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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1980 (engine year) 5.9 LA
W150 long box

So a lot of you guys have gave a lot of input on this so far on other topics, just still working on the fine tuning.
Right now my advance is set up as follows:
Initial : full mechanical : all-in (with vacuum)
16 - 31 - 54

This means my mechanical is 15 degrees and vacuum is 23 degrees.

It seemed to run good at
20 - 35 - 58 but 58 seems like a lot.
Upon countless hours I came across a post in abodiesonly stating the spec for all in with vacuum is about 50-51 degrees.
Do they sell a bolt on vac can spec'd For this? Something with 15 degrees or so instead of 23?

**update**

As of now I've been driving it at 18 idle, 35 mechanical and 54 degrees total with vacuum. Seems to run good, but everyone says "it runs at what it wants to run at."
So how you you guys decide one day your gonna put lighter springs in your dist.?
Or readjust your vac can?

I'm trying to wrap my head around it but I want to be precise.

Second problem:

Oil pressure gauge pegs: so I looked at another truck, and saw he has a little white wire that clips on top of the bell, and goes to what looks like some kind of resistor, and attached to the firewall? So the wire that goes into the top of the bell is just a ground of a sort??
 

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20 base is fine as long as you're not pinging. My old 318 was 15/35/55. On these low compression engines, they can take the timing.

For your oil pressure, it has to have the wire to the sender - it isn't Bluetooth lol. So somewhere back there you have a loose wire that is grounding out (and making the pressure read high).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ToxicDoc said:
20 base is fine as long as you're not pinging. My old 318 was 15/35/55. On these low compression engines, they can take the timing.

For your oil pressure, it has to have the wire to the sender - it isn't Bluetooth lol. So somewhere back there you have a loose wire that is grounding out (and making the pressure read high).
Yes I just got it dialed in again and it actually seems to run pretty darn good there, so I'll leave it.
Also learned my vac can is adjustable, tightened it up till I got about 54 degrees max advance. Feel a little safer there.

I tried hooking a jumper from the white wire that goes from the idiot light sending unit to the mechanical unit, still reads the same. But there's no extra wire back there?
 

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FORD op switches had a NAIL head looking connection , Dodge has a threaded stud ( 10-32 ? 8-32 ?) the idjut lite sender was a seperate sender on a tee with the gauge one ( bell) usually the gauge had a white ( was white) wire with a 90 degree black rubber/plastic slip over that stud end on it ... some trucks had just an idjut lite , some had just the gauge , a few had both ...
 

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See if DodgeBoys or another member can get you the bulkhead wiring schematic. it would be a single  isolated wire coming from the bulkhead connectors to the sender, so it would be easy to trace.
 

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I've spent a lot of time with the vacuum canisters on the bench and in the truck.  This is where I settled out and how I go there:

Out of the box, the vacuum canister should start moving at 7" of vacuum, they often don't  The last one I played with started in at 3" of vacuum which is almost wide open throttle.  There is a small allen inside the vac port that can be adjusted.  When adjusted to 7" the can reaches full vac advance about 10" of vacuum.

Apparently the adjustment for how much vacuum the can pulls in is adjusted by bending the  face of the housing that the arm contacts.  One thousand is 1 degree.  Mine was pulling in 15 so I left it along but just taking a small screw driver and bending the end of the can out 5 thousand would move you very close to 15 if it really makes you nervous.

A vac brake bleeder and a set of calipers means you can do all this on the bench without having to pull the can a dozen times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I almost think I should take this to technical discussion at this point, because she runs good, but just seems odd that I can’t hear the ping like I did with iron heads.
This is what makes me paranoid, and trying to be a perfectionist, I need to know where I should be tuning wise before I bother dialing in the carb further.
I still got the hesitation that comes and goes, I mean it’s always there when my secondaries open, but I can make it go away for the most part by changing the springs in my carb, or adjusting my secondary air flap, it changes every time a mess with the timing.

I’ve been reading on this for months, and hell I’ve learned a lot, but without any guidance other than y’all, I’m on my own.
I called the local engine builders and they want me to get rid of the vac can, despite me telling them it’s not exactly a racer. I don’t wanna get rid of my load based timing.
What I’m trying to figure out is, how do I find out when I want mechanical to come in, and when to stop?
What about the vacuum? When I get time to work on it again, I’ll try to build up some advance curves so everyone can see what I’m seeing, I’m looking at trying some different dist springs, and see what happens, but I really don’t want it to ping to death without me knowing it’s happening. Because at this point I can advance it to the point it won’t start but it runs and drives good.
It’s weird.
 

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advance the hell outta it , drive it , hear the ping , back it off ... ?
 
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