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Old 06-30-2017, 12:41 PM   #1
428street
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Default Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

Hello everyone. This is a long one.

Bare with me, I know enough to be dangerous and kind of all over the place and trying to reel myself in but I am on information overload from reading many threads and having basic skills when it comes to this stuff.

I have a 1970 Scout 800a with a 304 V8, 4 speed (PO upgraded from 3 speed), Holley 2300 carb and Holley distributor. I bought this truck last year and have been widdling away at going through the mechanics and learning as I go. I love mechanics but am not a mechanic by trade. I would say I'm pretty decent for having no background but I struggle with certain things.

When I got the truck it did not start, no brakes, no battery, etc. It now runs, starts and stops. All done by me with a slight bit of help from another Scout guy, the manual and various forums.

My goal was to get everything running and get it registered then I was going to circle back and fine tune which is what I am doing now. That goal has been accomplished. I've tried to do everything correctly to the best of my knowledge but I've discovered my first mistake.

I like everything as original as possible and when I got the truck it had a motorcraft carb. I also had a starter problem so I didn't even mess with the motorcaft as I knew I was going to replace it anyway. I bought a Holley 2300 core from where I don't remember. My guess is eBay. I sent it off to a local carb shop (Hobbs in NH) as I live on the East Coast. Got it back, installed it with some help and everything seemed to be fine. We set the points (new non electronic), wires, cap, rotor, wires and it idles around 700-800 rpm. Here's where it goes bad.

On advice given to me I tapped into the intake vacuum and "t'd" that hose into the advance on the distributor which after researching I found that vacuum hose should be going directly into the carb. The thing that threw us off was that there was no place to connect the VA hose into the carb and thats why we t'd the vacuum hose from the intake.

I see from some threads on this forum that I need to connect the VA hose into the carb and have found a pic showing how that was connected correctly. My issue is I have no idea how to connect the VA hose into the carb. I found the spot I think it should go into but there does not seem to be any hole for the vacuum to do anything in the carb in that hole. Looks like I need to get a fitting to go into the top boss I think you call it and then I can connect the vacuum from the distributor into the carb. I'd probably make one new line and go from the fitting on the carb into the distributor like the picture I have attached.

I also started reading a thread MM posted years ago and he says to make sure you have the electrical done first before trying to fix the gas side. Everything is new from a tune up perspective but I am considering a Pertronixs setup.

I also need to find out how to test that the vacuum advance is working on my current distributor because I am assuming it is working correctly but I need to confirm that.

I've attached a pic of the setup I think it should be and also pics of my setup on my truck now.

Also, there is a hissing sound at idle that sounds like a tea kettle. Did the starter fluid deal around the base of the carb and also the intake to see if I could find the leak but no luck.

I suspect the carb might not be 100% along with the VA plumbing which I need to fix.

Any advice on where to start? Do I have the wrong carb? My head is spinning.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:31 AM   #2
farmall57
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

You should be just fine. I have a 62 C120 with a V266 that has the same style carb you have from factory. The vacuum pipe from the distributor goes to the manifold. You can read all day about the debate of ported vs manifold vacuum and never come away with an answer. Most claim the ported vacuum was a product of emission controls of the mid 60's, that may be but my 52 Chevy PowerGlide was set up factory with ported vacuum so I don't think emissions was the entire thought. The thing I have seen is with manifold vacuum it will increase your idle, so to maintain desirable idle speed the throttle plates have to be close more. I have seen carbs where this creates a flat spot off idle as the transfer ports don't come into play soon enough. Ported vacuum lets you open the throttle plates some and lets fuel thru the transfer ports right off idle helping with fixing an off idle flat spot. All in tuning each individual engine and carb setup.
You should be able to tell if your vacuum advance is working as you should be able to hear idle speed change as you hook your vacuum hose, as well as see a change in the timing if you have a timing light.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

Thanks Farmall57...So what you saying is it is ok if I get the vacuum from the intake or the carb correct? Some stock pics I've seen show a metal tube going from VA to left side of the carb...I think thats the thing I am confused about...also, I still have that whistle...and lastly, the truck is definitely sluggish. Since I have nothing to personally compare it to it hard to tell if I have further carb issues outside of the VA. I've talked to a couple of guys who have 304's and they say that their truck it peppy...I know these are not race cars and not trying to make it one but it's kind of dogish...I did compression tests (cold) on all the cylinders and I was 115-125 all around...actually 6 were 125(ish) and 2 were 110-115...
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

