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Old 06-22-2006, 05:34 PM
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pontiac timing

I have a 69 pontiac 400 freshly rebuilt, hei distributor, nothing special, basically stock with th400 trans. The engine starts and runs ok, so I know the timing is not that far off. I would just like to narrow the timing in.

So my question is: What should I set the timing at? how do I set the timing?

Should I set the timing at an idle? or set it all in at 3000rpm?
The timing tab is quite small, only reads from I think 14 btdc to like 8 atdc, so I don't know how I would set it all in 36 degrees when I have to mark? Should I buy a timing tape?

any help would be great?
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:45 PM
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On a stock 400 set the initial at 12 degrees. I will dig out an issue of High Performance Pontiac that I got a few months ago as they had a great article on cuting marks in the balancer for figuring total timing. You will need to recurve you HEI for a maximum of 36-38 degrees at around 2500-2800 rpm.
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:57 PM
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i would use a light with the dial advance. very easy to just turn the knob.

12 btdc, its advance(i know you already knew that)
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:27 PM
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In the December 05 issue of High Performance Pontiac magazine is the article on correctly measuring where to cut additional marks on a stock balancer. Thsi article was written for the tuner of hobbyist that doesn't own a timing light with advance (like myself).To set the total timing to 36 degrees total measure the balancer first. It should be 21 3/8 total circumfernce. You will need to measure 2 1/8 inches from the stock timing mark clockwise and make a mark, then use a new hacksaw blade and cut your mark. This second mark will make it to where you can set total timing to 36 degrees. Excellent article that I have followed myself on the balancer in my GTO and will do the same with the balancer on the 400 going into my 85 Grand Prix. Blob I hope thsi helps and you can contact the publishers and see about obtaining this issue, part of my vast library on Pontiacs.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:34 PM
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That's basically measuring 1/10 of the way around, which is 36*. Then you time it so the new mark lines up with TDC on the pointer when all the mechanical advance is in. If you want to change it to 40*, put the new mark at 4*BTDC. If you want to change it to 34*, put the new mark at 2*ATDC.
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:54 AM
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Basically Jim that would be correct. Like I said really good article and worth getting ahold of the publisher about that issue to see if any are still available. I keep every issue that I buy because I know that someday I'll have to go back to look something up, like I said my library on Pontiacs is growing, with more to come as funds allow.
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