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Need help with ignition timing

Old 11-03-2004, 09:35 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3
Default Need help with ignition timing

I have a 1990 mustang LX FHP (Florida Highway Patrol)
5.0 HO
I had to replace the distributor some time ago
I timed it by ear back then and it ran ok, but I noticed a vibration at about 3500 rpm. I always assumed it was a U joint or something mechanical.
Now, years later, the ignition pickup goes out again. Now I have a timing light so I decided to set the timing.
Well first of all I'm not sure where the pointer is. I know where it is located but if I try to time it to the part of the pointer that I would assume is the pointer it acts severely retarded. And that is when it dawned on me that the vibration I've been living with is not mechanical it is performance related. It gets better with retard and worse with advance.
But I still can't set the timing by the pointer and balancer. I put #1 cyl into TDC and the timing marks do not seem to line up with anything.
What is going on?
The pic shows the motor at TDC and the mark on the balancer is 10 ATDC
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:48 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Default RE: Need help with ignition timing

The balancer is likely causing both your timing woes and your vibration, theirs a rubber ring that holds the inner and outer parts of the balancer together and when the rubber gets old the outter balancer slips from the inner piece, both reducing its ability to reduce vibration and giving you inaccurate timing marks. Their only like $40 from a parts store, would be an opportune time to replace it.
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:53 PM
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Default RE: Need help with ignition timing

Thats what I've been thinking. I've had them come apart on other cars but never slip. But that is sure the way it acts.
It shakes between 1000-1200 and between 3500-3800.
But it still lights the lires up eaisly. If it is timed by ear.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Default RE: Need help with ignition timing

I had the same thing happen on my car and didn't notice it till I took the motor out of my car.I was looking at the balancer and noticed the rubber was almost out of the balancer on the back side of it.Thank god i found it before it blew apart.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:38 PM
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Location: Mishawaka,Indiana
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Default RE: Need help with ignition timing

how much for a decent aftermarket balancer? thanks
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:04 PM
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Default RE: Need help with ignition timing

That was it!
Thanks guys! I don't remember when iot ran this smooth.
New balancer, $51
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