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Thread: Screwed up timing, I Think..

  1. #1

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    Screwed up timing, I Think..

    Hello people of mightyram50,
    Ok to start i bought a 1991 Mighty Max for $300 not running, i get it home from a 120mile tow and go to start it, it seems like it wants to start and the owner had a non-fouler in cylinder 2, said it was burning oil, well i changed all the plugs and wires, fuel filter and added fresh gas, check compression to see 160psi and all cylinders but #2 which had 165psi, so its good i take it, well i also change the ecu and go to start it and it starts for like 3 seconds horribly like its missing like a dog. i check spark and fuel, its got both, its got compression, so my friend takes out the distributor and turned it 180 degress i dont know why but he did, now wont even try to fire...

    Now to the main question. How do i fully re-time the truck as im not good with playing with timing? and if any of you are in the area maybe help me out and ill buy some diner or beer or whate ever, this is just my little project truck as i have 5 other cars. if any of you can help. i have access to Mitchell OnDemand and AllData also...

  2. #2

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    ...see if this bit of advice from LSR Mike is of help to you. If you can set the timing marks for TDC and install the distributor as per his instructions it should fire - http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...ull=1#post9329 As your truck is FI'd you will need to put the ECU into diagnostic mode so it will acknowledge the timing changes or it'll run nasty.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    ...see if this bit of advice from LSR Mike is of help to you. If you can set the timing marks for TDC and install the distributor as per his instructions it should fire - http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...ull=1#post9329 As your truck is FI'd you will need to put the ECU into diagnostic mode so it will acknowledge the timing changes or it'll run nasty.
    I will have to try that, Thanks

  4. #4

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    well i did what i could with the timing and it still fires for a split second and wont start any more but wants to...

  5. #5



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    You should set the crank at TDC #1 by the mark on the crank.
    Then check cam timing mark. CLICK HERE
    Then set the distributor by looking at the rotor to wire location. If there pointing at the proper pin you can then set the ECU into timing mode by grounding the plug described in LSR Mike's post.
    Cams have been known to jump time with old belts or just snap.
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  6. #6

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    OK well i believe i have everything times correctly, same with the distributor, now it will litteraly do what it did before i started messing with it which is fire for a split second then keep cranking. Do these truck have a CPS? Ive also swapped all the sensors and coil pack from my friends 92 Mighty Max, same result. my sensors and coil start his truck up perfectly... i also smell gas when trying to start it, ive pulled the 2 screws off the fuel rail and its getting fuel pressure, not sure how much but its getting pressure.. i dont know where to go from here, has new NGK Plugs and Wires...




  7. #7

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    Is it just me? I can't see the timing slot on the crank pulley. The cam is spot on for alignment so that part is sorted. There's no CPS on these engines, it's all spark timed off the cam and it's relation to the distributor. Check your distributor leads. I'm sure #1 should be up on the top of the distributor cap. If you've swapped the firing order it will act like the distributor is out half a tooth (if I got it wrong someone will set me straight )

  8. #8



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    I don't see it also.
    Could be the dist pick up coil. Or no power in the run position to the coil.
    Perhaps a second gen guy will jump in here and say it's XXX
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    Is it just me? I can't see the timing slot on the crank pulley. The cam is spot on for alignment so that part is sorted. There's no CPS on these engines, it's all spark timed off the cam and it's relation to the distributor. Check your distributor leads. I'm sure #1 should be up on the top of the distributor cap. If you've swapped the firing order it will act like the distributor is out half a tooth (if I got it wrong someone will set me straight )
    Quote Originally Posted by camoit View Post
    I don't see it also.
    Could be the dist pick up coil. Or no power in the run position to the coil.
    Perhaps a second gen guy will jump in here and say it's XXX
    Its that little notch in between the -5deg and TDC so probably -3deg. and i know she has spark as i shocked the shit out of myself and watched the spark while cranking and it looks strong... one other thing. can i get a MSD Blaster SS or would it not make a difference in reliability or strong spark? was looking at this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSD-8207-Ign...lVALDP&vxp=mtr

  10. #10

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    If the crank timing mark is in a position after TDC - that means it's out by a tooth (?). Try dialling the crank to TDC and see there the cam timing mark ends up. My guess is it will show it being before the casting pointer on the cam mark.

    If the original coil is still being used I would think about replacing it. Make sure the coil is compatible with your ignition system. The coil or the ECM could fail if they are not designed to work with each other. Transformer type coils like the one in your link or a Bosch unit work really well.

