Vortec timing?

Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 19th 2009, 4:17pm

I turned my crankshaft until the mark on my harmonic balancer was lined up to the timing tab (TDC compression stroke )
Then i installed my distributor with my rotor pointing to number 1 and now it acts like it dont want to turn over very good and it would'nt start , after trying a couple of times i measured my battery voltage (it was 12.25 volts) i charged my battery all the way up but it still starts hard , it ended up starting but sounded like it was struggling and after it starts it dont run very good .
i know i have to adjust the cam retard but i need to get my distributor in the correct position first
I took pictures of how i have my distributor in after lining up my harmonic balancer to the timing tab!
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Last edited by webcat on November 19th 2009, 6:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby astro355 » November 19th 2009, 6:03pm

If its struggling to run, odds are that the timing isn't right yet. Only thing I can suggest without being there is to reset TDC on cylinder one. How are you verifying TDC on cylinder one?
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 19th 2009, 6:46pm

Ok , i did some googling and found out where i'm supposed to point my rotor , there's a little V on the outside of the distributor (picture below) with a number 8 on it , your supposed to point the rotor to that if its a V8 engine , If its a v6 you point the rotor to a different little V that has a 6 on it .
its the same thing as pointing the rotor to the number one spark plug and thats how i initially had it and it started fine but ran kinda bad so i figured i probally had my timing a little off as i've never done a Vortec before!
Then i took the dizzy out and turned it a little bit and put it back in and thats when it started struggling . I put it back to where it starts good but runs crappy
:banghead:
Nows the question is why dont it have much power (run a little crappy ) ? Cam retard?
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 19th 2009, 6:53pm

astro355 wrote:If its struggling to run, odds are that the timing isn't right yet. Only thing I can suggest without being there is to reset TDC on cylinder one. How are you verifying TDC on cylinder one?

I lined up my harmonic balancer to the timing cover tab and then took my distributor cap off to see if it was pointing at the number one spark plug.
I figured i had found my TDC since it started and ran , it just struggled and then ran a little ruff!
When i've had my distributor out in the past and then the engine has been rotated and i need to find TDC i watch the valves above #1 piston open and close !
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby $uperJoe » November 19th 2009, 9:01pm

how many times have you started it and let it run. and for how long. mine does the same thing. the more times i started it and let it get going a few seconds the better it starts. even with no maf, ats, and none of the 4 o2s it still goes ok. rough but ok.
Don't explain it poorly 5 times. Take the 15 seconds to go out and take a picture of it!!
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby astro355 » November 19th 2009, 9:13pm

Have you rotated the distributor while the engine is running? Having a tach would really help with that.

I was wondering if you had pulled out the #1 plug and verified the TDC position.
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby $uperJoe » November 19th 2009, 9:29pm

astro355 wrote:Have you rotated the distributor while the engine is running? Having a tach would really help with that.

I was wondering if you had pulled out the #1 plug and verified the TDC position.

always a good idea to check that its not 180 out. on this motor though, i thought it not even try to run with since it has the crank position sensor and cam posion sensor
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby astro355 » November 20th 2009, 12:34am

$uperJoe wrote:
astro355 wrote:Have you rotated the distributor while the engine is running? Having a tach would really help with that.

I was wondering if you had pulled out the #1 plug and verified the TDC position.

always a good idea to check that its not 180 out. on this motor though, i thought it not even try to run with since it has the crank position sensor and cam posion sensor


If it was 180 off, it would not run rough. It would spit and moan. I just remember that webcat has a hold-down on his engine that allows the distributor to freely rotate.
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 20th 2009, 1:50am

$uperJoe wrote:how many times have you started it and let it run. and for how long. mine does the same thing. the more times i started it and let it get going a few seconds the better it starts. even with no maf, ats, and none of the 4 o2s it still goes ok. rough but ok.

2 times and then when it wont start i figure there's something aint right.
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 20th 2009, 2:06am

astro355 wrote:Have you rotated the distributor while the engine is running? Having a tach would really help with that.

Yes , when i initially put it together i fired it up and it started but run really rough so i turned it counter clockwise and it smoothed out , at that point i thought i had it pretty close and then figured it was just my cam retard was probally off , i dont have a scan tool so i did some googling and it seems that if your cam retard is'nt right it will produce crossfireing that you can see at night in the dark , so i went outside when it was dark and started the van and then let my eyes adjust and on the back of my coil you could see it sparking , i kept reving the engine and turning the distributor counterclockwise until the sparking went away and it did go away , at that point it sounded pretty healthy when reving it and driving but when i give it alot of throttle it should have more power
astro355 wrote:
I was wondering if you had pulled out the #1 plug and verified the TDC position.

