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Author Topic:   38 Degrees Total Advance
posted May 10, 2003 10:37 PM
I'm just looking for some confirmation on this from some of you guies. I'm pretty new to setting total advance timing and just want to be sure everything is hunky dory. I'm using a digital advance timing light. The enging is fully advanced around 3,000 rpm. I set the timing light to 38 degrees. I hold the throttle at 3,000 rpm and adjust the distributor until the timing mark lines up with zero. Is that right? Now I let the engine fall back to idle. I have it set at 850. I zero out my timing light and now the timing mark looks like it is somewhere around 25 degrees before top dead center. My timing tab only goes to 18 btdc so I can only make an estimate. Would you guies say I am in the ballpark on this?

posted May 10, 2003 11:28 PM
38 total is alot of timing, depending on your engine, I have read 18-24 deg of inital timing is ok , try reducing your timing to 34-36 deg on a 350 or lower on a 400. If you have a vacuumm advance disconnecting it and see if your inital timing lowers. Depending on your dist type the total timing can be adjusted with a little filing or filling. My dist yeilds 10 deg inital with 30 at 3000rpm, so when I crank it up to 16 I already know I will have 36 deg total, Kool huh, I think your in the ballpark though, next, tune then test and see where it runs best. Hope this helps.

posted May 11, 2003 12:06 AM
Thank you for the input jnewman44. I do agree that 38 degrees may be a little much. My engine is a 383 stroker so I guess I have the best of both worlds with respect to what you said about timing for a 350 and a 400. So I was fiddleing with the engine today in the garage (my neighbors really love me ) and strangely for no reason I ended up at 38 degrees. I dont know, the engine just seemed to run really smooth holding the throttle at five grand (and I really love my neighbors ). If anything, I think it helps the engine stay cooler set there but is probably pushing the limits to detonation. I dunno, maybe not. I can tell you one thing that happened is after I shut the engine off, it was a little difficult to start it up again. So just maybe tomorrow I'll go back out in the garage (show my neighbors some more lovin) and back it off 2 degrees to 36. If anything, should make the engine start a bit easier without sacrificing too much of todays results.

posted May 11, 2003 02:09 AM
what are you lighting on fire??? gas, meth, or propane??? My only point is that will make a huge differance......gas 32-34 total......meth 34-36 total

Just something to add.....that's all.

posted May 11, 2003 02:41 AM
I'm lighting up 93 octane from the pump at Amoco. I'm probably at the fine line with that low of octane but there has been no sign of detonation. Funny you should mention 34 degrees cuz that's what I set it at for last weeks race. She was screamin!!! Maybe I'll put it back there now that you say that. Just doing some experimenting. Thanks for the input awkwardjeff.

posted May 12, 2003 09:06 AM
"I hold the throttle at 3,000 rpm and adjust the distributor until the timing mark lines up with zero. Is that right? Now I let the engine fall back to idle. "

Yes, that is exactly right.

If it's hard to start, if you have your
igintion switch, battery and started wrired correctly ... just push the starter button
and get the engine turning over a few times, then flip igition switch and it should fire over
much easier.

gerald berry jr
posted May 14, 2003 11:54 AM
i would say for a gas smallblock 34-36 is good remember above 6500 timing will retard 1-2 degrees.


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