Join Date: Mar 2002
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Re: \"UPDATE\" (almost there) Headers turning RED HOT
Having the Holley rebuilt doesn't guarantee that it is tuned properly. The single biggest advantage and complaint about Holleys is how adjustable and configurable they are. How good was the person that rebuilt it? What method did they use to tune it?
In my honest opinion, if you have the wider spaced rotor cap, the TFI coil, GOOD wires, and good plugs (not some trick 4-prong nonsense), then changing to an HEI setup is going to be largely a waste of time and effort. If you really want to make sure you have strong ignition and are willing to throw money at it, put an MSD 6A ignition box on it. This is not replacing the distributor. It is cheaper and will turn any setup (as ol' TR would say) into "a fire breathing dragon". This is the setup I have on my 258/4.0 head and I am a believer.
As far as pulling the engine apart... is it hard to start after it has been sitting a while? Carbon built up on the backside of valves will soak up fuel for the first several cranks. It will also affect your gas mileage as the valves aren't sealing as well. Have you done a compression check?
...and by the way, if you went from 2-6 degrees BTDC (Before Top Dead Center) to 12-16 degrees, you didn't retard your timing, you advanced it... which was exactly what you wanted to do.