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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, hell.

Spent all damn weekend on the CJ ('76CJ5 w/ '79 AMC360 motor, unknown mileage on motor). Replaced the timing belt, water pump, fuel filters, dropped and cleaned the oil pan, full tune-up, etc.

The results:

Engine STILL doesn't time correctly. Calls for 5* BTDC, but will barely even run at that setting. Best RPM still waaay off the index, at 20-30* ATDC. Chain was installed exactly to book specifications and to recommendations from kind folks in this and other sites. Retained relationship through several test revolutions. No slack. All seemed good.

Most of the pan leaks cured, but new ones created. Typical. However, no oil in coolant/coolant in oil from what I could tell. Apparently I gasketed the timing chain cover right.

Still blowing smoke, especially from the driver's side. I know I need to do my valve stem seals, but the ones I got from AutoZone were too small inside/large outside... yet they listed for all AMC V8's. I think I'll try a different supplier. Smoke may also be from valve timing running so far off, but as I mentioned previous I'm stuck on why this is so.

Engine has a whole new loping vibration to it. I made sure all mounts were secure, but it still shakes around alot more than seems healthy. I verified all plugs going to the right wires, all plugs good, all wires good, dist cap good, etc. Don't know.

While I was verifying something or other, I removed the distributor and must have replaced it out of phase somehow. Attempted to start, and the engine just backfired from the exhaust. Whoops. Ok, I re-removed it and phased it back 180*. Now, it backfires out the carb. I assume something is flooded, and I need to remove plugs and crank a few times to clear it, but it was getting dark by that time and I was flustered as all hell.

So, basically it just seems I spent alot of time and money destroying my CJ. ANY hints as to how or where I could get back on track (ESPECIALLY the timing woes) would be appreciated. I am particularly flustered at this juncture. Thanks.
 

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This may sound simple, but are you trying to time it with the vacuum advance hooked up? Be sure it is unhooked or you will get very high readings.
As to the distributer, pull the #1 plug, crank the engine until it reaches Top Dead Center(all the way up). Stab the dist. with the rotor pointing to fire on #1 plug wire. You have a 50/50 chance of this being the correct mark. If not, pull it and rotate 180 degrees.
The timing being that far out can cause some unusual driveability problems such as rough idle, poor accel(if it runs at all), and backfiring. Dont let it get you down. It should be a simple fix, just a little time-consuming!
Oh ya, your oil leaks and smoking, have you checked the PCV system? If the crankcase is pressured it will bow oil past all the seals. Just a thought!
Hope something here gets your CJ back on(and off) the road!
 
G

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Well I'm kinda new here so I don't know what the rest of the people have suggested here but first thing I would do is a compression test just to be sure your pumping good pressure. Depending on the results it would take me in two different directions for trouble shooting.

If the compression is good I would pull a plug and make sure the mark on the harmonic balanser is in the correct location for TDC. Just put a long rod down the spark plug hole and note when the piston stops raising the rod. The pully on the harmonc balancer which has the timing mark may have moved with relation to the slot on the part that bolts to the crnak shaft. Since you just did a tune up I probably not worry about the distributor cap and wires being bad. Let pretend you couldnt find the timing mark, can you adjust it by feel maybe peaking the RPM or using a vacuum guage to adjust the timing. Does it run great at this position??

I don't know if you replaced the cam or anything but I had a new cam once that had the timing hole drilled off and had to send the whole thing back but that was realy rare. you could always check valve timing with a degree wheel and check to be sure the valves open and close at the right time but I bet your problem is simpler than that.

Are you using a adjustable timing light that may be in the wrong position.? Are you setting the timing at the right idle speed? Vacuum line disconnected?

Most of the time I put the distributor in out of phase I get backfire throught the carb. You can physically check this by pulling the valve cover off and making sure that both valves are closed when the piston is coming up to the TDC position. If it stills backfires then you could have other problems. Flooding doesn't always cause backfires through the carb.
 

