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A couple years ago I had my car converted from an automatic to manual transmission, so it doesn't have an original flywheel. Now I'm trying to adjust the ignition timing (first time I've done it myself). The problem is, the manual says to set it to 15 degrees (the big mark between the two smaller marks), but the mark on my flywheel clearly says 20 degrees. There is no 15 degree mark. Here is a picture.



And here is what the manual says.



Also, when I inspected it the first time it was set on the white mark, which is quite a bit higher up than the other three marks. What angle does the white mark correspond to, and what should I set my timing to? Should I ignore the number and point it at the red mark or should I trust that it was done correctly before and leave it at the white mark?

FYI, the reason I'm doing this is because it failed smog (hydrocarbons barely above the limit) so I'm doing a thorough tuneup.
 

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The white mark locates TDC. TDC means top dead center, this is when the piston is at its most top position. If the timing is set to this mark it is concidered in a nutral, or retarded postion. When set to this mark you will experience reduced power and increased Hc and Co from an emmissions stand point. However using a sleightly retarded position can be benificial if using high compression, crap fuel, boost, or have coolong system problems to reduce pre-ignition. Timing that is not properly advanced will cause the flame front to move more into the exhaust stream and cause increased heat into the exhaust and under hood. It can also cause exhaust valves to burn. If the timing is too far advanced the flame front will cause the cylinder pressure to reach its high point at the wrong moment causing what is refured to as ignition ping. Ignition ping can cause melted spark plugs, pistons, and sometimes valves. It can also break pistons and rings into peices, and adds more load to your cooling system. If your fly wheel has the red mark, go with that. I always use the white mark for timing, but i use it with my timing light set for the proper amount of advance. Not all timing lights have that feature and it sounds like yours does not.
 
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