MSD and ignition timing - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 23rd-May-2011, 06:52 AM   #1
Tony1
 
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MSD and ignition timing

This is really puzzling me. I'm running a MSD pro billet dist and a 6AL box in my 72 with a 408. I took it out for a ride saturday morning and ran fine until a mile from my house coming back. The car just shut down and wouldnt start. While cranking it, it sounded like the timing was too far advanced so I grabbed a 9/16 retarded the dist and fired right up. Is it possible for a distributor to move? Its clamped down pretty good.

And one more. I have a Fluidamper on the car and if I set initial timing on the 30 mark on the balancer it runs great. If I try and back it down to 20 or a little under it begins to run rough. What the hell is that about? Should I just set it to where it runs best? I have never had so many issues with timing until I put this motor together.

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Old 23rd-May-2011, 08:10 AM   #2
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It sounds like you're using good parts so I would rule out an inferior timing chain. However a defective timing chain could be a possibility. Years ago I had a TRW timing chain stretch and slip 1 week after I installed it. Upon checking, it had more slop in it than the old one I took out.

I would go back to the basics, find TDC and check the distributor's timing. This should give you a better perspective on what may be going on.
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Old 23rd-May-2011, 08:13 AM   #3
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Distributor curve

Sound's like you have the wroung distributor curve for this motor. See what your total timing is and at what r.p.m. first.
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Old 10th-December-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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hhmmm

sorry to bring up an old thread, but Im having the EXACT same issues as Tony is/was. Same parts and same indication on timing. Right around 30 it runs great. I have the same ignition set up as well. Fluidamper for a balancer,.....check. So Im wondering if its a mixture of these parts giving the same indication. I was just checking the timing and tried adjusting advanced and retarded and right around 30 still gives the best run.
Anyone else have the same curious issues or an answer for us?

almost forgot, Im running gear drive so Im sure the chain isnt stretched
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Old 10th-December-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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Are you guys running a vacuum adv. canister on the msd? something doesn't sound right. If your running 30degrees initial timing what is your total timing and what bushing are you using?

Last edited by 64IIGolfLover; 10th-December-2012 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 10th-December-2012, 11:15 PM   #6
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I Have MSD pro billit distributer, 6AL, Blaster 2 coil....i do NOT have vacum advance my motors locked at 38* timing and loves it........
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Old 11th-December-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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Did you purchase the set up new in the box and unmolested?

Someone locked out the distributor?
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Old 11th-December-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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When you set your timing was the car warmed up to normal running temperature? Does your MSD have a start retard? Does the distributor have a ignition module in it? When they heat up and go bad it will cause hard starts and miss fires, moving the distributor will some times help get you started again but its a short fix.

Honestly I hate ignition boxes with a passion. Unless you're running a power adder like nitrous you'll never fully get the benefit out of one. I swapped from my Mallory Hyfire system that cost almost $1k and stabbed in a HEI and I can honestly say there's not 1 bit of difference I could feel. 10:1 in a .030 over 454 on 91 octane pump gas.
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Old 11th-December-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Make sure you have the correct timing tab for the size balancer you are using.
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Old 11th-December-2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugnut79 View Post
Make sure you have the correct timing tab for the size balancer you are using.
That's what I thought of when I first read his post.^^^^
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Old 11th-December-2012, 05:56 PM   #11
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for whatever reason

I came across some MSD ignition posts in other forums actually saying to disconnect the box and set timing without the box. weird. Also that some of the ignition boxes can cause 20 degrees of added advance to show up with some timing lights. Ive got nothing special, just a standard old light with no dial or other electronics in it. If it is indeed picking it up 20 degrees early, that would explain it, but it doesnt make sense
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Old 11th-December-2012, 06:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16fxr4real View Post
I came across some MSD ignition posts in other forums actually saying to disconnect the box and set timing without the box. weird. Also that some of the ignition boxes can cause 20 degrees of added advance to show up with some timing lights. Ive got nothing special, just a standard old light with no dial or other electronics in it. If it is indeed picking it up 20 degrees early, that would explain it, but it doesnt make sense
A lot of distributors that are running the box will not run without it. Yes they say not to use a dial back light. I have never had any issues myself with mine.
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Last edited by sbc1320; 11th-December-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 11th-December-2012, 07:20 PM   #13
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Timing is just a guess with an adjustable and/or digital timing light. This will happen because the mark will be a moving target and not steady.

MSD is 100% correct! I know, I used 2 Snap On lights, one that was adjustable while the other was not. I now use a non-adjustable.
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Old 11th-December-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugnut79 View Post
Make sure you have the correct timing tab for the size balancer you are using.
For my damper I ended up buying an adjustable tab and dialing that in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora's Box View Post
Timing is just a guess with an adjustable and/or digital timing light. This will happen because the mark will be a moving target and not steady.

MSD is 100% correct! I know, I used 2 Snap On lights, one that was adjustable while the other was not. I now use a non-adjustable.
MSD suggested the cheapest of the Equus lights to me. I think it was $30
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Old 11th-December-2012, 08:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildBillyT View Post
MSD suggested the cheapest of the Equus lights to me. I think it was $30
Yea this is one instance where cheap is best.
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