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  #1  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 10:37 PM
Holey Moley 64 Holey Moley 64 is offline
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Default 305 ignition timing

305 sbc. HEI distributor, timing is all in at 2500 rpm. i put a timing light on it and the car was 4 degrees AFTER tdc TOTAL timing. the car starts fine but as you can imagine it is VERY slow. i wanted to have the timing like 38 degrees BEFORE TDC total, but when i put the initial timing to 3 degrees, the vacuum advance canister is almost hitting the intake manifold, so i need more room and the car doesnt want to start. it lugs on the starter like there is too much initial timing, with only 3 degrees... stock starter. i don't get how 3 degrees initial is too much. i verified the balancer has not slipped, so it is the true setting. the car feels WAY better with more timing, i just want to be able to get it set right. the question im asking is how can i get more initial timing without having the car give me starting issues. im thinking of getting a high torque mini starter, but i feel like the car should support more than just 3 degrees with the stock starter. when #1 plug is at TDC the rotor is facing towards the #1 cylinder. im also thinking that because this 305 has the timing tab in the 12 o clock position, the rotor might need to be one tooth over? any suggestions on this?
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1979 Malibu

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AFR195
60122 Lunati
9" 3.90


"The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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  #2  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 10:45 PM
Holey Moley 64 Holey Moley 64 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

by the way, i am using a dial back timing light and it is on ZERO, because if i turn it any, the timing mark goes out of sight. the timing light works on my other engines perfectly too, its not broken.


also, i am fully aware of what my timing should be and i am fully aware that it is retarded right now, just to let you know.
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1979 Malibu

383, 200-4r
AFR195
60122 Lunati
9" 3.90


"The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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  #3  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 10:46 PM
RB69SS396Conv RB69SS396Conv is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Sounds like you have the wrong dist shaft in it, or some such, if the centrifugal advance is retard instead of advance. Or maybe even, just the weights are on upside-down and backwards.

Try a different dist.

Easiest way to enable more timing while not having starting trouble, is to get rid of the stupid obsolete Delco direct-drive POS starter that came on it; and get a gear reduction starter such as the LT1 starter or any of the numerous "mini-starters" on the market, nearly all of which are either a Hitachi or a Nippondenso starter with a "custom" aluminum block that allows them to bolt to a Chevy V8.

Rotor position and the place the timing tab is welded on are not connected in any way. #1 TDC is #1 TDC no matter where the timing tab is.

Sounds like your damper ring may have slipped. Locate #1 firing by way of compression, then turning the engine by hand until the piston reaches TDC right after #1 compression; and check the timing tab/mark accuracy.

The engine does not care what your timing light, mark, and tab "say". All it cares about, is when the spark occurs. Forget about numbers and lights and marks, and instead, observe the pertinent mechanical events as directly as possible.
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  #4  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 11:02 PM
Jerry70 Jerry70 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

I suspect that the problem is with the light (or how it's being used). You don't get kick-back from even the weakest starter with only 3 advance and I doubt that your engine would run at all with total at 4 ATC. Because the distributor could have been installed in any postion, the rotors position in relation to the #1 cyl may be meaningless. Find true tdc #1, rotate engine until 0 mark on balancer aligns with a reasonable intitial on the tab (like 10-12), rotate distributor until rotor aligns with the #1 wire terminal (make a pencil mark on the base before removing cap). That should put you somewhere close to where you need to be to start and to run ok. From that point you can try setting total where you want it. Keep in mind that total also determines initial (and vis-vis) so a recurve might be needed to have both optimal.
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  #5  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 11:03 PM
Holey Moley 64 Holey Moley 64 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB69SS396Conv View Post
Sounds like you have the wrong dist shaft in it, or some such, if the centrifugal advance is retard instead of advance. Or maybe even, just the weights are on upside-down and backwards.

Try a different dist.

this distributor is a standard SBC one that came off a 327. no problems. i checked the weights and springs and installed the same curve on another SBC with no issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB69SS396Conv View Post


Easiest way to enable more timing while not having starting trouble, is to get rid of the stupid obsolete Delco direct-drive POS starter that came on it; and get a gear reduction starter such as the LT1 starter or any of the numerous "mini-starters" on the market, nearly all of which are either a Hitachi or a Nippondenso starter with a "custom" aluminum block that allows them to bolt to a Chevy V8.
thats what im going to do, but theres no way this is right. the stock starter should support more than 3 degrees initial. hell the stock setting was 6!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RB69SS396Conv View Post

Rotor position and the place the timing tab is welded on are not connected in any way. #1 TDC is #1 TDC no matter where the timing tab is.

