Timing

GUNNY 155

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Last week I started up the engine on my restoration project for the first time. When I set the timing, which right now is at 2 degrees BTDC, two things occured to me. First the pointer is so big it would seem that accurate setting is pretty tough to do based on looking at the pointer in relation to the nice degree marks on the pulley. Second is, todays fuel is nothing like what this engine once ran on so that will affect where it runs best. So wondering what you folks out there set yours at and if you have a certain way to get it done with some degree of accuracy. Or do you give the distributor the old twist and runs good there routine?
 

Bill W

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I set mine at 2°btdc ( sea level ) and she ran good.
Later I set the timing using a vacuum gauge which calls for 17-21inches for a good setting, I got mine to 20inches with a nice steady needle on the gauge ( engine at idle ), When I checked the timing mark it was now at 4°btdc and she ran like a clock. I did the same thing on my WC-21 ( also had a 230ci in it ) and it came out to 4°btdc also, higher elevations will give different results.
 

WillWagner

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Set it by ear. start at 2, leave the dist. loose, drive it and advance the timing 'till it starts to ping, back it off and lock it down. If you are gonna haul things, make sure you put a load in the truck when you do this.
 

GUNNY 155

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Thanks Bill, I thought mine could use a couple degrees more too. I will put the Vac gauge on it and give that a try. Back in my mechanic days, late 60's, I always found Detroit to be on the light side when it came to timing and always pushed the initial timing up above what specs called for.
 

1958 M274

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Set it by ear. start at 2, leave the dist. loose, drive it and advance the timing 'till it starts to ping, back it off and lock it down. If you are gonna haul things, make sure you put a load in the truck when you do this.
This is the way I've always done it, and it's always served me well.
 

plym49

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X2 on setting it by ear. We used to lug the motor a bit up a hil in high gear. Let it ping slightly under that extreme situation, and it will be fine for normal driving.

A double-check is to see where the timing produces maximum vacuum at idle.

I'm really old, so I know about things like timing, points and carburetors. Good luck with any of them down at Pep Boys.
 

Bill W

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Thanks Bill, I thought mine could use a couple degrees more too. I will put the Vac gauge on it and give that a try. Back in my mechanic days, late 60's, I always found Detroit to be on the light side when it came to timing and always pushed the initial timing up above what specs called for.
Gunny
The original timing on the T-245, 230 was set at 2°atdc, which "I believe" is because the engines had hand crank capabilities and after tdc would be easier to crank over the engine by hand. Later mil Tech bullitin ( Change 7 ) changed the timing to 2°btdc, so moving the timing to 4°before is not a big jump on the timing for the 230 though I doubt you could go more than 6° btdc before she started pinging...just my thoughts :)
 

1958 M274

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North GA
Gunny
The original timing on the T-245, 230 was set at 2°atdc, which "I believe" is because the engines had hand crank capabilities and after tdc would be easier to crank over the engine by hand. Later mil Tech bullitin ( Change 7 ) changed the timing to 2°btdc, so moving the timing to 4°before is not a big jump on the timing for the 230 though I doubt you could go more than 6° btdc before she started pinging...just my thoughts :)
I might be wrong, but I think the timing spec of 2°atdc was since it was rated to run on 68 octane gas...

I set the timing on my 230 by ear, then checked it with a timing light out of curiosity. It's been a few years, but I'm pretty sure it was around 6° btdc. I hand crank it often, never had it kick back on me even with the timing run up.
 
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