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Old 09-30-2008, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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427 side oiler excessive total timing

I just finished the rebuild and installation of a 68 427 sideoiler in my 67 Fairlane. The engine has the tunnel port heads and 2 X 4 intake, Lunati roller, Dove roller rockers, smith bros push rods, and an Accel distributor. I am generally not to concerned with initial timing but the total timing is way more than I feel is safe. The initial timing is off the scale of the balancer, somewhere around 30-34 degrees. The distributor has another 20 degrees that comes in rather quickly making the total timing somewhere in the neighborhood of 54-56 degrees total timing. I have major concerns about detonation. The engine cranks easily and accelerates smoothly, but with 3 inch exhaust, it is impossible to hear any pinging. I have heard from numerous sources that these old FE's can run a lot of total timing, but this seems excessive. I have not driven the car and will not until I can confirm whether or not I could damage the engine. This is my first FE engine and I am certainly not as familiar with the FE engines as I am with the SBF's.
Some of you FE guys I know can help me out. BTW, the balancer is stock and TDC matches the timing mark and number 1 piston position. Any help appreciated.

Outlaw
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

I'm a little unclear what the problem is here. If you have to much timing, turn it back. Is there a reason you can't turn it back? Are you using a dial back timing light? If so, you need to dial the timing light to the timing you want and set the timing with TDC or "0" and the pointer. If the timing light is set on "0" it will be way off. Need a little more info to help. Don't run it until you get this resolved. Yes you can damage the motor.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

Are you talking with or without the vacuum advance hooked up?

Total plus vacuum can easily exceed 50 degrees total
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

Brett,
Turning the timing "back" to a normal initial setting, say 10-12 degrees BTDC, as seen with a timing light on the balancer, and the engine won;t run. During assembly, I used a dial indicator to verify TDC of the #1 piston , and the TDC mark on the balancer was only off about 1 1/2 degrees. For the engine to crank easily and run the "initial" timing is over 30 degrees BTDC as seen with my timing light. With the vacuum advance hooked up, and increasing the RPM up past around 2500 RPM, the "total" timing increases to somewhere in the range of 50-54 degrees total timing. The total timing for this engine should be no more than about 34-38 degrees. I am "thinking" that I may have the wrong harmonic balancer, even though the balancer I am using was on the engine before, but I never checked total timing before I disassembled the engine for overhaul. I looked in an FE overhaul manual I have and the 427 balancer shown in the picture in the manual has the "pulley" as a part of the balancer, rather than the bolt on pulley I have. I may have the wrong balancer. I don't know what the diameter of the original correct 427 balancer is supposed to be. I'm still checking on this.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

My 427,
With the vac advance hooked up, the total timing (initial and vac) is running over 50 degrees. I had the ACCEL distributor checked and limited to 20 degrees advance IN THE DISTRIBUTOR. It was over 30 degrees in stock form. That 20 degrees AND the 30 + degrees of initial timing is in excess of 50 degrees "total" timing. I am certainly not an expert with these FE's and I have heard of running this amount of total timing for these old FE's is not unusual, but all the data I have for this engine, to include some old Ford race information, says to limit the 'total" timing to 34-36 degrees. I just don;t want to damage the engine, and as I stated to Brett above, I MAY have the wrong balancer. I will check the diameter of the balancer I have this evening and compare that to what an "original" 427 balancer is supposed to be. However, I don;t have an "original" balancer to measure. I have also heard that the original 427 balancers only had one mark on them and that the "degrees" for timing were actually on the front cover, but I can not confirm if that is true or not. thank you for replying. I know you have considerable FE experience, and I am probably not explaining very well what information I actually need.

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Old 10-02-2008, 08:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

true of early 427 1 line on damper and degree scale on a tab. with vacuum advance thats what the timing is --in the 50s some in the 60s. early 27's didn't have a vacuum advance. 68 cougars were a detuned , hyd. lifter engine.. if you need 30 base timing -- you got tune/build problems

Last edited by DanH; 10-02-2008 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

Outlaw, I am a little concerned that maybe you are overthinking this one. Unhook the vacuum advance and make believe its not there for a while

1 - Since you verified TDC, assuming you are 100% sure of how you did it, we'll assume its good. So that rules out a "bad" balancer meaning slipped ring or something like that or a bad timing tab. If zero = zero +/- 1-2 degrees, you are good.

2 - Total timing doesnt mean "timing with vacuum advance" The term total timing means only "initial plus mechanical" So in your case, if you have yours set to 20 degrees mechanical, set the initial at 16 BTDC with the vacuum advance unhooked and you are good. I recommend a dial back timing light to check both initial and total, it makes it very easy. 36 is a good safe logical goal.

