Electrical Checking Timing Want To Think It Through First

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by 7991LXnSHO, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Something isn't right... Pulling the heads and a degree wheel may be the only way to get it back where its supposed to be.

    I'm now questioning whether your cam is running advanced or retarded? Or there is a issue with your timing chain? Maybe start by pulling the timing cover instead of the heads. Check your timing setup.

    Stock cam, dowel pin at 6 o'clock, #1cylinder TDC. Stock crankshaft, keyway at 12 o'clock, #1 cylinder TDC.
  2. So why are we wondering about the timing chain and the cam adv./retard setting? Should not the cam timing be independent of how I put in the distributor and adjust the distributor's timing? After all, the Dist. is put in after the rest and timed only in respect to the harmonic balancer's mark, not the cam and chain dots, unless it is 180 deg out of phase. Please explain. I was concerned about a bent crank nose.
  3. Well, the original question was about your balancer slipping. Then you said it still doesn't line up and you can't find TDC or aren't sure where it is, correct?

    So if were now on to the distributor I apologize. I must have missed some information.
  4. I am missing something for sure, too. This is supposed to be simple. I am a certified counterman and am stumped. If it could be the dist. or cam timing making my timing that far off of where it should be showing up with the timing light, I do need to know how!

    DOH! How about I try another timing light too?
  5. Bump
    I still need help and explanation of what the distributor could do with throwing off where TDC is on the indicator pointer. Or what cam timing has to do with it either. THANKS!
  6. Here's some help in finding TDC if you have doubts about the timing pointer or harmonic balancer...

    TDC location process courtesy of Michael Yount
    If you're trying to find ACTUAL tdc for cam installation/degreeing, follow the steps below:

    Positive stop – obtain an old spark plug for the Ford engine – most of us have at least one laying around. Put it in your vice, and with a tool of destruction you deem appropriate – cut off the ground tip and bust up the ceramic around the center electrode. Keep pounding to get the ceramic and center electrode removed so you’ve got a good ¾” or so of hollow space inside what used to be the ‘business’ end of the spark plug. If you happen to break the ceramic on the other end of the spark plug, don’t worry about it. Once you’ve got a nice hollow space in the tip of the plug, take a 5/16” tap, and cut threads inside that end of the plug. I found that diameter to go right in without any drilling required. Once you’ve cut threads, screw in a 5/16" bolt about 1.5” to 2” long. Then take your hack saw and cut the head off the bolt. Wouldn’t hurt to take your file/grinder and dress up the freshly cut surface so no sharp edges or shrapnel enter the combustion chamber. Also clean up the threads on the plug so that it easily screws into and out of the plug hole.

    Determining TDC – remove the passenger side valve cover. Rotate the engine (socket on crank bolt) until the #1 piston is down the cylinder on the intake stroke. Unscrew the spark plug in that cylinder, and replace it with the positive stop you just made. Only screw the positive stop in hand tight. Install your cam degree wheel and pointer (no easy task in some cases as harmonic balancer and other accessories will have to be removed). You may want to remove all spark plugs at this point because it will make it easier to smoothly turn the engine over in small increments. GENTLY rotate the engine clockwise until the piston comes to rest against the stop. Note the degree wheel reading. GENTLY rotate the engine in the opposite direction until the piston comes to rest against the stop. Note the degree wheel reading. TDC is exactly half way between these readings. Calculate where that position is on the degree wheel, remove the piston stop from the cylinder, and rotate the engine to TDC as you calculated it.
  7. Thanks again jrichker. The process sounds amazingly like what I was planning on before someone posted to use a dowel to not scratch something. I have a way to turn the end smooth. The spark plug body will be shorter than the air chuck I was going to use. That will help. I WILL post how it goes.
  8. TDC is 32 deg off. I have no idea how but it checks out. No wonder it runs better set in that neighborhood.
    If you want the center out of a spark plug, it goes easier if you grind off the crimp rolled eddge rght above the flat sides. That is what keeps the ceramic in. Also, it takes a surprisingly long bolt. After I get some smog stuff back on I should be back in working order, just in time for snow.