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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I was gonna check my initial timing since breaking in the engine. Started up on first hit on break in, The distributor is set where it runs its best by ear. I took the timing light to it and it was about 2" off the mark. I moved the dizzy and it don't get any closer . What gives? Is my dizzy one tooth off? I did install a new oem style damper from butler. Tried putting the timing light plug wire on the #2 and #8 wire just to see if it gets any closer to the mark, but it did not
 

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Very confusing to read... please restate your exact problem and members can be of better help
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very confusing to read... please restate your exact problem and members can be of better help
After rebuilding the engine and attempting to set the timing with the vacuum hose removed and plugged. My damper mark is about 2" from TDC. Does not get closer but seems to idle decent. I installed a new balancer from butler during the rebuild.
 

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With any aftermarket balancer you should verify TDC and make sure the pointer and balancer match up. Put cylinder #1 at TDC. If the tdc mark on the balancer is not matching the pointer on your block then you need to get an adjustable timing pointer. Or use the factory pointer on the block side and add timing tape to your balancer. Here’s a link to some timing tape. This one has different strips for different size balancers and its only a few bucks

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/msd-8985?seid=srese1&gclid=CjwKCAjwldHsBRAoEiwAd0JybTDDe65L41QfUYkhLxg-yKezVWX-KjTENIZhwefllJ_zTqwnNyERSBoC9IUQAvD_BwE
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Both my timing chain gears were set at 12:00 position. New BP damper only goes on one way. Then set number one piston on compression stroke and TDC. then dropped the distributor facing close to the number 1 plug and started my firing order there going counter clockwise. Fired up on first hit on breakin. I removed vacuum from distributor and plugged it, Timing light wire on #1 plug. so anybody see any reason why my timing mark is so far from my marks on my timing cover?
 

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After rebuilding the engine and attempting to set the timing with the vacuum hose removed and plugged. My damper mark is about 2" from TDC. Does not get closer but seems to idle decent. I installed a new balancer from butler during the rebuild.
So your saying that the mark does NOT move when you rotate the dizzy? Could it be a timing light issue? Could you be pushing the wrong button on the light?:surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So your saying that the mark does NOT move when you rotate the dizzy? Could it be a timing light issue? Could you be pushing the wrong button on the light?:surprise:
It moves, but nowhere close. I tried two timing lights that I have and it is the same with both. I also tried connecting the timing light to the #8 and 2 wires just to see if it moved closer, but actually moved farther. I called butler and they are going to allow me to send the damper back and have it checked. Not sure what else it could be.
 

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So the light moves but no where close the the scale on the timing cover? FYI my 68 400 with a cam base timing is about 24 degrees BTDC at idle which is off the stock scale. Thant's where it runs best. So if you keep turning the dizzy it won't change at a certain point?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So the light moves but no where close the the scale on the timing cover? FYI my 68 400 with a cam base timing is about 24 degrees BTDC at idle which is off the stock scale. Thant's where it runs best. So if you keep turning the dizzy it won't change at a certain point?
It moves, but like 6 degrees maybe
 

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It moves, but like 6 degrees maybe
Don't remember, so refresh my memory. Are you using the stock 9-bolt water pump or did you convert to the later 11-bolt?

Why I ask is that if you are using the factory style 2-piece '67 balancer and went with the updated 11-bolt water pump, the timing cover scales are different and would be off - '67 balancer with '68 and up timing cover would be a mismatch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Don't remember, so refresh my memory. Are you using the stock 8-bolt water pump or did you convert to the later 11-bolt?

Why I ask is that if you are using the factory style 2-piece '67 balancer and went with the updated 11-bolt water pump, the timing cover scales are different and would be off - '67 balancer with '68 and up timing cover would be a mismatch.
It is still the stock 8 bolt.
 

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What I don't understand is why 6 degrees? You should be able to twist that distributor and make the timing mark move till the engine dies or it physically hits something.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What I don't understand is why 6 degrees? You should be able to twist that distributor and make the timing mark move till the engine dies or it physically hits something.
It will turn both ways till it dies but wont move the mark 2"
 

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To me it sounds light the timing light isn't getting the correct signal. Harmonic balancer has nothing to do with the strobe light moving, the distributor does. Unless the damper is loose or moving around? (not likely).

Where are you grounding the light?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To me it sounds light the timing light isn't getting the correct signal. Harmonic balancer has nothing to do with the strobe light moving, the distributor does. Unless the damper is loose or moving around? (not likely).

Where are you grounding the light?
At the battery.Been forever since I used a timing light. not 100% sure there good. Should they both connect to the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I will try moving the number 3 wire away from the number 1 tomorrow, see if that changes anything. Thought the new damper could be off but when I set the distributor it fired right up the first time. I think I will rent another timing light from autozone tomorrow. Got to be something simple.its not rocket science lol.
 

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The battery. You could try grounding somewhere on the block, just for laughs. Jim knows about balancers and just about EVERYTHING else. He's the Obi one Kenobi of the forum :)

You can temporarily time it by ear and advance it till the engine pings or the starter strains, then back off till they don't otherwise you'll damage the engine.
 

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Or..... you can find TDC on #1 and use timing tape on the balancer to calibrate it so you’re not timing in the dark...
 

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You should be using cylinder 1 for your timing light. If you can move the distributor until the engine dies, then your timing is in fact changing and the issue is with your visual cues. You will need to follow GTO44's link and then use an adjustable timing light.
 
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