Setting Timing on the SBC 350 and the Ford 302
Start by finding Top Dead Center. Next, pull the cap off of the distributor and point the rotor at cylinder 1. You can put a piece of tape at the bottom of the distributor marked with a line as a reference, and do the same to the cap. This way, once you install the cap you can turn it to where the two marks line up. This will put your engine at roughly zero degrees. For an initial start, it is recommended that you advance the timing by turning the distributor counter clockwise 10°, and then set the timing by using a timing light. Some enthusiasts say that a standard total timing (initial timing plus advance) is 34°, others will say 38°, and you will just need to find what works best for your motor.
Set the engine to TDC, and set and mark the distributor to the cylinder 1. This sets your motor at roughly zero degrees, same as the Chevrolet. You can then turn the distributor 1/4 of a turn clockwise to advance it enough for the motor to start. NOTE: Small block Ford rotors always turn counter-clockwise. Let the motor get up to operating temperature, and then use a timing light to set the timing between 34°-38°total timing, again you will need to find what works best for your motor.
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