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Engine Ignition Timing
Accurate ignition timing is probably the most important aspect of a tune up. Valve clearances can be off by a thou or so, carbs can be a bit 'off song' and not much is lost. But you give up somewhere close to 5% of the engine's potential by missing correct timing by only 2 or 3 degrees.
The factory complicated the matter by putting the reference mark nearly 3/4" from the index on the crank pulley. Experienced mechanics have established a view angle and learned to compensate for the parallax, but this is an acquired skill; not everyone working on 356s has that skill.
Nor does the factory distributor clamp lend any aid; as they age they wear such that they no longer offer secure clamping. Unless you have a recent replacement part, you can find your distributor adjusting timing on its own; not what you want. What's more is that it offers no idea how much you have changed your timing without trial and error attempts.
Our Timing Kit addresses all those problems and is a 'bolt-on' requiring no modifications at all. Further, the index plate can also be easily used without guess work to mark your pulley to the timing you desire.
Accurate timing is important to your engine's performance and reliability; precision matters here as elsewhere.
For a 'standard' 356 engine, set static timing in the range of 5-7 degrees. You should find a total dynamic timing in the range of 32-36 degrees. Assuming 91-octane fuel, and depending on the top end work on your engine, try toward the top and the bottom of the total timing, avoiding 'pinging' in the process.
'Tight' deck heights and higher compression ratios will favor less timing, 'open' chambers and lower compression ratios will favor more.