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If you can't read the timing marks due to thick paint etc , it's worth doing. Problem is finding true TDC while the engine is in the car. The dwell time between the piston moving up or down could equal a few degrees. The only way to get true TDC is by using a degree wheel and dial indicator. Tape will give you repeatability, but may be off a few degrees.
 

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Huh, tape would make my old 50 oz Fluidampr readable again since oxidation removed the old numbers. OTOH, there's no point in repairing that unit, I can't even give it away! I've tried, nobody wants it.
 

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Using a piston stop, marking both stops and halving the distance will get you close enough to be negligible on a street build. I use the tape for old cars that come to the shop with all the factory markings gone or oxidized.
 

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...this might be anal as well but, I have done it with a vacuum gauge on older cars. With engine running at operating temp and gauge connected to port the vacuum advance goes to, advance distributor until you see the highest vacuum reading then back down 1" of vacuum. Lock it down & go for a ride. If engine does not ping (detonation) advance a little more & go for a ride, repeat,etc until you find the "sweet spot"...did thiis on a car a friend bought & who ever installed the engine did not reinstall the timing pointer !
 

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You guys are anal. Back in the day we'd dial it up until the motor started crapping and back it off a tad...and locked 'er down.
Never used timing light back in the day. But I did carry a Phillips screw driver, feeler gauge and extra set of points in the glove box
 

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Never used timing light back in the day. But I did carry a Phillips screw driver, feeler gauge and extra set of points in the glove box
Don't leave home without 'em.

Bob used to keep a spare Holley in the trunk for when the one on his Studebaker went sour. We got so we could pull over and look like a Nascar crew changing that thing out.

These days I realize that a fuel filter would have been a better option.
 

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Finding TDC is easy. Finding a timing tape to match the diameter of tour blanacer can be harder.
instead of making my own tape, I followed another internet advoce-using a saw blade ro carve timing marks onto the balancer and then fill with white paint.Step one worked ok, step 2 not so much making 1/8’’ thick uneven, curvy stripes. With right tools & steady hand it will tyrn out good.
 

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Use a file, and carve a "V" to fill with paint. Put it on and wipe the excess off....or mask it before you apply the white.
 
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