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11/23/13 8:01pm - Original Message: 'Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 831
So I mentioned rebuilding my original Delco HEI in a previous post.  That is done now and today I installed it and had planned to get it running and do a preliminary tune.  But I can't get it started.  Cranking is behaving pretty weird.  Initially it cranked three or four times (like usual) and then it when it got to where it would normally start the starter hesitated quite badly.  I thought the engine might have seized.  I took a peek and didn't see anything unusual above or below, so I cranked a little more.  Now it will crank one or two revs and then hesitate.  When it cranks it is fast so does not appear to be battery or related.  Can improper timing cause these symptoms?  I had marks for both the rotor position and dist. body when I removed the old one and I'm 99% sure I got the rotor on the same tooth and the body is very close.  I did not turn over the engine with the dist out.  

I guess my next step is to get #1 on TDC compression stroke and set the initial time manually?  


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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11/23/13 8:28pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Willis76 Lifetime Member
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Rockland, MA - USA

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76, L48, 4spd & 09, LS3, 6spd

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Seems pretty strange, I'd probably put the old one back in and see if I got the same results and go from there. Could just be something with the rebuild???

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11/23/13 9:22pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
Distributor isn't bottoming out is it Dave? I've had the timing set too retarded before and it would just crank with a no start but did not have any drag on the starter. Have you had someone try and advance the timing slightly while cranking to see if it would light the fire? If it was too advanced I would think it would kick back while cranking.

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Build Date: May 7, 1975. 383 w/267 RWHP/310 RWTQ
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11/23/13 10:35pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
lukesvette Lifetime Member
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HOWELL, NJ - USA

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Sounds like it didn't get indexed correctly when it went back in. You're on the right track by bringing #1 back to TDC.Thumbs Up 

Then when you drop the dist back in, the rotor should be pointing right at the #1 post in the cap (mark the base of the dist with a marker).


|UPDATED|11/23/2013 8:35:08 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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11/25/13 12:47am - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 831
Thanks, guys.  I didn't make progress on the problem today like I thought I would -- I ran into another problem: left the key on "Run" after messing with it yesterday.  So charger is on it now and may try again tomorrow night.  I'm starting from scratch.  Will pull #1 plug and turn engine over to TDC while checking for compression in the plug hole.  Never done that before -- seems like you need a helper?  Then will install dist so rotor is pointing right at #1 on the cap.  Or maybe I should set engine at 8 degrees BTDC or so I have a little bit of advance for initial start?  

Greg, what did you mean by "distributor bottoming out"?  I did make sure I got it that last 1/4 to 1/2" so the oil pump drive gets engaged.  Rotor rotates a little due to the helical teeth on the gears, but in it's final resting place it was pointing exactly at the mark I made when I took it out.  And the vacuum advance inlet was pointing at the other mark I made.  But since they're two different distributor bodies, maybe using the vacuum can inlet as a reference wasn't such a good move?  


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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11/25/13 7:37am - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
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Dave: Bottoming out is when the distributor drive gear is too far down to mesh properly with the cam and can lead to excess cam wear. When you said you thought something was binding this is what came to mind.

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11/25/13 1:38pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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Case75 said: Bottoming out is when the distributor drive gear is too far down to mesh properly with the cam ....


Whu? S'plain this one? LOL

Dave.....did ya remove the plug wires from the cap? Ya may have gotten them off a notch. It's also possible the original dist was off a notch, and the wires were moved around to make it right....when you installed the "rebuilt" dist, and put the wires back, they would be off.
If yer sure the dist housing went back in exactly where it was, it's still possible to be off a tooth. The dist shaft turns as it comes out....as it turns, it also turns the oil pump shaft. Getting the dist back in usually requires goin PAST where it came out, in order to get the pump shaft lined back up.....my bet is you are one tooth off. The best way to fix that, or determine the problem is to get the dern thing up on #1, and see where the rotor is pointing. If it's pointin at #8, or #2, just move the plug wires a notch.....it's easier than taking the dist back up and trying to do it that way.  At least it is for lazy fellers like me....LOL

Or..you could just twist the dist around, if ya have enough room, but ya prolly don't, if ya have the shielding brackets still.


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11/25/13 4:55pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
Adams' Apple said:
Case75 said: Bottoming out is when the distributor drive gear is too far down to mesh properly with the cam ....


