Question about 1985 Chevrolet Chevy

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I have a 1985 motorhome with a big block 454 chevy. the timing is way off the 4 degree mark & was told by my smog tech the balancer had slipped. replaced the balancer but still can't set the timing.during the installation 2 of the holes that secure the pulley to the balancer stripped & had to install heli coils. does this affect the balancer? after the engine warms up & during shutdown it continues to desiel & backfires through the carb

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 6,982 Answers

Helicoils will not harm the balancer. So, forget that. First, I recommend that you determine true top dead center by placing a drinking straw into the #1 plug hole and turning the engine by hand till the straw is at the top of the piston stroke, then back off a short distance, remove the straw, and insert a bolt several inches long, the exact thread size and diameter as the ones on the sparkplug, down into the plug hole, far enough so that it contacts the piston, then back off a bit (using fingers only) then, turn the engine slowly by hand till the piston again contacts the bolt. Use a crayon and make a mark on the balancer using 0 on the timing tab as a reference point. Spray some paint on the exposed bolt threads so it can be re-installed at the exact same depth again. Remove the bolt and turn the engine backwards by hand and again insert the straw. when it nears TDC again, put the bolt back in, using the paint on the threads as a guide as when to stop, and continue turning the engine till the piston again rests against the bolt. Make another reference mark as you did before. The two marks will be about an inch or so apart. Exactly half way between those marks is true TDC. If it is anywhere other than where the factory mark is, use a hacksaw to cut a permanent line into the balancer and use white paint to mark it. You can now time the engine using the new mark as an exact reference.
I actually have made a tool for this by breaking off the ground strap and electrode also removing the entire porcelan top as well, from an old spark plug and tapping a screw thread into the empty shell, then placing a bolt into the shell rounding off the top so it is less likely to mark the piston top. Never turn the engine by any means besides normal hand/wench method and never force anything. The entire operation actually takes longer to write than it does to do.

Posted on Jun 20, 2009

  • Jeff Youtsey
    Jeff Youtsey Jan 28, 2014

    Could be that the timing chain is bad should be little or no play afterthe upper gear bolts are tightend?? good luck

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