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Boy did you guy open up a can of worms. I'm all confused now. I got a rebuild kit from ERW out of FL. and ordered a early timing set. When I got the stuff the set was in a box that looked like it was on the shelf since 1970 and was missing the crank gear. After bitchin I got a upgrade to a Cloyes roller. Early or late I do not know. It was shipped separate and wouldn't you know the empty box laid on my bench tilla week ago and got pitched out. So I don't know the part #. I have it installed at 0, and in the truck. I'm .040 over 9.5 c/r mild cam and 770 holley avenger.If my cam is still retarded I'll be pissed. How much difference will it make. I have the front clip off so I could go back in but don't want to. The truck is a 250 hd 4x4 that will be used for plowing snow, towing and playing.
Sorry bout the long post. Any suggestions?
Years ago this was easy, Call your Ford dealer, buy a 69-70 crank gear and go. I wonder what you are really getting with some of the less expensive sets. If you just install at (0) and don't put a degree wheel on it, you don't know what you have. Didn't mean to open a can of worms, but this is good info.
Remember, (The Best Never Rest)
My 460 that I am disassembling for a rebuild is a 1978, I plan on degreeing the cam when reinstalling it, Will I need to order a early timing set in order to get it to dial in to the cam makers specs or will the 3 key gearset be enough? I think they only adjust 4 degrees each way.
I would think with the confusion about the cam timing you would want to dial in all 460 cams, Cam timing is critical to good mileage and performance
As it looks to me, if you buy a timing set, and throw it in at straight up, and you don't need to turn the cam to get the chain on the sprockets, I would have to say you bought a 72-79 timing set. If you bought another set and straight up required turning the cam clockwise to slip the chain and sprockets on, I would say it's a 68-71 spec set.
Come on, doesn't anyone here have a Cloyes or similar timing set for 68-71 that has installation instructions for 72 and later 460's???
Any of you guys who bought aftermarket timing sets for 72 and later engines are 4 degrees retarded when you have it installed in the "0" keyway. No two ways about it. You can't degree a cam in a performance engine in using an aftermarket 72+ timing set because you will need to go to the +4 keyway just to get to "straight up". Most people like to advance cams a few degrees to pick up som elow end torque. You will not have this capability with the 72+ up timing set. Never, ever use a 72+ timing set for performance builds, no matter what year your engine is.
Last edited by 1972 Ford Thunderbird 429 V8; 03-23-2003 at 06:33 PM.
I don't think you will ever be able to tell with just your eye. Four degrees out of 360 is not very much to look at, but it means an awful lot to your engine. The only way to tell is to degree in the cam. Both timing sets will line up on the same teeth visually. If it's this important to you, check it, better safe than sorry.
1979 F-150 Lariat, Black 4X4 SWB
One owner, 47,000 miles
You can definitely tell the difference just by looking between a 4 degree retarded crank gear and a straight up crank gear. The straight up crank gear will have the keyway and the dot punch lined up. The 4 degree retarded crank gear has the dot punched to the left of the keyway. Here is a picture of the difference between the early straight up crank gear and the 72+ 4 degree retard crank gear (courtesy of FTE member Frankenstang57)
The gear on the left is a pre 72 straight up crank gear and the gear on the right is a 72+ retarded crank gear
Just crunching numbers here: It look like the difference is half a tooth on the sprocket, but it is hard to tell exactly with real accuracy from a photo.
It would make sense, since a 360 degree circle divided by 18 teeth is 20 degrees per tooth. Since the crank turns twice for every turn of the cam, that means a difference of 20 degrees divided by two, or 10 degrees on a cam. The half-tooth difference (approximately) would be 5 degrees, so give or take a few minutes of a degree for error, it must be close to 4 degrees in actuality. So, by taking a late crank sprocket and moving one full tooth, you should get plus 5 degrees cam timing, which is probably not that good. Of course, to do this would mean you no longer have the aligning marks, so a crank dial would be the best way to get the exact amount... Perhaps it is only 4 degrees advance. I have looked into this before as a possible money-saving timing solution, but I don't think a 4 or 5 degree advance would be all that good, according to some I have heard from that tried it.
Would you go back inside to change from -4 to 0. If the motors all bolted in? I think I probably will or I will alway wish I did. But not without a few @#%$$!! for the guys at Cloyes who call minus 4 zero. I know you should degree but Damn!!
It is an ignorant remark to blaim Cloyes for the fact that the "ZERO" position on a 1972+ 429 and 460 engine was 4 degrees retarded. If you want to blame someone for you not researching this ahead of time, blame Ford, they were the ones who made this decision. I'm not flaming here, I just don't want a good company like Cloyes getting bad mouthed for other people's mistakes.
Call me flat stupid if you want but I still say they should then call 0 the oem setting not 0. I originally ordered a early timing set and it got screwed up. Hey lesson now learned!! And even got called names besides.
I take the blame. But the story was, ordered a early timingset, non roller, got a incomplete set. Sent it back, got a cloyes roller subbed. I did not originally order it ,and was by then 2 weeks worth of attitude late. NO EXCUSE!!! I did not have a invoice with the subbed part # because it was a freebie after I bitched. And I did not do all my research. There is still research to do. Maybe the warehouse only carries early sets. I can hope can't I.
If you call ERW they will have the part # of all the parts they sent you. I have dealt with ERW on several occations and haven't had a complaint yet. Ask for Anthony, aka FoMoCoKid, or Ray, aka Razor, they are on ebay all the time so you can pull the 1800 # off of there in case you chucked the reciept.
Mark J. Covill
"I'm not handicapped, I'm handicapable!"
'64 F-100 Shortbed 460/C-6
Author of the disc brake article for 57-64 F-100's
Do not confuse this with ignition timing. Two different systems.
Early ("straight up") cam timing does NOT increase low end torque. It simply brings the torque curve down in the RPM band, to make it more usable and available earlier in the power curve. In other words, early sets make the same torque at a lower RPM than later cam timing gears, giving the impression of increased low end torque.
I put my old late model set next to my new Edelbrock double roller set at the "straight up" setting, and it was a small but noticable difference in gear position. It is much easier to rotate the cam to get the gears on than trying to rotate the crank.
I did not notice a big improvement in performance or mileage, but my truck is about 6,900 lbs empty, so any improvement has to be pretty big to be noticable. I did notice a "lean running condition" and had to enrichen my carb to keep it from popping through the carb.
Remember, if you have to pass smog, you will not pass if you change to an early set of timing gears.
Ironically, retarding the cam timing 4 degrees helped emmissions at idle, but increased the emmissions output at high speed. Go figure...leave it to the government to screw up a good thing.
2003 F350 Super Duty Cew Cab XLT
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