Trying to read timing on balancer! Help?

Discussion in '1994 - 1995 Specific Tech' started by 1994StangGT, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Ive got a '94 5.0... 2 days ago, I have a friend that knows his Mustangs show me how to time it to 14* BTDC at idle, so I now know how to read the balancer hashes with the light.

    On my drive home, it ran great until I noticed the same "crackling" noise, (accompanied with slight hesitation, and gray **NOT blue** smoke exiting tailpipes) from under the hood again at WOT & at higher RPMs (3000+). I thought it could be spark knock, so last night I went and bought/installed new plugs & wires - which seemed to work, though I only test-driving it to the carwash & back (50 minute round-trip), until today (warmer/more humid), when it started acting up again after driving it for a couple hours.

    I thought I'd retard back to 12* BTDC tonight to see how that affected what I THINK is detonation. So I got out the light, put the front tires on ramps, and started the process.

    Here is my issue - when I aimed the light at the balancer (yes, with the spout unplugged), my timing was at... I don't even know! But this attached illustration shows how the pointer & balancer hashes were oriented in relation to each other, while holding my distributor as FAR CLOCKWISE as my wires would allow - the pointer is about 2 full inches LEFT of "ATDC 10"! :jaw:

    How could this have happened? I KNOW I was at 14* BTDC before I very tightly cranked the distributor bolt down while by buddy held it in place. I know it... but what should I do now?

    It almost seems like I'm 1 tooth off now, because I'm not even IN the hash spectrum... but am I really? Because I remember physically SEEING those hashes once it was set at 14* BTDC, and because it would start up and run fine until I'd punch it... man, I am very confused right now... I don't know whether I should pull the distributor out and re-set it one tooth over or what!?


    Attached Files:

  2. Your harmonic balancer may have slipped, they have a tendency to do that. Check the back of the balancer and see if the rubber shims have worked their way out.
  3. aha
    i have this EXACT same friggin issue

    i thought i was nuts, i replaced my pip and I KNOW i have the dist EXACTLY where it was and HIGHLY doubt the previous owner ever removed the dist.

    My timing marks are even SLIPPED as diagramed above, i truly thought i was nuts and had the light on the wrong cyl or had reassembled the dist incorrectly.
  4. question, if the balancer had slipped, wouldnt there also be a shaking now under all some rpms ?
    i dont know
  5. Let me know if you wanted a very slightly used Pioneer Balancer. Still got this damn thing.

  6. in all likelyhood, yes.
  7. Agreed, it sounds like the balancer has slipped. Tho I wanted to state that with our cars it is not possible to be "one tooth off". We rotate the distributor to set the timing, it does not matter what "tooth" you're on as long as you can rotate the distributor enough to get the timing you want. If you don't have enough slack in the ignition wires, you can shift over a couple of teeth to get within range.

    Now, you can get 180* off, where the timing looks right but the car barely runs. Remember, the crank turns twice for each rotation of the camshaft (and thus the distributor). Also, 1994StangGT, did you pull the SPOUT when you set and checked the timing? I know someone showed you how to check your timing, but it's an easy thing to miss. It's the gray plug next to the air filter.