timing/dwell

Hi!
My '84 318i needs its timing corrected. I have been unable to find the proper slot as well as any marks.
Can I use a dwell instrument instead?
Thank you!
H.
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number 9 wrote:

For timing? Not any way that I can think of.
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Well, back in my little gray cells, I seem to remember setting the dwell on my '69 350 Olds. instead of the timing... acheiving the same result?
Is there not a relationship between the two?

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SURELY that '84 has electronic ignition. If so, ignition dwell is a non-issue.
If it has points: There is a relationship, but you can't substitute one for the other. If your timing is just a couple degrees off, you could bump the dwell to a different value that would move the timing to the point you want. But that's a kludge.
Basically, the dwell is the amount of time (in degrees of rotation) the points are together. They need to be in contact for a certain amount of time for the coil to saturate. Reduce that time, and the spark isn't as hot. As soon as the points open, the coil dumps it's spark. If you increase the dwell time, it reduces the time that the points are open. They could close before the coil dumps the full charge.
So as you vary from the ideal dwell setting at the expense of something else. But it does change the point in the cycle that ignition is fired.
number 9 wrote:

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If the dwell and timing were originally correct on a points system, resetting the dwell after points wear or replacement should restore the correct ignition timing. However, most electronic systems don't have any wearing parts so the dwell shouldn't change.
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