View Full Version : Timing - dizzy install

06-18-2008, 02:46 PM
Not sure if you guys remember, but I tore into the 351 on my '86 back in Feb. Well, I'm finally get her back together and have a quick question on dropping in the distributor.

So, you set crank to TDC on #1. And put the rotor on #1. I marked plug wire 1 on the distributor body before I removed it. I dropped it in, check the crank again and the rotor is about 3* off of my mark on the dizz body.

I keep hearing "i was one tooth off, so i pulled it... tried again." Couldn't I turn the distributor body (normal timing adjustment) to align the rotor to the crank? I don't understand why you would ever need to pull the dizzy and try it again.

maybe this is where timing advance (at 2500-3500 rpm) comes into play(I thought it was spring loaded, not relative to postion in the dizzy)..

What am I missing?

06-18-2008, 03:06 PM
You have it TDC, but is it on the compression stroke?

06-18-2008, 04:08 PM
yep. it pressurized with my finger in the hole :cool:

06-18-2008, 04:09 PM
sounds like you already did all this....but does this help you at all?


06-18-2008, 04:20 PM
flip, thanks for the link. good writeup. Sounds like i did most of that too. Not sure what the vac canister or reluctor is tho....

06-18-2008, 04:26 PM
ok I don't have an external vacuum canister.... no wonder i counldn't find it!

06-18-2008, 05:25 PM
"Look at the reluctor (Star wheel on your distributor shaft)" is shown in Installation Step 4. If you don't have electronic ignition, you don't have a reluctor, you have points.

You can rotate the distributor but the plug and ignition wires will limit how far you can go.

Does it run? If it backfires and you have it at TDC for cyl #1 it obviously needs to be rotated. If you're only 3 off, don't worry about it. You'll be setting the timing once it's running, anyway. Did you check out the advance weights and springs? I would replace them on an '86 model.

06-20-2008, 12:57 PM
sounds good.

JimN, I'm game to replace weights and springs. I'm heading to skidim to search it out over there. i'm assuming I would rather replace the advance mechanism than replace the distributor? doesn't sound like its too involved... We'll see after I find the replacement parts.

06-20-2008, 01:01 PM
Two clips, two srpings and two weights with a bit of cleanup after removing the plate below the points and condenser. If you want, you could replace the distributor but unless you see the timing mark wandering, the bushings should be OK. If you want, compare the price of a new one with all of the parts you'd need to replace and see if it makes sense to just get a new one.

06-20-2008, 01:09 PM
electronic ignition BTW. I think it would be this one:


son of a b****... thats high. That's what i would need, right?

06-20-2008, 01:35 PM
"son of a b****... thats high."

Yeah, but it's really good.

You should be able to buy it at almost any good auto parts store. Most have a marine catalog. Is yours a screw-down or clip-on cap? There's a difference in which ignition is used, as well as the cap and rotor.

06-20-2008, 01:40 PM
clip on. w/ brown cap.

I found the springs and weights separately, just not sure what I need...

06-20-2008, 01:42 PM
Here's another source. That price falls under BOHICA


06-20-2008, 01:51 PM

06-20-2008, 03:25 PM
Bend Over, Here It Comes Again

06-20-2008, 04:01 PM
:D lol. That's great.

06-27-2008, 06:32 PM
So, I found a set of springs. Found a good auto parts store in the process as well. i got the plate off the distributor, and mine has two different sizes springs on it. Everything else looks good.

Has the thick spring always been a problem? or is this just another way to control ignition advance? Trying to get some pic to upload, but my email isn't working. for some reason.

The pack of new springs DID have a handy dandy disclaimer: "Legal for sale or use only on race vehicles which may never be used on highways." I like.

06-27-2008, 06:36 PM
Also found this neat bit of info after searching product #:
Maximum power and acceleration.
These curve kits allow your distributor to reach full advance more quickly (between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm), delivering maximum power and engine acceleration.

06-27-2008, 06:57 PM
new springs are in. The more i look at the old ones, the more I'm convinced the big one wasn't supposed to be there... looking forward to getting this thing tuned, then opened up.:)

06-27-2008, 07:19 PM
After going thru this boat, I'm suprised it ran. or floated.

06-27-2008, 08:33 PM
That is pretty much what I would have expected you to find, Be sure the weight posts and weights are cleaned good and coated good with some WD-40 or silicone spray, a dab of grease or oil on the posts to let them work freely and for protection in the future.