When any changes are made to the engine of a car, the ignition timing is adjusted accordingly. If not, you could experience several problems with your engine with improper ignition timing like knocking, hard to start, increase fuel usage, overheating, and reduced power.Jun 26, 2020
to set your base timing without a light, you just turn the motor over in it’s normal direction of rotation until the mark lines up with where you want it.. loosen up the distributor and hook up a spare spark plug to the #1 plug wire.. turn the distributor until it sparks..
Having a timing belt replaced before it breaks will cost between $500 and $1,000 on average while waiting for it to break before replacing can cost upward of $2,000 or more.
I call this method of adjustment, “Timing by ear”, because you literally set the timing by sound. It’s not as hard as it sounds (no pun intended). Automotive manufactures do supply ignition timing setting for every application. You could simply use a timing light, and set the engine to that setting.
If ignition timing is too far advanced, it will cause the fuel-and-air mixture to ignite too early in the combustion cycle. This can cause the amount of heat generated by the combustion process to increase and lead to overheating of the engine.
If the timing is off, damage can occur. In some engines, called “interference engines,” the consequences can be especially bad. … You could end up having to have your engine rebuilt, or even replaced. If your cam timing is off, chances are you’ll know because your car will not be running well, if it’s running at all.
Most naturally aspirated engines like a total timing of 34 to 36 degrees BTDC, (Before Top Dead Center) AKA “Advance”. Nitrous and supercharged engines usually run less than that, unless you plan on blowing the heads off the engine or blowing holes through your pistons.
Most automakers recommend replacing the timing belt every 60,000 to 105,000 miles. Timing chains are heavier and more complex than timing belts, but they also last much longer. Really, unless there’s a problem, timing chains don’t have a replacement interval.
It depends on the model, but generally the job takes three-five hours. Costs can increase considerably, sometimes up to $700 or more, if the timing chain breaks before being replaced.
If the valve timing is incorrect, not only will the engine not run, but the piston could smash into the valves, causing catastrophic damage. Usually, the result is bent valves and damaged pistons.
Most engines have between 5-20 degrees of ignition advance at idle. This is referred to as initial timing.
Our experience shows that connecting the vacuum advance to a manifold vacuum source will add timing at idle and improve idle quality in gear with an automatic transmission.
Turn the distributor in a counterclockwise direction to advance the ignition timing. Do not over-adjust the distributor, as even a slight movement will yield a significant change in the ignition timing.
Once the top dead center timing mark is lined up with the marker on the engine, the motor should now be at top dead center. To verify, shine the flashlight down into the spark plug hole. You should be able to see the top of the piston clearly near the top of the cylinder.
1) Remove the spark plug and place a long screwdriver or piece of dowel rod through the spark plug hole so that it is resting on the face of the piston. As you rotate the engine (by hand), this will move up and down with the piston. When you see it has reached its highest point of travel, it is at TDC.
The rotor button should be pointing to the number 1 position on the distributor cap when the number 1 piston is at top dead center (on the compression stroke). The pistons come up two times during the combustion cycle.
That is typically 15-35 degrees before TDC (top dead center) of the power stroke depending on the engine speed. Best power is achieved when ignition timing is set to fire the spark ahead of time to reach that peak pressure at about 2 degrees after TDC.
If the timing belt slipped several teeth then the camshaft AND distributor rotor may both be retarded. If the rotor was too retarded then the coil can create the spark… but if the rotor isn’t on a dizzy cap terminal then you won’t get spark routed to the plug wire.
In most modern engines, ignition timing is controlled by the engine’s computer.
The amount of initial timing is determined by the amount of total timing required. The proper setting will also depend on the amount of Mechanical Advance provided by your distributor.
It depends on how much mechanical advance is in the distributor that you are using. If your initial is at least 12* after adjusting your total to 34*, I’d say you are in good shape.
Timing Belts Are Quieter and Less Expensive to Manufacture
Quieter and less expensive than chains, with some able to last as many as 100,000 miles, timing belts eventually became the go-to choice for automakers right up through the 1990s.
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