okay my carb swap is done my dumbed down 89 is running and not to badly, it still needs to be timed. i can not see any timing marks on the factory balancer, just a line cast across the edge of it, but it doesnt line up anywhere close to the pointer with #1 at tdc. here are the facts. 89 351w, according to the books #1 is the left front when looking at it from the grille. i dont know if the balancer is factory but have no reason to make me think otherwise. how about some help. my dui distributor needs to be timed at 12 degrees before. it runs pretty good so i must be in the ballpark. I bought a timing tape and as soon as one of you guys can tell me the foolproof way of finding tdc and the same on my balancer i am in business. thanks, Dan
#1 is the front passenger side. There is only 1 line across the balancer for TDC. Remove the number 1 plug, unhook the 12V to the dizzy, bump the engine over until your finger is blown off of the plug hole. There is a weak blow when it is on the echaust stroke and a stronger one on compression stroke. Then you are real close to TDC. The line should be near the pointer at this time. then you can line it up @tdc. If not, then the outer ring may have slipped on the balancer and needs to be replaced.
Also helps to use a drill and wire wheel to clean the balancer face, then you'll see the timing marks. I paint em afterward. Paint the area, then wipe off the excess, the paint left will be down inside the grooves.
And make sure the balancer is absolutely clean before you install that timing tape, or it won't be there the next time you look. (And they don't seem to hold up well to continuous 7200 RPM blasts...but I don't imagine that'll be a problem for you...)
On my balancer there is a deep groove that on chevys are normally the tdc mark. 180 degrees from that groove on my 28oz ford oem balancer there are the actual timing marks, although hard to see, with marks every one degree from 10deg ATC down to 0 and then one for degree up to 10deg BTC. Why are there two marks on this balancer?
I have found that holding a long piece of thick copper wire down into the spark plug hole of No. 1 cylinder allows me to feel the piston traveling up or down quite well. Hold this in one hand and in the other hand hold a breaker bar (not ratchet) with appropriate socket on the crankshaft balancer bolt. Now as you rock the crankshaft back and forth you will feel the piston going up and down and can very accurately find TDC.