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Timing is everything!

2280 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  cdahl383
Took Plowman and Big Al's advice today and swapped out my distributor springs for some lighter ones to see how it'd run.

Switched from two medium springs to one light and one medium spring. Holy crap, runs so much better now! I thought it ran pretty good before, guess I was leaving some power on the table though like that.

Tried two light ones, but the car didn't like that and it made my idle kind of erratic, springs probably too light and not pulling them back in on idle. Seems like one light and one medium is the sweet spot!

Now when I step on it from idle it takes off even smoother, and while cruising I hardly have to push on the gas and it just hums along down the road, and just stepping into it from part throttle the car just takes off really smooth. Feels like thats what the car wants.

The other cool part about this is it seems like my car is running cooler now. Before on these hot 90 degree days it would creep up to 190 sometimes, today even while idling in gear or cruising at slow speeds on side streets, it never went above 180, and while cruising it was around 170-175.

Looks like a step in the right direction. I thought I had my car setup pretty good for a while, but looks like it still had some power left. Funny how a little tiny spring can change how your car runs so much.

Then I had a previous problem rear its head again. A while back my car would stall occasionally at lights in gear, like I had turned the key off. I'd put in park and it'd fire right back up and be fine. I fattened up my idle mixture screws and turned up my idle speed a tad and that seemed to fix it for a while. I was messing with my idle speed and mixture again the other day and must have taken it too far lean as it did it again today once I pulled up in my backyard. It almost died out, tach said 0, then it came back to life up to 400 RPM or so for a second and then crapped out again. Sort of like when you run out of fuel and have to get the fuel through the lines and in the float bowls, etc.

So I tinkered with some other stuff for a few minutes, then turned out my idle mixture screws about 1/8 turn on each side to richen it up some, turned up my idle speed slightly, and put it in gear, ran fine, no stalling. Guess it was too lean again.

Seems like half the problems I have with the car are caused by me! Haha! At least they're easy fixes. I've had a lot of help from guys on the forum over this summer and its really helped me dial in my car good. Thanks to everyone who has helped me out. I'm far from a master mechanic, but with some common sense and help I've really been able to get my car running awesome finally this summer!

Hoping I can make it to the track again this fall and see how the car runs now with the timing coming in sooner and some cooler fall air. Maybe I can get into the 12.40's or 12.50's this year before I swap out the converter next year!
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Good Timing.

You are doing what you like and using good sense to go faster. Keep it up.
Haha yeah I'm getting there. Thanks for your help Paul!

How's your car running? Have you made it up to the track with your son lately?
Lock it out and enjoy the response! (just cant drive in the summer - at least in Tucson.)
Sounds like you need to get yourself a vacuum gauge and dial in your idle mixture screws 100%
Yeah I did that a while back, dialed in my idle mixture screws with a vacuum gauge, set them at highest vacuum, then I took the carb apart to adjust the floats and do some other stuff and adjusted them some more after. Looks like I goofed them up.

Think tomorrow I'll get the car warmed up and reset them again.

I'd lock it out if it was a strip only car, but not so sure I want to do that on the street. Lots of hills, hot/cold weather, variables to just lock it out, but I know a lot of guys do it anyway and have good results.

Its a 383 stroker, 9.5:1 comp, Edelbrock Etec 170 heads, 234/238 @ .050" roller cam, RPM Air Gap intake, Edelbrock 800 AVS carb, Pertronix HEI ignition, 2200 stall, TH350 trans, 3.73 posi.
Wideband would be nice, but wont be doing that anytime soon. Vacuum gauge is it for me for now, haha!
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