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Discussion Starter #1
Loooong story...

Had a nice 1970 FJ40 that burned in Camp Fire in Paradise.

Bought two FJ40 shells last fall to try to replace my old one.
Came with rebuilt sbc 350 on motor stand in an engine bag. Also had rebuilt sm420 mated to rebuilt LC case with AA adapter. Trans/tcase still had rebuild tags and “must fill with oil before use” tags on them.
Fuel tank, radiator all with soldered on rebuild tags from a shop in Reno.

Motor was a complete unknown. I purchased from a young man who had bought it from an older gentleman who had everything rebuilt. Paperwork for motor was lost in the many years it sat.

Built up vehicle and rebuilt Carter AFB carb that was in boxes it came with. Started motor with correct ZDDP and pre primed oil pump. Ran fairly well but #7 cylinder not firing. Checked wires-#5 and #7 not crossed. Checked spark-intact. Compression tested to 150 dry with 2 cranks. No vacuum leaks on top with carb cleaner. Lossened valve nuts by 1/2 turn on #7 thinking maybe too tight-hydraulic lifters-no change.

Never liked carter/edelbrock carbs for wheeling so replaced intake with spread bore and CL Qjet just in case there was a lean miss from bottom /galley side of intake-no evidence of leak. Fired right up and ran well...#7 still missing steadily. Changed brand new spark plug-still missing.
Pulled valve cover on driver side. Lifters appear to move up and down equally so doubt flattened cam lobes.

Interestingly the only damper that came in the boxes of parts was to a sbc 400(I found this out shortly and changed to correct sbc 350 balancer). I pulled oil pan and verified 4 bolt main. 1980 block. Forged and balanced 350 crank with 5.7 inch rods.(Not a 383). Could see most cam lobes which looked perfect. Oil was perfectly clean with no metal flecks.

HEI distributor was another one from the pile of parts. Looked old but likely fine. Replaced with brand new AC delco distributor and new plug wire on #7-still missing. Header tube does not even get hot or change color.

Also interestingly motor will only run with timing showing timing mark straight up at 12 o’clock. Thought maybe it was the sbc 400 balancer had slipped but when changed balancers it was dead on same with 350 balancer pulled from bone stock 1994 TBI 350. Verified motor was at TDC. Crank key right in line with #1 cylinder and timing line is 10 degrees left of key way. Using aftermarket 2 pm timing tang.

None of this makes sense to me. I have dressed and installed 3 prior rebuilt sbc and never had any problems getting them to time and run well.

Does anybody know a seasoned and trustworthy mechanic who is mobile in the Roseville area? Just moved to town.
 

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I'm not a pro, but shouldn't your timing pointer be at 0 when at TDC? That might bring you back to a reasonable starting advance setting.

Now, the timing chain registration is next. Depending on the cam and builder, instead of dead opposite marks on the two ting gears, they advance or retard the cam for performance or torque, etc. Without cam specs, that would be a shot in the dark but a good motor guy can get you close. There are a lot of good race shops and racers in your area. Maybe call WFO Concepts in Auburn for a recommendation. Trever and others are good guys and have a good eye on the locals.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not a bad idea. Thanks. I had considered WFO for references. I also am wondering if cam is installed ‘off’.
 

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If they used the timing plate for TDC, then the cam/timing chain could very well be out of "phase." The worst part of checking that is pulling the damper, which you have done once ....so you are as expert as any other right now. Looks like the weekend is cooling down.
 
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