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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    southern California
    Posts
    15

    Default installing new delco voyager est distributor help

    Got my new delco voyager est distributors and intending to drop them in this weekend. Came with pretty clear instructions so I think i can get thru it, but i have a question on timing. The port engine is standard rotation (lh) but the starboard is reverse (rh). The belts and pulleys all run counterclockwise when viewed from the balancer side. (its a v drive), so engines are mounted backwards.
    My question is how to interpret advance on the starboard engine. If "advance" is on the clockwise side of 0, will "advance" now be on counterclockwise side of 0?
    and since these units are hei with no centrifugal advance, is it necessary to check timing at high rpm after verifying correct timing at idle? btw, these are carbed 454's. thanks in advance for help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maryland - USA
    Posts
    6,766

    Default Re: installing new delco voyager est distributor help

    If they were built correctly, the RH engine's timing tab will be labeled correctly (assuming you can read it).

    The short answer is yes, things get reversed on the RH engine.

    It is ALWAYS good practice to verify the timing advance is proper when making any changes with the ignition system....and don't be surprised if you see a large jump in the initial timing value when the "service plug" is removed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    southern California
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: installing new delco voyager est distributor help

    hey Mark..thanks for continued advice on this. Giving you an update. I went down there today with the new delco distributors and a timing light. I tackled the starboard side (rh) first and it went slow as I was carefully noting all wiring connections and rotor position etc. I did not move to tdc, I just left engine undisturbed. For some reason on that motor, I could not get the distributor to drop in and seated with oil pump with the rotor in the same position despite numerous tries. I even tried the old distributor, and both old and new kept dropping fully in with the rotor pointed just about one cylinder ahead of last position, even tho I had not moved the engine. BUT I knew that before removal, the rotor was pretty much aiming at #3 cylinder wire, so I decided to just make sure that when all plug wires were reconnected to distributor in the correct firing order, #3 was aligned with the rotor. Got it all connected and turned the key..it started right up but was a little rough. THEN I DISCOVERED THAT MY TIMING LIGHT WAS BROKEN AND I COULD NOT USE IT. So I played with the distributor until I got smoothest idle at 700 rpms and locked it down. I then increased rpm to 3000 to see if I heard any pinging or backfiring or whatever. It ran smooth after several rpm increases and back to idle. So it's not by the book but it seems ok. The other engine went much more quickly and that distributor DID drop right back in with the rotor pointing exactly where old one was previously. That motor started right up as well and idled beautifully and at 3000 rpm, no noticeable issues. Since I didnt have a timing light on hand I just locked everything down. I do intend to get a new timing light and double check the timing at earliest convenience.
    I am still confused as to why the starboard distributor refused to line back up where old one came out. It is not possible for the oil pump slot to somehow move even though the engine was not moved is it? Would an engine even run if everything was off by one cylinder? I know probably a dumb question but what the heck?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maryland - USA
    Posts
    6,766

    Default Re: installing new delco voyager est distributor help

    I guess you got the timing tabs figured out....

    wasn't there so cant give you any specifics as to why....as far as distributor (re-)install goes, the key 'alignment' is to get the rotor pointed at #1's terminal when that piston is at TDC on the compression stroke. You also have to get the drive tang on the bottom of the gear to align with the driven slot for the oil pump. most of the time, the oil pump drive alignment is off and the distributor wont 'seat' on the gasket.....just bumping the engine with gentle downward pressure on the distributor will make things happy.

    Would the engine run with the distributor cap misaligned by one cylinder? depends upon how far 'off' it is. if it does run, it will be poorly and it should be pretty apparent, especially under load....a vacuum gauge reading should remove any doubt.

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