How to Adjust the Timing on a Dodge 360by Nathan Fisher
The Dodge 360 cubic inch displacement V8 engine was introduced in 1970, and has been used in many car and light truck applications. Ignition timing is set according to the firing of the number one spark plug, that is the plug that fires first in the ignition firing order. The number one spark plug is set to fire a certain number of degrees before the number one cylinder reaches the exact top of its stroke, referred to as "before top dead center" (BTDC). When adjusting the timing on the Dodge 360, the standard ignition timing is five degrees BTDC. However, you should check the specifications for your vehicles as settings will vary between applications.
Consult your owners manuals for the correct timing setting for your Dodge vehicle. Additionally, timing information may be located on a plate on the sill of the vehicle's grill, under the hood.
Locate the number one spark plug wire. This usually is the first spark plug wire located on the right side of the engine as you face the vehicle. Refer to a service manual if in doubt.
Attach the inductive clamp of the timing light to the number one spark plug wire. Connect the negative (black) and positive (red) leads of the timing light to the respective negative and positive battery terminals.
Loosen the hold-down bolt at the base of the distributor with the wrench. Half a turn is sufficient as you are just loosening the bolt enough so the distributor will rotate.
Start the engine and point the timing light at the timing plate mounted above the flywheel. Pull the trigger on the timing light. The light will flash each time the number one spark plug fires, revealing the location of the timing mark on the flywheel in relationship to the marked numbered lines on the timing plate.
Rotate the distributor slightly in one direction while watching the mark on the flywheel move against the marks on the timing plate. If the mark on the flywheel move in the wrong way, rotate the distributor in the opposite direction. Stop turning the distributor when the mark on the flywheel is lined up with the correct number on the timing plate.
Tighten the hold-down bolt at the base of the distributor. Check the timing again as the setting will change if the distributor moves as the bolt is being tightened.
Items you will need
- Inductive timing light
- Box end wrench
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