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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampy View Post
    hi
    In the HQ or LC Torana range there were different 6cyl stromberg carby bases and or vac connections . From memory the automatics had distributor vac was connected to manifold referenced port. On the carb /manifold i cant remember . The manual g/box had ported vacuum carb connection .
    Mostly tuning/timing was done with vac line disconnected and plugged, to set the base timing .
    I still remember at trade school when learning to set timing with a timing light step one is disconnect vacuum advance and plug. Quite old school methodology. Always done it but wasn't always relevant, more so on pre pollution.

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  2. #32
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    Basic.
    Yes". many engines run 'perfectly fine without 35-40*', on, say, 15* init timing . The point is that many of them would run better with 35-40* of idle timing...or substantially more timing than 15*. Why wouldn't you want your engine to run as smoothly as it could at idle, make the highest vacuum, & be the most efficient??? An analogy would be two cams with different specs. Cam 1 might be perfect for the application, cam 2 is not. You wouldn't use cam 2, would you?

    And getting back to 35-40*. I suggested that as a starting point. The particular engine may want more or less. Several factors influence the idle timing requirements. Low CR, more cam overlap, single plane int manifolds, poor chamber design, large/sluggish ports, lack of or less squish all contribute to less combustion efficiency at idle & low rpms. More timing helps, whether it is via MVA or timing that is locked. What DV was referring to with his up to 50* was an engine that had a number of the above efficiency reducing factors.

    There was a guy called Blackout Steve from Melbourne. Sadly he passed away. Some on this board may have known or heard of him. He had a BBC Chev with a wild cam with very low vacuum & with poor idle & wanted help. I first talked him on Chevelles.com. I sent him a PM with my Ph #, & suggested he use an adj VA unit to hook up MVA; I gave him some info on how to dial it in. He rang me to thank me for the info/help; his engine was running/idling much better with the extra timing.

    DV migt be an old bastard [ like me ], but he is a smart guy. One that uses MVA for it's effectiveness, reliability & simplicity. When I hear 'it didn't work for me', I know that it wasn't set up correctly. Or, if somebody has locked timing say at 35*, they probably do not need MVA, because they have the reqd amount of timing & adding another 10-20* would be too much....

    And DV is not the only one advocating MVA.
    This is a Chev forum.
    Super Chevy Nov 16: " Carbed engines with long duration cams will benefit most from VA. If your engine idles at !0" or less, you....start by setting initial to at least !5* BTDC. If your car is equipped with an auto trans......you should consider MVA. This is counter to what you may have been taught in high school, but it is actually a really good idea." Don't know why he singles out auto trans because still needed with man trans.

    Super Chevy May 2016 [ Different author ] : " Plug the VA into a ported source & check idle rpm. Now, switch to MVA & again check idle rpm. We'll bet money the rpm increased. Why? Because the additional ign timing provided by MVA allowed the engine to more effectively burn the mixture. It therefore produces more power [ even at idle ] and rpm rises as a result."

    And this might interest you, Smitty.
    Stock Car Racing NOV 2006, by DV. "As much as it seems divorced from carb calibration, ign timing can have a lot to with how responsive the engine is as it transitions onto the main cct. It can also effect fuel consumption on yellow flag laps by as much as 50%. At idle, a hot street engine may well require as much as 50* of ign advance, with 45 being common. If this is what the engine WANTS, then it will idle at a lower rpm, with less throttle opening than if it only had 10-14* of ign advance....With the butterflies closed more, more of the transition slot is available. Also, under part throttle conditions during yw flag laps, the man vac being produced may indicate the most fuel efficient timing is about 45*. This is about 15* shy of what is typically seen.....You need to look long & hard around the infield to find a RACE engine with VA on it, but you will find it on mine."

  3. #33
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    hi
    When that was technology ""how the vac advance was connected"" LOL LOL

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by GtoGeoff View Post
    Basic.
    Yes". many engines run 'perfectly fine without 35-40*', on, say, 15* init timing . The point is that many of them would run better with 35-40* of idle timing...or substantially more timing than 15*. Why wouldn't you want your engine to run as smoothly as it could at idle, make the highest vacuum, & be the most efficient??? An analogy would be two cams with different specs. Cam 1 might be perfect for the application, cam 2 is not. You wouldn't use cam 2, would you?

    And getting back to 35-40*. I suggested that as a starting point. The particular engine may want more or less. Several factors influence the idle timing requirements. Low CR, more cam overlap, single plane int manifolds, poor chamber design, large/sluggish ports, lack of or less squish all contribute to less combustion efficiency at idle & low rpms. More timing helps, whether it is via MVA or timing that is locked. What DV was referring to with his up to 50* was an engine that had a number of the above efficiency reducing factors.

