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General TR Let's Talk Timing a TR2/3/4 for Performance.

jeep937

Senior Member
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Well I'm going to time my car and I've read the static timing posts, pages and articles but I can't help but think, is the factory timing the best? Then there's this John Twist video about emission TR6's and how they were retarded for emissions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmxuqA4qvVI&list=UU40j4KqUJPMVv4FQ29ro-xQ

Not sure where my car was timed when I got it but it ran hot and kinda slow. I messed with it and got way more power and it never ran hot. although I never heard any pinging I'm simply not sure of the real numbers in degrees where I was at before and where I ended up. Now if you read my build thread you will see that I blew up my distributor. So now I'm starting over. I would like your thoughts on custom timing settings and vac hooked and not hooked up. I know my solid roller cammed Trans Am loves 25 @ idle and 38.5 all in per the dyno tune.. Anyone ever play with the timing and get better results?

My plan is to static time the motor then dial in the carbs then play with the timing and read the plugs for the air fuel..
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Depends on waay too many variables. I time my "barn find" TR3 (not really sure what's inside the engine in terms of compression, displacement or camshaft) a couple degrees short of where I can force it to ping (hot engine, heavy throttle, low rpm). But I can't say I notice any real difference between there and a few more degrees either retarded or advanced (as long as I don't let it ping of course).

Someday, after I get a "warmed over" engine built; I plan to spend some quality time on a dyno and look for a better advance curve. But that does well enough at the moment.
 
OP
J

jeep937

Senior Member
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Can you get that type of range via the knob or do you turn and tune the timing by the dist and test drives. Is the ping loud? My harley will ping under load, low rpm, hammer down in too high a gear but the motor is right there.
 

Geo Hahn

Yoda
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...My plan is to static time the motor then dial in the carbs then play with then timing and read the plugs for the air fuel..

That is a pretty good plan. I usually set the vernier to the big mark with the engine at TDC, the adjust it for the advance I want starting with the book advance for static timing. That way it is pretty simple to keep track of where I am as I make roadside adjustments.

Each mark on the vernier dial is a specific number of degrees - I wish I could remember how many! (possibly 2° per mark?)

Others set the static timing with the vernier at the big mark and move form there.

I have never run out of adjustment on the dial when getting to the ideal advance.

In my experience, setting timing at idle is almost hopeless on these cars because the advance starts at a rather low RPM.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Can you get that type of range via the knob or do you turn and tune the timing by the dist and test drives. Is the ping loud? My harley will ping under load, low rpm, hammer down in too high a gear but the motor is right there.
I only use the vernier. If you run out of travel, you can always loosen the dizzy and turn it a bit, but it's not been an issue for me. The ping is quite noticeable at low speeds, with no wind or road noise to speak of. But I have had an incident where one cylinder was apparently pinging at freeway speeds and I didn't hear it. This was the result:


So my feeling is that it's best to err on the conservative side (even though the broken piston wasn't caused by too much spark advance).
 

sp53

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You probably know this in that you are talking about one of the last settings on a tune up. Set the valves at 10. Additionally, the points if you have them effect the timing. I would start with a new cap, metal plug wires, quality coil, new quality points and rotor that have a few miles on them and set at 15, and clean plugs, and all this is dependent on the carbs being set correctly without too much vacuum leak and 20 weight oil.
I do not do the ping deal, I just take the car out and drive it, sometimes uphill hard and sometimes in heavy traffic. I find that too much advancement will not let the idle come down very good, so I compromise there some by backing that off, and if too far advanced it might keep running after turned off. Moreover, I look at the plug a lot to read the buildup. At the end of the day, my cars start good hot or cold and do not keep running when turned off and idle about 850 to 900.
 
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