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Thread: TDC- How do i find it?

  1. #1
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    TDC- How do i find it?

    So i am finally ready to install my Distributer so how do i go about finding TDC.
    I dont have any special tools and there is no timing marks so other than that what are some ways to do this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Assuming this engine is in the car I would take the #1 spark plug out and have someone bump engine over very slowly ( this can be tricky) a remote bump starter button works allot better.
    Stick your finger in the spark plug hole when you start to feel compression your on the #1 cylinder's compression stroke, when the piston is all the way up ( some people use a long skinny screwdriver to determine this) the piston will be at TDC for #1 cylinder. Then you can drop your dist in making sure the rotor button lines up with the # 1 plug wire on the cap when the dist is all the way down.
    If the engine is out of the car on a stand, I'd just do same procedure except using a crankshaft turning tool or a socket on the damper bolt.
    When you do determine TDC make a mark on your balancer if there isnt one already and line up the pointer on the timing cover. It will come in handy later when you put a timing light on the engine.
    Hope this helps, Charles
    ***IN GOD WE TRUST***

  3. #3
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    If all you want to do is put in the distributor do what was posted above...but if you want to find true top dead center then The only right way to do it is with a degree wheel and piston stop. Degree wheels don't cost that much...but probably difficult to use in the car. You could possibly try some of that timing tape on the balancer to sort of use it like a degree wheel. Put the piston stop in the plug hole ,rotate the engine BY HAND!! until it hits the stop, make a note as to where your timing pointer is at on your degree wheel or balancer marked with the timing tape, rotate it back the other direction until it hits the stop, note the location on the degree wheel again...remove the stop and exactly half way betwween those two points will be true top dead center.

    I hope I didn't screw that up too bad. :? Someone Correct me if I explained that wrong.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    and just incase like my first time, i thought i had tdc and installed the
    distributor and the car backfired a storm turns out i had to pull
    the distributor and install it 180 degrees and it worked great, and
    i realy thought it was at tdc with the first piston up but it was wrong
    so that might help, i can do it with my eyes closed now

  5. #5
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Quote Originally Posted by signsbyesa
    and just incase like my first time, i thought i had tdc and installed the
    distributor and the car backfired a storm turns out i had to pull
    the distributor and install it 180 degrees and it worked great, and
    i realy thought it was at tdc with the first piston up but it was wrong
    so that might help, i can do it with my eyes closed now
    It was at TDC......of the exhaust stroke. That's why cepx111 told him to put his finger over the hole,so he would feel the compression.

  6. #6
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    Thanks guys!
    68' Chevy Camaro

  7. #7
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    finger over hole, by this time you can hear the air coming out, and'
    your timing marks are lined up 8)

  8. #8
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    If your TDC mark doesn't alingn with the 0 degree mark on the balancer, do you align for 36 degrees counting from your TDC mark and just ignore the original numbers on the balancer?

    -Tanner

  9. #9
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetanman101
    If your TDC mark doesn't alingn with the 0 degree mark on the balancer, do you align for 36 degrees counting from your TDC mark and just ignore the original numbers on the balancer?

    -Tanner
    You can buy an adjustable pointer.

  10. #10
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    OK check this out, i turned the motor over and walla i looked at the balencer and i do see timing marks. Can i use them? Where should the mark be to be at TDC to set the distributer in. At 0 or at 36??.
    I have those blasted agnle plugs and cant seem to really tell when the piston is at the top. Can i use those marks to re-install the distributer?
    68' Chevy Camaro


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