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ignition timing sbc or bbc

I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 2
Joined: 07/08
Posted: 07/06/08 11:25 PM

please help me convince a few young ones that us dudes from the "old skool" can find and set optimum timing without a timing light (or a laptop). We all know the basics of putting your finger over #1 plug hole and cranking for compression to find TDC. Set your rotor button run your plug wires and fire it up.  Now that we agree on the basics, I have found best timing by advancing the distributor (turning counter-clockwise) till the motor drags when trying to start hot. Then back it off a little and lock it down. Any comments ??  

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I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1985
Joined: 10/03
Posted: 07/07/08 09:01 AM

Optimal timing without a light. That isn't old school, that's just stupidity!  

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Big Block power for the win
Posts: 895
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 07/08/08 06:41 AM

Gotta agree, there's no such thing as finding optimum timing without a timing light. Yes, your method will work if you're in a jam and just need to get a car running.

And with anything distributorless the ONLY way is with a laptop.  

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I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 02/09
Posted: 02/16/09 02:08 PM

If you've got it all in one sock, you can, with practice,get yor timing right on if not very close using this method. It takes a good ear to do it though. I had to set the points on my 69 Chevelle SS one time and used a matchbook cover that I carried in the car. When I got home and hooked up my dwell meter, it was right on 30 deg.(Old timers remember the dwell setting as 28-32 degrees) Optimum timing should be done with a timing light but, like I said, you can get real close. I'm old but I ain't rusty or dusty!! Laugh  Cool  Grin  

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I have an SS396 tatoo
Posts: 499
Joined: 02/08
Posted: 02/16/09 07:32 PM

Lets see, close works for what? All together now, "horseshoes and hand grenades". Works well with Napalm as well but not so good for ignition timing. Show me someone that can dial in 36 total by feel, it ain't happening.  
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I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1001
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 02/19/09 07:40 AM

I agree you can get it to run, but actual tuning requires the proper tools. Grin  

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