As several people know, I have been frustrated with my plane over the past few years because I have not been able to get the engine temperatures where they should be and I haven't gotten the performance the plane should deliver. This problem has been an engine issue and either I haven't understood the instructions or I didn't listen to what I've been told. Either way, the problem existed for too long.
After going through a stage of thinking about giving my plane to a museum, I decided that would be giving up and there had to be a better way. I talked to Steve Bennett several times and with his help found that the root cause of the problem had to be timing. I changed out an old ignition system and installed the Compufire ignition. I then timed the system statically and still had the problem. After we determined the problem still had to be timing, I consulted with the automotive faculty where I work and it was suggested that I stop relying on static timing and go to timing the system with a timing light. I have to deviate here and say that prior to this point I was hearing a banging that was not good on takeoff and had to reduce power to stop it or I thought something would come apart. What I found with the timing light was the ignition system was set at 52 degrees before top dead center. No that wasn't a typo. After setting the timing to 28 degrees before top dead center at about 2500 rpm, I found the engine ran much smoother and of course on take off I could get full power without the "banging" I had experienced previously.
My frustrations are gone, the engine temperatures are back to normal and I have more power than I have ever had.
Bottom line is that distributors are not all made the same, magnets seem to react differently when firing a hall-effect sensor when set statically verses at RPM and you MUST time your engine with a timing light. Don't just do it statically. Personally, I believe this is probably true with any ignition system you use from a magneto, 009 with points or an electronic ignition system. You just can't trust that everything is manufactured the exacty the same and you have to correct for their issues in the final adjustment with a timing light.