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My 73 Mercury Montego with the 351w started over heating on idle after I got it back from a shop since the carb was out of tune and was making it run like garbage. I didn’t want to mess with it cause it’s out of my realm of experience. But the cooling system besides the water pump is all new but I’m not seeing any signs of a bad water pump. All hoses are warm to the touch once it’s at running temp. And the strange thing is that it'll only over heat on idle when I drive it for a while. When I got it back from the shop, the dude replaced the ignition points, the ignition condenser and adjusted the carb. And now it over heats on idle and once I drive it, it cools down. Can this be ignition related?? I heard bad timing and bad air/fuel ratio can cause it to over heat. I need answers cause this is killing me! Also when it’s been running for a while, once I turn the ignition off it will sputter for 2 seconds and then shut off completely. Never did any of this until I got it back from this shop. Maybe I just need to place the water pump and thermostat?....
 

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Ignition can affect if it overheats at idle if timing, dwell, air fuel mixture are out of wack. If it wasn’t doing this right before you took it to the shop then odds are this is the problem.
If you don’t wrench on your own car find a local old timer who knows how to do this! Younger guys, even if great mechanics, usually are clueless about dwell, timing, and carbs. Just ask my sons!
 

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Your timing is too retarded.
Retarded timing causes ignition to happen later in the piston stroke, and therefore the combustion is still happening as the exhaust port opens. This causes a lot of extra heat in the exhaust port/valve area.

Now the question is: did he screw up your base timing, or did he move your vacuum advance over to 'ported' vacuum instead of full manifold?
 
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