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How to uncover TDC, or optimal dead center

OK, you"ve bring away the engine apart on your classic chevy. Dis-assembling the engine is definitely the easy part while working on a chevy small block. I"ll gambling you take it the engine apart v the believed in the back of your mind, "I"ll figure out exactly how to discover tdc later when it"s time because that reinstalling the distributor". Currently it"s time for re-assembly and you must install your distributor.

You are watching: How to find top dead center on a chevy engine with no timing tab

Installing a chevy distributor is another article altogether, so I"ll cover the on an additional page.

I did it Myself!

With Tools and also Instructionfrom seasoned Pros.

They"ll it is in in awe the you...when friend tell themwho did the work.

Click Here!What is TDC?

Top dead facility is as soon as the number one piston is in ~ the top of it"s compression stroke.

See more: A Quadrilateral With One Pair Of Opposite Sides Parallel, Types Of Quadrilaterals

You will require to discover TDC, or top dead center, in order come re-install the distributor in your classic chevy tiny block engine so the the distributor striker is in the number one place at the same time the number one piston is in ~ the peak of it"s compression stroke. If your intent is to install the distributor, you won"t have the ability to use the distributor as a recommendation point, rather you must refer come the harmonic balancer and also find the timing mark.

When you find TDC, this will ensure you start off through your ignition timing as close come zero degrees as feasible when it comes time to start the engine. If her ignition time is not close enough, the motor may not start at all.

Do i need sophisticated tools?

No. I will show you just how to carry out this v a minimum the tools. Unlike part other write-ups on the web that require degree wheels, dial indications (depth micrometers), or manometers, you can obtain by on old school recognize - just how for this one.

How specific is this method?

Your need for pure accuracy depends on what you room trying to achieve. If friend are structure a gyeongju engine, you have to use precision devices that enable you to account because that inaccuracies in the machined parts. If you simply want to download a distributor so the you can get your motor to run in your classic car, climate this an approach will do the trick.

This method will permit you to accurately discover TDC as long as you perform not have any significant damage to the harmonic balancer or the crucial and keyway, the timing chain, or the time tab is no bent. ~ above a 64 Impala, and most classic cars in the 60"s, the harmonic balancer to be made from a solitary piece of steel so the timing mark will always be in the same place. However, in later on years, the harmonic balancer was built with a vibration damper ring and the timing note was on the damper ring. As the balancer/damper gained older and also the vibration damping rubber between the balancer and also the damper ring started to fail, the timing mark might move. If you have such a harmonic balanceron her motor climate this technique is "potentially" flawed due to the fact that you will use thetiming note on the harmonic balancer together your tdc indicator or reference.

Let"s obtain started!

Find the timing mark on the harmonic balancer. You may need to clean the harmonic balancer to discover it.

Remove the number one spark plug. This is rather optional. If you ease the spark plug so the air can escape from the cylinder, then you have the right to hear the waiting bleed previous the threads when the number one cylinder is coming as much as the compression stroke. If you decide to fully remove the spark plug you have the right to put a finger over ( not in ) the spark plug hole. This will allow you to feel the wait being forced out of the cylinder together the piston compresses it. Using a finger to cap the hole does not work-related well as soon as the engine is warm though.

If you have a remote starter button, attach it to the starter terminals. One clamp go on the starter solenoid"s tiny wire terminal closest come the motor, the various other clamps to the battery cable terminal on the starter solenoid. Usage the starter button to crank the engine end in quick bursts.

If you carry out not have a far starter button, use a small flat blade screwdriver to brief the 2 terminals together. As soon as you have actually the starter appropriate in prior of you, it have the right to be rather loud so friend will should pay attention to the sound that the compressed wait escaping native cylinder number one.

If you use the screw driver an approach and totally remove the spark plug, you might need someone"s assistance to either brief out the solenoid or put their finger over the spark plug hole.

Once girlfriend hear the air escaping this way the piston is coming up to tdc. The air does no escapse quickly, it tends to bleed the end if the spark plug is quiet in the hole. Stop transforming it over.

Locate the timing mark on the harmonic balancer. You might need to crank the engine a couple of times to gain it to come approximately to the timing mark on the time tab. Don"t intend it to stop at tdc, you will certainly be lucky if that happens. You may need to revolve the harmonic balancer manually towards or ago to tdc.

Most chevy small blocks will run simply fine when initially collection to 4-6 levels advanced. Advanced means the ignition system will send spark come the spark plug prior to the piston will tdc.