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Junior Charter Member
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Can anyone provide a concise "how-to" or link on setting the timing of an EFI 302 Ford? Found plenty of FAQ on what it should be set at etc., but no step-by-step guides on how to do it. I'm pretty much clueless on what to do and looking for some serious hand-holding on this.

Engine is supposedly a rebuilt '89 LX 5.0 engine with a beefier cam and a 65mm TB. My fuel mileage is incredibly bad so I'm starting with checking the timing. Unfortunately I don't know what end of a screwdriver to hold so I'm looking for some assistance from square one.

This would be a very nice addition to the FAQ, imho.
 

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First you need a timing light. I also would recommend a piece of chalk.

1. Hook the timing light power leads to the battery (or for our cars something like the positive side of the starter solenoid and a good ground.)
2. Take the inductive pickup (the other wire from the light with a clamp on it) and clamp the pickup on the spark plug wire of the #1 cylinder.
3. With the engine off, take the chalk and rub it on the numbers and lines that are on the surface of the harmonic balancer. (the wheel thingy behind the pulley that attaches to the crank.) This makes the marks easier to see when setting the time. You may be able to skip this if your balancer is real clean.
4. Start car.
5. Pull out the SPOUT connector. Its a plastic tab you pull out of a socket that is located on the wiring near your distributor. Its about the width of your thumb.
6. Point the timing light down so that it points on the harmonic balancer and the timing pointer. (Timing pointer on EFI cars is on the left side of car as you face it. It is just a flat piece of metal that rides over the balancer.)
7. The light will flash like a strobe light. It takes some work but you should be able to make out the lines and numbers you dusted with the chalk. With the strobe effect they will look like they are not moving.
8. Find the line the represents the degree mark that you wish to set your timing. For example, 12 degrees.
9. If that line is lined up with the pointer your timing is correct. Replace the SPOUT and your done.
10. Otherwise, If the line is off, then loosen the distributor at the bolt at the base of the stem of the distributor.
11. Slowly twist the distributor while watching the timing marks. They will move left or right depending on which way you twist the distributor.
12. Twist the distributor until the desired timing mark lines up with the pointer.
13. Carefully tighten the distributor to make sure it doesnt slip.
14. Recheck your timing to make sure it didn't move during the tightening. Reset if necessary.
15. Replace the SPOUT connector and your done.

-Matt M
 

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I guess I should add a short cut to my method above. If you know that your timing is going to be set to 12 degrees for an example. You can take the chalk and make a line on top of timing mark for 12 degrees.

That way when you go to set timing you just line the pointer up with the chalk line and don't have to make out the actually numbers and graduated lines on the harmonic balancer.
 

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On the timing wheel take a dab of white paint and mark the timing you want (I selected 14 BTDC as recommended by Dave Smith in the back of the build manual).
Remove the shunt that's in the electrical line about 6" from where the the line plugs into the distributor.
Loosen the bolt beneath the distributor that allows the distributor to be turned.
Hook up your timing light to the number one spark plug wire (#1 is marked on the top of the distributor cap and goes the the right side of the engine closest to the front of the car).
Start the car.
Point your light at the stationary timing mark.
Rotate the distributor until the white line you painted lines up with the stationary timing mark.
Stop the engine.
Tighten the distributor bolt.
Start the car and check to see the timing is still right. Repeat above if tightening the bolt moved the timing.
Plug the electrical shunt back in.
Remove the timing light.
You're done.
 

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Heh, I was afraid to type all that figured someone would have responded by the time I was done... sorry it happened to you. But it is a good thing our stories are the same.


[ January 30, 2004, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Got Venom? ]
 

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All pretty good info...

For the record - Timing should be set with the engine at operating temperature. Timing chains grow when they are warm, this retards the timing.
 

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Originally posted by Got Venom?:
... 4. Start car.
5. Pull out the SPOUT connector. Its a plastic tab you pull out of a socket that is located on the wiring near your distributor. Its about the width of your thumb.
-Matt M
Safety Tip - Personally, I pull out the SPROUT connector with the engine off. Being the accident prone type, the chance of getting body parts caught in the fan belt, fan, ect is too great while trying to get ahold of the SPROUT connector.

Pete
 

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Before setting the timing, I would verify that TDC is really indicated by the TDC mark on the damper lining up with the pointer. It seems common for the outer ring on the damper to slip, therefore giving a false scale to set timing by. See my post from a few days ago.

http://www.ffcars.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=032924
 
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