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Old 08-06-2008, 10:08 AM   #1
old442guy

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Default Timing Specs - '79 Olds 350 Engine - R code

I'm in the middle of a raging debate with the shop that had the engine built for me for my '87 442 and need some help.

When the engine was completed and returned to me, it ran pretty good but dieseled a bit when I turned it off, got pretty bad gas mileage, seemed to lack bottom end performance, had a small hesitation when starting out and seemed to be running a little hot. It went back twice but was still the same both times.

I did a lot of reading on possible problems and narrowed it down to the probability that the timing was off. According to my Haynes manual the timing for this engine should be set at 20 degrees - when I checked it it was at 8 degrees. Granted - 8 degrees is right for a lot of GM 350 engines based on what the Haynes manual is telling me - but not this engine. I reset it to 20 degrees and presto - all my problems went away - fabulous performance, 20 degrees cooler running, no dieseling, about 25% better gas mileage - its like the difference between night and day. So - I know I got it right! My problem is - the shop that built it claims I'm nuts and have way to much timing - they insist 8 degrees is correct, and I want to prove them wrong! (now they have pissed me off!)

My engine:
Olds 350 block - casting # 557752 3B
Heads - casting # 411929
Mild Comp cam and lifters
Edelbrock performer intake manifold
Holley 670 CFM carb

These guys at the shop insist they have never set an engine with 20 degrees of timing - they say the engine builder insists I'm wrong, the Holley tech centre says I'm wrong, etc, etc - and - not being a mechanic I'm starting to have my doubts - but based on how well it runs now compared to when they set it I know I'm right. I just want some specs aside from my Haynes manual to shove in their face and say - "see - I was right!!"

So - the question is - am I right - and if I am - where can I find published specs for this engine That I can shove in their face and say - see - this is what it should be. Its just running so good - I've got to have gotten it right!

Can anyone help me out and make me a little more secure in the knowledge that these guys did actually goof?
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
slowcord
 
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I guess the bigger question is do you have HEI? I too had the same problem when i started my 69 350 motor with about 8* timing but the more timing i gave it the better it got, i posted the question here and these guys steered me right, it now has 18* initial. If you still have points 8*-12* is correct.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
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You have it 100% CORRECT sir. If you have a non CCC carb and distributor you are right on. Tell them "IT'S NOT A DAMN CHEVY" and be on your way. Olds HEI distributors use 20* of initial advance. They were the only manufacturer to do this so if they don't have any experience with Oldsmobiles then they are gonna be CLUELESS!
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:36 AM   #4
old442guy

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[quote=slowcord;402716]I guess the bigger question is do you have HEI?

Yes - it does have HEI.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
old442guy

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Quote:
Originally Posted by svnt442 View Post
You have it 100% CORRECT sir. If you have a non CCC carb and distributor you are right on. Tell them "IT'S NOT A DAMN CHEVY" and be on your way. Olds HEI distributors use 20* of initial advance. They were the only manufacturer to do this so if they don't have any experience with Oldsmobiles then they are gonna be CLUELESS!
Your reply makes me laugh, because that was the EXACT reply I wanted to give him in the heated discussion we had yesterday - and if I had been a little better informed I would have. I'm still finding it hard to believe that with my limited knowledge compared to them (mechanic-wise that is) I can be so right and they can be so wrong.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:15 AM   #6
DoubleV
 
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If you need proof to show them, why don't you just show them your Haynes manual?

I'd flat out ask them 'Why is it that every single Olds motor with HEI has the timing speced at 20* but you think mine should be at 8*? And why does my car run sooo much better with the timing at 20 instead of 8? Please tell me that Mr. Engine Guru because I really want to know.'

If you want to really blow their minds, tell them you advanced the timing a couple of more degrees past 20 for a little bit more pep. They'd probably have a good laugh at you behind your back until you prove to them what dumba$$'s they are.

They are obviously Chevy guys. They probably put a ****ty cam in your car too because 'since it works great on a Chevy motor then it should work equally well on an Olds'.
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Engine never ran the way it was supposed to from day one due to Rocket Racing's negligence. John Stolpa refuses to contact me about it.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:31 AM   #7
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How about this one......ask them "why does my timing mark go to 24 if the initial is supposed to be only 8*?
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:02 PM   #8
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according to the 1979 olds chassis service manual, page 6e-48
all vin r 350's are set at 20 degrees btdc @ 1100 rpm except engine codes QO and QN, which are 18 degrees btdc @ 1100 rpm.

you need to find a different shop.


bill
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BILL DEMMER View Post
according to the 1979 olds chassis service manual, page 6e-48
all vin r 350's are set at 20 degrees btdc @ 1100 rpm except engine codes QO and QN, which are 18 degrees btdc @ 1100 rpm.

you need to find a different shop.


bill
Or do it yourself, you seem to know more about it, and I understand being "po'ed".
Yup, cannot argue with an idiot, heck even an early ESC Chev 350 was at least 12* (IIRC)
I believe before esc/efi ect, the timing may have been around 8*.
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This is America, after all. We didn't read a manual to build it.

Last edited by kevinkpk : 08-06-2008 at 03:13 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:09 AM   #10
old442guy

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Thanks all - this helps a whole lot - I did check the cam put in and surprise - it was actually for an Olds - and now at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I was right - along with the fact that now it really does go like stink. Only took a year to get it all right!
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:10 AM   #11
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When he said "works in a chevy" he means they used a grind that works in a chevy on an olds blank. If it were a chevy cam, it wouldn't have run at all. Different motors need diferent "help" in different areas. Olds like short duration, highlift, dual pattern cams that favor the exaust side because the exhaust side is the bottle neck to an unported olds head.
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