Can someone explain the process of adj the timing to an idiot?

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by Zack1978, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Zack1978

    Zack1978 SILVER Star

    Likes Received:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Hey everyone,
    I think the timing is off on my 87 FJ60. One of the big clues is that I hear a slight backfire at idle, and it seems to ping under load (I think). I want to learn how to do this, and I don't even know where to start, well I lie; I know I need to buy a timing light but that's all I know. So what are the steps? How do I change the timing? What is the correct setting? What should the setting be for a truck w/ 240,000 orig miles ( It has a new Carb). Please feel free to explain like you are talking to a 3yr old!

  2. flowman


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    Nov 21, 2004
    wishing I was in Briland

    It's easy--get a timing light, and a Haynes manual. Poke around in your engine compartment and look for a bracket w/ some marks on the front of the engine near the crankshaft pulley (the big pulley in the middle that everything's connected to). If you don't have any marks there, look for a little door you can move near at the bottom rear of the engine on the pass side--you should be able to open it and see a little pointer on the edge of the case, and the curved edge of the flywheel to the right. Mine has the little door in the bottom rear, yours may be new enough to have the marks on the front (the only sane place to put them!).

    See this thread

    Hook up your timing light per instructions (pos and neg, and induction clip goes around the #1 spark plug wire (cylinders are 1 to 6 front to back ... you said talk like I'm talking to a 3 yr old! :D ). Start er up , push choke in, turn off AC, so it's idling at about 700rpm. Hang around and admire your rig while it warms up--utter a few Tim the toolman grunts.

    Once it's warm pull the two vac advance hoses off the metal chambers on the distributor, plug them with golf tees, pencil, whatever, and point your light at the mark (where ever it is). If you don't see any mark on the flywheel or crankshaft pulley, loosen the distributor hold down bolt a few turns (where it is varies, but it's gonna be near the dizzy) and twist the dizzy gently clockwise and counterclockwise while holding the timing light on the mark. The idle speed will increase and decrease. At some point you should see either a line, or a round mark like a BB or a hole, or maybe two marks like this : When the line is even with the pointer your #1 piston is a top dead center (as high up as it reaches this position during both the compression and exhaust strokes.

    Standard timing starts at 7 degrees before TDC, which is when the BB/hole/: lines up with the pointer. Yours will probably run best advanced a few degrees from that--twist the dizzy to make the BB move down to the bottom of the window (or toward the higher numbers on the little marked plate). One guy wrote "Advance the timing to the highest idle, (turn distributor counterclockwise)go drive the vehicle under load, retard (clockwise) until you don't hear pinging."

    It's easy, and if you want to do much wrenching you need to learn how--go get a light and book and do it! Hope this helps
  3. swank60


    Likes Received:
    Aug 26, 2002
    One of Four Presidential Flying Saucers
    The backfiring is typically more of a vac leak problem, not a timing issue. The pinging could be caused by a lot of carbon buildup in your combustion chamber.

    Something to consider if you adjust the timing but don't see any results.

    Good luck!
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