    There was a guy called Blackout Steve from Melbourne. Sadly he passed away. Some on this board may have known or heard of him. He had a BBC Chev with a wild cam with very low vacuum & with poor idle & wanted help. I first talked him on Chevelles.com. I sent him a PM with my Ph #, & suggested he use an adj VA unit to hook up MVA; I gave him some info on how to dial it in. He rang me to thank me for the info/help; his engine was running/idling much better with the extra timing.

    DV migt be an old bastard [ like me ], but he is a smart guy. One that uses MVA for it's effectiveness, reliability & simplicity. When I hear 'it didn't work for me', I know that it wasn't set up correctly. Or, if somebody has locked timing say at 35*, they probably do not need MVA, because they have the reqd amount of timing & adding another 10-20* would be too much....

    And DV is not the only one advocating MVA.
    This is a Chev forum.
    Super Chevy Nov 16: " Carbed engines with long duration cams will benefit most from VA. If your engine idles at !0" or less, you....start by setting initial to at least !5* BTDC. If your car is equipped with an auto trans......you should consider MVA. This is counter to what you may have been taught in high school, but it is actually a really good idea." Don't know why he singles out auto trans because still needed with man trans.

    Super Chevy May 2016 [ Different author ] : " Plug the VA into a ported source & check idle rpm. Now, switch to MVA & again check idle rpm. We'll bet money the rpm increased. Why? Because the additional ign timing provided by MVA allowed the engine to more effectively burn the mixture. It therefore produces more power [ even at idle ] and rpm rises as a result."

    And this might interest you, Smitty.
    Stock Car Racing NOV 2006, by DV. "As much as it seems divorced from carb calibration, ign timing can have a lot to with how responsive the engine is as it transitions onto the main cct. It can also effect fuel consumption on yellow flag laps by as much as 50%. At idle, a hot street engine may well require as much as 50* of ign advance, with 45 being common. If this is what the engine WANTS, then it will idle at a lower rpm, with less throttle opening than if it only had 10-14* of ign advance....With the butterflies closed more, more of the transition slot is available. Also, under part throttle conditions during yw flag laps, the man vac being produced may indicate the most fuel efficient timing is about 45*. This is about 15* shy of what is typically seen.....You need to look long & hard around the infield to find a RACE engine with VA on it, but you will find it on mine."
    You don't need to convince me of benefits of MVA, I understand it's purpose and how it works, didn't only read about it in books but learned in trade school. But let's be clear we are discussing two things here:

    1) Manifold vacuum advance and it's validity. Yes it's valid and it's benefits will be combo specific. Plenty may benefit from the old school method but if an engine responds to 34* initial better than 18* initial and 34* best total then with reduction starters and start retard ignition these days the simpler locked ignition timing may be a better option with less complexity. If the same engine really wanted 40* initial there may be diminishing returns looking for that extra 6* initial and keeping it 36* total. If ever needed I'd lock timing before rooting around with MVA again. In a non daily driven street strip car an optimal smoothest possible idle is lower on the priority list anyway.

    2) 35* plus initial advance and it's validity. Combo specific again as you stated in your second paragraph above. I just think those high initial advance numbers are more the exception than the rule these days with vastly improved aftermarket parts and technology. Should everyone on Aussiev8 go out to their garage and make sure they have 35*+ initial ignition advance because we would all benefit from it? Some would but not enough to persist with a blanket statement like Vizards. I understand his reasoning and take his statement on board but not take it as gospel.

    I'll say it again Geoff, I mostly agree with what you are saying but it's all combo specific.






