Can't time my '79 Chevy K-10.


Asked by May 12, 2012 at 12:57 AM about the 1979 Chevrolet C/K 10

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

She's got a 350, new plugs/wires, and the plugs are properly gapped.  The timing chain is on correctly, firing order is correct, only things I can think of are distributor or cap or a slipped balancer.  Any suggestions?

12 Answers


Is your truck running and just out of time or is it not running because it is too far out of time?

2 people found this helpful.

Too little info to help you!

1 people found this helpful.

Truck is running and out of time, but I can't time it, when it runs ok, but not properly, the mark on the balancer is 25 degrees advanced, when the mark is at 0 degrees(TDC), it runs like shit.


The 0 degree mark is just a reference point. When timed you will be advanced from 0. If you use a vacuum gauge along with timing it you will get optimum timing. You should have minimum 17-18 in. hg. vacuum. As you adjust timing you will notice vacuum changes time for max vacuum plus or minus only small amounts. Also here is a little ready reference you can use for timing and troubleshooting. You should get between 17-22 in. hg. depending on your elevation above 2000 feet MSL or mean sea level. To perform this test hook vacuum gauge directly to manifold vacuum. 1. Low steady needle usually indicates leaky intake, a leaky vacuum hose, late timing, or incorrect camshaft timing. 2. If reading is 3-8 inches low and fluctuates at that low reading suspect an intake manifold gasket leak at intake port or faulty injector. 3. If the needle has regular drops of about 2-4 in hg. at a steady rate the valves are probably leaking. (Perform a compression check). 4. An irregular drop or down flick of the needle can be caused by a sticking valve or an ignition misfire. 5. A rapid vibration of about four in hg. indicates worn valve guides. 6. Slight fluctuation of one inch or so indicates ignition problems. 7. Large fluctuation perform a compression check. 8. If needle moves slowly through a wide range check for PCV issues. Hope this gives you a good place to start and helps you figure it out.

1 people found this helpful.

Take the left side rocker cover off and the #1 spark plug out. Turn engine over and watch the intake and exhaust valves open and close. Left front of engine bank. When exhaust valve closes stop engine when #1 piston reaches top dead centre. Remove distributor cap and see that rotor under cap is pointing to #1 spark plug terminal. Could be that distributor is out a half of a turn. If it is out a half a turn the rotor will be pointing to #6 spark plug wire terminal. Pull out distributor and hold body still and rotate rotor assembly clock wise to just before #1 terminal and set distributor back in hole and it should fall into oil pump drive and be pointing to #1 terminal. Adjust timing and HEI electrical terminals should be pointing to the left inner fender and brake booster.


The dizzy isn't 180 out, the truck flatass wouldn't run then, And I've checked everything a dozen times, I'm thinking the timing ring slipped. Also, the spark isn't as strong as it should be, it's orange, not bue. I'll have to dig through my parts bin and get a new dizzy cap.


If you are so smart why are you asking for help!!!! If you know it all then the truck should run, then go crawl in a corner and don't bother anyone JERK!


I wasn't being a jerk, I was just saying, from past experience, that when the distributor is 180 out, the truck wouldn't run.


did you get a new timing cover? For Older style blocks timing is shot from straight down through the water pump so the marks are on the top of the dampener for TDC 0 degrees. Newer sbc have the marks off to the driver side, if a timing cover or dampener is mix-matched then the marks wont line up. Time it by ear at this point or fix the mixed up parts.


I bought a whole new dizzy, and the timing marks are straight up, the balancer and timing cover are matched, the guy who sold me the motor bought them as a matched set. I've given up however, and, much as I hate to admit it, took her to the Dr. yesterday.


By matched I mean packaged together, from the manufacturer.

Did you figure out what was wrong with it? I'm having the same problem. I checked my balancer outer ring and it lines up perfectly.

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