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Help: setting timing

Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Ok, I'm confused. Haven't used a timing light or set timing since I sold my 85 Dodge 13 years ago, and the procedure seems more complex on the Vette.

1. The VECI sticker says to disconnect the ESC wire, which it claims is a tan-with-black-stripes wire and NOT to disconnect the 4-wire connector at the distributor. My Haynes says to look for the wire near the brake booster and disconnect it there. I cannot find a tan-with-black wire, just a tan one that comes out of the distributor at a port marked "TACH" and disappears between the block and the firewall. This is a single wire going to the distributor; is this what I disconnect? Nothing vaguely likely-looking near the brake booster. Service manual doesn't seem to be any help. I disconnect this and the tach doesn't work... makes sense given the label.

2. Found the timing guide, with small teeth and one large tooth, and a hole by the large tooth. Could NOT for the life of me find the timing line on the pulley or nearby, but there WAS a series of holes in the (technical term) flywheel-looking thingy that the crank pulley attaches to. When I flash a timing gun down there, the holes are 'sitting' at the bottom of the timing scale. Is the hole a replacement for the normal mark, and my engine is woefully out of time? Or is the mark just obscured by dirt/rust/age? Are the holes supposed to line up?

Thanks in 'advance'...

[RICHR]
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
rrubel said:
Ok, I'm confused.
:L I wouldn't feel bad about that. We all get confused at one point or another with these vehicles. ;)
The VECI sticker says to disconnect the ESC wire, which it claims is a tan-with-black-stripes wire and NOT to disconnect the 4-wire connector at the distributor. My Haynes says to look for the wire near the brake booster and disconnect it there. I cannot find a tan-with-black wire, just a tan one that comes out of the distributor at a port marked "TACH" and disappears between the block and the firewall. This is a single wire going to the distributor; is this what I disconnect?
Yes.
...the (technical term) flywheel-looking thingy that the crank pulley attaches to.
It's called a vibration (or torsion) damper, what we used to mistakenly refer to as the "harmonic balancer". ;) I haven't timed a car myself in quite a while and never timed my L98 personally, so I can't help you with that part of your question. Someone will come along though Rich. Hang in there.

_ken :w
 
F

Fastvette86

Guest
When I put my engine back together and went to set the base timing, finding that connector took me awhile. But I did find it between the brake booster and the valve cover along the fire wall. My Haynes manual has a great picture of it - wish I had a scanner.

The damper has the flat rim that's just behind the pully. Along the rim you will find a groove that runs across it fore and aft. Clean the rim really good and feel all aound it and you'll find it. I run a piece of chalk over it. The chalk will mark the rim, but not the groove, making it standout with your timing light.

Disconnect the ESC wire, loosen the distributor hold down clamp, fire her up and adjust it according to the sticker.

Last August when my son and I put his new 97 Vortec 350 together for his 70 Camero, I had to deal with the new plastic timing chain cover that only had one nub for a timing scale. Stumped me for a minute until I remembered that my timing light is a dial back type. Set the dial at 10 degrees and went to town on it. Great Father-Son project, I just got a little carried away and now he has ALOT for horsepower than me! :crazy

Good luck, let us know how you make out. :)

Dennis
 
C

c4ever

Guest
RICHR,
Make sure the cars at normal running temp. The ESC wire is to the passenger side of the brake booster. One of the only connectors with one wire at the firewall. It may be hard to see the timing marks. On both my vettes the deepest valley is TDC. Each valley or peak off center is 2 degrees. As fastvette said there is a groove cut in the rim of the damper. I painted mine with White-out. If you need a scan send me an e-mail.
Good luck.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Thanks for the help, guys. I was able, using a very strong light and lots of poking and prodding, to find the ESC wire and disconnect it. And I did find the timing mark. Engine was about 4 degrees retarded (towards the passenger side) and I was able to correct that. Maybe it'll not ping so much now (or maybe it'll be worse :( ).

Anyway, a good time was had by all...
[RICHR]
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Well, I went out for a good romp last night and had only one episode of pinging (what I call style #2, which happens at a lower RPM but nowhere near as often). Looks like the timing issue was causing the majority of the pings.

Did get a SES light while stomping on it; I may have been confusing the computer because I kept flooring and letting off, flooring and letting off, then revving the *(#^(* out of the engine. Got up to triple digits racing some riced-out import that actually had some go... did win, though :) But you didn't hear that :)

Next job, wheel bearings. And the one shock I couldn't do because I stripped the mounting bolt :(

[RICHR]
 

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