Sounds like your damper ring may have slipped. Locate #1 firing by way of compression, then turning the engine by hand until the piston reaches TDC right after #1 compression; and check the timing tab/mark accuracy.
i did that already and the balancer has not slipped. thats definetly not it.





if the distibutor is theoretically off a tooth, and the distributor must be advanced until the vacuum advance can hits the intake, if i move it one tooth clockwise so i can get more room to advance the timing, will that still give me starting problems? what im saying is: is it the actual timing FIGURE or is it the distributor's position that induces starting issues?
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1979 Malibu

383, 200-4r
AFR195
60122 Lunati
9" 3.90


"The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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  #6  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 11:10 PM
Holey Moley 64 Holey Moley 64 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

once again, the light works perfectly fine. its brand new. ive used it on about 10 other engines personally.

also, the wires are set up like THIS:

http://www.montecarloss.com/images/Distributor.jpg


and the distributor was installed the same way it always is on every other SBC. (the 5 o clock position or towards the "1 cylinder)
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-Andy

1979 Malibu

383, 200-4r
AFR195
60122 Lunati
9" 3.90


"The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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  #7  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 11:31 PM
Jerry70 Jerry70 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyRamMan View Post
if the distibutor is theoretically off a tooth, and the distributor must be advanced until the vacuum advance can hits the intake, if i move it one tooth clockwise so i can get more room to advance the timing, will that still give me starting problems? what im saying is: is it the actual timing FIGURE or is it the distributor's position that induces starting issues?
The distributor's position doesn't matter, the amount of timing does. That's why you need to get the timing right first, which may or may not involve repositioning the distributor. Are you sure you are hooking the light to the right wire? BTW, your original post said HEI but now you say it's from a 327? HEI didn't exist until several years after the last 327 was built.
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  #8  
Old Mar 24th, 09, 11:44 PM
Holey Moley 64 Holey Moley 64 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry70 View Post
The distributor's position doesn't matter, the amount of timing does. That's why you need to get the timing right first, which may or may not involve repositioning the distributor. Are you sure you are hooking the light to the right wire? BTW, your original post said HEI but now you say it's from a 327? HEI didn't exist until several years after the last 327 was built.
yeah im going to have to either move all the wires over one, or re-stab the distributor. yes im hooking it to the right wire, and yes i meant what i said when i said its an HEI distributor that came off of a 327. i didnt say it was original to the 327.

the funny thing is i moved all the wires over one and moved the distributor back to compensate and after i started it up, as i attempted to advance the timing, the car died. so that only solves one of my problems.(room for moving the distributor) thats not a big deal im more concerned about why the car wont start with some timing in it.
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1979 Malibu

383, 200-4r
AFR195
60122 Lunati
9" 3.90


"The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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  #9  
Old Mar 25th, 09, 9:29 AM
RB69SS396Conv RB69SS396Conv is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

If the vac can hits the intake, then the dist is installed one tooth off of where it needs to be.

Disconnect the 12V to the cap. Raise the dist up just enough to clear the cam gear; rotate the shaft clockwise slowly, while attempting to drop the dist back down; when it clears the first cam gear tooth and reaches a point where it meshes again, it will be able to go most of the way back down, but not all the way (it will be sitting on the oil pump drive). Have somebody bump the starter while you hold the dist down. When the dist rotates around to a point where it aligns with the pump shaft again, it will go the rest of the way in.

I have 2 305 vehicles sitting in my driveway at the moment. Both of them have that even weenier version of the stupid Stone Age direct-drive Delco starter on them, that GM used on the 305. Both of them have trouble starting; always have. Other 305 cars I've had through the years, that had the same miniaturized version of the old garbage Delco starter, act exactly the same. Now granted these weren't new when I got them, one was 2 years old and one was 3 years old; but I've had them both for about 25years now, and have had this problem for their ENTIRE life. You may think that "there's no way this is right", but I can assure you, that starter is INADEQUATE. GM doesn't always make the best possible decisions, either technical or business, it would appear. One of those 2, I put a CVR starter on about 12 years ago, which COMPLETELY solved the problem. (that's one of the Nippondenso-based ones) The other is still hard to start, especially when it has enough timing to run its best (not the factory setting). Modern gas, incidentally, makes it even worse nowadays than it was before, when they were newer. Needless to say there's no way GM could see that coming.

