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trouble advancing timing

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Old 01-08-2008, 07:07 PM
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OK. i've spent another afternoon in the garage and im getting nowhere (except frustrated). i've now done this 6 times: cranked it to 0*, installed the distrib so the rotor points exactly at #1 on the cap, turned the key to start her up and shot the timing light at the balancer. Every time i get a totally dif reading: 10*ATC, 10*BTC...etc. seems to be completely random what reading i'm going to get. i know i'm on the compression stroke when i set it at TDC because i've held my finger in the #1 plug hole when i'm setting it and felt the strong push of air. i've also checked and rechecked at least 4 times that i've got my spark plug wires in the right firing order. so what am i doing wrong? i've heard i'm "off a tooth" by which i take it everyone means i'm off one tooth on the gear like thingy at the bottom of the distrib, but i've tried pullin it halfway out and moving over a tooth (setting it back down to #1) and that doesn't seem to do anything except produce another random (and way off) reading. how can i be off anything if the balancer is bang on 0* and the rotor points right at #1? and if i am off when i set it that way, how else do i set it to make sure i'm not off? i just don't get it, and i'm obviously misunderstanding something basic here.

the other thing is, the car idles at 750 and stays there, but the idle is really lopy sounding and there TONS of blue smoke coming out the exhaust and my brand new plugs are badly oil foiled. i was burning a bit of oil (not much) before i put in the new intake, but nothing like this. the old plugs i pulled out, for example, were not covered in oil. i've checked the PCV screen and it's clean and oil doesn't seem to be getting sucked up into the intake though there. i don't know what else it could be.

are these probs related? please help if you can.

cheers
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:51 PM
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^Try moving the distributor so the module wiring is clear of the intake, then check if it's still at #1. If not, you will need to put it ahead 1 tooth in order to get the correct timing advance.
As for the oil, it should not be burning so much oil unless something was assembled wrong. Are you absolutely sure you cleaned the head surface of ALL gasket material before assembling with new gaskets? If the intake is not seated properly on the heads, it may be pulling oil from the lifter valley and burning it in the cylinders.
Could also be that there's no vacuum at the PCV, pull the line off the PCV with the engine running and check for vacuum, if it's not there-there's a problem. You MUST have good vacuum at the PCV or you will get a major pressure buildup in the crankcase which will force oil past the rings and valve seals, which will cause consumption.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ponyryd View Post
^Try moving the distributor so the module wiring is clear of the intake, then check if it's still at #1. If not, you will need to put it ahead 1 tooth in order to get the correct timing advance.
As for the oil, it should not be burning so much oil unless something was assembled wrong. Are you absolutely sure you cleaned the head surface of ALL gasket material before assembling with new gaskets? If the intake is not seated properly on the heads, it may be pulling oil from the lifter valley and burning it in the cylinders.
Could also be that there's no vacuum at the PCV, pull the line off the PCV with the engine running and check for vacuum, if it's not there-there's a problem. You MUST have good vacuum at the PCV or you will get a major pressure buildup in the crankcase which will force oil past the rings and valve seals, which will cause consumption.
OK, richard, i'll give her a try. wont' get the time to do that for some time with 3 kids and the wife gone back to work now, but i'll let you know how it turns out either way. what you're saying about the intake being seated properly makes sense to me - i didnt use the cork gaskets front and back and isntead used black RTV. it seems to have sealed up real well - i've got no leaks - but the lower intake sits a little low on the heads so may be pulling oil from the lifter valley: i wondered if it wasn't a little low once i got it installed but being a novice i wasn't sure. thanks again for the suggestions. i was at a loss and i'm encouraged now that there's something i can do about this. you're the best man.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:18 AM
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Happy to help Steve, hope you get it solved.

Are you sure the gaskets are in right? they are stamped 'this side up", but they don't say front or back, common mistake putting the on upside down.
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Old 01-09-2008, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ponyryd View Post
Happy to help Steve, hope you get it solved.

