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Distributor cap manipulation

Geez, am I -that- old?  This is how you used to tune cars, back in the days
before computers!

Upside: properly timed, you get more power and better fuel economy.  (Yes,
better, not worse.)

Downside: Improperly done, you'll knock, ping, and gradually destroy your

If you want best power, tune it on premium and run only on premium.   If you
run on lower octane gas, you'll ping.  If you tune it on lower octane, or
detune it off premium a bit, you'll sacrifice just a smidgen of performance
and fuel economy for a more omnivorous engine (i.e. it won't care about
octane so much and won't ping.)  

Of course, perfectly tuned at 92 octane is false (economic) economy, because
the efficiency gain isn't nearly as much as the cost hit of moving from 89
octane to 92.  However, you should put premium in good cars anyhow because
the grade of additives are higher.  (And stick to the better gas companies -
Texaco and Chevron mostly.)


 Michael Williams <daserde@ucla.edu> wrote:
>a few months ago before i left for college and when i still had access to
>my Coupe <sniffle> my friend suggested that it was possible to advance the
>timing by turning the distributer cap.  I believe him and it gave him a lot
>more power.  He has a 79 BMW 528i.  I used to be able to beat him in an
>acceleration run.  But after he turned the cap he just blew me away.  All i
>saw was his tail lights i nteh distance.  I am just wondering what the
>downside of this is...other than higher consumption of gas.  Just curious.
>Also does anyone know Eric Dieckerhoff's current e-mail address.  He used
>to be on the list a while ago.  And i am stil wondering about the
>performance upgrades for the 85 Coupe.  Thanks alot everyone
>85 Coupe GT