Initial Timing 289 eng. - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Initial Timing 289 eng.

So ive been doing a lot of research and watching a ton of videos and i believe i finally comprehended everything and how to do the initial timing of my v8 289 engine.
However i took out all of the spark plugs to release compression and i took the fan off the engine to be able to get my hands in front of the radiator easier. The problem im having is how do i turn the engine to get the number 1 cylinder to TDC because seems im way took weak to get the engine to turn. Thank you for all the help i truly love this forum. BTW im not an expert with engine components so dumbing it down would be perfect thanks again!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Also if need be i can take a picture tomorrow and post it so you guys/girls have a visual of what im working with.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 07:43 PM
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If you've got the room, use as long of a cheater bar as you need to turn the engine. It sounds like you've made a bit of room so slide a piece of pipe over your ratchet or breaker bar to get leverage.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by New2me View Post
If you've got the room, use as long of a cheater bar as you need to turn the engine. It sounds like you've made a bit of room so slide a piece of pipe over your ratchet or breaker bar to get leverage.
Ok i will try that tomorrow then. Ill just need to buy the socket size for that bolt. I just didnt do it today because i feel like ive seen so many others be able to do it by hand with ease. But ill let you know how that goes tomorrow
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 08:48 PM
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Ok, you will need a 15/16 3/4" drive socket, a 6" extension and a either a long ratchet or breaker bar. A ratchet is more useful, as it allows for easier rotating. Probably should just purchase a 3/4" drive set that includes the larger size sockets and a couple extension lengths. You'll need, at least, a 6" extension, since the depth of the balancer and pulley assembly is deep. I say 15/16" as this is what's holding my pulley and balancer together in my 1965 289V.
Perhaps, someone else will chime in on a different size for your year.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:00 PM
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15/16" is the size socket needed for the center crankshaft bolt. I was turning over a 7.3L IDI Diesel in an '88 F250 and even it has a 15/16" hex on the bolt. But I wouldn't bother getting a 3/4" drive socket set. They are expensive and the 15/16" is the largest size you will ever use on a 289.
A 1/2" drive socket set is more than enough. If you have all of the spark plugs removed and you can't turn the crank with a ratchet about 10" long you have engine problems.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by awhtx View Post
15/16" is the size socket needed for the center crankshaft bolt. I was turning over a 7.3L IDI Diesel in an '88 F250 and even it has a 15/16" hex on the bolt. But I wouldn't bother getting a 3/4" drive socket set. They are expensive and the 15/16" is the largest size you will ever use on a 289.
A 1/2" drive socket set is more than enough. If you have all of the spark plugs removed and you can't turn the crank with a ratchet about 10" long you have engine problems.
I agree 1/2" will do, but, get a long handle ratchet for more leverage.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kenash View Post
I agree 1/2" will do, but, get a long handle ratchet for more leverage.

I have a 1/2" breaker bar (actually I have several and I don't remember where they all came from!) that's about 16" long for the tough stuff.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by awhtx View Post
I have a 1/2" breaker bar (actually I have several and I don't remember where they all came from!) that's about 16" long for the tough stuff.
If you have a 4 speed put it in gear and push it


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:01 PM
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Why on Earth are you removing spark plugs to set timing? First off you need a timing light. It'll have 3 leads, 2 for power, positive and negative. The third clips around #1 spark plug wire which is the first cylinder on the right side. On the damper you will either see it degrees with a pointer on the cover or a single groove on the damper with a bolt on timing marker with degrees. Remove the vacuum advance vacuum line from the distributor. Loosen the hold down bolt on the distributor. Start the engine and pull the trigger on the timing light. You will see it flash or strobe. Match the marks up by twisting the distributor. Tighten bolt when done and reconnect the vacuum line
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 1967coupeFD View Post
So ive been doing a lot of research and watching a ton of videos and i believe i finally comprehended everything and how to do the initial timing of my v8 289 engine.
However i took out all of the spark plugs to release compression and i took the fan off the engine to be able to get my hands in front of the radiator easier. The problem im having is how do i turn the engine to get the number 1 cylinder to TDC because seems im way took weak to get the engine to turn. Thank you for all the help i truly love this forum. BTW im not an expert with engine components so dumbing it down would be perfect thanks again!
Just what are you attempting to accomplish here, besides find TDC, as there are easier ways?

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Today, 12:33 AM
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Get a timing light (https://www.amazon.com/Actron-CP7527...gateway&sr=8-2) and closed end wrench to loosen the distributor bolt.

Hookup the clip on timing light to #1 cylinder spark plug wire (front left looking at engine), and positive and neg wires to battery.

Pull and plug vacuum advance line to distributor.

Shine the light at your timing pointer. Marks are on harmonic balancer to read initial timing.

Turning the distributor with screw loose left/right to adjust timing and lock down again.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Today, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awhtx View Post
I have a 1/2" breaker bar (actually I have several and I don't remember where they all came from!) that's about 16" long for the tough stuff.
I had to add a 24” 1/2” drive breaker bar to the collection to get the rusted out nuts off the strut rods. I used the 15” to spin the crank. Piece of cake.

OP are you trying to install the distributor then set the timing? If the distributor is in and it runs you don’t need to find TDC. Hook up the timing light like Tom says and you’ll be golden. You may have to Scotch Brite the damper a bit to knock the kack covering the engraved timing marks but it’s not too difficult over all.

I’d agree with not needing a 3/4” drive set though I’m starting to collect them. Because, you know, tools...

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Today, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry guys been working this morning. But the reason im not going the timing light route is because it will not start. And when i had the plugs in and distributor in the timing was way off and was blowing fireballs out of the carb and it wouldnt stay on. So i decided i can at least ballpark it enough to start the car and not mess up my engine by all the backfires out of the carb. Thank you all by the way that are trying to help me out. After work today im going to go get the socket size and a pretty sizeable breaker bar to help me turn the engine. If any other advice im open to all suggestions. Thanks again and ill update after i try it out today.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Today, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 1967coupeFD View Post
..However i took out all of the spark plugs to release compression and i took the fan off the engine to be able to get my hands in front of the radiator easier. The problem im having is how do i turn the engine to get the number 1 cylinder to TDC because seems im way took weak to get the engine to turn.
Sorry if this is obvious or already mentioned in the thread (which I did not fully read)

One thought on being "too weak to turn over the engine"... before trying to turn over the engine, make sure the transmission is out of gear.
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