Checking base timing | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Checking base timing

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by Lizzie94, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Lizzie94

    Lizzie94 FEOA Member

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    How do you check the base timing with a timing light on these engines? I see the notch on the damper when I point the light at it, but where is that mark supposed to be? What do I use as a reference? I see what looks like a sort of pointer molded into the timing belt cover, but not sure if I use that or not.
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  2. millball

    millball FEOA Donator

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    Why do you care?? As far as I know, whatever it is you can't change it.

    You can restore bad timing by replacing the harmonic balancer, if the rubber bond has slipped. Otherwise???
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  3. Lizzie94

    Lizzie94 FEOA Member

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    I'm running through the diagnostic procedures in the powertrain manual for my particular symptoms (see my last thread). It says to check the base timing with the SPOUT connector disconnected.
  4. Bindre12

    Bindre12 FEOA Member

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    the only thing I can find on timing is the 1.9 runs at 10 degrees BTDC -+2 degrees initially and changes based on load and RPM and is not adjustable.
    No marks are found to aid in checking with a timing light so all you got is relative measurements,
    there is no procedure I can find in the Ford shop manual for these cars for spark timing except that it cant be adjusted.

    the best I got is to put cylinder 1 at TDC (take off harmonic balancer line up the arrow on the timing belt sprocket with the oil pump housing put balancer back on) mark the Harmonic Balancer ring with Neon pink paint marker at the 12 o clock position and mark the timing cover next to it it.
    then measure 10 degrees counter-clockwise (pull out that protractor :thumbsup:) and mark the balancer ring with a Neon green paint marker.
    Start engine put timing light on cylinder 1 spark plug wire and see if the green mark on the balencer is inline with the pink mark on timing cover or close to it.
    it isn't "exact" but it should show you if your close

    crank rotates clockwise
    pink mark is TDC for #1
    green mark should be 10 degrees BTDC for #1

    pages from the manual
    [​IMG] http://imgur.com/cjPHEEn

    [​IMG] http://imgur.com/NWgXeWx

    [​IMG] http://imgur.com/D1Cf9IV
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  5. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I think it would have been helpful if Ford had put a timing mark, so that if there were difficult to diagnose problems with the car, one could double check that the timing is correct.

    For instance, if the timing were off or jumping around then one could investigate why that is, before continuing to chase the wild geese.
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  6. Bindre12

    Bindre12 FEOA Member

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    if timing is jumping around then it should post a trouble code and the MIL would be on that's what happened with mine when my crank sensor started to go also my tach was all over the place and it would misfire and die
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  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    A lot of other cars also have easier to remove timing belt covers (often 2 piece, to allow for easy inspection, with the top piece easy to remove, and the bottom piece just as hard as out one piece).
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  8. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    My timing cover has never been on since I owned the car, as well as its attaching studs.

    Makes it a snap to diagnose a broken timing belt!
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  9. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    My 1995 factory service manual does not mention any ability to check timing with a timing light. I checked.
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  10. Bindre12

    Bindre12 FEOA Member

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    Yea so you will have to make it work by marking it just won't be exact

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I suppose it might be a good idea to mark TDC precisely if ever the head was off and one could measure it with a dial indicator.
  12. Lizzie94

    Lizzie94 FEOA Member

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    I went back over the posts in this thread and I was thinking about marking the harmonic balancer and timing cover, but when I pulled the live data on my scan tool yesterday, the spark advance was reading 20°. That seems like way too much advance, especially at idle. I disconnected the SPOUT connector and the reading didn't change. It goes between 18-21°, but mainly sits at 20°. By disconnecting the SPOUT connector, I think the PCM can safely be ruled out as a factor. What are you guys' thoughts on this?

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