I lined up my harmonic balancer to the timing cover tab and then took my distributor cap off to see if it was pointing at the number one spark plug. At that point i knew my piston was at the top but i was'nt sure if it was at the top of the intake or power stroke , i went ahead and took a chance and started it and when it started I figured i had found my TDC on the power stroke since it started and ran .
I'm i wrong to think that it would'nt of started and run if my TDC was on the intake stroke instead of the power stroke?
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 20th 2009, 2:32am

astro355 wrote:If its struggling to run, odds are that the timing isn't right yet. Only thing I can suggest without being there is to reset TDC on cylinder one.

Ok , i've got it where it starts and runs but runs a little rough , sometimes a slight stumble.
I drove it to the store , it really aint too bad but it definetly is'nt perfect.
I wish i had a scantool!
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby astro355 » November 20th 2009, 6:35am

Webcat, I wasn't talking about being off by 180*. You can be off by a couple degrees and it will run. I'm paranoid about such things and the only real way to verify TDC is removing the #1 spark plug, in my paranoid head.
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 20th 2009, 8:19am

astro355 wrote:Webcat, I wasn't talking about being off by 180*. You can be off by a couple degrees and it will run. I'm paranoid about such things and the only real way to verify TDC is removing the #1 spark plug, in my paranoid head.

I dont think your being paranoid , your just covering the bases , you would'nt build a house without building a strong foundation first !
Well for some reason i was thinking as long as my rotor was pointing to # 1 sparkplug and the harmonic balancer was lined up to the timing cover tab that i acheived TDC , i was wrong , i must have gotten lucky every time i set my timing :rofl:
So i wander what would happen if you tried to start the vehicle when it was at TDC of the intake stroke ?
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 20th 2009, 9:04am

I was just thinking that my TDC should be correct because all i did was remove the distributor and then when i put it back in i put it back into the same position , well very close to the same position , i never cranked or turn the engine after i had the distributor out , i was relying on my OBD II scantool to set the cam retard after i lined up my marks but i relized too late that just because i have a OBD II scantool (elm 327) does'nt mean it had a cam retard reading and even if it did it decided to quit working .
:banghead:
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby swharris » November 20th 2009, 5:32pm

Is this a post '95 (vortec)? If so, I don't think you can adjust timing by "spinning" the dist.

Once you put the motor @ TDC#1, pull the dist. At the bottom of the shaft there will be a white line painted on the shaft. Down at the bottom just above the gear you'll see a dimple. You MUST line up the dimple with the line. Hold the dist. rotor and body as a unit when you slide the shaft down the hole(get your mind out of the gutter ;-)). You'll have to rotate the unit clockwise a bit to get it to sit down correctly. The rotor should be pointing just prior to the #1 post(inside the cap)

Just a note. The posts on the inside of the cap DO NOT correlate with where the wires plug in! That totally F'd me up. I kept thinking that the rotor was pointing at the correct spot(where the #1 wire attached), but it was not. The way they make the cap the wires cross the cap opposite the wire connection. Maybe you noticed that...I did not and it screwed me up for quite some time.
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 21st 2009, 6:06am

swharris wrote:Is this a post '95 (vortec)? If so, I don't think you can adjust timing by "spinning" the dist.



Its 1996 vortec , i cant adjust the timing by turning the distributor only the cam retard
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Re: Vortec timing?

Postby webcat [OP] » November 30th 2009, 11:01pm

swharris wrote: Once you put the motor @ TDC#1, pull the dist. At the bottom of the shaft there will be a white line painted on the shaft. Down at the bottom just above the gear you'll see a dimple. You MUST line up the dimple with the line. Hold the dist. rotor and body as a unit when you slide the shaft down the hole(get your mind out of the gutter ). You'll have to rotate the unit clockwise a bit to get it to sit down correctly. The rotor should be pointing just prior to the #1 post(inside the cap)


If you look at the picture below do i point the rotor to A or B?
I lined up the white line thats painted on the shaft with the dimple thats down at the bottom just above the gear , I then held the distributor body and rotor as a unit and slid the shaft down the hole , the distributor is in all the way and sits down correctly.
Only problem is my rotor points about a inch prior to #1 post(inside the cap)
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