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Old 08-25-2008, 05:08 AM
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Cam break-in initial timing help on SBC

As per thread title. I have a 355 SBC with Comp XE274 cam, Edelbrock 600cfm carb, Performer RPM intake and HEI ignition. I've provisionally turned the engine to 14* BTDC. Think this is about right? Want it to start in a hurry. I know about setting the timing with a dial-back light with the engine running, but I'm just after a good initial timing for that first start.


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Old 08-25-2008, 07:22 AM
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That should put you close enough to get it running.If thats a stock HEI distributor,I think they have around 22-24 degrees of advance built in,so that should put you around 36-38 total.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:26 AM
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You want to run the engine at about 3000rpm for a good 20 to 30 minutes.
Set the distributor hold down bolt so that the distributor is snug but you can still turn it with some effort. get set up with the timing light installed and ready all coolant installed , rockers adjusted properly etc etc. Fire it quickly and bring it to 3000rpm, set the timing with vac advance disconnected, to 32-34deg BTDC at 3000rpm. Do not let it idle for the first 20 minutes. If something is not right shut it off and fix it. Restart and hold again at 3000rpm.
Do not let it overheat, but do not baby it.
You must hold the rpm high for intial cam break in so to ensure a good flow of oil on the cam lobes and good lifter rotation.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:03 PM
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Initial Timming

I know this is not timing, but if your engine gets a little warm/hot during break in I like to use a garden hose and run a gentle stream of cold water over the side tanks of your radiator. Thats of course if you have side tanks. Be careful not to get water on the core because it will pull through the radiator and spray everywhere. Make sure any water will drain out of your garage. Red hot headers is a good indication that your timing is not advanced enough or you are running to lean. I like to vary the rpm up about 500 every several minutes. Just give it a couple little reves once in a while.

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