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Speedy Squirrel Speedy Squirrel is offline
Rocket Scientist
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Detroit
Posts: 898
Yes, the curve is important. The USA distributor provides 18 degrees by 2800 RPM. The Euro distributor offers 13 degrees by 3200. If you pull off the retard hose and "lock it down", I think you will like the USA distributor even better. It advances faster, and more. Be sure the advance weights move smoothly. The grease gets a little gummy after so many years.

I stand by my comment on the fuel octane. Professionaly, I have access to a large database that goes back to the '40's, detailing fuel quality, including octane, so I have more than wikipedia insight there.

Getting into the distributor re-curving business now would be like getting into the analog TV business now. Let's just say I wouldn't be investing! There are so many great options that include air temperature as an input. As we know, that is really key from a reliability viewpoint. Someone who posts on this board went to the Colorado parade with their distributor "locked down". Charging up I70 near Idaho Springs when the death rattle started. It will work, until you get into an environment where it doesn't.

Originally Posted by RarlyL8 View Post
The curve has nothing to do with total timing. That is but one point on the curve.

The octane rating in Europe at that time was greater than the 87 octane available in the US. Premium fuel was expensive and hard to come by. There is also the issue of US thermol reactors and the increased engine operating temperatures.

There is only one hose on the early Euro distributor, idle vac retard. My engine is a California model 1978. I didn't go to the trouble and expense to change out the distributor for no reason. The difference is noticeable stock to stock. When the distributor is modified the difference transforms the driveability. One of the services I would like to offer my clients is distributor tuning, there is a lot to be gained there.
Old 04-02-2010, 09:27 AM
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