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  5. #35
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    Quick update, I had a chance this afternoon to check a couple of things but still same issue with bouncing vac reading.
    As recommend I blocked off the pcv valve but no change, even blocked off the rocker cover breather and checked vac at the dip stick but zero reading there, not sure what I was looking for there but tried it anyway. Bit of a hurried attempt though.
    Anyway tomorrow I'm going to check a few other things like confirming TDC and my timing pointer, drop a spark lead one at a time to see if rpm drops, check plug condition, check for manifold leaks, pop the rocker covers off and check lash etc.
    Will report back any findings.
    By the way I have a rear main seal leak even though crank and seal are new, wondering now if this vac issue might have something to do with it?
    Last edited by 78HZSBC; 10-04-2021 at 08:00 PM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78HZSBC View Post
    Quick update, I had a chance this afternoon to check a couple of things but still same issue with bouncing vac reading.
    As recommend I blocked off the pcv valve but no change, even blocked off the rocker cover breather and checked vac at the dip stick but zero reading there, not sure what I was looking for there but tried it anyway. Bit of a hurried attempt though.
    Anyway tomorrow I'm going to check a few other things like confirming TDC and my timing pointer, drop a spark lead one at a time to see if rpm drops, check plug condition, check for manifold leaks, pop the rocker covers off and check lash etc.
    Will report back any findings.
    By the way I have a rear main seal leak even though crank and seal are new, wondering now if this vac issue might have something to do with it?
    Was the pcv back in the rocker cover when you blocked the breather and checked vac at dipstick?

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  7. #37
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    Yes but obviously the rocker cover was hot so not sure how well I blocked it with my hand, was a bit rushed. Can try again

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    Basic,
    No argument from me that modern digital ign systems can duplicate the timing features provided by MVA. Some like me like the simplicity & reliability of MVA to get the job done, not to mention that you can buy a HEI dist for all the popular engines for $100 or less that comes with adj VA unit that will work for the vast majority of performance engines. It is all you need to set up MVA & a WHOLE let less than a 'box' ign.

    And, sorry, not understanding your logic. I see you on this forum detailing in minute detail your attempts with changing air bleeds, emulsion tube settings etc on your carb[s] to get the last poofteenth of A/F ratio correct. And good on you for doing that. But why wouldn't you spend the same sort of time to get the best idle you could??? Because idle timing affects tip in response, & therefore carb settings. It is the reason idle timing should ALWAYS be dialled in BEFORE touching the carb!

    You are still not getting 'it' as far as high initial timing figures are reqd. Blackout Steve had the best of everything on his BBC, so the latest & greatest heads & technology. Doesn't change the fact that the parameters I mentioned in the earlier thread WILL require more idle timing for best performance & idle. The improvements in 'technology' such as a heart shaped chamber, are not going to do much at an 900 rpm idle speed [ in terms of idle timing reqd ] .....but will certainly prove their worth at high rpms.
    And as far as your comment about making sure every AussieV8 has 35* idle timing. I never said that or recommended that & certainly a stocker would not need anywhere near that amount. What I said was that owners could be getting better a idle by using MVA & should experiment.

    Are you aware that VA drops to zero at WOT? Using your example of 36* total. If you had say 16* init + 24* MVA, you idle with 40*. And a centri curve of 20* to give you 36* total. When you go to WOT, you lose all the VA & you now have your 36* total curve operating. There are no 'diminishing returns', as you claim, because you can use any combo of init + MVA to achieve your desired ign timing plot; most adj VA units have a total operating range of about 30*.

    Those who have drag raced in Sydney might remember an early 60s Pontiac at Eastern Creek. Number plate was GAS455. It had a 455, with Edel heads, Torker manifold, cam was 240ish at 050. Had a 780 Holley. Idled like s^^t at 800 rpm. He came to my place & with the engine running, I advanced the dist to simulate the MVA benefit. Rpm increased 300 to 1100 rpm & idle quality was dramatically better. A 300 rpm increase at idle just by giving the engine the timing it WANTS is unusual, but not unheard of. 100-200 rpm increase is more common.

    I am too tired tonight after a day with the grandson, but in the next day or so I will detail how to dial in MVA.

    Finally, I have been doing MVA set ups for over 20 years. I have NEVER had an instance where it didn't work in dozens of engines I have worked on. It is all in the set up. It does work because the concept is sound & it is the execution where the problems are. And I didn't need DV to tell me about it, I was mounting solenoids on the sides of dists in the 1970s to bring in more idle timing, loooooong before I ever read a DV book/article.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GtoGeoff View Post
    Basic,
    No argument from me that modern digital ign systems can duplicate the timing features provided by MVA. Some like me like the simplicity & reliability of MVA to get the job done, not to mention that you can buy a HEI dist for all the popular engines for $100 or less that comes with adj VA unit that will work for the vast majority of performance engines. It is all you need to set up MVA & a WHOLE let less than a 'box' ign.

    And, sorry, not understanding your logic. I see you on this forum detailing in minute detail your attempts with changing air bleeds, emulsion tube settings etc on your carb[s] to get the last poofteenth of A/F ratio correct. And good on you for doing that. But why wouldn't you spend the same sort of time to get the best idle you could??? Because idle timing affects tip in response, & therefore carb settings. It is the reason idle timing should ALWAYS be dialled in BEFORE touching the carb!