Whu? S'plain this one? LOL

Dave.....did ya remove the plug wires from the cap? Ya may have gotten them off a notch. It's also possible the original dist was off a notch, and the wires were moved around to make it right....when you installed the "rebuilt" dist, and put the wires back, they would be off.
If yer sure the dist housing went back in exactly where it was, it's still possible to be off a tooth. The dist shaft turns as it comes out....as it turns, it also turns the oil pump shaft. Getting the dist back in usually requires goin PAST where it came out, in order to get the pump shaft lined back up.....my bet is you are one tooth off. The best way to fix that, or determine the problem is to get the dern thing up on #1, and see where the rotor is pointing. If it's pointin at #8, or #2, just move the plug wires a notch.....it's easier than taking the dist back up and trying to do it that way.  At least it is for lazy fellers like me....LOL

Or..you could just twist the dist around, if ya have enough room, but ya prolly don't, if ya have the shielding brackets still.


Copied from Performance Distributor's website:

Problems with irregular distributor gear wear can be caused by the distributor being “bottomed” out on the oil pump or cam walk. This problem can be easily prevented if the proper precautions are used.

First, we will cover the problem with “bottoming” the distributor. Bottoming of the distributor usually occurs when engine work such as the block, heads and intake have been milled. This will allow the distributor to sit farther down in the engine. The best method for checking the distributor to find out if it is bottomed, drop the distributor in the engine with no gasket. Also, make sure the cap and rotor have been removed for this test. Firmly hold the distributor against the intake with one hand and with the other, pull on the top plate of the main shaft. Very Important! Make sure you grab the top plate where the weights and center cam are riding. Do Not grab the reluctor (the part the rotor attaches to) because this part has up and down movement at all times. By grabbing the top plate you are checking for any up and down play in the shaft. If the shaft has up and down movement, you are now ready to install the distributor permanently by adding the gasket and installing your hold-down clamp. If there is no up and down movement in the shaft, then the distributor is bottomed on the oil pump. You will need to add a nylon distributor shim of correct thickness until the up and down play is achieved. Nylon distributor shims are available from Performance Distributors in thicknesses of .030″, .060″ and .100″. When the correct shim has been determined, add the gasket and proceed with the final installation. Always use a gasket with the shims. Warning! Do not stack gaskets in an attempt to raise the distributor height on the intake. Gaskets will compress and the distributor will eventually bottom out. Always use a shim when necessary.

Another method of checking for bottoming, is applying machinists dye to the distributor gear. Spin the engine by hand several rotations. Remove the distributor and inspect the wear pattern. You should have an even pattern through the middle of the gear. If this is not the case, add distributor shims until the correct pattern is obtained.

If you have checked the distributor for bottoming and you are still experiencing irregular gear wear, then the problem could be “cam walk” or “cam run-out”. This condition is where the cam is moving back and forth as the engine is running. Use of a cam button will help prevent “cam walk” but is not very effective if you are using a stock timing chain cover. The stock timing chain cover is made of tin and flexes easily, which can allow the cam to move even with a cam button. Use an aftermarket steel or aluminum timing chain cover that is reinforced for extreme cam loads. This should solve any problems with “cam walk”.





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Build Date: May 7, 1975. 383 w/267 RWHP/310 RWTQ
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11/25/13 5:23pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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 Otay...I get that. BUT....that particular scenario will also shed tons of metal, both from the dist gear AND the engine block where the gear is now rubbing. It would normally also lock the distributor shaft down, depending on how tight it is bottomed.

I was thinking maybe you were suggesting that the dist gear was on upside down.....don't laff...I've seen folks do it! LOL


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11/25/13 5:41pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
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Adams' Apple said:  Otay...I get that. BUT....that particular scenario will also shed tons of metal, both from the dist gear AND the engine block where the gear is now rubbing. It would normally also lock the distributor shaft down, depending on how tight it is bottomed.

