Need help tuning 73 olds 350

Old November 10th, 2014, 04:00 PM
  #1  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
Need help tuning 73 olds 350

Needing to start from square 1.
I have a 73 olds 350 with edelbrock performer intake, non ccc hei with vac advance holley 4 barrel 600 cfm. needing help dialing it all in. seems it doesn't have much power. I am new to olds and not real familiar with timing so would appreciate all advice and patients. thanks
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 04:34 PM
  #2  
Registered User
 
olds 307 and 403's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Melville, Saskatchewan
Posts: 4,865
Buy or borrow a dial back timing light. Try setting your base timing at 20 to start, rev the engine with the vacuum advance disconnected. You want 36-38 total in by around 3000 rpm. You may need lighter springs to achieve full timing by 3000 rpm. The carb is tougher, read the plugs to start.
olds 307 and 403 is online now  
Old November 10th, 2014, 04:47 PM
  #3  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
Read this ( these principles are the same for all v8's):

http://www.corvette-restoration.com/.../Timing101.pdf

and this:

http://www.badasscars.com/index.cfm/...d=76/prd76.htm

This is pretty good reading and pretty informative:

http://oldsjunction.classicoldsmobil...n.htm#Ignition
__________________
oldcutlass is online now  
Old November 10th, 2014, 04:56 PM
  #4  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
thank you for replying

Okay I will work on getting the dial back. what I have done so far is,
set base timing at 12 degrees before top dead center. then advanced from there until I get pinging backed it off a bit. pulled plugs they all look nice and bronze. the parts store told me to set them at .35 after reading the forum for HEI was told to set at .45 changed a little for the better. was having the throttle linkage issues on carb wasn't allowing throttle to open fully. one of the other major issues I am having is this god awful stall off idle or if you try to just punch it. you almost have to ease into the gas and then try to punch it. power is getting better but the stall out is fairly trechorous killing it at some times. also not sure if this matters but there is an elec plug that I assume is supposed to go to trans and there is a spot for one on tranny but the one that looks like it goes there the previous owner has cut the wires therefore it is not plugged in???? not sure what this is for.
the only vac lines that are hooked up at this time is pcv to manifold power brake to carb and vac advance to ported vac on carb. should I have to have anything else plugged in or plugged???
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 04:59 PM
  #5  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
tried looking at all three of those threads you sent me it says they are no longer available
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:03 PM
  #6  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
I also checked the power wire to distributor it has over 12 volts when key turned on. thought maybe the computer in the car could be causing me issues??? I believe it is a non ccc distributor. has three wires coming out of the base to cap and the 1 wire coming out of elec. loom to power dist. so not sure here. but what I am reading and have been told is this 350 olds should move this car really well and have quite a bit of power.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:11 PM
  #7  
Registered User
 
jag1886's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Boise ID
Posts: 1,275
You haven't filled out your profile so we no idea as to where you live, it does make a difference as far as elevation. You don't need a dial back timing light just bump the timing up to 10 and put a set of lighter springs. Loosen up the advance all the way to start go out and stand on it, if it doesn't ping you are good, if it does ping put in one spring that is heavier until it stops pinging, I would bet it will take as much advance as you can throw at it because your compression is pretty low. You don't say what Holley you have but a lot of them are jetted pretty close if you live at lower elevations.
A 73 isn't going to have a lot of power in an almost stock form. But it's one step at a time.
jag1886 is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:16 PM
  #8  
Registered User
 
m371961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sistersville, WV
Posts: 2,163
I didn't think a 73 has any computer, but I'll let others comment on that.
Does it hesitate when not in gear accelerating from idle? This could be an accelerator pump issue. Not running, looking down into carb do you see 2 streams of fuel when opening throttle?
m371961 is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:23 PM
  #9  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
per our discussion

okay so it is a holley 8045 with elec choke and vac secondaries. I am in Missouri. also I tried looking down into carb and see no fuel squirt with car off when I push gas. when car is running when you really give the pedal a good push I see gas come out of the to nozzles in there. I kinda found this to be weird???? also it does this stall in idle or gear under load.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:24 PM
  #10  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
Originally Posted by NMcCarthy View Post
tried looking at all three of those threads you sent me it says they are no longer available
Sorry they should work now.
oldcutlass is online now  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:25 PM
  #11  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
per our discussion

