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Old 01-08-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
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Timing question???

Ok so i just got done converting my 87 mustang from efi to carbureted and u have a question? I went with an MSD distributor ( part # 8598 ) and i dont have a clue how to time the car? Does anyone run this distributor or can anyone tell me how to do it? Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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When you replaced the distributor did you make sure the rotor was pointing in the same spot as it was when on the old one. Another thing is are you sure you sure you did the wires right.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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Well i wasnt sure where the rotor was pointing but i pulled the number one plug and turned the motor over until it was at top dead center and then set the distributor in and faced the rotor twards the number one plug so i figured that would get it really close. But when i fire up the motor how do i dial it in to the exact timing i want? I know with the old distributor for the efi setup all i had to do was pull the chip out and set it but i dont know how to do it with this new one?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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You need a timing gun to get the exact timing, but if you got the engine running you can advance or ****** the timing by turning the distributor. I don't have a timing gun so what do is keep advancing it until it starts to ping (under load) then ****** it until it stops and find that works nice.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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Ok, well i knew that the chip had to be removed when i timed the old setup with the timing light to get the exact timing and i didnt know if i had to do anything special with this new distributor to get it exact.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:07 AM   #6
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If you have a timing light then as far as I know you need to remove and plug the vacuum hose from the distributor and set it then plug the vacuum hose back in.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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See thats why i am lost with this new distributor, it doesnt have a vacuum line going to it. The only thing it has it a plug end that plugs directly to my 6al ignition box and thats it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:45 AM   #8
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Well I would assume you would time it the same but with out the vacuum line removed. Did you plug off where the vacuum line went in to the intake. Interesting conversion why did you go that way?
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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It is the one MSD told me i needed to use for my carb setup because it has the steel gear i need to use with my roller cam.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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So it has mechanical advance? Just time it at idle a you normally do. The reason you pull the spout connector on tfi cars is to remove computer advance. You remove the vacuum line to remove vacuum advance. In a mechanical advance distributor its all mechanical just do it at idle where there should be no advance. Did you ever think of calling msd?
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:21 PM   #11
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Yea i do beleive it is mechanical advance. I guess i shouldve been more specific when i asked the question. Lol...... That is the info i was needing. Thanks for the help and baring with me!
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:23 PM   #12
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Its all good man. Next time call msd. You will get your answer quicker and right from the horses mouth.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:20 PM   #13
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Re: Timing question???

Make sure your car is idling at the right rpm and it's better to adjust the timing when the engine is warm so the engine is running its smoothest.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:34 PM   #14
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Ok, thanks for the advice!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:03 PM   #15
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Re: Timing question???

That vacuum line is only for greater mpg's under steady speed or steady cruise! The reason the msd doesnt come with a place for it is cause they figure youll either be at idle or WOT (Wide Open Throttle). That vacuum line has nothing to do with the timing of it. Just do what you know how to and that will get it timed correctly!
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94 Mustang GT
That vacuum line is only for greater mpg's under steady speed or steady cruise! The reason the msd doesnt come with a place for it is cause they figure youll either be at idle or WOT (Wide Open Throttle). That vacuum line has nothing to do with the timing of it. Just do what you know how to and that will get it timed correctly!
WOW! Excellent advice! Lol I thought about going after this one, but I'm really hoping no one actually believes this.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:40 PM   #17
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Re: Timing question???

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Originally Posted by ibleedblue65 View Post
WOW! Excellent advice! Lol I thought about going after this one, but I'm really hoping no one actually believes this.
If we are referring to the same vacuum line, it has nothing to do with timing it! Just connect the timing light advance or ****** the timing to where you want.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:46 PM   #18
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Sounds good to me! Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94 Mustang GT

If we are referring to the same vacuum line, it has nothing to do with timing it! Just connect the timing light advance or ****** the timing to where you want.
There are a lot of vacuum lines on vehicles, on some early models one goes to the dist to control advance. If you set timing on a vehicle that has vacuum advance, yes you must remover the line.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:58 PM   #20
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And the vacuum advance is not there for mpg while cruising. And msd did not leave it out because it is only designed for wot or idle.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:10 PM   #21
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Re: Timing question???

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Originally Posted by ibleedblue65 View Post
And the vacuum advance is not there for mpg while cruising. And msd did not leave it out because it is only designed for wot or idle.
Are you talking about the vacuum adv thats on the side of the distributor? thats the one i thought you were talking about, which has nothing to do with the timing of it.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94 Mustang GT

Are you talking about the vacuum adv thats on the side of the distributor? thats the one i thought you were talking about, which has nothing to do with the timing of it.
Omg dude! Are you ****ing with me? Your joking right?
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:29 PM   #23
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Re: Timing question???

