Q: I am in the process of rebuilding a Chevy 350 small block as a 383 stroker. I am going to put the engine in a 1967 Camaro SS. I plan on using a dual quad intake and stock cylinder heads.
My question is this: Should I run a piston compression ratio around 10:1, or should I run a lower ratio? If I go to a lower compression piston, would I have to advance the timing?
Would a stock distributor work OK?
A: To answer your question, we need to get into a little theory. In a naturally aspirated engine, you generally want to run total timing at 38 degrees BTDC (before top dead center) regardless of the compression ratio. More important to timing is the octane of the gas you will run. If you have an 8:1 compression engine, you can run 38-degree total advance on 87 octane pump gas. If you run 10:1 compression, you will need to use 100 octane fuel to have 38 degrees total advance. Since this octane level is well beyond anything available at the pump, you will need to retard the timing to prevent detonation.
As for the stock distributor with that dual quad setup, we recommend you use an MSD 6AL ignition to deliver enough spark to fire all that air and fuel.