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My first engine had the same problem with blowing oil past the seals. Despite being worn slap out, the vacuum nipple on the carb base was completely clogged with crud. A quick poke and it was again allowing suction to the PCV. This pretty much stopped the leakage from the seals, but didn't do a thing for the rings, etc. the were toast
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Eddie's right on with getting the timing set. Don't forget to plug/crimp the vac hose you take off of the advance when timing. Stay at it and you'll get it to purr eventually. I always figure the one thing that gives you the most hassle, will be your greatest strength when it finally finished.
 
G

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I went through similar problems when I dropped in my 360 about a year ago. High RPM's, Oil blow by, etc. I ended up doing 3 things. First was an Edlebrock intake and 600 cfm carb., Second was a different style distributer to use my stock '76 ignition, and third you probably don't have to do, but I needed to was replace my cam. The cam had 2 worn lobes. The intake and carb brought the idle inline, and the ignition solved the other problems. I didn't have to replace the cam until about 3 months later when it started to run really rough (2 cyl. not firing).
She now runs great and has enough power to yank my brothers full size ford out of the muck when he gets stuck.
Good luck.
 

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1. You have gained. You know what it's not. That's as valuable sometimes as knowing what the problem is.

2. Reset the timiming statically.

3. IMHO the problem's narrowing down to a problem in the distributor, pickup, or advance plate/mechanics..
 
G

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agreed (mostly).
make sure you have a good suck action on the pcv.
you prolly do have a tooth off on the distrib.
pull #1 plug, put your finger over the plug hole, and
crank it over til it poofs out the plug hole (w/ coil
disconnected).
check the rotor to see where it is in reference to
#1 on the cap. i wouldn't pull the distrib until i do that.
it won't end up 180 off again this way.
and, if you have bad guides (the blowin smoke thing),
seals won't do much.
 

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I'm with LEVE on this one. Install the distributor and turn on the ignition. With the #1 cylinder on top dead center, slowly rotate the distributor till you see the spark "snap" the plug that you have just shoved into the #1 wire. Check the pulley to see what the timing mark is indicating. That will give you a clue as to whether it is a timing machinery problem OR a distributor problem. Those distributors come apart with just one pin, so don't be reluctant to investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The static timing is exactly what I originally did... I set the #1 at TDC on compression, and the rotor right at the #1 wire contact. After refilling oil and coolant and cranking it a good minute or so to get them distributed, I reconnected the fuel line and she fired right up. Ran ****ty, but fired right up. I disconnected and plugged the vac advance and set timing... only ran decent at ~25* ATDC (same as it did previous).

After I took out the distrib, changing nothing else, I'm pretty sure I did place it 180* off (no ignition, just exhaust backfire). I tried just turning it back 180*, but then it just backfired from the carb.

Vacuum is good all around. The new oil pan leaks are due to a crappy gasket job on my part, no doubt. I wasn't expecting to have to lift the whole right side of the motor for one thing, and I had a touch of trouble lining up the sump and new dipstick tube in the pan when remounting it. I'm pretty certain I bunged the permatex someplace along the seal and made a happy little oil highway. Off it comes again, I suppose.

As for the oil burning, I was pretty certain stem seals were a cure for that... otherwise, what's the point of the seals? Not to mention every write-up on the procedure I found mentioned it as a cure for oil consumption. Another indication was the "dollar bill test," where the exhaust sucks up a dollar bill (or similar paper) periodically when held up to it. Indication of stem seal failure, and did it both before and after the timing work.

Thanks for the tips so far. I know it was all a learning experience. It's just damn frustrating to spend nearly every waking hour of a rare free weekend wrenching, following all the directions ot the letter, taking careful attention to everything, flub once, and wind up with a broken Jeep at the end of it. I guess that speaks siilar for everything.

Buying lots of new parts would be nice, but I don't have anywhere near the cash for that right now or anytime very soon. Guess I'll just try to make do with what I have.
 

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When you statically time and engine you don't set the timing to TDC. You first find the compression stroke and then advance the engine to about 6* BDTC and stop. This where some of your error is...

