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Discussion Starter #1
We broke the cam in as per Comps directions, and everything seems good. About an hour of run time now on it. Oil was changed right after break in. The question I have is the headers are getting glowing hot. Will this take care of itself after more run time, or is something wrong ? Temp is only 185
 

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BRETTZER said:
We broke the cam in as per Comps directions, and everything seems good. About an hour of run time now on it. Oil was changed right after break in. The question I have is the headers are getting glowing hot. Will this take care of itself after more run time, or is something wrong ? Temp is only 185

Wasnt this talked about before in the context of using coated headers during break in?...I believe something in those threads touched on glowing headers.....BTW what is your timing set at?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well It seems it was the timing to retarded. I thought we had it set at 6 degrees, but it was apparently a few less than that. We bumped it up to 10 and it idles nice in park about 750 :D Starts better too. The header glow is also no longer. The outside temp is down quite a bit today also, and car is running 20 degrees cooler. Although my shifter cable melted from all the exhaust heat :mad:
Is this too much advance now ?
 

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BRETTZER said:
well It seems it was the timing to retarded. I thought we had it set at 6 degrees, but it was apparently a few less than that. We bumped it up to 10 and it idles nice in park about 750 :D Starts better too. The header glow is also no longer. The outside temp is down quite a bit today also, and car is running 20 degrees cooler. Although my shifter cable melted from all the exhaust heat :mad:
Is this too much advance now ?
Not sure what heads you are running, but the SBC typically likes 36-38 degrees of TOTAL timing (static + mechanical advance). If you are running some type of fast-burn heads (like the Vortecs for instance), you'll want less total timing - around 32-34 degrees.



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Sounds like it was from the timing being retarded. That's a pretty common problem. We have done it purposely to help car make it through emissions. If your not getting any ping, and the motor turns over good, it's not too much advance.
 

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I had Goble prove his timing theory when he helped me fired up my car for the first time. No glow was to be seen with the initial timing set to 12* BTDC.
 

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NovatoriusRex said:
I had Goble prove his timing theory when he helped me fired up my car for the first time. No glow was to be seen with the initial timing set to 12* BTDC.
What's Mike's theory?
 

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DriveWFO said:
Goble's Theory of Timing Relativity ;)
Pretty much.

From previous discussions around here I got the impression that he strongly believes that most of the glowing header reports are a result of improper timing during break-in.

My experiences in this area just add fuel to support his little fire. :D
 

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Headers glowing red hot

I have a problem. My block-hugger headers (chrome) are getting red hot when I'm idling after a couple of minutes after start up. Does this happen with chrome normally? I adjusted the valves last week and am running a 4bbl Edelbrock carb, hyd. cam & aluminum heads with RC12YC plugs on my freshly rebuilt 350. Am I lean? Timing too high? Too low of an octane (89)? Engine was getting hot when I took it out for its break-in run. Any help would be appreciated. :(
 

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My headers were glowing red because it was running too lean, i bought a carb spacer, and eventually got a taller intake which has elimated the problem. also had to do some carb adjusting.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have just recently had the same issue on break in of my 383. The headers would glow and the operating temp was high. We bumped the timing up and header glow went away, temp came down, and actually oil pressure was a little better. I was told it was either timing or too lean, and too far retarded timing was the culprit. I would check timing first.
 

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I had that problem on my firebird, had the timing set too retarded :awkward: (fuel not done burning in cylinder and finishes in exhaust).

Advanced timing, went away.
 

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Thanks, guys. It was the timing being too low. :rolleyes: I had an electric fuel pump upsteram & a mechanical on the block. The elec. was locked up and I was playing with the timing to try to keep the thing running (didn't use a light though). Removed the bad one. Now it's time to thrash the beast! :D
 

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This is a common problem after distributor remove and replace. Most internet instructions tell you to put the damper at TDC and the rotor lined up with the #1 terminal. Installing the distributor at TDC causes it to be retarded on start up. Installing the distributor with the balancer at 10 degrees BTDC puts it closer to where it wants to be. This may seem like a small difference but it really makes start up easier which is very important when breaking in a cam. Trying to keep the idle speed up, set the timing while your coated or chrome headers bake isn't a good idea.

See the distributor install thread for more details.

I'll merge all the "glowing header" threads together and put in Best of Tech.
 

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What causes header glow?
Heat.





Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
Retarded timing is most likely the culprit if you mean glowing while you have the hood up watching them, like during engine break-in.
 
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