Hard Start After Ignition Timing

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4 years 1 month ago #146215 by jessedukhia
Hard Start After Ignition Timing was created by jessedukhia
car: 1980 monte carlo

Hi,

I recently took out my distributor repaired it and installed into the car. The car was running rough so I timed the ignition. I moved the distributor counter clockwise. When the car was sounding right I tightened the hold down nut on the distributor. Now the car starts hard. It makes a noise like it is not turning proper and I have to gas it to get it to start. However when it is started it sounds perfect. When it was sounding rough and the timing was too advanced it would start with no issue. Any ideas?
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4 years 1 month ago - 4 years 1 month ago #146218 by T-Rex in H-Town
Replied by T-Rex in H-Town on topic Hard Start After Ignition Timing
Usually, hard starting occurs when the ignition timing is too advanced, not retarded. An overly advanced condition will cause backfire through the carb and overly retarded will cause backfire through the exhaust. If you are not using a timing light, I would recommend that you do so. Also, in your case, it sounds like you might have a stretched timing chain. High mileage small block Chevys are notorious for this and the fact they used Teflon coated cam gear teeth that would break off over time and make the condition even worse.

If you have a timing light, warm up the engine to normal operating temperature, disconnect and plug the vacuum line to the distributor, and set the timing according to the timing marks on the chain cover and balancer. Old GMs have a sticker near the rad which should tell you the timing spec at the correct idle speed.

If the timing chain has too much slack in it, you will need to replace it and at least the cam gear before you will be able to set the ignition timing correctly. Eric has a video for checking this:
Last edit: 4 years 1 month ago by T-Rex in H-Town.
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4 years 1 month ago #146769 by jessedukhia
Replied by jessedukhia on topic Hard Start After Ignition Timing
Hi,

I rented a timing light. I set the timing and now the car starts perfect no hard start.

Thanks,
Jesse

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4 years 1 month ago #146974 by andrewbutton442
Replied by andrewbutton442 on topic Hard Start After Ignition Timing
Timing by ear.....never...ever. No good and anybody that says this works is wrong. about as accurate as driving the speed limit by ear.

"A true Hot Rodder would only be satisfied when the act of dropping the hammer resulted in instant death, anything short of that and you need more power" - Tony DeFeo,

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4 years 4 weeks ago #146990 by EricTheCarGuy
Replied by EricTheCarGuy on topic Hard Start After Ignition Timing

jessedukhia wrote: Hi,

I rented a timing light. I set the timing and now the car starts perfect no hard start.

Thanks,
Jesse


Thank you! I hear about people 'timing the engine by ear' all the time. It never works out and is one of the worst things you can do to an engine. Glad you did it the right way. Thanks for the follow up.

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3 months 1 week ago #202859 by livemeyer
Replied by livemeyer on topic Hard Start After Ignition Timing
I have a Chevy 327 of unknown origin in my truck. It has a big, lopey cam, but had starting and idling issues, especially when cold. It would also be hard to start (difficult to crank) when up to temperature. After going through many processes, including timing, I determined that the heads, which are a mid-70's 76cc low compression smog type of head originally for a 350 sbc, were a contributing factor. I bought brand new 64cc aluminum heads to up the compression. I paid a local shop to install them, including new roller tip rockers and pushrods.

When I got the truck back, I was disappointed that the engine still idles low (and poorly) particularly in drive, still was difficult to start when warm, and would occasionally backfire through the carb. I had a second shop look at it. They put a timing light on it and showed me it was running at 2 degrees of advance. They adjusted it to 10 degrees of advance. the backfire is gone, the truck runs better, but still the truck is difficult to start when at temp. I'm surprised by these symptoms because since it was backfiring through the carb I was expecting the timing to have been too far advanced.

Perhaps the cam has too much duration? Or could this be an indicator of a stretched chain? Other ideas?

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