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Timing gear issue

3562 Views 45 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  pedal2themetal45
Hi All!
Been on the site a while as a longtime 460 owner. Got a puzzling problem so I thought I'd get some collective knowledge feedback! So, here's the background-I've been running a 77 Lincoln Continental 460 4bbl on clay track for about 13 years. (Yep!, it's fast till it overheats which is a problem for another day.) It backfired last year and wouldn't start after that. So, I started moving the distributor around since I had a feeling the timing gears jumped. In the pic of the Distr., the straight line is where #1 is on the cap. Where the rotor is, is now where TDC is for #1 cyl. In one pic you can see how much it's stretched. Now-here's the problem. If the timing gears jumped when it backfired why do they timing marks still line up to factory specs??? In the timing gear pic, #1 piston is it at TDC. The key is offset a little due to Ford putting about a 2 degree retard in timing for the EPA. It still sounds like crap when it runs so something is wrong. I can't figure out how the distributor got so out of sync with the engine? There sems to be no wiggle room between the Cam gear and the Distributor gear so I don't think that's the problem. If anyone has any idea about what is wrong, I'd appreciate some feedback. I've stopped the repairs on it till I figure out what happened.


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1 - 1 of 46 Posts
The keyway on the crank isn't ground retarded, the keyway in the bottom sprocket is broached retarded. It really doesn't matter as you're damn lucky that nylon tooth OE set didn't shed teeth (yet). When you replace it with an early timing set you'll notice the dot on the tooth relative to the keyway is different (eliminating the retard). If you use a piston stop on #1 to determine actual TDC I think you'll see you jumped a tooth (in addition to an extremely worn retarded timing set).
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