The wire location in the pic is correct; that is, it agrees with where the factory put them. The engine will run with them put in anywhere, as long as they are in the right order and the rotor position (shaft) agrees with wherever the wires are installed. However, I'm one of those anal-retentive type people that likes to put them the way they belong, like the drawing; which requires getting the dist shaft phased tot he cam correctly. So I would suggest doing that.

You can check the ignition timing easily enough, to reasonable accuracy, by turning the engine by hand or whatever, to the timing you'd like to set it to (say, 12 BTDC, or whatever); and rotating the dist to the point where the star wheel teeth line exactly up, and then rotating it another couple of degrees CCW from there. Making sure of course, that the rotor points to the correct terminal of the cap while doing so.... the left front one if possible, as per the pic.
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  #10  
Old Mar 25th, 09, 12:13 PM
SS402 SS402 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

first things first, the SBC usually enjoys a max of 36 degrees total timing which is the centrifugal + initial. Once you have determined how much centrifugal advance is set then you adjust the initial until you have the total advance dialed in, now if the initial timing is too low then you need to reduce the amount of centrifugal advance so more initial can be dialed in.
If the initial timing is set correctly and the engine cranks slowly then you need to optimize current flow to the starter, clean and move the ground cable from the alternator bracket to a spot on the engine such as the head or better yet the block, the more components current has to flow thru the less current is available to operate the selected component such as the starter, since the starter draws the most current of all the DC components a good ground for the starter should be priority.
Try that before replacing the starter, look at the connections and put yourself in the shoes of the current flow trying to reach a component with minimal loss, you'll easily see how improvements can be made, as components age they draw more current and sometimes require modifications to the ground circuit just to get enough current to operate correctly, generally speaking people overlook the ground circuit and focus on the hot side, since current flows from the ground side thru the circuit and back to the battery it is common sense to start with the grounds when diagnosing a component that runs slowly, dim, or doesn't operate at all
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  #11  
Old Mar 25th, 09, 12:52 PM
Schurkey Schurkey is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyRamMan View Post
i verified the balancer has not slipped, so it is the true setting.
HOW did you verify the damper has not slipped; and did you verify that it is the CORRECT damper for the timing indicator bracket?
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  #12  
Old Mar 25th, 09, 2:16 PM
Holey Moley 64 Holey Moley 64 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schurkey View Post
HOW did you verify the damper has not slipped; and did you verify that it is the CORRECT damper for the timing indicator bracket?
#1 plug was pulled, finger in the hole, etc. when the piston came up on the compression stroke the mark on the balancer was right there on the balancer mark. i didnt find absolute TDC, but i know its right there.

yes, the 305 engine is stock. that is the stock damper and timing tab.



how about this: when we pulled the computer controls, i dont think we pulled the "spout" out of the wiring harness. would that still affect the timing even with the computer stuff gone?
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1979 Malibu

383, 200-4r
AFR195
60122 Lunati
9" 3.90


"The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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  #13  
Old Mar 25th, 09, 2:30 PM
bochnak bochnak is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

FWIW, my starter did not handle an initial timing change from 0 to 16 very well. I bought a high torque mini and large gage battery cables (good ground as well). Problem solved.
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  #14  
Old Mar 25th, 09, 2:46 PM
Schurkey Schurkey is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyRamMan View Post
#1 plug was pulled, finger in the hole, etc. when the piston came up on the compression stroke the mark on the balancer was right there on the balancer mark. i didnt find absolute TDC, but i know its right there.
Leaves a lot of room for error...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyRamMan View Post
yes, the 305 engine is stock. that is the stock damper and timing tab.
That eliminates any chance of mis-matched timing marks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyRamMan View Post
how about this: when we pulled the computer controls, i dont think we pulled the "spout" out of the wiring harness. would that still affect the timing even with the computer stuff gone?
4-terminal, 5-terminal, 7-terminal or 8-terminal module in the HEI?

Put another way: WHICH HEI do you have?
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  #15  
Old Mar 25th, 09, 3:13 PM
Holey Moley 64 Holey Moley 64 is offline
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Default Re: 305 ignition timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schurkey View Post
Leaves a lot of room for error...


That eliminates any chance of mis-matched timing marks.




4-terminal, 5-terminal, 7-terminal or 8-terminal module in the HEI?

Put another way: WHICH HEI do you have?
4 pin module.
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-Andy

1979 Malibu

383, 200-4r
AFR195
60122 Lunati
9" 3.90


"The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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