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  1. #1
    Senior Member VHSLX253's Avatar
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    Default What To Set Iniital Timing & Total Timing

    Ill be buying a cheapy timing light soon and will be checking both what both my initial timing & total timing are set at ? (my engine is a mild 308, 5 speed manual & 3.73 diff gears)

    I have heard best to check and see what total timing is first them check your initial timing after or is initial timing best to check and adjust and set first then see what the total timing is stop advancing at once I hit the 3,000rpm mark ?

    And if it does stop advancing further then when i hit the say 2,500 mark (is this a good indication that I would need my dizzy regraphed) ? (im running a bosch dizzy)

    PS, think my neighbours are going to hate me when it come to increasing/revving up my engine to 3,000rpm to check the total timing...damm neighbours...

    Cheers,

  2. #2
    Do you ever leave? paulzig's Avatar
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    For a manual it might be OK if it is slow to advance, all in at 3000RPM if you lug it in gear, and dont downshift etc.

    Rev it up till it stops advancing record the timing and RPM...

    For a mild 308 9.5-10:1 comp a smallish cam look at 15-20 initial and 32-34 total (if it doesnt ping give it more)

    Just see where you are at 1st, send my regards to your neighbours..

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    Early heads reckon you might be stretching the friendship with 32-34.

    Normally around 28 I reckon, but suck it and see.

    Initial depends on your cam but 15 should be ok.

    Might need to disconnect the vac advance if she pings from low rpm to wot.

  4. #4
    Senior Member VHSLX253's Avatar
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    My battery to relocated in the boot, so what can I hook the positive and negative leads up to coming from the timing light, the alternator ?, also number 1 spark plug for a Holden 308 is the drivers side front ?

    So to confirm seeing what the timing is get my engine up to operating temps, remove number 1 spark plug and hand rotate via the harmonic balancer with a breaker bar - confirm is at tdc (re-install spark plug and lead back), hook up the timing light and lead to the number 1 spark plug lead, start car and see what my initial timing is at idle ?...then slowly rev up to 2,500-3,000rpm and take note when the timing stops advancing ?

    And if i need to retard timing the dizzy is rotated anti clockwise and to advance the timing the dizzy is rotated clockwise ?

    Have I got the above about right ?

    And my dizzy has not vacuum advance module on it.

    And when you say "ping", i would need to take the car for a drive each time to hear this or can I hear this just at idle and revving ?

    Cheers,
    Last edited by VHSLX253; 15-12-2017 at 09:23 AM.

  5. #5
    Do you ever leave? paulzig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill355 View Post
    Early heads reckon you might be stretching the friendship with 32-34.
    Sneak up on it, I've seen people have to put 36-40 in them to make them go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulzig View Post
    Sneak up on it, I've seen people have to put 36-40 in them to make them go.
    Yeah true - give it what it wants aye. If a plastic wants 36-40 total on pump, you would wonder if there is another issue there though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VHSLX253 View Post
    My battery to relocated in the boot, so what can I hook the positive and negative leads up to coming from the timing light, the alternator ?, also number 1 spark plug for a Holden 308 is the drivers side front ?

    So to confirm seeing what the timing is get my engine up to operating temps, remove number 1 spark plug and hand rotate via the harmonic balancer with a breaker bar - confirm is at tdc (re-install spark plug and lead back), hook up the timing light and lead to the number 1 spark plug lead, start car and see what my initial timing is at idle ?...then slowly rev up to 2,500-3,000rpm and take note when the timing stops advancing ?

    And if i need to retard timing the dizzy is rotated anti clockwise and to advance the timing the dizzy is rotated clockwise ?

    Have I got the above about right ?

    And my dizzy has not vacuum advance module on it.

    And when you say "ping", i would need to take the car for a drive each time to hear this or can I hear this just at idle and revving ?

    Cheers,
    - power for the light from the alternator will work

    - Yep 1# on a 253/308 is the front on the drivers side

    - only need to remove the plug and confirm DTC if you are not confident that the timing mark on the balancer is correct

    - yeah start it up - check out where initial timing is then wind her up until the mark stops moving - im assuming you have a dial back timing light or balancer with marked increments

    - yep anti to advance

    - pinging/detonation you will only hear under load - and it's bad - so baby steps. Put in 28 total initially, go for a drive, load her up at low rpm and see if you can hear the metallic pinging back off right away - will also pay to check your plugs - might be best to get new ones as you will be looking for little black specs on the ceramic - you shouldn't really be pushing the timing so far that this is required, but it is best practice.

    Rather than timing your engine until you hear engine damaging pinging, I would go say 28-30-32 and if you are yielding little or now improvement with say 32/34 in it, I would wind it back a degree or so to allow a safe margin and call it good. No need to run your engine on the raggid edge of detonation.
    Last edited by Bill355; 15-12-2017 at 01:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Do you ever leave? EH179's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill355 View Post
    Yeah true - give it what it wants aye. If a plastic wants 36-40 total on pump, you would wonder if there is another issue there though.
    I've tuned plenty that want 34-36* total timing on 98. 40*? must be a 253 with Bedford or L34 heads...

    Just to clarify for ol mate, anti-clockwise to advance.

  9. #9
    254RWHP boat anchor EVL253's Avatar
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    can hook timing light power to main output from alternator. or get a battery powered one.
    11 second E85 bottle fed boat anchor

  10. #10
    been here .......too long Smitty2's Avatar
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    one thing.. disconnect and plug the vac advance line before you start all the above
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  11. #11
    Do you ever leave? HQ308Ute's Avatar
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    they usually use more advance when its over carbed..

  12. #12
    Do you ever leave? EH179's Avatar
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    Another crutch, as that is an invite to detonation.

  13. #13
    Senior Member VHSLX253's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill355 View Post
    - power for the light from the alternator will work

    - Yep 1# on a 253/308 is the front on the drivers side

    - only need to remove the plug and confirm DTC if you are not confident that the timing mark on the balancer is correct

    - yeah start it up - check out where initial timing is then wind her up until the mark stops moving - im assuming you have a dial back timing light or balancer with marked increments

    - yep anti to advance

    - pinging/detonation you will only hear under load - and it's bad - so baby steps. Put in 28 total initially, go for a drive, load her up at low rpm and see if you can hear the metallic pinging back off right away - will also pay to check your plugs - might be best to get new ones as you will be looking for little black specs on the ceramic - you shouldn't really be pushing the timing so far that this is required, but it is best practice.

    Rather than timing your engine until you hear engine damaging pinging, I would go say 28-30-32 and if you are yielding little or now improvement with say 32/34 in it, I would wind it back a degree or so to allow a safe margin and call it good. No need to run your engine on the raggid edge of detonation.
    My balancer is incremental.

    So as long as the tdc is correct for number 1 spark plug via showing true correct on the harmonic balancer then I can hook everything up and see what both the intial and total timing are set to and adjust accordingly ?

    Cheers,

  14. #14
    Do you ever leave? paulzig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EH179 View Post
    Another crutch, as that is an invite to detonation.
    I dont know which is better or worse. Large carb more timing or small carb less timing?

  15. #15
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    when you get individual runner downdraught webers for instance, all that throttle area sucks up advance.. i had 20 initial and 36 total on early heads.. whereas with the four barrel single plane it was 16 initial and 29 total.. and they still were puffing a bit of white smoke when you shut it down with the tight lsa cam that was fine with the four barrel.

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