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64 1/2 D Code Coupe,
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Discussion Starter #1
I can't see my timing marks with the timing light. The engine runs fine, but the idle is a bit high. I have 20" of vacuum at idle. If I retard the timing, moving the vacuum advance toward the passenger side of the car, the car will run rough and stall. I do not had a stock cam but it is not radical see the specs below. It's a Crane energizer and the timing set I replaced I set the marks at TDC, not an alternative advance of retard setting. Could the harmonic balancer have slipped over the years? I'm assuming it's an original HB based on the Ford part number being either C4OE or C3OE, I don't remember. I do have a new HB I bought that I could replace it with. Now it's been awhile. Can I remove the HB without removing the radiator? I do have a fan shroud and a thermal clutch fan.

I would appreciate any insight.


Cam Style: Hydraulic flat tappet
Basic Operating RPM Range: 1,200-4,200
Intake Duration at 050 inch Lift: 204 Exhaust Duration at 050 inch Lift: 204
Duration at 050 inch Lift: 204 int./204 exh.
Advertised Intake Duration: 260
Advertised Exhaust Duration: 260
Advertised Duration: 260 int./260 exh.
Intake Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.456 in.
Exhaust Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.456 in . Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.456 int./0.456 exh. Lobe Separation (degrees): 110
 

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1967 Mustang Convertible
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863 Posts
Its possible it has slipped. Moving the vacuum canister towards the passenger side advances the timing (turning distributor clockwise), assuming that your vacuum canister is pointing to the front of the car. Best thing to do is find TDC with a piston stop and then marking your balancer with something. You can remove the balancer by just removing fan and fan shroud, but very limited room. I used an impact to remove the nut and it barely fit with the radiator in the way but it can be done.
 

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64 1/2 D Code Coupe,
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Discussion Starter #3
Its possible it has slipped. Moving the vacuum canister towards the passenger side advances the timing (turning distributor clockwise), assuming that your vacuum canister is pointing to the front of the car. Best thing to do is find TDC with a piston stop and then marking your balancer with something. You can remove the balancer by just removing fan and fan shroud, but very limited room. I used an impact to remove the nut and it barely fit with the radiator in the way but it can be done.
Thanks, I saw a show where a guy used a drinking straw to find TDC. He turned the engine until the straw stopped rising and when it began to go back in he stopped. I think I'll do that tomorrow. At least I'll know. But if the timing marks line up on the HB with the pointer on the timing cover, I'm running about 40 degrees BTDC. I can see the edge of the slot for TDC on the HB at about 5 o'clock when motor is idling. Maybe my timing light is fried. I have the degrees set to zero on the light.

I've used a deep well socked and a breaker bar and taping the solenoid to brake the crank bold loose. I just have to remember which side to wedge the breaker bar since the engine rotates counter clockwise.
 

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1967 Mustang Convertible
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Straw method I think is so inaccurate, I would at least try to make Kelly's homemade piston stop which will be more accurate:


At least what I would do.
 

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Straw method I think is so inaccurate, I would at least try to make Kelly's homemade piston stop which will be more accurate:


At least what I would do.
^ ^ ^ This. The piston is at its fastest speed at mid-stroke and decelerates significantly toward TDC and BDC, meaning that the amount of piston movement, up and down, is not constant over the rotation of the crankshaft. The amount of rotation, in crankshaft degrees, for the piston to only move a fraction of an inch at TDC could be 10+ and not be noticeable using a straw or other device.
 

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64 1/2 D Code Coupe,
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Discussion Starter #6
I put together a piston stop, the "Kelly" way. Sure enough the timing ring on my HB had slipped to where the TDC mark on the ring is at about 5:30 when the piston is at TDC. I happened to have a couple of HBs one being a Ford C3OE and the other aftermarket I got from somewhere on sale a few years back. I compared the C3OE HB with the aftermarket and the timing marks on the rings match up but I think I will use the aftermarket and get my original rebuilt. Any suggestions where I can get this done?

At least until
i remove the HB I can validate the timing.
 

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1967 Mustang Convertible
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How did you find/mark TDC? You should take the #1 spark plug out, put your finger over hole, bump your engine until you feel the air push your finger out (compression stroke), then insert the piston stop, rotate the engine by the HB bolt slowly until it hits the piston, mark the HB where your pointer is at, then rotate counter clockwise until it hits the Piston stop again and mark HB with your pointer is at. TDC will be right in the middle of your 2 marks.
 

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64 1/2 D Code Coupe,
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Discussion Starter #8
How did you find/mark TDC? You should take the #1 spark plug out, put your finger over hole, bump your engine until you feel the air push your finger out (compression stroke), then insert the piston stop, rotate the engine by the HB bolt slowly until it hits the piston, mark the HB where your pointer is at, then rotate counter clockwise until it hits the Piston stop again and mark HB with your pointer is at. TDC will be right in the middle of your 2 marks.
That's exactly I did it and to verify. I also popped the distro cap off to see that it was pointing to the #1 position. I saw the TDC mark rotate past the pointer as I was ratcheting the HB clockwise until it hit the piston stop. The TDC mark on the HB ring was at about 530. So I figure the ring slipped. It the original ring to the engine I'm sure and the rubber damper does look a bit deteriorated. I replaced the plug and fired up the car, and aimed the timing light and the two marks I painted on the HB were in close vicinity of the pointer on the timing cover.
 
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