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Help timing my truck

Discussion in 'Classic Dodge Trucks - Pre 1981' started by charm, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. charm

    charmActive Member

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    I'll grab a non-metallic feeler gauge set today and try that. I thought the coil either worked or didn't. If the car starts and idles, I assume the coil works. If it can weaken, I'm willing to replace it.
     
  2. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    Yes a coil can go bad over time.
     
  3. 65 sporty

    65 sportyWell-Known Member

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    What was wrong with your original distributor? If you think it might be ok, put it back in and see if it runs different and now can be timed.
     
  4. HALIFAXHOPS

    HALIFAXHOPSBeerening at its best!

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    Any chance the timing cover was changed?
     
  5. charm

    charmActive Member

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    Original distributor, upon inspection, is all sorts of mangled, but was probably working as well as this one.

    The timing cover may have been changed at some point, but I was able to time the engine to 6* advanced before swapping the distributor.

    While this won't solve the timing issue, probably, my next guess is clogged exhaust.

    The reluctor is now gapped correctly...no change.
     
  6. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    A vacuum test will show a clogged exhaust. Not sure if it will read high or low.
     
  7. 65 sporty

    65 sportyWell-Known Member

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    Do you have a known good distributor you can put in or does a friend have one you can try?
     
  8. charm

    charmActive Member

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    Sadly, I do not.

    The latest episode of Finnegan's Garage is on on my other monitor right now. Dodge motor, broken cam dowel pin was wreaking all sorts of issues. I'm really hoping it's not a cam timing issue (although I haven't ruled that out entirely).
     
  9. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    If crank timing and distributor timing are correct and not changing how could it be cam timing? Turn the crank backwards and check for timing chain slop. The distributor roter should move with crank rotation.
     
  10. charm

    charmActive Member

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    Good point.

    There doesn't appear to be any slop.

    Turns out my neighbor has been a mechanic for longer than my truck has existed (so a very long time). We just need to set up a time for him to take a peek. Maybe he'll have an idea? Maybe it's something totally simple that I'm overlooking?
     
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    • Rusty Junk

      Rusty JunkActive Member

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      I suspect that your damper has slipped, set the timing by ear until it runs decently, give it more advance in little increments then check the timing. It will be off.
      You need to find true top dead center in hole #1 and compare it with the mark's on the damper. There not expensive and easy to replace.
       
    • Rusty Junk

      Rusty JunkActive Member

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      The other possible reason is that the timing chain has slipped.
       
    • 7mopar

      7moparWell-Known Member

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      Some one better read the thread before posting instead of just the title. Other wise welcome aboard.
       
    • Earlymopar

      EarlymoparMember

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      I've read that this old points related method doesn't work on an electronic distributor. Anyone here tried this?

      - EM

      "Connect a test light to the distributor side of the coil with the ignition switch on. Turn the distributor against normal rotation past number 1 and then turn it with it till the light flashes. Then turn the distributor back to just before to light flashes. It should be real close to where the timing mark will be with it running."
       
    • Scoots

      ScootsActive Member

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      "Original distributor, upon inspection, is all sorts of mangled" What was the actual damage?
       
    • MILO

      MILOMember

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      Unhook your vacuum line from the distributor and plug the rubber line Then start and check the timming
       
    • 7mopar

      7moparWell-Known Member

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      Use it all the time. Especially on new builds and when the small block distributor has been pulled. If you have a spark plug inline tester. Spark to the plug can be checked at the same time.
       
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      • charm

        charmActive Member

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        Did that weeks ago.
         
      • Earlymopar

        EarlymoparMember

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        Please clarify your test light and the connections you're using. I'm using a single lead test light with a probe tip on the light. If I turn on the key, place the probe tip on the coil negative post and connect the lead to ground I get a "light always-on" condition no matter where I turn the distributor.
         
      • charm

        charmActive Member

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        I don't know what brand it is. It's a pretty basic, non-adjustable timing light with the pick on the number 1 plug as close to the plug as I can get without having it melt to the exhaust manifold. Also, it's powered by the car's battery.
         
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