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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a 1965 Fastback with a 289, and I am having some problems. I put a new edlebrock top end kit, new msd distributer and a new msd igintion system in it over the past couple years. After i put the new distributer in it, Ive been having a missing problem. Ive timed the car numerous times and i have it where it idles fine but when i am in the mid to high range of rpms, it starts to miss and backfire. It use to backfire out the pipes but after a little tunning it ran fine, but now the miss is back and it seems to be backfiring out of the carb. I am really stumped and fustrated and if anyone could point me in the right direction it would be very appreciated. Thanks
 

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MSD distributor should be phased properly or it could be a damaged distributor cap terminal or a bad spark plug wire or you may have lost an advance spring or running too much advance too quickly. Its possible the timing has slipped. Make sure the rotor pin hasn't broken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i called msd and they told me what springs to put in it and then timed it to where they told me but it could be broken. ill re-check everything though. what spark plug wires do recomend?
 

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You didn't mention the phase part and it can cause some problems. There should be a 1 cast into the bottom inside the distributor cap indicating cylinder 1 spark plug terminal 1. The rotor should be coming up on 1 as you bring up compression tdc #1 cylinder. I've always stabbed my distributor this way so I haven't experienced it set wrong but apparently it can cause a miss or intermittent popping from what I have read. MSD even makes an adjustable rotor with slotted screw holes in case your gear won't drop exactly on phase.

I recently had some popping in my car and it turned out to be that the cap and rotor were worn/pitted some. I had to think back to how long I have been running mine.

I run Ford Racing wires. 9mm. Seem to work very well and I chose the red to match the MSD red cap, coil and 6al box. Check your wires too. Its possible one got on something hot and may have a melted spot on it.


Another way timing can slip is if you don't have the hold down tight. Re-check your initial timing to see if it slipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok thank you very much, thats all stuff i can start checking. One more question, whats the timing on your car? b/c ive heard numerous different things from different people. some say small block fords need alot of timing and some say they dont need much at all.
 

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The easiest answer is as much as you can run before the engine pings or becomes hard to crank. A totally stock engine I might start with around 12 to 14 initial and 32 to 36 total in by 3500 rpms. In one of my previous builds with a milder cam I ran 16 and 36. My current build likes 18 initial and 38 total in by 2500. This engine lives between 4500 and 7500 rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ok well im usually running 3000 to 5500.. ive got a rev limiter at 6400 and i only hit that when im burning the tires in first.
 

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I had a very similar problem about five years ago. We had a little 260 rebuilt by a supposedly reputable engine shop for a 64 1/2 Pace Car and the cam they installed was based on the 351w firing order not the old 302. It, had us pulling our hair out for weeks. It would idle great but whenever you got on it, it would backfire, spit and miss something terrible.
 

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Yah when you put the new distributor in is it possible that you got 1 spark plug wire out of position?

Also, please post what the final solution is for the edification of the rest of us who may have this thing crop up(again).
 
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