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Old 12-20-2007, 12:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

I'm going to be helping a friend tune his '71 F-100 this weekend. It is setup with the Edelbrock Performer Package, cam, manifold, carb, except it has stock heads.

I need to know what the initial timing is for this engine. I want to baseline it there and work through the timing before moving on to the Edlebrock Carb.

I will be referencing this article for that:
http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2...ockCarburetor/

Any help would be appreciated, as well as any insight\advice you may have.

Thanks.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

I found some info here.

332-428 Ford FE Engine Forum

Anywhere from 6 (stock) to 20 (modified)

I'm used to setting it close to stock, pull the vacuum line and plug it. Turn distributor to where idle is the highest, check the timing there, checking it in increments there after up to about 3000-3500, and calling it good, writing down those settings. Test drive and fine tune from there.

Sound like a plan?
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

I alway's had my FE's in the 8-12* range.
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

10-12 for a stock distributor is a good start, I agree with Gary
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

Your initial advance determines how much advance you can allow in the mechanical advance in the distributor. If you are not going to modify the distributor thenlook at the advance mechanism and read the amount of advance that is there. Double that number and subtract from 38. That will tell you how much to advance the timing at an idle.
If the stop is in the slot marked 17 then 17 x 2 = 34 ; 38 - 34 = 4. you would then set your initial timing at 4 degrees BTDC. You never want the total more than 38.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

That is 100% true, but it will be a pig with a stock distributor and 4 degrees with stock advance rate.

However the C8AE-H heads with a stock style piston arent very efficient and like up to as high as 40, especially with a slow stock curve at lower rpm

If it were me, I'd fire it at 10, then check total before you hammer it. If you need to pull the distributor apart you can limit total at no cost.

It wont run well at low rpm with 4-6 initial though
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

Low initial advance is not good for performance or milage but preignition and detonation will burn your engine up. If you are looking for performance then recurve the distributor first, then set the initial advance according to the new curve.
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Old 12-23-2007, 02:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

It was set by the engine builder @ 6*. My friend had the distributor recurved. 16* initial and 36* total is what his card said.

I tuned it to 20* initial and 36* total. Adjusted the idle mixture on the Edelbrock carb. Adjusted the kickdown as well. Runs much better now.

Had the initial all the way up to 25*, but got a little pinging on acceleration. I told him if he ran 89, or 92 octane he could get a little more performance with the initial set around 25*. Sounds high but that's where it ran the best, albeit the pinging, which is due to 87 octane I think.

Just goes to show every situation is different.

Anyway, thanks everyone.
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Old 12-23-2007, 02:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

There is a limit to how much advance you can have (and use) in a street car. Racing cars are different. Smoky used to run 38 degrees locked advance. There was no advance but a race car is always at speed or high RPM so the advance isn't necessary. 20 degrees of advance is on the line for preignition even with 120 octane. It is too soon to light the fuel unless you have a light weight car (1500 lbs) or hit the throttle at 1000 to 1500 rpm. If you light the fuel so early that cylinder pressure reaches its peak before the piston is staring dow on the firing stroke you are going to get preignition rattle and a dead engine. Look at the ignition curve used to get the most on dyno pulls. At the best timing for any rpm the fuel/air mixture reaches its peak pressure just after TDC. That is why we use an aggressive timing curve and start at 12-15 degrees. The fuel air mix burns fast but it still takes time to burn - less time than it takes the crank to turn 20 degrees at idle.
If the car idles at 1500 rpm then you can go to 20 but you want to be careful about how fast you advance it and how much you end up with for maximum.
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Old 12-24-2007, 07:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Intitial timing for a '71 360 FE engine

I understand and agree. The only thing I can think of is the fact that it is a stock balancer that has maybe shifted some on the bond. I thought that 25* was quite high as well, but thats what the timing marks read, and it only pinged a little bit under acceleration in 3rd gear. Total with vacuum advance hooked up was only 55*.

It does have an Edlebrock Performer Cam in it.

Dur at 0.50 = 194*Int - 204*Exh, .460 and .480 Lift. Not very agressive at all, but probably a contributor to some of the advance requirement
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