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  • 304 timing issues

    my timing chain jumped, replaced timing gears, chain etc, made sure they were dot to dot upon reassemble.
    brought number 1 cylinder up to tdc on compression stroke, made sure rotor is pointing to number 1 wire on the cap and timing mark is on tdc as well.
    engine will crank and run, but cannot get the timing on the correct timing mark (+- 5 degrees) as soon as it gets close it dies.
    as stated, engine runs but is running rough
    what did I do wrong or what do I need to check next.
    I will telll you this that every time I grab the dist cap to move it, it bites me!!! leaking wires? bad cap? cap is somewhat new?
    help!!! pulling my hari out on this one
    thanks

  • #2
    did you replace the cam/dizzy drive gears or at least inspect them for wear? they might be slipping. if you run the engine in the dark, you will see any spark jumping that may be occuring. what distributor/ignition are you running?

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    • #3
      if your getting bit then ya change the cap and wires. if it's leaking to you it is probably leaking to the block or anything else close that is grounded.
      ditto on the dist gears if they get worn they can make a loose fit and make real hard to try and keep in time.
      I didn't replace mine at first and it cost me a dist. & a cam gear & timing chain. and it didn't even look that worn.
      good luck

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      • #4
        Did you check the timing with the vaccum advance hose off or on?

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        • #5
          I am constantly messing with the timing on my 304.

          304 - Edelbrock intake\cam\carb with HEI

          Seems to run better the farther advance i go, but then it starts really hard. I have ran it as high as 20btc, right now arounf 10btc. And, my power is really down from the 20 setting!

          I have always had to borrow a friends timing light. I picked up a $10 one at Harbor Frieght last time. It showed my timing jumping around +/- 3 degrees. I blamed it on the light. I need to use a better one just to make sure nothing is going wrong in there!

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          • #6
            with regards to the HEI. you have to run it advanced to run properly. it's not unheard of at all to run 20 BTDC. you should also try gapping your plugs to .050 for a better spark.

            i have had an AMC 304 in my jeep for 2 years now. i've gotten so frustrated and fed up with it i bought a crate SBC 350 to replace the AMC.

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            • #7
              kept messing with the timing and it wont time so I tore into the timing cover again and sure enough it is not "dot to dot" - realigned it dot to dot and took some more friendly advice, turn the crank 2 times around to make surte it stays dot to dot on 2nd time around before I buttoned it back up - it did stay in time - didnt get finished putting her back together last night but will this afternoon and let you guys know how it turned out
              btw thanks for all the advice

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              • #8
                I actually got my 304 running better as well. I went to the Jamberee and talked to the edelbrock guys. They hooked me up, free of charge, with a set of new rods and jets to put in my carb to help rich it up alittle. And now I have better power without any dead spot or hesitation at all. Now, I will try to push the envelope more and increase my timong back to 14-BTC and see if she rocks!

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                • #9
                  try getting a advance timing light one with the dial on the back of it and set your total timing in buy 2700 rpm and 34 degrees

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                  • #10
                    on the top timing gear (cam shaft) it has "TGC" stamped in it and that is what I lined up with the crankshaft gear.
                    what does "TGC" stand for??

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                    • #11
                      I was having timing issues with my 304. The problem was that the stock distributor has a small indexing tooth to keep the cap aligned over the rotor properly. It is attached via a small screw and it somehow fell off. This little retainer is almost exactly on the opposite side of where the vacuum advance is on the disty. Long story short, the disty cap was slightly rotating out of alignment and affecting the timing. The cap was moving not the disty itself.

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