    You are still not getting 'it' as far as high initial timing figures are reqd. Blackout Steve had the best of everything on his BBC, so the latest & greatest heads & technology. Doesn't change the fact that the parameters I mentioned in the earlier thread WILL require more idle timing for best performance & idle. The improvements in 'technology' such as a heart shaped chamber, are not going to do much at an 900 rpm idle speed [ in terms of idle timing reqd ] .....but will certainly prove their worth at high rpms.
    And as far as your comment about making sure every AussieV8 has 35* idle timing. I never said that or recommended that & certainly a stocker would not need anywhere near that amount. What I said was that owners could be getting better a idle by using MVA & should experiment.

    Are you aware that VA drops to zero at WOT? Using your example of 36* total. If you had say 16* init + 24* MVA, you idle with 40*. And a centri curve of 20* to give you 36* total. When you go to WOT, you lose all the VA & you now have your 36* total curve operating. There are no 'diminishing returns', as you claim, because you can use any combo of init + MVA to achieve your desired ign timing plot; most adj VA units have a total operating range of about 30*.

    Those who have drag raced in Sydney might remember an early 60s Pontiac at Eastern Creek. Number plate was GAS455. It had a 455, with Edel heads, Torker manifold, cam was 240ish at 050. Had a 780 Holley. Idled like s^^t at 800 rpm. He came to my place & with the engine running, I advanced the dist to simulate the MVA benefit. Rpm increased 300 to 1100 rpm & idle quality was dramatically better. A 300 rpm increase at idle just by giving the engine the timing it WANTS is unusual, but not unheard of. 100-200 rpm increase is more common.

    I am too tired tonight after a day with the grandson, but in the next day or so I will detail how to dial in MVA.

    Finally, I have been doing MVA set ups for over 20 years. I have NEVER had an instance where it didn't work in dozens of engines I have worked on. It is all in the set up. It does work because the concept is sound & it is the execution where the problems are. And I didn't need DV to tell me about it, I was mounting solenoids on the sides of dists in the 1970s to bring in more idle timing, loooooong before I ever read a DV book/article.
    Your second paragraph, my idle is plenty good enough to drive in traffic with smooth transition and no temp issues with initial at 20*. Mechanical starts advancing just after idle. Street strip type car that spends most of its time ~2000rpm plus. Changes needed to make MVA work just isn't worth it. It won't make the car go faster or improve crap afr curves. Tuning AFR via carby through the rpm range will. However if this cars purpose was to cruise the streets I might have invested more time getting MVA to work.

    Your paragraph 4, yes I get it, thats why I use vacuum advance, to use it for its advantages at part throttle cruising knowing theres no affect when the hammer is down. My diminishing returns point was if after a test the engine idles best at 40* yet timing is locked at 34* and idle and tip in were quite fine with the 34* the stuffing about with MVA to get the extra 6* for a technically optimum idle just wouldn't be worth the effort. But its application specific, I am always talking high performance stuff, the type you would lock timing.

    Not enough info on the guy with the 780 Holley to know if you were band- aiding some other sub optimal tuning condition but hey, by you report's improvements were made.

    No you haven't explicitly told anyone to put 35* and even all the way up to 50* initial in their engines but your consistent message over several threads has implied we would all be better off if we did.

    I think we have hi jacked 78HZSBC enough on this issue so I won't respond anymore.

    Start that thread on how to use MVA as some out there may well apply it and benefit.

    Hope you had a good day with your grandson.

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    Last edited by BasicQ; 11-04-2021 at 02:14 PM.

  10. #40
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    Update on a few checks done today.

    Checked TDC timing tab, all good.
    Did compression test (cold) all cylinders 175 to 180psi.
    While the leads were off I noticed one a bit melted from the cam run in so replaced that.
    With pcv valve on rockercover blocked other breather and checked vacuum at the dip stick, zero reading but noticed pressure escaping after I remove the vac gauge from the dip stick tube. Not enough to read psi on the gauge but could feel it coming out. Don't know what that means but obviously not good.
    Pulled the rocker covers and all looks OK, all pushrods spin in my fingers when not under load so dont seem like a valve is being held open by incorrect adjustment.
    I did notice a couple of rockers had play like I could lift it off the valve a couple of mm as the push rod returned back down towards the lifters, im guessing this is the hydraulic lifters not pumped up as been 24h since the engine last run.
    Safe to assume this is ok???