also btw the car is an 86 cutlass brougham edition, engine is a 73 350 with 7a heads performer intake
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:28 PM
  #12  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
With a stock non CCC HEI, you probably can get away with setting your timing at 17-18 degrees initial. It should not be hooked to the computer, just 12v off of a keyed source.
oldcutlass is online now  
Old November 10th, 2014, 05:34 PM
  #13  
Registered User
 
jag1886's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Boise ID
Posts: 1,275
Originally Posted by NMcCarthy View Post
okay so it is a holley 8045 with elec choke and vac secondaries. I am in Missouri. also I tried looking down into carb and see no fuel squirt with car off when I push gas. when car is running when you really give the pedal a good push I see gas come out of the to nozzles in there. I kinda found this to be weird???? also it does this stall in idle or gear under load.
You missed a digit, it's a 80457 Holley, it should be jetted almost perfectly out of the box for what you have and where you live, you should buy a Holley manual and make certain the execrator pump is adjusted properly, I have found lots of them set up wrong. You didn't say if the HEI you have is a new one or an old one, if it's old it may need to be gone through to see what working and not working.
jag1886 is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 06:17 PM
  #14  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
Jag

when I got the cutlass it had a 307 in it with several new parts on it and with it. 1 of those parts was supposed to be this new distributor, although the car had sat for a few years. sorry about missing the digit. yes I would prefer a manual choke so that I am in control. no guess if its working right. ya know.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 06:32 PM
  #15  
Connoisseur d'Junque
 
MDchanic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Hudson Valley
Posts: 21,180
A '73 engine will have #8 heads. Either your engine is a '72 or it has been messed with, and we need to know what's been done to it.

- Eric
MDchanic is offline  
Old November 10th, 2014, 06:43 PM
  #16  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
okay maybe it is a 72 not to sure. the guy told me it was between a 70 and 73. the nubers on the little block tab are no longer visible the second numbers on the oil filler tube are 73. the block casting number is visible though. I could get it to you if that helps. thanks
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 11th, 2014, 09:38 AM
  #17  
Registered User
 
olds 307 and 403's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Melville, Saskatchewan
Posts: 4,865
If the distributor has vacuum advance, it is not computer controlled.
olds 307 and 403 is online now  
Old November 11th, 2014, 10:35 AM
  #18  
Old(s) Fart
 
joe_padavano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 32,021
OK, since you have a non-stock installation, it would help if you told us EVERYTHING about the car and engine up front. First, normal voltage in a "12V" automotive system is about 13.8 volts.

Second, your 86 probably has a 2-something rear axle ratio, which will absolutely kill performance. Many of these cars came with 2.14:1 ratios! Tire diameter can make this even worse.

Third, what trans are you running? First gear ratio matters for off-the-line acceleration.

Fourth, how is the engine built? Is it stock, modified, low mileage, high mileage? Do you know what the advance curve in the HEI is?

There's a lot of variables and a baseline will help you get better advice sooner.
joe_padavano is offline  
Old November 11th, 2014, 06:52 PM
  #19  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
Details about the 86 cutlass

Okay so this is what I know if you want me to check or verify anything just let me know and send me in the direction Please.

The car- 1986 Cutlass Supreme Brougham Edition 2dr vinyl top all stock with the exeption of all 4 s10 wheels with 225-70-15 Mastercraft avenger tires.

As for the trans I do believe it is a TH350, it has a square pan with one corner
cut on it, also has a vac modulator on it.