There are a multitude of variations of the original Holley 2300 model carb, not just for International engines, but for other makes as well. Most are more similar than different, but the differences when they occur can run the gamut from subtle to significant. According to my limited information, that list number corresponds to a 1966 M/Y IHC 266 SV8 engine with manual choke. That year engine and distributor setup likely would have utilized manifold vacuum for the distributor advance. The carb appears to have been media blasted, a less than desirable, but common practice of backyard bubba, el cheapo-gypo, sweaty rebuild shops. Don't shoot the messenger, but I wouldn't stake my life on the thing having been rebuilt correctly.
Mayben's advice of getting spark tuning dialed before fuel tuning is right. One thing he stressed to me years back is that spark tuning will effect fuel tuning to a certain extent, but fuel tuning has no effect on spark tuning. Once the ignition timing is set properly, you can change the carb out 50 times to 50 different styles and that timing is still going to be right where it was with carb #1. But, you make a timing adjustment and then no corresponding carb adjustment to compensate and you could have some legit performance issues. You want about 5 degrees of static timing advance to start with on a operating temperature IH SV8 engine. Most will tolerate more static advance through trial and error using a method known as power timing, but 5 degrees BTDC is a good place to start.
Beginning inside the distributor, you want a quality set of breaker points and condenser. Setting the point gap alone just gets you close enough to run the engine. To really fine tune the beeyotch, you need to measure your dwell angle with a meter to ensure it is within the 28-32 degree range for a V8 engine. Then you need to verify that your mechanical, or centrifugal advance is functional when throttle is increased and decreased. This is with vac advance blocked off.
One easy way to test the function of your vacuum advance canister if removed from the distributor, is to suck on the nipple (easy boy...calm down now) and then quickly cover the hole with your finger. Or you can use a Mighty Vac tool if you have one of those. Either way, the idea is to apply vacuum and see of the advance arm stays engaged until you uncover the hole to release the vacuum. If the arm moves with vacuum applied, then the diaphragm inside the canister is perforated and the failed device will need to be replaced.
One of the best diagnostic aids money can buy is a vacuum gauge that measures vacuum as inches/hg. When connected to a manifold source, it can be used to determine a number of things going on with your engine and also aid greatly with proper carb tuning. At or near sea level, a healthy engine in proper state of tune should easily pull a steady 17 to 22 in/hg of vacuum at idle. The higher the better.
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Old 07-02-2017, 06:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

Thank you very much Scoutboy74, great information. I'm still a little hazy from last night so I have a bunch of follow up questions for you and going to place a good sized order with IHPA but lets talk some things through first. I agree with the carb, like I said I made a mistake with that and I understand. I'lll circle back on this and again I appreciate the response. Is M. Mayben still active or retired? Just curious thats all.

Thank you.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

He stepped away from this hobby several years ago.
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Old 07-02-2017, 05:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

Scoutboy74:

OK, back on track after last night. Here it goes. My goal is the get this current engine running as best as possible short of a rebuild. Right now the truck is sluggish and when I shift between gears definitely hesitation. Looking to make it peppier and more responsive. I know this is not a race car or 2017 Porsche. Not being a wise ass, I'm reasonable.

There are a multitude of variations of the original Holley 2300 model carb, not just for International engines, but for other makes as well. Most are more similar than different, but the differences when they occur can run the gamut from subtle to significant. According to my limited information, that list number corresponds to a 1966 M/Y IHC 266 SV8 engine with manual choke.

--------> This is correct, it was the closest I could find at the time and had it rebuilt. I have a 70 304 so simply just based on the engine difference (266 v 304) this is not the correct carb. So the question is which is the correct carb for this truck? I found a list online of all the carbs for IH vehicle and there seem to be 5-6 different ones just for 1970 304 V8 S/T. I'm thinking about getting the carb the IHPA sells with the manual choke option for $375. It's new and I won't have to worry about anything. I can still search for the period correct carb so I can have it for future rebuild if I decide to do that. I'm more interested in reliablitly and a little bit more responsiveness. This current carb/setup I have now is a dog.

That year engine and distributor setup likely would have utilized manifold vacuum for the distributor advance. The carb appears to have been media blasted, a less than desirable, but common practice of backyard bubba, el cheapo-gypo, sweaty rebuild shops. Don't shoot the messenger, but I wouldn't stake my life on the thing having been rebuilt correctly.

---------> I don't disagree and I don't take this the wrong way, it's the truth. This was a mistake but I want to do the right thing now. Please advise.

Mayben's advice of getting spark tuning dialed before fuel tuning is right. One thing he stressed to me years back is that spark tuning will effect fuel tuning to a certain extent, but fuel tuning has no effect on spark tuning. Once the ignition timing is set properly, you can change the carb out 50 times to 50 different styles and that timing is still going to be right where it was with carb #1. But, you make a timing adjustment and then no corresponding carb adjustment to compensate and you could have some legit performance issues.

-------> Which I believe I have.

