Please help me help me


May 12, 2013
milton, ont
Hey everyone

getting super frustrated with myself and this car. so heres my story

I have a 1980 z28 auto, this winter I decided to ditch the hei and install an msd distributor, msd ignition, msd blaster coil. the past 7 years I have owned the car I have put a new starter in the car every damn spring for some reason. last summer I changed the flywheel and starter again and that solved that problem or I thought it did.

today I decided to take my car out for the first time this spring and initial start up was great, idled fine and ran at low rpms good, when I decided to open it up she had no power half way through rpms. it died when I got it home in the driveway.

when I changed the the distributor I marked where the old one was and installed it, my problem is I don't have a timing bracket on my block so I had to time it by sound. the vacuum advance is hitting my intake manifold and is stopping me from advancing the timing to where I need to go. I was off 1 tooth so I decided to tear it apart and move the dist one tooth back. after I got everything back together I forgot to put the line back onto the vacuum advance and forgot to set the dist in the middle, I know stupid me... when I cranked the car I it kicked back and blew the nose cone off my starter AGAIN!!

Whats everyones thoughts on what I need to do to fix this?

I need the timing bracket and cant find I anywhere on summit :( can someone help me with that too please

should I take the spark plug off #1 cylinder find TDC then line up the rotor with number 1 then set the cap the the center? \

thanks so much guys
heres a few pics of the car

Last edited:


Veteran Member
Dec 29, 2000
get some help, put thum over #1 plug hole , have helper to turn over ,bump starter, tell you fill the compression to start pushing your thum off hole, this will let you know that you are coming up on the compression strock, If you go past TDC you will have to turn it back or go around again. Then bump ,spen mortor untill you are at about 10% BTC. Pull cap[ off distributor ,pull up and trun distributor untill you can point to num 1 and set distributor in place ,where you can have room to addjust it , you may have to move wires around. Now you can spark ,time it by turing the cap while key is on spark plug and wire laying on top or just hole the wire ,just kidding,at the timing mark you like,just for starters And set it by ear , later with a light. I probaly got this wrong some where.


Veteran Member
Jan 8, 2004
N. Massapequa, NY, USA
You really need to put a timing tab on your car, even off 2 degrees for performance driven cars can be a considerable amount of loss or even worse damage due to detonation.

I suggest buying a top dead finder like mentioned by grzewnicki; get the tab and mark it right ... then time it up correctly ... make sure you use the right springs for the right power range so your mechanical advance works as well as your vacuum advance.


May 12, 2013
milton, ont
Thank you so much guys for the clarification. I'm going to order these parts tonight.
For a high torque mini starter all I can find is ones with a parallel bolt pattern. My starter I pulled off is a staggered bolt pattern. Do they make the staggered high torque?

Also I keep doubting myself
Can someone point to me what the right end of the rotor points to the number one cylinder.

Thanks so much guys, I'm greatful for all your knowledge.

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