As for the engine. car had a 307 when i got it. I sold it and picked up a craigslist olds 350 appears to be between a 70 and 73. with 7A heads
Pretty certain it is all stock with a Edelbrock performer intake blocked off egr with a holley 600
cfm elec choke with vac secondaries. the guy said he also had recently replaced the timing chain in it. I replaced the oil pump with a melling high volume with bolt on sump and the oil pump driveshaft. the distributor I believe is a non ccc with vac advance has a 3 wire connector out of base to the cap.
I didnt do anything to engine except replace oil pump timing cover gasket fuel pump oil pan gasket thermostat and gasket new water pump headers that were on the 307 i kept and put on the 350, but trans linkage hits when you try to downshift past drive so cant get it into low or 2nd gear also reverse is out as well tring to find a bop 350 now, not having much luck.
I did not want to go messing with much in the motor until i knew that it ran okay and did some research.

If there is anything else please let me know i really appreciate the help
ps. I do not have any idea what the advance curve is. i took the distributor out of the 307 as well. guy i got car from said it was new recently as well.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 11th, 2014, 07:16 PM
  #20  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
Does the distributor have a vacuum advance canister on it?
oldcutlass is online now  
Old November 11th, 2014, 07:38 PM
  #21  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
yes it does
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 08:13 AM
  #22  
Old(s) Fart
 
joe_padavano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 32,021
Originally Posted by NMcCarthy View Post
Okay so this is what I know if you want me to check or verify anything just let me know and send me in the direction Please.

The car- 1986 Cutlass Supreme Brougham Edition 2dr vinyl top all stock with the exeption of all 4 s10 wheels with 225-70-15 Mastercraft avenger tires.

As for the trans I do believe it is a TH350, it has a square pan with one corner
cut on it, also has a vac modulator on it.

As for the engine. car had a 307 when i got it. I sold it and picked up a craigslist olds 350 appears to be between a 70 and 73. with 7A heads
Pretty certain it is all stock with a Edelbrock performer intake blocked off egr with a holley 600
cfm elec choke with vac secondaries. the guy said he also had recently replaced the timing chain in it. I replaced the oil pump with a melling high volume with bolt on sump and the oil pump driveshaft. the distributor I believe is a non ccc with vac advance has a 3 wire connector out of base to the cap.
I didnt do anything to engine except replace oil pump timing cover gasket fuel pump oil pan gasket thermostat and gasket new water pump headers that were on the 307 i kept and put on the 350, but trans linkage hits when you try to downshift past drive so cant get it into low or 2nd gear also reverse is out as well tring to find a bop 350 now, not having much luck.
I did not want to go messing with much in the motor until i knew that it ran okay and did some research.

If there is anything else please let me know i really appreciate the help
ps. I do not have any idea what the advance curve is. i took the distributor out of the 307 as well. guy i got car from said it was new recently as well.
OK, thanks. When you say "headers", do you mean real long tube headers or the factory tubular exhaust manifolds. In reading your other thread, I assume you mean aftermarket long tube headers.

Naturally, the first thing to do is to verify how the engine is set up. For example, how is the carb jetted? What are the exact timing specs? Is the ignition system new and not carbon tracked? Are the HEI coil and ignition module new and verified good? Have you verified that there are no vacuum leaks?

Assuming these are all good, the next thing that comes to mind is the timing chain. Since you didn't install it, there's a possibility that the P.O. got it installed one tooth off, which will definitely cause a performance problem.
joe_padavano is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 09:08 AM
  #23  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
ok I will get on checking those thongs, as far as the timing chain goes. when i rotated everything around it lined up dot to dot. yes the headers are aftermarket long tubes.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 09:25 AM
  #24  
Registered User
 
brown7373's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Posts: 1,124
Originally Posted by jag1886 View Post
You missed a digit, it's a 80457 Holley, it should be jetted almost perfectly out of the box for what you have and where you live, you should buy a Holley manual and make certain the execrator pump is adjusted properly, I have found lots of them set up wrong. You didn't say if the HEI you have is a new one or an old one, if it's old it may need to be gone through to see what working and not working.

He said "buy a Holley manual" not buy a manual choke.
brown7373 is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 09:26 AM
  #25  
Old(s) Fart
 
joe_padavano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 32,021
Originally Posted by NMcCarthy View Post
ok I will get on checking those thongs,
Must...not...comment...



