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Old 07-26-2001, 10:44 AM
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How do I set the timing on my 1970 280 SEL? The engine is the M130.98 straight six with the mechanical fuel injection. I am assuming that it is relatively the same as any other car, but I am not sure what to loosen on the distributor, and to what setting I should attain when I get there. My service manual has not arrived yet, so I don't have the settings on hand. If anyone has this information, I would much appreciate it. The shops around here won't touch the car and the timing is the only thing that has to be done. I really am getting anxious to go out for a drive.


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Old 07-26-2001, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Timing is not a precise science on a car of that age. The actual specification will only be for idle and will depend on the distributor. A 1970 will probably expect vacuum retard to be in place (working fully) for the spec sheet. If I remember correctly you should have about 8deg ATDC with those conditions. That was a spec. I always advanced them atleast 5deg above this.

If one sets the timing to 8deg ATDC and the vacuum retard is defective the car can be 5-12 deg retarded.

The total advance with the vacuum disconnected probably extends to thirty degrees BTDC at over 3000rpm. If the total centrifugal advance doesn't make 30 degrees the initial setting should be advanced to achieve 30 deg BTDC at 3000rpm.

Basically if everything is perfect the specification can be followed otherwise these above criteria should be taken to get the guy performing.

Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 07-30-2001, 04:15 PM
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Thanks Steve. I really appreciate the information. I will take it into consideration when I set the timing.....thanks again.


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