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Stock Small Block Chevy Total Timing?

1972 Chevelle 350, Freshly rebuilt engine... completely. However, just stock parts. No performance parts in there at all except exhaust and simple bolt ons.

With that being said, the sticker said to get it to 6 degrees BTDC @ 600RPM.

Has an HEI distributor in there (MSD) and I hear that gives you about 20 degrees. So for total timing, don't I just add those? And that'll give me total timing of about 26 degrees? I hear the small block chevy runs better and best at around 35 degrees but I'm not there. About 10 degrees. Don't have to deal with any emission stuff and I went by what the sticker said.

I am going to use a dial back timing light and see what it is with the knob but just curious on what I should do with the timing? Leave it... or advance it even more until it goes to around 35 or so? Stock small block chevy - no emissions bull****, and it starts just fine now. Thanks for your help!

9 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Somewhere between 6 to 10 degrees static timing should work great. The more you advance it (go to higher number) the more likley the engine will ping. If it pings under acceleration back the timing off a little (lower number). The advance in the distributor may be adjustable and as I remember 35 degrees total would be at the upper end of what you want with a stock engine.

    Source(s): 40 years of vehicle ownership and maint.
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  • maza
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Small Block Chevy Timing

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Stock Small Block Chevy Total Timing?

    1972 Chevelle 350, Freshly rebuilt engine... completely. However, just stock parts. No performance parts in there at all except exhaust and simple bolt ons.

    With that being said, the sticker said to get it to 6 degrees BTDC @ 600RPM.

    Has an HEI distributor in there (MSD) and I hear that gives...

    Source(s): stock small block chevy total timing: https://tinyurl.im/ca1pA
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  • 1 decade ago

    Let the spark plugs tell you what the engine wants for timing, spark plug heat range, and fuel fatness.

    A pure stocker will likely want around 8-10 degrees initial with around 34-36 total. It'll take that much initial especially if compression is low and if there is a pretty good dose of Ethanol in the gas. Ethanol/Alcohol burns slow and negates more timing.

    Timing is not an engines friend. The more we can speed up the burn, the less timing the engine will want and the more power the engine will make along with doing so at a reduced fuel demand(BSFC.)

    Source(s): Cam designer/manufacturer & full competition race engine builder
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  • 1 decade ago

    Around 36 degrees total and about 16 cranking degrees usually works best in a SBC. They are all different though. If it cranks hard at 16 then back it back down until it cranks good. Your distributor should be adjustable for advance so adjust it up from a low setting until the car ceases to run better. All the engines are different by small amounts so the only way to get it the best is trial and error.

    Source(s): This actually takes a lot of effort. The 6 degree stuff and total is so that you can take it to a shop who have something to set it safely at. They have no way to drive it daily to adjust it where it really wants to be.
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  • 1 decade ago

    How much timing your SB Chevy can stand is determined by a host of factors, including (but not limited to) compression ratio, fuel quality, load, air and engine temp and carb jetting are some of these factors. Most "high" compression (10.0 to 1 and over) Small blocks running pump gas "like" about 6-8 degrees of static timing, lower compression engines will stand a little more before they "kick back" against the starter when hot. 35-38 degrees "total" is about where you will see your best power, again a factor of many other things beside the total timing. I have seen some people claim that their Small block "needs" 40-45 degrees to "run right", these engines have some serious problems with combustion chamber design, low compression problems, or other very serious tuning and design issues. GM says that 35-38 degrees is the ideal range, they should know! An engine under a light load will be able to stand a lot more total advance than one under maximum load, all other factors being equal.

    You need to be sure exactly how much advance your MSD distributor delivers. "hearing", "thinking" or "guessing" are not good answers, MSD should be able to tell you EXACTLY how much advance is built into this unit and at what RPM this number is achieved. Is the 20 degrees that you are "hearing" in crankshaft degrees or camshaft degrees? Remember, 1 cam degree equals 2 crank degrees and many distributors list advance in camshaft degrees.

    Another factor will be "rate" of advance, some distributors have a very steep advance"curve" with all the advance coming in at lower engine rpm; while others will advance to maximum more slowly. Both can have the same "total" advance with completely different "curves". High rates of advance will tend to cause a high compression engine "spark knock" under heavy loads at lower RPM. The "knock point" is the limiting factor on any engine, if you hear the engine "Spark Knock" or "Rattle" under load, then you back off the timing a degree at a time until the knock just goes away. You can stand a very slight knock for just a second before you chance serious engine damage. Knock point is where your peak torque is made, so you want to run as close to that point so that you can get maximum power from the engine.

    In review: you want enough timing that the engine will crank without "kicking back" against the starter when hot, and enough total advance to make maximum power without spark knock under maximum load with the engine hot. If you are running "High" compression, you may need Premium gas to get the engine to deliver maximum power without spark knock with 35-38 degrees of timing.

    Source(s): 40 years building Chevy Engines and as a master mechanic.
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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Car History Report http://VinNumberLookup.gelaf.info/?gzgc
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  • 1 decade ago

    You have received some out standing info but you are completely stock. and if you advance it much over 12 degrees BTDC it will be a bear to start cold. but you can re spring the distributor to get what you want.

    good luck

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  • 1 decade ago

    Get a 2011 Mustang gt 5.0

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