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Thread: timing 383 stroker motor

  1. #1

    timing 383 stroker motor

    hello ,,can anybody tell us the proper timeing on these stroker motors..We ran 2 of these motor last year ..we never felt we ever had timeing right .normal 350 is times 4-8 BTC these stroker motor wont even begin to run at that .there may simply be a problem with our timeing marks..but can seem to put a finger on it .. ..these motor are running flat top pistons or 150 dome ..500-550 lift cams .We ran 26*total and accually burnt pistons

  2. #2
    Senior Member SENIOR BUILDER
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Phoenix AZ
    34 to 36 degrees of total timing is where you want to be.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Lost Creek, WV
    If you are "burning" pistons you might check your jetting too. JMO


  4. #4
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    if your not sure about your pointers. get you a screw in piston stop and turn you engine over by hand and then you can get perfect top dead center and set your pointers then. they cost only around $12.00 for the comp ones. Good luck Andy

  5. #5
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Most small blocks I have built run 32-38 btdc
    if not using a fixed distributor, need to take the engine to 3500 rpm to set total ignition timing.
    look for jumping of the timing to make sure your distributor gear / cam gear have no , or little movement.
    what fuel are you running? Static compression ?

  6. #6
    I've built several sbc 383 or bigger and depending on heads cam and compression 34-38 degrees is the norm.My current 388 likes 38 total.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    my 385, has cnc 210 afr heads, 13.1 comp and runs at 33.5 fixed

  8. #8
    mine loves 36 deg

  9. #9
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Brookings South Dakota
    32-38 degrees on most all small blocks
    Competition Engines & Hardcore Engine Parts
    [email protected]

  10. #10


    Definitely have a concern if you ran 26 degrees total and burned pistons. If your 26 degrees was accurate, you were running very lean and that's what burned the pistons up.

    As far as the timing, I read an article by Smokey Yunick 40 years ago. He said the way to set your timing is to bring it up to detonation under load and power and then back it off 2 degrees. The man was a genious. That is pretty close to what the computer does on your daily driver. It is obviously much harder on a motor with a solid cam and headers, etc.

    I used this method when I was a kid working in a garage in the early 70's. Some cars I would advance up to 8 degrees (at idle) higher than the manual specified. Between that and a little carb tuning. I would guarantee 2-3 MPG increase from their best MPG with my tune. In a 2 year period, I never had one come back that didn't shake my hand and thank me.

    I have used that method ever since on non-computer controlled ignitions. I have gone as high as 40 degrees total on both small and big-blocks, but I would not go higher. Never burnt a piston. Higher octane, obviously you can get more timing.

    If it's an automatic, the method is easy. Brake torque it in the stall/garage. jack the timing up in 2 degree intervals until it starts pinging. Back it down 1 degree at a time until no ping, and then back it down 2 degrees more for a safety margin. On a stick, you need to take it out, check for pinging at low speed and 4th gear.

    Haven't raced in years, but I have a stock '69 427/390 vette. Normally run 93 octane unleaded with octane booster and lead replacement additive (not real lead). When I get a chance, I get some race gas and mix it 50/50. I can get another 3-4 degrees on timing with that and it obviously runs better, not that it runs bad with the unleaded.

    Some might read this and think it's foolish. I can tell you it's worked for me for 40 years.

    Good luck

  11. Racing Junk

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