    After I put everything back as normal I ran the engine and checked vacuum, still bouncing.
    Checked timing but this time bit different to how I last set it, previously set total timing at 35* with all in mechanical at 2800rpm which gave me initial of 14*.
    Now I had total of 31* at all in 1750rpm with initial at 14* 800rpm. I havnt touched the dizzy at all so not sure what that's about.
    So I set total at 36* all in at 1750rpm which now give me initial 20* 750rpm and vacuum reading bouncing 7 to 13.
    I took it for quick spin around the block and felt bit sluggish as not as responsive as previously.
    No idea why my timing had changed and why mechanical all in so early, dizzy was locked down tight so hasn't moved.

    Run out of time so will re check timing again soon and change timing down a few deg and see how that runs.

    Thing is other than the bouncing vacuum and rear main leak it runs and drives fine, idles perfect and starts without gassing the pedal
    Last edited by 78HZSBC; 11-04-2021 at 07:15 PM.

  11. #41
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    Default Vacuum bounce at idle

    Quote Originally Posted by 78HZSBC View Post
    Update on a few checks done today.

    Checked TDC timing tab, all good.
    Did compression test (cold) all cylinders 175 to 180psi.
    While the leads were off I noticed one a bit melted from the cam run in so replaced that.
    With pcv valve on rockercover blocked other breather and checked vacuum at the dip stick, zero reading but noticed pressure escaping after I remove the vac gauge from the dip stick tube. Not enough to read psi on the gauge but could feel it coming out. Don't know what that means but obviously not good.
    Pulled the rocker covers and all looks OK, all pushrods spin in my fingers when not under load so dont seem like a valve is being held open by incorrect adjustment.
    I did notice a couple of rockers had play like I could lift it off the valve a couple of mm as the push rod returned back down towards the lifters, im guessing this is the hydraulic lifters not pumped up as been 24h since the engine last run.
    Safe to assume this is ok???

    After I put everything back as normal I ran the engine and checked vacuum, still bouncing.
    Checked timing but this time bit different to how I last set it, previously set total timing at 35* with all in mechanical at 2800rpm which gave me initial of 14*.
    Now I had total of 31* at all in 1750rpm with initial at 14* 800rpm. I havnt touched the dizzy at all so not sure what that's about.
    So I set total at 36* all in at 1750rpm which now give me initial 20* 750rpm and vacuum reading bouncing 7 to 13.
    I took it for quick spin around the block and felt bit sluggish as not as responsive as previously.
    No idea why my timing had changed and why mechanical all in so early, dizzy was locked down tight so hasn't moved.

    Run out of time so will re check timing again soon and change timing down a few deg and see how that runs.

    Thing is other than the bouncing vacuum and rear main leak it runs and drives fine, idles perfect and starts without gassing the pedal
    You might have a pcv barely moving off the seat at the idle vacuum you have. I would have thought a slight vacuum at the dip stick tube if the engine is sealed and only a pcv in the rocker covers at idle. Would go toward explaining leaking seals if there is pressure in the engine.

    I use a Fram FV178 pcv. These are a replacement part for the 1970ís hi-po solid cam low vac sbc of the day. There is also a sealed inline air oil separator between it and the carby.

    Interesting that timing has gone from almost 20* mechanical advance to 16* and earlier rpm. Have you popped the cap of to check everything is where it should be?


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    Last edited by BasicQ; 11-04-2021 at 07:47 PM.

  12. #42
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    To be honest I have no idea what the pcv valve is rated for, it's an aftermarket pollished alloy one that I chose a while back. Only assumed all pcv valves are the same, definitely open to replacing it.

    The dizzy is a Mallory HEI and has a top plate that had to partially remove to change the damaged ignition lead so might have to check that

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    Ok so I'm back at 14 initial and 35deg total and seems to run fine there for the time being.
    I spoke to my engine builder and he said wait until the engine is run in as the rings are still bedding before worrying about vacuum gauge reading.

    Also been advised to remove the pcv valve and block off until engine is run in as the cylinders don't need oily air when bedding the rings
    Last edited by 78HZSBC; 20-04-2021 at 06:27 PM.

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    Very odd advice about blocking off the PCV...& rings bedding in. Factory engines seem to do just fine with the PCV hooked up & today are getting 200,000+km on original rings.
    Another reason to run PCV is to relieve crankcase pressure...which will be greater until the rings bed in. High CC pressure will find ways to exit the engine, like blowing past gaskets & seals.....

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    Pros and cons to everything I guess, I do like the idea of the pcv valve so will be using one

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