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10/16/10 4:04pm - Original Message: '383 Stroker Timing'
Former Member
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Riverside, CA - USA

'68 Corvette with Engine Factory 383 Stroker

Joined: 10/3/2010
Posts: 5
I need to set the timing on my 383 Stroker.
I bought the crate engine from Engine Factory.
They told me to disconnect vacuum advance.
At 3000 rpm set 32° btdc
At idle 12° btdc
Does this seem correct?
When I look up instructions on line, none mention disconnecting the vacuum.
Is this common knowledge?
32° seems like a lot.
Thank you for any response.
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10/16/10 6:59pm - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1175
Thats probably very close. My 350 I have set at 35* at about 3300 RPM's and at idle its at 14*. Both settings are with the  vacuum disconnected. I came to 3300 RPM's as thats where my timing stops advancing as I increase my throttle. There are so many different methods and this is the one I used. Good luck with engine.


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10/16/10 10:23pm - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
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Bladenboro, NC - USA

1972 conv., sunfire yellow, blk interior, blk vinyl and convertible top. Off frame restoration with American Speed 383 stroker engine producing 500hp plus a 200hp NOS system. MSD ignition. Hooker super competition headers with chambered exhaust.

Joined: 1/22/2006
Posts: 1058
Mine is set at 36 degrees...no vacuum.


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10/17/10 12:07pm - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
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I am at 35 deg. no vacuum.

On the "Tail of the Dragon"
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10/17/10 1:02pm - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
aceinthehole Lifetime Member
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Valley Springs, CA - USA

1978,Metalic Money Green W/Gold emblems,TH350 w/gear splitter,black & grey interior.1978,two tone,Metalic Rootbeer & gold ,Doeskin interior,auto. trans. 1981, Silver w/mirrored T-Tops,4 spd, charcoal interior.

Joined: 11/20/2005
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 Forgive me if I'm overstating the obvious but, don't forget to plug the vacuum hose, and I set mine at about 35 for full advance.

Jimmy B.
Just can't wait to get on the road again.

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10/17/10 5:59pm - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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[QUOTE=rod7515] I came to 3300 RPM's as thats where my timing stops advancing as I increase my throttle. [/QUOTE]

That's the key...you have to include the total mechanical advance in the reading. If your dist still has more mechanical advance happening after 3000 rpms, then you timing setting is gonna be off. You must determine where(what rpm) the mechanical advance stops...that's where you want to do the calculation of initial + mechanical.

Ben(cthulhu) is really good at figuring this stuff out...perhaps he'll see this and give an opinion.

Joel Adams
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10/18/10 1:00pm - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
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10/19/10 10:44am - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
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Mounds View, MN - USA

70 LT1 coupe, 69 350 HP coupe, 69 390HP 427 coupe, 71 LS5 convert, 85 coupe, 93 coupe

Joined: 5/24/2007
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In dyno test after dyno test, traditional small blocks with traditional style heads run best at 34 to 36 degrees total.  That is with vacuum disconnected and plugged, and after all mechanical is in (like Joel described).  A stock distributor will probably have more than 20 degrees mechanical built in, so either modify the stop, or ignore the idle advance and just use the top number.  If you have poor off-idle performance, you might be forced to modify the distributor.


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3/13/11 3:08am - Reply: '383 Stroker Timing'
cthulhu Lifetime Member
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Hot Springs, AR - USA

69 Conv #'s Match 427, TKO-600, 3.36HD-Posi, T/T, PS, PB, PW, SP, Lthr, Comp Mag 270 & Pro Rlr Rockers, Edel Air-Gap RPM, BG SD 750 MS, MSD 6AL+Tach Dist+ Blaster SS+Wires, Hly Bl Fuel Pump, K&N, Jet-Hot Hkr Side-Pipes,Steeroids, Al Rad, Spal Fans

Joined: 4/24/2004
Posts: 3194
This is an old thread so the problem is likely solved by now...  but for the record...  figuring out the correct timing when the distributor is "all in" is a very small portion of properly setting timing.
Any fully maximized tuning will require changing springs to adjust ramp rate and optimization of idle timing for best off idle response. 
a fairly typical chevy sb with a typical distributor and typical cam profile will typically do well using the 34-36 at 3300.
thats a whole lot of assumptions and generalizations.   Ive written a few very long detailed posts here about optimizing timing through all rpm ranges.  not just the top or "all in" and not just the bottom or idle.
basically I sent the bottom end at the minimum advance to achieve peak vacuum then use various springs to adjust the ramp rate to achieve optimal perfomance.
the vac advance is intended to add appx 15 degrees of advance when the engine is not under a load, ie cruising.  this is strictly an emissions/mileage enhancer without any real detrimental effect on performance. 

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