  11. #11

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    Align the timing mark on the crank, and the cam should be at its place, too. Then determine if the distributor is pointing correctly...this is where you're likely a tooth off. A sure sign of being off is having to rotate the distributor (loosened) to an extreme left or right in order to get it running. If this is the case, it's simply a matter of removing the distributor and moving it a tooth towards the right direction. #1 cylinder is near the bottom of the cap as it sits on the engine...you might do well to take the cap off, mark the #1 position on the distributor body, and see how your alignments are working out.

    One tooth off on the cam will be revealed by aligning the crank mark. Those belts really DO take some finesse to get absolutely right, particularly if you're looking down at the mark, instead of straight on (which can only be done by removing the grill and radiator). The most common mistake people make in the timing belt placement is aligning the camshaft mark with the top of the head, instead of the "bump" mark...you seem pretty aware of that.

    Keep us posted, and know you have good support here.

    edit: Looking at the distributor wires, I'd say your distributor is off a tooth: #1 should be more towards the firewall, if memory serves me right. (I'll go look at my own 4G64).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nope, seems correct. However, your photo doesn't show where the rotor is. So be sure of that positioning.
    Last edited by royster; 06-07-2016 at 08:32 AM.
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  12. #12

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    So the crank pully should be at TDC not -3degs correct? and what do i do to correct it? just pull the timing belt off the camshaft pully and rotate it a tooth?

  13. #13

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    that big T is TDC correct?

  14. #14

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    ill go take some pictures of how my trucks timing is all set up and post them for you. ill also get pictures of how the distributor is set relative to the cam and were all the wires go.

  15. #15

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    ok so here are some picks. the motor in my truck is a 1995 but everything sets up the same as yours. i have the timing slightly advanced on my truck but it runs great like this. i could not get a picture of my lower pully setup because of all the belts but it was aligned slightly before the last mark like yours. looking at how yours lines up it should be fine assuming the harmonic balancer was put on right. the picture that shows the cam aligned to the head was taken at an angle so it will look slightly off. just line all the marks up and set the distributor to how it is in the pictures and it should fire up.

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  16. #16

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    also, check that your plug wires are wired correctly. it goes #1 is closest to you or the front of the motor and #4 is closest to the firewall or back of the motor.

    good luck.

  17. #17

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    Thank you very much, i will check all that tomorrow, i also ordered a new fuel pump being the truck was sitting for some time, want to make sure its all healthy..

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaoticdopey View Post
    that big T is TDC correct?
    Yes.

    i also ordered a new fuel pump
    Good move. You can't go wrong with replacing main components if you intend to keep the truck forever. When I was in the process of replacing timing belts, I went ahead and replaced the oil pump, too. As it turns out, the old one was not in bad shape, but the strip-down to replace it later (and the risk of it going bad after all my work) made me decide to just go new. I don't regret it. Remember to replace the fuel filter at the same time.

    Keep us posted!
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  19. #19

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    Crank is right, so is the cam (couldn't see the mark and you had posted it being -3 degrees instead of +3 which would mean after TDC) Take note that on the timing cover it has "BTDC" which means before top dead centre. Using the timing alignment marks is a bit 'iffy' as it doesn't account for belt wear, gear wear, any material shaved off the deck of the head etc when trying to get your ignition set. Once you have got the distributor set right you should be up and running

  20. #20



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    Are you grounding out that wire when setting the timing? I'm not sure which one it is. But it's on the passenger side fender. LSR Mike has done a write up on it
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by camoit View Post
    Are you grounding out that wire when setting the timing? I'm not sure which one it is. But it's on the passenger side fender. LSR Mike has done a write up on it
    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...ll=1#post26994
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  22. #22

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    Well thanks for all the help everyone, finally had my mechanic come down and check it and found out it was off by around 4-5 teeth, found the timing belts and balance shaft belts all cracking so i just had him redo the whole timing, only problem now is it does smoke when reved, what could i do to kind of fix it, cause that means piston rings correct?

  23. #23

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    Could be a number of things. Do a compression check first. Valve stem seals? Is it belching smoke when revved from idle or all the time? Most of the time where I've had a smoky engine all that has been needed was pulling the head off, a check over and some reco work, new valve stem seals and it would be back to running nice and clean.

  24. #24

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    i will take a video tomorrow with pics of compression test

  25. #25

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    Valve stem seals are the #1 reason why these trucks will burn oil at start up. If the smoking slowly stops after a cold start up, you can be sure it's valve seals. If it's all the time, it could be a valve guide has slipped out of place. Rings are the last thing to suspect.

    Valve seals can be replaced without removing the head.

    Your tests will indicate what the problem is.
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