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i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

This is a discussion on i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life! within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; alright i have a 83 chevy c10 with a 305 and ive spent the last month and over 500 dollars ...

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    i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!


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    alright i have a 83 chevy c10 with a 305 and ive spent the last month and over 500 dollars trying to get it to run right.. and it hasnt done **** for it.

    ive narrowed it down to where it has got to be a timing problem..

    i put new plugs and wires, its got a fairly new distributor, newer coil and i replaced the 5 pin ignition module with the 4 pin. i also figured out my vaccuum advance was shot so i bought a new one of those and then my quadrajet was having vacuum problems so i threw it as far as i could and bought a edelbrock.

    right now what its doing is it idles PERFECTLY, but when you accelerate if you just build up speed real slowly it will do fine but if you try to accelerate normally it will speed up a little bit to where it hits say 2000 rpms or so then it will start to sputter, choke, backfire, and miss. and it will just sit and do that unless you give it quite a bit more gas then its like it flips a switch or something and it revs way up and accelerates pretty good.
    i thought maybe it was running lean so i bought new metering rods.. it runs slightly better now i think but its DRINKING gas.
    it also seems to lack power quite a bit.
    and i have it set at 4* BTDC. ive tried messing with the timing a bunch everywhere around that and it doesnt fix the problem.

    heres my opinion, and i dont know much about these old carborators or distributors yet so its from my limited knowledge, it seems like somehow the vaccuum advance and the mechanical advance are way off of eachother..
    like when its sputtering and choking and you give it enough gas for it to stop doing that the throttle opens up alot and manifold vaccuum drops away thereby dropping the vaccuum advance and then it goes back into its normal timing set by the mechanical advance.

    does my thoery sound at all right?
    do any of yall have any ideas what i can change to get it timed right?

    ive thought about getting a different set of wieghts and springs for the mechanical advance and playing with that.. but i dont know which way to go. faster advance curve or slower?

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Here we go. Get ready for some rocket science.

    First, put down the light.

    Now, loosen the dist bolt, turn the dist a little bit one way or the other (I suggest starting out by turning it CCW), maybe " as measured around the outside edge. Tighten the bolt. Drive it. Better? (better = some combination of snappy throttle response, smoother, more power, no pinging, and so forth)

    Yes: do it again.

    Worse: move it back where it was, plus about the same distance past that spot. Drive it. Better?

    Yes: do it again.

    Worse: move it back halfway. Drive it. Better?

    Better: guess what.

    Worse: move it back halfway. Drive it. Better?

    Are you beginning to see a pattern yet?

    OK now that you've figured it out, keep doing it until no matter what you do, it's worse.

    OK, now that you've got it OPTIMIZED, pick up the light. See where it is. Write it down so you can put it back next time it gets disturbed.

    Please allow me to paraphrase one of The Great Ones, except in a totally different field:

    "If it RUNS good, it IS good". That's all you need to know.
    Last edited by RB04Av; 12-07-2011 at 08:15 PM.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    once you do what he said check the plugs, it kinda sounds like you may have got to much carb too. what size did you get. you only need a 600 or less for a stock 305. i dont fool with edelbrocks but you probably have to go down on your main fueling. if it were a holley you just get a bunch of jets and go down till it runs right.
    Last edited by ToyHauler; 12-08-2011 at 05:37 AM.
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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Any slop in the timing chain?

    Are you sure the timing marks are correct? Sucks to be trying to set timing when some bonehead mixed things up on the marks... been there, done that.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Any slop in the timing chain?

    Are you sure the timing marks are correct? Sucks to be trying to set timing when some bonehead mixed things up on the marks... been there, done that.
    Or the outer ring has slipped on the balancer.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Eh, I usually just do what RB04Av said and just time them by ear. If it pings you've gone to far.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    X2 on the ear idea. I went and bought a timing light once, thought I had it where it needed to be.....ran like crap. Moved the dist until it sounded right.....ran great. I think I gave the light to my father-in-law.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    thanks for the input. i have a 600cfm edelbrock.. i wanted a 500 but the 600 was the cheapest and all they had in stock without like a 3 week order time so i just bought it. i know its a little big but i figured it would work. its just a truck not a racecar.

