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what is the easiest way to find top dead center?I am replacing the intake and distributor on my car and would like to know the easiest way to find it.after I find it will the distributor go ahead and line up with the oil pump key?
 

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Ok, to find #1 TDC on compression stroke, disconnect coil wire or power wire to the distributor wire. Since your's is out, you're in good shape. Remove the number 1 spark plug. Place thumb over spark plug hole. Have a friend/relative SLOWLY BUMP the engine untill you feel the air push your thumb off the hole. You are now on the compression stroke. Now look at your balancer and line up the mark (which should be close) with where it should be for your base timing (usually at the 8 degree mark or so). This shouldn't take much movement of the crank to get it there.

Now as for your distributor, you'll just have to play with it untill you get it to drop in. Once you do, line up the rotor with the closest spark plug terminal. This is where you will start you number one plug wire at. Run the firing order from there. 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Start it up and set your timing.
 

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what he said up der ^^^^^^^^^^ .... i typed the same response so instead of having two of the same i deleted mine
 

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valve cover

I like to pull the drivers side valve cover off so you can watch the valves for #1 cylinder. When you see the intake open then shut , #1 is coming up on compression. You can then bump the motor until you see the timing mark on the harmonic balancer coming close to the timing tab. Then i'd use a breaker bar or rachet to turn the motor to where ever you want to ball park your timing just to get it to start ( lets say 10 degrees just for conversation ). So now roll the motor over until the timing mark on the harmonic balancer aligns with the 10 degree mark on your timing tab. This should be close enough to get it to start so then you can narrow it down with a timing light later. ( reinstall valve cover )

When you install your distributor back in , it will turn clockwise and then seat down on the intake when the oil pump drive slot is aligned. If you didn't disturb the spark plug wires on the distributor cap , notice where #1 spark plug wire is positioned.

( Next time you do this , if you bring the engine to #1 firing position before you take anything apart , then remove the distributor cap , and using a marker , mark where the rotor button is pointing to on the outside body of the distributor. This saves some time and agrivation when your going back together. When you reinstall the distributor , put the mark you made back in line with the rotor button and you should be close to having the engine back in time. )

Try dropping the distributor in ( with a gasket ) , with the rotor button pointing about a 1/4 turn counter-clockwise from where you think it should line up to where #1 spark plug wire will be located when the distributor cap is on or where you want #1 located. ( you might have to wiggle it some to go through some areas on its way down ) Seems to me it works nice when #1 is about at the 7 o'clock position on the cap. Did the distributor go all the way down and seat on the intake manifold ?? ( it shouldn't be able to be wiggled very little if its seated ) If it didn't , remove the distributor and using a long straight blade screw driver , ( 18 inches ) put the screw driver into the hole for the distributor and find the oil pump drive shaft groove very carefully , its a stright groove and rotate it ( it has light resistance to motion ) a small amount then try and reinstall the distributor again. You might have to do this a couple times until it aligns enough with the distributor to fall in place. If you don't think the distributor is all the down and seated , then it prolly isn't. If your not sure , find a friend that can help you here because this has to be right. The area on the distributor where the gasket seats on must be flush against the area on the intake manifold where the clamp for the distributor is bolted onto. ( the area beside the single 3/8's threaded hole )

Once your very sure the distributor is seated , you can install the clamp for the distributor with it just snug so you can do the final adjust on your timing with a timing light then tighten the clamp to recommended torque.

Place the distributor cap on the distributor and notice where #1 wire is located or where you want #1 wire to be positioned. Remove the cap and notice where the rotor button is pointing. Turn the body of the distributor where when you remove the cap , it appears that the rotor button is pointing to where #1 wire is located or where it will be located. This should be close enough for the engine to start. I'd get a timing light ready and hooked up so you can see where #1 is firing even when your first trying to get it to start so you can make adjustments accurately if it doesn't start initially.

As was noted before , then install the plug wires and the distributor should be ready.
 

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WOW you guys sure take a easy thing and make it complecated! :turn:

Buy a TDC tool ($6.99) that threads into the #1 spark plug hole. Turn motor over by hand slowly until it bumps up against the tool. DONE.

If you haven't already removed the distributor and intake, then you can do an alternative approach: mark where the rotor points to before you remove the dizzy (firewall or other permanent location), and mark where the rotor points to after you remove the dizzy (on the dizzy housing). When re-installing the distributor, simply line up the rotor to the mark on the dizzy housing and drop it into place. The rotor should have moved to the first mark you made on your firewall. Done.
 

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what is the easiest way to find top dead center?I am replacing the intake and distributor on my car and would like to know the easiest way to find it.after I find it will the distributor go ahead and line up with the oil pump key?
OR you can go to the top of this section (drivetrain and performance) and search the best of drivetrain and performance for the distributor install thread....good info there!:yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm having more problems now.it leaks a 8" by 8" puddle of oil after sitting for only a min or two.it is smoking on the drivers side where the manifold meets the exhaust.it backfires horribly.there is also a ticking noise coming from the engine and it appears to be in the bottom end.what could be wrong.the engine only has 46000 miles but,it did sit up for 5yrs.the gas is clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't have one with me.you think it could be vacum related?I have all the vacum hoses hooked up in the right places.what do you think?
 

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Buy a TDC tool ($6.99) that threads into the #1 spark plug hole. Turn motor over by hand slowly until it bumps up against the tool. DONE.
I pull the valve cover because it's much easier than turning over a high compression engine by hand. I can pull the valve cover off my car in less than a minute. Turning the engine by hand with the plugs in is a huge pain on my car.
I pull the cover, use the starter button under the hood bump the engine over watching the valves stopping at about 10 degrees BTDC and drop in the dist with rotor pointing at #1 plug wire. Normally you have to bump it over a turn or so to get the oil pump drive to line up.
 

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I'm having more problems now.it leaks a 8" by 8" puddle of oil after sitting for only a min or two.it is smoking on the drivers side where the manifold meets the exhaust.it backfires horribly.there is also a ticking noise coming from the engine and it appears to be in the bottom end.what could be wrong.the engine only has 46000 miles but,it did sit up for 5yrs.the gas is clean.

My reason for the use of a vacuum gauge is to find out if you have an internal engine problem. You said the engine leaks oil, backfires and has a ticking noise.
 

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I'm having more problems now.it leaks a 8" by 8" puddle of oil after sitting for only a min or two.it is smoking on the drivers side where the manifold meets the exhaust.it backfires horribly.there is also a ticking noise coming from the engine and it appears to be in the bottom end.what could be wrong.the engine only has 46000 miles but,it did sit up for 5yrs.the gas is clean.
did you install your new parts already the oil leak may be coming from the end seals hope you didnt use the cork type that come with the intake gasket kit ( if your running an aluminum intake its better to use just a 3/8s bead of rtv ) the smoking on the manifold my be from dropping oil or grease from your hand if you put it there also may be a leak , check timing on the backfire issue might be a carb adjustment as well, the ticking noise may be a stuck lifter ( or bad one ) whats your oil pressure gauge say if you have oil pressure than tha might be ok should have primed the oil pump and turned motor over by hand using a breaker bar and changed the oil too like you said it sat for five years
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I will get on that tomorrow.I have a mild 350 on the stand, should I put that in?
 
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