What is total timing, and how do I set it on my engine?
Total timing, which refers to the maximum amount of ignition timing applied to the engine, is easy enough to calculate. You get the number by adding initial timing to mechanical advance. Correctly setting it, however, involves multiple steps.
First, you’ll want to determine your desired total timing. Every engine will run a little bit differently, and the ideal number for yours depends on multiple factors.
The tables below give some general guidelines. However, you will need to test and tune to determine the best setting for you.
|Engine Type||Total Timing Starting Point|
|Naturally Aspirated||34 – 36 degrees BTDC|
|Forced Induction/Nitrous||28 – 32 degrees BTDC|
|Factor||Advance Timing For:||Retard Timing For:|
|Ignition System Power||Low||High|
|Fuel Octane Rating||High||Low|
|Combustion Chamber Design||Open||Compact|
|Spark Plug Location||Offset||Center|
Rev the engine past the point where your mechanical advance is fully engaged. Usually, 3,000 to 3,500 rpm will do it. Pay attention to the timing mark on the harmonic balancer using the timing light.
Rotate the distributor until the timing mark lines up at zero with the light. Tighten down your distributor and you are done.
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Very poorly written.
Do I set initial timing first?
Or do I just set total timing?
Do I need to set both initial timing and then total timing ?
No one has answered those questions
First set initial timing. Then using the available adjustments inside the distributor you can adjust total timing. Rotating the distributor to set total timing is WRONG. Rotate the distributor for initial timing only. Typically you want about 32 degrees of total timing at around 3000 RPM. So you set your initial timing rotating the distributor to say 10 BTDC. That means the internal adjustments to the distributor are needed to get you 22 degrees at 3000 rpm. Then run the engine to 3000 rpm and see where your timing is. If more or less than about 32 degrees you need to open the distributor and adjust. It can take a couple of times to get it right. There are distributor kits with springs and instructions on how to adjust timing for your particular distributor. Make sure your vacuum advance is disconnected from the distributor when setting total timing.
Set initial timing first. Once initial timing is set then you set total timing.
Well, I understand totally.