Timing Your “A”

What is good timing?  How much advance should be used?  How can I tell if it’s right?  Questions we all hear.

Most old timers and some motor heads can tell by listening to the idle how well a car is timed.  But the best way is with timing light.  Nu-Rex makes a very simple unit that can be purchased through Snyder’s or Bratton’s to install on your “A”.  Easy instructions are included.

Many times I find “A’s” running too far advanced.  An easy way to tell is when you are driving on an open road with the spark retarded until you feel a loss of power.  Then advance slowly while feeling power regain.  When you reach a point where you feel no difference—stop.  That’s enough advance.

Most distributors can be advanced as much as 30 degrees.  Therefore running 0 to 30 advance is, in my opinion, too much.  I never run more than 25 and prefer 20 to 22 advanced.  I also like to set my timing at 5 degrees retard at full retard.  It’s important to run enough advance to avoid overheating and carbon buildup.  Always recheck your timing when replacing points as that does affect it.

This article was published in the September 2005 issue of the “A” Quail Call by AJ Pennington.

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