resistance position across dissy (terminal stud to body).
Twist dissy back and forth, listening for beep to start/stop.
Twist dissy so beep just stops.
Lock down dissy clamp.
Timing is now set.

Finish connections and start engine before oil system bleeds out.

This is pretty well covered in Haynes sec 4.5, and the various years of FSM.
 
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About checking the No.1 cylinder rockers to verify that No.1 is on the compression/firing stroke:

You can do this through the oilcap hole on 2F engines. You have to use a skinny screwdriver or some such thing to wiggle the front one and the other is directly under the cap.
Saves all the hassle of removing the valve cover if it's on the head while R&R'ing the distributor.
 
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I didn't read through this thread, so this may have been pointed out already.

For starters, it is not ;ude that you are worried about for the cam and lifters. The higher rpm is so that the surfaces work harden. If you don't run it at higher rpm initially the surfaces will tend to gall and will not last as long as they should.

To set your initial timing. Rotate the engine 'til the seven degree BTDC mark is aligned with the pointer. Turn the distibutor until the points are just begining to open (depending on which stroke you are on, firing #1 or #6) . That's when the plug fires. If you are careful you can get it pretty dang exact this way. Easily within a couple of degrees.
If you have electroni ignition, set it up so that the "pointer" on the distributor shaft is exactly lined up with the mag sensor.


Mark..
 

FineWynsFJ40

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IT'S ALIVE!!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! IT'S ALIVE!! Thanks to all for your advice, she thundered to life and I mean thundered!!! So, I hear Spintech makes a good muffler, eh?:D Later tonight I'm going to set the idle speed, mixture, and timing. HAHAHA!! She's back in action!! Ah, the smell, that burning gasoline, it's the smell of... victory.

:grinpimp:

Thanks, once again for all your help!:beer:
 

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