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You are watching: How to set dwell on small block chevy

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The 1947 - Present Chevrolet & GMC Truck Message Board Network > Info Center> FAQ Truck Tech> Engine and Drivetrain
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Installing/adjusting points for 350 SBC

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Question
:How easy is it to change the points and condenser in a 69 truck with a v8. What are the basic steps to accomplishing this?Answer:1. Pull the cap and rotor off. There should be 2 screws holding the plate down with the points and condeser on it. Loosen them(not remove), disconnect the single wire, and pull the plate out (Chevelle454).2. Use the lube that comes with the new points to lube the cam on the distributor, and... 3. Use whatever lube you have left to put it behind the cam block on the points so it can self-lube over time. Once that"s done, and you have them installed on the distributor you have to gap them: 1. Place the cam block on the points on the high point on the cam on the distributor so that the contacts are open (pull the lead from the coil to the distributor and bump the starter, or turn the engine by hand). 2. Use a feeler guage that has a 90 degree tip, or make one, or use something that is the appropriate thickness (.018 - .019 in). Place this between the contacts, and turn the screw on the points until the gap is correct. 3. Put the dist. cap back on, connect the coil, and connect a dwell meter (black should go to - on battery, and red/green should go to - on coil). Start the engine and let it get to operating temp. Check the dwell - it should be between 29 and 31 degrees (set it to the lower so as the points wear the gap will get bigger but still be within limits). 4. If it needs to be adjusted then open the little door on the distributor cap and turn the screw until the dwell is correct. You can do it by sound if you turn the screw until the engine starts missing, then back it off 1/2 turn, but I prefer to get it precise with a meter. Once you"re done pull the meter off the engine. 5. Re-time your engine to make sure you have enough advance. Use an inductive timing light, and disconnect the vacuum advance from the carb to the distributor and block it off with a screw or something.6. Connect your light (red to + of battery, black to good ground, and clip on #1 plug wire), and point it at the balancer and indicator. The mark should be somewhere on the indicator between 10 and 14 degrees depending on your carb, heads, and cam.7. I have mine set to 14 degrees (last mark on the indicator). That gives me good response on the throttle, and good idle, but isn"t too advanced to start bogging down at WOT). Loosen the distributor hold-down. Turn it and recheck your timing until the mark is in the appropriate place (either by sound or by manufacturers specs), and your engine response is good.8. Tighten the distributor hold-down, and recheck the timing to make sure you didn"t just move it. If it"s correct, then pull your timing light off the engine and you"re done!


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__________________"69 3/4 ton C20 2wd-350ci/TH400 "69 3/4 ton Custom 20 2wd-350ci/4sp Manual"99 2wd 5.7 Chevy TahoeSeattle, WA.