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Discussion Starter #1
I'm running an 87 302 at 15 degrees right now and it's running a little sluggish. It seems to get bogged down a bit when i hit the gas. It runs much better at 18 degrees. Is it bad to go that high?

I'm also smoking a little bit. It's a fresh rebuilt motor with 250 miles on it. Should it still be smoking a little bit? Shouldn't the rings have set by now?
 

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Doesn't sound normal to me. I'm wondering if having the timing chain or the distributor off a tooth would cause this. Kinda brain dead, been out in the sun too much today. As for the rings not seating after 250 miles, I could be wrong but I experienced the same thing with chrome/moly rings, if not longer.
 

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Take time to remark the harmonic balancer scale with chalk. First get #1 to TDC and VALIDATE it is at TDC! Meaning remove the #1 spark plug and look. Rotate crank back forth across TDC to confirm piston is at top of cylinder. If its not at TDC with the pointer at TDC then you have a slipped balancer. Mark TDC on the harmonic and add 10 degree mark using protractor and chalk. Also mark 35 degrees. Remove dist vaccuum and plug. Check timing relative to chalked marks. Timing at idle should be between 6-10 degrees. Timing at 3000 rpm should be 35 degrees (with vaccuum advance re-connected) give or take a couple degrees. Going above 3000 rpm should cause no more advance. After doing this fine tune carb and recheck for hesitation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
what should i be idling at?
 

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My car does run better with more intitial timing, likes about 16. At 10 it's a dog in the low end. Hard to know if your timing marks are 100% acurrate or not. Might try power timing it, advance the timing tell it pings under load, and then back it off slightly.
 

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Sounds wrong to me. Are you disconnecting the vacuum line from the distributor and plugging at when setting timing? You should be around 10 degrees initial advance at about 800 rpm. Then attach the vacuum line and check again and it should be in the 16 range.
 

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Idle speed depends on cam, tranny, if automatic - torque converter, etc. Idle down until the engine runs roughly then increase it 100 rpm. Mine idles nicely with manual trans at 650-700 rpm (E303 cam, GT40Y heads). Going lower results in very lopy idle for my set up.
 
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