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Still having timing problems

October 10 2017 at 3:58 PM

John  (Login johnsf)

The only way I can get my 390 running is to turn the dizzy so the timing is about 30* BTDC it will start good and at least idle and keep running with an occasional miss. This has got me baffled it has a Pertonics setup and the heads were just done and I changed coils, thought that maybe the damper was moving at least the engine should run.The spark plugs all seem to be fouled and I don't know if that's from the ignition or something else.
Any idea's?
1956 Ford F-100 460/C6
1964 Galaxie 500/390

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john tolliver
(Login jwtdvm)


October 10 2017, 4:28 PM 

Last time I had engine problems and needed high timing to keep it all going it turned out to be carb issues--got another known good carb and bingo--Of course this was after going back and finding TDC and rechecking cam timing thinking my cam must be way off---when all it took was a good carb--I would start there

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(Login Ranchopower)


October 10 2017, 5:41 PM 

if you have not recurved or at least checked the centrifical advance under the prtronix you are going to have a bad week.

so far it is not working for you.

you will need to have a timing curve that is like 15-22 degrees at idle and 28-36 all in total timing at 3000 rpm max if not

it will run like a bowl of day old corn flakes.

wonder why no one else mentioned anything yet????????

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(Login cliffrod)

What was the starting point of trouble?

October 10 2017, 6:44 PM 

Was it running fine, then didn't anymore? Has this been the new normal since you "had the heads done" and reassembled the engine, including maybe removal and reinstallation of the distributor? Or something else?

Simple fouled plugs can cause a lot of grief and make it tough to figure out the condition of the ignition system, carb/carb tuning, proper timing, etc. foul or wet the plugs bad, like when it won't start for some reason & especially when the engine won't run long enough to heat the plugs until clean- and it's bad like a valve float that will occur at an ever lower rpm if you keep flogging the engine. What happens when you Change the plugs for dry ones- new, bead lasted, propane torched, whatever.- ?? Short drives or run periods in cool weather with an FE can be a quick path to fouled plugs.

a slipped balancer has nothing to do with the actual timing or phasing of the crankshaft to camshaft. It simply has marks to help externally indicate that phasing when it is in the proper assembled position. Check your static timing, approximate it by watching the valve action and compare it to the distributor (rotor position) and balancer (timing marks). Regardless, the position of the rotor/distributor in relation to the tdc of #1 trumps the marks on the balancer. Go from there.

Maybe the carb needs work. Maybe the gas is crap. Maybe they're both fine. Same with the vacuum advance, petronix. Maybe the dist cap rotor contacts (like inside an old cap) are all corroded and only allowing a weak spark so they need to be scraped clean and shiny again so the plugs won't foul quickly from a weak spark

Adequate spark, fuel & compression in proper timing. That's all there is. There's a lot of things that might be contributing to the problem(s)- alone or together- but it's hard to know unless the whole situation is clear.

When you don't know or it isn't making sense, Turn one screw or change one part at a time. When that action makes no difference, undo that action before moving on to the next part or screw.
1967 Galaxie 500 Red original Q code 428
1967 Galaxie 500 White with Black stripes 428PI clone- car is dead & long gone, sold near Oak Ridge TN 2000, would love to find it.....
Please visit http://carolinasculpturestudio.com/ for pictures, information and video links to my work.

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(Login cool67)


October 11 2017, 7:25 AM 

If you have a Edelbrock carb this will happen if you have the dizzy vacuum is hooked up to the full vacuum port LH side and not the timed vacuum port Right side.Ask me how I know this.

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(Login TorinoBP88)

Start from square 1.

October 11 2017, 1:14 PM 

Statically time it with the #1 spark plug wire at the rotor 10 to 15* advanced BTDC.

Unplug the vacuum advance. cap all ports.

Check the float levels in the carbs. Maybe even clean the carbs out. Could be way too lean or too rich for some reason.

Make 500% sure you dont have any vacuum leaks. (too lean)

Try again.

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(Login runthatjunk)

If it works at 30 go a another 10 and see how it does

October 11 2017, 5:53 PM 

Sometimes you just gotta go with it. There's more than a few people that don't even use a timing light
65 Galaxie 390 4speed
66 Thunderbird 428

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Torbjörn Kristiansson
(Login Tobbemek)


October 12 2017, 3:14 AM 

First thing give your engine new plugs...
Timing is a coalition between crank angel and "burning" combustion speed and every type of engine has its own need period.. When one is getting way of line with timing from manufacturer settings on a fairly stock engine something is going on and as mentioned before can bee several things wires,cap rotor coil,wiring to coil ,dist, box and bad plugs. If you get a weak spark you have to start the combustion early to get engine running fairly ok.And carburater problems, vacuum leaks throwing the A/F rate out the window will need a different timing to run ok,a fat A/F ratio from carby burns slower and ofcause will foul your plugs if not emiditaly then later. Check if the spark is good from coil hold it 1/4 " from ground and have some boody cranking the engine, then you know if your ignition is ok to the Cap at least. But first thing get knew plugs in it, i could spend hours after hours with my bad english spelling telling you story's i have gone thru over the years chasing problems with several different cars boats garden machines with bad spark plugs that didn't "look to bad" and probley will "clean up ok", especially when owner-customer tells me the plugs are ok. GET KNEW PLUGS IN IT and Start from there

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