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Serious Newb Question - Timing? by 06GTO
Started on: 02-15-2008 11:07 PM
Replies: 11
Last post by: 06GTO on 02-16-2008 11:03 PM
06GTO
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Report this Post02-15-2008 11:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 06GTOClick Here to Email 06GTOSend a Private Message to 06GTODirect Link to This Post
Ok, I searched and cant find the answer... and I feel i should know how to do this... but....

How do you set the timing in a 86 GT? Have had the car less than a week and got the exhaust manifolds off and welded today, they weren't cracked too bad, but enough to make some noise. Anways, putting it back together and want to check/adjust the timing. The PO said it might be a little off, it runs now, though it does seem like it has a little miss.

Anyways, got a timing light, hooked it up to the #1 wire, flashes on the little timing tab near the harmonic balancer, but really can't see much of anything. What am I supposed to be looking for? I'm guessing the "timing mark" but there isnt any mark of any kind. Can the timing be that far off? Or is it possible the marks are long gone? If I happen to find a mark, what am I matching it up to?

Now, how does one adjust the timing? I have a chiltons and it really isn't that helpful, it says to take the hold down strap off the distrubutor and rotate it. What am I rotating? the entire distributor? Does the cap need to come off?

What's my best bet?

Thanks for the help.

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2006 GTO
2005 Polaris 700 EFI
2004 Sierra Denali
2004 Jeep GC Overland
1999 Isuzu Amigo
1986 Fiero GT

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Emc209i
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Report this Post02-15-2008 11:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Emc209iClick Here to Email Emc209iSend a Private Message to Emc209iDirect Link to This Post
You're rotating the entire distributer. I've used my hands several times, and I pretty much got zapped by one wire each time. That's why they say to use a strap tool etc.

There's a bolt that hold down the distributer shaft at its base. You'll need to loosen that.

Aim the light at the notched time set bar. The numbers on the bar are, 0,4,8,12 IIRC. Heck hang on... I'll go get a picture.

Yeah I was right.. There is a notch on the harmonic balancer. Your task will be to set the notch right at 10*. Here's a picture.



You will be able to slide the mark up and down depending upon which way you turn the distributor. I personally used to run my 2.8 at 11-12*, throttle response went through the roof, but it wasn't the smoothest ride. When idling in gear, the car would lope and buck at the low RPM's. I recommend 10* for a smooth ride.

Once you get the mark with the #1 spark plug, most manuals want you to clip onto the #4 and make sure that you're at the same place or close. I don't think this is necessary, but you can if you want. Be sure to tighten the distributor back down after you're done.
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DtheC
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Report this Post02-16-2008 01:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DtheCClick Here to Email DtheCSend a Private Message to DtheCDirect Link to This Post
Don't you have to disconect some wire, or short some wire, to keep the ECM from doing something to the advance?
I have an 88 DIS Duke, so I may be talkin out my azz.

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Turning white on top, like owner.
Leaks a little, like owner.
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Mr.PBody
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Report this Post02-16-2008 01:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Mr.PBodyClick Here to visit Mr.PBody's HomePageClick Here to Email Mr.PBodySend a Private Message to Mr.PBodyDirect Link to This Post
You have to short points A and B or something like that.
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DIY_Stu
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Report this Post02-16-2008 01:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DIY_StuClick Here to visit DIY_Stu's HomePageSend a Private Message to DIY_StuDirect Link to This Post
yes you short A&B on the ALDL plug next to the Cig lighter port. Then start the car. The Check Engine Light will be on when you do this. WARM UP THE CAR BEFORE YOU SHORT IT.
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Emc209i
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Report this Post02-16-2008 02:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Emc209iClick Here to Email Emc209iSend a Private Message to Emc209iDirect Link to This Post
Chilton's states this in the timing procedure, which is why I didn't mention it.
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Richjk21
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Report this Post02-16-2008 08:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Richjk21Send a Private Message to Richjk21Direct Link to This Post
As mentioned before you need to jumper the A and B pins on the ALDL connector before attempting to set the timing. From the picture is worth 1000 words department, here is the ALDL connector



it is located under the console directly behind the little plate where the cigarette lighter is. A and B are labeled ground and diagnostic in this photo. just unbend a paperclip and insert either end into these 2 slots identified in the pic.


