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  1. #1

    Default How to read timing pointer 350/5.7L chevy small block

    I am trying to check and reset the timing on my 1991 Suburban with the 5.7L engine. I hooked up the timing light and started checking the timing. Trick is, I have no idea how to read this timing pointer. I'm fairly certain that the large, wide V on the right hand side of the pointer is 0, but I'm not sure. The pointer appears to have markings on it, but I can't read them through the rust. I need to be at 0* BTDC, so if the V on the right is 0*, I can get away without cleaning it. Any ideas on cleaning the pointer up? It's not easily accessible because of the water pump, serpentine belt, etc.

    Here's my timing pointer:
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    Here's what I'm basing my 0* off of:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 277K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

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  2. #2


    Wow, I expected someone to have piped up by now. I'm still uncertain on this.

  3. #3


    I have had luck cleaning them up with some WD-40 or PB Blaster and a scotch bright pad. I just spray one of the chemicals on and then hit it lightly with the scotch bright, then wipe it off. Since yours is a PITA to get to, you may be able to get the scotch bright to stick to the end of a long screwdriver or rod somehow. (duct tape)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here is a video I found that has a pointer that looks just like yours. Maybe it will help you.

    1995 Silverado 4x4
    6" BDS Suspension Lift-3" Body Lift-Add A Leaf in rear -Trailmaster SSV Shocks-Duel Steering Stabilizer Kit -AirAid Cold air intake-
    4.56 Gears with Detroit Auburn Locker-Pro-Comp Traction Bars with duel shocks-Aluminum Skid Plate Kit-38.5" x 16.5" Mickey Thompson Baja Claws-Constant Dropping fuel gauge

    2005 Yukon XL Jet Power Programmer, Bilstein Shocks, Bilstein rear springs, Helwig Anti-sway bars, EGR Window Visors, EGR Hood Shield, Denali Headlights, Headlight harness upgrade, GE NightHawk Bulbs, White Night Rear lighting system, Russell Braided SS brake lines, PowerStop Brake pads, PowerStop cross drilled and Slotted Rotors,
    2002 Silverado ext cab 2wd (Sold)
    2003 Yukon XL (Totaled)

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  5. #4


    I've been searching Google Images looking for my pointer. I didn't even think to check Youtube.

    I don't have a Scotch Brite pad at hand, but I have some 220 grit sandpaper. Do you think that'll do?

    That timing pointer sure looks like mine. If nothing else, I feel pretty confident that I can get the timing right now even without cleaning.

  6. #5


    you just need to be careful with sand paper. If the surface is really corroded it will sand the metal down so you would basically remove the marks. I just googled 1991 5.7L 350 timing pointer. It came up with a bunch of hits. Many new pointers for sale. The one in the video even has the same tube yours does

  7. #6


    I just got done timing the suburban. I did get out there with some brake cleaner and 200 grit sandpaper and cleaned up the pointer some. It was enough to basically work. I didn't end up setting the timing back to 0* like I was supposed to, but about 3*. It seems to run ok, though I did like the peppiness of the motor when I was up in the 10-12* range. I'm really thinking more of trying to get my ignition improvements done that include a MSD coil, cap, rotor, and wires, and new plugs with a wider than stock gap.

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