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To A Certain DegreeKnowing the total timing spec of your engine is essential to achieving peak performance and longevity, especially if you drive your Pontiac hard. A free method to enable a standard non-dial-back timing light to read your engine's total timing is to mark the stock harmonic bal-ancer. To do this, measure the circumference of the balancer with a tape measure, convert it to a decimal from a fraction, and multiply by 360 (for 360 degrees). The resulting number is the inches per degree to mark the balancer. To mark the balancer at 36 degrees, if the number you arrived at in the previous calculation is, say, 0.0594 inch, then that times 36 for 36 degrees is 2.138, or 2.138 inches clockwise from the zero-degree mark already on the balancer. Use a hacksaw or at least permanent marker to make the mark. "Marking New Advances for Performance" from the Dec. '05 issue (look for it at www.highperformancepontiac.com) has the step-by-step procedure.