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More timing questions



I've been playing with timing on my '68 - 327. I've set it for 4 degrees BTDC at idle as Chiltons recommends for my engine. I've had some people tell me to advance the timing until just before it pings. My questions are -
1) Does advancing the timing more than recommended improve performance?
3) What setting is reasonable?
2) Is this detremental to the engine life at all by advancing more than recommended?

Thanks, Jim
You want the timing to be set at a full mechanical advance of about 36 degrees BTDC. That should give you an idle timing of somewhere around 12 to 14 degrees BTDC. This is done by marking your balancer at 36 degrees BTDC, or getting an adjustable timing light. Plug your vacuum advance, hook up your timing light, start the motor, rev the motor watching the timing marks move until all of your advance is in. This point should be set to 36 degrees. If you're using light advance weight springs then you only should have to rev to 2500 to 2800 RPM to get full advance, heavy springs may never fully advance before the valves float. Use light springs. When you have the mechanical timing set, hook up the vacuum advance and drive the car. Listen for any sound that the engine is chugging at light trottle settings. If it is then you need to reduce the mechanical advance, or get an adjustable vacuum can and set less vacuum advance, or disconnect the vacuum advance.
Does all of this hurt the engine? Starter will have to work harder. If the timing is allowed to advance any further than 36 degrees you will get into trouble.
You are going to love the feel of the motor with these settings. Chevy couldn't put them on the car due to production tolerances and people not checking the timing often enough to avoid going past 36 degrees.

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