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Old 08-25-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
55sedan
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Default Timing retarding with locked out dist.

This is on my 489 in the 55 -------------- I was checking my timing with a light - dist (MSD Pro Billet) locked out at 35- and noticed that when I rev the engine from idle 1100 to about 4000 the timing will retard about 10 - 12 degrees. At idle, its dead nuts 35. It doesnt move any. If you slowly rev it, it will slowly retard. If you pop the throttle quickly. it will retard quickly. It comes back to 35 imediately after releasing throttle. Ive seen roller cams not shimed correctly before and timing would jump around, but this is different. I reved it to 6000 or so but as far as I can tell it only retards 10 -12 degrees. This is the first time I have ran a dist locked out so Ive never seen this before. Its running fine - If I hadnt checked it I wouldnt think I had a problem. But since I did, its bugging me ----- Any thoughts?
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

I had this same issue on my sbf. Ended up the started was arching to the block and ended up messing the pick up in the dizzy up. I replaced the pickup and it fixed it. I was also told that had it been a chevy it could have been cam walk.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

I just had this same problem in my sbc. It ended up being the timing chain. I put a coyles hex-a-just in it. The bolts backed out of the cam even with them being put in with lock tite. Take your distributor cap off and put a ratchet on your crank, turn it counter clock wise and see how much movement you get before the rotor turns.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

What ignition box are you running? Are you running a crank trigger?
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Are you sure its actually locked out? Or is the vaccum advance just unhooked.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Found the problem ----- Bronze dizzy gear worn enough to let dist ride up cam gear resulting in timing retard. Thanks for your responses.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Go to a composite gear. I have had one in my car for over 2 years and still looks like new after 5000 miles of hard driving and racing.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Thanks, I was just sitting here looking at them in Jegs wondering if they were worth the extra money. They have them from Comp Cams.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

I have one from Howards. It have run the crap out of it and it likes like I just took it out of the package.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

I found the spring pin holding the reluctor to the main shaft sheared inside my Mallory distributer. Had to really hold the cam gear and twist the reluctor to find it. The spring pin looked fine but was sheared in the middle.
Also check the plastic key on the rotor. Found mine very sloopy.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 55sedan View Post
This is on my 489 in the 55 -------------- I was checking my timing with a light - dist (MSD Pro Billet) locked out at 35- and noticed that when I rev the engine from idle 1100 to about 4000 the timing will retard about 10 - 12 degrees. At idle, its dead nuts 35. It doesnt move any. If you slowly rev it, it will slowly retard. If you pop the throttle quickly. it will retard quickly. It comes back to 35 imediately after releasing throttle. Ive seen roller cams not shimed correctly before and timing would jump around, but this is different. I reved it to 6000 or so but as far as I can tell it only retards 10 -12 degrees. This is the first time I have ran a dist locked out so Ive never seen this before. Its running fine - If I hadnt checked it I wouldnt think I had a problem. But since I did, its bugging me ----- Any thoughts?

Just figured out last night that mine is doing the exact thing yours was. Going to go pull the distributor and check it out.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Well, the gear is fine so it's either cam walk or my Summit branded Mallory 685 box is going haywire. I've got a solid cam button and an aluminum cover so thinking maybe it gauled(sp) up and letting it move around.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Make sure the violet/green magnetic pick up wires are not reversed.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

That's one other thing I'm going to check, thanks.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Timing retarding with locked out dist.

Well I replaced the gear but still have problems. Now its only retarding about 5 or 6 degrees though.
Saturday night at the track it would sputter intermediately several times each pass.
Sometimes when I crank it, it will sound like its running on 4 or 6 cylinders. The tach will be on 600 at idle. It normally idles at 1150.
It will kick back while cranking & wont hardly rev past 3000 rpm.
You can let it sit a while and crank it and it will run fine.
I have checked all wiring, grounds, etc even put a new ign switch in.
I talked to MSD, they said to send box & timing retard both to them.
It still ran low 10.20s sputtering every pass. Whatever it is it cant be much wrong with it.
I sure hope they find something wrong with the box or retard.
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Last edited by 55sedan; 08-29-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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