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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Putting together a 350 using the Performer RPM package. I purchased much of the parts (crank, balancer, etc) from various mail order houses. How do I know if I am using the right timing tab with this balancer? I read that the balancer changed in about 69 or 70 so that it is a few (about 9?) degrees off from earlier models. The tab I have is a freebee from dad and is chrome and I suspect aftermarket. How do I ensure that my tab and balancer match?
Also, what are good initial and total timing settings for this setup? If these don't match up on my junkyard HEI, how do I adjust mechanical advance on a GM HEI. Thanks in advance. (PS - I've already done some searching and learned alot but couldn't find the answers to these questions)
 

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measure the balancer. then get a tab. tell them what size you got. 6 1/4, 7 1/4, 8,. You also need to know what years all your parts came from because some motors are internaly balanced.

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All 350 are internally balanced so that isn't a concern. Look at your damper, if the timing mark is very close (2*) to the keyway, it is an early damper and your timing tab should work. If the stock timing mark is a ways away from the keyway (11 degs), it is a later damper and a aftermarket bolt on tab will be in the wrong position. In this case you could cut a new mark on your damper with a hacksaw, however you would need to locate TDC accurately either with a dial indicator (heads off) or a piston stop and degree wheel (heads on). Alternatly, you could get an early damper. Chevy still has them. With a high performance engine I suggest using an 8 inch damper



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Pat Kelley
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are there any other ways to determine exact TDC with the heads on? I don't have a degree wheel or know how to use one, but I guess I could figure it out. Thanks BTW, when I had this engine kit balanced, they said they needed the torque plate and damper (I guess this means it is externally balanced?). Does this mean I can't use a different balancer and still have the engine balanced?
 

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I've heard of companies wanting the damper and flexplate/flywheel. I think it is just to check that thay are neutral balanced. I've never heard of an externally balanced 350. If you are stroking and using a 400 crank then yes those are external balanced.

I don't know of a way to locate TDC with the heads on without using a degree wheel. Summit has one for $25-30 or so. It's not difficult, just time consuming.

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Pat Kelley
66 El Camino, daily driver
67 El Camino, STRIP/street
Pat's Page (CR Calculator, Utilites, car specs)
 

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Someone mentioned it a bit ago but use a piston stop (old plug modified) spin the engine BY HAND, clockwise, mark it, then CCW, mark it then split the difference. Got to be TDC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Compared my old damper (which is definitely the old style) with the new and the new one looks as if the keyway and the TDC mark are a few more degrees off. So I guess I have a later damper.
Does this mean that all the cheepo timing tabs sold at the parts store are made for the early dampers? I find it odd that they don't say so on the package or in the ad. I guess I could get one of the adjustable tabs and move the zero over 8 or 9 degrees.
Thanks a lot
 
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