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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, just got my car out of the body shop, spent all day making it run and putting the interior back in. The car is backfiring, badly. I need to have this running by tomarow, i already checked all the plug wires, im guessing the timing is off. How do I set the timing on my car? 1979 350 with HEI.

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Justin Kramer
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1968 Chevelle 300 Deluxe Sport Coupe 350ci
1978 Malibu Classic 305ci
Everyone wants their car to look stock and haul ass, my car looks ass; hauls stock.
 

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Turn the balancer so the mark is at 0 on the timing tab (top dead center). Then pull the #1 plug out and put your thumb over the hole and crank the engine a bit more, if you feel pressure on your thumb your on the compression stroke where you want to be.

Then set the distributor so that the rotor is pointing right at the #1 plug wire, clamp the cap down and advance it a bit, then fire it up. Should be a good starting point.

Also make sure you have the wires hooked up in the correct firing order.

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Chris Dagenais
'71 Malibu with a home built 454! [email protected]
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get a timing light first, and go from there, just get it running and see where the timing is at, or just manually turn it while it's running and see if stops (id do that first, just get it to stop then set the timing correctly) if the timing looks good, then go to Gandalfs advice to find the problem. set it around 10* to start with at idle or so to start with.

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Justin, Why do you suspect the timing? timing adjustment on a HEI does not go out of adjustment by itself enough to cause problems. I would only suspect timing if you have screwed it up. You say you spent the afternoon getting it running. What is the history of the running problem. Thanks Bill
 

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Justin.....when you say you checked the plug wires, do you mean the condition, or the firing order? Make sure you have 18436572......sometimes the ole 5-7 get mixed up and wammo!

[This message has been edited by Big Block Dave (edited 01-21-2002).]
 

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Yeah Justin - clue us in a bit more if you could please.

Is it a backfire through the exhaust or carb?

Does it run if you keep your foot on the gas?

If it does run, does it sound like it is missing on a few cylinder?

Did you pull any of the plugs to check and see if they were fouled?

How long has it been since you have started it?

Have you or anyone else messed with any of the settings whether it be timing or carb?

If you are sure it is timing and not fouled out, have an extra set of hands turn the distributor a little bit while you are trying to start it. Clockwise is retard, counter clockwise is advance. If this helps any then you can go from there and set the timing with your light.

I will assume that your timing light is inductive pickup - Put it on the #1 plug wire (drivers side, front of the car) and hook up the other clips to the battery. When the engine is running point it at your balancer and timing tab, there should be a line on the balancer and it should line up with the marks on the tab - I believe the old stock ones look like sharks teeth - If I'm not mistaken each tooth counts for 2 degrees advance (maybe 4) get it set around 10 (with vacuum advance line from distributor disconnected and plugged)

IM me if you need more help

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Adam Layman
1971 Chevelle Malibu

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, one day it just started backfiring. I had driven it the day before with no problems. I checked and double checked all the wires. The distributer has not moved, and it only seems to backfire once it warms up and out of the right pipe.

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Justin Kramer
[email protected]
1968 Chevelle 300 Deluxe Sport Coupe 350ci
1978 Malibu Classic 305ci
Everyone wants their car to look stock and haul ass, my car looks ass; hauls stock.
 

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OK, so it started out of the blue. Running fine one day, bad the next. Thats good. You now know its is not wires crossed or timing off. I would also not suspect the carb at this point. I would suspect the secondary in you ignition. Next questions: How is the weather there? Has your car been exposed to any wet conditions slush, rain, mud puddels? What I am getting at is wondering if your wires or distributor cap has gotten wet. Also could you have gotten any bad gas? Also how is your all around power?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, i know it had bad gas a while ago, both my malibu and chevelle got it from Sunocco. I just filled it up again with Mobil 89 octane, it backfired like a machine gun all the way there. I let it idle a bit at the station, then took it out and romped on it. Big difference! No more backfiring, and the car had more power then its ever had. First time its ever peeled out. So, were the plugs fouled or what?

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Justin Kramer
[email protected]
1968 Chevelle 300 Deluxe Sport Coupe 350ci
1978 Malibu Classic 305ci
Everyone wants their car to look stock and haul ass, my car looks ass; hauls stock.
 

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Justin, It sounds like you have solved your own problem. Water in the gas or bad gas will not hurt anything or foul your plugs. Try adding some heat to your tank to help dispensate the bad fuel problem. Try to run your tank down before refilling it, to get rid of as much of the bad gas as possible. Understand that the water (usually the cause of bad gas) will lay in the bottom of your tank and in the bottom of your carb. It may take awhile to work it out of your system. If it gets bad again, pumping or flooring your gas pedal momentarally will pull it off the floor of your carburator via the accelerator pump to get you through bad spells. Good luck
 

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Justin,

Did you get your '68 painted? How'd it turn out, and when are you going to post pics?

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David Reinecke - aka - FINE 68
1968 Chevelle 300 Sport Coupe Deluxe
www.geocities.com/jdreinecke
 

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