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Timing light

4078 Views 43 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  cdahl383
Hi guys and gals.

I've got a 72 Nova with a 350, .030 over, lunati bracket master II cam, dart iron eagle heads, and other goodies. Here's my dilemma.
My timing light is very old and does not have the advance timing feature. I can only set base timing. I know that with my engine, total timning is what I need to set.

I need a recommendation for a good timing light, but not things like snap-on cuz of price. This won't be used that often to justify that kind of money. I've found the opposite end of the spectrum on ebay.

Would a cheap(price) timing light be a waste of money? I'm all ears!
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All you need is a timing tape for the damper and you can set total timing.
Craftsman makes some decent ones.

http://m.sears.com/productdetails.do?partNumber=00921023000P&sid=&psid=
Have the timing tape...can you describe the procedure? I've got base timing set too high right now, but it idles very well there.
I got a basic dialback light from Harbor Freight this summer. Checked its readings with my old reliable Craftsman one (just checks base timing) and it reads the same. Wasn't very expensive and does the job.

I'm assuming your damper doesnt have any degree marks on it? If youve got an aftermarket one it should have degree marks on it. You could just find a particular degree setting you want (i.e. 32 or 36) mark it and use your regular timing light like that.

Otherwise with a stock damper timing tape would be necessary.
If you have an MSD box you cannot use a dial or digital timing light per MSD.

I've tried it and there is a difference.
If you have an MSD box you cannot use a dial or digital timing light per MSD.

I've tried it and there is a difference.
Unless you use a dial back MSD timing light, Most timing lights are made to set at curb idle and are not very accurate at 3500 plus RPM.

My favorite light is the Flaming River timing lite, All my builds the balancers are degreed to set max timing.

Here is some good links to look over

http://www.dragracingonline.com/technical/vii_10-lights-1.html

http://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?tid/173877/
Equus timing light part #3568. Summit sells it for $99.95. Had mine for four years and have loaned it out numerous times, great light
Plug the vacuum advance. watch the timing and rev the engine until the timing doesn't advance any further. Thats your total mechanical advance. I would start with 36 degrees on an average street sbc and go from there. Hook the vacuum advance to manifold vacuum after your done.
Ok, I've got it at 32, but my initial is 19. Does that seem too high?
Ok, I've got it at 32, but my initial is 19. Does that seem too high?
The more initial you can give it without detonation, without the starter dragging while cranking, all while keeping a total of usually around 36-38 for a healthy little small block.

Nothing the matter with 18-20 initial, I run mine at 18 initial and 18 mechanical for a total of 36 right now.
I moved it to 36 total....and am at about 22 initial. Starts easy, don't hear any detonation. I just need a new carb to deal with the throttle response now.

Thanks all!
I moved it to 36 total....and am at about 22 initial. Starts easy, don't hear any detonation. I just need a new carb to deal with the throttle response now.

Thanks all!
What size and type carb is on it now?
Edelbog 650? Might be 600, Elec choke, vac secondaries. I'm looking at a summit carb, 750, but do have a holley 650 dp that needs rebuilding.
Rebuild the 650, that should work pretty well when tuned to the motors needs. Total kit is around $60.00 I think. A lot cheaper then a new carb.
Was thinking the same thing....they guy I got it from said it ran great, but he had the wrong inlets installed. He used pipe bushings!! Anyway, I took it off his hands and will rebuild. Timing is ok, but want more throttle response, so the carb is the next step.

Is there a way to bring initial down (seems to idle a little smoother) at about 18-20, but keep total at 36? Would that be a bushing change on the HEI dizzy?
P
Was thinking the same thing....they guy I got it from said it ran great, but he had the wrong inlets installed. He used pipe bushings!! Anyway, I took it off his hands and will rebuild. Timing is ok, but want more throttle response, so the carb is the next step.

Is there a way to bring initial down (seems to idle a little smoother) at about 18-20, but keep total at 36? Would that be a bushing change on the HEI dizzy?
Try a recurve kit or change out the center weight.
Cdahl383 just did this I think and it worked pretty well for him.
PM him and I am sure he could tell you some helpful info.
13 degrees mechanical advance in a stock hei doesn't seem right. Either its not advancing all the way or someone put real light springs in and its advancing at idle.
Well, I think I'm going to order a DUI distributor. They can build it based on my car specs. I don't know anything about the dizzy installed now. It might be a stock GM HEI. Since I want this car right, I'd rather get stuff I know the history of.
I dont know if this has been posted yet, but our light, apparently bought from autozone or another innova dealer, is pretty much everything i have ever needed a timing light to be and nothing I dont need.
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Tools-Garage-and-Equipment/Timing-Light/_/N-25ep
If $90 is in your price range this lil guy will last you years with perfect operation, especially if you use it occasionally.
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