1. Pull the Cylinder #1spark plug.
2. Put you finger in Cylinder # 1 spark plug hole.
3. Manually rotate the engine until you feel compression building up.
4. Look at the timing marks and put the marks at about 6 to 8 degrees BDTC.
5. Unlock the distributor hold down clamp.
6. Lightly lock down the distributor so it can be rotated by hand.
7. Install the spark plug to #1 spark plug wire.
8. Ground the plug so you can see the electrode.
9. Turn the ignition to Run.
10. Quickly rotate the distributor and to obtain a spark when the rotor sees plug #1.
11. Narrow down the rotation as much as possible.
12. When as narrow as possible, lock down the distributor.

You've got to do step 4 correctly or you're manually rotating the distributor to make up for the error.. and then you don't really know what the heck's going on.

Now if there is an error in the timing it's narrowed down the distributor assembly.

Unless the valve stem seals and the valve stems are really, really, really worn the seals won't cure the oil consumption issue. Worn oil seals let oil pool into the cylinders when the engine's off. You'll start the engine and there's a poof of blue smoke and it's over as the combustion burns the pooled oil. Underway there's not much oil loss due to moderatly worn seals.

Explaine the "dollar bill test" a little further. I'm not familiar with that one, I suspect it's a test for backpressure?
 

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It's altogether possible that you are doing everything right but your haemonic balancer has slipped and no longer indicating the correct timing. Do everything LEVE said only don't bring it to the 6-8 degree mark on the balancer. Itstead bring it to top dead center, pull all the plugs so you can turn it easily by hand, as you notice it coming up on compression, insert a long screw driver in #1 cylinder and slowly rotate the engine until the screw driver stops rising, being carful not to let the screw driver wedge in the cylinder as you rotate it. Now check to see if the timing mark is indicating with in a couple degrees of TDC. If not, the outer ring on you balancer has slipped. If it is in correct relationship the you should check that your dist is pointed at #1 cylinder, if it is it should start and run fairly well provided your cam is correctly timed.

Good Luck
 
G

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use a couple of straws weged together instead of the screwdriver. Safer anyways. a wooden dowel would work fine too.

Jesse
 

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I dont know much about the 360's, but do you have electronic ignition? One of my old 258's ran like the timing was all messed up when the ignition box was f'd up. everything else was fine, heck, i wound up rebuilding the entire top end of the engine (that only had 15k on anyway), the carb, and the distributor before i realized it was a pos faulty "new" ignition box. Just another idea.

-web
 

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Did you by any chance remove the dist. and accidentally reinstall it 180* off?
 

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Explaine the "dollar bill test" a little further. I'm not familiar with that one, I suspect it's a test for backpressure?

Larry I think there might have been a miss-understanding for the $ test. This is a test that has been used for a sucking valve, burnt valve test by the ol timers for a long time,,, yeh I'm an ol timer too,
. This some times works and again some times doesn't. Hold the paper or dollar over the end of the tail pipe and if it pulls in to the pipe you have a burnt valve maybe,,,
GP'n
 

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This sounds very much like what I did when I rebuilt my F250 motor. Come to find out, Chevy numbers the cylinders left to right, front to back.

8 7
6 5
4 3
2 1
FAN


Ford numbers the cylinders front to back, then side to side.

8 4
7 3
6 2
5 1
fan

(or something like that)

So when I put the plug wires on the plugs as per the firing order, I was WAAAAAAAY off the mark. (I was using a chevy mindset on the ford)

Lopy idle, runs poorly, runs best at some wacky timing setting.... I don't mean to second guess you, but are you 100% sure you have the firing order and cylidner identification correct?

Good luck
Pete
 

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Ok, I'll put in my two cent.
I agree with most of what everyone has written. But first sit down get a beer/soda/highball and relax. Most problems are compounded by frustration. Relax and think & plan it out before taking anything apart.

One problem I had one time was screw fell into the distributor and jamed the mechanical advance to full advance. I don't know if you have mechanical advance.
I also once had a 52 Plymoth that was given to me after a crash, the timing marks were gone, from being ground off from the crash. I just timed it by finding TDC by using the methods described by the other fellas and making my own marks.

Good luck, Looking forward to hearing how good it's running!
 
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