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Omg dude! Are you ****ing with me? Your joking right?
ok I guess im not really sure what your talking about, then i tried to go back and re read but im still lost. I was just pointing out what the vacuum advanced is for i guess. lol
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:39 PM   #24
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Somebody please google:
"vacuum advance". Your already by a computer. Lol
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alscobra
Somebody please google:
"vacuum advance". Your already by a computer. Lol
Lol thank you. I needed back up. I'm goin to bed.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:45 PM   #26
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Re: Timing question???

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Originally Posted by Alscobra View Post
Somebody please google:
"vacuum advance". Your already by a computer. Lol
ok so what according to you guys am i missing about vacuum advance? It has nothing to do with base timing!
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:21 AM   #27
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Re: Timing question???

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ok so what according to you guys am i missing about vacuum advance? It has nothing to do with base timing!
Vacuum advance

A vacuum advance is not so much a device as it is a method that aids in the correct timing of an internal combustion engine. There is a device in most cars called a distributor. It contains a tiny spindle which carries an electric charge from the car's battery. As the spindle turns, it comes into contact with a series of electrical leads ringing the interior of the distributor housing, which connect to the spark plugs in the engine's combustion cylinders. This is what causes the plugs to spark, and it is imperative that the spark occurs at the appropriate moment when the piston in the cylinder reaches the apex of its stroke, thereby creating the highest possible cylinder compression, which in turn generates more power during combustion. Something as simple as a spinning distributor would work fine if the rate of engine combustion was constant--but it isn't. The combustions come more quickly as the car and engine speed up. Not only must the combustion timing speed up, but it must come even earlier in the stroke of each piston to allow for the amount of time it takes for the fuel in each cylinder to complete combustion. This is what is known as ignition timing advance, and vacuum advance timing is always used in conjunction with a primary form of timing called mechanical timing advance.

mechanical advance "like msd"

The spindle which delivers the electrical impulses is governed by a rotating distributor shaft, upon which it sits. This distributor shaft is connected by a linkage to the engine's driveshaft, meaning the spindle turns at the rate the engine fires. However, this does not allow enough time for the engine combustion at high speeds. A way to cause the electrical impulses to be sent a fraction earlier is for the spindle to be weighted on the ends. As it spins, it generates greater and greater centrifugal force, advancing the spindle beyond the rate of the spinning distributor shaft. While this works for high-speed combustion rates, it does little for low-speed combustion rates. This is in the remit of the vacuum advance.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:26 AM   #28
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Re: Timing question???

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Originally Posted by Straublittleman View Post
Vacuum advance

A vacuum advance is not so much a device as it is a method that aids in the correct timing of an internal combustion engine. There is a device in most cars called a distributor. It contains a tiny spindle which carries an electric charge from the car's battery. As the spindle turns, it comes into contact with a series of electrical leads ringing the interior of the distributor housing, which connect to the spark plugs in the engine's combustion cylinders. This is what causes the plugs to spark, and it is imperative that the spark occurs at the appropriate moment when the piston in the cylinder reaches the apex of its stroke, thereby creating the highest possible cylinder compression, which in turn generates more power during combustion. Something as simple as a spinning distributor would work fine if the rate of engine combustion was constant--but it isn't. The combustions come more quickly as the car and engine speed up. Not only must the combustion timing speed up, but it must come even earlier in the stroke of each piston to allow for the amount of time it takes for the fuel in each cylinder to complete combustion. This is what is known as ignition timing advance, and vacuum advance timing is always used in conjunction with a primary form of timing called mechanical timing advance.

mechanical advance "like msd"

The spindle which delivers the electrical impulses is governed by a rotating distributor shaft, upon which it sits. This distributor shaft is connected by a linkage to the engine's driveshaft, meaning the spindle turns at the rate the engine fires. However, this does not allow enough time for the engine combustion at high speeds. A way to cause the electrical impulses to be sent a fraction earlier is for the spindle to be weighted on the ends. As it spins, it generates greater and greater centrifugal force, advancing the spindle beyond the rate of the spinning distributor shaft. While this works for high-speed combustion rates, it does little for low-speed combustion rates. This is in the remit of the vacuum advance.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:26 PM   #29
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Re: Timing question???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straublittleman View Post
Vacuum advance

A vacuum advance is not so much a device as it is a method that aids in the correct timing of an internal combustion engine. There is a device in most cars called a distributor. It contains a tiny spindle which carries an electric charge from the car's battery. As the spindle turns, it comes into contact with a series of electrical leads ringing the interior of the distributor housing, which connect to the spark plugs in the engine's combustion cylinders. This is what causes the plugs to spark, and it is imperative that the spark occurs at the appropriate moment when the piston in the cylinder reaches the apex of its stroke, thereby creating the highest possible cylinder compression, which in turn generates more power during combustion. Something as simple as a spinning distributor would work fine if the rate of engine combustion was constant--but it isn't. The combustions come more quickly as the car and engine speed up. Not only must the combustion timing speed up, but it must come even earlier in the stroke of each piston to allow for the amount of time it takes for the fuel in each cylinder to complete combustion. This is what is known as ignition timing advance, and vacuum advance timing is always used in conjunction with a primary form of timing called mechanical timing advance.

