302 Timing Marks

Engine, transmission, transfer case, axles.
Suspension, coils, leafs, mods, upgrades.

Moderator: Bfix Staff Members

Post Reply
Carl
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: southern Illinois

302 Timing Marks

Post by Carl » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:35 am

I have a1970 Bronco 302 and the crankshaft pully is so worn and pitted that you cannot read the timing marks. All I can read is BTC and AFC and nothing in between and if I made them out to be this. First...is there any way to set the timing any other way and with what I can read.... also just what is the timing for the 302 ? Thanks for any help you can give me on this....Carl
Retired Army

User avatar
SHAWN
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 1690
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 4:25 pm
Location: Sandy, OR

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by SHAWN » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:48 am

If you get #1 cylinder piston on top-dead-center, you can put a mark on your crank pulley. You may be a few degrees off, but it would be a good starting point.

Good luck

never mind, listen to Stan ;)
Last edited by SHAWN on Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
...behind every blade of grass...
..."Shall not be infringed"
aka W7EDC

E= hammer and stick.

User avatar
Stan
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 3624
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Boring Or

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by Stan » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:23 am

Well not knowing if you engine is stock or built or somewhere in between or what type of distributor or ignition type ; they usually run pretty good with initial timing set somewhere between 6* and 15* btc. I usually set mine at 10 -12* .
Small block fords shouldn't have more than about 34* total advance so your initial timing will vary depending on how far the mechanical advance on your distributor will advance.
To find where yours is set you'll need one of the " adjustable " timing lights that has the dial and the advance degrees on the back { I forget their exact name } . Mark your BTC location on the pulley and mark the leading edge of the timing pointer with chalk or a paint pen , unplug any vacuum lines to the distributor and plug the source theyre attached to { carb,spacer , tee fitting , etc } . hook up the timing light as per it's instructions . Start your motor and let it warm up until the choke kicks off then point the " light " at your crank pulley. you should be close enough to see the mark you made on the pulley . Turn the dial on the timing light until the mark on the crank lines up with the pointer then look at the dial on the back of the timing light . This will indicate your initial degrees advance ,to find your total advance have some one push the throttle down or figure out how to run at about 3000rpm and then turn the dial on the timing light until the pointer and mark on the pulley line up . This will be your total advance. If more than 34* you should probably back off on the initial timing ; if it's below 34* you can advance the initial until the total is 34* -- unless it's hard to start your motor then back off initial timing to a happy medium.
Reading this sounds complicated - but it's not . -- Oh - keep arms , fingers , timing light wires etc . out of rotating fan blade
When you come to a fork in the road - take it
Homer - " Facts are meaningless . You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true."

DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by DirtDonk » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:42 am

Another thing you can do initially, is to time by ear or vacuum. Then there's timing tape, but more on that later...
Stan's is the best way, but if you need to get something rolling right now and don't have a timing light (but you should, just like a volt-ohm meter is a critical piece of kit for an old vehicle) you can time by ear and feel.
A vacuum gauge lets you know some, but most people who don't have a timing light might not have a vacuum gauge either! Depends on what's in your tool box, or what you can borrow.

Remember that the distributor rotor turns counter-clockwise, so turning the distributor body clockwise advances the timing and counter-clockwise retards the timing. As you advance ignition timing your idle speed will usually rise up. Retarding will lower idle speed. Up to you to compensate for that at the carburetor adjusting screws after any timing change of more than a degree or two. It's a dance.
You don't necessarily want the highest idle speed, as that may be too much advance. But turn it up just a bit and drive it to see what you feel.

Things to watch out for are:
1. Pinging under hard acceleration is not good and indicates too much advance, but it's a good indicating tool to use. When you hear pinging, knock it back a notch in the timing. Drive it again and listen for pinging. It's another "dance" we do with tuning by ear. Just like setting the idle speed for spark advance, you dance between too much advance and too little until you get right in the middle for the fuel you're using.
If you're using regular, fine. Adjust accordingly. If you prefer to use premium (or your engine build demands it) then you will usually adjust in less advance.

