I bought a 1978 F150 Supercab 4x4 two months ago and I've got the carb rebuilt but I'm pretty sure the timing is off as it diesels and is hard to keep idling unless I set the idle higher. I did all the basic tune up stuff like a cap, rotor, wires and plugs.
I have no idea how to set timing on this 351M engine. I know it involves a timing light which I don't have. So for anyone in the eastern WA area that has some free time I was wondering if I can get some help on getting this done. I can throw in some beer, food, and meet up somewhere if needed.
Send me an message and let me know. I'd really like some help on this or even for someone to point me towards a shop to get this done.
You're right, the symptoms are timing for the cheapest and easiest things first.
If someone from the Kennewick area doesn't appear, just attach a timing light's* leads to the battery terminals (or the neg lead to the block), and clip its inductive clamp around the #1 spark plug wire. Start the motor, point the timing light at the crankshaft pulley, and the strobe light will hit the timing mark when the distributor is turned to the correct firing alignment. You might have to highlight the timing mark with whiteout or chalk/paint to see it well. Dieseling is most often timing advanced too far ahead, or the plugs are too "hot" for it.
Watch out for the fan blade it has ruined more than one timing light and hand.