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Well i am at the point of going nuts, i am no technical guru and im trying to do most of this on my own, i just got my car back from getting the firewall painted and now its time for me to drop my motor in the car, but first i am trying to get it ready so i dont have to mess with it while its in the car, first im trying to adjust the valves so they are good to go, i bought a piston stop and so far the #1 cylinder is adjusted, i think, how do i go about adjusting the valves, whats the best method, second i cant seem to get the damn distributer in the motor while the #1 is at top dead center, i was told that the rotor needs to point at the number 1 cylinder while its at tdc, please can someone guide me at this, this sucks and i want to get this thing done, thanks
 

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take longer to explain than ta just tell ya where ta look... check in the drivetrain forum's "Best of Tech" and there's a sticky on valve adjustment...


best wishes :D
 

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yes use the guide in the best of tech section. You cant drop the dist in the hole because the oil pump shaft is not lined up.


Why do you need a piston stop to adjust valves???
 

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i used the piston stop to help me find top dead center, i do not have a timing pointer yet and i couldnt tell exactly where tdc was , i used a method from another person who told me how to use the piston stop to find tdc
 

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Pro-touring72 said:
yes use the guide in the best of tech section. You cant drop the dist in the hole because the oil pump shaft is not lined up.


Why do you need a piston stop to adjust valves???
Also you will need to install the distributor with the rotor pointing about 1/8 of a turn away from number one as the rotor will rotate as the gear meshes. Make sure to do this on the compression stroke with both valves closed, otherwise your ignition timing will be 180 degrees off. Jerry
 

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bigreds1963ss said:
i used the piston stop to help me find top dead center, i do not have a timing pointer yet and i couldnt tell exactly where tdc was , i used a method from another person who told me how to use the piston stop to find tdc

Ok got ya.. Autozone should have MRGasket chome pointers that cost less than your piston stop did.
 

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Here's a tip right from Crane Cams.


How To Set Valve Lash


When the engine is hot (at operating temperature), remove the valve covers and pick the cylinder you are going to adjust. When your engine is cold (after picking the cylinder you are going to adjust as described above), you will need to add .002” to your hot setting (Iron Block, Iron Heads) or subtract .006” from your hot setting (Iron Block, Aluminum Heads).. For Aluminum Block, Aluminum Heads, subtract .012” from your hot setting.



Hand turn the engine in its normal direction of rotation while watching the exhaust valve on the cylinder you’re working on. When the exhaust valve begins to open, stop and adjust that cylinder’s intake valve. (Why? Because when the exhaust is just beginning to open, the intake lifter will be on the base circle of the cam lobe.)



Place a feeler gauge set to the correct valve lash between the tip of the valve stem and the rocker arm. Adjust until you arrive at the proper setting and lock the adjuster in place.



After the intake valve has been adjusted, continue to rotate the engine, watching that same intake valve. The intake valve will go to full lift and then begin to close. When the intake is almost closed, stop and adjust the exhaust valve on that particular cylinder. Use the feeler gauge and follow the procedure described above. Both valves on this cylinder are now adjusted. Move to the next cylinder and follow the same procedures.

You don't really need a pointer to adjust the valves. But you DO need one to set the timing.
Hope this helps. Dave
 

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Climb up over the motor and look in the distributor hole with a flashlight to see which way the slot is in the oil pump rod.Turn the bottom of the distributor so that it[the slot] is facing the same way.Then you,ll get it in.
 

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bigreds1963ss said:
Well i am at the point of going nuts, i am no technical guru and im trying to do most of this on my own, i just got my car back from getting the firewall painted and now its time for me to drop my motor in the car, but first i am trying to get it ready so i dont have to mess with it while its in the car, first im trying to adjust the valves so they are good to go, i bought a piston stop and so far the #1 cylinder is adjusted, i think, how do i go about adjusting the valves, whats the best method, second i cant seem to get the damn distributer in the motor while the #1 is at top dead center, i was told that the rotor needs to point at the number 1 cylinder while its at tdc, please can someone guide me at this, this sucks and i want to get this thing done, thanks
Are you trying to install the engine with the distributor in place? You will definitely need some sort of plate or pointer for your TDC indication. To adjust the valves use the ICEO method.
 

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Ya I think I would hold off on installing the distributor on the motor until after the motor is in the car. IMO you are risking hitting the distributor off the firewall during installation of the motor if the distributor is installed already...BUT that is JMO.:)

You can do as was suggested look down the dstributor hole in the intake and with a long screwdriver move the oil pump drive shaft slightly so it will align better...OR you can set the dis in place and then turn the motor over by hand/or bump it over if the starter is working while someone puts a slight downward pressure on the distributor...when the pump drive lines up with the distrubtor it should just drop in. BTW a timing tab or something else to indicat TDC is required IMO to install the distributor.

Just some thoughts:)
 

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Yep, check the slot

chevynuts88 said:
Climb up over the motor and look in the distributor hole with a flashlight to see which way the slot is in the oil pump rod.Turn the bottom of the distributor so that it[the slot] is facing the same way.Then you,ll get it in.
I agree, this was the problem for me, be sure the slot on the bottom of the distributor is lined up with the ridge down in the hole, or else the distributor will never seat properly.
 

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Installing a distributor is real easy once you learn the secret. The oil pump drive has to engage the drive slot in the distributor. If doesn't it won't drop down.
If you have an automatic ice dispenser in your fridge you'll know the concept.
When my wife pulls out the bin to dump all the ice into a cooler (and leave me with none) she can never seem to get it back in place because the ice drive moves and doesn't engage properly into the bin screw. I show/tell her "rotate this until it lines up with that"

She still doesn't get it, so I always have to do it.
"That's why I keep you around" she says.

One more tip:
It's surprising how many novices don't get this: Every cylinder has TWO TDC's on a 4 stroke cycle. You want compression stroke TDC.
However, once you find the compression stroke install the distributor to 10-12 degrees Before TDC (still compression stroke) not TDC. It will start easier with less screwing around and less likely to be 1 tooth off.

This is especially important if you have a new cam. Every second it's cranking while twiddling the distributor hoping for it to fire is increasing the probability of a flat lobe.
Doing it yourself can be very rewarding or very frustrating. If you get pissed off then it's time to stop what you are doing and go inside.
To prevent more frustration and possible engine damage (very frustrating) you should have EVERYTHING ready and double checked before attempting firing.
  • Oil system primed and pressure verified.
  • Cooling system full and pressure checked
  • Distributor in place and plug wires routed and double checked.
  • Valves adjusted
  • Compression checked (if it's too low then check the valves again)
  • Fuel system ready and carb primed
  • Exhaust in place so you can hear noises.
  • Battery charged and alternator, fan, belts installed.
  • Timing light and fire extinguisher ready.
 

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Paul just beat me to it :D

i remember helping a friend install a cam in his F*rd 390. I had to leave before everything was done but he was unable to get the timing set...he had the distributor pointed right at #1 and couldn't figure it out, and it took me a couple minutes racking my brain and told him what he was doing wrong. The distributor is either at #1 with the piston down the hole a bit or the distributor past #1 and the piston at TDC because firing starts before the piston reaches the top.

p.s. good analogy Mike. The trick is to never reverse it...two words: dog house.
 
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