MonteCarloSS.com
MonteCarloSS.com

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS!

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1062661 - 07/07/19 11:51 PM Ignition Timing with EST Troubles  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
Hey guys, I was surprised to see that this wasn’t a previous thread. Please have mercy if I’m wrong, but I tried several keywords across all threads and turned up zero results...I have a 1985 Monte Carlo SS w/305 engine. I’m trying to adjust the ignition timing by following the instructions on the emissions label under the hood. The problem is that when I unplug the 4-wire EST connector at the base of the distributor (not the cap) the engine stalls and will not restart unless the EST is plugged back in. I tried unplugging the EST at 900 rpm (in park/idle) and at 600 rpm (in park/idle). 600 rpm is the idle speed required to set timing, stalled and would not restart both times. Engine is at operating temp/emissions in closed loop, I drove it for about 45 min before attempting to set timing, air cleaner is installed, choke full open and A/C is off. I installed new plugs, wires, cap, rotor and ignition coil prior to this. Can someone help with this please?

#1062663 - 07/08/19 01:14 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,498
mmc427ss Offline
15+ Year
mmc427ss  Offline
15+ Year
Member

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,498
Pottstown, Pa
From looking at the wiring schematic for the CCC the dist module should allow the engine to run when the 4-wire is disconnected. 12+ supplied to the coil from the IGN switch and the dist housing ground (hold down clamp for the dist) is all the engine needs to run when the 4-wire is pulled.

Couple things to check:
Module hold down screws are snug, this is the module ground. Car runs OK when 4-wire is attached? Ground could be coming from ECM at that time, BLK/RED in the 4-wire is ground between ECM and module.
Again car runs OK when 4-wire connected. ECM has several grounds. One at front of intake. Depending on year and options other important grounds are under the left corner of the dash, firewall side of right cyl head, (important ECM ground).
I would think your problem is module related. Engine should run without the 4-wire, CCC open loop.
Do you have a CE light? Any codes?
Bob

#1062664 - 07/08/19 02:04 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,560
86ttop Offline
20+ Year
86ttop  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,560
Brooksville, Fl
has anyone ever set the timing before??


Leo Paugh
It's not an attitude, it's just the way I am.
POW*MIA
You are not forgotten
If things improve with age, I must be approaching magnificent. thumbs
#1062666 - 07/08/19 02:55 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: mmc427ss]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
Thanks Bob, the car runs okay when the 4-wire is connected, but has an intermittent misfire. It seems to miss more when the engine is warm and when I put it into gear or turn on A/C, but will misfire in park as well. I can hear what sounds like a spark/arc sound under the hood on the drivers side when the engine misses. My first thought was defective spark plug wire insulation or boot on one of the new wires causing a short to ground. I’ve inspected all wire boots and insulation and spark plugs for carbon tracking, no issues found. I also turned off all the lights in the dark garage to look for arcing but didn’t see anything. Another thing I tried was routing all wires away from metal using zip ties best I could. My next thought was timing which brought me here. Possibly sparking in a cylinder at the wrong time (when there is no fuel or compression???). Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll take a look this week at the grounds you mentioned. I do not have CE light and haven’t checked codes as I do not have a code reader. I was researching diagnostic tools today though but wasn’t sure if the live misfire data would be available on this car. Would be nice to narrow it down to a cylinder. Thanks again, I’ll report back after checking module and grounds.

-Simon

#1062667 - 07/08/19 02:58 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Buick Runner Offline
10+ Year
Buick Runner  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Dharma station 1 the Hydra
This is a tricky problem that is not easy for us to solve without being at your car in person. Other than the base timing being too retarded for the engine to run without advance, your idle mixture could be off or vacuum leaks.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1062668 - 07/08/19 02:59 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: 86ttop]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
I’m not sure if anyone set the timing before. I just bought the car from my father in law. He is working on getting the service history for me. He bought it new in 1985, but doesn’t recall if it has been set in the past. It has been in his garage for the past 15 years so hasn’t been set recently. It has the original motor with 79k original miles.

-Simon

#1062669 - 07/08/19 03:07 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,498
mmc427ss Offline
15+ Year
mmc427ss  Offline
15+ Year
Member

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,498
Pottstown, Pa
From looking at the wiring schematic for the CCC the dist module should allow the engine to run when the 4-wire is disconnected. 12+ supplied to the coil from the IGN switch and the dist housing ground (hold down clamp for the dist) is all the engine needs to run when the 4-wire is pulled. ECM would only run carb in open loop.

