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Unread 09-11-2003, 09:09 AM   #1
rrclimber
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Checking the timing

So I am gearing up to check my timing. I bought the timing light and everything and I hate to admit it but I have no idea how to do this. I know it's not rocket science or anything but I have just never done it before. Is there anyone willing to walk me through the process? Thanks in advance.

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Unread 09-11-2003, 10:07 AM   #2
Moxley
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These procedures are generic. Exact procedures and timing settings are found in the service manual for your Jeep.

There are three wires on the timing light. The red and black ones go on the respective battery terminals and the remaining one with the clamp attaches to the number one (1) spark plug wire. There is a fixed pointer on your engine and marks on the timing pulley, which represent degrees such as advanced Before Top Dead center. You'll want to clean the marks and use white-out or something on your particular marking so you can see it better under the light. Loosen your distributor bolt with an offset 1/2" or 9/16” wrench. Start the Jeep and point the timing light at the marks and adjust the distributor by turning it one way of the other until the marks line up. I can't remember the settings for an 87 Jeep but it should be written under your hood or in your owner’s manual. Don't forget to tighten your distributor bolt back up and re-check the timing so ensure it didn't move. Hope this helps.

Doug
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Unread 09-11-2003, 10:47 AM   #3
rrclimber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxley
These procedures are generic. Exact procedures and timing settings are found in the service manual for your Jeep.

There are three wires on the timing light. The red and black ones go on the respective battery terminals and the remaining one with the clamp attaches to the number one (1) spark plug wire. There is a fixed pointer on your engine and marks on the timing pulley, which represent degrees such as advanced Before Top Dead center. You'll want to clean the marks and use white-out or something on your particular marking so you can see it better under the light. Loosen your distributor bolt with an offset 1/2" or 9/16” wrench. Start the Jeep and point the timing light at the marks and adjust the distributor by turning it one way of the other until the marks line up. I can't remember the settings for an 87 Jeep but it should be written under your hood or in your owner’s manual. Don't forget to tighten your distributor bolt back up and re-check the timing so ensure it didn't move. Hope this helps.

Doug
Thanks for the help. I have the owners manual and the chiltons and haynes for the jeep. Should be all set. Just wanted to check and make sure there wasn't anything tricky that I needed to look out for.
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Unread 09-11-2003, 12:51 PM   #4
Bob K
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Also, disconnect and block the vacuum line that goes to the distributor. Turn your idle up to 1600 RPM. This is most easily done with the use of the fast idle cam. If adjusting the timing signifivantly changes the idle speed go back and reset the idle speed to be sure that it is still idling 1600 when you are dialed in to your final adjustment.
If you have doubts about the precision of your adjustment, you're better to be one or two degrees overadvanced than under.
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Unread 09-11-2003, 07:23 PM   #5
TimsJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob K
Also, disconnect and block the vacuum line that goes to the distributor. Turn your idle up to 1600 RPM. This is most easily done with the use of the fast idle cam. If adjusting the timing signifivantly changes the idle speed go back and reset the idle speed to be sure that it is still idling 1600 when you are dialed in to your final adjustment.
If you have doubts about the precision of your adjustment, you're better to be one or two degrees overadvanced than under.
Help me here - 1600 RPM. Are we setting initial advance or total advance. If your setting initial, why the heck are you at 1600? Set the idle to normal RPM then set timing to initial spec. Guess I'm assuming you're not setting idle to 1600 RPM.
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Unread 09-11-2003, 08:43 PM   #6
Bob K
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What I described is what the sticker under the hood says to do. I followed these directions and my Jeep runs awesome.
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Rear Track Bar in the shed
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Unread 09-12-2003, 01:34 AM   #7
Ramblin
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rrclimber:

Setting your timing when the engine is reving at 1600 doesn't mean initial or final advance. Remember your distributor and ignition system will by design change your timing (advancing) as engine RPM increases. You are just picking a point along the "curve" if you think of a graph drawn to represent this.

When you are done setting it, put the engine idle speed back to spec.

Be careful around the fan too with this operation. It's one of the few jobs to do with the engine running and the belt waiting to grab loose clothing.

On the recent ignition systems (1996 forward with OBD II), engine timing is controlled by computer, and in some cases varies wildly as dictated by knock sensors, air flow O2 sensor data. There's some fairly sophisticated engineering going on with this to find the right blend of performance and emissions.

On the older models its a lot simpler and you have control.

If you are interested in some of the computer control stuff check out: www.obdii.com
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