Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
August 1, 2003

When dealing with performance engine building, there are typically few Ford production parts used. Those that are include timing covers, timing pointers, oil pans, and sometimes valve covers and crank dampers. But while there's no performance benefit to using, say, aftermarket valve covers, there are other items-such as oil pans and crank dampers-that can be improved with performance versions to enhance horsepower or engine longevity.

The one part no one ever considers is the timing pointer. Many engine builders and do-it-yourself types simply bolt on the stock, stamped-steel pointer and call it a day. The problem is, these stamped factory pointers can easily be bent or tweaked and can indicate the incorrect timing by as much as 5 degrees! Some engine builders correct the fragile metal pointer when degreeing in the cam, but the pointer can easily be bent again. Oftentimes an engine will come without a pointer at all, or the one included is incorrect for the damper or engine accessories.

Jim Reichard of Reichard Racing has come up with an ingenious solution to the problem. His 6061-T6 billet-aluminum timing pointer is a direct bolt-on replacement for the frail, tin OE pointer. Features include an adjustable reach of 6.40-7.00 inches to accommodate all brands of crank dampers. The pointer is also adjustable to allow exact TDC measurements, no matter what combination of damper, cam specs, degree settings, and so on. The installation takes mere minutes and can really help in tuning your small-block.