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How to static time an MSD ready-to-run distributor
I've wrestled with this for some time now. How do I set the static timing with an MSD distributor? With the point type distributors, you could turn the engine over until the timing mark on the harmonic balancer read whatever static timing you wanted (8 to 12 degrees's) for number one cylinder. Then you removed the dist cap and connected a trouble light to one side of the points and other to ground. Turn on your ignition (not start). Then you could rotate the dist until the light went out or came on. That was the point that he points were opening, thus collasping the coild field and firing the plug. With an MSD, of course, there are no points. Is there a method for setting this static timing with an electronic dist that is similar to the old points method?
OK, I called MSD. Their method is to set the timing marks on the harmonic balancer at TDC for number 1 cylinder. Mark the body of the distributor where the number one terminal on the distributor cap is. Remove the cap, align the rotor with the mark on the distributor body, reinstall the cap and snug down the distributor hold down bolt. This will get the car started and you can then use a timing light to fine tune the timing. The tech guy says that he's done it a bunch of times and it always works.
The same should hold true for virtually any electronic ignition distributor. Your just can't really static time them like you can with points, you can just get them in the ballpark so it will run.
Very nice, clear description. Thanks!
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