Adjust Your Timing

Adjust Your Timing

Adjusting your timing need not be a daunting task. In actuallity it is quite simple and, depending on your current combination, can prove to be night and day for your performance. This can be done in roughly 10 minutes. First off here are some tools you might find usefull:

  • ½” socket or distributor wrench
  • Universal joint is a must with the socket
  • An extension will make your life easier
  • Timing light

The first step of any timing adjustment or measurement is to take out the spout connector. This little plug is located on the end of the wires coming off the distributor. It is NOT the main connector with the large gray connector but rather the little one with two wires. Once this has been pulled out we are ready to begin. The next thing you want to do is mark your timing marks with whiteout (this has worked best for me). Mark the 10* and then mark 12-13*, generally speaking this will be where most engines are happiest. However, by no means is this definative because each motor is different it is just a reference point. Now we are ready to loosen up the distributor retaining nut. Loosen it to the point where you can rotate the distributor but do not remove it all together.

Once the distributor rotates freely, we can proceed to hook up the timing light. The electrical connections are self-explanitory. Red to hot and black to ground. The magnetic pickup goes on the spark plug wire for cylinder number one. This can be found in a variety of ways but usually the easiest is to look on the distributor cap and find the number one stamped on it above one of the posts. Follow this wire to its cylinder and varify it is the cylinder closest to the front of the car on the passenger side. Some timing lights have an arrow on the pickup make sure this points away from the distributor in the direction of the spark travel. Finally we are ready to fire this car up! Once it is running check the timing by pointing the timing light at the timing marks. If you haven’t fooled with it it should be in the neighborhood of 10*. From here you can adjust to wherever you want by spinning the distributor. Loosley speaking try 12-13* first and see how your car reacts. You may end up finding that your car responds best to a higher or lower number. The best way to find out is by trial and error through test drives. If you experience pinging ANYWHERE in the RPM band then you need to back it off some. Remember to use 91-93 octane fuel now to maximaize the extra timing!

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