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adjust timing


xkeithx

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i took my car in to the shop to get it to pass smog, and they said they couldnt do it because they couldnt adjust the timing. supposedly the pulley had "slipped" on the harmonic balancer, so the groove doesnt line up where its supposed to. and they wanted to charge me $220 for a new harmonic balancer!!! ive never even heard of a pulley slipping, but i thought to myself, why cant i just get the engine to TDC, and then just take white out and draw a line where the mark is supposed to be, so i dont have to pay 200 bux for a new pulley?? the only problem is, how can i get the engine to TDC without the timing mark. can anyone provide some insight into this? what do i want my timing to be set at to get the car to pass smog? its a california 78 280z. thnks guys!!

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To get the engine to tdc . This is the easyest , pull the pluggs then fit a socket on the front pully and turn the engine over with a ratichit while your finger is over the spark plug hole and when the piston comes up to the top you will feel the compression, shine a light in the hole and y ou will see the top of the piston come up and when it stops , as you are turning the crank you are at TDC. As far as what to set the engine to pass emissions I cant help you there. I would guess some where around 8 d BTC While you have the plugs out clean them and use a little anti-seze on the threads. Keeps them from gahling on the aluminum head. Especially when you remove them and the engine is warmed up. :classic:

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Originally posted by beandip

turn the engine over with a ratichit while your finger is over the spark plug hole and when the piston comes up to the top you will feel the compression, shine a light in the hole and y ou will see the top of the piston come up and when it stops , as you are turning the crank you are at TDC.

Originally posted by xkeithx

i want it to be as accurate as possible though, is there a way to do it if i pulled the valve cover that would be more accurate?

How much more accurate do you want than actually SEEING the piston reach the top of it's stroke?

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Put out aill sparks for easier turning of the engine. Put into the hole of #1 a stiff wire with a soft coat (about 7 inch long) that has a little weight (soft material) at the one end that you put into that #1 hole. The stick acts like a needle in your speedometer. The longer outer end goes down when cylinder #1 is rising and it goes up when the cylinder goes down. At the lowest point you have TDC. Take care nothing will remain inside when you take the wire out. Good luck.

Rolf

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Originally posted by Victor Laury

I generally use a new set of plugs. cleans them up perfectly

I agree with Victor. Cost for a new set of NGK BP-6 plugs is about $10.00 Why muck around cleaning old ones? New plugs, new cap and rotor (points too, if you still haven't gone to Pertronix), set the timing and you should be good to go in a hour or two.

Some things take more time and effort than it is worth bothering with.

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Well, I have some blow by and I'm sure that it's fowling plugs and instead of replacing the constantly I was thinking that I could just clean them up every couple weeks or so. I will not be driving the car much, probably once a week or so. Then when this problem is fixed I would replace the plugs. This is what I was thinking any how, maybe this is a bad route to go. I don't know.

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Originally posted by texasz

Well, I have some blow by and I'm sure that it's fowling plugs

Blow-by? Do you mean blow-by as in the piston rings aren't seating to the cylinder walls and the combustion pressure is blowing-by (past) the rings into the crankcase? If so, I guess I'm not sure how that would foul the plugs. Of course, I'm NOT an engine expert.

Have you checked your compression?

What are the readings?

Have you done a leakdown test?

What color are the plugs?

How long does it take them to get that color?

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Whoa, whoa, whoa....let me catch up with you... :cross-eye

I have not pulled them yet, I will this weekend. I had someone come out and look at the car Tues. night and he helped me get it more in tune so now it idles without stalling. He told me that I have some blow-by and that it's probably a ring that's not seated properly. What's going on is the hose that comes off the valve cover empties into the air filter. There is some oil that has accumulated in there and due to how this is angled it messes with the rear carb. With this hose pulled off the car runs MUCH better, however then the oil just lands on other parts of the car (I'm going to get a valve cover breather, one of those little filters to help this). It doesn't seem to be real bad but I won't be out racing the car like this or anything.

I have not checked compression, I will do that this weekend also. I do not have the a leak down tester, I have a compressor just not the tester so I can not do this test. I wish I could because I would really like to do one. :(

The guy that was helping me is a mobile mechanic that my family has used for many years. He said that it is likely that the plugs are fouled due to the blow-by. This may have also been an idea that he thought about while we were test driving it as it did seem to miss on hard acceleration sometimes.

Whew!! I think that I cover it all...for now at least.

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OK, I see where you are at on this issue.

Sounds like you are just getting ready to get into this thing. Since you haven't looked at the plugs, and I'm guessing that this is a new (to you) car )god knows what shape they are in, or how long they have been in there)........replace the plugs now (use anti-seize on the threads), do the other things that you mentioned, and keep an eye on those plugs. Pull them and inspect them each week for a while and see how they look, how their appearance changes as time passes. This (and the compression test) will help to tell you how bad of an issue this "blow-by" is for your engine.

Didn't mean to overwhelm you with questions :D

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It sounds like you have an L series engine about to go for the long rest at boot hill. With that breather problem, your crank case is pressurising, so you will be better off fitting a hose and jar set up to the hose, or run the hose down the outside of the engine so excess oil can flow off when you back off. for the spark plugs, spark plug cleaners are like sandbasters that you direct the flow into the coked up end and blast until clean. you can do this as much or as little as you like with each plug. re-gap you plugs at every removal and if you are pulling plugs alot use the TQ wrench so you don,t screw a thread as well. The situation sounds serious and these are all short term fixes. If I where you I would start planning a strip down and repair or find another engine.

good luck

Steve :classic:

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Check the PCV valve and clean it with some carberator cleaner . If you have the ammount of blow by that you say innstalling the little filter on the valve cover will just dump the fumes in to the passanger compartment . Check the pcv .Is this car pushing blue smoke out the exhaust? Does it push blue smoke out at startup only? How many miles on the engine? Take a compression test , that will tell you a lot in this area. Remember what was mentioned about the use of anti-size .

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bambikiller240

Yes, I am just getting into this issue with the car. I have not even owned it for 4 weeks yet and find new things all the time that need attention. I will work with the plugs this weekend. Don't sweat all the questions, they had to be asked.

sjcurtis

The engine may well be heading that way. Doesn't bother me too much as I have an L28 in my garage that will replace it but it needs to be worked on first. I realize that these are all temporary solutions to a bigger problem. That's really all I was looking for until I can get the L28 ready and put in. I was planning on this even before I found my Z but was hoping that I would get one that ran good enough to where I would not be rushed to get the engine ready (I know nothing about this and will be learning along the way so this will go slower than what many of you can do).

beandip

Ok, so I just tried driving it and decided that I didn't have the time to mess with it as I really just needed to get to work. Anyhow, there was no blue smoke when it started nor while I had it running. While sitting at a and warming the engine I reved it a few times and did notice some smoke from the exhaust but by the time it got up to the driver's door where I saw it I could not tell the color (it was not very noticable). I have no clue how many miles are on the engine. It does have the appearance of having been rebuilt at some time or another (it's really pretty clean and the paint on the block is in good shape). What I can tell you is that the odometer reads 59xxx which is likely to reall be 159xxx or 259xxx or maybe even more.

I think I covered it all. Thank you all for the help, I'll post after I review the plugs and compression with what I find.

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Back to original problem. If your harmonic balancer has indeed spun the pulley, you should get a replacement. The pulley is ready to fly off and the best case scenario is it will only take out your timing cover and radiator when it does. If you can get a better one from a junk yard, it should be cheap.

--John

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