- Bumping the base timing to around 14 degrees BTDC and running premium gas is probably the easiest way to gain a little performance.
- Fill the tank with premium first, and warm up the engine to normal operating temperature.
- Pull the inline spout connector, which is a small gray plug located near the test port on the firewall of the passenger side engine compartment. I have found it is easier to adjust the timing with the fan and fan shroud removed, but removing them can be tough and you have to watch the engine temp. Do not drive the car or let it idle too long without the fan and shroud installed.
- With the car running and a timing light attached, check the base timing. It should be 10 degrees BTDC.
- Loosen the distributor with a distributor wrench and turn the distributor until you have 14 degrees of timing. If the timing mark is hard to read, you can mark it on the harmonic balancer with white out or whatever is easiest for you to see.
If you bump the timing you must use premium gas, and if you experience any pinging or detonation, back down the timing until you don't have any. Also, it is not a bad idea to do a tune up with upgraded parts before this procedure. I use MSD wires; Ford Motorsport are also very good wires. The FMS distributor cap and rotor is also a good set.
I like to use Platinum plugs because they last very long. Copper plugs will provide a better spark, however they do not last as long. The choice is yours. Another option for boosting the timing is to use an MSD timing adjuster or similar. It has a knob that can be mounted inside the car, that way you can adjust the timing on the fly and choose to run regular or premium whenever you want to. The part number for cars with an MSD 5,6,7,8 or 10 series ignition is MSD-8680. For cars with TFI, it's MSD-8682.
- You can remove the intake silencer if you are interested in hearing a little of the sound from the induction system on the car; some claim it improves performance but on stock or nearly stock vehicles it does nothing.
The intake silencer in the 93 and earlier cars is a large box below the filter box, in the fender well and it is has a slightly restrictive venturi to create a harmonic wave to prevent noise in the intake. To remove it, unbolt the three bolts at the bottom of the filter box. Then jack up the passenger side of the car, remove the front wheel and the front part of the fender well liner. The box will be right there; just pull it out, button everything up and you are good to go.
- Roller rockers offer reduced reciprocating mass, less friction, and if they are 1.7 ratio or higher, increased cam lift/duration. This is not as easy as boosting the timing, or swapping the MAF, but if you for some reason have the valve covers off, that is a good time to do this modification. It may offer an 8-10 HP increase, however it does raise your power band RPM, so on a stock motor they may not be as beneficial.