mechanical advance "like msd"

The spindle which delivers the electrical impulses is governed by a rotating distributor shaft, upon which it sits. This distributor shaft is connected by a linkage to the engine's driveshaft, meaning the spindle turns at the rate the engine fires. However, this does not allow enough time for the engine combustion at high speeds. A way to cause the electrical impulses to be sent a fraction earlier is for the spindle to be weighted on the ends. As it spins, it generates greater and greater centrifugal force, advancing the spindle beyond the rate of the spinning distributor shaft. While this works for high-speed combustion rates, it does little for low-speed combustion rates. This is in the remit of the vacuum advance.
there are a few flaws in this, one being the spark does NOT ignite at the apex. Most sparks on Ford vehicles are 10 degrees BTDC (10 degrees Before Top Dead Center on the crank revolution) so stock 10 BTDC the spark will ignite! Most cars now these days dont have distrubitors! The electric charged does not come from the battery, it comes from the alt. Ok so for vacuum advance you need vacuum, but when are you going to have vacuum!? Under a light load. At WOT there is ZERO vacuum so the vacuum advance would do nothing! The vacuum advance is for steady speed or light load, the vacuum advance has NOTHING to do with base timing! Sorry but i didnt read the mechanical adv
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:41 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94 Mustang GT

there are a few flaws in this, one being the spark does NOT ignite at the apex. Most sparks on Ford vehicles are 10 degrees BTDC (10 degrees Before Top Dead Center on the crank revolution) so stock 10 BTDC the spark will ignite! Most cars now these days dont have distrubitors! The electric charged does not come from the battery, it comes from the alt. Ok so for vacuum advance you need vacuum, but when are you going to have vacuum!? Under a light load. At WOT there is ZERO vacuum so the vacuum advance would do nothing! The vacuum advance is for steady speed or light load, the vacuum advance has NOTHING to do with base timing! Sorry but i didnt read the mechanical adv
You are pretty close to correct here. Vacuum advance uses ported vacuum. The advance is there in combination with mechanical to give you total timing so it does have to do with base as when you set base on a car with vacuum advance you do it as total. Anyways this is all irrelevant because you did not read the whole post. Yes timing advance increases engine efficiency at partial throttlebut this guy had a mechanical dist.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #31
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Wish I could be of more help but I highly do not recommend anyone setting timing w/o a timing light! There's more damage done than just audible detonation if it is out of timing...
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:57 PM   #32
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Google saves the day again. Thank you google. Lol
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:24 PM   #33
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Re: Timing question???

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You are pretty close to correct here. Vacuum advance uses ported vacuum. The advance is there in combination with mechanical to give you total timing so it does have to do with base as when you set base on a car with vacuum advance you do it as total. Anyways this is all irrelevant because you did not read the whole post. Yes timing advance increases engine efficiency at partial throttlebut this guy had a mechanical dist.
Vacuum advance has NOTHING to do with base timing! Even though i have been timing 350's for the past 2 weeks i guess i know nothing about base timing!
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:56 PM   #34
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Re: Timing question???

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Vacuum advance has NOTHING to do with base timing! Even though i have been timing 350's for the past 2 weeks i guess i know nothing about base timing!
On most cars with vacuum advance there is no vacuum at idle. But there is vacuum at WOT because there is a vacuum port that is above the butter flyes on the carb and when you accelerate it sucks air and gives a vacuum for the distributor. No in most case's it has nothing to do with "base" timing but if your car is ideleing a little high it can affect the timing thats why they tell you to disconnect the vacuum hose.

Now for the distributor that the original poster has witch is MSD mechanical advance witch means that it has these little weights the spin and the faster it spins the more advance it gives. Thats why I told the person to make sure they set their Idle where it belongs or their timing will be off.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:00 PM   #35
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Re: Timing question???

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On most cars with vacuum advance there is no vacuum at idle. But there is vacuum at WOT because there is a vacuum port that is above the butter flyes on the carb and when you accelerate it sucks air and gives a vacuum for the distributor. No in most case's it has nothing to do with "base" timing but if your car is ideleing a little high it can affect the timing thats why they tell you to disconnect the vacuum hose.

Now for the distributor that the original poster has witch is MSD mechanical advance witch means that it has these little weights the spin and the faster it spins the more advance it gives. Thats why I told the person to make sure they set their Idle where it belongs or their timing will be off.
Yeah i think i was originally the one who got of topic,but there is zero vacuum at WOT, everything else sounds pretty accurate which id agree with.
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