In any case, that's good that you've checked the chain. I guess also verify that the vac secondaries are working and what spring is in the vac canister. I'm not a big fan of Holley carbs, personally.
joe_padavano is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 12:45 PM
  #26  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
LMAO sorry about the typo.

Okay so is there any way other then just revving up the car while looking down the carb to see if the secondaries open? I just hate the thought of revving it like that in park. although if thats what you say to do i will do that.
also how do i find out what spring is in the vac advance canister. sorry about the piddely question just want to learn and make sure i am doing things rights.

side note---- got my tachometer today, so that should help with tuning procedure, would you agree? is there anyway i can set total timing and all aspects of timing without the advance timing light i have a basic one. funds are kind of tight. it will be on my list of things to get though.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 02:11 PM
  #27  
Registered User
 
Fun71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 6,542
Originally Posted by m371961 View Post
This could be an accelerator pump issue. Not running, looking down into carb do you see 2 streams of fuel when opening throttle?
Originally Posted by NMcCarthy View Post
I tried looking down into carb and see no fuel squirt with car off when I push gas.
This sounds like an issue.
Fun71 is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 02:17 PM
  #28  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
That is kinda what i was thinking...... now with the car running i dont see any coming out until really giving it alot of gas then it sprays out of the two horns hanging over the primaries.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 03:40 PM
  #29  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
It does not look like a very even spray or spread either. question so if i cant see any gas coming out of those at idle how is it rounning and where is the gas coming from, also seems ive been having to prime the carb to get it running after sitting all night. also seems to be a night mare to get running overnight cold.
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 06:18 PM
  #30  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
You should not see a bunch of fuel dribbling at idle as it does not use a lot. You should see 2 sprays of fuel when you operate the throttle.

When you say prime, do you mean pump the gas pedal a time or 2?
oldcutlass is online now  
Old November 12th, 2014, 06:25 PM
  #31  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
no i mean dumping gas in carb. one of the things i noticed is when i push the throttle linkage back the lever that is supposed to push the accelerator pump arm down barely moves like it seems it is almost locked up as the spring on the bolt used for adjustment compresses like all the way while only moving the pump arm an 1/8 inch if that
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 06:29 PM
  #32  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
Setting total timing. Need advice

Can i somehow set total timing with out having an advance timing light, is there a trick to using a basic timing light?
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 12th, 2014, 07:20 PM
  #33  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
I moved your question back to your original thread. There is no reason to start a new thread for this as it already came up in this one.

Yes there are ways, but it's easier if you had the set back timing light. There are timing tapes available or you can mark your balancer accordingly.
oldcutlass is online now  
Old November 13th, 2014, 05:51 AM
  #34  
72 Cutlass Supreme
 
gs72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 328
It sounds like your accel pump passages are plugged. Or the diaphragm is petrified. The good news is the accel pump nozzles are held in with a Phillips head screw and are easily serviced. There is a check ball with a small weight sitting on top of it under the nozzles. This could be varnished up and stuck as well. You can take the accel pump cover off and the nozzles out on thr car(but it is a pain in the a$$) and clean them out. But doing it on thr bench is much easier. I'm not saying this will fix all of the issues. But it will help eliminate the off idle hesitation you are experiencing.
gs72 is offline  
Old November 13th, 2014, 01:44 PM
  #35  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
Update

Okay so I watched a few Holley videos on you tube last night to see how that accelerator pump is supposed to work. so after watching that i went out to my car and pulled the linkage back to my suprise the pump did not move at all.
So today I pulled carb off removed the adjusting bolt for the accelerator pump and tryed to manually move it, wasn't going to happen. I pulled the accelerator pump off carb removed diaphram and it was hard as a rock but not cracked. I then massaged the diaphram with grease for 20 minutes working the rubber until it was warm and pliable, wiped grease off lightly coated with vaseline did the same. by the time about a half hour of working this rubber it was like good as new, put it back together set adjusting bolt to .15 thousands to be sure i wasnt going to bottom it out at wot. then removed the nozzles cleaned them out put back in, kinda tricky with choke plate in. took carb out sprayed it all out with carb cleaner then the compressor, bolted carb back on. car started right up had to adjust the idle a bit, then took it for a drive and she runs like a striped a$$ ape. still need some fine tuning though but WOW! what a difference pulled hard but didn't seem like it started pulling real hard until at higher rpm like around 65mph. dont have my tach in yet so could not give exact numbers yet. still need to figure out this total timing thing though im sure that will really help.