Rich

[This message has been edited by Richjk21 (edited 02-16-2008).]

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06GTO
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Report this Post02-16-2008 09:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 06GTOClick Here to Email 06GTOSend a Private Message to 06GTODirect Link to This Post
Wow, great info, That really helps out quite a bit!

Last question, what if I dont see any timing marks whatsoever? Is that even possible? Is it possible the timing can be so far off I wont see a mark, and the car will still run?

Sorry for the stupid question....

------------------
2006 GTO
2005 Polaris 700 EFI
2004 Sierra Denali
2004 Jeep GC Overland
1999 Isuzu Amigo
1986 Fiero GT

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Richjk21
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Report this Post02-16-2008 10:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Richjk21Send a Private Message to Richjk21Direct Link to This Post
If you didn't see the marks before, but you didn't jumper the ALDL pins, don't sweat it, the ECM is controlling timing so it won't be at your base timing mark. Short the pins and then do your checks. Also it really helps if you put something on the pointer and the groove in your balancer to help them show up, a little white touch up paint or even white-out makes a big difference.


Rich

Edit: don't worry about asking questions, I won't trot out the old "stupid question" quote, but asking questions is how you learn.....

[This message has been edited by Richjk21 (edited 02-16-2008).]

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Jake_Dragon
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Report this Post02-16-2008 10:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonDirect Link to This Post
This is what I do.
Drive car till warm, 15 minutes.
Park car and shut it off.
Take the cover off over the ALDL connector (where the cigarette lighter is located)
Short pins A & B together on the ALDL connector
This will put the car into diagnostic mode.
Turn key to on position but donít start the motor.
This will cause the check engine light to flash any stored codes.*
You will need a timing light, I like the induction* kind but both will work.
Put the timing light on number one spark plug wire.
Loosen the bolt holding the distributor but donít remove it.
Make sure the timing light wires are not by any moving parts and start the car.
Shine the light at the timing marks*
Now hook the light to number four plug wire.
Note the difference and hook the light back up to number one plug wire.
Now set the timing to the label on the trunk lid and split the difference between one and four plug wires.
Tighten the hold down and remove the timing light.
Shut off the car and pull the wire out of the ALDL connector.
Take it for a ride.
All cars are not alike, I have 3 2.8s and none of them run the same*.
IF your car still doesnít drive the way you want try advancing or retarding the timing.

*Induction timing lights have a clip that you can clip on the plug wire and not have to pull it from the distributor to use.
*Timing marks are between the water pump and fire wall. You can use a paint marker to make it easier to see.
*Harmonic balancers can move as a car gets older and top dead center can be off several degrees this can cause you car to run better at 6 degrees advanced where the label says 8.

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Report this Post02-16-2008 09:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
Helpful tips:

Loosen the bolt enough so that the distributor will turn, but only with some effort. If it will turn too freely it will be more likely to move while you're tightening the bolt back up. You can tighten the bolt with the engine running, that won't hurt a thing.

Check for liquid oil at the base of the distributor. If there is oil you've got a bad O-ring.

The number one cylinder is the one at the back closest to the water pump end of the motor.

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06GTO
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Report this Post02-16-2008 11:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 06GTOClick Here to Email 06GTOSend a Private Message to 06GTODirect Link to This Post

Wow eveyone, that's all some great info. Got it timed today. Alot easier than I thought. The timing was WAY off, i'm pretty suprised it was still running!

Anyways, it's still got some nasty engine noise to it. I was really hoping it was the exhaust manifolds. They were cracked and fixing them did get rid of the ticking noise, but I think I have an engine swap in my future...

------------------
2006 GTO
2005 Polaris 700 EFI
2004 Sierra Denali
2004 Jeep GC Overland
1999 Isuzu Amigo
1986 Fiero GT

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