You want about 5 degrees of static timing advance to start with on a operating temperature IH SV8 engine. Most will tolerate more static advance through trial and error using a method known as power timing, but 5 degrees BTDC is a good place to start.

----------> OK. I worked with someone on this but will double back and check what it is. I have installed brand new wires, plugs, cap, rotor, points, condenser, etc. Should I consider a Pertronix unit and coil?

Beginning inside the distributor, you want a quality set of breaker points and condenser. Setting the point gap alone just gets you close enough to run the engine. To really fine tune the beeyotch, you need to measure your dwell angle with a meter to ensure it is within the 28-32 degree range for a V8 engine. Then you need to verify that your mechanical, or centrifugal advance is functional when throttle is increased and decreased. This is with vac advance blocked off.

------------> OK.

One easy way to test the function of your vacuum advance canister if removed from the distributor, is to suck on the nipple (easy boy...calm down now) and then quickly cover the hole with your finger. Or you can use a Mighty Vac tool if you have one of those. Either way, the idea is to apply vacuum and see of the advance arm stays engaged until you uncover the hole to release the vacuum. If the arm moves with vacuum applied, then the diaphragm inside the canister is perforated and the failed device will need to be replaced.

------> OK.

One of the best diagnostic aids money can buy is a vacuum gauge that measures vacuum as inches/hg. When connected to a manifold source, it can be used to determine a number of things going on with your engine and also aid greatly with proper carb tuning. At or near sea level, a healthy engine in proper state of tune should easily pull a steady 17 to 22 in/hg of vacuum at idle. The higher the better.

----------> OK. I recently bought a vacuum gauge from Lisle I believe. Have not used it yet but I will.

So, I'll break this down.

Ignition

-all new parts installed already
-I will confirm settings above
-should I purchase a pertronix EI and coil?
-5 degree static timing
-dwell 28-32
-check and note vacuum which should be 17-22

You mention if the VA is off the distributor, what if it's still attached or should I take the distributor off and make it easy for myself and follow you instructions?

Fuel

-get rid of my current carb which is not correct for my 70, 304
-period correct carb for my engine LIST #?
-buy newer 2300 carb from IHPA?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

The difference in fuel demands between a 266 and 304 really aren't that big. I think if your carb was in excellent condition and properly adjusted, you'd probably be able to motor along with it fairly well. Perhaps not perfectly, but not bad either. I just suspect it is either worn out, has mismatched parts cobbled together from several similar but different list model carbs, or the rebuild wasn't done well. These are pretty good carbs when they haven't been fooked over too hard, all the wear parts are within factory tolerance and quality Holley brand consumable parts have been installed with the proper attention to detail. The problem is finding a 50 year old carb like that in suitable condition for another decade or more of dependable service.
I'm a fan of the aftermarket Holley 2300 list 0-7448 that you mentioned. I think were you to go that route, you would quickly get over the "non period correctness" of it and just drive the sumbitch with a big dipshit grin on your face. With your stock air filter canister sitting atop it, no one but the most learned and steadfast purists among us would even notice it. A Flame Thrower coil by comparison will be much easier to spot as being "non period correct."
Provided your distributor isn't too worn out and the timing holds steady at idle, there's no reason you can't run for awhile with the points. They do require periodic maintenance, where the eliminator module is more of a set it and forget it scenario. You could always go the eliminator route at a later time after you've had the chance to live the breaker points experience for awhile. They're old school, but they work. Now, if your distributor is so damn sloppy that it won't hold steady time with the points, then an eliminator module won't overcome the slop.
I should also emphasize that checking your dwell should be done at idle speed. Same goes for checking/adjusting your timing. You want the engine good and hot and running well under 1000 rpms to prevent influence from mechanical advance.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

I'm a fan of the aftermarket Holley 2300 list 0-7448 that you mentioned. I think were you to go that route, you would quickly get over the "non period correctness" of it and just drive the sumbitch with a big dipshit grin on your face. With your stock air filter canister sitting atop it, no one but the most learned and steadfast purists among us would even notice it.

---------> OK, so this being said there is no other "stuff" I need to purchase when purchasing this 0-7448 carb as my stock air cleaner will work fine correct?

A Flame Thrower coil by comparison will be much easier to spot as being "non period correct."

------> Agree.

Provided your distributor isn't too worn out and the timing holds steady at idle, there's no reason you can't run for awhile with the points.

---------> What are the things I can do the tell/test if the distributor is to worn out as you state?


I should also emphasize that checking your dwell should be done at idle speed. Same goes for checking/adjusting your timing. You want the engine good and hot and running well under 1000 rpms to prevent influence from mechanical advance.

-----------> OK.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

The air filter opening is the same for all 2300 carbs original or aftermarket, so it will fit. Now, the throttle linkage may need some tweaking. I don't know. I haven't performed this swap on an 800. But it has been done, so it isn't a case of reinventing the wheel.

