I just installed a new distributer in a 1988 c1500 but i can't get the timing right any tips?

I forgot to mark the distributer settings when i took the old one out.

now I'm having problems getting the timing right again any sugestions?

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  • Deano
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you installed a new distributor it would not matter what kind of marks you made as you have a new one. I take it the motor runs so you are close. What you have to do is hook the timing light up as you do to any motor. Start the motor and ensure the timing light is working. Then you have to locate the single wire connector that comes from the distributor and leads to the PCM inside the cab. You have to disconnect this wire while the motor is running. Don't worry that the check engine light comes on, it's supposed to. Now aim the timing light and set the distributor's base timing of zero degrees or two degrees before top dead center. Once it is set and you are convinced it is right, tighten the dist. and shut the motor off. Now re-connect the single wire connector back up. Clear the code by removing the battery power for about ten seconds. Re-start the motor to confirm no check engine light and you are done. Sometimes finding this connector is a pain. They are usually located underneath the plastic cover on the firewall close to the relays and power center, but can be inside the truck up in the passenger footwell close to the blower ducts. The wire is a brown one with a thin white stripe. Good luck.

    Source(s): I was a GM mechanic for years.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A timing light would be the best way. An alternative would be to advance the distributor so the engine idles up untill it begins to run rough, then back the distributor up untill it idles down just a bit and runs smooth. Then take it on the road and hit the gas, listening for spark knock/pinging. Leave the distributor loose enough to turn, but not so it can move by itself, and continue to back off on the timing untill no pinging is heard at any load. That will be the best the engine is going to run, and will be advanced from the factory setting, but likely more mpg and power like this. As long as no pinging, it will work fine. Oh and don't forget to tighten the distributor down when done! Good luck!

    Source(s): ASE Master Tech, 30 yrs exp
  • 1 decade ago

    if you have the old distributer use the marks off that or take a good estmation on the marking on the distributer and go from there.

    Source(s): check your manual or go to hot rod tv.com
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    try to number 1 cylinder to top of the firing order. then wire your plugs in order of where it fires in the distributor. hope this helps

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