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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 09:38 AM
peterlufrano peterlufrano is offline
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Default MSD Experts? Setting up optimal advance curve?

Hi All,

I am preparing to install my new 8361 MSD distributor into my 1966 Malibu, and I need help in setting up the distributor for optimal timing curve.

Unfortunately I do not know the intimate details of the engines internals, but what I do know is this:

The engine is a rebuilt "1970" 350 V8
Engine has a "mild" cam (I do not have the particulars on exactly which cam)

Over the last year, I installed a new Edelbrock Performer Air Gap intake,

a new Edelbrock 650 cfm carb with quality K&N air filtration.

I removed the crap headers and installed OEM exhaust manifolds (HUGE improvement!).

The car came with a "ready to run" MSD distributor, which I am now replacing with the 8361.
I have already installed the MSD Digital ignition box.

I also installed a new "built" 700R4 tranny. The rear end is a "peg leg" with 308 gears. At highway cruise at 70 mph the engine is taching a hair under 2000 rpm.

The car is my daily driver and is used pretty exclusively on the street. So what I am looking for is an optimal advance curve set up for best fuel economy, and performance when I do stab the pedal ;^)

I will be making use of the vacuum advance, thus my choice of the 8361.

Many thanks in advance for any and all help!
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:47 AM
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msdtech22 msdtech22 is offline
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Was the original Ready to Run distributor an MSD brand? All MSD Ready to Run Distributors have the vacuum advance canister provision from the factory. Was that canister removed?

Also realize that the vacuum advance function is a fuel econony function when the car is under load at stop signs and stop lights,after about 2,000 - 2,500 rpm, that function drops out and the mechanical timing curve takes over.

If you still have the Ready to Run distributor handy and the engine responded well with that distributor installed, simply duplicate the spring and bushing combination in the new PN 8361 distributor and you should be fine.

What your engine will want for a good curve is the most amount of timing advance over initial timing (determined by the bushing), coming in as quickly as possible (determined by the spring combination), without detonating (pinging on acceleration).

If you have questions provide a phone number and an MSD Tech will call you back and give you a little better understanding as how to adjust that advance curve. You can also call 915-855-7123 and talk to an MSD Tech.

Some times a call to a tech will be more beneficial than going back and forth on forums. We also offer a link to help you set your timing: http://www.setyourtiming.com
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:02 AM
peterlufrano peterlufrano is offline
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Hi!

Thank you for your fast response!

Yes, the ready to run distributor was the MSD 8360. The vacuum canister was there, but was not connected when I bought the car.

When I added the Digital 6A, I was told by an MSD tech that, while the 6A will work with the 8360, I would be better off using the 8361 distributor for optimal results.

The 8360 had quite a bit of rust and oxidation inside, which I cleaned up, but as part of the "sort out" process with the car, I thought that it was time to freshen up the distributor and replace it with the model I was advised to use with the 6A: the 8361.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:12 AM
peterlufrano peterlufrano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msdtech22 View Post
Was the original Ready to Run distributor an MSD brand? All MSD Ready to Run Distributors have the vacuum advance canister provision from the factory. Was that canister removed?

Also realize that the vacuum advance function is a fuel econony function when the car is under load at stop signs and stop lights,after about 2,000 - 2,500 rpm, that function drops out and the mechanical timing curve takes over.

If you still have the Ready to Run distributor handy and the engine responded well with that distributor installed, simply duplicate the spring and bushing combination in the new PN 8361 distributor and you should be fine.

What your engine will want for a good curve is the most amount of timing advance over initial timing (determined by the bushing), coming in as quickly as possible (determined by the spring combination), without detonating (pinging on acceleration).

If you have questions provide a phone number and an MSD Tech will call you back and give you a little better understanding as how to adjust that advance curve. You can also call 915-855-7123 and talk to an MSD Tech.

Some times a call to a tech will be more beneficial than going back and forth on forums. We also offer a link to help you set your timing: http://www.setyourtiming.com
So if I am understanding your recommendations, and going off the information in the MSD installation manual, I should use the two Silver (light) springs, along with the Blue stop bushing (@ 21 degrees)?

Is this correct?
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