Are you sure the gaskets are in right? they are stamped 'this side up", but they don't say front or back, common mistake putting the on upside down.
yeah, they're in rightside up. i actually got up early this morning (4 a.m.!!!) and got everything taken out again before heading off to work. the gaskets were in right, but the lower intake was definitely sitting low against the heads (easily 1/8" - oddly enough that's about the thickness of those front and back cork gaskets i didn't use, isn't it

i'm confident this is going to solve my probs. i'm getting new gaskets and gonna try to get some time to put her back together on sunday afternoon. will letcha know.

thanx again richard!

cheers
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 86mustangcobragt View Post
yeah, they're in rightside up. i actually got up early this morning (4 a.m.!!!) and got everything taken out again before heading off to work. the gaskets were in right, but the lower intake was definitely sitting low against the heads (easily 1/8" - oddly enough that's about the thickness of those front and back cork gaskets i didn't use, isn't it

i'm confident this is going to solve my probs. i'm getting new gaskets and gonna try to get some time to put her back together on sunday afternoon. will letcha know.

thanx again richard!

cheers

The end gaskets are junk-don't use them. They have nothing to do with the seating of the intake anyway-they will not cause this.
Was there any oil on the gaskets? like a trail leading to the intake ports?
Is this a new intake? Is there any oil in the intake ports?
Best thing you can do is seat the intake on the old gaskets and check if they like up with the heads, if there's a gap that may be your problem.
Look closely at the old gaskets for the impressions left in them by the intake, see if it lines up with the ports on the heads.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Ponyryd View Post
The end gaskets are junk-don't use them. They have nothing to do with the seating of the intake anyway-they will not cause this.
Was there any oil on the gaskets? like a trail leading to the intake ports?
Is this a new intake? Is there any oil in the intake ports?
Best thing you can do is seat the intake on the old gaskets and check if they like up with the heads, if there's a gap that may be your problem.
Look closely at the old gaskets for the impressions left in them by the intake, see if it lines up with the ports on the heads.
yes, there is oil on the lower intake-to-heads gaskets. there is some oil in the intake ports. the impression left on the old gaskets shows that the lower intake was sitting about 1/8" lower than it should to line up with the ports on the heads. that's why i thought the cork gaskets might help raise it up to the right level, being as they're about 1/8" thick, whereas the ultra black RTV bead i used isn't (once the intake was torqued down - to spec and in the recommended bolt tightening sequence). if the intake is seated low relative to the heads, what should i do if the cork front and rear gaskets aren't the solution? are rubber ones my solution (that's what was under the stock intake, front and back, when i took it off).
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:24 AM
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when you put your roller rockers on did you remove the baffle in the valvecover? If so it could be drawing through the tube that goes from your oil fill to the throttlebody. I have had this happen and it took days to figure out thats what it was.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nickm50 View Post
when you put your roller rockers on did you remove the baffle in the valvecover? If so it could be drawing through the tube that goes from your oil fill to the throttlebody. I have had this happen and it took days to figure out thats what it was.
hey nickm,

yes, i did remove the baffle in the valvecover to make sure i had clearance for the roller rockers - good point.
but i don't think that's the cause, because i've looked in the throttle body and upper intake and there's no oil residue in there that i can see.
is it possible i wouldn't see anything - ie: that it would be mixed with the rushing air and "vapourized" enough to pass through without coating the walls of the intake black? because there is a little bit of oil residue on the edges of the rings in the upper-to-lower intake gasket; so little though that i can't really be sure.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:59 AM
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oh, btw, it is a new cobra intake richard (guy i bought it from ran it for 1 week)
i've had another long look this morning, and i've been looking at it backasswards. if anything the imprints left on the intake suggest that either the intake was sitting high (which i don't think it was - how could it really)or the gasket (intake to heads) was sitting a little low if anything. i'll take some pics of the marks left by the gasket on the intake and the impressions left by the intake on the gaskets, which are still mounted to the heads in the position they were when this was all bolted together. i'll post those pics this evening and see what you guys think
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