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

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by Crawdaddy, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

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    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:
    timing pointer.jpg


    Here's what I'm basing my 0* off of:
    305TimingTab.jpg
    #1
  2. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

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

    Pikey Moderator

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    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.
    #3
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  4. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

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    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.
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  5. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator

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    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
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  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

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    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.
    #6

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