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Old 09-19-2005, 06:35 PM
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MSD Pro-Billet Ford FE Distributor

I have a 1976 Ford 390 engine. Does anyone know how to set the advance curve for the MSD distributor? The factory setting is two heavy springs and the blue bushing. Would this be a good start? The engine is stock with an Edelbrock Performer intake with a 600 cfm Holley carb and an MSD 6A box with an SS Blaster coil. The vehicle is a 1976 Ford F250 4x4.

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Old 09-20-2005, 01:40 AM
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The two heavy silver springs are installed at the factory to keep the dist from being damaged during shipping. MSD recommends starting with the 2 blues on a street motor. Light silver and blue for street and strip. Two light silvers for strip only.

The stops are rated by a chart on the instructions or can be found on their website. You want a total of 38 degrees total. Depending on where you start your initial timing dictates which stop to use.

stock motor requires, red stop, 28 deg + 10 initial = 38 total
high perf motor requires, silver stop, 25 deg + 13 initial = 38
very hot motor can use, blue stop, 21 deg + 18 initial = 38
engine with MSD ignition retard can use, black stop, 18 deg + 26 initial = 44
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Old 09-20-2005, 02:15 AM
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what you want to do isget a marking pen and forget about your timing light for now.you can look at your old dist and the msd info and kinda get an idea where to start.then you simply change one thing at a time and keep working with it til it has the most adv. possible with out detonating.skip the two heavy springs and go to the next heavy one and mix it with a lite one.bump your dist. adv. just a smidge and mark the collar of the dist. base with the marker.go drive it.keep doing that til it either detonates under accelleration or keeps running when you shut it off.then dial it back just a hair.when it runs just the way you want it to put the timing lite on it and see what you have.i built a new 406 to run on 87 octane this spring or early summer and did mine like that.i still have'nt timed it though.don't know what its set at.only that it is as good as i can get it.it took me the better part of a week.i get a little run on now and then but it runs great and i just mostly shut it off in gear.you may have wanted something simpler but it will require some work on your part.your the one driving it.it has to satisfy you.you should have some good info with your msd kit to help get you started but altimately its up to you.good luck
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:47 AM
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MSD Pro-Billet FE Distributor

Thanks guys. I just needed an idea on where to start. It runs OK with the stock distributor. I had ignition problems with the duraspark so I went with the total MSD set-up.
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Old 09-22-2005, 05:03 PM
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MSD Pro-Billet FE Ford Distributor

Hello guys,
I started with the two blue springs and the red bushing. I set the timing at 12 degrees BTDC. WOW! What a difference an aftermarket ignition makes. It seems to run nice and smooth. I'll drive it for a week and then maybe bump the timing up or down a degree at a time to see if it makes a difference. I can't believe I got it on the first try. If it wasn't for you guys with some valuable information, it could have taken me a week just to get it out of the driveway. If it runs OK, should I just tweak the timing or try different springs?
Or should I just leave it alone and be glad it runs? Thanks again for the information.

Mark
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