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MG MGA - Dynamic timing - 1600 Mk2

I appreciate this subject has been discussed at length in the past.
My query is regarding my 1600 Mk2 which has an early HC engine (no 652), which according to the workshop manual, has a static timing of 10 deg BTDC.
Based on earlier posts, am I correct that the non vacuum dynamic timing would be around 38 deg ie 28 +10, at 3500/4000 revs.
I do however have a gut feeling this seems a bit on the high side.

If its relevant I have a rebuilt dizzy configured to a DM2, Lucas ref. 40761.

Thanks guys


John Follett


I have never run the 1600, just the 1500 and 1800. I time mine at 33 at 3500 with the vacuum disconnected.

Steve Gyles

A couple of observations. 1. Setting timing to numbers isn't always the best way to obtain the best tune. Engines are all different, and their ability to cope with ignition advance and different fuels can vary a lot. 2. The timing marks on the crank pulley are often "off".
The general consensus these days is to set as much advance as the engine will tolerate WITHOUT pinking!!
Allan Reeling

I'm with Allan. Best results I have got is from a very simple unscientific approach.
Drive the car, if it pinks when accelerating, retard the timing by turning the vernier adjustment clockwise. Do it a little at a time, until the pinking stops.
If it doesn't pink when first driving, then advance it until it does, then back it up a tad.
Guess the experts may disagree, but as I say, it seems to have worked for me.

Graham V

No different to the way I do it. You have to start somewhere. Some do it static. Some do it at idle. Some do it dynamic. Then adjust to suit after running.

Steve Gyles

Thanks guys. That's the way I shall go. Certainly a less complicated than dynamic!
John Follett


If you have the kit then dynamic timing is dead easy. Obviously you have to have the ignition somewhere in the ball park to fire up for the first time but I find it has worked very well for me in the last 20 years. Rarely had to do any significant, if any, adjustment for pinking after test runs.

I always run super unleaded. That seems to help a lot from the pinking aspect.

Steve Gyles

Just beware that you need to go a bit further than when you can't HEAR it pinking, as pinking occurs before the point that you can actually hear it.
Dominic Clancy

This thread was discussed between 26/05/2018 and 31/05/2018

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