Total timing

Asked by Cornhusker6 Feb 05, 2020 at 01:42 AM about the Chevrolet Impala

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

How do you get total timing of 32-36, when the
distributor only has 5 degrees advance built in?
Ignition timing at 29-31 degrees advanced???

4 Answers


The 29 to 31 that you're seeing is the dwell setting of the ignition points on the distributor. This has nothing to do with ignition or valve timing. To set the dwell you first need a tach dwell meter. The ideal setting on a GM from that time period is 30. Hope that helps! Jim


Thanks for clarifying that, Ed. GM shop manuals of the day said the dwell should be set between 29 to 31 degrees with the optimal setting at 30. That's why I was thinking maybe the poster was a little confused by what they were reading. Thanks for explaining that! I appreciate it! Jim


On most cars there are three factors. Initial timing advance, centrifugal and vacuum. When you add all of them up you have the total advance which should be around 34 degrees.

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