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Discussion Starter #1
I have a rebuilt 289 and the rebuilder said it was set on #1 TDC. The marks on the timing chain sproket and the cam were lined up when I put timing chain cover and the balancer on. The timing pointer is pointed at 10 degrees TDC. The #1 piston is at the top of the what I assume is the compression stroke. I can feel the top of the piston. I was careful not to rotate the engine.

Everything I read about adjusting valves, installing the distributor ect. says to find TDC and the timing pointer should be at 0 degrees. I adjusted my valves with the pointer at 10 degrees.

My question: Do I need to set the pointer at 0 degrees for all adjustments or am I at TDC when the pointer is at 10 degrees as the rebuilder says. I do have a mild cam and larger valves it that matters.
Any advise for a beginner is welcome.
Thanks
 

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It is highly recommended to find TDC and calibrate the pointer to the "stamped" damper markings. It would easier and more accurate not to have the heads on, but can be checked with them in place. With any adjustment whether it be adjusting valves or installing the dizzy, always set the crank to TDC. All timing settings revolve around "true" TDC.
 

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From 0 to 10 degrees is not that much as far as physical piston location. Make sure you are on TDC of the compression stroke and zero the pointer. With the timing marks lined up, that should be 0 on the pointer, not 10*
Something just does not add up though. Are you sure you have the correct timing cover/balancer combo? Ford had the small block covers with I think 3 different locations.
 

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My question: Do I need to set the pointer at 0 degrees for all adjustments or am I at TDC when the pointer is at 10 degrees as the rebuilder says.
People have been using too much shorthand with you.

10° should really be written 10°BTDC, or rather, 10° Before Top Dead Center.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
The balancer could only go on 1 way because of the (key) that is on the crank. The key, the mark on the timing sproket and the mark on the cam are lined up. I'm wondering if I bought the correct balancer?
 

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The balancer could only go on 1 way because of the (key) that is on the crank. The key, the mark on the timing sproket and the mark on the cam are lined up. I'm wondering if I bought the correct balancer?
Color me confused. Are you saying the slot for the Woodruff key and the TDC mark are in the same place? They should be offset 45°, left or right, depending on whether they are 65-69, or 70-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm pretty sure the key was lined up with the marks on the sprocket and cam. I can pull the balancer to be sure. Without rotating the crank I put the balancer on with the timing marks lined up and the balance went on at the 10 degree mark. I can also feel the piston through the plug hole. And I'm going by what the rebuilder told me, that the #1 piston is at TDC.
Wow I'm confusing myself which at this point is not hard.
 

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I'm pretty sure the key was lined up with the marks on the sprocket and cam. I can pull the balancer to be sure. Without rotating the crank I put the balancer on with the timing marks lined up and the balance went on at the 10 degree mark. I can also feel the piston through the plug hole. And I'm going by what the rebuilder told me, that the #1 piston is at TDC.
Yes, when the dots on the timing gears are lined up, the Woodruff key on the crank should be pointing straight up. At that time, the balancer is installed, and the TDC mark should be 45° left or right of that, depending on the configuration of the engine. And yes, the #1 piston is at the top of the #1 cylinder, dead centered on the crankshaft journal.
 

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Do not trust the TDC mark on the damper. You must mechanically determine the actual TDC and proceed from there. John--Las Vegas.
 

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Do not trust the TDC mark on the damper. You must mechanically determine the actual TDC and proceed from there. John--Las Vegas.
You got that right. I identified a defective NOS balancer on a Shelby last summer as the reason no one could get the timing right.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK thanks. I adjusted the valves based on the exhaust open / intake closed method with the #1 at TDC (I could feel the piston through the plug hole). The balancer was at 10 degrees. Now comes the distributor.
 
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