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Old 06-17-2010, 05:37 PM
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Work with the carb after you've gotten the initial timing set where it needs to be. For just seeing how the engine responds at idle and lower RPM, you can go ahead and advance the initial timing. Just don't run the engine at a fast enough RPM to cause the mechanical advance to come in all the way. Under no load, there is very little chance for any detonation and virtually no possibility of any harm unless you were to advance it WAY up there, then the engine would just stall, anyway. Point I'm trying to make is- advance it to see, but don't drive it that way until you know what the total advance is at.

I don't know if a vacuum advance can be added to your distributor or not.

The idle mixture screws don't have to be exactly the same, but you'll generally find the best setting to be within 1/2 turn at most from each other.

Set the fronts as best as you can get them (gently revving the engine between adjustments to clean it out and settle back to an idle) then do the secondaries. You'll need to go back through them several times. If you find little or no change despite how many turns you give the idle mixture screws, this is telling you the transfer slot may be over exposed. Or there's a problem internally w/the carb- but you'll cross that bridge when you get there.

Header gaskets are often a problem. I wish I knew of a "guaranteed not to leak" gasket, but I don't.

A lot of the time it's because the flanges of the headers are thin, and they warp when heated up. They will loosen quite a few times and will need to be re tightened often- if this goes unnoticed for too long, the gasket gets cooked and will leak.

Some guys have luck using the metal clad fiber stock-type gaskets. I've successfully used them in the past myself, but if the exhaust ports are larger than the gasket, they are very hard to cut larger.

Some guys advocate soaking the thick, fiber gaskets in water until they're water logged. Then the gaskets are bolted on and the engine ran, retightening them as you go. I've not tried this, so can't say anything as to if it works or not.

There are copper gaskets like you mentioned, again- no experience w/them.

I most often use Felpro Performance p/n Z14xx, depending on the port size/shape.

Any gasket you choose will require retightening at some point. There are locking bolt hardware that prevents the bolts from backing out, but in my experience the bolts loosening are less a problem than the gaskets shrinking. But in any event, the locking hardware is made by Stage 8, possibly others.

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