When you have your timing light flashing at the scribe line, it should hold steady at a steady engine speed. If it is hopping around, you can suspect excess end play in your distributor shaft as a potential cause.

As you perform some of these tests, be sure to post up results for analysis here.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

These are pics of my VA...not sure how to tell if it is good or not...condensor wire was loose. What problems would that or did that cause.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

I saw your PM, but I think it would be better to do the bulk of our sussing out in this thread. Not just for your benefit, but for others as well. Plus some other learned folk may wish to chime in. I don't want to deprive you of their input by running a monopoly on this deal. The sort of 'S' shaped arm protruding from the VA canister should move in response to applied vacuum (suction, not blowing). And if that vacuum can be held once applied, the arm should not relax until you release the vacuum. Sorry if the prior explanation lacked sufficient clarity.
A loose condenser wire could cause performance issues, but no lasting harm.
The reference marks you made on your distributor probably won't do much good. When it come time re-stab, you'll need to go through the full monty process like anyone else would who's removed their distributor. Its just too easy to get your timing out of whack by taking shortcuts. There really isn't a shortcut that works. You'll need to verify that #8 cylinder is as at the top of the piston stroke on the compression cycle. You remove the spark plug and rotate the engine clockwise by hand using a large wrench on the balancer hub nut. Place a piece of tissue paper over the vacant spark plug hole. The compressed air from that cylinder's compression stroke will poof the tissue away. Stop rotating the engine. Stick a pencil down the hole, but don't drop it. You should feel an obstruction before the pencil gets too far down the hole. The would be the top of the piston. Rotate the engine just slightly more if necessary to align the scribe line on the balancer with 0 on the timing index. Now the distributor can be inserted back into the engine. Orient it in such a way the at VA canister is situated roughly halfway between the right hand bank valve cover and the water pump housing. Remove the distributor cap and make note of which plug wire location is resting directly over the rotor. That is your #8 spark plug wire location. All remaining plug wires can then be routed in a clockwise fashion around the distributor in accordance with the remainder of the engine firing order as cast into the intake runner. Following these steps to the letter will ensure that your spark timing is at point suitable enough to get the engine started. Further adjustment and fine tuning will likely be required from there to reach an optimum state of tune.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

Ok, sounds good. I'm going to buy a mighty vac today and go from there with the testing of the VA unit. I'm sure it will serve me well with other things in the future. Going away for a week so I will report my findings then.

Also, when I take the distributor out is there any rebuilding I can do? I was told there will be up and down play on the shaft (a little) but the concern is when there is play side to side in the shaft correct? I will also be able to inspect the gear at that point as well.

I'll re-read the reinstall process a couple times. Makes sense but the wiring scheme seems odd (not your advice but my head) but I'm sure I will have other questions. Bottom line is the rotor position dictates #8 wire and wire accordingly clockwise the rest but that is where it gets fuzzy for me...so is it 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 according to cyclers marked on the intake? I'm going to search for a picture or diagram of that. I will check my manual as well.

As always thank you.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:07 AM   #14
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

Yes, you will find other uses for the MV tool. It makes brake bleeding truly a "one man or woman" process. No pedal pusher required when you can suck the old fluid out via vacuum from each fitting.
Your description of checking for distributor play is correct. Side play is the real concern. As for the rebuilding topic, I'll have to leave that to someone else as I have yet to embark down that rabbit hole myself. The engine firing order is not in descending numerical order. You have an even bank of cylinders and an odd bank. The left bank as viewed from front of engine has the evens and the right has the odds. The SV8 (266-304-345-392) firing order is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. So why don't we start with #1 instead of #8? Because that's not the way the engine was designed. This is the thing that catches some folks off guard who might have experience with other engine makes that do time off of cylinder #1. They take that experience and apply it to an IH engine and then wonder why their timing is all screwed up. Its because IH engines time off #8. That's just the way it is. So when you route your plug wires, #1 will be THE LAST wire that you run. Clear as mud?
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Need help with vacuum advance with 304 and 2300 Holley

We'll see

Makes sense to me in theory. In the field is another story. Baby steps.

I just got back from getting the MV and tested the VA module and much to my surprise the valve sucked in the arm and I left vacuum pressure on it and it stayed put. As soon as I took vacuum away the arm went back to it normal resting place. This tells me that the VA is working properly. Doesn't seem to be much to it unless I am missing something.

Since I am leaving Saturday for vacation I'm not going to tackle the distributor yet, I might just put everything back and see it the truck starts again and drives any better. Not looking for miracles here and also this will build my confidence in being about to take apart, put back to getter and it works. I know it sounds dumb but this is my first attempt ever so I am still a little nervous or cautious I should say.
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