Its kinda hard to reverse engineer something and then say "why did they do that" when more modern methods have been invented. The 80-830 line is an overgown r that got its start from a d. The first diesels were running as early as 1935 and I would guess the adjustable timing was to #1 make sure things were spot on #2 be able to make changes during the Expermentation process #3 to make allowances for wear #4 to make sure the service shops sent the tractors back to the farmer or field just like all the others #5 to be able to tolorate some production inaccuracies remember this was in the 30's and 40's and the r's through 830's used exactly the same parts w/ very few alterations
As a side note John deere never changed the timing on the injection pumps and the spec is the same for all 2 cylinder diesels. also racers have been playing with cam timing since before the 70 diesels cam out.Paul
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