Spark: When it comes to setting up advance curves for performance, the common advice has typically been to speed up the curve so that full timing is in very early, like 1,600-2,000 rpm. Why? Detonation is far more likely to occur at low engine speeds since the cycle time is much longer, and mixture motion is much poorer. Delaying full advance has little effect on performance, and can greatly diminish the tendency toward detonation. Think about it-what good is having the timing "all-in" by 1,600 rpm, when even a stock Mopar torque converter will flash to 2,600 rpm at WOT? Another factor is total timing. We see guys pushing it up as high as they can go, when really the better approach is to back it off as much as possible until power begins to go away. If the engine makes about the same power at 34 degrees total as it does at 40, run 34 and the engine will be much happier.

Fuel: The air/fuel mixture also affects detonation tolerance, with richer being more forgiving. Running fat is a poor way to control detonation, but a very lean mixture can push an engine into the ragged edge of detonation unnecessarily.

Cam: We have already talked about cam timing as it relates to cylinder pressure, and cylinder pressure directly affects the detonation tolerance. Study the principles listed above to get a handle on how different cam specs can raise or lower the cylinder pressure.

There you have it-a deep and theoretical approach to the question "How do I figure my compression?" Although this article will definitely promote discussion and present more questions, it should give you a better understanding of the principal behind the idea.