Ford timing


Old 03-12-02, 02:19 PM
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Question Ford timing

I'm wondering how i can find out the timing specs for my truck. My manual says to look at the underhood sticker, but its nonexistent. I put a new timing chain, balancer, lifters, etc. in recently, and just put it all back together. I forgot to notice what the timing was set at before I started the job. It's a 1978 F250 Ranger XLT. 2WD, 400 cu. in., automatic. No emissions. VIN: F25SRCE1427
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Old 03-12-02, 02:30 PM
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I forgot to mention:

While my partner turns the engine over, it makes no difference where i spin the distributor. I'm getting spark to all 8 plug wires, it just doesn't sound like it's igniting.
Old 03-12-02, 04:20 PM
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A good start would be to find top dead center of #1 piston so that you have a 50/50 shot of getting the distributer in a relatively close location.

Start by removing the spk plug from the #1 cylinder and having a friend "bump" the motor over with your finger over the hole of the removed spk. plug.

When you feel the air pushing past your finger stop bumping the motor over and carfully insert a piece of coat hanger in the spk. hole and touching the top of the piston.

Rotate the engine clockwise and watch the hanger move up, when the piston reaches the top of it's travel it will be close to tdc.

Note:TDC is the centerpoint when the coat hanger stops moving up and starts going back down. Just try and judge where it is and mark the harmonic balancer so that you will know where it is.

Now that you are at tdc. remove the distributor cap and see if the rotor is pointing at the # 1 spk plug wire on the cap. If not remove and reinstall the distributor with the rotor pointing at the #1 spk plug wire on the cap.

try to start it

If you doesn't want to start or pops and spits, turn the harmonic balancer back to your reference point on top dead center and remove the distributer cap, if it is not and is pointing towards the opposite side of the cap, remove the distributor once again and reinstall it with the rotor pointing at the #1 spk plug wire on the cap.

( the reason for this is that the camshaft spins twice for every one revolution of the crankshaft and since the distributor is driven by the camshaft it is possible to have the distrubutor 180 degrees out)

It should start now.

As for your specs, I dont know them off hand, but if you have a local autozone store, they usually can provide you with the specs.

Probably around 10 degrees btdc

Hope this helped
Old 03-12-02, 04:22 PM
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Im sorry, missed your edit of the post, besides what I have already mentioned, have you worked the throttle several times and verified that you are getting fuel from the squirter nozzles in the carburetor???

Let me know
Old 03-12-02, 05:52 PM
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They said 12 degrees. I'm c lling it a night. I'll try again tomorrow, and p[ost the results.
Old 03-13-02, 09:34 AM
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The decal is usually stuck to the LH valve cover (and covered with a ton of on most Ford trucks of this vintage.

It should clean off easily and you'll know what the timing procedure is. I believe from your vin # this is a 400 engine in this old Blue Oval.

That being said, you might want to pick up a repair manual on the timing procedure.
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