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Author Topic: 521 Ignition Timing Help  (Read 37084 times)
chuck90lx
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« on: September 19, 2015, 06:32:19 am »

Hi!
We finished my Dad's 521, finished the break-in without issue other than putting a new starting in before hand, but need help with the timing. It has a custom grind but the guy who did it for us is away on vacation for a couple weeks developing some of his new property. We are having hard/no start issues with it warm/hot so today we are going through all of the wiring insuring good grounds and connections (this just happened at the track tonight). I am not sure where to find or know of good links to trust other than this site for help. I have the timing at 20*, anything less especially below 15* seems to make it run rough. Here's what the car has, sorry for the long...babbling, I am used to my nice computer controlled EFI Foxbody 5.0's:
Camshaft Lift .580 Intake, .591 Exhaust; Duration 240.9 Intake, 248.1 Exhaust; lobeSep/Adv 109.5; Overlap 26.1; 4.5 Advance; 1.73 Rocker Ratio. I am copying this off the cam spec card.
Super Cobra Jet Heads SCJA, Hydraulic Lifters, Pushrods are 8.85 Intake, 9.250 Exhaust, MSD 6AL, MSD Billet Distributor 8580, Balanced Scat Rotating Assembly (Mahle Pistons). Holley Dominator 4150 950 double pumper.
Not sure exactly what else to add but I greatly appreciate any help and points in the right direction.
Thanks,
Charlie
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2015, 08:31:27 am »

What is the total timing and when is it all in by? What vehicle is it in? What is the vaccum at idle and at what rpm?      This is a start.
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chuck90lx
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 12:13:06 pm »

Sorry for the delayed response. It's in a 79 Mustang with a C6 manual valve body and transbrake. Also, we are running just long tube headers. I don't know what any of the vacuum pressure is, it's running on magnetic pickup of the 6AL. We tried 10-12* at idle it would idle at 900 rpm and seem rough, but do you think that's because of the new cam being more aggressive? It was harder for me to tell with earplugs in and being in the garage. During the break-in we had it at 20* at idle at 1400 rpm (which it was when we got the car) and at 2000 rpm it was at 40*. I didn't go over that before the break-in and we didn't have any heating or any other issues during the break-in. At the track, it was not wanting to start when it was warm at 20*, I believe heated up starter somewhat has to do with it but it would start at 10*. Made 4 runs with the car, no engine ping or anything. Do you think maybe locking out the distributor at 35* and a starter retard box would be the trick? There's paint pen 35* written by the distributor. I can't ask the previous owner, he was killed in a tragic accident in the mountains.  Thanks again for the help.
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Life isn't about arriving at the grave in a well preserved body, you should arrive skidding in sideways, all worn out, screaming "Holy S**t, what a ride!"
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2015, 04:30:09 pm »

What starter, size cables, and cable arrangement are you running.

A late model PMGR starter with quality cables is usually enough to cure most starter problems. The extra clearance and reduced clutter are just bonuses.
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http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
chuck90lx
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 04:20:36 pm »

It's a new PGMR mini starter, but not high torque, OEM. I'm not sure of the exact cable size, its the cable right off the positive terminal to the starter solenoid, then the same size cable down to the starter. We followed the wiring instructions that came with it. The old starter was jumpered at the starter. The battery is located in the trunk. I have a thermal blanket around the starter too. The engine is 13:1 compression though.
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Life isn't about arriving at the grave in a well preserved body, you should arrive skidding in sideways, all worn out, screaming "Holy S**t, what a ride!"
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2015, 05:03:42 pm »

How do you have the solenoid wired?

I had to add a relay between the ignition switch and the solenoid on my PMGR starter for it to work correctly. IMO, the weak wiring in the factory ignition switch is the cause of many starter and solenoid issues on Fords. And Fox bodies seem to be very prone to these issues, especially early ones.
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
chuck90lx
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 05:23:28 pm »

Good to know, thank you. I won't be home until between 9pm Friday and 5am Saturday depending on tomorrow's schedule. I will reach out to my Dad and see if he can also add some pics, he'll know exactly how its wired.
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Life isn't about arriving at the grave in a well preserved body, you should arrive skidding in sideways, all worn out, screaming "Holy S**t, what a ride!"
chuck90lx
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2015, 11:38:20 am »

I believe we found the main problem. Turns out the bottom starter bolt was slowing backing out  unknown to us. This seemed to help but it's still having a bit of a hard time cranking when it's warm. We will get the car back up in the air on Saturday when I get back to town to check the top bolt. Not sure if I can get to it from under the car with the long tube headers or if we will have to pull the tunnel and do it from the inside again. As far as the wiring, the battery located in the trunk, the positive cable comes from the battery to the right side of the solenoid (which is mounted on the backside of the passenger side shock tower), then the same size cable goes from that side of the solenoid to the starter. The other side of the solenoid has the wire that goes to the starter, the smaller post on the starter. The ignition switch is aftermarket pushbutton. there's nothing left there that's OEM, it's just got a switch panel in the aluminum dash.  
Thanks again for the help, we greatly appreciate it.
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Life isn't about arriving at the grave in a well preserved body, you should arrive skidding in sideways, all worn out, screaming "Holy S**t, what a ride!"
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2015, 01:27:14 pm »

You are using a PMGR starter with a fender mounted solenoid? Why?

IMO, the integrated solenoid on the starter is a much better piece. And using it cuts down on the number of wiring connections and equipment between the battery and starter.
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
chuck90lx
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Location: Yakima, WA

« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 01:00:03 pm »

That was the way it was when I bought the car. You should have seen the wiring rats nest under the dash. A wire going into splitters with nothing split, alot of fun.
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Life isn't about arriving at the grave in a well preserved body, you should arrive skidding in sideways, all worn out, screaming "Holy S**t, what a ride!"
Paul Kane
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2015, 11:55:15 am »

During the break-in we had it at 20* at idle at 1400 rpm (which it was when we got the car) and at 2000 rpm it was at 40*. I didn't go over that before the break-in and we didn't have any heating or any other issues during the break-in. At the track, it was not wanting to start when it was warm at 20*, I believe heated up starter somewhat has to do with it but it would start at 10*. Made 4 runs with the car, no engine ping or anything. Do you think maybe locking out the distributor at 35* and a starter retard box would be the trick? There's paint pen 35* written by the distributor. ...
The aluminum SCJA and SCJB heads have a revised combustion chamber and spark plug location, both of which are more centrally located over the bore, and do not normally require 40* ignition advance. Most people start their engines for the first time with about 28* BTDC@3000rpm, then find peak power on the dyno at about 30*-32* overall.
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chuck90lx
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2016, 07:47:16 pm »

Right on, thanks for the help!! I've been able to learn a few things about the distributor to. Who ever had it before had the red advance stop bushing (28*) in it so we got and MSD spring and bushing kit so it won't advance that far. Also bought a new hi-torque mini starter which will help. Thanks again!!
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Life isn't about arriving at the grave in a well preserved body, you should arrive skidding in sideways, all worn out, screaming "Holy S**t, what a ride!"
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2016, 08:02:06 pm »

If you find that you need more initial advance than the MSD 20 bushing offers, here are some other options :

http://www.4secondsflat.com/MSD%20Distributor%20Tuning.htm
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
chuck90lx
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2016, 02:38:05 pm »

That's awesome, thanks!! Great insight and solutions!!
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Life isn't about arriving at the grave in a well preserved body, you should arrive skidding in sideways, all worn out, screaming "Holy S**t, what a ride!"
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