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36 degree timing mark




I have a 77 with the 350 l-48, now everybody says to set your timing to 36 degrees, but my timing scale only goes up to 14 or 16 degress before top dead center.

I dont know if im missing something totally stupid or maybe the owner before me put a different timing scale on or something but how far ahead is 36 degrees.

Thanks for you help
OK, I'm sure that somone will have a better way of explaining this, but until they do I will try. 36 degrees would be "total timimg" this is with the engine running with full vacuum advance, somwhere around 2500 to 3000 RPMs'. To get this you will need an adjustable timing light. It will have a dial on it that reads total advance. What you do is set the dial for 36 degrees, Rev up the engine and and put the timing mark on top dead center, this would be total advance timimg. Make sure that the vacuum advance is connected.............Ok I let someone else try now;) ..................Steve
Sounds good to me. A full degreed balancer or a timing tape on your old one would also work. Oh, something I have seen in Summit and Jeg's too. A balancer cover for $29.95 that goes on over the balancer and fully degreed. Comes in colors or chrome.

The 36 degrees before TDC number is with the vacuum advance DISCONNECTED.
If you have the stock weights you should end up at about 12 to 14 degrees of inital timing.
Mark your 36 degree timing point on the balancer or get an advance type of timing light, disconnect your vacuum advance, install your timing light, start your engine and rev it slowly up until the advance is all in. That point should be at 36 degrees of total advance. Adjust your distrubter until it is set. You want that to be as early as possible while not advancing at idle speed. 2500 to 3500 RPM is about where you'll end up. How soon you get the advance in is set by the weight springs. Lighter will open sooner.
Connect the vacuum advance and drive your car at light throttle settings listening for a chugging sound from the engine. If you get this problem you need to retard the full advance setting with an adjustable vacuum advance can, or turn the distrubter timing back some, or leave the vacuum advance disconnected.

1979toy has the right idea. The 36 degree figure is usually refered to as where you want your timing for best performance. This would be a wide open throttle condition which would eliminate the vacuum can as there would be little or no vacuum. If you go 36 degrees with the initial and mechanical advance, the engine will usually tolerate a 6 or 8 degree vacuum can at part throttle. A few more degrees at part throttle will help with fuel economy a bit. You can buy adjustable vacuum cans or just use a small bolt and nut to shorten the slot in the can until you get a combination that is drivable without spark knock. It helps to know someone who has acess to a distributor machine. That way you can set up the distributor with it removed from the car. Distributor machines are getting to be few and far between these days.

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