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Old 03-01-2005, 08:23 PM
Craig_T Craig_T is offline
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97 Vortec 350 problem (any GM mechs out there??)

I just finished replacing the intake gaskets on my 97 (Vortec 350), along with plugs, wires, rotor, cap, radiator hoses, thermostat/seal. After about three attempts, I was finally able to drop the distributor in there. The distributor is not adjustable but I have read that if the distributor is off just by a few degrees from the correct position you could mess up the automatic timing and also cause a crossfire condition. The motor is running rough at idle and when I did a quick test drive down the street the throttle didn't respond like it usually does when I let off the gas, it feels like my foot is still on the peddle slightly. Also my engine is overheating. I didn't drive far or for very long and it heated up pretty quick. My question is, if the timing is off and my distributor is not in the correct position, will this cause the overheating and rough running conditions??? I rented an OBD 2 scanner from one of the local parts stores, but it doesn't have data stream capabilities, so I can't monitor cam retard. Any input will be appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:52 PM
bracketshark bracketshark is offline
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I've changed 2 vortec intake gaskets in the last 8 days, I also was curious about the timing settings of these motors. I nomally take a 6" scale and lay across the divers side of the distributor where the plug wires go in, from there I use the end of scale to mark the firewall, I can then relocate the distributor to exactly where it was removed from, I also rotate the motor till the rotor button points straight back to the firewall. This works well assuming the timing was correct in the first place. GM does call for the timing to be 0deg +-2deg. I got in touch with a friend of mine that works at the local chevy dealership he printed me the procedure for initial timing of the distributor and suggested when I get one to run, it will be best to use their scanner to finish setting it properly. Sounds like you now need to get to a dealership to finish the procedure. I will be very interested in any other coments on this procedure. Good advise was given on my previous question on this same project. Good luck

One more thing, welcome, good help here.

Last edited by bracketshark; 03-01-2005 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:14 PM
Craig_T Craig_T is offline
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Hey bracket, thanks for the reply. I like your method for marking the distributor's placement, I will have to use it the next time I do something like this. Do you suppose a timing light will work to get this thing a little closer on the timing. I found the TDC mark on the damper and a notch marker on the timing cover, which I'm assuming is a 0 degree marker. I just need to get it so it isn't overheating, or I will never get it to a dealer. I didn't even have it running for 5 minutes when it overheated and the weather was nice and cool. Let me know what you think. Thanks again.
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:02 AM
bracketshark bracketshark is offline
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From the information given to me at the GM dealership and by mormak on my post, a timing light is usless on these motors. You are obviously close on the timing though my sourse says it will run as much as 17 deg out. I don't like not being able to set timing myself and have more to learn about the tool (scanner) used to do it. I'd still from where you are at head to the dealership to get it adjusted. Just my .02 worth though. If you find a better way please let me know. Thanks
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:29 AM
dougbfresh dougbfresh is offline
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Since you say there is a timing mark on the vibration damper, can't you put a piece of tape on the timing chain cover and mark where the timing mark is BEFORE you disassemble (lining up the mark with a line on the tape while using the timing light)? Should get super close-won't help this guy since he took it apart already.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:59 AM
chrisk1500 chrisk1500 is offline
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Hi all,

I usually hang out at chevytalk.org, but since I think I can answer the question at hand, here are a few images out of a few manuals that one of our members has supplied.




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Old 03-02-2005, 01:37 PM
bracketshark bracketshark is offline
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I got a print out for my local dealership (glad to fax to anyone that needs a copy) on how to install the distributor initally. It says to use their machine to finish the timing procedure. Nowhere in the paperwork does it say "to" or "you can" use a timing light to time. The 98 and 97 trucks I just did, both had marks on the balancers and a Zero mark is on the timing cover bottom drivers side. I'll bring the paper given to me in tommorrow, I might can scan it and post here. These distributors are plastic, I wonder what it's life expectancy would be?

Last edited by bracketshark; 03-02-2005 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 03-02-2005, 09:13 PM
Craig_T Craig_T is offline
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Ok guys, first thanks for everyones input and help. I had two problems that are now resolved and the truck is running great (because it is a Chevy, not because of anything I did). The first problem was that the distributor was a tooth off, I restabed and got it in the correct position. The other problem was a huge vacuum leak, which was actually from a solenoid that is mounted on the passenger side of the intake. Well some idiot (I have no idea who that would be ) didn't mount it and seat it into the manifold correctly. Then I had to take it to a local shop to put it on the scanner to set the cam retard to the correct setting. By the way, does anyone know of a PC based scanner/diagnostic program? I'm looking for something that will do the same thing that the hand held scanners will do, but I can use my laptop. Just thought I would ask. Thanks again.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:02 PM
chrisk1500 chrisk1500 is offline
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Your truck is OBD II ...use auto tap.


For anyone wondering about OBD I vehicles...use winaldl
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:50 AM
Craig_T Craig_T is offline
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Thanks Chris. I just checked out there web site and they look like the way to go.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:36 AM
bracketshark bracketshark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk1500
Your truck is OBD II ...use auto tap.


For anyone wondering about OBD I vehicles...use winaldl

All of that is Greek to me, what does it mean?
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:42 AM
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KA9MOT KA9MOT is offline
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http://www.autotap.com/
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:36 PM
chrisk1500 chrisk1500 is offline
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OBD I - on board diagnostic version 1 - used from the late eighties to the middle of 95 by GM

OBD II - same as above, but used from the middle of 95 till present
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