1988 FJ62 Timing Wrong

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Good morning, I am new to this community and to owning land cruisers. I have already learned quite a bit from other posts so I thought I would post my own question as I have not seen this exact issue in any other threads. I have recently acquired a 1988 FJ62 and it can be sluggish at times so I was researching how to tune it. With the truck came some documentation from the PO for some previous work that had been done back in 2019 by a reputable mech shop that specializes in Cruisers. The work includes the following:

Ultrasonic cleaning and testing of the fuel injectors.
Valve Lash Adjustment
Clean Throttle Body and set TPS while off.
Replace fuel pump and sock strainer.
Remove Distributor and Reset Timing.

All of that sounds like a major tune up. However, in the write up the tech mentions that the engine was set to run at 32 degrees advance. I know from reading the 3FE manual and multiple other threads on here that it should be set to 7 degrees BTDC with the jumper wires in the diagnostic port and 12 degrees without to confirm. I do hear some valve chatter under the hood when accelerating and thru the exhaust. The cats were stolen while the PO had the truck and the exhaust pipes were welded direct and not replaced so would that may make the exhaust seem louder or the chatter more pronounced? The idle RPM according to the tach in the dash says 1000 RPM at idle and then when you put it in gear it drops to about 700 RPM. My question I guess is, could the write up be a typo or did the tech really set it that wrong? Did the tech set the timing and the idle due to an underlying issue just to make it seem tuned? Should I take it back to the same shop and request another look since the manual clearly states something completely different? I am mechanically inclined enough to handle a tune up, but thought it was weird to be set at 32, especially by a Cruiser shop. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

OSS

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I'm not sure its possible to have the timing at idle set all the way up to 32 degrees advance.
Engine would ping itself to death with that much advance when accelerating.
Get a cheap timing light and check to see where it is now.
Yes exhaust sound is louder without cats, and the exhaust pipe can rattle if a hangar is lose underneath. Crawl under the truck and bang the exhaust pipe with your hand in places. If something is loose, you'll hear it.
 

Godwin

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Distributor needs to be reset to 7 degrees BTDC but find a competent shop to do if you cannot. A shop that specializes in Cruisers should know that 32 degrees is much too advanced.

Once you have had the distributor reset properly you may find that advancing it a few degrees, say 9-11, the 3FE will run well without pinging.
 
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Distributor needs to be reset to 7 degrees BTDC but find a competent shop to do if you cannot. A shop that specializes in Cruisers should know that 32 degrees is much too advanced.

Once you have had the distributor reset properly you may find that advancing it a few degrees, say 9-11, the 3FE will run well without pinging.

I'm not sure its possible to have the timing at idle set all the way up to 32 degrees advance.
Engine would ping itself to death with that much advance when accelerating.
Get a cheap timing light and check to see where it is now.
Yes exhaust sound is louder without cats, and the exhaust pipe can rattle if a hangar is lose underneath. Crawl under the truck and bang the exhaust pipe with your hand in places. If something is loose, you'll hear it.

Thanks. I think its a typo as that much advance would seriously be bad. I will try to get a light on it later to verify. I attached to shop bill just for a reference.
 

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Godwin

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Thanks. I think its a typo as that much advance would seriously be bad. I will try to get a light on it later to verify. I attached to shop bill just for a reference.
I wouldn't trust that it's a typo. I'd verify the current setting of the distributor. Question is why did the shop think that the distributor needed to be removed and reset?

Having the distributor off by one tooth can result in the advanced setting you're seeing. With the 3FE I have in my 60, after a rebuild, I was doing the initial running of the engine and noted that the exhaust manifolds were glowing. I checked the timing and found that the distributor at BTDC was 36 degrees, so I pulled it and dialed it back a tooth where it should be.
 
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I wouldn't trust that it's a typo. I'd verify the current setting of the distributor. Question is why did the shop think that the distributor needed to be removed and reset?

Having the distributor off by one tooth can result in the advanced setting you're seeing. With the 3FE I have in my 60, after a rebuild, I was doing the initial running of the engine and noted that the exhaust manifolds were glowing. I checked the timing and found that the distributor at BTDC was 36 degrees, so I pulled it and dialed it back a tooth where it should be.
Should I set the idle at 650ish in Neutral before checking the timing?
 
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You can't set the idle, not like with a carbed engine. Get the timing reset and that should drop the idle.
Thanks. You have helped get my questions and thoughts in order. I feel like I read too much and then forget the basics sometimes. Thanks also for the AR clubs info. I will have to get to meet up once the rig is ready.
 
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Checked the timing. It's set at 7 degrees with the jumper in the diag ports and 10-12 degrees without. It seems to be set correct. The tech write up just made me nervous. Thanks to both of you for the response and advise. The PO didn't drive it very much in the last 8 years. I am going to change all of the fluids and filters and clean out the fuel system and add some fresh gas to help the efficiency. The list keeps growing every time I walk by it, but that's half the fun.
 
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I knew this in the back of my head and just looked it up. Your mechanic could have been referring to total timing, not simply the amount advanced beyond TDC. YMMV - just a thought.


Total timing is the term given to the highest amount of advance. This is when the initial timing is added to the mechanical timing. For instance, if an engine has 10° of initial combined with 21° of mechanical, the total timing is 31° BTDC. Note that Total timing never includes vacuum advance.
 
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How many teeth are on the distributor gear, and how many degrees is each tooth worth, then? I am running out of adjustment on my rotor cap and can only get to about 3 or 4 degrees BTDC. Was thinking of moving the dizzie one tooth to the right....
 

OSS

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Yes.
When the distributor is installed correctly, the lock bolt will be centered in the slotted hole of the base flange at 7° BTDC.
 
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How many teeth are on the distributor gear, and how many degrees is each tooth worth, then? I am running out of adjustment on my rotor cap and can only get to about 3 or 4 degrees BTDC. Was thinking of moving the dizzie one tooth to the right....
IIRC, each tooth is worth about 10-12 degrees. When I bought my 60, the base timing was at 24° and it pinged like crazy. The distributor was 2 teeth off.
 

4Cruisers

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IIRC, each tooth is worth about 10-12 degrees. When I bought my 60, the base timing was at 24° and it pinged like crazy. The distributor was 2 teeth off.
13 teeth, or ~28 degrees per tooth.
 

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