Needing instructions on how to do with a basic timing light.

Thank you all so much for your help, could not have done it with out all the direction
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 13th, 2014, 03:32 PM
  #36  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
Great one step closer. On the timing light call around to some auto parts stores and see if they loan or rent one. There are also tool rental companies. Or you could just buy one, Sears used to have an inexpensive one and you can check the local pawnshops and craigslist.
oldcutlass is online now  
Old November 13th, 2014, 05:00 PM
  #37  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 47
Okay I checked with the local auto parts stores (all of them) lol
they do not rent them, although I did find a good price on one, only problem is I have spent all my budget money for the month on it already. that is why i was trying to go the more complicated route of doing it without the fancy light.

On the other hand I did get the tach all hooked up and installed looks great, works greater.

Okay so couple other issues I am Having,

1 The brake pedal does not return to you after pressing it.
2 The passenger side floor boards are filling up with water during rain, its dripping in from behind the glove box.
3 The head lights, tail lights, brake lights or dashlights will work.
I have checked fuse box it appears there is no power on either side of the fuse.
The blinkers work the floor dome lights work when door opens and from headlight switch.
4 there is a plug on side of trans... what is this for? it is a TH350
NMcCarthy is offline  
Old November 13th, 2014, 05:15 PM
  #38  
Registered User
 
m371961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sistersville, WV
Posts: 2,163
There is the poor mans way if you have a buddy your can REALLY trust, or do it trial and error yourself. If you have a person you trust have him hold the brake, rev it in gear to @3000 RPM and turn the dist. clockwise till the engine pings and back it off until it stops.
Or, take it for a drive with the correct wrench, stop and adjust it a little at a time until it pings, back it off and tighten. This is the method I used many years ago.
Use the octane fuel you will normally use.
This assumes the advance works correctly.
m371961 is offline  
Old November 13th, 2014, 05:22 PM
  #39  
Registered User
 
m371961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sistersville, WV
Posts: 2,163
Oh, good job with the accelerator pump.
Suggest you leave this post for your tuning but start another for your electrical troubles.
m371961 is offline  
Old November 13th, 2014, 05:36 PM
  #40  
Moderator
 
oldcutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 32,308
Originally Posted by NMcCarthy View Post
Okay I checked with the local auto parts stores (all of them) lol
they do not rent them, although I did find a good price on one, only problem is I have spent all my budget money for the month on it already. that is why i was trying to go the more complicated route of doing it without the fancy light.

Set your idle timing to 17, you should be close. If you get pinging or surging under light load, disconnect and plug your vacuum advance line. Then go out and buy an adjustable vacuum advance canister.

On the other hand I did get the tach all hooked up and installed looks great, works greater.

Outstanding

Okay so couple other issues I am Having,

1 The brake pedal does not return to you after pressing it.

This probably is your master cylinder.

2 The passenger side floor boards are filling up with water during rain, its dripping in from behind the glove box.

This may be rot around the windsheild or cowl area. The water is not draining as it enters through the defroster vent in front of the windshield. It could also be bad weather stipping or leaking windsheild seal.
3 The head lights, tail lights, brake lights or dashlights will work.
I have checked fuse box it appears there is no power on either side of the fuse.
The blinkers work the floor dome lights work when door opens and from headlight switch.

Your going to have to do a bit more troubleshooting. Try and get a chassis manual for your car off of EBay. Or perhaps one of the guys has a schematic for your car.

4 there is a plug on side of trans... what is this for? it is a TH350
I don't think you need to worry about the plug as the T350 has no electrical requirements. Just bag and stow it out of the way for now.
oldcutlass is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Need help tuning 73 olds 350


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.