Couple things to check:
Module hold down screws are snug, this is the module ground. Car runs OK when 4-wire is attached? Ground could be coming from ECM at that time, BLK/RED in the 4-wire is ground between ECM and module.
Again car runs OK when 4-wire connected. ECM has several grounds. One at front of intake. Depending on year and options other important grounds are under the left corner of the dash, firewall side of right cyl head, (important ECM ground).
I would think your problem is module related. Engine should run without the 4-wire, CCC open loop.
Do you have a CE light? Any codes?
Bob

#1062670 - 07/08/19 01:10 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 981
Hunter79764 Offline
Member
Hunter79764  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 981
Grand Prairie, Tx
Does it stumble and die, or does it just shut off like it was unplugged? If it stumbles, I'd lean towards the base timing being off enough that when the advance is removed, it can't stay running. If it turns off like a light, then I think Bob is on to something with an improper ground. Hard to say, but that's my thoughts.


Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer...

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1062671 - 07/08/19 04:30 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Hunter79764]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
Originally Posted by Hunter79764
Does it stumble and die, or does it just shut off like it was unplugged? If it stumbles, I'd lean towards the base timing being off enough that when the advance is removed, it can't stay running. If it turns off like a light, then I think Bob is on to something with an improper ground. Hard to say, but that's my thoughts.



Thanks for your response. It turns off like a light. I plan on spending today going through Bobs suggestions and seeing where that gets me.

-Simon

#1062672 - 07/08/19 06:58 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: mmc427ss]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
Originally Posted by mmc427ss
From looking at the wiring schematic for the CCC the dist module should allow the engine to run when the 4-wire is disconnected. 12+ supplied to the coil from the IGN switch and the dist housing ground (hold down clamp for the dist) is all the engine needs to run when the 4-wire is pulled.

Couple things to check:
Module hold down screws are snug, this is the module ground. Car runs OK when 4-wire is attached? Ground could be coming from ECM at that time, BLK/RED in the 4-wire is ground between ECM and module.
Again car runs OK when 4-wire connected. ECM has several grounds. One at front of intake. Depending on year and options other important grounds are under the left corner of the dash, firewall side of right cyl head, (important ECM ground).
I would think your problem is module related. Engine should run without the 4-wire, CCC open loop.
Do you have a CE light? Any codes?
Bob





Good news and bad news...Turns out the ground at the front of the intake had come loose. Once I tightened this ground the car ran fine with the 4-wire disconnected and at 600 rpm. Thanks so much!

Bad news is that the timing is spot on and I still have the intermittent misfire. The only thing I haven’t replaced is the distributor module. I’m at the point where I’m willing to buy a diagnostic scan tool, but does this model year support real-time misfire data before I go spending $$$? Also, does anyone have any recommendations for a certain scan tool? I’ve read good things about the Actron Elite AutoScanner Kit with enhanced OBD 1 and OBD 2. I don’t really have a need for the OBD 2 function but I can’t seem to find a Actron with only OBD 1.

Do I need to start new threads for the misfire and scan tool discussions?

Thanks again for all the help!

-Simon

#1062674 - 07/09/19 01:25 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Buick Runner Offline
10+ Year
Buick Runner  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Dharma station 1 the Hydra
A vacuum leak anywhere can cause a misfire, as well as a bad spark plug, wire, dist cap, etc. I would check for vacuum leaks first, especially around the intake manifold and carb gaskets.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1062675 - 07/09/19 01:43 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,560
86ttop Offline
20+ Year
86ttop  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,560
Brooksville, Fl
The dist module has nothing to do with the misfire, if you've wire tied spark plug wires together, that is a big NO NO!!

Last edited by 86ttop; 07/09/19 01:43 AM.

Leo Paugh
It's not an attitude, it's just the way I am.
POW*MIA
You are not forgotten
If things improve with age, I must be approaching magnificent. thumbs
#1062676 - 07/09/19 03:51 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Buick Runner Offline
10+ Year
Buick Runner  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Dharma station 1 the Hydra
Misfires can also be caused by sticky valves or lifters which can happen when engines sit around for long periods. Some MMO can clear things up.

Also, if you are running a aftermarket performance cam, you may need to run more base timing than stock to restore idle quality.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1062677 - 07/09/19 05:23 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,498
mmc427ss Offline
15+ Year
mmc427ss  Offline
15+ Year
Member

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,498
Pottstown, Pa
Good to find the loose ground. Also check the one under the left dash bottom corner, that screw is used to also hold the dash in place. The one at the back of the driver side cyl head has a ground running to the firewall, check that one also. The grounds are always something that needs to be in good condition.

As far as a misfire did you install plugs? A crack in the plugs porcelain will behave erratically, based on voltage necessary to fire the plug. Being some of the plugs are a PITA to change cracking an insulator can happen easily. Been there done that. Idle may be fine, put a load on the engine and it MAY misfire. Also plug wires can be damaged when removing the boot from the old plug.

