97 suburban 350 timing - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 08-27-2012, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default 97 suburban 350 timing

Hey guys. I am working on my friends suburban and I am doing the upper intake. I had to pull the distributor . I made note of how it was before I removed it. the plug was facing at 1 oclock and the and the finger on the rotor was facing 7 oclock but my problem is this. underneath that the round plate on the distributor turns freely which means I could be 180 degrees out. right? because the rotor was facing at 7, I put the notched part on the plate underneath at 7 as well. is that correct or should I just reset the timing? If i need to reset the timing can someone PLEASE walk me through it? I am not used to dealing with distributors . I am a diesel mechanic though so I am not scared. Just want to do it right.


p.*- my knees are killing me from kneeling on that enging all night last night lol!
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:16 AM   #2
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As long as the distributor housing and the rotor are in the same position as you uninstalled it, you should be fine.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:28 AM   #3
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the 96-99 are weird animal. if you get it close enough it will compensate and run ok till it runs out of room to compensate. to get it right though you have to take it to a shop that has a scanner that can read "cam retard offset" set for zero at over like 1500-2000 rpm. i found a shop local that set it for 1/2 hour rate about 25 bucks for them.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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I you put a mark on the engine casting to line up to a mark on the distributor you should be okay. If not, you will need a timing light to set the timing. Clip the inductive pick up on the timing light to the #1 spark plug wire, remove and plug the vacuum line going to the distributor (if it has vacuum advance), start the engine, and shine the light on the timing gage that will be mounted above the crankshaft pulley. There will be a line on the crank shaft that shows you where TDC is. Whereever that line lines up with the timing gage will tell you where the timing is set. IIRC the timing should be 8* BTDC on that engine.

I usually take a white grease pencil and put a mark on the TDC line on the crankshaft pulley, and a line on the timing gage at the point where I want it set. The white lines are easier to see when flashing the timing light.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:46 AM   #5
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My biggest concern is the rotor button. Should the tab on the rotor be on top of the hole on the distributor or the opposite direction? Thanks for the help guys. I think if i get it close enough that i feel comfortable im gonna take it to a shop anr have them time it correctly
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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Doesn't the ID of the rotor have a flat spot that lines up to a flat spot on the distributor?
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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I you put a mark on the engine casting to line up to a mark on the distributor you should be okay. If not, you will need a timing light to set the timing. Clip the inductive pick up on the timing light to the #1 spark plug wire, remove and plug the vacuum line going to the distributor (if it has vacuum advance), start the engine, and shine the light on the timing gage that will be mounted above the crankshaft pulley. There will be a line on the crank shaft that shows you where TDC is. Whereever that line lines up with the timing gage will tell you where the timing is set. IIRC the timing should be 8* BTDC on that engine.

I usually take a white grease pencil and put a mark on the TDC line on the crankshaft pulley, and a line on the timing gage at the point where I want it set. The white lines are easier to see when flashing the timing light.
wont work on this engine. there are marks for tdc, but changing dist base position will do nothing for timing advance the pcm will do what ever it wants anyway
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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wont work on this engine. there are marks for tdc, but changing dist base position will do nothing for timing advance the pcm will do what ever it wants anyway

Didn't know that. If it has a TDC mark won't it at least tell you if the distributor is close enough to be in range for the PCM?
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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no, you set it there to get it running then set the cam retard offset with a scanner. you are basically doing the same thing but you cant watch advance because it keeps it about 20deg at idle. before i had the cam retard set i knew it was off because it would be good and advance until you start getting on it then instead of getting into the 30'* it went to like 25 then started going backward to like 14 to keep it running i would guess
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:43 PM   #10
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Well i tried starting it today arter putting everything back how i thought it was. It wouldnt even start. So now im assuming i have to start from scratch. Right?
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