I was thinking maybe you were suggesting that the dist gear was on upside down.....don't laff...I've seen folks do it! LOL

Dave made reference to a drag on the starter so that's what came to mind.  Could be any number of things that I can't even think of and I hope it's something real simple. I'm not a mechanic but I try to help out where I can.



|UPDATED|11/25/2013 3:41:35 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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11/26/13 11:44am - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

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1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 831
Thanks again, guys. 
Joel: It's quite possible I got the order wrong on the plug wires, or they were all off one notch, or I was off a tooth.  But I've already pulled the dist so I'm just going to do it the manual way.  Tonight I'm going to get it turned to 12 deg BTDC (a good starting place for my engine) on compression stroke and then set the dist so rotor is pointing at exactly #1 on the cap.  That way I can get the dist body sitting exactly the way I want it.  Sound OK?
 
Greg: Thanks for your input.  I have also been worried about binding since my machinist DID mill my block down a small amount, but now I'm thinking it's just kicking back on me a bit.  I drove it for 1500 miles with the other distributor and there were no issues and the dist gear was not damaged.  Also the engine turned over normal for three or four revolutions - didn't start acting weird until it wanted to fire.  But I think I will check for vertical play like the DUI article mentions, just in case. 


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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11/26/13 1:01pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
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#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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Case75 said  Dave made reference to a drag on the starter so that's what came to mind.  Could be any number of things that I can't even think of and I hope it's something real simple. I'm not a mechanic but I try to help out where I can.


No problem...every idea is usable in some way or another. The more, the merrier! Thumbs Up

Dave...why not just drop it in at "0", instead of trying to get your initial 12 deg? Chances are, if you install the dist with the crank at 12 degBTC, you may not have any adjustment left to twist the dist if needed.....
Granted, I've never attempted to install one already advanced like that, so I don't really know how that works out....but it is an interesting concept. Thumbs Up


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11/27/13 1:02am - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

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1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 831
Joel, my idea for putting it in at 12 degrees is to hopefully avoid having to turn the distributor very much when I'm timing it with a light.  Theoretically, if I have #1 set at 12 deg BTDC, rotor pointing right at #1 in the cap, and shaft/base relationship is set right at a trigger point, wouldn't the timing be right on at 12?  I know it won't be perfect but I'm hoping it's close.  And I have to admit, it's really only an aesthetic thing - I want the base of the distributor to have it's connections along the axis of the car (e.g. the wires that come out the front should be directly in front), not all cockeyed like they usually are after they've been timed.  (Especially if you are running more advance than stock).  And I do still run the original shielding so you can't have it too cockeyed.  But please do correct me if I'm wrong on this logic.  I'm kind of making some assumptions here.   

I have it all ready to go based on the above but was too chicken to start it!  Actually I get off work early tomorrow so I might get home with some daylight left to mess around with it.  

BTW, I did check up and down play on the shaft and also turned the engine over a few times once the dist was in and all seems to be well in that area....


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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11/27/13 1:16pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
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 Don't know Dave....I've never tried to pre-advance a dist, so I can't say it will, or will NOT work. Heck...let's find out! TAG!! Yer IT! LOL

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11/28/13 11:10am - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

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1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
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Well, it worked, but I may have gotten partially lucky that it did.  It's set in there and running good, timed at about 16 degrees initial and the cap is oriented the way I want it to.  Still have to get the advance curve right though.  Looks like I'm only getting about 26 total (initial + mechanical) everything I've read says you want about 36 total and for it to be all in at 2500 rpm. I have a pretty light set of springs in there - one light spring (copper colored) and one medium spring (silver).  I might have to try using both copper springs.  But it's running good now, and has good throttle response and it's not pinging, so going to leave well enough alone for now.  Might even drive it to my mother in law's for the feast today.  

Happy Thanksgiving!




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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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11/28/13 12:28pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
rraider1
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Woodland, WA - USA

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Great to hear you got in and going Happy Thanks giving to all I am smelling the food know

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11/28/13 4:23pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
That's great news Dave!

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11/29/13 7:20am - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
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Joel Adams
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11/29/13 7:26pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

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1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 831
Car made it to my mother-in-law's and back (Woodburn, OR - 80 mile round trip) no issues.  Ran like a top the whole way.  Thanks for the help, guys!  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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11/30/13 12:01pm - Reply: 'Re: Timing Help (I think) Needed!'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
daveo76 said: Car made it to my mother-in-law's and back (Woodburn, OR - 80 mile round trip) no issues.  Ran like a top the whole way.  Thanks for the help, guys!  

Great when a plan comes together, eh Dave? Big smile



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