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Old 04-16-2010, 10:28 AM
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rspain77ss rspain77ss is offline
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timing for distributer installation

I have a 77 351 ford w i am rebuilding and am now trying to install the distributer with an electronic conversion what do i need to do to get the timing right? i know i need to get the #1 piston at the top while the distributer arm points at #1 but how do i know when the #1 piston is at the top, and what else do i need to know/do to get the timing right?
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rspain77ss View Post
I have a 77 351 ford w i am rebuilding and am now trying to install the distributer with an electronic conversion what do i need to do to get the timing right? i know i need to get the #1 piston at the top while the distributer arm points at #1 but how do i know when the #1 piston is at the top, and what else do i need to know/do to get the timing right?
The process is the same for any distributor. Set the rotor at the #1 plug wire when the #1 cylinder is at Top Dead Center after the compression cycle, add the correct amount of advance and clamp it down.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:57 AM
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You can pull the #1 plug and put your thumb over the spark plug hole. Now rotate the motor(remove kill switch and have someone tap the ignition switch to rotate the motor, make sure you are clear of anything that turns) until you feel the pressure push on your thumb while watching the timing marks. The compression on your thumb will let you know you are on the compression stroke. From here you can follow Jim's post on setting the initial timing.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:00 PM
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rspain77ss rspain77ss is offline
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i dont have any of the ignition stuff done yet i am completely rebuilding the boat from the stringers from the up and haven't gotten that far yet. should i hook up all the ignition stuff first or just manually turn the engine?
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:04 PM
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Well to tell the truth probably the easiest way if you have the motor apart(ie valve cover off), just look at the valves and watch the intake open and then close on the #1 cylinder. Then watch your timing marks come up to TDC and follow Jim's post.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rspain77ss View Post
i dont have any of the ignition stuff done yet i am completely rebuilding the boat from the stringers from the up and haven't gotten that far yet. should i hook up all the ignition stuff first or just manually turn the engine?
I'd rig the motor and everything else, so it's ready to run. The adjustments can be made and you can test it. To get it to TDC, it's easy enough to leave the plugs out and crank it manually, using a wrench on the crank pulley- you're right there, anyway.

Before you install the valve covers, set the crank at TDC one full revolution after the intake has closed and don't move the crank until you time it or install the distributor. You can install the distributor before the valve covers or you could energize the coil, leave the plug wires off and rotate the distributor with the crank at 6BTDC- lock it down at the point where you make the timing light flash and it will be within a couple of degrees of where you need it.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:19 PM
Luv2Ski
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Manually turning the engine will work fine. If the damper is at TDC then you are either at the correct location or 180 degrees out of phase... Once you have the distributor dropped in exactly at TDC, make a guess and turn the distributor slighly so that you fire around 10 degrees BTDC. Of course, once you get it fired up adjust the timing with a timing light.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:05 PM
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rspain77ss rspain77ss is offline
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Alright thanks for the advise ill work on that this weekend. im in college and trying to work on my boat that is an hour away, cant wait for the summer so i can finally get it in the water.
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