3 - So if you have 20 mechanical and 16 initial....will it still start? Thats where I am confused. If not, go 24 or 22 inside the distributor, and then set initial to 12-14, still 36 total, but it will allow easier cranking with less initial

4 - If you cant get it to fire at 12 BTDC, you have a starter, wiring, or battery issue, not a timing issue

5 - Once you get that squared away, you can hook your vac advance to ported vacuum for a little more oomph, and 50-60 degrees for total plus vacuum is right on track.

If I am missing the boat, let me know.

FYI, I run 14 initial, 22 mechanical, all in by 3000 in mine, and the vacuum advance adds another 10 on top of that.

As far as your comment on more timing for FEs, its not true in the sense that you are interpreting it. The FE doesnt have the greatest combustion chamber and needs 36-38 degrees total to make the most power (+/- depending on the head) however 36-38 IS high compared to other motors with a relatively small chamber.

If yours sounds good, I am guessing within a 5 degree window or so, you are having more of a "interpreting" or "checking your timing" issue than a real issue. However, I agree we need to figure out whats going on.

Are you putting the timing light on the correct plug wire? (Pass side front)
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Last edited by My427stang; 10-02-2008 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

My427,
Thanks for the detailed response. I am in error with respect to measuring the total timing. I thought that the vac advance was included and it is not. But, I still have some issues. I am using # 1 cylinder (pass front) to check timing, and with the vac line to the distributor plugged, what I see on the balancer with the timing light is 30 + degrees (off the scale). I can not back it up to 12 or 14 degrees BTDC. Isn't that the initial timing? I can back up the timing but it won't hardly run. I had the distributor recurved by a so-called professional and he informed me that the distributor NOW had a max of 20 degrees mechanical advance. He built a bushing to reach that limit, as the distributor had way to much when he received it, (according to him). It is a new Accel distributor. That being said, I told him I wanted all the advance in by 2500/3000 RPM. Is it possible that the advance is all in at 1200, which is my idle speed? Actually, the car seems to run really good. I have not turned it to 6000 RPM yet but driving in the neighborhood, it seems to be about right. I am thinking now I should re-pull the distributor and get it checked again because it "appears" to me that all the mechanical advance is in at a really low RPM. Is that possible? Thanks again for all your thoughts and insight...

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Old 10-03-2008, 05:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

Yes it is possible, but really not realistic, to be all in by idle, but really it would take a sitiuation where there were no springs in there, like he forgot them, and then it would bounce all over the place

Can you take a picture of your balancer / timing tab? Maybe a couple? I think you may have a mismatched combo too

You can make any combo work, but you need to check your timing mark again, and there is an easier and more precise way than the dial indicator

Either buy or make a piston stop. You can make one by taking an old spark plug and breaking the top off, grind the electrode off, then drive the center out of it.

Then thread the center and put a 3/8 bolt through it that can go deep into the chamber

Then you turn the motor over by hand until it hits the stop. Mark the balancer.

Turn it back the other way until it hits. Mark the balancer

Measure carefully between the two, and that is #1 TDC, using your balancer and the timing tab that you have now. At that point you rule out the balancer and timing tab

I think you have the wrong timing tab / cover combo. There really is no way that what you see happening could happen for any other reason
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

427,
Actually I have already used a piston stop and checked TDC again. # 1 on the balancer IS TDC, for sure. I verified what I found using the dial indicator with the piston stop and TDC is TDC on the balancer. I am at work now but I may have some pics of the engine and balancer here at work. I'll check and see and post if I have a good pic of the balancer and front cover. Thanks again for all your help.

Outlaw
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

427,
Well heck, I found a jpg pic that may give you an idea of what I have, but I don;t know how to post it on this forum. It is the only pic I have that shows the balancer on the engine when I was building it up. I MAY have one of the engine in the car that shows something but I still don;t know how to post them.
I'll see if I can find some info on this site to help.

Outlaw
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

your distrib. dude might have it all wrong or you ask for wrong specs. 20 degrees of distriutor advance is 40degrees at the crank
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

first try...see if this works
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

here's the only pic of have of the front cover and balancer here at the office
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 427 side oiler excessive total timing

I dont think you have the correct pointer. The setup I have on mine is a 68+ balancer and cover on a 63 center oiler

Take a look at mine, seems to be aligned to the balancer different and has a different bolt design enar the pointer too.

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Last edited by My427stang; 10-03-2008 at 06:12 PM.
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