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Old 05-24-2010, 19:48   #1 (permalink)
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390 Timing setting

I have a 390 and need to know what degree the timing should be set at? Can anyone help.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:07   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 390 Timing setting

If your engine is stock I would time it at 6deg BTC and add 2deg for every 1000 feet above sea level.

If it's not stock and your running a large cam, you'll have to adjust timing for best results. For example: if it pings at high RPM's you'll need to retard the timing untill ping goes away. Anytime you run a Hi-po engine, your variables change with the weather....hot, cold, rainy, dry, humidity....if your like me,
I have to adust every friday night for cruise night, cause you never know when a Z06 is gonna want to try his luck!!

Alaways start with stock numbers...then adust from there.
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Old 05-25-2010, 14:42   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 390 Timing setting

Thanks for the input. Now what exactly will pinging sound like so I know what to look for?
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:12   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 390 Timing setting

I can't really explain the sound, but if you have heard an import car (small) trying to accelerate and you here that dreaded pinging, almost like a valve train rattle, that;s what it will sound like.

Try to buy the best gas that you can with the highest octaine. Where I live we only have 91 octaine at the pump, I found shell work best. Keep in mind I have 12:1 compression. Less compression will run easier on pump gas.
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:15   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 390 Timing setting

I have C8AE-H heads with a 390GT bottom end any guess to the compression?And when you said add 2 deg was that advance or retard past 6 deg
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Old 05-25-2010, 18:50   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 390 Timing setting

Just a guess probably 9:5:1 to 10:2:1. Just a guess now!!! You advance the timing,...the engine will run at a faster RPM the more you advance the timing. When you get it set, turn the idle screw on the carb out to bring the engine RPM to proper idle speed.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:25   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 390 Timing setting

Thank you for your help. So just to be clear if I live at 1000 ft it needs to be set at 4deg BTDC. The only other resources I could find told me 10-12 BTDC. That would explain why I wasn't getting the mileage the previous owner said it would. Right?
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Old 05-26-2010, 14:42   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 390 Timing setting

No, you have it backwards, say it tells you to time at 10deg BTC it should run OK there, you can usually set it more (12,14,16) The higher altitude you are.

If you advance the timing for you altitude and at high speeds the motor pings retard the timing 1 or 2 degrees untill the pinging stops. So you set drive it, reset it, drive it, and so on untill the optimum timing is acheived.
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