But be honest with your hearing. If you're older and don't hear as well as you used to, bring along a younger person, or just someone that has good hearing still. Pinging is a sign of some potentially dangerous things, so you don't want it to go on long or often. If any is detected, back of a degree or two and try again.
I used to hear it easily, but pretty sure I'm not as good at it anymore. Thank goodness for electronic engine controls!

Good luck.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by DirtDonk » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:51 am

TIMING TAPE:

As was said, if your engine is not original, or if the harmonic damper had been changed at any time in the engine's life, you could fall prey to a Ford-centric problem. Mismatched timing marks, timing pointer, missing pointer, and probably some other things as well.
Unfortunately for us, Ford used at least two, if not three (or more?) different timing configurations on our family of engines. Depends on what vehicle it originally was installed in.
Unfortunately too, the aftermarket manufacturers didn't pay much attention to this and when you bought a damper through your local auto parts store, you might get one for a Bronco in the Bronco box, or you might get one for a Falcon, or Mustang, or Pickup truck that had a timing pointer in a completely different spot. When that happens, the timing is impossible to set with flashy lighty thingies.
Hence the quick suggestion to make your own marks to match your existing pointer. Of course, old worn out markings are the nature of the beast anyway, and not a Ford exclusive by any stretch.

A great way to renew the markings is timing tape. Originally available through Mr Gasket stuff, I think it's made by several companies now. Probably Proform and all the usual Chinese suspects. But it's a great product!
You must be able to find TDC however, and that's not easy with just eyeballing it. You either need to have the front timing cover off (maybe to change out an old set of gears and chain, or just while doing a water pump and going the extra bit) so you can verify that the timing marks are lined up on the gears. Or you can use a piston-stop tool that fits into the spark plug hole, along with verifying the piston is on the compression stroke.

Once you've found TDC on #1 compression stroke, after having cleaned off the edge of the damper ring, the graduated timing tape can be adhered to the ring with the ZERO point lined up perfectly with your pointer. Voilá! Perfect timing marks all the way around.
You just need to buy the tape that is correct for the diameter of your particular damper.

All this assumes of course, that your damper is in good shape. If not, it's better to just replace it with a new one.

Good luck!

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by DirtDonk » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:53 am

Sorry, one more thing.
Have you tried cleaning off the existing damper ring with sandpaper or Scotch-Brite or something similar? Or is it just so deeply pitted that even the recessed lines are not going to show up no matter what?

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

Carl
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: southern Illinois

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by Carl » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:36 pm

Thanks everyone...The 302 engine on this 70 Bronco is the original one with no major overhaul done on it. I have tried to clean the marks with engine cleaner and with fine sandpaper but still only can read what looks like BTC and AFC but I could be wrong on this too. They are spaced about 2 " apart. I marked these and the pointer and using the timing light and working the dist. and chose the area in between where it sounded the best I have a timing light but like me (80) it is old and doesn't have all this new stuff on it and I probably wouldn't know how to use them any way with this new stuff. I think our Auto Zone has tools that you can use so maybe they have newer ones. I played around with turning the dist. and it will idle and run pretty good but not like I would like or how it has in the past and not real smooth. I will look for this timing tape … that sounds like a good way to go....Thanks all.... This is a great site to get help ....
Retired Army

DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by DirtDonk » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:21 pm

How often is it driven these days? Might just be clogging up with old age (like we can!) from sitting (also like we can!).
If that's the case, it may just need, other than a tune-up, some clean gas and oil, along with some cleaning additives. AKA snake oils.
But they really can do wonders for an otherwise good engine that has just had too much downtime.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

Carl
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: southern Illinois

Re: 302 Timing Marks

Post by Carl » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:29 pm

That is probably the worse thing that happened to this Bronco. I bought a Jeep some years back and neglected the upkeep on this Bronco which really was my pride at that time and ran great. I started a couple of years back to upgrade it with new seat covers , headliner, floor mates, etc and a lot sanding and paint. I put new plugs and plug wires, changed the oil and filter and cleaned the undercarriage and again a lot of paint. I have looked at some cleaning additives and will try some of those. My garage is not heated and lately we have had a some days that I have been able to do some work but will have to wait for the warmer days to do a lot with this right now....Thanks Paul for your time and help....Carl
Retired Army

Post Reply