302 timing problems 1967 Mustang - Ford Mustang Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006 Thread Starter
Classic Member
67stang's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Annapolis
Posts: 5
302 timing problems 1967 Mustang

I have a 1967 mustang coupe with a later 302 with a mild cam, i had it running ok but it missed at the higher rpm, so i broke out the timing light and went at it, and no matter what i did it just got worse, anyhelp? what btdc? and where exactly is the timing mark mounted on the timing chain housing, i pointed part of it but there a bolt hole right next to it where it looks like a pointer should be attached, the 289 i pulled out did have anything mounted there but should there be a timing pointer there? or is it just the corner of the timing chain cover?

67stang is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006
SHELBY GT 350 Member
Classic Member
Veronica's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Houston
Posts: 9,200
Hello.On the later timing chain covers the pointer is bolted to the front of the cover.There should be two bolt holes.The earlier ones had this little nub about 3/8 in diameter amd about an inch and a half long with a little flat spot on the end cast in as part of the timing chain cover.To be perfectly honest, your original problem doesn't really sound like a base timing problem.If it ran smoothly at idle and had a miss at higher rpms my first guess would be point float or possibly insufficient dwell angle if the car has points.Folks frequently set the point gap at factory spec without bearing in mind that this is no longer a new car.The distributor cam lobes have worn down slightly and that cuts down on the dwell angle if you keep the same point gap.This doesn't mean much at low rpms but in the higher range the coil doesn't have enough time to build an adequate charge.You have to fudge a little on the point gap.Also. a ported vacuum leak can cause a miss at higher rpms.The most common culprit for that is the vacuum advance diaphragm being ruptered.If the car has vacuum advance.
In the absence of a pointer your best bet would be to locate TDC manually and make a mark of some sort on the cover that corresponds to the TDC mark on the balancer.Hope that helps.

Veronica is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006 Thread Starter
Classic Member
67stang's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Annapolis
Posts: 5
thanks for the input, yes the car has the older style timing cover and i see what you talking about, it also has a newer electronic distributer with a vacumm advance, i can get it to run smooth at idle but as soon as i put the engine under any load (drive) it just boggs down and shakes the entire car like crazy, i have used a timing light and that mark but it still produces the same results, i am having a local classic car shop look at it tomarrow and hopfully theyll discover what i cant, thanks for the help
67stang is offline  
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006
Classic Member
5.0L Member
Mexstang's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 102

Hey...I have a 67 stang with a 88 5.0......
Bump the motor until the timing marks are facing down towards the ground. Crawl underneath with some parts cleaner and wipe down the harmonic balancer real good. Then use some white out and mark 10 degrees BTC. The pointer is a 2 bolt arrow bracket bolted on the right side of the timing cover. If it runs ok on idle, then it sounds like it's not advancing correctly. Make sure to disconnect and plug the vacuum line when you time it. good luck
Mexstang is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006
Classic Member
68 Coop's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Mesquite
Posts: 144
Take out the #1 plug, and crank the engine over till it blows your thumb off the hole. Take a pencil and stick it in the hole and turn the crank by hand till it comes up to TDC. Check your dist to make sure the rotor is pointing towards #1 on the cap.


68 Coupe
68 Coop is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006
Classic Member
1qwk67's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Columbia
Posts: 57
Set your timing at full advance, should be about 34 to 36 degree's. You will need to unplug the vacuum advance then run the idle up while watching the timing. Set it at full advance then check it at idle. Should run real good right there.

1967 Mustang Coupe
1985 Mustang 514 cu in Big Block. See me run on Youtube just type www.youtube.com/1qwk67 listen to the beast!!!

2005 Mustang V6 Daughters car Legend Lime Green
1qwk67 is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006
Classic Member
68*coop*gt's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Haledon
Posts: 4
Ok, i am a new member, but in process of restoring my second pony. my latest project came to me as a birthday present. In need of some tlc, but #'s matching.. it is a blessing and a nightmare at the same time.

U may have found your answer, but.. it took me 2 weeks of an hour here an hour there to get thru mine, and I am hoping this info will save someone some time for someone out there

I had very similar issues. and with no history on the vehicle i was forced to troubleshoot this one from the ground up. my symptoms where multi pointed making this one fun to work my way thru
1) step on brake, car bogs
2) step on gas car bogs
3) step on gas hard and car really hates me
4) timing unstable from rev to rev

the brake apply/vacuum leak part was a sure sign that power boost was gone (as verified with a vacuum gage when 19lbs was normal idle (i shoulda seen it here as 20lbs is my target (at my elevation), and 10lbs was when brakes where applied. so i replaced that. stabilized at 19lbs the 1lb will come in handy later). Always check the check valve as this can also be a simple problem.

symptom 1 went away.
but 2 and 3 still remained. I could not get the timing to stabilize. timing would fluctuate from 10 to 6 and all around between there (after each rev). so i replaced the distributer... (it was cracked at the stem anyhow, and ...at 70$ y not.) points, wires, plugs, coil... basic tuneup (as i said this was a car that someone literally handed me the keys and said have a ball).

