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Total Timing TriumphDepending upon the type of cylinder head being used, it seems that most Pontiac engines built today run best with total spark lead between 30 and 40 degrees. Verifying that amount can be difficult if an engine is equipped with its original Pontiac harmonic balancer, which isn't indexed beyond TDC. If that's the case, an adjustable timing light can make quick work of the task.The process is as simple as revving the engine until the variable TDC mark quits advancing and then turning the timing-light adjustment until that mark is aligned with the stationary TDC mark on the front cover. The amount shown on the dial or digital display is the current total spark lead setting. Also check to see at what rpm the advance stopped. A few passes down the dragstrip will help determine the amount of total spark lead your Pontiac runs best with.