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Classic Engines, Modern Fuel

Classic Engines, Modern Fuel - How to Measure Advance Curve

How to - Measure your Advance Curve

Measuring your advance curve is a simple task that can be undertaken by most people with care.

WARNING When working on a running engine be very careful near the rotating parts such as the radiator fan, dynamo / alternator and fan-belt.

You can download detailed instructions from here.


  • You will need timing light with an advance control. (You can search for one online)
  • You will need to find, clean and paint white the 0o ignition timing mark and rotating marker. These are usually a set of pointers and notch found on the front pulley.
  • Remove and block the vacuum advance pipe if one is fitted.
  • With the help of an assistant, run the engine, increasing the RPM in approximately 500 RPM steps. Use the advance dial on the timing light to get the two timing marks to align. Record the RPM and advance.
  • When completed, don't forget to refit the vacuum advance pipe.
  • Use this link to add and plot your data. (Note: you will need to register and login)
Simple timing light
Diagram of timing mark
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