no help! since i had no way to test vacuum while in gear and under load.. the guy holding the guage just could not keep up with me while i was accelerating ;-) (some of you swifter folks out there,don't try this one gets messy real quick!). vacuum good at idle (- 1lb!), no bumping or swaying of the needle in the pressure guage under gas, entire ignition system replaced ran fine while revving in park.. i even did the poor mans vacuum test (ether/starter fluid (gumout works too) sprayed around the intake and base of carb !!lightly!! while listening for increase or drop in rpm). low rpm fine, would bog/miss, and rattle at about 2000-2500rpm only while driving.

long story short....... i found my problem of all places when i was restoring behind my dash... it turns out the previous owner installed an aftermarket cruise control unit. this unit used a vacuum hose from the manifold run thru the firewall, and you guessed it, now connected to nowhere. I had a small vacuum leak (-1lb doh!)which for some reason only would cause a drop in pressure when the vacuum secondary for the 4bbl tried to open. a little hose and a small screw, and she now run's like a kitten. timing is perfect. and smooth all around. Bottom line there is no 1 test to find your acceleration problem. you need to troubleshoot logically eliminating the cheapest possibilities 1st, and pay attention to the details.
1) i advise to get a vacuum guage, they are about 15$ and the easiest way in my opinion to troubleshoot timing, ignition, and overall health of the engine for a daily driver/garage mechanic.
2) try a bunch of different tests, to get a baseline of where the engine sits. believe it or not, you can identify sticky valves, worn guides, weak springs, worn seats, vacuum leaks, timing trouble, and several other problems with this simple tool and a little patience. It is almost idiot proof. Just google vacuum guage/tester
3) test frequently during your troubleshooting.
4) warm the car up before taking readings.
6) shoot yourself for not noticing 1lb differential! i'm kidding of course.

hope this helps someone out there. my 1st time through was eye opening.
68*coop*gt is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011
mustord87's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Kissimmee
Posts: 4
hey while you guys are on timing might as well throw my problem in here but i have ford 289 or 302 and im new to ford so bare with me but i converted my rangers 3.0 to a 5.0 carb and my not so smart but smart self now forgot to mark the cap before taking out and screwed the timing up and been trying to tdc and point it to one and back firing crazy and tried 1-20 degrees btdc and it would do the same but then it would sound like a shotgun coming out my exhaust........so any help please tell me thank you.........CHAD
mustord87 is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011
GT Member
PaulS's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,806
Start by getting the engine to TDC on the compression stroke. Then line up your distributor rotor so that it will point at the #1 plug wire terminal when the gear rotates one tooth (it will when you slide it in). Once the distributor is engaging the cam gear you may have to turn the engine to get it lined up with the pump drive shaft and get it to go all the way down. Once you have the distributor in then you place the plug wires counter-clockwise starting at #1. The engine is numbered passenger side 1 to 4 (front to back) and driver side 5 to 8 (front to back).
Once the wires are connected you can time the engine and it should run fine.

1966 Coupe
Top Loader
rebuilt, rewired, modified for slalom and hill climb
No racing - just a fun car built by and for me.
Project in process
PaulS is offline  
kb65's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: macedon
Posts: 161
check that you are on #1 (pass side front)
Check the firing order. where did the motor come from the firing order on a latemodel is not the same as in the 60s.
kb65 is offline  
PONY Member
hipcheck22's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Fort Myers
Posts: 400
Hey Mustord87,

Just one extra hint to help save time. Take the passenger side valve cover off and watch the #1 cylinder rockers. The piston will be coming up to top dead center on the compression stroke when both intake and exhaust valves are closed. Both rockers will be in the slack or loose position as the cam lobe will be on the base circle with no compression on the valve springs. If you set the #1 plug wire with the #1 cylinder at TDC on the exhaust stroke (exhaust valve open) you're going get a really rough idle and it most likely won't start. Big backfires, too. Many people forget that it takes two crankshaft rotations to make it through the 4 stroke process (intake-compression-power-exhaust).

'65 C-Code Coupe Black, Stock 289, T5
Patriot Tri-Y's, Dual Exhaust w/ H-Pipe
Adjustable a-arms and strut rods
Laydown Rear Coilovers, 3.55:1
Watts Link and Torque Arm
Vision Legend Wheels w/ Hoosier H2O

Brains times beauty equals a constant
hipcheck22 is offline  
mustord87's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Kissimmee
Posts: 4
hey kb my intake says 289 and the harmonic has a number on it lik e7te i believe and that says what i came up with is around and 84. and when i set the tdc and going to redoe the dist and lift the cap the rotar is 180degrees off when i set the tdc and put the dist at one
mustord87 is offline  
mustord87's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Kissimmee
Posts: 4
i mean i tried to set the timeing before at tdc and pointed at one but then when it wouldnt work i would try it again and lift the cap and it would be off 180 degrees
mustord87 is offline  
kb65's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: macedon
Posts: 161
hello, e7 would be an 87 balancer where is the lower rad hose is it on the pass side (early to 69 or on the drivers side 70 and up). If it is on the drivers side ck the block casting number above the starter.
An 87 motor would not be the same firing order as a earley motor.
If you had a late 87 balancer on an early motor you may never get it right. let me know what you find

kb65 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Mustang Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a VALID email address for yourself, otherwise you will not receive the necessary confirmation email needed to confirm, validate and activate your new AFM member account.

Failure to provide a VALID email address, will result in the cancellation of your new AFM member account registration.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome