Question about 1979 Pontiac Firebird

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Pontiac 455 what side should vac advance be on when dropping in disbutor stock points 73 and anything else about setting timing

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If you are re-installing the distributor, the only limit on where the vacuum advance goes is whether you have room to rotate the distributor to the proper timing position. The really critical part is arranging it so the rotor is on the number 1 cylinder when the number 1 piston is top dead center (TDC) in the firing position. To do this, rotate the crankshaft so the timing mark on the harmonic balancer lines up with the timing mark gauge mounted on the block. Set the rotor to the number one spark plug position and install the distributor. You have a 50% chance this is correct; it could be TDC on the exhaust stroke instead of the ignition stroke. If the engine won't start, carefully remove the distributor so you maintain the rotor position, rotate the rotor shaft 180° and reinstall. Now if the engine runs you can set the timing.

Note: if the screwdriver blade on the end of the distributor shaft doesn't engage the slot on the oil pump (you won't be able to get the distributor to seat properly), then turn the oil pump with a large clean screwdriver so it lines up properly.

If the vacuum advance hits something before you can rotate the distributor body to the correct timing position, you'll have to shift everything around by at least one gear tooth on the cam shaft (remove the distributor, keeping the rotor in the same position inside the distributor, tweak the oil pump slot in the direction you need to rotate the distributor to get your timing space, then re-install one or two gear tooth widths away from whatever was blocking the vacuum advance).

Posted on May 25, 2011

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  • Pontiac Master
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The vacuum pot should be on the right side. It should have enough room to move at lease an inch and a half in both directions. Set the crank pulley so that the timing mark is aligned with 0 on the scale, The distributor will turn as it goes in but when it's all the way down it should point to the second wire tower cw from the forewardmost cap screw. (mark the position on the housing and remove the cap). If it does not drop all the way down, turn the engine by hadnd and hold light pressure on it. Once down rotate back to 0. The firing order is 18436572 also clockwise. Drivers side cyls front to back are 1357 other side also front to back 2468. Once the distributor is in, rotate it so the rotor arm points to or is just before the mark you made. If you had the valve covers off when you brought the crank to TDC it should have been after the intake valve just closed. If the covers are on you have a 50/50 chance that the distributor is 180 degrees off. if it backfires and does not start, pull the distributor back out part way and rotate it 180 degrees (with mark again at 0). That should put you back where you belong. once running, disconnect and plug the vacuum hose to the distributor and check the timing with a light. With the idle less than 1000rpm your initial timing should be around 8 degrees. Go higher or lower as necessary, depending on the fuel quality. By the way...455 is an olds engine. Very strong but they do not like high rpm's.

Posted on May 25, 2011

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Generally they are on the passenger side. Just find top dead center and drop in the distributor as to have enough room to spin it to make timing changes. So generally the vacuum advance will be parallel with the fender on the car if that makes sense, if you get it dropped in with it to far to the back you won't be able to ****** the timing if you need to, and if to far forward you will run into problems getting the air cleaner on.

Posted on May 25, 2011

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  • Pontiac Master
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On pontiacs the vacuum advance is on the drivers side and when you are timing it pull the vacuum line of and plug it off at the carb before you time it.Set timing at 12 degrees BTDC.

Posted on May 25, 2011

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Keep the vaccum advance closer to the fire wall and that would be on the driver side

Posted on May 25, 2011

  • Ricky Peters
    Ricky Peters Oct 25, 2011

    It goes on the drivers side on a pontiac engine.

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