    i sorta did try the just playing with the timing to see where it likes it and it always seems to just get worse.. i have no idea what the timing is set at now. on Wednesday night i played with it some while i was down at school for the week and it ran like crap for the last couple days. maybe i just need to tweak it some more.

    ill go out tonight and mess with it more. im starting to get pretty frustrated with it.

    question though.. how far should i turn it before i start to hear pinging or spark knock? ive like cranked the distributor around an inch at least and i dont hear any different noises. but like i said im learning all this still so im not sure what exactly im looking for.

    i have not checked the timing chain. im a little afraid to open that up and look at it because ive never done it before :/ is it very difficult on a 305?

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyHauler View Post
    once you do what he said check the plugs, it kinda sounds like you may have got to much carb too. what size did you get. you only need a 600 or less for a stock 305. i dont fool with edelbrocks but you probably have to go down on your main fueling. if it were a holley you just get a bunch of jets and go down till it runs right.
    do you think i should be leaning it down?
    i bought new rods and jets but they were to make it run richer. it does seem to run better with the new metering rods. i didnt put the bigger jets in though. ive read everywhere that the edelbrock 600cfm runs VERY lean right out of the box. however its really really drinking gas now and it didnt actually fix my problem so im thining about just putting the stock metering rods back in for now.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Is your vacuum advance hooked up to timed or full vacuum port on front of carb? Try switching sides. Is your vacuum advance adjustable? And go back stock on metering rods.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    This is the easiest way to set timing.

    Unhook the vacuum advance and cap it, then hook a vacuum gauge up to a port with constant draw.
    Loosen the dist bolt and turn the dist back and forth until you're vacuum is at it's highest.
    The timing is set for optimum performance, tighten the bolt.
    Hook the advance back up.

    While you have the cap off rotate the engine back and forth until the rotor moves. If there is a big gap in rotor movement and engine movement the timing chain is stretched.

    If the truck misfires when you're driving it then back it off a little.

    This problem of misfiring under sudden throttle could also be a bad accelerator pump. My project truck has a failed one that I haven't gotten around to fixing, power is fine under slow changes in throttle position, but stab the accelerator suddenly and it sputters, fires up the carb, etc...

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Have you check the power going to the coil ? You might want to run a hot wire from the batt. To the Dist. And see what it does . You may be dropping voltage to the coil

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    Registered User ToyHauler's Avatar
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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    as far as the carb it seems to big for a stock 305, you may be able to get it to run alright but i think you need to lean it out some. you set the main metering on older vehicles by reading the plugs. if they are black and carboned its too rich.
    http://www.dansmc.com/spark_plugs/sp...s_catalog.html
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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    What kind of light are you using to "read" your timing? Describe your method of checking timing.

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    Re: i cant get my 83 chevy timed right to save my life!

    Quote Originally Posted by vindeta View Post
    thanks for the input. i have a 600cfm edelbrock.. i wanted a 500 but the 600 was the cheapest and all they had in stock without like a 3 week order time so i just bought it. i know its a little big but i figured it would work. its just a truck not a racecar.

    i sorta did try the just playing with the timing to see where it likes it and it always seems to just get worse.. i have no idea what the timing is set at now. on Wednesday night i played with it some while i was down at school for the week and it ran like crap for the last couple days. maybe i just need to tweak it some more.

    ill go out tonight and mess with it more. im starting to get pretty frustrated with it.

    question though.. how far should i turn it before i start to hear pinging or spark knock? ive like cranked the distributor around an inch at least and i dont hear any different noises. but like i said im learning all this still so im not sure what exactly im looking for.

    i have not checked the timing chain. im a little afraid to open that up and look at it because ive never done it before :/ is it very difficult on a 305?
    Checking the timing chain is simple..remove the dist cap ..turn the engine over by hand with a breaker bar at the crank until the mark on the damper as at the last mark on the timing tab..now with the cap off turn the crank back, counter clockwise and notice how many degrees the crank moved until the rotor in the distributor moved, once the rotor starts to move stop and record the degrees, off the top of my head I cant remember what the tollerance was , but if you traveled past all the timing marks its too much and the chain needs to be replaced I want to say 10degrees it the limit but been a while since I used this method

 

 

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