If you are brave and have a good assistant have someone sit in the car with the engine running, foot on brake and power load the engine. Do this in the dark of night. With a load on the engine, ignition, sometimes a misfire can be seen as a spark jump at the plugs. Spraying water on the plug areas with the engine loaded can also be a good diagnostic tool.
Just be careful when doing this procedure.
Bob

#1062679 - 07/09/19 11:34 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: 86ttop]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
Originally Posted by 86ttop
The dist module has nothing to do with the misfire, if you've wire tied spark plug wires together, that is a big NO NO!!



Thanks to all for the recommendations. 86ttop, I did have a couple zip ties on the drivers side to prevent the wires from contacting the exhaust and steering shaft. Once I removed the zip ties and separated the wires, the misfire/spark noise went away. I never would've thought a couple zip ties would cause so much trouble! I drove it in to work today and didn't feel or hear any symptoms of a miss. Thanks again!

-Simon

#1062680 - 07/09/19 01:56 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 767
AkronAero Offline
10+ Year
AkronAero  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 767
Akron OH
Plastic zip ties wont conduct much but tightly bound wires will arc through their own insulation, esp if the run is long. Your discovery is a great reminder to all of us. Sleeved wires could help[ too.
Old school guys tell that it was common for certain wires, for example no5 and no7, to create an inductance/jump and cause misfire (out of sequence spark).
Their fix (GM shop) was to make a loop (2") with one of the wires, say 5, and have it zip tied at the back side of the loop to the other wire, in this case 7, near the distributor with direction of power now opposite.
This is still being done in some places.
Not a recommendation, just and observation.
Really glad this is working for you - keep us posted as we all learn.
Gordon

#1062684 - 07/09/19 05:52 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,958
Richie Cat Offline
10+ Year
Richie Cat  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,958
Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.


83 SC, 355 w/TPI
#1062685 - 07/09/19 06:14 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 767
AkronAero Offline
10+ Year
AkronAero  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 767
Akron OH
RC - this is particularly good in that he uses 1 zip tie thickness to divide up and space the wires. Never tight bind them together.
I run under header wires with SS (uncoated) hooker headers so I'm very hot down there. Melted a few ties while testing where to run.
Thanks again - interesting stuff out there.
Gordon

#1062687 - 07/09/19 09:12 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Richie Cat]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
Originally Posted by Richie Cat


I actually found this video yesterday! I googled DIY spark plug separators and this came up. Chris Fix has some really good stuff on his YouTube channel. Thanks!

-Simon

#1062688 - 07/09/19 09:58 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Buick Runner]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Simarti28 Offline
Junior Member
Simarti28  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 12
Saginaw, MI
Originally Posted by Buick Runner
Misfires can also be caused by sticky valves or lifters which can happen when engines sit around for long periods. Some MMO can clear things up.

Also, if you are running a aftermarket performance cam, you may need to run more base timing than stock to restore idle quality.



Do you recommend the original MMO or the Ultimate?

#1062691 - 07/10/19 03:42 AM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Buick Runner Offline
10+ Year
Buick Runner  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,737
Dharma station 1 the Hydra
Original works well for most cases.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1062695 - 07/10/19 07:13 PM Re: Ignition Timing with EST Troubles [Re: Simarti28]  
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 358
ChasUno Offline
Member
ChasUno  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 358
Bradenton, FL
Originally Posted by Simarti28
Also, does anyone have any recommendations for a certain scan tool? I’ve read good things about the Actron Elite AutoScanner Kit with enhanced OBD 1 and OBD 2. I don’t really have a need for the OBD 2 function but I can’t seem to find a Actron with only OBD 1.

Do I need to start new threads for the misfire and scan tool discussions?

Thanks again for all the help!

-Simon


Search eBay for "Alltest Brainmaster". These were the scanners available for cars using the CCC system (and some others of that era). It will allow you to read all the ECM details, settings, parameters, fault codes etc. They can be picked up inexpensively too.


1986 Monte Carlo SS

[Linked Image]

Random Images
500/thumbs/Resized952019091395172634.jpg
by markg
500/thumbs/100_0150.JPG
by red/white04
1159/thumbs/9-19-07_006.jpg
by Crusher
500/thumbs/IMG_2322s.jpg
by hitman85
500/thumbs/Rubbin_is_Racing1.JPG
by WranglerSS
Help MonteCarloSS.com


Recent Contributors
dns87ss
Authorized Vendors
Tell them you saw it
on MonteCarloSS.com!


CustomMonteSSParts.com
Dixie Monte Carlo Depot
GSI Interiors
HRpartsNstuff
Mikes Montes
Savitske Classic & Custom
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0